Giles Ward: Larry Is NOT At His Best

7th December

Hi Sarah,

You will think really bad of me for not writing. I won’t lie, it has been hard – and I don’t really know how it will get better. Since your last letter we have moved again!!  and the new b and b isnt much better. I think Larry is resined to it all but he isn’t the same these days. Thank you for inviting me for Xmas, but it is still difficult to get away. I cant leave Larry alone at the moment (I know, I know). He gets annoyed if I leave him for too long as it is difficult for him to go out. (Hopefully it will be easyer here). We are gutted to miss Xmas – you know how much family means to both of us. Please use this address now to contact me. I don’t know how long we will be here this time so I will write you if there is a change. These This business has knocked the wind out of his sails (I know what you are going to say, but please don’t be to hard on Larry) – I do worry about him. Sorry about Xmas again Sis.

As Daddy would say Onwards and Upwards.

Janey.

 

13th December

Hi Sarah,

I was caught up thinking about Larry and what happened and I forgot to ask about Clare and David and I hope they are okay. I know they are busy. They really are a bli blesing to you. At least you have them. I often think maybe it would have been different for us if we had had kids. Larry dosent like to talk about it much, I have given up on the foster idea (as Larry said, you don’t know what you are going to get). Anyway that boat has sailed (As Daddy would have said!) so who knows if things would have been different. I guess he still blames me, but he dosent say anything so that is good. I couldn’t bear it. I don’t think the landlady at our new b and b here likes us very much. I don’t know what she knows. The council aren’t supposed to give out details, but you never know do you? It is long finished with so I don’t know why we cant just be left alone. I hope to get some bits from the car boot to make it a more homely. Larry is SO down about everything it’s a relief to get out (Not that I’m aloud to for long ha ha).

Write soon, I miss you sis.

Janey.

 

19th January

Hi Sarah,

I hope Xmas was good? Did you play shrards? We used to love playing that at home, didnt we? Gramps was a hoot, wasn’t he? We are only going to stay here for a little time so I will write you the adress when we move. The landlady is a nosey cow (I call her The Cow) and she has started to say things. I couldn’t stand it again after the last place. People can be so mean they don’t understand what it is like. You are right, people are just bored. Larry wont say anything. He just has a go at me, like it is my fault!!. Thank you for the elephant tea towel It was clever of you to remember I like elephants. Larry says it looks like me – he always was such a charmer. I would love you to visit but the b and b is only small. The kitchen is a cupboard with a microwave in and we sit on the bed to watch the telly. What have we become! Ha ha. The Cow’s cat (how funny is that?) has started coming in throw our window for milk. I’ve called her LUCY.

Janey

 

 (POSTCARD)

Sis, sorry note is short (do you like the picture). We will be moving from this address in a week or so. Council about want to put us up in a hostel. I said I won’t go unless we have a kitchen and shower to ourselves. I think I’m causing a merry dance for them ha ha. Write soon, Janey

 

7th February

Hi Sarah,

You are right the card is of the pier we visited on holiday. I found it in a charity shop. Do you remember the time you got candyfloss in your hair? Ha ha! and I cut it out and Mummy had a blue fit! As you will see from the address, we still haven’t moved. The man from the council says they cant find anything “suitable”- like it is our fault. The Cow is very unhappy. Says she dosen’t want trouble, but if you ask me she is the one making the trouble. She looks at me like I’m a nobody. It really is so upsetting Sis. I want to tell her about what we used to have. I wouldn’t want anybody elses help unless I had no choice, would I? There was some horrible things written on the front wall the other week and she blames us. Larry dosent rarely goes out – what else are we supossed to do? I know you worry, and I wouldn’t tell you all this if I had someone else to talk to. It really is lonely here, Larry just gets angry or sulks. He doesnt like me leaving him. When he feels better I will come and see you (Larry will have to look after himself for a few days) It will DO him good ha ha!. Please don’t worry too much about me. Lucy weed on Larry’s chair ha ha! He went bizzerk!

Janey

 

29th February

Hi Sarah,

Do you remember as children you used to say you would only ever get married during a leap year?  I thought about that this morning so I had to write to you to say maybe that is why John was never right for you because you didn’t get married during a leap year? I am pleased to hear you are doing that dating on the internet. You are a wonderful person and any man will be lucky to be with you. We are a right pair aren’t we? With our men. Dispite every thing I have to stay with Larry (I do know what you are saying and of course I ALWAYS listen to you). But he DOES love me and that is something. I know you do not understand (I wont let him read your letters) but it is something I have to do. I did say my vows after all, so what choice do I have? Daddy would not have approoved would he? Still no news about a better flat.

Let me know how the dating goes kiss kiss ha ha. Lucy says hi!

Janey

 

5th March

Dear Sarah,

It’s been a horrible week, I wont lie to you. Lucy has been sick all week. I think she is really ill but our landlady wont take her to the vets. And things have got worse. I swear everybody knows. I was even spat at – can you believe that? I cant go to the co-op now and it’s a bus ride to the Londis, which is annoying. Some people are just so ignorant. I didn’t tell Larry because I know he would have got into a fight (see he does care!) The good news is we have finally been told they have found somewhere else for us to go. Only thing is it looks like we will be on the other side of town and I don’t know the bus routes. Hopefully it will be nicer than this place (couldn’t be much worse). But it’s hard getting to know new people all the time. This will be the fivth place we have lived since the trouble at the caravan park. I miss that place. I know I moaned about it at times, but at least I could go out where I wanted and Larry was so much happier then. I sometimes get annoyed when I think how he ruined all that. Is that bad of me? Yesterday I got so angry I threw my mug (one with Snoopy on) – can you believe that, me throwing something.

I will write again soon,

Janey

 

8th March

Hi Sarah,

I have some VERY bad news. Lucy died. I think I told you she had been sick a lot. Well she didn’t get any better. She was SO sick and got so weak and then I found her yestaday morning. She looked dreadfull sis!! It has made me SO sad. Sometimes I think she has been my only frend here (I was thinking of taking her with us to the new place – I don’t think The Cow would have missed her). But the worst thing is – when packing I found a box of rat poisen (Larry had joked about poisoning her when she weed on his chair again!). He says he didn’t do it. I don’t know wheather I believe him. Is that wrong of me? (I know what you will say – you don’t like Larry but I know him and I don’t think he would do that!)

Please write back soon,

Janey

 

23th March

Dear Sarah,

I still miss Lucy, but at least the new place is nice enough. We have more than two rooms! (How about that?) We have a bedroom, what they call a dinette and a living room. It is only 5 minutes to the bus stop. In the end we couldn’t bring much stuff. So I will have to get more again. (No that is not me asking for you to send anything, I know what you are like! – we get an extra “assisted benefit” allowance so we can afford everything we need). We have a new social worker asigned to us. She means well, but really she is just like the others. Larry dosent like her and we had a bit of a row about it. I am going to tell her not to bother coming again, it’s not worth the arguing. I would rather no one visited us. Sorry, that’s sounds pathetic dosent it? I will get the flat nice so you can come (sorry there is not space to stay over). Sis, I don’t believe Larry about LUCY. Is that bad of me?

Janey

 

(BIRTHDAY CARD)

Sarah,

Happy Birthday.

As Daddy would say ‘whats another year’

Larry + Janey x

(P.S. Things WILL be better from NOW on)

 

2nd May

Hi Sis,

Sorry I haven’t written sooner – it has been very busy here. Thank you for the new Snoopy mug ha ha. That’s so sweet of you. Larry is NOT at his best. You really musnt worry. Things ARE better now. I like the new place. The lady in the flat opposite makes hats for African orphans and I said I would help her. Get this – I have started going to ‘classes’ at the Library in town (I have to change buses). They are every Tuesday (I might do Fridays too) and they have lots of things. I am doing papermaking at the moment. Jess who takes the class is very kind. To be honest it is just good to get out of the flat. (Larry sits watching telly all day). We have changed our names this time. I am Marcie and I call him Davy! How funny is that? You know after Davy Jones from the Monkees. Do you remember we both had a crush on him at school? And you said you loved him more than me? We never fought, did we as children? You were always there for me Sarah. And I know its been difficult for you with Larry being what he is and everything. BUT you don’t have to worry any more.

I love you sis,

Marcie (ha ha!)

 

9th May

Sarah,

This is the first piece of paper I made at my Tuesday Club. Do you like it? I put lavendar oil in as I know you love lavender. Jess says I’m a natural. I thought you would like it. I’m going to have a go at learning French next. What do you think? Is that totally mad?

Janey

 

 

20th May

Bonjour Sarah,

Ca Va? That is about as much as I have learnt so far. Apart from je’m’appelle Marcie (Janey). What do you think? Shall we go to Paris. I think I would like to go to Paris. Larry dosent like foreign countries (says they are full of foreigners), but Ive always wanted to see something of the world. Its not too late is it? Sarah, I was thinking, there is so much I haven’t told you. Or said. I haven’t really been any help for you and you did so well bringing up Clare and David and I wasn’t there for you. Larry dosent need me to look after him so much now (he doesn’t do anything any more), so I was thinking I could visit soon? I will ask about times at the bus station when I next go into town. The allowance we get is for two but Larry dosent eat anything these days. Sue (the lady in the flat opposite) made a fish pie last week and she gave me the recipe. Me cooking fish pie (!!!) whatever next ha ha! Larry has always hated fish so I never made it before. You know, Sarah, I finally feel happy about things for the first time in ages!

Write soon,

Janey

 

28th May

Hi Sarah,

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing you. Can I bring anything? I have missed chatting, it will be so great to catch up propaly. No, Larry wont be coming with me (I know you would be uncomfortable about that) – he will be OK here (as long as I leave the telly on for him! He’s fine). We don’t argue any more, so that is good. You will be proud of me – I have been going out so much lately. I have made so many friends at the Tuesday Library Club. They have even env invitted me to the cinema next week (Dirty Dancing of all things!!!). Sue helped me do my hair last week – I think you’ll be rather surprised! She persaded me to go for ‘mango copper’ – how racey is that? Let me know if I’m best to get the bus the Friday or Saturday? I’ll be the one with the bright orange hair ha ha!

Looking forward to seeing you!

Janey

 

(POSTCARD)

Sarah. I wonder if we could postpone my trip for a few weeks? Will write more when get a moment. (Nothing to wory about! Honest)

Janey

 

12th June

Dear Sis,

I’ve only just got around to writing. And sorry about the visit. The balloon has gone up here! It’s all Sue’s fault. I know she was only being trying to be neibourly but it has caused all sorts of trouble. Anyway, to cut along story short (as Daddy would say), Larry dosent live here any more. They came around to collect him last week. They were very friendly, but I did get tired with all the questions and everything. Apparently Sue (and some others) complained about the smell. And then the Enviromental Health came around, and the Social worker and the police. It was like a circus. I had to ask Sue to get more milk for all the cups of tea I had to make! Well, you wouldn’t believe it – I had to go to the police station (in a police car). They said they had found the box of rat’s poisen Larry had bought, and they did some experiments but they couldn’t be sure that’s what killed him. I won’t lie to you Sarah, I think I’m going to have to move again. But I don’t mind to much. I always wanted a pink bedroom and Larry HATED pink. And I might go to Paris., so EVERY THING will be okay.

Au revoir (get me! Ha ha)

As Daddy would say Onwards and Upwards.

Janey

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Giles Ward is a copywriter and author based in the UK. He has two printed novels published, ‘100 Ways To Improve The World’ and ‘The Price of Everything’, through Impress Books. He recently published his latest novel ‘Where Beauty Is’, the fictionalised biography of an artist, and a collection of short stories ‘Spill’ (some stories) published by Watchword eBooks.

Giles Ward

giles@chalkward.com

@GilesFWard

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