Sunday, 19 June 2011

Coach Bolts

Jennospot 28  Coach Bolts

This'll 'ave ter be moi last blog fer a bit of a while, 'cos Peter's goin' off up in the mountains near the sea, where there ain't no internet, and no telephone neither fer that matter. 'Ee reckons as 'ow it'll be noice an' quiet ter get anovver story finished. 'Ee got this new gang book a-goin' see, where we set out ter catch some spies. Well any'ow, we reckoned as 'ow there were some spies, though Oi fink it were Peter 'imself wot got caught in the finish. Maybe it'll be too quiet up there fer moi way of finkin', but, yew know, wot'll the poor lad do wivvout me ter fill 'im in about all the details. Talk about a rotten mem'ry. Cripes, 'ee couldn't set down a single word on 'is own wivvout me bein' there ter prompt 'im. Any'ow here's a little bit ter be goin' on wiv, about 'ow we started off makin' moi cart:

‘I decided to tackle Jenno at the milk break about the girls making carts. It wasn't difficult, as she was actually looking for me.
‘Hi,’ she said. ‘Oi've got four of them mushroom bolts we need. They're about as long as moi middle finger. Will they do?’
‘That's fine. They're called coach bolts by the way.’
‘Why coach bolts? Shouldn't they be called cart bolts?’
‘I don't know why they're called coach bolts. They just are. Might as well ask why you're called Jenno when your name is Jean.’
‘Everyone calls me Jenno.’
‘Is that a reason?’
‘Naw, cleverdick. It's 'cos Oi've got a cousin Jean, about moi age, wot used ter live in the same 'ouse as me. They called 'er Jeanie, and me Jenno so's we'd know who was who. So there. Why're yew called Peter, fer that matter? Oi don't see yew a-peterin' out all the toime.’
Jenno giggled.
‘It's in the Bible,’ I said.
‘Yew fink Oi'm ignorant? Peter was the guy wot said 'ee din't know Jesus when Jesus got inter trouble wiv the law. Foine sort o' friend 'ee was.’
‘He was a fisherman.’
‘So? Yew a-goin' in fer fishin'?’
‘His name means a rock.’
‘Cripes— yew'd better not go a-fallin' inter no water then.’
‘Oh, shut up Jenno. You're impossible.’
‘Yeah, an' moi noime comes outta the Bible too. Peter 'ad a good friend wot was also a fisherman. 'Is noime was John. An' that's where moi name Jean comes from. So sucks ter yew.’
‘Have you been talking to Molly about cart racing?’
‘So wot if Oi 'ave? Oi don't need yer permission ter talk to 'er. Oi c'n talk to anybody Oi loike, any ol' toime Oi like. Only Oi didn't tell 'er nuffink about our cart. An' don't yew go tellin' 'er neither. That's our secret.’
‘You know I wouldn't tell anyone Jenno. I gave you my word.’
‘So wot's all this about Molly an' cart racin'?’
‘It's just that she said that she wanted to race.’
‘Yeah, well— the GGG is goin' ter do that as well as cricket an' all that stuff wot boys do. Only we're goin' ter do it better. So yew moight as well get used to it.’
I didn't feel like getting into a further argument with her so I merely sighed.
‘All right Jenno,’ I said. ‘Bring the coach bolts to the fence after school and we'll see if they'll do for your cart.’

Gang Loyalty Chapter 11

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Gang Loyalty

Jennospot 27  Gang Loyalty

Somefink terrific 'as 'appened: moi fav'rite book 'as come out on Amazon Kindle, an' it got pictures of me in it an' all. Peter St John din't want ter do it at first; 'ee reckoned as 'ow it were too upsettin' wot wiv the war goin' on an all. Any'ow, Oi kept on at 'im, an' kept on at 'im, until  finally 'ee give in. It's about me an' the gang wot Oi got up. We called the gang the "Go-Getter Girls", only the boys din't appreciate it; Yeah— tough on them. Peter wrote it all down. 'Ee reckoned as 'ow it were about Gang Loyalty, so that's wot 'ee called it. Oi reckoned it ought ter' ave bin called "Jenno's Gang", only Peter didn't agree. Well, yew can't win 'em all, can yew? Sometoimes yew've gotta let 'em fink they're little tin gods, ovverwise they get tergevver an' yew can't never win nuffink. This is 'ow Peter started it off:

‘Even if'n we are in the middle of a war against Hitler’, said Jenno ferociously. ‘An' even if'n yew don't loike it, we girls are goin' ter foight fer our roights, an' it ain't yew wot's goin' ter stop me gettin' up a gang.’
‘But Jenno, be reasonable,’ I said. ‘Whoever d'you think is going to join it?’
‘There's Winnifred fer a start-off an' there are plenty of ovvers wot will want ter join. All them ovver girls wot is fed up ter the front teeth wiv yew boys.’
‘Winnifred King? But she's already a member of the Lions Avenue Lot— and you're in the Pepper Mill Lane Mob. They'll chuck you out for sure if you start a rival gang.’
‘Huh— they don't never share nuffink wiv us girls any'ow, an' if'n yew fink that's goin' ter stop us, yew've got anovver fink a-comin'.’
‘Jenno, what do you want with setting up another gang. Summer is nearly here, and there's the holidays, with games, picnics, swimming, cart-racing— ’
‘Yeah— that's roight. An' this summer we're goin' ter do all that stuff our way.’
‘You're nutty, Jenno. I still think it's a daft idea. It just won't work.’
‘It'll work all roight, jus' yew wait an' see. An' then yew boys'll be laughin' all over the ovver soide o' yer faces when yew ain't got no girls to 'elp yer out no more.’
‘What d'you mean— no girls to help us out? We can do all right, thank you, without any help from you.’
‘Huh, jus' yew wait— yew'll see. We'll get up our gang; no problem. An' don't yew go a-sayin' that Oi din't warn yew.’
‘Jenno, what's biting you? Don't be so fierce. I thought you were my friend.’
‘Yeah— well Oi still am ain't Oi. Only don't yew go a-finkin' yew c'n do an' say any ol' fing wot yew loike jus' 'cos yew're a boy. Us girls, we've got our roights too.’
‘All right Jenno, I'm not going to argue with you. You might very well be right.’
‘'Corse Oi'm roight. An' cripes, yew'd do worse than ter listen when Oi'm a-tellin' yew somefink important.’

Gang Loyalty Chapter 1

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Triple Agent

Jennospot 26  Triple Agent

Some people jus' don’t get the message yew know: ‘Whose blog is it then?’ Oi asked. Well, at least Peter St John ‘ad the grace ter admit it were moi blog. But then ‘ee starts ‘ittin’ out below the belt:
‘It’s your blog of course,’ ‘ee says. in that posh voice of ‘is. ‘But then ‘oo was it wot made yew yer cart that toime?’
See wot Oi mean? Well after that, wot could Oi do but let ‘im go ahead, even though Oi don’t reckon ‘is “Triple Agent” ain’t worf a whole lot. Too much religious argy-bargy in it by moi way o’ lookin’ at fings.
‘Don’t yew go a-finkin’ yew c’n take over moi blog any ole toime wot yew loike.’ Oi told ‘im. Told ‘im straight Oi did; but yew ‘ave to take pity on the poor guy sometimes. Oi mean, wot’d ‘ee do wivvout me? ‘Yew c’n ‘ave it jus’ this once,’ Oi told ‘im. ‘But never no more again,’
Any’ow this is wot ‘ee wrote down. It’s from ‘is book wot ‘ee wrote quite a long toime ago, but wot ‘as only jus’ bin put out on Amazon Kindle. If’n Oi was yew, Oi wouldn’t read it. After all it ain’t got nuffink about me in it so it ain’t all that interestin’. Leastways, jus’ don’t go a-sayin’ Oi din’t warn yew:

“Tuesday 23 August 28 - Bethany over Jordan

No wonder some think John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Elijah. He is a wild-looking character and with his hairy garment and leather girdle he resembles the popular idea of the famous prophet. Like him, he is also associated with the wilderness. He makes the same unexpected preaching appearances and is given to the same fierce prophetic utterances. Even so, I can't help feeling that some people believe strange things!
The Baptist evidently sleeps rough and hasn’t had a change of clothing for months. Just as well he spends a good part of his time in the water!
‘Why do you baptise people,’ asked one of my colleagues, ‘if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’
John was a little less aggressive today, but not any more communicative. ‘I baptise in water only,’ he said. ‘But there is one among you whom you do not yet know, who baptises with the spirit. I am sent to prepare the way for him. He is the great one whose sandal-strap I am not worthy to unfasten. He will baptize you with fire. He will clear out his threshing-floor to gather the wheat into his storehouse; but the chaff he will burn up in unquenchable fire.’
With this he seemed to think that he had said all that he needed to say, and the committee was unable to get anything further out of him. My colleagues were offended and decided to go back at once to Jerusalem to report to Caiaphas.
But I am not satisfied. John’s disdainful attitude intrigues me, and who exactly is this evidently important person announced by John? Caiaphas will not be pleased unless I return with some specific and detailed information. If John remains uncooperative I will see if I can’t get something more out of his disciples.

Wednesday 24 August 28 - Bethany over Jordan

Things are moving. One could say a happy chance. Going towards where John was preaching, I saw him suddenly look up and point towards a man walking just ahead of me. John cried out, ‘Look, here comes the one for whom I am the herald. This man is greater than me because he was before me. I didn't know him till this moment, but the reason I came baptising with water was to announce his coming to Israel. I saw the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and rest on him. I would not have known him, but the one who sent me to baptise in water told me that he on whom you see the Spirit coming down and remaining, is he who baptises in the Holy Spirit. This I have seen, and I testify that he is the son of God that we have so long awaited.’
I wonder whether this powerful, yet strange, declaration is altogether honest, for talking later with some of John’s disciples I discovered that John the Baptist and the man he pointed out seem to be related.
When Elizabeth, the mother of John, was six months pregnant with him, she was visited by Mary, the man’s mother, who was also pregnant with him. Mary stayed with Elizabeth three months; presumably to help her until after John was born. The two families are accordingly close. How is it possible then that John could say that he would not have known him? Was it to discourage the idea that there could have been prior collusion between them?
I waited patiently on the river bank, until the Baptist came up out of the water. He saw me coming towards him and stood still with the same look of distaste on his face, as though I were the smelly one! The man he had mentioned stood smiling quietly by his side.
John held up his hands to command silence from his followers. He looked at me, his head on one side. ‘You still here and not gone creeping back with the others? Am I to start baptising the members of the Sanhedrin now?’
I ignored his impertinence and put softly a question of my own. I really wanted to know. ‘When you say this man is the son of God, what do you mean? The prophet Hosea says that all Israelites will be called sons of the living God— so aren't we all sons of God?’
Complete silence fell. The crowd had become aware of the drama of our encounter. All ears were turned in our direction.
As before, John raised his eyes, then slowly lifted his arms skywards, palms outstretched towards heaven. He fixed me penetratingly and then declaimed vibrantly from the prophet Isaiah:
‘To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.’ 
‘If you believe in the Scriptures come into the water and I'll baptise you,’ he cried, his eyes glittering in provocative defiance. With this ringing challenge, he and his companion waded back into the river followed by a considerable part of the crowd.
His declaration shocked me profoundly for it falls little short of insurrection. At the same time it excites me strangely. Caiaphas is certainly right to investigate this situation. It is urgent to find out what is going on here but the crowds are dense, and John’s disciples are wary of me. I’ll try to discover more tomorrow.

Triple Agent Chapter 1