Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello dears, Barbara Meadows here. For those of you who know my name but not what I do, I’m the receptionist at the Gipping Gazette and one hundred percent responsible for the display window at our office. Today, it is filled with charred, wooden barrels—frankly, they smell dreadful—in honor of our old Devonian custom called Tar Barrel racing held on November 5, Guy Fawkes night. Just another delightful country ritual although this particular one usually causes a lot of burned fingers.

I’m also the in-house resident agony aunt to all the youngsters in the town. You could say I’ve been around the block a few times—yes, I did belong to a nudist colony in the sixties, but didn’t everyone? I must say courting was a lot more fun in the old days. I’m constantly saddened by the endless cries for help in the love department that I receive daily.

I have come to the conclusion that modern technology has removed the mystery from relationships. Visit Facebook and immediately you see photographs of your intended in most inappropriate poses or are given details of personal likes and dislikes. There is no gradual getting to know each other that used to be such a thrill in my day. And—at the risk of upsetting a few of my male fans—you menfolk have it easy. Of course, some women are easy. I’ve told Annabel Lake many times that notching up those marks on her bedpost aren’t going to land her a husband—well, not one of her own.

And then we have poor Vicky Hill who I despair of ever finding a nice man. She’s presentable, intelligent and even though her hair isn’t long enough for most tastes (men so adore long hair), I just don’t understand why she keeps rejecting our paramedic Steve’s advances. Steve is a good old-fashioned sort and always bringing her flowers. True, he’s a little on the heavy side but there is something exciting about Steve and I believe it’s because he wears Old Spice. Thank heavens Old Spice is back in fashion! If only I was thirty-five years younger …

Do feel free to email me your problems. Nothing will ever shock me. You can put “Barbara’s Postbag” in the subject line and use as an email address.


  1. Steve does sound like a nice guy...and then there's that Old Spice aftershave to make him even more appealing! :) Guess we'll see how things work out between him and Vicky.

  2. Do you know any tricks to finding single men? Aside from in a grocery store? If a male shopper hesitates over a choice, three or four cart-pushing, advice-giving hopefuls immediately surround him.

  3. Hello, Barbara. I love the scent of Old Spice, but that's because my dad used to wear it. What if you gave Steve a tip to switch it up a bit. Maybe that's what has put off Vicky a little. She doesn't want to think for a second about her dad...because, well, you know...


  4. I'm all for old-fashioned slow courting. I would say to send Steve my way but my author, Krista Davis, is getting me into all kinds of romantic trouble -- fortunately, not until next fall so maybe I can talk her out of it. If she keeps at it, I'll be writing you at Barbara's Postbag desperately in need of help!

    ~ Sophie Winston
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

  5. Barbara says:
    Riley - let's hope so. A man will eventually get tired of being rejected, I fear.
    Avery, dear - what an interesting comment. Vicky's parents are dead as you know (eaten by lions apparently) so your remark was extremely helpful. I'll mention this to Steve. Perhaps he could wear Lynx? That's quite pungent.
    Willow, yes - I know many tricks. True, I'm still single but frankly, I'm not ready to settle down quite yet! Men like to feel strong and useful. My grocery store suggestion would be to ask for his advice - not say "Can I help you?" Damsels in Distress, dear. Men love that.
    Sophie, you sound like me. Slow courting. That's the key. I am quite sure you won't need my help but if you do, I'm here!

  6. Kelly Flynn said:
    Even though the name "Steve" brings back lots of memories for me, I definitely think Vicky should give her Steve a chance. I mean, he brings her flowers for Pete's sake! You know the old saying: A good man is hard to find. Anyway. . .that's what people say.

  7. Barbara says: My feelings exactly, Kelly! I have to admit the last bouquet of pink carnations looked a little ragged, but it is the thought that counts!

  8. I think Steve definitely has possibilities and just needs to keep on plugging the "romance" angle. If he could do something really dramatic (I'm not sure what) that might earn him extra points with Vicky as well.

  9. Barbara says: Mary - romance is very important. I recall a scene from The English Patient which still makes me swoon. The young Indian sapper lays a trail of little shells for that cute French actress to follow to his bedchamber. (I am having a senior moment on names). Oh! Goodness. Were they SNAIL shells (gasp of horror) I seem to recall they were alight?

  10. Yes to Old Spice - that was my husband's favorite so that scent has fond memories for me.

    Helen Kiker

  11. Getting ready to read the first in the series and see how Vicky and Steve meet and react to each other.

  12. Barbara says - yes, my father wore Old Spice too.
    Vickie - if you have time, do drop me a line to let me know your thoughts! Don't you just love "how-people-meet" stories? Destiny, dear.