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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!


So, havenít seen you in awhile. Come to lecture me about John, have you? Well, thereís only so much you can do, you know. At some point, they live their own lives, and the messes they make are their own to clean up. Not entirely, mind you. Martin went and got him out of jail. In the middle of the night. That nice Sergeant Archer decided to bend the rules a bit and let him out before they officially opened for business. I think heís always had a soft spot for John. Well he could have been family, if you see what I mean.

I canít believe you didnít hear the story! Been out of town, have you? The whole of Puckering saw, or rather heard, everything. Well, itís like this. John has been a bit down about Emma for weeks. We thought heíd finally got over her. Been socialising with the actors, even got a bit part in the film. Anyway, he went down to the Idiot with some of the cast for a pint, and good luck to you, I said. That Peter Willey blokeóyou know, Reginald in Taxi, nice looking man ó finished shooting and wanted a few swift ones to send him on his way. John got to his third or fourth pint and started talking about Emma, and Willey told him to declare his love to the world, let everyone know whatís going on. Actors!

After a few more pints, he decided to tell the whole village his side of things, so he climbed up the bell tower and wellÖ Sergeant Archer had to talk him down and carted him off to jail to sober up. I know it was disturbing the peace and that John deserved to be punished, but I think the whole thing got a bit blown out of proportion, if you know what I mean. You donít? Well, read the Gazette. No good rag.

So, heís feeling pretty foolish now, but that will soon pass. The actors are finishing upóMartinís got his big scene coming up. Heís been practising for months. Weíve worn out three hoses already. Anyway, once thatís done, things should settle down again. And they will, too, now that Mrs. Tinsley has gone back to wherever it is she came from. My, my. It wouldnít surprise me if Ann decided to cancel the wedding after meeting that one. But sheís besotted, poor girl. Thinks Simon is wonderful, and even had a kind word to say for his Mum. Good to see her happy though. Really. Well, Iím getting a bit dry. Fancy joining me for a cuppa?

Simon And Ann

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

So have you organised my stag do yet? I had an email from Jackie (donít tell Ann) and she made me think about it. She suggested she could skip the wedding and just come to the stag party Ė be the lady that jumps out of the cake. Sheís a laugh, isnít she.

Anyway what are we doing? Not too many people I guess, but make sure you invite Gary and probably Peter Willey, though heís a bit of a boozer. I mean I like a beer as much as the next man but he drinks gin like itís a pint of lager. We could go back to Paris, like we did a couple of years ago Ė that was a laugh but itís a bit passť now that the Moulin Rouge film is out. Or we could hire the Robin Hood crowd - just make sure there are some saucy wenches!

Anyway itís up to you but I donít want you to worry about money. I may be an idiot at times, but I do only plan on getting married the once and I want a good stag night. We can always sort out the cash later.

Iím already looking forward to it. If Jackie is going to jump out of the cake make sure sheís dressed for it!


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

re: Stag Night

Everything is under control. I have some experience in these things you know, having been married myself, though, of course you were not present for my stag do. Bottom line is you will leave the event so drunk youíll not remember what happened and everyone there will be able to give you grief about it for the rest of your life.

By the way, I think the tradition now is to have it a week before the wedding so you have time to recover.

On a business note-- I really think that the Stoney Grove Trust needs to meet again. I know that I have no idea when the filming will finish and I think I speak for others who are rarely heard. Also we need to discuss what impact the Foot and Mouth has had on our visitation and whether the new renovations will impact tours. I know Frank has been in charge of the volunteer guides but maybe we should go to a more professional staff. Really, the old dears often have to be helped around the rooms by the visitors, Mrs. Kellinger spends the whole time complaining about her feet, and last week Frank got in a yelling match with one of his voices. And has anyone updated the web site with the new information about the house and family?

I know youíve had a lot on your mind but as I said to Evelyn, itís a business now, not just a home. Sorry to be blunt but I felt I had to say it. I would have come over in person but I was worried your mother was still here.

To: TheReverend
From: Simon

Dear Rev.

Look what I got as email:

"Minister Charles Simpson has the power to make you a LEGALLY ORDAINED MINISTER within 48 hours!!!!

As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church!!


Amazing, isnít it? Does that apply here? I was wondering if we could save a bob or two and do the wedding ourselves. Actually, I was worried you might forget now that you have other things on you mind Ė nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Sorry, shouldnít be disrespectful to a vicar.

When the ad says "marry your brother, sister or best friend" do you think he means perform the ceremony or actually marry your brother? Iím sure thatís still illegal here. I tell you we get all sorts of junk emails now. One day I got an ad telling me I could lose 6-8 inches and another telling me how to add four!

Hope all is going well


To: Simon
From: TheReverend

Well, I suppose since this world allows for the creation of members of the landed gentry overnight, thereís no problem with being ordained via the internet. I mean really Simon, arenít you the same sort of thing? And by the way, I hope you get over that annoying nervous tic.


To: AmynJames
From: Ann

Well, Iím still alive. Sorry itís been awhile. Mrs. Tinsleyóor rather, Maude, has come and gone. Simon and his dad, thank God, were out at a cricket match and missed her first onslaught. She showed up having had more than a few glasses of wine, with her Italian lover Luigi in tow. He slunk off back to the pub and left us to get acquainted. Sheís really quite entertaining if you check your ego at the door. Found out more about Luigi (and Simon) than I really cared to know. Not to mention the shortcomings of his dad. Anyway, it seems that she likes me, so according to Simon, my life should be easier now than it would have been otherwise.

She left (she insisted on staying in the village, since they didnít get a "proper inviteí) before the cricketing party returned. I should have told them she was here but I chickened out. Thought Iíd have a chance in the morning, when Simon had sobered up from his post-match celebrating and Iíd had some time to think about how to put it. But, next morning Maude arrived for breakfast. After a somewhat rocky startóI believe Simon said something welcoming like "What the hell are you doing here?" and Mr. Tinsley rushed upstairs, packed his bags, and went to stay for a few days at a hotel out of town (he passed on the bill, of course!)óthings improved. She spent the day with us, which gave Simon a chance to calm down before we were alone again, and Luigi joined us for a rather decadent dinner.

In the end, they stayed for about a week. Things went relatively well. She and Simon were still on speaking terms when she left (hard to say with Luigi, since his English is dreadful and Simonís Italian is non-existent). Things got a bit tense when she announced that there was the cutest little cottage in the village that she just had to have so she could visit us whenever she wanted. Simon, rather ungraciously, pointed out that she could never afford it, and I added that of course she was always welcome to stay with us. Iím not sure which proposition he thought was worse. After that I kept my mouth shut.

I think Simon was half afraid I wouldnít marry him after meeting her. He makes a lot more sense to me now.  I thought I knew him really well, but now I really do understand him better. Growing up with a mother like that would make anyone secretive and a little insensitive at times.

Well, at least the wedding will be easier. Hope all is well with you, James and Mande.


To: Ann
From: AmynJames

Country wisdom from my home town:

Itís always good to know the man youíre going to marryÖand his mother. Good for you.


To: Simon
From: The Hat


Know you're having a bit of a bad spell but stay with it. Swings and Roundabouts in this business. You were not alone in losing a little bit on the snooker and 5-4 for the Liverpool game was a very unusual score, as youíll appreciate.

Now the cricket doesnít give great odds but if youíre willing to wager a bit on England against the Aussies this summer I can still get you a good line. Wimbledon too, just around the corner, the sentimental money is always on Henman and that opens up a few good bets.

Your friend,

The Hat
"Where your credit is always good to the last drop."

To: Simon

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Dining Room

Simon: Well, you had to meet her. Wouldnít listen to me, would you? Went behind my back and dragged her here all the way from bleeding Italy. I worked hard to get her there in the first place, you know. And now she likes you. Thinks youíre Ďfabulous.í Well, I donít.

Ann: Oh, come on, Simon, donít pout. She isnít that bad. Admit it, you were pleased to see her.

Simon: And Luigi! What a gem he is! Iím surprised the two of them didnít end up in hospital, no, in jail, on drink-driving charges. I mean was the man ever sober?

Ann: You know, Iím not sure. I donít think I saw him without a glass in his hand the whole time he was here.

Simon: Glass? You mean bottle! He wiped out half the wine cellar in an evening! Image what heíll do at the wedding!

Ann: Well, I am glad I met her. I just needed to see that part of you. You know, genetics means a lot these days.

Simon: Oh God. Between her and Dad, Iím surprised I havenít got an extra head or something. The pair of themÖ

Ann: Itís a shame your Dad didnít stay.

Simon: Are you nuts? Theyíd have killed each other in the first five minutes. If they didnít, Iíd have killed both of them. Oh Ann, what are we going to do about the wedding?

Ann: Well, weíll just have to find your Dad a date.

Gary: Oh hello Suzanne. I really didnít know you were here this weekend.

Suzanne: I came back early. Thought Iíd pop in before going on to say good-bye to Peter.

Gary: Right. I mean, of course you would, after doing the love scenes and that I guess you do get close.

Suzanne: Itís acting, Gary. I think you should understand that.

Gary: Of course, acting. Look Iím sorry about the picture in the paper. That must have been when we took that weekend in Norfolk. Iíve no idea how they got hold of it.

Suzanne: The press. What can you do?

Gary: I know, and that was the photograph you used for the publicity shot as well!

Suzanne: Indeed.

Gary I donít suppose you ever think of that weekend?

Suzanne: I remember it as one of the nicest Iíve ever had.

Gary: Really!

Suzanne: Letís go to Peterís farewell party, shall we?

Martin: I hope youíre proud of yourself. Your Gran was at her witís end last night. Thought they were going to throw you in the nick with that no-good Dad of yours. And you deserved no better, either.

John: Alright, granddad, alright. Do you have to shout?

Martin: Iíll bloody well shout if I want to! Who bailed you out, eh? Answer me that! And I havenít heard so much as a thanks out of you yet!

John: Thanks.

Martin: Well, alright then. Youíre welcomeÖ Youíre looking a bit poorly there, lad. You must have been pretty drunk.

John: I was. I donít even remember leaving the Idiot. To be honest with you, I donít remember much of anything except being pulled off the steeple and throwing up on Reverend Banks. I think it was his shoes.

Martin: Was Sergeant Archer who pulled you down. Woke the whole bleeding village, you did. What did you think you were going to accomplish, bellowing from a bell tower in the wee hours?

John: I donít know. I feel like an idiot.

Martin: Well, you are. I donít like to say it, but my grandsonís a half wit.

John: GranddadÖ

Martin: Now donít go "granddadding" me. Iíll tell you something that you donít want to hear, but itís for your own good. She doesnít want you. Thereís nothing you can do about it, nothing at all.

John: But maybe if IÖ

Martin: Youíre not listening to me lad. She doesnít want you. And you donít want her. Do you know why?

John: No.

Martin: Because thereís nothing in this life worse than being in love with a woman who doesnít love you, whoís dreaming about someone else. Now Iím not saying that Emma knows what she wants, donít really see her fancying old Nigel Banks forever, but itís clear that sheís made up her mind and she doesnít want you. Women today arenít used to settling. They are used to getting what they want, and if they donít, theyíll make you bloody miserable. So give her up. Move on.

John: What will I do without her?

Martin: Well, I canít answer that. Youíre a bright lad. The world is full of things to do. Youíll sort it out. Anyway, seems to me like you should start by going to bed. You look awful.

John: I feel worse.

Martin: Well, go on then.

John: Thanks, Granddad.

Reverend Banks: Is John around?

Ann: No, havenít seen him. My guess is that heís sleeping it off.

Reverend Banks: Well, could you ask him to phone me when he wakes up?

Ann: I doubt that will be high on his list, but yeah, Iíll give him the message.

Reverend Banks: Thanks. You know, I feel really quite silly about all this.

Ann: You? Why? You didnít do anything wrong.

Reverend Banks: Well, IíveÖweíve obviously upset him badly. Maybe we should have waited awhile. Let things cool off before we started dating.

Ann: Are you happy?

Reverend Banks: Yes. Sheís a marvelous girl, you know.

Ann: Nigel, donít let her hear you say that.

Reverend Banks: Why not?

Ann: To start with, sheíll bite your head off for calling her a girl. And marvelous? Well, itís a bit dated, isnít it?

Reverend Banks: Maybe so, but thatís what she is.

Simon: So, Iím secretive and insensitive, am I?

Ann: What?

Simon: You know what. You said that to Amy!

Ann: Oh, Simon, Iím sorry. I was trying to explain to her how meeting your mother has helped meÖ

Simon: To figure out what a git I am.

Ann: No. Not at all. You know I love you. Itís just that, well, you are secretive sometimes, and you yourself have joked about not being the most sensitive of men.

Simon: Give me one example of being secretive!

Ann: The fact that youíre still gambling but you havenít told me.

Simon: WellÖokay, thereís that. But I havenít spent a lot of money. And we do have enough.

Ann: Right now this isnít about your gambling, itís about your secretiveness. Letís stick to one thing at a time.

Simon: Okay, okay. I understand your concern. Was that sensitive enough?