Professor Jimus…


…has just gone up (…very slightly) in my (not so humble) opinion!


Yes, I enjoyed that, though in my opinion Jim got it slightly wrong. However annoyingly hand-wringing and martyrish she is, I don’t find Shula hypocritical. If her church considers breaking her marriage vows to be wrong, then that makes her a sinner, not a hypocrite.

Never mind, she’s behaved pretty shabbily to Alistair, so I don’t object to her getting it in the neck from Jim. I think she was right to end her marriage, what I found unforgivable was her blurting out his addiction to gambling to the whole world so that people would think better of her.


Alistair behaved pretty shabbily to her as well; a hundred thousand pounds’worth of shabby, I seem to remember.


Oh, very true. And I should think Alistair having to feel eternally grateful to Shula played a large part in their marriage being so joyless. Not that we heard her bringing it up, she didn’t need to; it would fester away in the background.


I think her fear of his doing it again was both real and reasonable. And I think that is probably the main thing that made her finally realise she was not happy with him. That when he was away for an evening without explanation to her, and she then overheard him arranging to be away for another evening, her first thought was that he was gambling again, must have been something of an eyeopener for her.

That was the point (August 2017) at which the marriage started to come apart, I think. She was noted thereafter by others as not being happy.


I thought they’d sounded unhappy and bored with each other for years. Yes, it was a real and reasonable fear. Not something that can ever truly be put behind them. I don’t blame her for leaving him. I do blame her for making sure everyone knew about the gambling so that she would look better in their eyes.

And didn’t it just do the trick for Jill who was being horribly and unfairly censorious of Shula until then? I thought Jill was wrong to blame Shula when she did and wrong to transfer all of the blame to Alistair when she did. She was quite foul to them both in turn.


…I am reminded of the often quoted remark about their marriage being ideal, in that only two people are unhappy rather than four!


I thought it was Kenton who made all the noise about it?

I’m not at all sure that Jim knows even now, or if he knows at all, knows how large a sum was involved.


I thought it was Shula in The Bull (with a knife? No, wrong character) having a public row with Alistair so I dare say Kenton was there 'n all. And I think Jim knows but with Lowfield down it’s hard to check either of those points.


I have it all and I could, but is it too late at night? Should I be making porridge?


Wednesday 8th August, 2018
Alistair turns up and Jazzer wants to take him on for a game but Alistair insists only if it is not for money. Then Jazzer suggests he should join a poker game which Alistair also refuses, and then Kenton overhears Jazzer saying Alistair won money on the horses at which point Kenton frogmarches him out

Shula bursts in on the confrontation between Kenton and Alistair and Alistair admits he’s been gambling again but says he is back on the straight and narrow. Shula is furious. His gambling is why he’s playing hard ball over the divorce but she isn’t bailing him out this time.

Prior to that she had told Dan about it but nobody else, as far as I can tell. The day after, we get "Elizabeth is so surprised to hear about Alistair’s gambling habit. Has it been going on long? "


20th July, 2018

Jazzer mentions his recent wins betting on the football results; Alistair suddenly sounds alert when Jazzer mentions that his brother has a red-hot tip for Felpersham Races.

That seems to be all there was about Alistair backing horses.