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Bank holidays are odd little things, aren’t they?  Introduced in the UK in 1871, they were intended to mimic Christmas Day and Good Friday in closing everything down – in particular, the bank payment system.  What no-one foresaw was that the simple addition of the designation “Bank Holiday” to the word “Monday” would guarantee rain.  I long ago gave up on planning any excursions or outdoor activities for BHMs, and instead I see them – very gratefully – as extra writing days.  So this long weekend I had two writing days and managed to polish off 3,757 words.  (Actually it might be more than that: for each chapter planned I write a couple of sentences outlining what will happen, and as I write the chapter I delete the planning sentences, which takes those words off my tally, but we’re nitpicking here.)

When the sun came out for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon (it didn’t dare even try on Monday), I took the opportunity to stretch my legs and clear my mind by cycling to the local botanical gardens for an hour.  It is such a glorious season for gardens, with bright colours and delicious scents.  And then I found myself in the physic garden, and it occurred to me that Martha would certainly have known about the healing powers of plants, and perhaps there could be a fraud involving the sale of quack remedies…  You see, wherever I go, Sam is never far away.

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