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.
[‘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.)