Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety*

If you find my stories of my new life in a strange land confusing, you might want to read the tale of Maurice Wilson from the beginning.

Jack FrostThe police come in for a lot of criticism these days, but they’re still the people to turn to when you’re in trouble. When I explained what I’d posted about cross-dressing in Yorkshire, there was a panda car round the front of our house before you could say Maurice Wilson.

The senior detective who turned up to interview me looked exactly like the David Jason character in A Touch of Frost, even down to the trilby and dated moustache.

By coincidence, he is also called Jack Frost, but in order to protect his anonymity and mine, I shall refer to him as Jon Snow from now on.

“That was rather unwise,” he said when I showed him my post from Friday. “They’re a vindictive lot these Yorkies and I should know — I’m married to one.”

He licked the end of his pencil and made a few notes, an old habit he obviously found hard to break since the force is now issued with electronic notebooks.

Inspector Snow sucked his teeth and solemnly explained that both me and my family were in immediate danger from across the border and that the only way he could guarantee our safety would be by moving us out of the area and giving us new identities.

This means a new name and history, new passport and National Insurance number. We will even have to find a new family dentist which is the trickiest part of the whole procedure.

We were also told that we can have no further contact with our family and friends. That cheered me up immensely as it spares me the embarrassment of having to explain why I’ve forgotten to send them a Christmas card yet again.

Within the hour, we were whisked away in an unmarked car with just our essential possessions packed in a small suitcase. The dog looked particularly pathetic with his bowl, ball and bone tied up in a red spotted handkerchief.

As we drove through the night, Inspector Snow told us that he was a great believer in the ‘hiding in plain sight’ strategem which is why found ourselves crossing the Pennines. It was a hairy journey as we negotiated the snow covered passes, but police driver Clarkson got us through without serious incident.

And so we found ourselves in our new home in a bleak Yorkshire town. I can’t tell you exactly where it is, so I shall call the place Cleckhuddersfax.

Our new abode is a 14th floor flat in a social housing tower block, the back-to-back houses having been replaced by one-on-top-of-another. The lift doesn’t work and the stairwell smells of urine, but at least we are safe.

I’ve marked our flat on the photo above, but I was made to use invisible ink so as not to give the game away.

It is quite cosy, if in need of some cleaning. Mrs P is currently scrubbing the bathtub to remove the coal dust, while I’ve thrown another whippet on the fire and settled down with my laptop.

Pc BarracloughWe have been given 24 hour protection by both uniformed and plain clothes detectives. Pc Barraclough is based in the flat nextdoor.

That’s him on the left and his disguise is quite passable save for the aroma of pipe tobacco and John Smith’s bitter when he wafts into view.

I am hoping to get out to do some Christmas shopping tomorrow and was told that I would have to be accompanied by a uniformed officer “just in case”.

Pc DerekHis name is Derek and he plays rugby league at an amateur level and keeps himself fit by racing his racing pigeons.

He also hones his martial arts skills through Saturday nights spent visiting stag parties in Leeds city centre with his speciality kissagram service. That’s him on the right.

It will be strange, spending the festive season in a foreign land — I don’t even speak the language, for goodness sake — but I suppose that is the price I have to pay for free speech.

* Henry IV Part One (A proper Lancastrian king)

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

7 comments… Add yours
  • Jennyta 18th December 2011

    Tha’s got thiself in reet trouble this time, young fella me lad!

  • rhymeswithplague 18th December 2011

    I recommend that the whole family pretend to be deaf mutes in public until the lot of you master the Yorkshire accent and patois, Ian. Also, try to dress as unobtrusively as possible, visiting vintage clothing shops in the dead of night to obtain your new wardrobes. Otherwise, your speech and your stylishness will surely give you away. I’d hate for you and your loved ones to wind up in Lord Pudding’s cellar/dungeon and be shipped off to Afghanistan.

  • Mr Pudding 18th December 2011

    There can be no hiding place. Where ever you are skulking we will track you down and exact revenge for your mockery. You shall be lashed to a chair with barbed wire, your head in a kind of vice, your eyes wedged open with cocktails sticks as we force you to watch a never-ending loop of classic episodes from “The Last of the Summer Wine”. By the end of it you’ll think you are Compo himself…And then (thanks for the idea Mr Brague!) you’ll be shipped off to Afghanistan to become a foot soldier for the Taliban. Though our great Yorkshire county be threatened, though the forces of evil gather against us, we shall resist until the very end of time. Yorkshire Forever!

  • Mr Parrot 18th December 2011

    Thank you for that sound advice Mr Plague. I must admit, this new life is quite exciting. Like the SOE operatives who parachuted into France in WWII to disprupt the fiendish plans of a dastardly enemy.

    Mr Pudding, I might take you up on your offer. Afghanistan can only be an improvement on Cleckhuddersfax.

  • Elizabeth 18th December 2011

    Oh dear, Ian. I told you that YP was as unlikely to be as lenient as me…

    By the way, although Henry IV was of the House of Lancaster, if I remember my history correctly, John and Blanche went to Lincolnshire for his birth…speaks volumes that! They obviously tried their darndest to give the lad a better start in life… x

  • Mr Parrot 19th December 2011

    Truth be told, weren’t the Houses of Lancaster and York born northophodes? For example, Richard III was born in Northants.

  • Elizabeth 19th December 2011

    I have to ruefully concede that this is true… x


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