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Monday, 24 June 2013


On the way back to the car, Eleanor was looking pensive and a little sad. Jason slipped his arm through hers.
“You all right?” he asked.
“Oh, it’s an old pain, my dear, but it never goes away.  The last time I came here was with Bart.  Not long before …. he died.  And what your grandmother said made me think about how we keep on trying to force people to conform.  At such cost.”
“Yes,” he said.  “I’m sorry.  We shouldn’t have come.”
“Oh no, not at all.  Bart would have been glad we came.  I often wonder whether he would have got on with you.  I would have liked that.”
Jason remembered Bart’s diary, which, with all the dramas of the last few days, he had not read recently.  He resolved to read some more when they got home later.  It had been painful reading about Bart’s horrible life at school. About his loneliness, about the relentless mockery and bullying, knowing all the time what was going to happen.  But he owed it to Eleanor to read on, onto the end.  He owed it to himself too, because it was his own arrogance which had led him to desert Brent just when he was needed most.  And he would never be able to undo that.  What he had to do is try harder to be more genuinely compassionate and to care about his friends instead of seeing everything through a self-centred prism.  And Eleanor was his friend.
“Yes, it would.”  Impulsively he put his other arm round her and hugged her.

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Nikolaos' Place: Just lovin' ya

Nikolaos' Place: Just lovin' ya: Keith and Luigi, perhaps.


It was a perfect sunny autumn day, not too hot, with the trees in the countryside on the way to Healesville just beginning to turn, and leaves strewing the dry late summer grasses with splashes of colour.
Jason and his grandmother found the animal sanctuary fascinating.  There were kangaroos, stretched out on the grass, from the largest, the grey roo, through to small wallabies.  In a vast aviary, built outdoors out of chicken wire mesh and steel poles, they caught sight of wedge-tailed eagles, and in the darkened aquarium, though there weren’t many platypuses visible, they did see one or two darting across from one hidey-hole in the mud banks to another.
Jason could tell that his grandmother was starting to tire, so he was pleased when Eleanor announced that lunch was booked for 12.30 and they had better head off to the estate.
“So remarkable, animals quite unlike anything in the rest of the world it does make you wonder about God’s plan and all those fundamentalists who believe things should be the way they think and everybody else must conform I’m surprised they haven’t seen fit to declare platypuses and abomination laying eggs and with bills like ducks but still mammals Canon Green would find it most intriguing I must remember to write to him such a dear man but a little absent minded.”

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter 

Monday, 10 June 2013


Lucasta and Eleanor agreed that a visit to the Healesville Animal Sanctuary would be interesting.
“Are you over your jetlag, grandam?”
“Such an interesting thing as if your soul is left behind no wonder primitive people mistrust lifts and cameras though the earth travels through space much faster than a jet doesn’t it and yet we don’t feel jetlagged but maybe we have a bond to the place we are like that Dr Thingumtight with his rituals and bright green turban so unflattering to his skin colour though lovely on an Indian or African I saw a few like that in Malaya lovely.”
“Is that a yes, grandam?” asked Jason, smiling slyly.
“Oh well yes of course I had such a lovely sleep and now I feel almost young again so nice but I want to write a letter to Parker though when she’ll get it is another question as she’s gone down to Cornwall with Mr Minim and I know it’s silly but I do worry about spring gales but I can write later so why not what fun.”

“The Domaine Chandon estate is on the way.  Perhaps we can have lunch there,” suggested Eleanor placidly.  “I’ll book, shall I?”

Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter 

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