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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, August 14, 2003
    My handbag's on fire!
    Dot and Stan like going to Bosham on their hols. They tell me it's a lovely little seaside town near Chichester. Long way from here. There are a lot of Dot and Stan stories because they're a great double act - Stan a Scouse wag, ever-joking, Dot prim and proper and always scandalised when primness and propriety are not observed. And, in Bosham, the heatwave produced a fantastic Dot and Stan story. Dot told it today with a relish which suggested that she can, on occasion, enjoy things not being as they should be, when they provide good entertainment...

    There they were, sat in deckchairs by the sea (in Bosham, the sea comes right up close to the houses). Stan slouched reading the paper, no doubt rehearsing in his mind, wry comments about the day's news to share with folks in the guest house later on; Dot upright, engrossed in a book. The sun beating down on them. Bosham shimmering in the heat. When suddenly Dot looks down, sees smoke rising and screams: "Stan, my handbag's on fire!"

    Which it was. Stan reacted quickly, saying, "That's our holiday money!", saved the cash but not in time to save the bag, which had a big hole burned out of the leather. No obvious explanation; just the heat.

    My handbag's on fire. Dot doesn't tell funny stories often. When she does, she picks the good ones.