The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 81… Rebecca’s Help… Part 6

There was a time in Charles life, when much of this would have more meaning to him, but now, he knew that his dear friend had settlement, and that he had that same settlement within himself. The business now prospered as never before. The brothers, were very capable in their ways and worthy friends to have. They introduced new business to the photographer’s shop with so much vigour and endless loyalty. Charles, became very fond of this pair, and so did Esme. It was all a very workable team. They would take care of the day to day business in the shop, whilst Esme used her sharp mind on the facts and figures of bookkeeping. Meantime, Charles photographed the steady gathering ranks of his clients.

In was one night in late July, it had been a long day for all, and they had said their weary goodnights, Esme was tired out and fell asleep at once, surprisingly, in the stuffy heat of that particular evening.

A dream began to penetrated the sleep of Charles. In his mind there was no mistake. From that darkness, he knew it was Rebecca.

“Charles,” Her warm voice soaked his soul. “Charles… I cannot help you for much longer. You know, I think, that my time in your world is limited, you gave me the window, soon the darkness will engulf me completely. I thank you for what you have given me. You took  me from that burning building, A portal in your time that I am thankful for. Before I leave you forever, I want you to promise that you will never forget me, that you will always remember me…”

His thoughts interrupted her “I will be with you forever, but must you go, is there another way, perhaps there is another way.’

“There is no other way” Her voice was crying, and then the emotion led to a sudden thought with her. “Perhaps, there is another way, a forgotten path that was once told to me. A strange and mysterious path.” Then her voice was suddenly gone. Charles lay in a motionless state for some moments and his senses raced uncontrollably and in those darkening hours, he turned to a broken sleep, and the unknown…

To be continued later in the year…

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 80… Rebecca’s Help… Part five…

Those next few days in Charles and Esme life seem to change very many things forever. From Herbert, there was no mention of the formidable Mrs Plumb, it was if things had returned to a more stable situation. But there were questions that still seemed to remain in Charles mind. Questions that needed to be answered… He was no longer able to communicate with Rebecca it seemed, this had to be done thru a third party, in this case it was dear ‘Herby’ Had he been fooled, no that was not Rebecca’s way. He had taken her at her absolute word and she had appeared to Herby that was certain. She had given him back his life from those breath-taking waters. It was now clear in Charles mind that things had settled.

The following day had seen little change in everyone’s routine. Toby and Barney continued to run things in the shop, whilst Esme helped Charles finalise the monthly accounts for the business. Charles made a call to Herbert around lunchtime, but it seemed little had changed. There had been no sign of Mrs Plum’s presence.

“Perhaps, that’s a good thing” Charles thought to himself.

In his little bedroom, in his little office, Herbert was sound asleep. That night the darkness held a dream for him. The form of Rebecca came to him, and comforted him, saying he had nothing to fear. Her enciclement of his soul warmed him and slowly the image and the thoughts he had of Mrs Plum began to dissovel from his mind. Rebecca’s warming voice held a promise, that he would meet her within a time of her calling. That promise he would make good to her and with his devotion solely to her. ‘That is all I ask of you, and that is all.’ she added. His murmuring mind said “Yes” with warmed enthuse and the darkness closed his thoughts…


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Snap Around…

You know, this peaceful Cu-De-Sac on the River Lea just outside Welwyn Garden City is a place where you can let your thoughts run free…

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Author’s Note…

Well, it’s going to be Winter Break shopping until the New Year, I guess,  So it’s time for me to thank all you guys out there who have supported the PGC blog throughout the year in respectable numbers and enjoying hopefully, writings that come straight from the heart. The Winter Break is a time of reflected thoughts, when we think of others, giving support to people less fortunate than ourselves. It’s also a time when we support those closer to home, around our own campfires, with love and help where it’s most needed. So have a very happy Winter Break and I hope to see you all again in the New Year…

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 79… Rebecca’s Help… Part Four

A sudden panic seemed to grab everyone. Charles raced to the waters edge. ‘Somebody find a lifebuoy.’ he screamed. Others ran to the edge determined to assist Herbert’s rescue.

The muddied edge of the bank made things difficult. Someone found a Lifebuoy that was conveniently secured by a length of rope and this was hastily thrown to the stricken Herby’ With difficulty, one of his arms thrust itself into the ring, and with some ease, he was gently pulled ashore.

‘He’s dead, I’m sure, he’s dead.’

Herbert lay motionless on the muddy bank, he seemed devoid of any form of life.

‘Call a doctor.’ Charles reacted quickly.

‘Wait, Old man, I’ve done first Aid.’ One of the group stepped forward. It was Peter. ‘ Let me try.’

He pressed heavily on Herbert’s chest, lifting his arms each time for several minutes. Grey Lake water began to sprout from Herbert’s mouth and dribble down his neck. He sputtered then coughed, and his eyes opened slowly.

Words now filled his mouth. ‘I thought I wus a gonna.’ he moaned. The group looked on intensely. ‘Then, this women appeared in my mind, a lovely vision she was, beautiful, she came in the darkness, and then, there was a shower of golden light. She spoke and her voice was so lovely, so gentle. She told me her name was Rebecca and she was here to look after me.’

Herbert looked sad. ‘Then she was gone, like a puff of wind and my mind became blank again. Next, I remember, you guy’s, looking down on me!’

‘It’s Ok Herby, it’s a warm summer’s day and you’re back with us.’ Charles framed words inside his mind.  “So, he has touched on Rebecca”  The reflection was not wasted on him.

That night Charles could not sleep. Esme lay beside, quite sound, with just a little gentle breathing. In the faint light she looked much at peace with herself.

“This is how she should always be.” thought Charles, “And not to have gone through those ordeals in her life as she did, and yet, I’m certain she is a stronger person for it”

In the half light of their curtained bedroom, Charles ran thoughts through his mind. Late night revellers could still be heard making their way homewards from The Kings Head, and somehow it settled his mind into the normality of sleep. Perhaps, Rebecca had been some wild imagine of his, perhaps, Esme laying beside him so gently was the only reality in his life. But he was wrong, and he knew it. everything that had gone of before was real enough! Of that, he was quite certain!

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Todday Revisited…

With the Winter nights slowly closing in on us, it is now time to dust off an old friend in my DVD collection of classic British films. Earning its place, rightly so, is Ealing’s wonderful comedy drama “Whisky Galore” and so with a dram in one hand and a comfortable armchair the film took me on a cosy outing with the inhabitants of a little Scottish Island by the name of “Todday”

It was in the summer of 1948 when the Ealing crew arrived on the beautiful Island of Barra in the Western Isles of Scotland. Michael Balcon, head of Ealing Studios had not been happy about the production, saying as he looked at the story board, he just did not understand it!  “It holds few laughs” he was heard to comment. Based on a Compton Mackenzie novel, shooting almost entirely on location presented huge problems, everything, including cast and crew, and a huge amount of camera equipment, had to be shipped from mainland Scotland. Actors were billited with a number of the Islanders, and in fact, many of the inhabitants appear in the production. Their view of the film people was… That they were quite mad! Prefabricated sets were constructed at Ealing Studios in London then shipped for assembly on Barra. Under the brilliant direction of Alexander Mackendrick, an American born Scot, the film gently eases you into a world of warmth, gentilityand innocent skulduggery. I think this was partly due to Mackendrick’s insistence on being present during every scene, however, this did push the budget over by 20,000, and in those days that was a lot of money…as Michael Balcon soon pointed out, and when he saw the rushes he hated it, and ordered the film to be cut and released as a B’ supporting picture! At this point, Mackendrick asked Charles Crichton, a top editor, if he would look at the negatives. He did… And Recut, and Recut… the result was a more acceptable product for the Ealing Studio boss. Being based on a true maritime sinking means that some facts had to be changed. The real sinking took place off the Isle of Eriskay, and the local Islanders did profit from their huge haul of ‘Scotch’… Unlike the movie that had to deal with the moral issue. In America the movie was given a new title and called “Tight Little Island” because a number of States, were at the time ‘Temperance’  If one looks at the stills today Alexander Mackendrick is always there beside the camera operator, and I think, that is what made it such a lasting and enduring, warm and attractive film.

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Author’s Note…

Back to Back catch-up episodes of ‘The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp’ are available @

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 78… Rebecca’s Help… (Part Three)

That thought puzzled Charles for some time. He turned it over in his mind, time and time again. To put Herbert in some form of danger, enough to bring Rebecca to his aid was simply daunting. It had to be convincing or it would not work, but what could he do. If he tried to fake anything Rebecca would know. Her all-seeing eye and inner feeling would expose him as a fraud and that would undo everything. The dilemma was real.

He carefully remembered something in the past. It was a day at Ruislip Lido. He had taken to the lake like many others on that hot day. Herbert had been with him and yet refused to take a dip, saying he hated water and had never learnt to swim.

Others in their group, numbering some half dozen, and all from theatrical backgrounds, began to goad Herby for not taking to the water.

‘Just strip off to the waist Herb’s’ was the retort. ‘Go Go Herby,’

‘Are you ashamed or unclean.’ Some of the words were unkind and clearly upsetting Herbert.

Charles thought this was going too far and began to be concerned. ‘Ok guys, this is out of order. Just leave him alone.’

‘Sorry Charlie, we are just having a little fun, I’m sure Herb’s doesn’t mind.’

‘Well, I think he does, and as so called friends of his, you should know better.’

‘I will go into the Lake Charlie, I will show you all, that I am not scared,’ Herbert looked determined and yet frightened.

‘No you won’t Herby’ Charles looked at him with absolute conviction. ‘These guys are just messing around. Cool it.’

‘I have to do this Charlie, if not for you, for myself.’

The words played around in Charles mind, he knew Herbert would try to prove himself.

‘I gotta do it Charlie. I ain’t gonna be shamed.’

He stripped to the waist, just his trousers remaining, and walked carefully to the edge of the Lake. Its muddy bank was slippery and he almost fell into the water that covered him in an instance. Seconds passed, and he bobbed up, much to everyone’s relief. He laughed and thrashed his arms about him.

‘This is easy!’ he shouted, then suddenly he began to sink below the disturbed water.

‘Oh no’ this is what I feared.’ Charles voice rang out. ‘Get him out of there!




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Snap Around…

You know, when it comes to family you just gotta be there, and my family is no exception… Ok, the family is large and well dispersed, but we just keep in touch and if there is any sort of crisis, well, we all know we are goanna be there…

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 77… Rebecca’s Help… (Part two)

It really was not very clear to Charles how he should set about making contact with Rebecca. In the past she had simply been there in his mind and her embodiment just materialised. Now the difficulty, was how to make that all happen again!

This puzzled him for some days, whilst he busied himself with the routines of running his photographic business. He had passed his word to Herbert, and that must stand, he told himself.

‘Herby’ himself had returned to the confines of his small upstairs living quarters in Brick Lane, confident in the endeavours of his dear friend.

Much thought passed through Charles mind in those coming days, even to the point of perhaps employing the services of a ‘Medium’ then it suddenly struck him, what was staring him in the face all along! Toby and Barney, they were both instrumental in ways of the Astral Plain, they could see certain visions that others could not.

He would talk to them the very next morning. He would seek their advice and hopefully their co-operation. Yes, this would be his best course of action and would be his way back into that spirit world and of darkness that surrounds the human soul.

‘She has returned to the darkness’, Toby said with complete certainty that very next day. ‘There is little we can do. She has had her window, now that window is closed.’

‘But, do you know that for sure Tobias, do you really know that?’

‘Barney and I have no entry there, it’s as if the door is closed.’

‘There must be a way Toby. You must find me a way. I need her help.

The only course you have and there are no guarantees, it’s very tricky! You have to enact something or someone that is strong enough and memorable enough for her that will bring her out from the darkness to be mortal once again. That will not be easy.’ In that single moment of his life Tobias was never more sincere. The others looked on with dissolute hearts.

Suddenly Toby said, ‘Herby must be in peril of his life. Rebecca in her mind knows that he is a dear friend of you. It just might work. It needs working on, but it’s an idea. We must stage something that is quite spectacular.’

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