24 February 2010
Two weeks go by until Mary, Janet’s friend of 20 years, calls me.
Mary is a lovely, chatty woman, about my age (48) who is totally shocked at Janet’s story: the lost four days, the nightmares, and of course the mystery of what on earth has happened to Fred Handford, Janet’s business partner.
She agrees with me; Janet’s original manuscript is not a funny story, it’s a disturbing one – although it does have funny incidents. She assures me that she wants to do whatever is in Janet’s interests and I breathe a sigh of relief. I feel reassured that if Janet goes ahead with my suggestion of seeing a psychologist to find out what happened during those missing four days – her ‘fugue state – then I know she has a good friend on hand to help deal with any fallout.
“Janet has been to hell and back,” says Mary. “We all worried about her when she was given her prison sentence. I went to visit her regularly when she was in prison and knew how awful it was for her having to stay away from Ball Beard Farm.”
Listening to Mary, Janet’s best friend, I think I understand then, if I didn’t already, just how important Ball Beard Farm is for Janet. I’m also puzzled as to why she’s selling the farm now.