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!
Cuppa with Shirley
Cuppa with Shirley (or Martin)
Come in, come in! It seems like months since Ive had a chance for a proper natter. And youre 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. Changes everything around here I thought I knew her, but its clear that Ive been mistaken all this time. I hardly know what to think.
As if that werent bad enough, I got a letter from Jerry. You know, Jerry Anderson, the bloke they sent to the nick for lifting a few odds and ends from the house. Hes had a lot of time to think, he says. Just my luck. The man hasnt 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 lets just say past history. Ill 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. "Hell do something stupid, something well all regret, he will," she says to me, and you know, shes right. "Tell him to mind his peace, Shirley. Use your charm." Well, its been a long time since Ive needed that, but troubles trouble and theres no use hiding from it. Ill 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 puddingIve a bit left over from the Church social. Would you like some with a cup of tea? Ive been so out of sorts today since I read the newspaper that I havent even had time for a cuppa. There now, sit tight and Ill put the kettle on.
Blimey! I knew you said we were going to take a little road trip, but Paris! What a laugh, eh? I never really got those chorus lines before, to be honest. On telly it just looks like women kicking, doesnt it. Couldnt see the point, but its different in the flesh! I dont know how those costumes stayed on, in fact I dont know how they got them on! Bit different from a sing-song in the pub, aint it.
So you never did tell me what you did for New Year, you sly dog. I was a bit surprised to hear from you. I thought youd dropped us, after the party. I know you dont want to talk about it, but I do think its a shame about you and Ann. I didnt talk to her much, but she seemed really nice. Still with your money, and the house, you shouldnt have any trouble pulling babes! I know its none of my business, but are you still seeing Jackie? I mean, I wasnt sure about what happened after Ann left, and you didnt mention her so I was just wondering.
Things are a bit frosty here with Caroline, as you can imagine. You said we'd only be gone for a few hours! And I got the wrong duty-free perfume on the train, so now she thinks I have some bit on the side who likes Channel No. 5. I should be so lucky! Actually I never know what perfume she likes. I sometimes say she smells nice, but really, who cares what people smell like unless theyre like a rugby player or something, and I dont make a habit of smelling them.
Anyway where are we going next? I want to can-can!
Thanks for contacting me about your plans for the house. I
appreciate being kept in the loop. Right now I don't really care if you open it to the
public or not, as long as you don't compromise the place. We've been through this
all before. You know--don't do anything destructive (like knocking down walls,
cutting down old trees, grading...) and don't add a bunch of grossly modern intrusions
(satellite dishes spring to mind, but I'm sure there are other thoughts you've had that
are equally inappropriate). Basically, respect the site.
I still haven't decided when or if I'll sell out my half. For now,
please keep me posted about what is happening. I've written to Chester and asked him
to represent me at your meetings. Try not to bully him.
I've got email access now, as you can see. A friend of mine said I could use his machine whenever I wanted. Saves me the hassle of trying to get a connection out to my house.
Send my best to Shirley, Martin and the Rev. Banks.
Not sure when we can get away again. I'm getting really involved in the house and its a full time job. Stoney Grove is an amazing place and I think it can become a big tourist site. I want to really make something of this place and maybe buy Ann out. Were in the planning stages right now and Ill let you know whats happening.
I havent seen Jackie for months. I stayed with her for a few days after that terrible party we had last autumn. She had been seeing her boss, whos married, but she said even though that was over she didn't want to start another relationship. To be honest, I was having second thoughts about whether it was a good idea too. I'd forgotten what Jackie could be like. Anyway the boss man called while I was there and Jackie decided to see him again, which I think was really stupid of her. Im dont understand women at all! From now on I dont care! Ive decided I really like being single, because you dont have to compromise and Im getting really focused on what I want to do now. I think Ive been given an opportunity and I want to make the most of it. Winning the money was a fluke, I know that, dumb luck. The question is what happens now, what I do with it. I want to combine my interest in technology and history to create a wonderful old but new tourist site.
You heard it here first.
Emma's OfficeDear Emma,
Great news! Ive found Fannyshe died here, on Nevis, in the summer of 1814. I dont know how, or why, because she's supposed to be at the bottom of the lake outside your window, but here she is.
Not only that, but she was James Rawlins SISTER, which means that the painting we found in the attic may have been her brother too. It is all beginning to make more sense, although why Fanny isnt in the genealogy we have, and how exactly the two Stoney Groves relate is still puzzling. It never really made sense to me that she was still so grief-stricken two decades after her husband's death that she drowned herself. Especially given the rumors of her killing him, which doesn't fit with the grieving widow picture either. But if she did kill him, why fake her death so many years later? Questions, questions.
Ive enclosed copies of the newspaper announcements. Can you go back to Essex and hunt around some more in the Rawlins family papers and see what turns up? Maybe you can try following James to see if theres any record of him coming here Sorry, I dont need to tell you your job!
How are things going otherwise? You havent mentioned him, but I hope that you and Frank are on the mend. You seemed really happy with him. Dont know why you split up, its none of my business (and who am I to give advice on love?), but Frank is a really sweet guy. You should give him another chance. Maybe you already have!
Im beginning to feel settled here. I just moved into a new house that Ive signed a six month lease on-- I figured Id give myself some time to see whats next. Nothing happens quickly here, and I really like that. My "landlord" Doug is an ex-pat from New Jersey whos been living on Nevis for ten years. Hes a lot of fun, and has already started to teach me to sail. Maybe Ill buy a boat! Ive been over to visit Amy and James lately as well, and they are both fine, and anxiously awaiting the baby.
Send my best to Shirley and Martin, and if you see Chester or Nigel Banks, tell them Im working on letters for them. Hope all is well. Oh, can you tell Simon I have email access through Doug now so Ill send him a message about the bills? I appreciate it.
Let me know what you find in Essex. Thanks!
Stoney Grove Steering Committee January 21, 2000
Meeting 1: Attending Simon Tinsley, Frank Churchill, Shirley Johnson, Martin Johnson, Mr. Tinsley Snr., Evelyn Prosser, Emma Knytleigh.Simon: Id like to welcome everyone to the first meeting of the Stoney Grove Steering committee. I know I haven't been around much for the last three months, but Im here to tell you that I'll be working full time at the house from now on.
Emma: What do you mean working?
Simon: This place is a national treasure. I dont think its right that only certain people should enjoy it. I want Stoney Grove to be a success. I plan to open the house to the public, to develop it into a major tourist destination.
Shirley: What! I dont want a bunch of tourists gawking through my kitchen and spreading dirt everywhere. Its our home, isnt it?
Martin: Theyll play hell with me vegetables.
Emma: This isnt something you can do lightly. Have you talked to Ann about this? We're still working out the history of the house.
Simon: I sent her a letter a while ago and am waiting for a reply. But I have thought about this, Ive thought about this a lot. Thats why I've called you together. We're going to meet twice a month and discuss how we're going to do this and what needs to be done. Everyones ideas will be treated the same. Well vote on whats to be done, though Ill have the deciding vote. Our goal is to make Stoney Grove the destination of choice for the discerning heritage visitor.
Mr. Tinsley Snr.: Wholl want to come to a dump like this? It's really draughty.
Evelyn: I know Im new here, but how will this affect my project?
Simon: Your archaeological research will be part of the interpretation. Right now I see Emma preparing the tourist material, brochures etc. What youve done is fine, but we need to brighten it up a bit for the tourists. Nothing too complicated. Remember its not history, its entertainment. Shirley and Martin will be in charge of the house and grounds at the moment, keeping things in order. I was thinking about a tea room and shop as well, but as I said well meet and discuss all this. I think youll need some more help Shirley, and I want you to prepare a budget for me of the estimated costs. Frank, you can earn your keep as head guide... you did such a nice job at the party. Well try to get some volunteers from the village to help you out on tours.
Frank: So Ill need to work very closely with Emma?
Simon: Absolutely. Well all work together. Now I just want this to be a quick meeting today, but I want you to be thinking for the next one about what we can do to make this a place where people feel they must come. I want to open in the Spring. Remember, anything is possible at this point. Think big and think bold! Golf courses, Wild West theme parks, elephants and lions, racing cars and steam engines, multi-plex cinemas. Well bring in dancing girls from Vegas if we need to, but this place will be a success!
Emma: Is he gone?
Shirley: Gone off his head I reckon. Dancing girls indeed!
Martin: And Im not having any elephants in my garden, Ill tell you that now. Great big smelly beasts.
Emma: I think we need to get in touch with Ann and perhaps even Chester. Ill see what I can do.
Mr. Tinsley Sr.: Sometimes he's just like his mother...