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Have a Cuppa with Shirley (or Martin)

Come in, come in! It seems like months since I’ve had a chance for a proper natter. And you’re lucky to find me here, you are-- I nearly had to take to my bed in shock. Have you seen the headlines of the Gazette? You must pop ‘round the newsagents and have a look. I'm not saying Miss Ann was my favourite, but it gave me quite a turn. Changes everything around here…I thought I knew her, but it’s clear that I’ve been mistaken all this time. I hardly know what to think.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I got a letter from Jerry. You know, Jerry Anderson, the bloke they sent to the nick for lifting a few odd and ends from the house. He’s had a lot of time to think, he says. Just my luck. The man hasn’t had a worthwhile thought in his life, and when he finally has time to turn his mind to something, it would have to be meddling in my affairs. He wants to come clean with John, set the record straight. And not just about himself, but about, well… let’s just say past history. I’ll bet that Emma has had something to do with all this.

I gave Vera a ring, and she thinks the best thing for me to do is go down to the blessed jail and talk to him. "He’ll do something stupid, something we’ll all regret, he will," she says to me, and you know, she’s right. "Tell him to mind his peace, Shirley. Use your charm." Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve needed that, but trouble’s trouble and there’s no use hiding from it. I’ll fix him a nice trifle, or a treacle pudding, to sweeten him up a bit, and then try to talk some sense into him.

Speaking of treacle pudding—I’ve a bit left over from the Church social. Would you like some with a cup of tea? I’ve been so out of sorts today since I read the newspaper that I haven’t even had a drop to drink. There now, sit tight and I’ll put the kettle on.

(Talk to Shirley about what happened last year)