Hi. My name’s Lester Spinwissel and I’m the biggest chump that ever walked this Earth.
Well, for a start, I work in a biscuit factory. Hate it, but was saving up to put a deposit down on my own business – a little vegetarian café. Not much, but it’d be better than Bilal’s Biscuits.
I’m not the sort of person who suffers from an overdose of bad luck, but something momentous happened to me: I won the Lottery. Yep. Twenty-two million. A bloody fortune. All my problems were sorted. Bat and me (my best mate, Jonathan – but I call him Bat. Short for Bat Fastard) were going to have cars, a yacht, a helicopter, our own private golf course – all the glorious things that we never dreamt would come within a meerkat’s whisker of us.
Would have been fantastic if it wasn’t for Janey. Oh – she’s my wife. Cares about everyone. Loves family values, relationships, togetherness – all that crap.
Let’s use the money to build a village she said – a village to house all our relatives.
Stupidest idea I’d ever heard in my life. We argued of course. Still don’t know how she managed to talk me round, except I was afraid of losing her – and she knew it. So we built our stupid village. Spinwissel’s Orchard – because the streets are named after fruit trees. And we housed all our relatives – our crazy relatives. Over a hundred and fifty of them.
What a freaking disaster. If it wasn’t Yvonne and Martine scrapping, it was Thomas and his older women. (Okay, I can put that to one side – I actually liked Thomas.) And talking about women, what about my Uncle Keith, having it off in public with his fiery Italian wife? Then there was Colford and Dorothy with all their dogs, the McGuires and all their delinquent kids, Amethyst who had a thing for me and Spartacus – a nutty old guy with a sparkly pen.
Did I mention the priest? As it turned out, he wasn’t a priest after all. Claimed to be one of the family and Janey – sweet gullible Janey – believed him. I should have guessed he was weird from the penances he gave out – I mean canings, clothes pegs nipping willies – and sticking jelly-babies up Geoff’s arse?
Mind you, Geoff deserved all he got as far as I was concerned. One of those OTT gardeners who complain about everything. Bastard went and shot my cat. It’s okay, Bernard survived, but Geoff’s pumpkin didn’t. I slashed the living daylights out of it.
My only hope to recoup some of the money I’d lost was to force someone to leave and sell their house. I could get a good £200K for one of the semis.
Would you believe my luck – some guy, a distant relative of Janey’s – decided to up and move out. But before I could sneeze, Janey had gone and given it away again, to a cousin of a cousin of a cousin.
My hopes lifted again when Greta, the lumpen disaster that was my mother-in-law, shoved me out of my own house and moved in with Janey. All because she thought I was having it off with Donna Clarity – a glamorous reporter from The Burnley Goss. Which I wasn’t. Okay, I thought about it – but I didn’t do anything, I swear.
Anyway, I had to move in with Dad. Not great. But it did mean Greta’s house was free. With lightness in my heart, I dashed off to the estate agent’s and put the house on the market. But when I got back, someone had already moved in. Pandora. Colford’s ex-wife.
Even Janey couldn’t claim ex-wives were relatives. But when I blasted Pandora and told her to get the hell out – what did she go and do? Burnt the freaking house down. Can you believe it? Vindictive bitch.
I won’t pretend any of this was good for our marriage. Money was coming between us, Janey said. What money? I didn’t have any. When Dad got into debt, I had to sell my car to bail him out, which meant I had to go to work on the bus.
And then Bat – my best mate – turned against me. Or so I thought. It seemed like I had nothing left.
But then, something tragic happened.
Thomas dying brought me to my lowest ebb. Only person out of the whole crazy lot I actually got on with – and he went and killed himself over a woman.
Somehow, that put it all into perspective. Thomas dead. Janey and I separated. What good was money?
But Bat had a little surprise for me: Janey’s well-off brother had given her some shares. She’d sold them and, with Bat’s help, bought me a little place I could turn into my vegetarian café.
Funnily enough, I was happy with that. Stuff the twenty-two million – I had Janey back and that was all that mattered.
About the author
My name is Giacomina Laura Sheridan and I’m a writer. Okay, you’re probably wondering about the Giacomina bit. It’s Italian. My Mum was from Italy and my Dad from Sicily. But the name’s a bit of a tongue-twister so I use my middle name, Laura.
I run a local Reading Group and help run two local writing groups. I also teach, part-time. Been happily married for 39 years and have two grown-up children, both married. We have one grandchild and another is imminent.
Other hobbies: of course, I love reading. Recently read ‘The Book of Strange New Things’ by Michel Faber. Fantastic. Nearly 600 pages and read it in three days, not wanting to put it down but also not wanting it to finish!
I’ve also recently become a huge fan of Stephen King. I’d previously dismissed him as a horror writer, but since reading his novel about Kennedy, I’ve seriously revised my opinion: the man is a hell of a writer – one of the best. Others include Sarah Waters, Ben Elton and Donna Tartt.
I do a bit of painting (or used to – don’t seem to have time, at the moment) and wish I could do portraits but can’t get the likeness. It’s a great frustration. I also enjoy knitting, (which I’m good at) and sewing (which I’m not).
Walking in the outdoors, especially where there are trees, gives me a special lift. I think we all need to mingle with nature every day, instead of being stuck indoors in front of a lap-top. And here I am, in front of a lap-top.
I’ve always loved to write. Well, okay – not always. I started seriously about twenty years ago. I write under the name of G.L.Sheridanand currently have five books on Amazon Kindle.
One’s a rags-to-riches story of a Sicilian girl (well, it would be silly not to write something based on my background – the only thing I’m missing is the riches bit)
I’ve also got a couple of stories on there and a story in poetry form (apologies to Chaucer) which is a bit of a laugh. If you want to have a quick look at any of the books or stories, just click on the links.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MVLI6YS
TO DIE FOR http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MVLRUMM
THE MANNE OF POTTERYE http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K84YARW
Oh – and a collection of poetry
MORPHING INTO ANCESTORS http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P2W1M9O
To Purchase Spinwissel’s Orchard by G.L.Sheridan click on the amazon link nearest you