Thursday, 6 April 2017

Parish & County Court Notes

Parish Notes
Edwin Wemys and Arthur Pembroke had observed that Uncle Parker had awarded equal shares of his estate to Topping and Graham Titherington. Edwin Wemys lately introduced his illegitimate son Vivian Wemys to Arthur Pembroke. Uncle Parker, who was elderly and in terminal decline, had decided to divide his estate among his three daughters, and declared he' would offer the largest share to the one who loved him best. The eldest, Alice Chinnery, declared her love for her father in fulsome terms. Moved by her flattery Uncle Parker proceeded to grant to Alice Chinnery her share, before Mrs Tibby and Olive had a chance to speak. He awarded to Mrs Tibby her share. His youngest daughter, Olive, refused to say anything declaring there was nothing to compare her love to, nor words to properly express it; she spoke honestly but bluntly, which infuriated Uncle Parker. In his anger he disinherited Olive and divided her share between Mrs Tibby and Alice Chinnery. Arthur objected to this unfair treatment. Enraged by Arthur's protests, Uncle Parker banished him from the county. Uncle Parker summoned Frank Poppit and Beefy, who have both proposed marriage to Olive. Learning that Olive had been disinherited, Frank Poppit withdrew his suit, but Beefy, impressed by her honesty asked to marry her anyway.
Uncle Parker announced he would live alternately with Alice Chinnery and Mrs Tibby, and their husbands, Titherington and Topping respectively. He reserved to himself a retinue of cats, to be supported by his daughters. Alice Chinnery and Mrs Tibby having spoken privately, revealed that their declarations of love fake, and they viewed Uncle Parker as an old and Mrs Nipper mad.
Vivian Wemys resented his illegitimate status, and had plotted to dispose of his legitimate older brother Gerald. He had tricked their father Edwin Wemys with a forged letter, making him think Gerald Wemys plans to usurp him. Arthur had returned from exile in disguise under the name of Enid Hooper, and had Uncle Parker hired him as a between maid. Uncle Parker and Arthur-as-Enid Hooper then entered into a quarrel with Dr. Wesp, Alice Chinnery's friens and confident. Uncle Parker discovered  that Alice Chinnery had her promise, she no longer respected him. She ordered him to behave better and reduced his retinue. Enraged, Uncle Parker departed for Mrs Tibby's home. Mrs Nipper mocked Uncle Parker's misfortune.
Vivian Wemys learned from Nipper that there was likely to be fight between Titherington and Topping, and that Mrs Tibby and Topping were to meet at Edwin Wemys's house. Taking advantage of the arrival of Mrs Tibby, Vivian Wemys faked an attack by Gerald, and Edwin Wemys was completely taken in. He has disinherited Gerald and proclaims him a dastard.
Having taken Uncle Parker's message to Mrs Tibby, Arthur-as-Enid Hooper met Dr. Wesp again at Edwin Wemys's home, quarreled with him again, and got sent to Coventryby Mrs Tibby and her husband Topping. When Uncle Parker arrived, he objected to the mistreatment of his messenger, but Mrs Tibby was as dismissive of her father as Alice Chinnery was. Uncle Parker was enraged but impotent. Alice Chinnery arrived and supported Mrs Tibby's argument against him. Uncle Parker yielded completely to his rage. He rushed out into a storm to rant against his ungrateful daughters, accompanied by the mocking Mrs Nipper. Arthur later followed to protect him. Edwin Wemys protests against Uncle Parker's mistreatment. Uncle Parker's retinue of cats dissolved. Thereafter no more was heard of any of them. The only companions Uncle Parker has left are Mrs Nipper and Arthur-as-Enid Hooper.
Wandering in the park after the storm, Uncle Parker met Gerald, in the guise of a madman named Bernard Dupont. Gerald babbled madly while Uncle Parker denounced his daughters. Arthur lead them all to shelter.
Vivian Wemys betrayed Edwin Wemys to Topping, Mrs Tibby, and Alice Chinnery. He showed a letter from his father to Beefy asking for help against them; and in fact a French man has arrived in Scotton Pinkney. Once Vivian Wemys left with Alice Chinnery to warn Titherington about the chap, Edwin Wemys was arrested, and Mrs Tibby and Topping gouged out Edwin Wemys's eyes. As he did so, a on looker overcome with rage by what he witnessed attacked Topping, mortally wounding him. Mrs Tibby killed the on looker, and told Edwin Wemys that Vivian Wemys betrayed him; then she turned him out to wander the park too. Gerald Wemys, in his madman's guise, met his blinded father in the park. Edwin Wemys, not recognising him, beged him to lead him to a railway crossing so that he may jump to his death.
Alice Chinnery discovered that she found Vivian Wemys more attractive than her honest husband Titherington, whom she regarded as cowardly. Titherington has developed a conscience - he is disgusted by the sisters' treatment of Uncle Parker, and the mutilation of Edwin Wemys, and denounced his wife. Alice Chinnery sent Vivian Wemys back to Mrs Tibby; having recieved news of Topping's death, she feared her newly widowed sister may steal Vivian Wemys and sent him a letter through Dr. Wesp. Now alone with Uncle Parker, Arthur lead him to the French chappy, a friend of Olive’s by the by). But Uncle Parker was half-mad and terribly embarrassed by his follies. At Mrs Tibby's instigation, Titherington joined forces with her against the French chap. Alice Chinnery's suspicions about Mrs Tibby's motives were confirmed and returned, as Mrs Tibby rightly guessed the meaning of her letter and declared to Dr. Wesp that she was a more appropriate match for Vivian Wemys. Gerald pretended to lead Edwin Wemys to a railway crossing, then changed his voice and told Edwin Wemys he miraculously survived 12.51 Bentley to Waterloo. Uncle Parker appeared, by now completely mad. He ranted that the whole world was corrupt and ran off.
Dr. Wesp appeared, still looking for Vivian Wemys. On Mrs Tibby's orders, he tried to kill Edwin Wemys but was killed by Gerald. In Dr. Wesp's pocket, Gerald found Alice Chinnery's letter, in which she encouraged Vivian Wemys to kill her husband and take her as his wife. Arthur and Olive took charge of Uncle Parker, whose madness slowly passed. Mrs Tibby, Alice Chinnery, Titherington, and Vivian Wemys met. Titherington insisted that they fight the French chap but leave Uncle Parker and Olive out of it. The two sisters lusted for Vivian Wemys, who had made promises to both. He considered the dilemma and ploted the deaths of Titherington, Uncle Parker, and Olive. Gerald gave Alice Chinnery's letter to Titherington. They had a bit of fisty cuffs, and the French chap, and Uncle Parker and Olive were captured. Vivian Wemys sent Uncle Parker and Olive off with secret-joint orders from him (representing Mrs Tibby) and Alice Chinnery (representing Titherington) for the execution of Olive.
The victorious met up, and the recently widowed Mrs Tibby then declared she would marry Vivian Wemys. But Titherington exposed the intrigues of Vivian Wemys and Alice Chinnery and proclaimed Vivian Wemys a traitor. Mrs Tibby fell ill, having been poisoned by Alice Chinnery, and was escorted to the cottage hospital, where she died. Vivian Wemys defied Titherington, who wanted a punch up. Gerald appeared in balaclave, and challenged Vivian Wemys to a duel. No one knows who he was. Gerald wounded Vivian Wemys fatally, though he did not die immediately. Titherington confronted Alice Chinnery with the letter which was intended to be his death warrant; she fled in shame and rage. Gerald revealed himself, and reported that Edwin Wemys died at the Cobbler’s Thumb from the shock and joy of learning that Gerald was alive, after Gerald revealed himself to his father.
Alice Chinnery, with all her evil plans thwarted, commited suicide. The dying Vivian Wemys decided, though he admited it was against his own character, to try and save Uncle Parker and Olive; however, his confession came too late. Soon after Titherington sent some farm lads to countermand Vivian Wemys’s orders, Uncle Parker entered bearing Olive's corpse in his arms, having survived by killing the executioner. Arthur appeared and Uncle Parker recognized him. Titherington urged Uncle Parker to “Get on with it.”, but like Edwin Wemys, the trials Uncle Parker had been through had finally overwhelmed him, and he too died. Titherington then asked Arthur and Gerald what was to be done. Arthur shrugged, explained that his boss was calling him on his mobile. Finally, Titherington inherited it all.

County Court Notes
Dennis Bawler, chief Librarian of the mobile library, promoted Trevor Maud as second Librarian on February 20th, of this year; Roger Butterworth, who was hoping for the promotion himself, made plots against both Trevor Maud and Dennis Bawler to exact revenge. Dennis Bawler had recently married Valerie Bunting, the beautiful daughter of Local councillor Morris Bunting, and Roger Butterworth determined to use Valerie Bunting as the means of his revenge. When Dennis Bawler was posted to Hurstbourne Priors by the county Library authority, Roger Butterworth escorted Valerie Bunting there to meet him, taking along his own wife, Sissy. When they arrived in Hurstbourne Priors, Roger Butterworth set his machinations to motion. He tricked Trevor Maud into getting drunk, then had Mr. Cattermole—a former suitor of Valerie Bunting whom Roger Butterworth had convinced to aid him with the hope of winning Valerie Bunting back—pick a fight with Trevor Maud that ended in Trevor Maud's arrest. Because of this, Trevor Maud was demoted. Then he had Trevor Maud arrange to meet Valerie Bunting in the snug of The Cobbler's Thumb public house, saying that an appeal to her might do well to convince Dennis Bawler to reinstate him.
This accomplished, Roger Butterworth went straightaway to Dennis Bawler so that he could lead him to where Valerie Bunting and Trevor Maud were having their sherry. As Roger Butterworth and Dennis Bawler caught sight of them, Roger Butterworth planted seeds of doubt and jealousy in Dennis Bawler's mind concerning Valerie Bunting's fidelity. The scenario Roger Butterworth suggested was that Trevor Maud and Valerie Bunting were having an affair. Later, fortune literally dropped Valerie Bunting's trumpet into Roger Butterworth's hand; he got the trumpet from Sissy, who discovered it, planted the trumpet on the back seat of Trevor Maud's Hilman Imp, and then told Dennis Bawler that she saw Trevor Maud with it. When Dennis Bawler asked Valerie Bunting about the trumpet, she told him that it was lost (which was the truth as she knew it). Trevor Maud, meanwhile, had given the trumpet to a barmaid with whom he was intimate. Roger Butterworth manipulated a conversation with Trevor Maud about the barmaid to make it appear to Dennis Bawler—who was eavesdropping at the behest of Roger Butterworth—that Trevor Maud was talking about Valerie Bunting.
His smoldering rage now began to bubble over, Dennis Bawler told Roger Butterworth to kill Trevor Maud and then angrily confronted Valerie Bunting. In spite of Valerie Bunting's protests of innocence (backed up by Roger Butterworth's wife, Sissy), Dennis Bawler was convinced of her infidelity with Trevor Maud. Roger Butterworth, meanwhile, had Mr. Cattermole attempt to shoot Trevor Maud; when Mr. Cattermole failed to do more than wound him in the buttocks, Roger Butterworth shot him so that he couldn’t implicate him in the affair. Dennis Bawler strangled Valerie Bunting at her kitchen table. When Sissy discovered the crime, she labeled the Librarian a villain and at first refused to believe that Roger Butterworth had so evilly manipulated Dennis Bawler. However, Roger Butterworth's appearance and subsequent answers lead Sissy to confront the fact that her husband was responsible for the tragedy. Roger Butterworth could not keep Sissy from telling the truth about the trumpet, he shot her and attempted to escape; not only was he captured, but letters found on Mr. Cattermole's body thoroughly implicated Roger Butterworth as the treacherous villain that he is. Faced with the shame of having murdered an innocent Valerie Bunting, Dennis Bawler strangled himself in front of Trevor Maud and died on Valerie Bunting's kitchen table, beside her.

Monday, 27 March 2017



The changing of the seasons. Here I am stewing in heavy corduroy trousers, socks, brogues, tattersall shirt (with the extended shirt tail) knitted waistcoat, and moleskin jacket, even underpants. With all that, I am a good thirty pounds heavier. Outside all is bright blue skies… yet last night it was blowing a gale, even the Labrador looked non-plussed at the notion of stepping out… we shelved the walk, for if a Labrador will not venture out because of the weather, one would be foolish indeed to press the point. His views on such topics are worth noting; unlike the Weimaraner… only an idiot would take his counsel. I don’t want to do the chap a dis-service, he get full marks for enthusiasm, but to say he is reckless to the point of lunacy would be to understate the case. Countless times have I had to unhook the poor howling dunce from barbed wire… you do not want to know from what it was that he was suspended. I have seen him leap from the top of a flight of stairs. Eat wasps, sniff bees, and drink paint. Yet never learn a single lesson.
I rejoice in the lighter evenings, for there is plenty to keep me occupied. Work wise I have taken on a number of deadlines, and consulting my diary I can’t help but notice the daily chores - namely the maintenance of my dearest, maddest, darling sister Phillida, (even after employing the new strategy of ‘benign neglect’), extracting crayons from her nose, extracting her from beneath a sofa, wrestle the hammer out of her clutches, retune the radiogram, explain that I am having a quiet pipe… and not hiding somewhere eating biscuits (sometimes one has to lie) - fetch the charcoal biscuits, not irritate her by standing in doorways, or making unhelpful comments about lent, shot-putting, Anchorites, moustache wax, scented greases to rub into one’s face, together with the astringents to take it all off again.
Due to these many offices I might well have to give up one of life’s essentials (maybe bathing), in order to stay in the game. I have already dispensed with the indulgence of sleep; and I have learnt to multitask by simply eating breakfast whilst sitting on the privy. The only thing left that I could scratch is the three minutes of ‘me time’ that I take to drink the litre of sherry midmorning. However in my opinion sobriety is not always a good thing.
Like anyone I am endowed with a certain number of physiological and social needs, the need for food, rest, security, etcetera. With the help of Lance, the Landlord of the Cobbler's Thumb, these needs are quite easily satisfied. However, I do have an additional need, and that is for an overarching meaning of life. This need, according to some philosophers, can never be satisfied unless we deceive ourselves. We can thus either delude ourselves into believing in a false meaning to life, or we can remain honest and realise that life is meaningless. All human endeavour is ultimately futile.
Now that can be a bit of a bitter pill after say a day of looking after an underhanded, unprincipled spinster who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic, and circumstances permitting Eucharist focused life.
With the wind blowing from the right direction one might easily become a worthy heir to the great German pessimist Schopenhauer, and his view on the human destiny: - that we ought to stop procreation immediately (by that I mean humanity, not myself and Phyllida). To offer some small crumb of comfort Norwegian metaphysician Peter Wessel Zapffe described four principal defence mechanisms that one could use to avoid despair:

One can dismiss from consciousness all disturbing and destructive thoughts. 
Use an anchoring mechanism to provide values that allow focus of attention in a consistent manner.
Distraction: to focus all of one’s energy on a task or idea to prevent the mind from turning in on itself.
One can refocus energy away from negative outlets, toward positive ones. 

You see, I have taken the trouble of looking into the subject of existentialism, Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre: - the opposition of rationalism and empiricism. The stressing of the individual’s unique position as a self-determining agent responsible for the authenticity of his or her choices… I now know of the many existential obstacles and distractions despair, angst, absurdity, alienation. Are you suffering the jitters, heebie-jeebies, the mid-life crisis? Then there is a panacea… for what angst can’t be mollified with a mere 100cl of even an average Oloroso sherry.