Quelle surprise!

Cruddy's supports Bard of TweeddaleVanity in refusing to wear my glasses during the interview at Belshade College and the gloominess of the principal’s office has misled me. On re-reading my acceptance letter it would appear he is not Mr Audley Stonebreaker, but Miss Audrey Stonebreaker. This does explain why the principal kissed me on the cheek as I was leaving – a startling gesture at the time – but, alas, has me perplexed at the hairiness of the upper lip. In my defence, Miss Stonebreaker is, I strongly suspect, a heavy smoker for her voice was unusually gruff for one of the fair sex.

Perhaps I ought to be a little troubled by her sudden intimacy, though I laughed it off at the time. Miss Stonebreaker is… a large woman, and I fear I did not check if the door to my attic room comes with a lock. Ah well. Let us hope she takes a gentleman at his word.

The well at the Red Lion, AveburyI have also been informed by Jonathan of the Red Lion that I have misheard the name of the public house in Beckley. It is not The Abandoned Arm – truth to say, he fell about laughing when I told him – but the Abingdon Arms. A simple mishearing, I am certain of it: my ears are perfectly fine. The Abandoned Arm did have a macabre ring to it. Jonathan assures me the place is haunted and as custodian of the Red Lion he is, I suppose, something of an authority on haunted pubs. Indeed, I intend enlisting his aid to write an article on my favourite hostelry: for the moment, let me just say that the Red lion in Avebury is the only public house I am aware of built around its very own well. Indeed, the well may be considerably older than the building surrounding it. Some say it is the fifth entrance into the great stone circle at Avebury, though not by tunnel or any physical means. A ghost path, some call it. A tall tale to alarm the tourists is my explanation!

Must shop tomorrow in Devizes or the cats will decamp to Mrs Pumphrey a month early.

PS. I went for a walk onto the downs yesterday afternoon. Nothing remarkable happened at all and I have nothing to write of it, except that as I returned down the hill about sunset I took this photograph and thought I would share.


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