Newsletter one hundred and twenty

Good afternoon from fair but freezing Hampshire (old, not New). We have an Olympic size ice rink on our drive and my nose it so cold I could be mistaken for a snowman.

News:

Lessons in Love is on reduced price special offer just about everywhere! Get in like Flynn, as they say.

Lessons for Survivors
is out on Monday, and there’s a lovely review at The Novel Approach. It says reading the book is “Like sitting in one’s favorite chair on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea and quiet music playing in the background”. I’ll settle for that! The blog tour starts Monday, too, and includes the start of a four part story featuring Jonty’s great nephew. The other parts will be included in the next three Cambridge Fellows blog tours.

In the meantime, here are the boys being the boys.

“Is it too much for a man to want a little diversion when he’s got such weighty matters as an important lecture on his mind?” Orlando tried to sound as if he believed passionately in every word he said. “It would help oil the wheels of contemplation. Working on one would aid the other, naturally.”
“You talk such rot at times. I hope you don’t stuff that lecture with such obvious lies.” They stopped to let an idiot undergraduate from the college next door—instantly recognisable by the vile college colours he adorned himself with—hurtle past on a bike. “That reminds me of something Dr. Panesar was saying in the Senior Common Room about the circulatory system. A clot may be transported in many ways.”
Orlando groaned, rolling his eyes. “And you have the nerve to accuse me of speaking rot.”
“At least I don’t deny doing it.” They carried on walking, safe for a while from being impaled on anyone’s handlebars. “You just won’t admit that you miss the thrill of the chase. You’re like a foxhound. You’ve smelled blood once and now you have to have your share of it. Regularly.”
Orlando stopped, eyeing his friend closely. “And are you saying you don’t?”
“Of course not. There’s nothing I’d like more than a mystery. Been too long.” Jonty’s expression was rueful; their last case had been in the spring and solving it had been bittersweet. “It would prove to me that everything was back to normal. That the last five years hadn’t spoiled the world forever.”
They walked on in silence, each with his thoughts.
“Do you really think that the world’s been spoiled?” Orlando hated to hear his friend so glum. This wasn’t the Jonty Stewart he knew, loved, and sometimes had the overwhelming desire to murder. Especially when he changed cars and became besotted all over again with some metal monstrosity.
“It’ll certainly never be the same. I feel we’ve all passed through the fire.” Jonty slapped Orlando’s shoulder. “Still, there’s no point in grumbling. Some things are above and beyond the passage of time and the cruelty of the world affecting them. Maurice Panesar still tells appalling jokes.” He lowered his voice to barely more than a whisper. “And we still love each other. Which is a miracle in itself when I consider what a miserable swine you are.”

Inspiration:

The thought of spring round the corner.

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