A Little Bit of Me

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The Years Letter

The Spam Letter

Jane glanced at the opening lines. Well it’s that time of year again and the Bamber family are pleased to send this to all our friends scattered throughout the World.

Bambers Xmas Greeting – Vis familia fortior = family is strength

2007 My Dear Jane. It’s been another great year for the Bamber family. Eugene has been promoted (again) in Young, Samuels and Egan and is now well on track for an associateship. Our plans had been that this should probably come on stream in 2009. Eugene has recently started a creative painting and sculpturing course which sees him out of the home three nights a week and sometimes for the odd weekend but he has flourished professionally, personally, and artistically. He has a small showing of his first years work opening at the Midtown gallery next Wednesday and has already sold three works for $1000+ (clap, clap, clap.) I am just so proud of him. Eugene (jnr) has one more paper to finish his double major LLB and BA (hons) and continues to top his law and classics classes. Eugene is so like his father and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the two as they go off for their Saturday golf games. Last month they won the Clubs Stablesford competition and Eugene (jnr) managed a hole in one (the youngest competition to do so!). Samantha is in that awkward stage between teenage and adult years. She is thinking of psychiatry but Eugene and I are urging her to set her goals a little higher. Samantha has such a natural way with needlework and crafts that we both think she would make an excellent surgeon. Eugene has put a word in with the Lions club and its almost a given that she will be accepted for medical school. If only she could get her grades from A’s to A+’s! Bartholomew has just ended his first year at St Judes and it looks like he will be following in his father and big brothers footsteps. Top in science and he’s already in the 2nd XXI. All while winning the junior P class competition at the National Yachting Champs last month! I don’t know where he gets it from (giggle!). We managed to fit in a short sojourn to Greece after we had the three weeks in Italy this year and it was such a thrill to see all those old ruins. It really makes you realise where you fit into the grand scheme of things. We can’t wait for the Olympics next year. We’ve hired a yacht and villa so we get the best of both worlds. Mum finally passed away in May. There were nearly 1000 guests at her final farewell. Bartholomew composed a beautiful poem and Eugene made a magnificent angel for her headstone. We finally moved out of that dismal six bedroomed dive in Front Street and we now have a new address. I’ve always wanted to be No1 and Eugene says that it is the best birthday present he could think for me. Just think of it No1 King Street. The rates are almost as much as the down payment on the new BMW Eugene shouted himself for his birthday. I hope this finds you and Jack well. How are the kids? Anytime that you and the family want to visit just turn up. We have oodles of room and you can borrow the boat if you want some solitude. Love Me – Jocelyn

Dear Joc, Sorry I didn’t get back to you before the new school year started but Jack and I have been having our troubles and I didn’t get your letter until after I returned from Palmi where he is in custodial detention. It’s been a pretty crushing year for us. Jack got convicted of fraud and theft as a servant and is now a declared bankrupt and unable to have any interest in a company or manager a business until 2010. He also got CD for eighteen month and he’s been in Palmerston North’s facility since December 21. I stayed at a motel in the town until what little money we had left run out and now I’m back in Wellington to sell the house and car to try and raise some money to pay back all the creditors. Jack had to go to therapy and the psychiatrist thinks its all some thing that happened in your family when you were kids. Jack just poohooed it all but he has become quite bitter and resentful about the family. Jason took it pretty hard. He was always a little wild but we haven’t seen or heard from him since November when this all fell apart. His best friend Sam came around the other day and he was a bit close-lipped about Jason’s whereabouts but I think there are drugs and gangs involved. Shelia is up north. She got pregnant to a layabout who works on the roading gang. Bastard! Denied any responsibility and although she is underage the police said they couldn’t prosecute as there had been so many other boys involved. His family have been great though. I struggle on. The knitting factory closed in March but I managed to get a job cleaning at nights and then, thanks to some wonderful luck, I got taken on to help clean out all the asbestos from the old school. We get $7 an hour and as much overtime as we want. I cleared $327.15 last week! I don’t think we will be visiting for some time but thanks for the offer. Jack might get parole earlier than the full sentence but he is muttering about going to Aussie. – In hope – Jane.

4 March 2008.

Dear Jane,

I was shocked upon receiving your letter. You are not taking the Mickey out of me are you? It’s hard to believe all those terrible things you said about Jack, Jason and Shelia. Your children were the light of your lives and I always thought Jack had a wonderful head for business. Please write soon and tell me this is all some terrible mistake. – Love Me – Jocelyn.

April 21 2008

Dear Jocelyn,

Sorry to disappoint you but I wasn’t taking the Mickey. That’s my life at the moment. Things are looking up though. Jason’s back home and Shelia had a lovely little boy and she has decided to keep him. Kerehama Patu! Can you imagine it? Me! A grandmother. Jack’s doing Ok as well. He met this guy in Palmi and although Jack can’t put his name to the company they have this little scheme going selling something you’ll see in the national papers very soon. It’s working out Ok for me too. The Greens found out about the school asbestos thing and you probably saw the inquiry in the papers. My local MP thinks I’ll get at least two hundred grand for health damages and the funny thing is that I haven’t felt this good in ages. I really appreciate that you keep in touch. All my other so-called friends stopped writing after Jacks thing and those friends that I had left stopped coming around when Jason came home. Maybe you’ll see us before 2003! Much love and kisses – Jane.

December 9 2007

Dear Jocelyn, I waited and waited for your normal yearly letter but nothing. Are you still alive or have you shifted again (ha ha)? The year 2007 has been a great one for the Guyton family. Jacks new business venture has really taken off. Who would have thought people would pay so much to hear how lawyers and accountants embezzle old peoples savings? He’s away from home quite a lot; what with the National tours and he has done a couple to Aussie, and there is talk of North America! We have still got about half the debts to pay back but we have enough to get by on. Jack even managed to by a second hand BMW and an old fishing boat so we may see you on the water (ha ha ha). Shelia is on to a winner as well. Seems that Kerehama Patu is part of the Ngati Tahu tribe so she and Kerehama get a handy little payout every month and what with that and the benefit and the money she gets working for Jason she is already thinking of Kerehama’s future. I wonder if you could forward me some information about St Judes. I don’t really understand what Jason does for his business but its best not to ask to many questions of Jason. He’s turned into a nice young man and although he’s very secretive about his business ventures he is very generous to his Mum, Dad and sister and he just dotes on his little nephew. I ended up with over three hundred grand for the asbestos thing but the lawyer told me to put it into a trust, as I may need it for medical bills in the future because no insurance company will touch me. You should have heard Jack (ha ha). Anyway good times fall on you-my bestest friend. Love, kisses and hugs to Eugene, Eugene (jnr), Samantha, and (of course) you. – Jane.

February 2008 The Year After.

Dearest Jane, It’s been a terrible couple of for years for me. I must admit that my yearly letter did stretch the truth a little. Eugene left me mid way through last year. It seems that the sculpting and art was all a charade. He had met this women at the first class and they have been having an affair since 1999. She finally wanted more than fleeting weekday and the odd weekends with him and Eugene was a little out of his depth. She destroyed our family with her vindictive lies. Eugene had to resign from the office after she went to the Sunday papers with a sordid tale of illicit sex rings and paedophilia. Eugene was just distraught and although I wanted to stand by him his mental state deteriorated, and he started drinking very heavily. He’s in Hammner but I can only keep the payments on that for another month so I don’t know what our future will be. Eugene (jnr) took it pretty hard too. He had been unwittingly covering up for his Dad and he was devastated with the revelations that Sheri came up with. He has given up all hope of making it in the rough and tough corporate world of Auckland and he’s off to teach English in Korea at the end of the week. Samantha took it best of all and seems to have grown as a result of this mess. She took care of selling the house and boat and has become a real rock. That bitch Sheri has a lot to answer for and if I ever catch her in a dark alley (well you can imagine). I don’t know what is happening to the world. What with the war escalating, all those people drowned on that island, that terrible earthquake, and those ghastly terrorists at it again. Sometimes I just despair. I think I need a holiday. After the Olympics debacle and all the money we lost on airlines I am rather reluctant to travel but do you think it would be possible if I could visit for a bit in the next few months?

Jocelyn Smail.