A Merry Christmas From Raymond Land


The Old Warehouse

231 Caledonian Road

London N1 9RB


A Message from Raymond Land:


Hullo there. As the Chief of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, London’s oldest specialist police division, I’ve been asked to bring you a message at this very special, magical time of year, when we celebrate the tradition of Christmas. My message is this;

Don’t touch anything.

Usually at this time of the year I would go and visit Leanne’s mother in Shepherd’s Bush because she spends Christmas alone, as Leanne’s father is still in jail. She’s a very nervous, delicate type so this year I’ll be avoiding her.

I’ve soaked her Christmas gift (fancy biscuits) in hand sanitiser  and am reminded of what Leanne wrote on my card last year, Stay away from me and my family, but it’s my Christian duty to ignore her instructions. I shall then self-isolate for the Christmas period, which is something I’ve had quite a lot of practice at, often at the request of others.

Mr Bryant and Mr May will be in their respective homes on Christmas Day, Mr May in Shad Thames with a member of the Fire Brigade, Blaize Carter, and Mr Bryant in Bloomsbury with his landlady Mrs Sorrowbridge, where I’m sure they have enough delicious home-cooked food for guests to enjoy, if one was to be invited around.

Janice, Sidney, Colin, Meera and Dan have formed a bubble and will be having a Christmas meal together, which means that hardly anyone at the PCU will be left alone this Christmas.

But I’ll be quite happy, thank you for asking. I can’t get back to the Isle of Wight, the only place entirely untainted from the Coronavirus because nobody wants to go there, as there are no trains available. Instead I’ll be staying across the road from Pentonville Prison in their young offender’s rehabilitation block, which was available for a very reasonable rent because of its problems with the neighbours, who are arsonists.

Later I shall pop down to the Lidl on Tottenham Court Road and pick myself up a nice turkey pie for one. Then I’ll probably pop into the unit for a while as there’s bound to be some urgent paperwork that needs tidying up.

I’m sure that if John and Mr Bryant weren’t so busy with their own arrangements they’d like to wish you a very happy Christmas in person. I have my phone turned on in case anyone wants to call me and wish me well, or even just to call and complain about something!

No missed calls today, so I’ll sign off and hope that you all have a safely isolated time.

Season’s wishes

Raymond Land

[‘Oh for God’s sake,’ huffed Bryant, reading Land’s emailed memo, ‘we’ve got enough food here to feed ten. I’d better give him a call.’

‘A good idea,’ Alma agreed. ‘It’s God’s will.’

‘It certainly bloody isn’t mine,’ he replied, picking up the phone.

‘Be nice, it’s Christmas,’ said Alma.

‘Hello?’ He put his hand over the phone. ‘He answered on the first ring. Raymondo, what are you up to?’]

A very Merry Christmas to all.

(The above photo is of Mark Heap, the only actor who could do justice to Raymond Land.)

42 comments on “A Merry Christmas From Raymond Land”

  1. Martin Tolley says:

    A Merry Christmas to you Raymond. And the same to Mr F if he’s about.

  2. Martin Tolley says:

    And Merry Christmas to all the usual gang who drop in around here, too many to mention by name.

  3. Lorna Farbowski says:

    Awwww. Everyone has a Raymond in their life (or on their shoulder) and he just needs a good partner and a slap-up meal. Wishing you and yours a peaceful Christmas and a safe New Year; thank you for the musings and the stories – they’ve meant so much. Yes, MH is a perfect RL – I’ve had a soft spot for him too since Friday Night Dinner.

  4. Jo W says:

    Thanks for the good wishes,Raymondo and the same to you! If you are popping into the office,don’t forget to feed the pigeon!
    While I am on here and still fairly sober (until I’ve baked the mince pies) may I take this opportunity to wish all ‘smart but strange’ fellow commenters on this blog as Happy a festive season as they can get? Not forgetting,of course,our revered leader Chris and his husband Pete. Lots of good wishes and happy thoughts all round. Cheers!

  5. Peter T says:

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  6. Cornelia Appleyard says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone at the PCU, and everyone who enjoys reading about it. Not forgetting the person who created it, of course.

  7. SteveB says:

    A Merry Xmas from me too. Thanks so much to Chris and everyone else on this blog for all the fun and education.

  8. Liz Thompson says:

    Happy Christmas everyone, and a Merry one if that appeals to you. Mr Fowler, does Raymond REALLY want to spend Christmas with Mr Bryant? Just asking….

  9. eggsy says:

    Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2021 (I mean, surely it can’t…) to Chris and Pete and all the denizens of this parish, joiners and lurkers alike!

  10. David Ronaldson says:

    Merry Christmas to Chris, all blog readers and everyone at the Unit!

  11. Adam says:

    A very merry Christmas to you all; here’s to better days.

  12. mike says:

    Best wishes and a good time to one and all.

  13. John Griffin says:

    Merry Xmas all!

  14. Barbara Boucke says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone! It’s been a long year and not one I could have imagined occuring in my 73 years of life thus far. Thanks for all the blogs and the comments. Don’t forget to feed Strangeways (Was he named after Nicholas Blake’s sleuth?) as well as the pigeon.

  15. Rhonda Swanson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this memo. Poor Raymondo. If he ever makes it across the pond, we have an extra room he can use.

    Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!

  16. Andrea yang says:

    Merry Christmas ! I hope you have a festive and safe holiday. My Doctor son has had his vaccine and a new negative covid test so I anticipate his first visit since February. I will be meeting my new Granddog Rupert the Bassett Hound! Best holiday gift ever.

  17. Jan says:

    Well put Adam better days for us all and have a good Christmas.

  18. Roger Allen says:

    Bah! Humbug!
    That feels better.

    Anyway, I hope everyone stays well/gets well/gets better/doesn’t get worse, as applicable, (especially you, Admin) and that the same applies to the new year.

  19. Tony Littman says:

    Merry Christmas to you Mr. Fowler from a faithful reader in the Holy Land
    and best wishes to all,

  20. Brooke says:

    Are the Jermyn Street shops open–in the holiday spirit, perhaps we still have time to help the poor man in the photo.

  21. Stephen says:

    Merry Christmas Chris and everyone else.

  22. Davem says:

    Merry Christmas Mr Fowler and all the best for 2021

  23. Brian Evans says:

    That message was great fun and thank you Mr F, and Happy Christmas to you and everyone.

  24. Mary Ventresco says:

    Thanks for this. Merry Christmas from across the pond!

  25. Wayne Mook says:

    Merry Christmas to you all, and a Brexit deal who’d have thought it, just catching a few moments late at night before the little one gets up and gets over excited.


  26. Ed DesCamp says:

    Happy Christmas to one and all. 2021 won’t see a return to normal here in the US; the damage done here is too great. I’m hopeful for a half-decent 2022.

  27. chazza says:

    Happy Xmas to all Satanists at this most difficult of occasions…

  28. Peter Dixon says:

    Condiments of the Seasonings to you all and may Santabeardy bloke not get stuckmost in your chimleybowl!

    Or at least that’s what Prof. Stanley Unwin once told me…

  29. John Howard says:

    Completely agree on the “Mark Heap for Raymond Land” front. As soon as I saw the thumbnail and the heading it was like coming into the world of PCU.
    Happy Christmas to both of you and may the New Year bring all that you would want. (Within reason you understand – the world isn’t made of money). I’m quite sure you have both been good boys so Santa will have been good to you.
    Typing this whilst waiting for the Turkey to finish off and after making sure all the veg is prepared. The wreckage of today will supply the bubble and squeak and cold collation for tomorrow as well.
    Happy days and thank you for so much reading fun.

  30. John Howard says:

    Of course the Merry Christmas was meant to be extended to everyone who is an habitue of this most wonderful site…
    Obviously too much tea drunk and not enough sausage rolls eaten. I’m away to correct that omission now.

  31. Peter T says:

    Of course, it’s an old photo of Raymond, from the days when he was young, healthy and happy. I’m sure Arthur will have cheered him up on today.

  32. Helen Martin says:

    Here on the West Coast of North America (greetings, Ed) the day is fast winding to its close. Before it completely disappears in the direction of Hawaii and the islands of the South Pacific I’d like to wish all this site’s habitues and its creator and his partner all the blessings we usually anticipate from the season and hopes for a fresh and hopeful New Year.

  33. Agatha Hamilton says:

    Tragic! O the pathos! Poor Raymondo. Lovely piece of writing.
    Happy Christmas to its author and one and all.

  34. Ed DesCamp says:

    Thanks, Helen. When it’s safe to come over the border, we’ll buy yez a cuppa at yer local. Happy holidays!

  35. Gail Y says:

    Raymond, I’m glad to see that nothing terrible has happened to you so far in Oranges and Lemons. But I still have 10 hours to go, so I’m sure something will. Happy Christmas, old trout.

  36. Joan L says:

    Merry Christmas to all from Eastern Canada, love Raymondo!

  37. jeanette says:

    Merry Christmas to you all, happily in receipt of not one, but two Bryant & May books Christmas morning. My daughter in law had bought Oranges and Lemons and misplaced it, she knew it would eventually turn up, but just in case she bought England’s finest, bonus. Has become a Christmas ritual to be opening a Bryant & May book on Christmas morning.

  38. Bruce Rockwood says:

    Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to you and all your friends. Happy New Year too, post Brexit implementation while we have to wait till Jan 20 to get post this potus!

  39. Ian Luck says:

    Happy Friday just gone, etc. I left my phone at work on Christmas morning. Weather was shite, and couldn’t be bothered to cycle back for it. Found it popped through my letterbox this morning. Good people still about, it seems. Spent Christmas day in the correct manner, ie. asleep. Was still given presents (good ones, too) so for me, it’s still not 100% success in avoiding it entirely. Have managed to avoid eating any festive food, though, which is a definite improvement on last year. I rather enjoy not enjoying Christmas – at least as an adult one can say “I don’t think I’ll bother this year.” Whereas if you are a child, then there’s no escape – ‘It’s Christmas, and you’ll bloody well enjoy yourself, or else!” I’ve never really ‘got’ Christmas, since I was about seven – I always found it dull, twee, and somewhat embarassing, to be honest. Everyone else can enjoy it, but include me out.

  40. Ian Luck says:

    The first time I encountered Raymond in one of your books, in my head, he spoke with Mark Heap’s voice. He’s perfect for the role, if it ever happens.

  41. Lorraine says:

    Mark Heap would be just wonderful as Raymondo! Hope you had a cozy and peaceful Xmas. Have been joyously reading Oranges and Lemons over the festive period (much later to the party this year…I usually have the latest B&M as soon as they are released) absolutely loving it. Here’s to a much, much better 2021.

  42. Lauren C says:

    And he can’t even hang with Crippen.

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