In Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue the lovestruck pair move away from Manchester’s grey streets to Genevieve’s home country of France. Edna is thrilled to bits to leave her idiot sister Edith and husband Harold (Edna’s nemesis). Genevieve returned to Whitefield in book one and although she had previously broken Edna’s heart their romance was soon rekindled.
Initially, Edna and Genevieve stay in a gite in Brittany, but quickly find out that rain in this part of France can be (almost) as persistent as in Manchester. They then continue their adventure and move to somewhere on the Bordeaux border in a fictional chateau called Chateau le Grincheaux. This is a very loose and creative translation of Curmudgeon Avenue. When I say ‘very loose’ – my 1980s high school French did not stretch that far…
Edna is enthralled by a place in Dordogne called Rocamadour and persuades her hosts Diane and Jackson Bove to take Genevieve and her on a day trip to this medieval treasure. However, Genevieve refuses to go and instigates a tiff with Edna to support her plan. Later in the book, the same thing happens again when Edna wants to go to Paris! What is Genevieve hiding? Will the couple ever return to Curmudgeon Avenue?
Speaking of Curmudgeon Avenue, as this is the third book in the series the existing Whitefield residents go about their business under the watchful eyes and ears of Curmudgeon Avenue. Yes, it is the house that tells the story in this social satire series.
I am lucky enough that Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue is part of a multi-genre promotion called ‘From France with Love’ These twenty-one books are well worth a look. Apart from my book, I have read ‘Hotel Deja Vu’ by Christine Betts which is a unique story beautifully written and set in Paris.
Just for fun, I am about to share some photos from a holiday we took to France seven years ago… (eek seven years!)
This is Rocabadour, where Edna managed to climb the many, many, many stairs because she had been drinking wine. I don’t know how I did it!
I’m rubbish at Jenga.
Inspiration for Edna and Genevieve’s French home (no one tell my husband I have posted a photo of him!)
This is not my front door, but I chose this photo because of the colour. Green – how does green make you feel? This image makes me feel safe, and in harmony with my surroundings (I can’t wait for spring-time light-gardening weather). Also, I can’t stand up for long if someone knocks on my door.
The last twelve months have reminded me of when I had to finish work. It was awful – and I refuse to return to how I felt.
Writing about the end of lockdown in the UK may be premature but it is worth writing about. A word I heard on the news this morning was ‘caution’. This got me thinking… Especially as during my (phone) appointment with the MS nurse last month, she reminded me to be careful about anxiety when ‘things start getting back to normal.’
I have lots of words about the pandemic, but I suppose the most fitting one is ‘fraught’ the past twelve months have been fraught.
Upsetting/stressful/quiet/boring… these are all words that pop into my head when writing this.
I’ve got MS and I lost my twenty year nursing career (I was a band 6 community psychiatric nurse). Now I am used to being at home. While everyone was getting used to the weirdness of seeing the inside of their kitchen and front room at 11.30 am, nothing much had changed for me… except I had company.
I also had understanding, I knew what a culture shock staying at home was going to be for my family. I feel like we were lucky, and we’ve broken it’s back. We are now about to go through another change – I am not going to rush it.
It wasn’t the being at home… I am very comfortable spending time in my own house. Cabin fever is not something I suffer with. It is odd being at home all the time, though.
When I stopped working, I felt like I was losing my identity… my sense of self was stolen, and this wasn’t my employers fault – it was how others treated me. That is the absolute truth.
I’d been so ill… The worst relapse ever. My complete right side of stopped working from my right eye- blind with optic neuritis, a weird pins and needly painful nuisance feeling in my right arm, my right hand was completely useless – I couldn’t even put my glasses on without hitting myself in the face. And I couldn’t walk.
I looked the same, though.
And that’s where the problem began.
I looked the same so people thought I could still do the things that I used to be able to do. I can’t, listening to people talking is draining. If it wasn’t, I’d still be working. Likewise, we should be careful not to expect everything to quickly return to ‘normal’ after lockdown.
Since my diagnosis of MS in 2005, I have worked really hard to follow the advice of the neurology team at the hospital, occupational therapy and physiotherapy (which has been the consistent rescue of my condition – I swear by those appointments all these years later).
But even when I was still off sick, my life quickly became a stressful series of visits – people (not friends… these people were not being friendly) ‘popping round to see how I am’. All I heard was the chatter of loaded themes and bossy statements which all started with ‘What you should do/why don’t you do this/you NEED to do this. All the while, I should have been staying away from stressful interactions and looking after myself. I was so ill I did not feel strong enough to say ‘leave me alone’. Actually, when I did say ‘please don’t visit’, people ignored my requests and still knocked on my door. This is what I don’t want to return to after lockdown.
Sorry to go on about things that happened years ago, but it has all come flooding back in nightmare and flashbacks during this recent turmoil.
(I did speak to another MS sufferer and she experienced the same thing – she even woke up one afternoon to find a visitor sitting on the end of her bed… how rude!)
It took a long time for me to accept and move on. AND I’M NOT LETTING MY NEW LIFE GO. Now I have a routine of physio, rest in the middle of the day and work in the afternoon. I write books instead of being a nurse, and yes, that is work. Also, keeping my fingers crossed for good health. Before lockdown, if I wanted to see my friends, this would be at the weekend – especially as I need my husband’s help to get around. Not Sundays though, Sundays are for COMPLETELY chilling out – husband agrees.
Even though we all look the same as we did, there is no denying that things are different now. Let’s learn from this, and adopt a new routine – with caution.
During this time, I have appreciated (even more) how important it is to be careful, I think we all have.
I can remember clearly (before all this) people had sneezed right in my face. It was disgusting, let’s not go back to those times. Face masks or not, let’s not spread germs.
When things re-open, let’s support local businesses and go to the pub or café instead of ‘popping round unexpectedly’. We can all (gradually) have a safe and enjoyable summer.
It is OK to be wary at the end of lockdown.
Since the start of the year, people have been hinting at breaking lockdown rules and ‘just popping round’. Even though, last week it was announced that people with some risk factors should shield until the end of March. I felt I was right back where I started my house full of people, not strong enough to say no. But that isn’t true anymore…
Although ambivalent, I am strong enough now to say do not flood me. It is ok to be cautious.
I don’t care if this makes me sound antisocial – I’m not, ask any of my actual friends.
Now leave me alone, I’m working from home (as Zandra Bennett said in my novel ‘The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue’).
Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue both written about houses.
Imagine my surprise when this years first book of my creative writing and English literature degree was announced as Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
I had never read this book before, and it rolled onto my Kindle with an estimated reading time of twenty seven hours (I think they guess these times on your personal reading speed). The first thing I did (not for academic purposes) was to have a quick nosy on Wikipedia… Then I read this sentence ‘The novel has many characters and several sub-plots,’
Let’s just have a look at that again The novel has many characters and several sub-plots,
Remind you of anything?
Yes, Curmudgeon Avenue – the six and a half part series also has many characters and several sub-plots but I promise… or as we say in Manchester I swear down I had not read Bleak House before I started writing Curmudgeon Avenue.
When the multi talented Lindsay McKinnon of Theatre of The Mind Productions narrated the audiobooks of Curmudgeon Avenue, she wrote a post on her website ’50 Shady Characters & More’ which you can read and see her contact details (if you are looking for a narrator) by clicking on the words in bold.
I didn’t realise I had written 50 characters, but with all the supporting extras they do add up! Especially if you include all six and a half books.
Bleak house has 52 characters.
Incomplete sentences, some reviewers (in the US) have picked up on this. Yes I write with British English grammar and spelling, this includes a creative turn of phrase. My character Wantha Rose likes to refer to herself in the third person – particularly if her boyfriend Ricky has upset her (as so often he does).
‘Nobody upsets Wantha Rose. NOBODY.‘
See what I mean?
Charles Dickens was also a fan of incomplete sentences. The opening to Bleak House starts with the one word sentence ‘London.’ Say what you like about Curmudgeon Avenue but even George Eliot’s fancy-piece George Henry Lewes (famous philosopher and literary critic) was unable to review Charles Dickens into submission – even though they were ‘dear friends’.
Charles Dickens, the Victorian literary genius and me (I can’t say and I – I’m from Manchester) both like incomplete sentences in our books.
That’s books about houses, Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue.
Bleak House is set in London and Lincolnshire – there is an actual Bleak House in Broadstairs, Kent
Curmudgeon Avenue, is of course, fictional. This street could be anywhere in Whitefield, which as you know is a real life town north of Manchester.
Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue both have unusual narration choices.
Dickens’s Bleak house was serialised and the finished novel version appeared in 1853. The serials published in three or four chapters. The novel is narrated by a third-person omniscient narrator and the first-person limited account of character Esther Summerson. Though these narrative voices greatly differed, Bleak House worked because the narrations were not mixed within the chapter, (so readers either got Esther or the omniscient narrator speaking to them). This meant that Victorian readers of Dickens’s Bleak House knew what was going to happen next before the narrator Esther Summerson.
I’m about to write a long explanation… wait for it…
The Curmudgeon Avenue Series is written from the point of view of the first house on the street. The house becomes an omniscient character and so, the name Number One Curmudgeon Avenue has capital letters. This means that the books are second person witness narrated.
Very unusual, most books are either first person ‘I’, third person ‘they’. Second person is hardly ever used, the reader is addressed ‘you’. I couldn’t help it… I wanted the house to tell the story, and this technique allowed me to satirise the people who lived in the street:
‘Edna’s costume jewellery jangled like tinnitus’ [Who said this? Number One Curmudgeon Avenue, of course]
There is a review on Goodreads that explains it all from a reader who ‘got’ the Curmudgeon Avenue Series. The reviewer said something like ‘I wondered at first how the house got to know everything. But then I remembered I was reading a book where the house told the story, so why wouldn’t the house know everything?’
As writers, we must trust our readers to make what they will of our books. Otherwise, we would write books that TELL rather than SHOW. And although I am not against telling a little, it is much more fun to show the reader what you mean, that there is a house with a personality with eyes and ears watching every move and making fun of it (for our benefit).
A bit like Charles Dickens having fun with his readers when Esther Summerson doesn’t know what we know because we’ve already read about it when the omniscient narrator was having a turn. (I was going to pop a spoiler in here because Bleak House is a famous book, and if you were to Google it, you can read a plot summary, but I decided not to because that is cheating!) All I will say is the book is about Esther Summerson’s parentage and the long running Jarndyce and Jarndyce legal case.
Charles Dickens used repetition to remind his readers which character or location they were reading about. (Ideal for those early readers who caught the serialised editions in Household Words). Fog is mentioned thirty times as a literary device, a curtain of fog… readers must wait for the fog to clear before they get to know the plot. Mud is mentioned thirteen times, ‘mud and mire’, all a bit grim around Chancery and Tom-all-Alone’s. Mrs Bagnet’s domestic dinner-times. Grandfather Smallweed who does not go out without his Grandaughter, Judy who he speaks to as though she is his servant. And Mr Krook’s bottle shop and lodgings are said to symbolise ‘rock bottom’.
Repetition in Curmudgeon Avenue is just for fun really, I suppose I could say that I was trying to reflect the house’s disdainful personality. Repeated phrases (that I slotted in wherever I could) are ‘For longer than reasonably necessary’ or ‘quite some time’. Both probably reflect that Curmudgeon Avenue has been hanging around since Victorian times.
Yes, both Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue are social satires.
Bleak House was written as a contemporary novel in 1853, Curmudgeon Avenue is a contemporary novel of current times.
Dickens wrote Bleak House is a social commentary. The upper middle class characters are very well spoken ‘Anything to vary this detestable monotony. Oh, go on, do!’ This is Lady Dedlock, she sounds very posh to me. Dickens’s poorer characters have a colloquial vernacular which Dickens wrote in non-standard English grammar. ‘I know wot she’s come for!’
Curmudgeon Avenue is a bit of fun… All the characters are Northern, working class and speak with a Manchester turn-of-phrase. Using this technique aims to bring character to the… characters. Nobody ever says ‘and I’ in North West England. When we greet each other, we say ‘Alright’ sometimes, the exuberance of a hello sounds like ‘Alrite’ . These are not typos – it is how things are round here. ‘I knows someone called Ricketts‘ (from The Terraced House Diaries)
I regularly watch a film or read a book and think ‘that reminds me of’ another film or book. Reminds doesn’t mean the same as. I love it.
Have you read a book/watched a film that reminded you of another story?
I am devastated, RIP my lady Petal cat (2006?-2021).
Only the week before, I reported that Petal had sniffed out a mouse at the back of our house (she did nothing about it once I had opened the back door).
Last week I was at the vets three times with Petal, her presenting complaint was me asking if she could possibly have had a crisis of confidence after the mouse incident because she didn’t seem herself (she hadn’t). A few days later I was crying on Manchester Road (you’re not allowed inside the vets at the moment). Poor Petal went downhill in the space of a week. She had not been eating as much for a while but had been completely normal in all other ways.
Last Sunday, however Petal stopped eating altogether. Long painful story later the vet tried a few different things and Petal was booked in on Friday to have further tests, but Thursday evening was the real start of the end for her.
I’m only blogging about Petal because I would always post about my animal friends.
We adopted Petal with her mother Flower in 2008, Petal we think was 14 or 15 years old when she died.
Not actual garden footage, my new four legged friend moved too quickly for me to take a photo (or decide if it was a mouse or a rat).
The other day, fourteen year old Petal cat was meowing most vehemently at the back door.
Above is a photo of Petal cat in her favourite place, sitting on me, so I had been surprised at her interest in the garden, she hardly ever goes out.. I soon found out what Petal wanted when my eyes were drawn to a little brown bottom (followed by a thin tail) scooting behind a dividing wall. I froze at my back door. Meanwhile, Petal elegantly sniffed the air and returned back inside (I love how cats style things out as though they hadn’t intended to pounce anyway)..
Our next door neighbour informed Mr Henthorn that he had seen a mouse playing around at our shed door. When husband built the shed, he put gravel underneath it. I thought this was a fancy way of shed maintenance, but now the gravel has come in handy because I can see that it had been disrupted by our new guest.
I do hope you’re not reading this in search of advice about how to get rid of vermin. There is plenty of this on the internet – I know because I searched myself the other day. That is the sum total of what I have done, however. It has been very cold and wet here and my legs have been too hurty for any garden adventures. And in any case, Martha the Border terrier has taken a great interest in the shed door of late and even insists on a midnight visit to bark into the corner.
I think Martha has scared them off (whatever they were) the gravel remains safely under the shed today.
I started this year with a list of intended blog posts, the titles are all great… I just haven’t written them yet because my head has been full of nonsense.
Other mini-dramas, I have noticed this week is that… even though we are in this situation… you know what I’m talking about… people still find the time to be mean behind the screen.
Anyway, I have removed myself from the receiving end of the screen to free up the time to help my parents. My dad in particular has asked for my help with something and I would hate to have to put Mum and Dad off because my head is full of nonsense from outside sources.
I saw on the news that a parish council meeting in Cheshire is trending on Twitter:
Avoid people who are mean behind the screen. You wouldn’t want you to end up trending on Twitter, or living on Curmudgeon Avenue…
I remember hearing something on the radio (BBC Radio 6) that stuck in my mind. I am always returning to the past, recalling snippets of random stuff. I then waste almost a full day thinking, doing internet searches and finally, wondering what made me remember this nugget of useless information.
I was on my way home from work (that’s how long ago it was), when I heard a presenter talking about an Irvine Welsh interview.
Apparently, Irvine Welsh compiles a playlist for his characters when writing a novel.
This was on the radio, and as I was driving so I couldn’t write this down… this idea stuck in my head.
(I can’t find the interview on the internet but if you Google Irvin Welsh loads come up for him).
Despite this concept sticking in my head, I don’t remember reading a book since where a playlist was obvious. (Please let me know if you have).
I must have had music in mind when I wrote some of my books.
In 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire), my character Rose Bradshaw sings (no lyrics were used) Edith Piaf songs to her Uncle Billy.
The Curmudgeon Avenue series references plenty of music (without using the lyrics).
In book 2, Harold and Edith get asked a question about Nirvana, at their pub quiz (on accidental proposal night). Later on in the book, they listen to Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band. Wantha and Ricky turn up the ‘CHOONS’ when club classic Shine On by Degrees of Motion is played on the radio.
Book 3 brings the new character Gil Von Black. Patchouli met him at a speed dating event in Radcliffe. Gil Von Black is ‘famous person royalty’ in my fictional version of Whitefield. He is a retired session musician who has played with Black Sabbath and even (ha!) Def Leppard.
Plenty more heavy metal references are dropped in book 4, but it isn’t until book 6 that we get to find out the characters’ guilty pleasures.
Suzanne ‘Toonan’ Rose’s guilty pleasure is Vanilla Ice (remember Ice, Ice Baby?) Edith Ricketts’ guilty pleasure is the theme tune to Murder She Wrote. Wantha Rose doesn’t have any guilty pleasures, Wantha Rose apologises to nobody. Patchouli, however…. well her guilty pleasure is Lionel Richie, the reason for this is a corker. (Sorry, I can’t tell you it would be a massive spoiler).
All of the advice on the internet is you cannot use song lyrics in your book because of copyright. (Some sites give details of how to ask permission but I presume this will cost). I choose not include lyrics but referring to artists is fine.
During the second half of this year, I plan to start writing my next standalone novel. The characters have rattled around in my mind for a long time. I think it is time I figure out their tastes in music.
Curmudgeon Avenue has been going on for quite some time, some would say for longer than reasonably necessary. In this Curmudgeonly edition, the nincompoops of Curmudgeon Avenue would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Gordon Bennett is obsessed with the pothole growth on the street as we get proper emosh at Wantha and Ricky’s wedding. Christmas is coming, and Francesca is getting fat meanwhile Zandra may have overdone it with the scented candles. And the ghosts are immune to any lockdown restrictions.
Put down the sausage rolls and the leftover wine, A Curmudgeonly Christmas is a perfect end to the Curmudgeon Avenue series and the year!
Written with British English Grammar and turn-of-phrase.
‘Toonan! This is going to be a disaster!’ Francesca rushed to the counter atGenevieve’sin her dressing gown, having noticed Toonan…
Well, here it is, the week between Christmas and New Year. This is the week where, traditionally we are all grumpily requesting the return of our routine, because we have all been doing one another’s heads in at home. To be fair, that is how we have been all year, but getting along nicely in the next breath.
You may have eaten too much turkey, you may have had too much fun, you may need to put down the chocolates, wine and sausage rolls.
Curmudgeon Avenue is a six part series set in the actual town of Whitefield, just north of Manchester UK – fictional street. The house grew weary of its nincompoop residents and started writing a diary about the gossip, romance and dramas on the street.
(Unusual second person witness narrated with British English grammar, spelling and turn of phrase)
This final instalment has been great fun to write. A contemporary story, I decided to tell it how it is and include the current global crisis. BUT with three weddings to arrange, a socially distanced hen do and an unexpected turn of events, it was tricky!
Chapter 29: The Day This All Ended
On the day this all ended, the sky was overwrought for the end of December. This year had been going on for quite some time, EVERYONE would say, for longer than reasonably necessary, and some would even say this is the end of an era.
Television programmes clung to the idea of Christmas while folk respectfully requested the return of their routine. Edna and Genevieve had searched high and low for the ghost of Edith, wishing to bid her farewell before their extended French holiday. Despite their sneaky suspicions about the under-the-stairs-door they could not open, they were unable to find her.
Small Paul had not left Number One Curmudgeon Avenue disappointed; of course, Gordon Bennett agreed to be his best man. Zandra Bennett was thrilled too (and even cast aside her dismay at no new wedding outfit. Not even new costume jewellery).
‘Tooooonaaaaan!’ Wantha shouted at the spare room door of number four Curmudgeon Avenue. ‘It’s your weddin’ day, innit!’
‘Alright, Wantha I’ve only just got to sleep, been awake most of the night,’ Toonan said.
‘Toonan! What are you playing at? You’re gonna have bags under your eyes!’
‘Well, I suppose I’ll match Small Paul then, aww his mum’s so sweet she said nowt about his black eye.’
‘Do you want me to go round there and put some concealer on him?’ said Wantha.
‘No, I don’t think so, no thanks Wantha.’
‘The black eye gives him a bit of an edge, I suppose.’
‘Are you alright, Wantha? You look a bit peaky…’ surely nothing else could go wrong with Toonan and Small Paul’s wedding?
Meanwhile, at Number One Curmudgeon Avenue…
‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take,’ said Edith. She had been trapped for days inside her prior sanctuary with a smell and two ex-husbands.
‘How much more of this? We were happy, Edith until Harold came along.’ Reg huffed.
Harold (ghost of) wobbled his head and then stared into nothingness ahead of him. This is how Harold always dealt with confrontation, don’t forget. Pretend it was not happening, yet Edith could hear him, she could hear sniffing and swallowing, sighing and wobbling.
Is it a happy ending? Bitter Sweet that’s how I’d describe it.
A Curmudgeonly Christmas opens with Zandra Bennett’s mother making Christmas plans in August, while Gordon Bennett is out on the street measuring potholes.
Ricky Ricketts and Tanya ‘Wantha’ Rose finally get married (it’s their third attempt). A Zoom wedding means that Wantha forgets all about being walked down the aisle – will she ever find out who her daddy is?
Francesca and Suzanne ‘Toonan’ Rose decide to have a double wedding but Francesca is acting and looking differently to her norm. She thinks her expanding waistline is due to lockdown love handles!
Gil Von Black has doubts about Patchouli, while Small Paul becomes everyone’s hero.
And the ghosts are immune to any and all pandemic restrictions.
A Curmudgeonly Christmas (Curmudgeon Avenue #6) is the final instalment of the Curmudgeon Avenue series and will be published on the 27th of December. Available to pre order from today!
Curmudgeon Avenue has been going on for quite some time. Some would say for longer than is reasonably necessary.
Feeling proper emosh! I have finished writing the Curmudgeon Avenue series with a Christmas special.
Gordon Bennett is obsessed with the size of potholes on the street, Wantha and Ricky may or may not seal the romantic deal. Christmas is coming, and Francesca is getting fat. Patchouli’s past comes back to haunt her – will Gil Von Black be able to cope?
Oh – and the ghosts are immune from any and all pandemic restrictions.
A Curmudgeonly Christmas is intended to provide a bit of light relief during the week between Christmas and New Year. You know the one, that week we are all fed up with eating, drinking and each other!
The book started with Harold Edith and Edna, and the story of how they ended up living together. The series evolved into a social satire about a group of neighbours and their intertwined lives. Gossip, romance, dramas and laughs follow all written with British English spelling and grammar and narrated with a voice typical of how folk say ‘stuff’ in the Northwest of England.
All lighthearted, all easy reads, all a bit of fun.
Audiobooks narrated by the hilarious and talented Lindsay McKinnon.
A convention of comedy-drama is that the narrative ends with a marriage. See Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and Two Gentlemen of Verona.
And more recently, last Christmas’s Gavin and Stacey Christmas special on the BBC ended with an unanswered proposal.
Ha! I bet you thought this post was going to be about Mr Henthorn and me; well, just for fun, here is a photo from our wedding day captured at the moment I realised he had forgotten to organise the ‘signing the register’ music:
Blimey, I don’t look happy do I? I can’t remember what music was supposed to be played, but we signed that certificate in complete silence and it’s been fab ever since.
Being me, is like living in a sitcom, and so it has been a natural process to write the Curmudgeon Avenue series about a house that detests its unlikeable owners.
I am just coming to the end of writing the final instalment of Curmudgeon Avenue ‘A Curmudgeonly Christmas’ which I am hoping to release the week between Christmas and New Year. 2020. (Don’t you agree that the week between Christmas and New Year is a time for curmudgeons to unite?)
I am hoping to put this on pre-order soon, but until the week between Christmas and New Year, here is an excerpt:
Chapter 6: He Learnt From The Best, He Learnt From Wantha.
Tuesday morning came around as so often they do in Whitefield. September had robbed the residents of Curmudgeon Avenue of an Indian summer, and thoughts were starting to turn to Halloween, bonfire night, (and dare I say Christmas).
Wantha Rose was on the warpath yet again. But like a glamorous soap opera actor, she skulked around the street until somebody paid attention to her, keeping her anger just under boiling point.
‘Toonan!’ Wantha shouted through her sister’s letterbox. She rang the doorbell. And after a short wait, the door swung open to reveal Small Paul wearing pyjamas and carrying a bottle of anti-bacterial spray and a dishcloth.
‘Hiya, Wantha. Toonan’s at work, sorry.’ Small Paul started spraying and wiping the letterbox and doorbell button that Wantha had just touched (which looked a bit rude, to be honest. He should have waited).
‘Oh, FFS!’ Wantha was gutted that her sister was not at home. She watched Small Paul polishing his door furniture. Seemingly, he was in the mood for talking (again).
‘I’m not sure what time she’ll be home, but if you need anything, Sis,’ (he got that off Toonan). ‘Then, I would love to chat.’
Wantha glanced towards the front of Genevieve’s delicatessen-cum-cafe, where her husband, Ricky Ricketts was at work. And even though Ricky could not see her from that angle, Wantha made a showy and sassy attempt to enter Toonan and Small Paul’s house.
I know it’s really short, but it was super hard to find a bit I could share, because there is a massive secret about to be revealed on Curmudgeon Avenue.
If you missed it, the book that precedes ‘A Curmudgeonly Christmas’ is free and available via a BookFunnel promotion here: