During the past few days there have been several different faces in the building. I have already mentioned that two new residents have moved into apartments close to Mrs. M. In fact, I don’t think there are any vacancies at all on the second floor. I still haven’t had the opportunity to find out much about these gentlemen, however, I’m sure that will be rectified in the next couple of weeks.
Now the news I do want you to know about relates to Mr. Roach. You are well aware about my dislike of that particular person – and now I’m even more convinced that he is involved in the misdemeanours currently happening here. Unfortunately I am currently unable to find out anything of interest to anyone.
I have been advised that Mr R has
disappeared. I’ll spell this out clearly
for you – according to my sources, Mr. R is on the run. The police haven’t any idea where he is – and
they really want to speak with him.
Apparently he has left all his possessions in his flat, which implies
that he will be returning. His car is
still here which is strange – you would expect him to need it wherever he was
going. Whatever the situation, he has
drawn attention to himself, which won’t bode well for his return.
So where is Mr. R and why has he
suddenly disappeared? I’m sure I’ll be able to answer these questions shortly;
however not at the moment. As Always –
Well, my dear Friends – it’s good to
be writing again today. It has been a
stressful few days for Mrs M and Mr S – hopefully that matter will soon be
resolved. Both of them are back here
after spending a few days in hospital to ensure there wasn’t any lasting
damage. Mr S did suffer mild concussion
as a result of banging his head on the side of a car before exacerbating it by
landing in the kerb and sustaining a nasty cut to his forehead. A few days later with a couple of stitches in
place and the swelling now reduced, it gives him a certain rakish charm.
As for Mrs M – she appears to be
bouncing back nicely. She does have some
horrendous bruising in several places; however, elderly people bruise much more
easily as their skin is thinner. I think
she is enjoying all the extra attention from friends and neighbours. She is moving around well (until she
remembers she is supposed to be recovering and then begins to limp
It would appear that the young lady was unfortunate to have been caught up in an incident which wasn’t of her making, and in fact had nothing to do with her. She had an appointment with Mrs M and Mr S to discuss their outfits for an annual event which is happening in a few weeks. She is a local seamstress and had brought some fabric samples with her.
As it was a Sunday they decided to
meet in one of the local hostelries for a spot of lunch before returning here
to investigate the various choices of materials she had with her. It transpires that her grandmother had been
an old friend of Mrs M until she sadly died last year.
So then, what happened to cause the
incident with the motorcyclist who suddenly appeared from nowhere. The police are officially treating the matter
as a case of mistaken identity but through my “sources” – OK, Mrs M has told
me, provided I keep this information very closely guarded, she and Mr S have a
close relationship with various police departments – and even with Thames
House, in London. Now, as you will be
aware this is the headquarters of the UK Security Services.
It transpires that some of the
unusual behaviour of certain people within this establishment is being
monitored, and there are other people who don’t live here who are having their
activities watched. I don’t have all the
various facts in place just at present but I have received a phone call from
someone in very senior position who is coming to visit me in the next few
days. Apparently there have been various
checks regarding me, and I have now been asked if I will co-operate with the authorities. Of course I will, it’s quite exciting to be
involved on a formal basis. Until after
this meeting takes place I obviously don’t have further information to tell
you. I do believe that it may involve
drugs and there may have been mention of thefts from a firm of jewellery
I’m so sorry that I can’t explain
everything which is currently happening – I will do my best to keep you as
up-to-date as possible. For now friends
– As Always –
My Dear Friends – the change in the weather
yesterday meant that I was able to sit at my living room window and take notice
of the people who wandered past. I had a
quiet morning, which was only broken by a welcome visit from Mrs M, who came
for coffee and her favourite shortbread biscuits. I am glad that I had replenished my stock –
imagine the consternation had I run out!
Mrs M seemed a little subdued when
she arrived. Now that could be because
she had slept badly, or it may have been the seven gin and tonics that she had
consumed last night. I told her that she
shouldn’t be drinking so much alcohol at one time. She said that it didn’t matter, because she
She perked up quickly though and was
quite chatty after two cups of coffee and three shortbread biscuits – not that
I’m counting! She also took a liking to
a ball of my James C Brett Northern Lights yarn which I hadn’t hidden quickly
enough. However, I explained that
unfortunately I couldn’t let her take one, as I’m crocheting a blanket for a
friend. It’s very difficult to say no to
someone who manages to look so pathetic while muttering something along the
lines of “you surely wouldn’t begrudge a “mature lady” just one ball when I can
see that you have several of them.
On this occasion I stood my ground
saying that if there is any yarn remaining once I have completed this project
then she will be welcome to have it. I
don’t actually know what she does with my yarn as when she knits she certainly
isn’t using any yarn which originated here.
So as she couldn’t have the yarn she really wanted, it cost me four
balls of another James C Brett yarn – the Harmony in DK. This is another lovely one, and I do think
that Mrs M did rather well. It was
packed away in her bag very quickly.
Sorry I’ve wandered away from what I
was saying. I asked if she had any plans
for the rest of the day. She said she hadn’t
so I suggested that a nap might be good.
She agreed with me but as we continued to talk her phone rang. On previous occasions she ignored the phone
and left it to go to voicemail – however yesterday she answered the call. It was very short conversation and Mrs. M
just said yes and no a couple of times.
When she had finished she put the phone back in her bag and stood up as
she was ready to leave. She then toddled
off down the corridor to her own apartment.
I stood in the doorway just to make sure that she arrived safely.
After I had washed the cups and
plates I decided to sit in the armchair close to the window. I didn’t want to miss anything that could be
helpful in finding out who is really responsible for the mysterious brown envelopes
and their contents. The manager Mr Roach has a face like thunder at the moment,
and several of the courier firms haven’t been seen here for days. I don’t know whether these two things are
connected but it wouldn’t surprise me at all.
What did surprise me, however, was
the sight of Mrs. M dressed in her best two piece skirt suit with plain
co-ordinating blouse underneath. I was
pleased that it didn’t have one of those pussy-bow ties at the neck – I don’t
think that anyone looks good wearing that style, although I do remember a
certain lady prime-minister in the 1980s who wore them regularly. Even more surprising was the sight of Mrs. M
linking arms with the smartly dressed elderly they would venture on to the
I stayed in my chair, only leaving for a few minutes at a time to make a cup of tea. Mrs. M hadn’t mentioned anything about going out when she was here only a couple of hours earlier. I was sure that it wasn’t a spur of the moment liaison as they were both very smartly dressed. It would have taken Mrs. M a considerable length of time to get ready for such an outing. She really likes to be dressed appropriately for every occasion.
After a couple of hours Mrs. M and
Mr. S returned but they weren’t alone – no they had a much younger person with
them. Could she perhaps be a
grand-daughter, or great niece? The
other thing I noticed was the parcel – it didn’t look heavy, and it wasn’t very
big. The young lady was carrying it very
carefully as though it contained something that could break.
The three people were laughing and
chattering as they walked back towards our building. They obviously all knew each other well, but I
just found it very strange that Mrs. M hadn’t told me about her outing. Friends tell each other things like this,
don’t they? I decided to let Mrs. M tell
me when she wanted to, but if she hasn’t mentioned it by the time we’ve
finished our next cup of tea, I will definitely ask her.
Just as the three of them turned in
towards the gates a motorcycle driven by a person dressed in all black
leathers, drove up onto the pavement and the pillion passenger sitting behind
grabbed the parcel. The bike then roared
away speeding as it turned the corner.
My goodness, Mrs. M is lying on the
ground, the young person has also been knocked off her feet and Mr. S is lying
slumped against a parked car. I grabbed
my phone and dialled 999 and asked for an ambulance and the police. After briefly explaining, the woman at the
other end of the phone said that they had been despatched and would be with us
very shortly. She asked for me to stay
where I was and someone will come to talk to me.
There is a small crowd forming around
Mrs. M and her friends. What was in the
parcel and why was it necessary to act so violently towards two elderly people
and their young companion?
I’m really sorry to leave you now,
but you will understand how much it upset me.
I needed to find out how my friends were and see whether the police officers
had any news. I think it very unlikely
so soon after the incident so I will return when I have information. Till then – As Always –
Well, my dear friends, it’s lovely to
be back here with you again – I was a concerned that I would be needing to go
awol for a second time. However, thanks
to the timely intervention of antibiotics I think we’ve managed to keep this
bug from going too deeply onto my chest.
I do still have little lumps on my face to add to the picture.
I had a welcome visit from Mrs M on
Friday. She had called me earlier in the
week and asked if I was ready to receive company – in other words, could she
come for a coffee! She told me that a
couple of “new gentlemen” have moved into apartments close to her. Apparently one of the new arrivals used to be
a senior police officer and the other was a partner in a firm of
solicitors. Both are now retired, of
I don’t know their names – Mrs M was
a little cagey about giving me that information. I can’t think why – but I’m sure that, from
the way she was talking about them, they have all known each other for some
time. Now I don’t know if this is a good
thing or not. Mrs M seems to know many
folk, most of them men, I may add. They are probably lovely people and it’s
just my imagination running away with me again.
I mentioned to you that I have heard
police sirens wailing and police cars visiting here on a couple of occasions
recently. I told Mrs M that I had heard
the sirens and asked if it was anything to do with the new resident who was
previously a high ranking officer in the service. She indicated that it wasn’t and that police
officers had been talking to Mr Roach who is our building manager. I’ve previously mentioned that I don’t like
Mr R very much. I do keep an open mind
when meeting new people but he is a decidedly strange character. I don’t like the way he creeps up behind
people without them being aware. When I
see him I make a point of saying “Good day, Mr Roach, lovely to see you” in as
loud a voice as possible, which then warns folk.
Mr R definitely doesn’t like me. That doesn’t worry me at all. However, I do ensure that I’m not ever alone
with him. I don’t invite him into my
flat – I’m not being antisocial, but I don’t want to court trouble. I also ensure that my door is securely double
locked at night – and in fact, it is locked during the day, unless I’m
specifically expecting friends to drop in.
Mr R appears to have a very smug expression on his face every time I see
him. There is something going on and I
know it involves considerable amounts of money.
Now these flats are in a complex –
they are all referred to as sheltered accommodation, but the residents in this
building are at the very lowest level which is called independent living. There
isn’t a manager who lives here. I hadn’t
realised that although we are left to our own devices – yes there is an
assistance button in every room – there are other buildings within the complex
that provide a little more assistance for their occupants. Mr R appears to be not only our building
manager, but also the manager of the other houses in the development. This means that he has considerable
opportunity to wander out and about, and to arrange all manner of things for
any resident who requires them. I
suppose he is the equivalent of a concierge in a top London hotel – without the
uniform, and most certainly without the pleasant manner. He probably earns the equivalent of them, or even,
possibly more, if you take the contents of the brown envelopes into account.
Well, my dears, time is passing and
if I don’t post this soon another day will have disappeared. Please stay safe in the wet and windy
weather. I’ll be back soon, with
information about some other residents who seem to have become embroiled in the
story. Until then – As Always –
Hello again, Dear Friends – my mysterious gentleman caller appears to have caught the imagination of several of you. As far I am aware there are two contenders for the title – although at this stage you are only aware of one. The other person in question is the manager of this establishment. He is somewhat younger, so probably in his forties. He is always charming, but I don’t entirely trust him. He walks around very quietly, and appears behind people without any warning. If I were to suggest that he is a suspicious character, I’m sure you know what I mean. I happened upon him yesterday and he was none too pleased to see me. He had been in conversation with a younger lady – now I’m not sure whether she lives here. I don’t think she does as she certainly appears to be younger than sixty, which is the minimum age for sheltered accommodation. That’s an interesting thought – Sheltered Accommodation – who is being sheltered – and from whom? Something to ponder on!
Sorry, I wandered away from the point again. The manager whose name is Mr Roach seems to have a constant stream of visitors. On more than one occasion he has received a large envelope of the brown variety. He looks inside it very quickly and then secretes it in his inside sports jacket pocket. When I receive brown envelopes they always contain bills – his don’t! There is definitely more to Mr R than meets the eye and I intend to discover what is going on. Just for the moment I would like to return to my elderly gentleman. I don’t know whether you remember Leslie Phillips from the Carry On films (Carry On Teacher and Carry On Nurse to name but two) and various other television programmes. There is also Michael Caine who starred in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and a plethora of other films. My aging neighbour appears to be a charming combination of those two fine actors. Mr S has a twinkle in his eye and I have now noticed him chatting to other members within our happy community. He has an endearing smile on his face, but always seems to be on the move as if he is concerned about becoming rooted to the spot. I am a little worried as to whether he has some dealings with Mr R which are, perhaps, a little dubious in nature. However, these things take time to establish and I’m only just beginning to know these characters – and at this stage it’s only on a superficial level.
I’ve been watching out of my window quite a lot over the past few days and I’m surprised just how many folk wander in and out of this building. Of course, it’s quite a little community, but how many people actually have a reason to be here? I’m not specifying anything at this time, but a large proportion of visitors seem to enter via a side door and not through the official entry system. Perhaps I’m being melodramatic and every person has a legitimate reason for their visit – we’ll need to wait and see. I certainly will be watching closely. I’m not sure whether this post has helped you at all. I’m probably more confused – but that isn’t unusual. For now I’ll close and say – As Always – With Love – Jan xx
My Dear Friends, a few of you may remember that I had a visit from an elderly gentleman last Tuesday in the early evening. The encounter went something like this – I opened the door after the bell was rung. A man, in his- late seventies or so, stood there and said “ah, you’re in then”. I wasn’t sure whether it was a question or a statement. However I replied “Yes, I think so”. That received the comment “that’s good – I just wanted to check”. With that, he turned and trotted towards the lift. It was only a few weeks ago that I met Mrs M – or Mrs Metcalf to give her full surname. I don’t know whether she has a first name – well, I suppose she must have, but everyone just calls her Mrs. M! We met over the telephone – fair enough, that part of the story has become a little convoluted so I’ll move swiftly on. It transpires that Mrs M now lives down the corridor in a similar flat to mine. She refers to her flat as an apartment – apparently it sounds so much better! I’m not sure what she did in a former life, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she worked in a casino. She carries the most enormous handbag – it reminds me of Mary Poppin’s carpet-bag. It’s ideal for wandering off with balls of yarn, pieces of shortbread and lots of other items. It’s also perfect for carrying plenty of loose change. She has lots of those little plastic money bags all banks give out to customers. I have seen Mrs M remove several bags of change from her handbag, only to put them back again very quickly while she ensures that no-one is watching her. I have heard on the grapevine that Mrs. M has several visitors who call on her regularly. There’s nothing wrong with this of course – she can have as many visitors as she likes. In her flat (sorry, apartment) she has a card table with a green baize top. This takes pride of place in her living room – referred to as the sitting room! I also know that she is very fond of playing cards and is also a dab hand at throwing a little ball into a roulette wheel. I may well be adding two and two together but I suggest that there may be some gambling going on in Mrs. M’s establishment. She has a well-stocked bar and some beautiful glasses and is never short of money. Well, she wouldn’t be – I supply her yarn and her other visitors seem to provide a certain amount of cash. If she is the croupier Mrs. M won’t ever lose, will she? Of course, this needs to be kept under wraps as I’m sure she doesn’t have a gaming license. I’m still not sure how the dapper man who appeared at my door fits in to the plot – but I’m sure that he does – somehow. However I think that may have to be a story for another time. I hope that you feel you now know a little more about Mrs. M and I’m sure there will be lots more to hear about her – and her friends. I hope that you had an enjoyable weekend however you spent it. As Always – With Love – Jan xx