“As soon as I stopped worrying about why I wasn’t happy

…and started thinking about other people”

…and making them unhappy


Yes; until Shula put her size 8s in it, Jim was fine. Then she egged Alistair on to have a surprise party about him involving as many people he used to know as possible…


She really is remarkably thick-skinned (and -headed) isn’t she? I’m trying to remember when this particular brand of vindictive do-goodery started; inflicting an inebriant, recidivist dog-torturer on Alistair and Dan, perhaps? That would be grounds for divorce, if anything was. Yet inexplicably Alistair let her away with it, only to be dumped because she got bored. Presumably she had her fingers crossed for for all that “till death us do part”* stuff.

*That could be arranged…


They had a civil ceremony, Joe, so those words cannot have been involved: you aren’t allowed anything from the prayer-book.

And since it was “only a civil ceremony”, clearly as far as Shula was concerned it didn’t really count.


I wonder if the CoE will take the same attitude?

“Now, Mrs—I’m sorry, but is it “Hebden” or “Hebden-Lloyd”? The documents you sent are a bit confusing. Anyway, Mrs Heb–, er, Shula, a vocation entails a lifelong commitment…”


“I’m sorry?”

“My name. It’s really Archer.”



“Not Hebden? Or Hebden-Lloyd?”

“No, it’s Archer. From Ambridge.”

“Oh! Well, that puts an entirely different complexion on things! So lovely to have met you! Please, take a dog-collar on the way out and we’ll be in touch just as soon as we find a suitable position for you. Come to think of it, if you don’t mind waiting until next June, I believe there is to be a vacancy in York…”