H-h-hello. It’s my pleasure to meet you all, I’m sure.
My name is Tom Jeffson. It’s time for me to meet all my readers, because that bloody great-granddaughter o’ mine gunna shove me down the river Amazon. It’s some blinkin’ new fangled way of reading books nowadays, apparently. I don’t know what your world’s coming to – first the wireless, then the television, then landing on the moon and now all you do is gaze into those little matchboxes you write on and talk into. Is it right what I’ve just heard? Books are on their way out because of things called Kindles and the river Amazon? Now I know your world really is going doolally! Thank goodness it’s out in paperback, too. If you’re like me and you don’t like this ‘ere Amazon thingy, you can get the paperback on 12th December.
See that there quote at the top of the page? I’ve always liked that sayin’, but it just goes to show, you might think you’ve got away with everythin’ in your life, smile smugly to yerself and think yer secrets go up in a puff o’ smoke, along with yer earthly remains, but then fate conspires to bring folks together and they talk about yer when yer dead and it’s a bit of a bugger when yer not there to explain yerself. You see, I practised deception for a good part o’ my life, but I ain’t proud of it. Lies … secrets … bullyin’ … lust … I was an expert in every single one of the seven deadly sins.
I tried to make amends as best I could, but I died a ‘orrible death and then I was made to wait until now to face you all so you could judge me. Don’t any of you think you will ‘ide from divine retribution – I thought I had got away with it all, but then my youngest daughter started tellin’ my great-grandaughter her life story, warts an’ all. Can you imagine a more deadly combination? Our Daisy with a memory as sharp as a knacker’s knife and my Anne a writer, with an himagination to rival William Blake, the daft poet who writ that poem The Sick Rose. She reckons I wuz the worm that flies in the night. Ha ha ha. She’s got an un’ealthy hobsession with fancy poetry, if yer ask me.
Anne (also known as Annie) is my great-granddaughter. I always knew she’d be a writer – right proud of ‘er I was when she were a nipper and she used to let me read her little stories. I’ve lorst count with ‘ow many kids, grandkids and great-great grandkids, I’ve got – it’s a big of a bugger keepin’ track nowadays, ‘specially since some o’ them were … what …? Oh, give over woman!
I ain’t allowed to tell yer – the missus, Liz, is cringing here beside me. Yer needn’t worry though. She knows all about me shortcomin’s. There ain’t no secrets where I am – yer kent ‘ide owt from the missus when yer dead. It’s one o’ the rules up ‘ere. You see, I was a bit of a tomcat when I wuz alive. Ha Ha – a bit of a lad I was. ‘Ere – you’ll never guess how one of them was conceived. One day, when I was just minding me own business this woman just flashed ‘er ti …
Ok, ok, Liz …. keep yer ‘at on! The missus reckons it’s bad enough ‘aving me life dragged through the mud in this ‘ere trilogy wi’out me goin’ on about me dippin’ me wick all uvver the town on this blog. I’m afraid yer will ‘ave to read the books to find out what I got up to when I wuz alive in the bad ole days.
Anyways, I want yer all to know that if yer ‘ave secrets, and practise deception – like wot I did when I wuz alive, the truth will come out one day. There ain’t no ‘scape. I am ashamed o’ some of the ‘orrible things I did to people I loved. But the good thing is when yer die, as long as yer sorry … really and honestly sorry … yer’ll end up ‘ere wi’ me and not down there under the ground yer standing on, if yer know what I mean. And anyway – it weren’t all my fault and I ‘ave that on devine authority. ‘Twas on account of me dodgy upbringin’ – damaged me psychologically, it did.
I hope you all enjoy the first book in the Trilogy. By this time next year all my secrets will be out. It’s a bit of a bugger, actually. Our Daisy’s up ‘ere with her sisters now. She’s right excited about her book being published, even if she embroider the truth a bit. Well … what do you expect. It’s a novel, not a bloody memoir. I want you all to remember that when you read it – bits of it are made up and some bits are left out because they are private.
You see that pretty little gal on the cover? The one with the striking red hair and freckly nose? Well, that’s our Sophie and she’s my great, great, great granddaughter. I hope when she’s old enough she doesn’t think too badly of me.
Anyway, cheerio me ol’ fruits. It’s lovely to meet you all. I’ll buy you all a pint of ale or a tot of the ole mother’s ruin when I see yer.”
Thank you Gramp. Little did you know when you encouraged me all those years ago when I’d only just learned how to spell my name that you’d end up on the world wide web! Annie xx