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14 October 2012

Hi everyone.

I am totally, utterly and completely exhausted, trashed, tired out. I could just curl up in my closet and sleep for a millennium, but no such luck! My word! Life seems to be getting busier and busier and more and more fraught for poor old Bert these days. Oh well, you don’t want to hear me complaining. I’m doing this on a Sunday again and I really mustn’t make it a habit, they were extremely what L calls chinchy about me being late at the colony last time, so I had better get on with the news, or it will be tea time before I get there.

Tealy had been to the colony once on the Sunday when I last wrote, so she excused herself from coming back, she had work the next day and she was tired. I arrived alone and went straight to Mella’s. I got a huge surprise. Derry was up, out of bed, sitting in a swinging chair. He was still in his night clothes but he was definitely vertical. He told me that Kori had said it was time for him to start moving about and getting stronger again. It would be a few weeks more before he could go out, but he was definitely on the up. I honestly do not know what Mella and Derry and those lings would have done without Tealy’s help during Derry’s long illness, in fact I dread to think. They all talk about her as if she is some kind of angel, and indeed she is to that family.

I stayed there for an hour or so, and then went on a quick round of visiting. I popped in on Ikey and Vee, she was looking a lot better and Ikey was looking quietly happy. Tealy had been there earlier too. I also dropped in on Lita, just to see if she was ok. Lina was there with her, they were sitting together, sewing baby clothes and drinking tea. Mart was nowhere around. This was getting past a joke, I thought worriedly, really it was. Lina had her own youngling to consider, and her own husband, she could not always be there for Lita, and where was Mart anyway, not working on a Sunday surely! Still, what could I do? I might have a word with Mum about it though. She had so much on her plate at the moment, I wondered if she even knew.

Lita and Lina were very nice to me, I stayed with them for a while and had a cup of tea, but it was very strange there. They hardly seemed able to tear their eyes away from each other. They did not talk much, and though They seemed to listen as I chattered about the family news, and they answered when I spoke to them, it was as though their minds were elsewhere, and they were carrying on a conversation I could not hear. I felt very odd and did not stay long.

I mooched down the thoroughfare thinking hard. The thing which kept nagging at me was, I had seen that kind of thing before but I could not remember where. I racked my brains, but it just would not come to me.

I went back to Mum and Dad’s and slumped into a chair. Mum gave me a cup of tea and a slice of nut bread with a slab of cheese on top. I was ready for food, but I was so deep in thought I could only pick at it.

“What’s up, our Bert?” asked Mum, “You look like you dropped ten grains an’ only found one. Somefin’ worryin’ you, son?”

“I’ve just been to see Lita.” I said.

AT this seemingly innocent remark, Mum turned away from me and began making a great clatter, washing up the dishes. Dad levered himself out of his swinging chair and began to chop some logs, which did not need chopping, into kindling sticks.

“Mart wasn’t there,” I pursued doggedly, “But Lina was. Mum, what’s going on there? Why is she always over there when her own youngling’s about to be born? Tovey wants her at home.”

Mum went on washing up, clashing the pots and pans loudly. Dad wielded the little hatchet with unnecessary vigour. No one spoke.

“You did ought to be getting’ back, son,” said Dad finally. “It’s getting’ late.”

I was mystified. Mum and Dad were never one for avoiding issues like this, but they were telling me in no uncertain terms that they absolutely did not want to discuss this. They knew something was happening and it was not to be talked about. Or thought about? Or faced? Hmm. I put on my coat, said my goodbyes and left for the Lair in a very thoughtful mood.

I was very preoccupied all through Down for Double. When we were having our glass of wine afterwards, L asked if something was worrying me but I did not say anything. This was something I just could not talk about, and anyway I still was not sure what had made me uneasy. Probably nothing. Except that it was making Mum and Dad uneasy too. Oh to the low country with it, it was none of my business anyway! I went into my closet, flounced into bed and spent a very unrestful night.

On the following morning I awoke to my usual little scroll tied in pink. Wicked, I thought, what has Babsy been up to this week?

“Dear Uncle Bert.”

“I hope you are in good health and that the helping hand is serving you well. I am in good health and have received a good report this week.”

“Uncle I think humans is so stupid they is the stupidest things ever. Madam Prim says we has to make a fruit cake an we could choose which an me an Kryss is so good at cookin we thunk we could do it without them stupid books so we made it with a tin of that juicy yummy fruit cocktail them humans have an it went all wet an gooey an we got no marks! Leanna used all shrivelled stuff that looked like rabbit pooh an hers was a proper cake an she got a star an it’s a rotten zlenky swiz!”

“May the sun shine on you always blah blah not writing it so there!”

“Love B.”

I started my Monday in my usual gale of giggles. Fancy making a cake with fruit cocktail and without a recipe. Mind you, I have heard of cakes made using canned fruit, but you always have to drain off the juice. I googled a recipe for Babsy and found a yummy sounding cake which used canned pineapple. Next time there was a free baking period she would get a star if she followed that.

I went through my morning routine and then booted up Nia Netbook to see what was going on. I was very surprised to see an Email from Dad. What on earth? He hardly ever writes. The Email was brief and to the point.


“Best leave well alone where your sister’s concerned and for stars’ sake don’t talk about it again in front of your Mother.”

Well, I thought, what on earth is anyone to make of that? I went to get breakfast in something of a fog. I had no time to think about it further though. L was having one of her ill days and Brian was very busy at work, so I was run off my feet all day.

The next day, Tuesday, was very much the same. L was stil Migrainey, Brian still busy, things seemed to be going all right with the family, there was not much new to speak of. Derry was up and walking about the cube, he was helping Mella with light chores and playing gently with the lings. I had a talk to him on Skype on Tuesday evening and he told me how fantastic it was to be out of bed at last!

On Wednesday morning I had an Email from Tealy. She told me that permission had finally been granted for her to give evidence in a leprechaun court of law. I was incredibly relieved about this. It could mean that Marni would finally be able to get her life sorted out at last.

When I went into the den, Brian was already busy and L was still feeling awful. I made some breakfast and got busy with the work I had in hand, which was plenty!

At about half-past twelve I was getting ready to make myself scarce as the human cleaner was due. I said to Brian that I was going into the closet but that I would take my work with me. L was having a really bad day, so though he answered me, he hardly seemed to notice that I was there.

I was halfway to my closet when I came to a rocking halt. Illumination was flooding my brain as if someone had suddenly switched on a thousand watt light bulb. I could feel my mouth falling open. I stood where I was, thinking furiously. When Brian and L were first together, that was where I had seen it! Not being able to tear themselves away from each other, the sense that though I was in the room, they were in their own little world that I could not enter. The feeling of being one too many, however nice they were to me. WE had all adjusted in time, and now we fitted together as easily as three snug peas in a pod, but back at the start… that was how I had known… oh! My! Stars! Oh holy moon on the water! But this was stupid! They were both married, with family on the way. This was not happening, it was not true, I had got it wrong, I told myself. But I knew I had not.

The buzzing of the door brought me to my senses and I ran into my closet to curl up in a ball on my bed. Whichever way I looked at it, I could only see tears, drama and misery in my family’s future. You know me well enough, I hope, by now to know that making moral judgments is not what I do, but however I looked at this I could only see it ending badly. You cannot keep things private in a lep colony, you just cannot. Our family was being talked about enough already. And did Mart and Tovey deserve this? I thought of Mart, shut up inside his grief, completely incapable of expressing it or of helping his wife. He had not done himself any favours that was true, but what would this do to him? I thought of good, honest, kind Tovey. A little over-protective, true, but the salt of the earth, one of the best. From things he had said I suspected he half knew already. What must he be going through. I thought of the scandal which would be heaped on our family name if, no when, this became common knowledge. Oh hand help us, I thought.

But I should know better than anyone that you cannot control who you love. And did everyone not have a right to be happy? I lay and thought about things until my head ached. Brian came and tapped the door, ready to go on with the day’s work, but I said I was not feeling well and asked to be left alone.

I must have fallen asleep, because I awoke to hear the magical sound of someone zapping in my room. I started up and there was Tealy! she was shrugging out of a soft blue coat. Underneath, I vaguely noticed, she wore one of her work outfits, a tight black skirt with a red jacket over it, red stilettos, red hair bobbles and clanking gold bangles. She clattered across the floor and perched on the edge of the bed.

“I was worried,” she said without preamble. “I just got the feeling things weren’t right with you. I see I was correct.”

“You got the feeling?” I looked at her blearily.

“Yes.” She looked uncertain. “You and I have become close friends these last months. When we, that is elves, become attached to someone sometimes we become linked to them. That doesn’t mean I can see your thoughts or anything. It just means I can feel strong things. Sometimes I know if you’re grumpy or when you get mad. Earlier I felt, I don’t know, something bad. Can I help at all?”

So I told her everything. She listened quietly while I poured out the whole thing and my mixed feelings about it.

“Lita’s my sister, and Tovey and Lina are my friends, and what on earth can I do?” I ended.

“Do?” Tealy gave me a sharp look.

“What on earth has any of this got to do with you?”

I gaped. Surely it was unlike Tealy to be so dense.

“Well duh! Somebody needs to try and sort it before it leaks out and we have even more family scandal and drama! Maybe if someone isn’t afraid to talk to them…”

Tealy stood up, her eyes flashing.

“Bert, you may have been playing God to half the family lately,” she almost spat, “But that does not make you God, nor his Leutennant! You have your own thoughts and feelings about this, and they are just that, yours. How do you know what goes on inside anyone else’s relationship? What on earth gives you the right to meddle until or unless you’re asked to?”

I just sat there with my mouth open. Tealy sat down beside me and put her arm around my shoulders. I jumped at first, but after a moment I realized I liked it being there.

“I am not saying it’s easy, darling.” She said. “But you have to let people work things out in their own way. You can’t save the world, Bert, it’s too big. Just be there if you’re needed, and most of all, try not to judge people. Remember how it feels? “That disgustin’ elf!” She imitated Mella’s accent and made me laugh.

“You’re right.” I said. “Thanks so much, Tealy.”

“No problem. I must get back to work now. See you on Sunday, ok?” she gave me a squeeze and, just to complete my total confusion, kissed the tip of my ear. Then she had zapped.

I got up, went into the den, went back to work and shelved the whole thing. Tealy was right on this one, absolutely. It was no business of mine, and no good would come of me meddling in it, nor worrying about it either.

Thursday was a kind of non-day. Brian was away working, so left on an early train. L got up to make his breakfast and packed lunch but then spent most of the rest of it in bed, she felt so awful. I kicked my heels, did a lot of housework, read, played games, pottered about on Facebook. Lita was on there, complaining she was about ready to burst! I had a chat to her and she seemed perfectly ok. None of that odd uncomfortable feeling I had felt on Sunday. Later I put my Skype up to see who was about and I had a talk with Tovey. He went on at great length about the new youngling, only a couple of weeks till it was due, he told me, he practically listed every leaf and berry he had gathered to keep Lina strong while she fed it, I had to smile.

When Brian came home we had pizza and all snuggled together on the sofa for the first time that week. L was feeling a little bit better and we were both really glad!

On Friday morning I awoke to good news on Facebook. Lita’s youngling had been born on time almost to the minute! At 5 AM, a dawn baby, a healthy girl. There was a very brief post from Mart about it, just a line, but I got more details from Mum. Everyone was absolutely thrilled for Mart and Lita. I went in to get breakfast in a really good mood.

“Lita’s had the youngling,” I trilled to L.

“oh, great!” L was still looking sick. “What did she have? I suppose Mart wants a boy.”

“Well she had a girl. Mart says it’s going to be named Danica.”

L shivered slightly.

“Isn’t that a bit morbid?”

I privately agreed, but kept my thoughts to myself. I was surprised that Lita had agreed to that.

Soon after Breakfast L told me there would be no Bear’s Lair show that day and went back to bed. Saturday was, therefore, a quiet one. WE got ready for the music machine, looked after L, did a little audio production for an upcoming project. When I had time I went back on Facebook, thinking to join in the family’s celebrations of a new birth, but it was all very quiet. No one much seemed to be around. Weird, I thought. Oh well. I found other things to do. Brian’s show went well and afterwards he and I relaxed together before heading for early bed.

The next morning I way overslept! I do not know why that happened, I must have been more tired than I knew! Anyway, I dashed in to get breakfast in a right old fluster. L was up, feeling a lot better, hurray! WE all had bacon, sausages and fried bread for breakfast, I just did not have time to do pancakes, and after I had cleared up I made a dash to get ready and get to the colony, I did not even have time to boot up Nia to check my Email.

AS I was about to leave, my phone buzzed, it was a text from Tealy. She said she would meet me at Mella’s at about two. Gosh! Why was she not wanting to come to the colony early anymore? Well, I thought as I zapped out, I could not worry about that now.

When I walked into Mum and Dad’s, no one was there. Strange, I thought. Oh, maybe everyone is down at Mart and Lita’s! I’ll just pop over anyway and see the new youngling.

I stopped at old Olford’s place on my way down, he was whittling away as usual, his whole cube full of the good smell of wood. I had a look at the carved things he had for sale, wanting a present for the youngling. I chose a feeding spoon with a D carved into its handle. It was made of willow, smoothly polished, delicate as a fairy’s breath, a beautiful thing. I paid for it from the small stock of grains I always carried, and set off for Lita’s.

As soon as I put my head around the curtain of the cube, I knew something was wrong. Mum and Dad were indeed there, sitting beside the swing bed, looking stony. Lita was in the bed, huddled up protectively around a blanket wrapped bundle. Mart stood at the foot of the bed. I had not seen him since Danic’s farewell ceremony, I realized. He looked pinched and white, his eyes were burning. When I had moved the curtain everyone had turned to look at me.

“Come in, Bert,” Lita tried to speak naturally. “Come and see me daughter.”

“Our daughter!” Mart ground the words out between his teeth.

I entered hesitantly, wishing myself to the other end of the planet. I approached the bed and leant down to take a look at my new niece. She looked very small, but pink and healthy enough, and she opened a pair of big, bright eyes and looked at me enquiringly.

“I brought you a present,” I said to Lita. I handed her the leaf-wrapped parcel. When the spoon was unwrapped, the room fell so silent you could have heard a dewdrop fall. Oh stars, I thought, now what have I done?

“Fanks, Bert,” said Mart quietly. “That’s real kind of ya.”

“Only fing is,” said Lita, in a quiet, deadly voice, “You got the wrong letter. We ain’t callin’ our girl after someone what’s gone and isn’t never comin’ back. This is Laralina.” She suddenly snapped the delicate spoon in two halves and threw them viciously towards her husband.

The quiet was broken then all right! Mart let out a sound somewhere between a roar and a howl. Lita began to sob. The youngling, who had been almost asleep, awoke and began to wail her terror and bewilderment. Mum and Dad stood up, Mum had begun a stream of vituperation, but Dad cut it off short.

“Ush up, LilyBella, Old your noise this minute! Come on, this ain’t no place for us, an’ you too, our Bert.”

Believe me, I was glad enough to get out of there! We walked down the thoroughfare in total silence until we got to Mum and Dad’s cube. Once we were inside and the curtain was drawn tight, Dad turned to me with a look as near to anger as I had ever seen on his placid face.

“Son, for stars’ zlendt sake, check your zlanny Email of a mornin’ will ya? We warned you not to come today! This place is like a zlanny snakepit as you just found out, an’ now you gone an’ made it wuss! May the ‘and give me strengf!”

The rest of that visit was absolute agony. I stayed with Mum and Dad for a while, but Mum kept wiping her face with her apron and dropping whatever she picked upp, if she had not been quick with freezing spells she would have had no crockery left in the place! Dad was stony and absolutely silent. At two I went to meet Tealy at the zapping bushes. She arrived in a swirl of crimson wool coat over slim-fitting black trousers. Her hair was tied with crimson scrunchies and she wore a slim gold bangle on each wrist. I gave her arm a squeeze and told her about the debacle at Lita’s.

“Never mind, darling.” She said comfortingly. “You couldn’t have known, it wasn’t your fault. Come on, let’s go and see Mella.”

It was lovely at Mella’s. We all sat around Tealy’s wonderful spread, Tealy had Milly on her lap, I had Jemmy, Derry was in a swinging chair instead of in bed. Mella said that soon Derry would be able to do some foraging for himself and Tealy said it would be a pleasure to help as long as she was needed.

After we had finished there, we popped down to see Ikey and Vee. They were looking well and happy and made us very welcome, but the same thing happened there as had happened at Mella’s. Usually when a new youngling was born, everyone would be chattering like starlings about it. There would be lots of news, pictures on Facebook, family would be flocking to see it, but this time no one at all was talking about it. No one had mentioned it once, it was as if the poor youngling had never been born.

I popped in on Kas and Kori, just before I was due to head home. Kori danced to the door to welcome me and then she said one of her odd things.

“That tortoise won’t never get up the mountain, ‘ave all the treasures of the world an’ jewels on ‘is shell, if ‘e goes puttin’ ‘is nose into a fire! I ‘eard the story of baby flame, ‘e ad a thousand sisters an’ loved them all the same. One was yellow, one was red, one got drownded wiv water on ‘er ‘ead. Made no difference to baby flame. E loved ‘his sisters just the same. Come in, our Bert! Want a cuppa?”

I came in and drank about my eighth cup of tea that day. Tealy and Kori chatted, but I just sat quiet and looked at tealy’s gold bangles glittering when she moved her hands, and thought of what Kori had said.

When it was time to go home, Tealy and I walked to the bushes and she turned towards me.

“Clever little thing, that Kori,” she said. “I like your family, Bert, I’m lucky to know them.”

“They’re lucky to know you!” I said. We stood there, just looking at each other. “Oh well, I’d better go,” I said a bit awkwardly.

“I suppose you had,” she said, leaning suddenly towards me. “See you next week. Take care, baby flame.” She did that kiss again, it tingled all down my ear. Then she was gone.

My gosh, I was in such a muddle I do not know how I got home. I did though, and we got through Down for Double, but I excused myself from the relax afterwards. I just wanted to be quiet. I curled up in bed and tried to figure out what was the best thing to do now, whether to buy Lita’s youngling another spoon with an L on it, but my mind kept wandering to a picture of Tealy in that gorgeous deep red coat, with the wind ruffling her hair.

I finally drifted into a dream where I was trying to crawl up a mountain of broken crockery, but my way was barred by a pit of fire. I knew I had to go through it to get to the top so I put my head into the fire. The flames licked all around my face, yellow, blue, orange and red, and then suddenly somehow the flames all became my sisters, Gwenice, Tulia, Lita, Mella, Lani, others who you have never met, they all shouted: “Disgustin’ elf!” and tried to burn me. Away on top of the mountain I could see a swirl of crimson. I lifted my blistered face and swollen eyes and she was there, standing with her head thrown back, her ear hair cascading out in a way I had never seen it. Both her hands were full of long ropes of glittering stones which caught the light and were almost too bright to look at.

“Look, Bert!” her cut crystal little voice drifted down to me through the shouting and the roaring of the fire. “Jewels! Come here so I can put them on your shell! Come here!” She waved her handfuls of long strings of jewels so that they jangled and dazzled me with brilliance. I had to get to her! I crawled forward, trying to get away from the fire, but then I was not me, I was a tortoise, pulling a huge, heavy shell. The weight of it was crushing me, crushing me, getting heavier, I could not breathe…

I awoke, gasping, sweating and trembling, curled into a tiny ball at the bottom of my bed. The sheets, duvet and pillow were heaped over my head.

How I got through that day I really do not know, I was like a living zombie. I worked with Brian, made the meals, did housework, answered when I was spoken to, and all the time the images from that dream kept replaying themselves through my head. Usually if I had been in this kind of state, L or Brian would have taken me on to the sofa and asked what on earth was wrong, but that day Brian was really busy and L had gone out to visit her parents, so I was left in pece to work through my own muddle in my own time.

Except I could not work through it. I seemed to get more confused every minute, and the stupid thing was, I did not even know what I was confused about.

It must have been about half-past eight when I heard the dreaded knock on my closet door. I had been half-expecting it, half wanting it. I had gone in there after dinner, not wanting to be part of the evening relaxing. Now, as the knock was repeated, I wondered if it would be Brian or L, or both of them. I wondered whether to tell them to go away. But no, I had to get this out of my head, whatever it was.

It was L. She did not say anything, just walked over and sat on the sofa, then patted her lap. I have changed a lot this year! When I first started this journal I must have driven Brian and L mad, wanting to be on L’s lap every five seconds. Now, though I still like to be close to her, I normally sit between her and Brian on the sofa. But there are times when L’s lap is a comforting place to be, and oh gosh, you had better believe I was there faster than a speeding bullet!

The whole mixed up thing came pouring out, the Lita thing, the new baby, my mistake over the spoon, the way Tealy had told me off for wanting to try to meddle, the kiss on the ear, the dream, it all came out in one huge messed up mass.

L was quiet for a wile when I had talked myself out. She stroked my hair, which is what she always does when she is thinking.

“Bert,” she said. “What’s making you feel the muddliest? I don’t think it’s this Lita thing, is it?”

“No,” I chewed my thum. “Tealy was right there. It’s just got to work itself out in time. I wish I hadn’t done the spoon, but I didn’t know there was an argument about the name, nobody said.”

“So, what’s making you so muddly and upset?”

“She kissed my ear. Twice.”

“Sweetie, that’s easy enough. Just tel her not to, if you didn’t like it.”

There was a long, long, long silence. I did not know if I dared say what I was wanting to, and L did not help me, just sat and stroked my hair.

“I did like it, L,” I finally brought out in a despairing whisper.

“Yes, I know you did.” Said L, with a smile in her voice. I had hidden my face in L’s shoulder after my confession, but when she said that I sprang bolt upright. She was smiling. I just gaped.

“Bert, listen to me,” she said, “Do you think I want you trotting around after me like my personal lap puppy? Do you think I never want you to have any life of your own?”

“But you said… At Christmas…” I could feel my eyes filling up and I bit down on it fiercely.

“I said it and I meant it, no, make that mean it!.” L sounded fierce herself. “Feeling that way brings responsibilities. Brian and I care about you. I tried to tell you at Andi’s wedding but you weren’t listening to me.”

She took a deep breath and calmed down.

“Bert.,” she said slowly and seriously, “You are contracted to work here until you ask to be relieved, or you become unable to work, or Brian releases you. That means, for as long as you want to stay, you have a home and a job here with us, and we love having you around. But, sweetheart, your happiness matters too. I think, for what it’s worth, you’ve been quietly falling for Tealy for weeks. Don’t push it, see where it goes, but don’t beat yourself up over it! There’s no need for that at all!”

We just sat for a long time then. L held me and I leaned against her and felt all the cogs in my head kind of winding down, getting slower and stopping. Everything was ok. It would all be fine.

After a while we got up and went in to have a glass of wine with Brian. One of the many things I like about Brian is that he knows when to leave things be for a while. When we came in he just said:

“All right?” and when L said.

“Fine now.” He just smiled and got our drinks. Of course, I thought, L will tell him all about it, but not yet. I cuddled up between them and almost dozed off, I felt so much at peace.

It was only as I got into bed I remembered I had not seen my usual little Monday morning scroll. I wondered why on earth it had not arrived, and then I remembered my nightmare, and waking up with the pillows piled on top of me. I had made the bed, in a kersory fashion, but the room had not been given its usual thorough tidy.

I found the scroll, crumpled and limp, at the very bottom of the bed. I opened it wondering what this week’s bulletin would bring.

“Dear Uncle Bert.”

“I hope you are in good health, and that the helping hand is serving you well. I am in good health and have received a good report this week.”

“Hey uncle, thanks so much for that wicked recipe, we did free baking an’ I made a pineapple cake, Kryss made a peach one. I got a gold star an Kryss got a silver one, they both rose up real nice an were yummy inside! This week we got to make something spicy. Can you send me anything?”

“May the sun shine on you always, lots of lovely sun, you’re the bestest an Kryss says so too!”

“Lots of love from Babsy.”

Hmm, I thought, something spicy. Let’s see how they like L’s favourite chilli chicken borito, I sometimes made it for her when Brian was away working and it always went downa treat. I scribbled down the recipe, told Babsy not to forget to drizzle on plenty of sour cream before serving, sent off the scroll on its magical puff of air and collapsed into bed.

For the next three days, comparative peace reigned. AT first the family status remained very much quo, except that no one made any mention of Lita’s youngling at all. Then my sister Gwenice, conveniently, wrote to Mum to tell us she was moving from Norfolk and coming home, arriving on Monday, which means tomorrow. She did not tell us anymore. We did not know whether she was being transferred, or whether she had left the healers or what. Mum, predictably, was in a taking about it. Everyone else was gossiping, even harder than usual, it seems that they were almost relieved to have something to talk about.

I got on with my work, made the meals, I suppose I might have been a bit on the limpet side, because I illicited a growl or two from Brian on the subject, and he really has not growled at me for a very long time.

I did not see Tealy until Thursday afternoon. I had been thinking that it was getting to be time we did something about L’s birthday, but when I approached Brian on the subject, he said that he would need to be away that day. He said to make a plan with Tealy and take L somewhere in our world for the day.

I have to say, that was a good idea, and I ran back to my closet and called Tealy. She said she would help, and she turned up in ten minutes, looking gorgeous and striking in one of her work outfits, this time a Cerese trouser suit over a little gold top. Cerese boots, gold hair clips holding back her hair, gold bangles. Eyecatching but not the way I liked Tealy to look.

We went straight in to see Brian, and within half an hour the plan was worked out, with the help of Nia Netbook and some searching of our website. You can hear some audio of it, so I won’t go into too much detail here, but oh! L is just going to so love her surprise!

When L came back, Tealy zapped and I thought she had gone straight back to work but I was wrong. I went back to my closet for something, and there she was, sitting on my sofa with her boots off.

“I couldn’t leave without seeing you for a minute.” She said, giving me a smile.

I suddenly felt as if I had three feet and six arms. I had been alone with Tealy so many times, eaten with her, talked to her, even stayed in her flat that time I got myself into that stupid scrape! But now I looked at her, a million billion feelings I could not possibly describe here welled up inside me, I gazed into those huge aqua eyes, I could feel myself falling down into them, and I could not think of a word to say.

Suddenly her eyes widened. She was looking at me in absolute and complete amazement, joy, wonder. She put out her hand towards me, as if she were afraid to touch me for fear I might vanish.

“Me?” she whispered. “Are you feeling all this for me?”

“For you.” I about managed to get the words out. She leaned forward, her head toard me, her hair almost brushing my nose. For a moment I wondered and then I had a flash of inspiration! Tealy was an elf, not a human! I placed a light kiss on her ear, near the top, almost, as near as I could judge, where she had kissed me.

Tealy gave me a dazzling smile, returned the kiss, which made me tingle from the tip of my ear right down to my toes, and stood up.

“I must go, darling,” she said. Only it was not just a throw away term anymore. “See you Sunday.”

For one wonderful moment she hugged me, and then she was gone.

I went around on cloud nine for the rest of the day, not noticing anything much. I was glad to get to my closet after dinner. I wanted to get to our website and do some much-needed research! I mean, what on earth would have happened if I had tried to kiss her as I had seen humans do? She might have slapped my face, or run away, or stars know what!

I looked at pages and pages, but I could find absolutely nothing about interspecies relationships except that they were permissible but discouraged. I looked for information about elves and found practically nothing except gossip and hearsay. I went to bed in a very bad mood indeed.

Not much more to tell, you will be glad to hear. Friday was a quiet one, L was out for most of the day and Brian was away. I went on looking for information and finding none. Yesterday was its usual mad self. WE did our pre-show prep, got the shows on the air, had our relax. Brian says I am going about like a dog with two tails. I cannot think what he is talking about!

Well, here is Sunday at last. It is nearly six now, it has taken me the whole day to write all this. I am going home tomorrow instead. Tealy will meet me at the colony in the morning because she has the day off, she worked today, I do not know how she knew I would take all day to do this entry but she says she did.

Today has just been work and work. I stopped about lunch time to make a quick sandwich, and then I had a telephone call which went on a bit too long. Tealy was in her pink car, on her cell phone, she had a slack period, she said, and she called me. I really should have been working but I was not going to miss the chance for a chat.

Well, I am getting tired and therefore disjointed, and you are about up-to-date, so I will now stop. I must start getting ready for Double anyway. I hope you have had a good two weeks. Thanks so much, as ever, for reading. Ooh! Phone! I’m off! Big smiles.!

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