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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!


Come on in. What a day. I mean, really Godawful. Granddad is in hospital again and Gran has gone to visit him, so I'm here on my lonesome. My girlfriend just told me to piss off. I asked her to marry me, for God sake. Youíd think she could have at least been a bit more understanding, but no, this is Emma. Well, I get it. She didnít have to hit me over the head.

God, what am I going to do? I see her every day. Well, she lives here, doesnít she? I reckon I could move out, get a flat in the villageÖ But I canít, not really. What would Granddad do in the garden? Heís not up to much even when heís feeling well. I do all the work. Not that Iím complaining, I like to do it. But I canít leave him and Gran on their own, can I?

Ah, sheís a bitch. A beautiful, sexy, break-your-heart-as-soon -as-look-at-you bitch. Lifeís a bitch too, you know. Pass me another can of Boddingtons, will you? Cheers.

Simon And Ann

To: Simon
From: The Hat

Not heard from you in a while.

Hope everything is well, my son. If you're going through a quiet time, bit short of the readies, no prob. Just let me know. For special clients like yourself we can arrange a little credit, all on the up and up with high street rates.

Let me know

The Hat

To: AmynJames
From: Ann


Just got back from London, after an exhausting three days of dress shopping. Havenít seen Simon yetóhe went up to Liverpool a couple of days ago to play hookie with Gary while I shopped. Shirley was going to come with me, but Martin had to go back into the hospital for some more tests, so in the end I went by myself. Yesterday I met up with Suzanne who was doing some filming there. We spent the afternoon reviewing my choices, and narrowed them down to three. There are pictures up on the web that show generally what each will look like. Can you offer an opinion? I need to go back for a fitting within the month, so donít take too long!

Iíve told Simon I have to meet his mother before the wedding, and he said heíd think about it. Iím thinking of phoning her.





To: Ann
From: SToussand


Thanks for a fabulous day yesterday. You looked greatóit will be a tough decision. If it were me, Iíd go for the Basia Zarzycka. It was so theatrical, and I loved the roses.

Iím dead tired from filming today. Alan had us up at 4 a.m. so that Peter and I could kiss as the sun rose over the Thames. As dramatic moments go, Iím sure it would have been splendid in the book (of course, the author didnít actually write that scene!), but it was dreadful in reality. Peter reeked of gin, the boat we were in leaked, and a flock of pigeons kept swooping onto the set at the worst possible moment. As it turns out, one of the crew was eating something that attracted them. Alan was furious. Heís so masterful when heís angry. I find it really quite exciting to be working with him.

After the sunrise, we had a whirlwind tour of London, kissing at every stop. I feel like weíre filming one of those American high-school dramas. I mean, in real life, surely someone like Reginald Winters would have at least touched a breast. But Alan insisted on keeping Ďjust the suggestioní of sexual tension as our focus rather than the lust that Iím sure Helena OíRall, as a lonely old maid, felt vicariously as she wrote.

Would you mind terribly asking Frank to phone me tonight? Iím very keen to talk to him. He said to me that I should consider the rose. Iíve been thinking about this all day, and I must confess Iím just dying to know what he meant. You donít know, do you?


From: AmynJames
To: Ann


Great choicesómakes me want to get married myself! Seriously, theyíre beautiful. Are you going to go for the headdress and the whole routine? My vote is for the Angela Stoneóitís a bit sexier than the others.

Any thoughts for the bridesmaids? Happy to oblige with just about anything, as long as I donít end up looking like a cow!

Love ya,

P.S. hanging out with movie stars now?!!!!

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

Please stop by the office to sign some papers for the bank. They really should have been done last week, but I had no idea you were going away for a few days. I think that as your business manager I am going to have to be kept informed of your travel plans, in order that I may best do my job.

Yours sincerely


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

Righty-o. Iíll stop by later. 

Liverpool was a blast. Garyís from there and knows all the places and because heís famous people were buying us drinks and stuff. Well, most people, one group wanted to smash our faces in, but we left that pub pretty quickly! People can be so sensitive about their accents! Anyway we watched the Liverpool- Man U game which was awesome. Liverpool were up 2-0 at the half after Gerrard scored this amazing goal. I was going to support Man U but I changed my mind. Iíd never been to Anfield before, but I think Iíll go to a few more games now. Garyís a real fan, goes whenever he can, and heís been to ALL of the Premiership grounds. Can you imagine!

Iíd have asked you, of course, but I know you donít like football much.



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

I do like football! I just donít get much of a chance to go now. May I remind you that when we were seven I had the whole Esso football team coin set in their covers! I think you gave up half way through. I wonder if thatís still at my Mumís house? It's probably worth a bomb now!

Anyway if you and Gary go to another game I would love to join you, if you wouldnít mind.


Dining Room

Frank: I just came to say goodbye. Iím going off for a few days.

Womanís voice: Pardon me? Did you say you were going off?

Frank: I did. Iím headed up to London to see Irene.

Womanís voice: You never go anywhere. You havenít been out of the village for fifteen years or more!

Frank: Well, Iím going now. She phoned, you see. Said sheíd like it if I met her for dinner. Maybe spend some time sightseeing.

Womanís voice: In my day, women did no such thing.  Imagine, calling a man friend!  And just what do you think we will do?

Frank: Get along without me, I suppose. Iíll be back soon enough.

Womanís Voice: This isnít right!

Manís Voice: Never mind.

Flo: Good morning, Miss Knytleigh.

Emma: Good morning. Iím surprised to see you here! I thought the whole lot of you had decamped.

Flo: Iím not needed in London, as it turns out. Alan is concentrating on the early relationship between Loretta and Reginald, and Peter felt that my presence would be distracting. He couldnít be Reginald, you see, with Lorettaís aunt and chaperone along.

Emma: Is he a method actor, then?

Flo: Well, to be honest, I think he wants to get her into bed and thinks that Iíd be in the way. I came by to soak in the atmosphere. I like it here now that theyíre gone. Itís so peaceful. Quiet, in a way that I imagine the eighteenth-century house must have been.

Emma: Well, Simonís gone off with Gary, Annís in London shopping, and Shirleyís at hospital with Martin, so it is pretty quiet. Just me and John kicking around here this morning.

Flo: And Frank? Where has that dear man gone?

Emma: I have no idea.

Flo: Do you think heíll be here tonight? Oh, I do hope so.

Emma: Iím really not sure. You know, Frank and I truly are finished. People donít seem to understand that, but itís true.

Flo: You? And Frank? I had no idea... youíre just a child! Oh, I am sorry! That was terribly rude of me, wasnít it?

Emma: And you are Ömore his age?

Flo: No, no, itís nothing like that. I just need Frankís services. He was going to introduce me to someone this evening, thatís all.

Emma: Whoís that, then? Maybe I could help.

Flo: I donít think so.

Emma: Why not?

Flo: I want to meet Helena OíRall.

Emma: Sheís dead.

Flo: I know that! But you know, Frank has a gift.

Emma: Well, I hate to disappoint you, but his "gift" doesnít include talking to his mum. Sheís never said so much as "boo" to him.

Flo: His mum? Helena OíRall is Frank Churchillís mother?

Emma: She is. Or rather was. If you ask me, youíre on to a loser here. Sheís not talking.

Flo: What shall I do?

Emma: Why do you want to talk to her?

Flo: I need help with Beatrice Farthingale. I donít understand her motivation. She doesnít speak to me.

Emma: Well, Helena OíRall sure in hell wonít either.

Flo: I see. Thank you. Oh, one more thing. What do you suppose Frank meant when he told me that I should consider the tulip?

Reverend Banks: I missed you at the hospital this morning. How are you?

Shirley: Ah, Reverend, Iíve been better.

Reverend Banks: Chin up, dear. The tests havenít shown anything upsetting, have they?

Shirley: No. But thatís just it. Itís all this not knowing. All this time wasting, with him getting worse and nothing anyone can do about it. If they just could say, "Martin, itís your spleen," or "Shirley, he has complications of the liver." But everyone is so vague. Heís still in hospital, though. Thereís nothing vague about that!

Reverend Banks: We donít always have all the answers, Shirley.

Shirley: I know that. But Iím afraid Iím losing him.

Reverend: There, there. No need to cry. Heíll be back on his feet, weeding the garden in no time. The answers are in Godís hands. Heíll share them soon, Iím sure. Now then, can I get you some tea?

Shirley: That would be lovely.

John: Come and sit.

Emma: In here?

John: Yes. Right here. Sit down.

Emma: Okay, Iím sitting.

John: Letís get married.

Emma: Can you say that again, please?

John: Iím sorry, I didnít do it properly. (Kneeling) Emma Knytleigh, will you marry me?

Emma: No.

John: No?

Emma: No. Oh, for Godís sake, get up!

John: Why wonít you?

Emma: Why are you asking?

John: Because I love you.

Emma: And why else?

John: Well, Iím worried about my granddad. I want to get married, have a family, before he goes. Heíd like that.

Emma: So now Iím a mother? How soon is he going?

John: Emma!

Emma: Sorry, that wasnít very good of me. John, listen. I care about you, but getting married, having children, well, those are things to think about. Things to do with you and me. Not to make your granddad happy. Besides, heís going to be fine. Heís just having some tests, isnít he?

John: Yes, but none of the doctors can say why heís been so ill. He could be dying.

Emma: He could have lots of things wrong with him, most of them completely curable. John, he wouldnít like to see you rush into something as serious as marriage. Iím sure of that.

John: Well, even if he gets better, Iíd still like to marry you.

Emma: When.

John: When?

Emma: When he gets better.

John: So youíll marry me, then?

Emma: No, John. I donít think I will. Iím not ready for that. I donít want to be a wife. Your wife.

John: Never?

Emma: No, I donít think so.

John: Oh. Well then. Thatís it, then, isnít it?

Emma: Should we talk about this?

John: No. I understand.

Emma: John, I am sorry.

John: Right. Why donít you just go?