Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mole intelligence: EPISODE 35

The Rooftop
Vauxhall Cross

June 23 1997


If you are reading this now, then you will have opened the sealed metal canister which has just descended from the firm’s MH-6 ‘Little Bird’ black helicopter – and rapped upon the glass of your drug rehabilitation ‘cell.’ Take note. This paper will self-incinerate in 60 seconds.

Thank you for letting me visit you immediately upon receipt of your last missive. This mission would not have been possible had you not let me implant a Radio Frequency Identification transponder into the skin beneath your shoulder blades. I hope the small battery has not been too knobbly and impeded sleep? I have needed it – in conjunction with my transport’s thermographic cameras – to locate your position with exactitude. After all, it you appeared to be napping on your single divan – and glowing yellow in the dark – I would be required to rap with greater force upon the window with the steel-descending cable. And do not underestimate pet, the fine motor controls required to keep a helicopter in trim, with an equality of torque above and to the rear!

This is possibly not the moment, but I may just have time to fill you in regarding the historical use of ‘little black helicopters’ in the US of A. These were built specifically as a means of stealth surveillance of that country’s citizens in the early part of this decade. You may have seen the prototype – which had a capacity for virtually-silent flying – in the film ‘Blue Thunder.’ You will barely be hearing the swish of my rotor blades at this present moment. Nevertheless. I am overhead. And, of course, if an object – such as a person – was implanted with ‘active’ Radio Frequency Identification, the ‘little black helicopter’ would be equipped to read the emitted ultra wide band radio waves, from some hundreds of meters distant. You are a tracked object pet!

I will proceed to the point of my epistolary communication however. If Miss Fothergill plays up – and I intend to visit once the no-visitor (and confiscation of your mobile telephone) period is over – then rest assured that I will certainly pick her up and transport her out to the Gobi desert in Mongolia. She may well spend quite some months emerging from this destination, as I hear that ‘desertification’ is proceeding apace and extending the expanse by some thousands of miles – in all directions – every year. Of course, I may have to borrow the firm’s Sikorsky UH-60 ‘Black Hawk’ for this purpose; it is more accommodating!


Aunt Evangeline (‘C’ – retired)


Irrecoverable . . . (episode 34)


3A Hyde Park Terrace

June 18 1997

Dear Mum

Thank you for your last letter and its beautiful description of the rose called ‘Sombreuil.’ It made my mouth water with desire to own one! In answer to your question about what I am going to do once I get to Cuba, I intend to make some long visits to the Havana Botanical Gardens, which also go by the name of the Jardin Botanico Nacional de Cuba. The 600-hectare gardens apparently house the national Palmatum (as opposed to the national Pinetum, Bedgebury, UK) and also vast greenhouses accommodating flora from deserts and tropical rainforests.

I have also made some slight effort to go on one or two dates with men listed in the back of ‘Nights Out,’ which is a London listings magazine. One such outing occurred a couple of evenings ago. I had agreed to meet this chap – Roger – outside the Grainy Ear pub and, promptly at 7pm, he whisked past in a navy-blue 4×4. I could tell immediately mum, from my view through the glass, that he was a deeply unprepossessing individual to say the least of it. And what really stood out – face to face – was what appeared to be a one (and only) front tooth which projected from beneath his top lip. It was, in fact, hard to divert my eyes from it. Also, it didn’t seem very sophisticated to come on a – first – date clad in a pair of baseball boots. He had said, in his email, that he liked cooking, but it turned out that he made his living driving about in a kebab and fish and chip van! An hour in his company ticked past very slowly and it was only after stating that I’d injured my back (in my new role cleaning the house) that I felt able to extricate myself from the situation!

I also keep thinking about Austen, from whom I have heard nothing, and who could – and should – have made some expression of remorse and uttered an apology. Nothing specific (I don’t need to know the specifics) but words along the lines of, “I lied to you. It was wrong. I know I have harmed you. And I am sorry” would have made all the difference – especially if he had meant any of them. But he hasn’t thought he has needed to bother. And now it’s too late.

I remember last year, when Austen was sitting on the Management of the National Debt select committee, and he said – at a public gathering of ministers and experts also on the same committee – that the Chair ‘was not really up to it’ and kept all of them ‘in the dark.’ When he related this anecdote to me, I said, “Well Austen. That was not very diplomatic. How would you feel if someone had done that to you?” I suggested that he phone the man up to apologize – particularly as, by then, the whole thing was building up to the point where Austen might have had to resign. But oh no. Austen just sat by my side in the car, ears laid flat back on his head, and looking like an obstinate mule. “You’re a fool,” I said, kissing him on the pink of his cheek. And he said to me – staring ahead at some fixed point in the distance – “I know.”

So, now, after all that has happened, nothing in our relationship is recoverable – for I can’t forgive it. Total treachery has led to total loss. This is natural. This is a consequence. And if anyone asks me what sort of man I was married to, all I can say is, “He was never a friend in the true sense of that word. He thought that lying was good enough for me. And now look what has happened. Without honesty, no friendship exists.”

With love as ever mum

Your daughter (in law)


One flew over . . . (episode 33)


401B Concrete Shacks

June 15 1997


I am writing this in haste as I am about to be collected by a government-sponsored glue-sniffing rehabilitation van. Earlier this week, I received a four-page-long, black-and-white printed, communication from the Department of Social Security – which stated that my Unemployment Benefit would be summarily suspended unless I agreed to be taken away to an establishment which deals with addictions. In my case, the specified addictions are to the Benzodiazepine ‘Valium’ and to the adhesive whose brand name is’Glu-Stik.’

I naturally took to my bed on receipt of these tidings – anaesthetized by a Valium intake of some 50mg – which is a dosage, I am told, sufficient to stun an elephant. ‘Glu-Stik’ is on the table by my side, together with one or two flagons of cider. I am not feeling too well, a condition exacerbated upon receipt of yesterday’s telephone call from a person who called herself ‘Miss Fothergill.’ Miss Fothergill informed me that the rehabilitation squad would be turning up promptly at 9am tomorrow – to take me away – and that resistance would be useless. They are bringing their own battering ram. The person Miss Fothergill most reminded me of is the head nurse who featured in that film called, ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ Nurse Ratched? I am scared, auntie, that I may come back lobotomized (or not at all) because I am just the sort of man who likes to air his own, unique, and possibly undesirable, opinions on courses of this nature. I am anti-authority and authority is often anti-me.

You are my next of kin! Please come to see me at your earliest convenience. Bring duct tape. Bring gum-wiring equipment. Bring anything you have to keep my lips completely sealed during Group Work and Role Play!

Your deserving nephew


Be not indifferent . . . (episode 32)


10 Forsythia Grove
Outer Hamlet

June 8 1997

My Dear Harriet

Thank you for your last missive, written in a style both pensive and triste. You must be patient with yourself darling; a move towards a life of one’s own takes both time and travail. Have you made any progress towards obtaining a Cuban visitor’s visa and decided what you are going to do once you reach Havana? I suggest that, if possible, given the current political climate, you try to stay in a casa particular, because this will afford a greater opportunity to embed yourself in the culture of the country – and its concerns – while you are there. With regard to the Cuban economy, visits to one or two cane sugar plantations would seem essential! I also suggest that you look up the songs of the Latin-American singer (and activist) Mercedes Sosa, who has given voice to lyrics written by Cubans, amongst others. Indeed, she has been seen as giving ‘voice to the voiceless.’

You asked me recently if Meribel’s ashes had been returned to me, and also what I was intending to do with them. Her ashes did arrive – packaged in a tasteful, be-ribboned, box – and when I opened the box I discovered that the ashes of a cat occupy only handfuls of space. I drove up to the wildflower meadow over at Colonel Mustang’s in a daze almost. I recall walking through the trees, whose great boughs were ruffling in the breeze, rehearsing the prayer I would say when I reached the meadow’s long grasses. While en route, I saw the Faire Dinkum in the distance, for she had been coppicing the Hazel trees on the edge of the gardens. We stood, together, under the dense canopy of a Hornbeam and, almost as one, arranged ourselves in a stance of respect, while I uttered a few words to someone called ‘God’ – in memory of Meribel and what she had meant to Pom-Pom, who had loved her. Who knows why we feel impelled to engage in these rites of passage, for those whom we have loved, and why we cannot let go without remark and consecration of the ground. When I bestowed the body of my cat into the arms of the indelible air, and into the sacrament of the moment, I thought that she was of the earth now: the place has her.

And now, all around the old house, and up its high stone walls, the roses are blooming. I go back and back again to Rosa ‘Sombreuil.’ It is a beautiful name is it not? And, like many roses with loveliness in their syllables – and form – it is named after a heroine. Mademoiselle Sombreuil was the daughter of the Comte de Sombreuil, governor of Les Invalides during the French revolution. When he was subsequently imprisoned for his role in attempting to overthrow the monarchy, his daughter went to him and sat, immovably, by his side. She apparently said to his accusers that, if they were going to execute her father, then they would have to execute her too. The legend tells us that she was, indeed, allowed to succeed in her request for mercy – but only on condition that she drank a glass of blood obtained from the bodies of recently-executed nobles. Whether or not this is so remains a moot point, for Mademoiselle Sombreuil herself denied the act, stating merely that the glass had been stained with red. And yet she apparently retained a life-long abhorrence of the sight of a glass of red wine.

The rose itself is the most gorgeous confection of quartered ivory petals and, when it flowers, I go back to it (on its wall) over and over again. It flowers and it flowers and it flowers, pushing up new red stems each Spring. It is an old rose – a tea climber – introduced from France in 1850 or so and capable of attaining a height of up to 10 meters. The quilled petals of each bloom grow so closely together that the reproductive parts are scarcely visible and would be hard for any pollinator to reach. And that is the case with very double roses: the petals are so many that they crowd out the anthers, ovary, and stamens – rendering the rose infertile. Nature, as I’m sure you know darling, has determined that the optimum number of petals consistent with fertility is five. And the open yellow bosses of the dog rose, with its simple five-petalled flower is a testimony to this.

Well I must dash Harriet. I am off to view some acres of Rhododendrons, which flourish upon a seam of Green Sand!

Fondest love


P.S. I must say, now that I have returned from the above viewing, that the Rhododendron – for all its height and showiness – offers no equal to the rose, with all its sumptuousness of scent and great diversity of form and colour. I may be biased here dear, but once you have seen one Rhododendron leaf, I feel you may nearly have seen them all!

Far Away School for Girls . . . (episode 31)


10 Forsythia Grove
Outer Hamlet

June 1 1997

My Dear Ralph

Thank you for your exciting communique! I do hope that your symptoms have cleared up now? And, yes, you are quite right about my Christian name being a near-perfect anagram. The perfect form would be derived from ‘Evangelive.’ And also, yes. I did intend it so.

I have been searching, as you know, for some additional activity to occupy some of my spare time. (I have yet to hear from the P.M. with regard to my taking up the Chair on the country’s Intelligence and Security Committee. Maybe he has decided upon someone else!) So, the other day, I attended at Far Away School for Girls, just outside the city of Carpool. This establishment accommodates girls, aged 10-17, who have been ‘statemented’ and excluded from mainstream schooling, owing to difficulties with their emotions and behaviour.

Having secured an interview with the headteacher, one Mr P Grampian, I motored over there – through dripping laurel lanes – to see what we could make of one another. It is certainly a deserted spot pet and the whole demesne seemed to be occupying the Land that Time Forgot. Once inside, my main impression was that the old building was in need of one or two licks of paint and some work done on its upkeep. Mr Grampian was apparently jovial and welcoming, but I did feel a frisson of concern when his handshake turned into a grip which could mince the strongest of bones. But after a few brief words, he luckily turned me over to Miss Skylark who was bonnily turned out in an egg-shell-blue lambs’ wool jumper. And after a short, but pleasant, exchange in her office (papers strewn everywhere) we set off on a jaunt round the school buildings. I myself am not used to viewing furniture which is actually screwed to the linoleum but, given that the girls can come from quite distressed backgrounds – murdered and abusive parents and so on and so forth – it did sound as if it could be necessary at times. But it bothered me a little dear, that the common room sofas seemed to be unkempt and a little dirty. And when we viewed a bedroom with two beds in it (only a single child occupant) and saw no wardrobe at all, it did seem odd. The girl in question had piled all her clothes on to one bed even though, in theory, she could have stowed them beneath the divans or in one of the two chests of drawers in the room. I asked Miss Skylark about this. I said, surely, the children could have items of clothing that they needed to hang up? Well ‘hang’ appeared to be the operative word here, because Miss Skylark said that the rail in a wardrobe could act as a ligature point . . . I feel, myself, that the actively suicidal child might be a comparative rarity and, in any event, one could probably make a fairly decent ‘stab’ at identifying one at risk in this way? It is surely of equal importance to enable children to feel that they have the same bedroom facilities as their ostensibly more normal peers in a standard school?

I did eventually wring out of Miss Skylark that the school itself had been statemented by OffHead and was heading for ‘special measures.’ This sounds a little ominous doesn’t it pet? What do ‘special measures’ mean exactly? Certainly, I myself might be considering replacing Mr P Grampian with a headteacher whose manual grip was considerably less ‘manly.’ My own feeling was that this individual might be compensating for some feelings of personal insecurity if he felt it necessary to attempt the crushing of a lady’s hand in this manner. In fact, by the time we had concluded our rounds, I was feeling that the Carpool Civic Authority needed to be investing far more of its time and money in Far Away School for Girls. And that, because children’s parents might well be less able than usual to express concerns and dissatisfaction with the regime on offer, that perhaps the girls would benefit from being partnered with surrogate parents who could represent their best interests.

It was with feelings of unease that I departed for home in the Banger 0.9L. I think perhaps that I will not be volunteering my time at this venue because, sooner or later, I might feel impelled to try to assist a child in some way or other. Leadership in these establishments is critical in my opinion. And what would I do if the person-in-charge I had to turn to, was Mr P Grampian and his muscular paw?

Otherwise dear, I am feeling rather wrung out myself, for half of one of my front teeth seems to have summarily dropped off. And smiling – that most winning of personal behaviours – seems to be off my own personal menu for the moment.

I hope you, yourself, are experiencing a measure of sunny uplift somewhere today nephew?


Aunt Evangeline