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This page contains most of the content from the main 'story line' characters. It is designed to allow an easy way of keeping up with the story on slow connections (or for reading later). It is, of course, no substitute for the real thing!


Well, you haven't shown your face around these parts in donkey's years! Come in, come in. You caught me with my feet up. Me legs are killing me, and it gives a bit of comfort. Fancy a cuppa? Don't be daft--I can get it! I won't be sitting around like Lady La-de-da just because of a stiff leg now and again.

So, how do you like our new digs? Just before Ann and Simon--that's Miss Simmons and Mr. Tinsley to you--went off to the States, Martin had a bad spell and they asked if we'd like to move into the old Granny Suite. Never fancied myself living here, but you never do think of yourself as getting old, do you? Anyway, the stairs were bothering me, and Martin was feeling poorly, so up we came. It's quite snug, isn't it? Lovely carpet--we bought it down in the village.

Martin? Oh, wellÖHe's alright, really he is. He just has his days now and then. We all do, really. He's still able to putter around in the garden, but to tell the truth, John does most of the work. Seems like he's lost a bit of steam these last six months. Still, nothing to worry about.

Did you come by to see the film crew? Martin's always fancied himself dramatic, you know, and is hoping to get a 'bit part' in the film. Silly man! Well, they haven't started yet. All a lot of fuss and nonsense if you ask me. They'll be digging up the garden and building sets in the loos. Had a few of them out here in January, doing some 'scouting' they said. The lot of 'em will be back again this month, I hear. I'm glad Ann and Simon are back to get things sorted.

Like my picture? John and Emma went to Glasgow over Christmas and brought that back for me. Frank quite fancies it; says it reminds him of fairy tales. He brought me a book of fairy stories to read when my legs were acting up. He's a sweet man, is our Frank. Donít let anyone tell you otherwise.

There's the kettle. Won't be a minute.

Have a look around before you go. There's a new shop down the way and we've finished restoring the West Hall. The old place isn't looking half badÖ

Simon And Ann

To: Simon 
From: Rev. Banks

Isn't the Internet marvelous? House of God everywhere and all that. Still, for some ceremonies it is nice that we gather together. Since you had mentioned August (or was that Ann?) I wanted you to know that the church can get very busy at that time of year. In fact I already have several weddings during the month.

So if you are still considering late summer, may I suggest it might be wise to settle on a weekend so we can go ahead and post the bans? Though I feel I know you both well, I would still like to go ahead and meet a few times before the wedding. Even couples who have got to know each other very well prior to marriage may find there are some issues that they have not addressed.

Sure you heard the news about the church tower. Such a relief to know that thanks to this, and the kind donations of  people like you, we will be able to complete the restoration of the church. Bless you both.

To: Simon Tinsley, Executive Director, Stoney Grove Trust
From: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant, Stoney Grove Trust

The accounts for the calendar year 2000 are now up-to-date prior to the ending of the fiscal year in April and subsequent need for tax filing. Pursuant to said filing there are some expenditure items that will need review vis-ŗ-vis allowable tax deductible expenses. Items such as ĎEntertaining 437 poundsí tend to be a bit of a red flag to the Inland Revenue Service, so we may have to make some adjustments.

If your schedule permits I should like to meet with you later this afternoon to discuss the aforementioned items.

To: Philip Porkridge, Chief Boring Person Stoney Grove Trust
From: Simon Tinsley: Executive Director, Stoney Grove Trust

Rather than send me an email while donít you lean out of your window and shout, you daft pillock! Letís grab our coats and head to the Idiot for lunch. We can discuss Ďthe aforementioned itemsí there. If we talk over lunch do we get the beers as deductible?

To: Simon Tinsley, Executive Director, Stoney Grove Trust
From: Philip Porkridge, Chief Accountant Stoney Grove Trust

Sorry. Still in the business mindset. You probably don't care that I wear a tie in my office, do you? Still it helps me feel like I'm working. I guess Iím still not used to the set-up here. It's hard working from home, though it's a great office and I am keeping busy. (Have you ever balanced a check book? Thank goodness for Ann's record keeping!)

Anyway Iím coming over. Donít think we can do the drinks tax free, but take the Range Rover and weíll get allowance for the petrol. Iím not going on the Harley! I donít think youíre a responsible driver in the winter on these country roads.

To: Ann
From: TheSimmons

Dear Ann

So glad you and Simon were able to come for Christmas. Thank Simon for helping your father set up the computer. You'd think he was Rockefeller, the amount of time he spends looking at his shares. Itís all I can do to shoo him off to write you this note!

Anyway, we need some advice getting to England. We don't want to rush you, but it is much harder to get a flight in the summer and we'd like to make reservations as soon as you decide on a date. Your father still wants to pay for the wedding, but I'm sure we can work that out later.


To: TheHat
From: Simon

2:40 Chepstow 

Well Then Now Then


Dining Room

Simon: You look happy.

Ann: It's nice to be back. I still can't believe this is our home.

Simon: "Property is theft."

Ann: Does that apply to the Harley?

Simon: No! That's mine.  I meant we don't really own this place, do we? Just occupy it for a while. It'll be here long after we're gone. Actually, we really don't own it anymore, the Trust does.

Ann: But  we have life occupancy and life appointments to the Board.

Simon: Well we didn't have to be stupid about it.  It was going to cost a fortune to renovate. Now we can fund raise, get grants, tax relief.

Ann: Well,  I'm glad we did it and I'm glad to be back here with you. The old dining room is looking quite cheerful these days.

Simon: Let's go get reacquainted with  the upstairs. 

Simon: Welcome everyone to the first meeting of the year for the Stoney Grove Trust. I know things have got off to a slow start after our establishment last year, but here we are now under way-- though fortunately, considering the weather, not under water.

Shirley: Not that you've been suffering the weather. I'm sure it was lovely in California.

Ann: We were visiting my parents, Shirley. They are very eager to meet you all when they come for a visit.

Simon: Yes, well back to business. As you know, we have the filming starting next week. Mr. Daily has kindly given up his time to come down and explain to us what that will mean. I thought I'd let him go first so we can go over any other business after he leaves.

Arthur: Thank you,  Simon. Well, Iím sure you are all excited by the upcoming filming. For us itís an honour to be filming at such a historic site.

Simon: Thank you, Arthur.

Arthur: Youíre welcome. Now I know that being around stars can be a bit intimidating. Itís quite a cast and I know that youíll be eager to meet and talk with them. If you have requests, like autographs and things,  please pass them through my girl Friday Irene, and sheíll do her best to help. Now, weíll try to let some of you be around for filming, but this is a business and time is our biggest cost. It may look chaotic at times, but we do know what we are doing, and everything that is happening  is important to our vision. As one of my colleagues said, ĎThere are no small decisions in making pictures.í So let us do our work and soon itíll be done and you can go back to your normal lives and this will all seem like a dream.

Emma: So basically we should stay out of the way and let you get on with it?

Arthur: We'll try to accommodate you when we can, but yes.

Evelyn: How long will you be here?

Arthur: Well, lovely though it's been to see you all again, I really need to get going now.

Ann: I think Evelyn meant for the filming.

Arthur: Oh right. Well the schedule can change of course, but right now we're planning on doing some shooting in February and March and then coming back May or June for the  final spring shots.

Ann: So you'll be done by summer.

Arthur: If not we'll be bankrupt! As I said, time is money.  My driver is waiting,  Iíll be off. Thank you Simon, and any questions through Irene please.

[Arthur and Irene leave]

Evelyn: Dream or nightmare? There is a nasty rumour going around that they want to put in a walled garden and a fountain by the Lake.

Simon: Yes, that's right. One of the 'themes,' trapped love, bursting fountains, that sort of thing. Ours are evidently not like the ones in the book so they're building new ones. I thought we might keep it all. Tourist attraction after the TV program airs. The public will love it.

Emma: Simon, we have a real house and landscape. People will come and see that. It has integrity.

Simon: So will this, it'll be just like the book. Anyway discuss any problems with Phil, he's the business manager. Meeting adjourned.

Phil: Sorry everyone, just need a word with Simon. Simon?

[Simon leaves, followed by Phil]

Evelyn: Have you read the book? Bloody awful tripe if you ask me.

Emma:  I don't think anyone did ask you, Evelyn.  We've all read it and we all think Frank's mother did a wonderful job.

Evelyn: Oh, sorry Frank.  Didn't mean to upset you.  But it is dreadful, really.  Don't you think?

Frank:  Well, I've always had a soft spot for it.

Shirley:  I think it's a beautiful story. Not as good as 'Adrift at Sea,' of course, but lovely nevertheless.  I hope they don't spoil it.

Emma: Frank, what's the matter? Evelyn didn't mean to be cruel. She doesn't like fiction, that's all.

Frank: It was her.

Emma: Yes, Frank. It was Evelyn.

Frank:  No, no.  It was her!

Emma: Who Frank? Are you seeing people now as well as hearing them? Who was it?

Frank: The lady with that horrible man. It was Sam.

Emma: Arthur's assistant? I think she's called Irene. Who's Sam?

Frank: I told you, I told you my story and now she's come back. The girl from my class when I was a teacher.

Emma: Let's go and have some tea with Shirley. She's just down the hall now, what with her legs and Martin. Let's go and sit a while, shall we?

Frank: That would be nice.