Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

Davie Campbell walked up the stairs from his workshop to the luxury apartment above. He had been at Le Mans for a week with Spenser and Stuart, even though they had only actually been away for an afternoon. He walked in to find his wife sitting on the deep pile rug in the drawing room feeding the twins as they sat in their baby chairs. The boys were six months old already. They were sitting up, crawling and cutting their first teeth like ordinary Human babies and developing their early telepathic skills like young Gallifreyans.

“Don’t just talk to them telepathically,” Davie warned his wife. “They have to develop their oral skills, too. Most people on Earth will need them to talk normally.”

Brenda looked up from spooning pureed tomato and carrots into Sebastian’s mouth and looked at her husband. He was right, of course. But she liked that private world she shared with her babies. Their unspoken world was one mostly made up of emotions. She felt their love and trust for her, their mother, who was with them most of the time.

She felt Davie connect with them, too. They responded with excitement. They loved, him, too, but he wasn’t there as often. When he was, their minds whirled with new ideas.

“You need to spend more time with them,” she told him in words. “And a little less on car racing and saving the universe.”

“Car racing and saving the universe is what makes me interesting to them. Otherwise I’m just another person who feeds them pureed vegetables.”

“That’s not true at all,” Brenda responded. “In either respect. You are more to them than somebody who feeds them. But they’re not interested in what you do when you’re not home with us.”

“Want to bet?” Davie put the trophy he had brought with him on the mantelpiece alongside several others he had already collected and sat down on the carpet with Brenda. He kissed her first, then the two babies. He picked up Mark’s bowl of food and his spoon and took over feeding him. “They want to hear all about how Daddy and Uncle Spenser and Uncle Stuart came first in our class at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour challenge.”

“No they don’t,” Brenda responded. “They’ve heard your racing stories before. One race track is just like another to them at their age.”

“They won’t be this age forever. One day they’ll be petrolheads just like me. Spenser and Stuart brought their girls, you know. We’ve got them their own junior Team Campbell firesuits. They watched the race from the pit garage with us. Our boys will do that, too, when they’re older.”

“What if they don’t like racing?” Brenda asked.

“Impossible. They have my genes. They’re bound to love it.”

Davie was convinced that his sons were going to take after him in every way. Brenda could have pointed out that he and his own twin brother were two very different men with different interests.

“They really would like to hear you tell them a story,” she said.

“Would they really?”

“Yes, they would. Davie, don’t be daft. You know the boys love it when you’re with them.”

“And I love being with them. And with you. You know that I do, don’t you, sweetheart? The things I do when I’m away from you…. I need that. But I love coming back to you and the children.”

“I know you do,” Brenda assured him. “You ARE a good husband, and a good father. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially not your mother.”

“Don’t you worry about my mother,” Davie told her. “And don’t worry about anything else. We’re just fine, all of us. As for a story… If tea is over let’s BOTH tell them a story.”

“Which one?” Brenda asked as she took off bibs and wiped faces and lifted the two boys from their chairs. Davie took Sebastian and she held Mark in a cosy huddle on the sofa.

“How about the story of The Mighty YaYa?” Davie suggested.

Brenda giggled. Davie liked to hear her do that. So did the boys. They giggled, too.

“Wasn’t he a character,” she said. “What a madman, what a mad world he ruled.”

“Don’t tell me,” Davie told her. “I was there, too, remember. Tell them.”

“They were there as well,” Brenda pointed out. “But I suppose they don’t really remember. They were only four weeks old.”

“Yes, they were,” Davie said with a smile. “Seems like only yesterday that they were born. We’ve seen them grow for six months already, learning to be a little less helpless and dependent on us. Look at them, now. Our little boys.”

“You were only four weeks old,” Brenda said telepathically to the twins. “When you first travelled in time and space. We all went to Tibora, taking my family home. That was when you first saw your second home, my world. On the way back your father wanted to take us to SangC’lune. He said there was a special ritual that your uncle Chris had mentioned, dedicating you both to Rassilon and to the Time Lord code of honour. It seemed a bit much when all you could do yet was blow milky bubbles from your mouth after feeding, but I know there is no greater destiny for you both than to be Time Lords like your father and all his great ancestors before him, so I thought it would be a good idea.”

“And it was,” Davie added. “Whatever else you may be, my sons, you will be the next generation of the Lords of Time. But don’t be frightened of that. It is a wonderful thing to be, but not until you are much older than you are now and you’re ready for that destiny.”

“It was after we left SangC’lune that it all went strange,” Brenda added. “Your father spent most of the time under the console rewiring the navigation panel. Our TARDIS is old, of course. Very old. But it’s usually reliable. I trusted your father to get us home safely. And he did, eventually. But not before we landed on the planet ruled by The Mighty YaYa.”

“It was a pit stop,” Davie added in defence of his navigation. “It was a class M planet with advanced humanoid civilisation, understanding of space travel and known to be welcoming to visitors. We would be safe there while the Bergan Coils rebooted.”

It was a very beautiful planet. It had a pale lavender sky with two suns and five moons visible in the daytime. Two of the moons were technically small planets in their own right that had a synchronous orbit with Aopa-Golo. They were huge silvery-white globes in the sky.

The TARDIS had landed in a parkland outside the main city, shaded by a stand of trees that were perfectly normal except that the leaves were orange. Davie had baby Mark in a carrier on his front and Brenda had Sebastian. There was a large squashy bag full of nappies, wipes, spare clothes and all sorts of things that were essential for even the shortest trip with twin babies. Davie shouldered that despite it being a pastel yellow colour with pictures of ducks on it that really didn’t go with his leather jacket.

They walked down a grassy meadow and across a wide footbridge that was decorated every few metres with statues of anthropomorphic animals – rabbit-like creatures wearing business suits, a spiky creature like a hedgehog in dungarees and other unlikely things.

“Those aren’t representations of the actual population, are they?” Brenda wondered as she looked up at something resembling a giraffe in what looked like a football kit. “You said they were humanoid.”

“Yes,” Davie said. “Human is a specific term for the species that originated on Earth or any of its populated colonies. Other similar species, like Tiboran, Gallifreyan, Venturan, are properly described as humanoid. The people here look like us.”

“Good,” Brenda said. “It’s not that I have a problem with other species, but I don’t think I’m ready for football playing giraffes.”

The city which the TARDIS database identified as Golopolis, was enclosed in an enviro-dome that regulated the weather, even though it seemed perfectly temperate out here under the real sky.

They came into the city through a portal manned by a small, round man with a friendly face who thought the twins were adorable. He gave them permits to visit Golopolis for up to six weeks without paying any residential taxes. That seemed fair enough. Davie pocketed the permits and looked around.

“Aopa-Golo is ruled by a monarch,” Davie said. “We should probably present ourselves to him as visiting diplomats. But let’s take a look at this city, first. I’d like to know what sort of place it is.”

“It’s a busy place,” Brenda noted. “But it looks more like a fairground than a city.”

Davie thought his wife’s first impression of Golopolis was about right. It was as colourful and busy as a theme park with a monorail that looked as if it went all the way around the edge of the enviro-dome and a complicated maze of narrow rails on which rather faster trains went by regularly. The wooshing noise those trains made as they passed suggested something like a roller coaster with all the slow uphill anticipation and downhill rush of that sort of ride.

“Funny sort of transport system,” Brenda added.

Davie took hold of her hand and headed for the monorail. It travelled at a sedate speed of around fifteen miles per hour. It would give them a chance to look at the city and, if it seemed a bit too peculiar, they could always leave quietly when it came back to the portal.

The monorail car was very pleasant and airy. It had comfortable seats arranged just like a bus or tram. They sat at the front, but since it was covered by a curved bubble of glass there was a good view from any seat. The twins had no interest in views. They were cuddled up to their parents and that was good enough for them. Davie slipped his arm around his wife’s shoulders as they settled down for the leisurely trip.

It didn’t take very long to decide that Brenda’s first impression was the correct one. Golopolis was a residential city. The buildings shaped like upside down ice cream cones and assorted odd shapes really were apartments where people lived. When the monorail went around the backs of the buildings they could see windows with pot plants and curtains in them. They saw plenty of the people in the streets, too. They all dressed colourfully, male and female alike. They all seemed to be casually clothed. There were no businessmen in suits. The only sort of uniform they saw was that of what must have been the city police. They resembled old fashioned English ‘bobbies’ with rounded helmets except they were in pastel blue rather than any kind of sensible and authoritative colour.

“That looks like the main shopping street,” Brenda commented. “But if it is, it’s the oddest one I’ve ever seen. I count five toy shops and three sweet shops, two cake shops, four hot dog and burger stands. Do the people here live on junk food?”

“Good question,” Davie answered. “Maybe there’s a more normal supermarket elsewhere. Mind you, everyone does look rather.…” He searched for a diplomatic term to describe the population.

“Fat,” Brenda said.

“Rotund came to mind,” Davie said.

“Fat,” Brenda repeated. “Every single one of them, from the children to the old ones with walking sticks. They’re all fat. Some could be called ‘chubby’ to be fair. But mostly they’re just fat and round. Round faces, round bodies, round arms and legs waddling around. I’m sticking with the junk food theory.”

With ante-natal exercises and healthy eating, Brenda was well on the way to regaining her trim figure four weeks after giving birth to twins. Davie kept himself fit with a daily regime of martial arts. They were neither of them obsessed with such things, but the idea of a city full of people who looked as if salad was an alien concept disturbed them.

“It could be a genetic thing,” Davie suggested. “Perhaps their species are naturally rotund.”

“Fat,” Brenda said again. “You might as well call a spade a spade.”

“I don’t think they do around here,” Davie noted. The monorail had stopped at a station where a couple of rotund passengers got on. There was a gift shop next to the ticket office where ‘sand castle building implements’ were on sale.


Brenda laughed. There was nothing dangerous about Golopolis as far as she could see. The place was just insanely silly.

They were on the monorail for nearly an hour before they were halfway around the city and approaching a palace of sorts. It was pale blue with pastel pink turrets in four tall towers. The towers were differentiated by the windows. One had round windows, another triangle, one star shaped and the other like a flower with four rounded petals.

Anything but a simple square or rectangle.

The monorail actually went through an archway into the palace itself and stopped. There were four men in what had to be the uniform of the palace guard. They looked like traditional wooden toy soldiers apart from their rotund shape and the fact that the uniform was pastel pink. They carried rifles but they were pastel coloured, too and it was hard to imagine that these men held any kind of authority.

One of the soldiers boarded the monorail and addressed Davie and Brenda.

“The Mighty YaYa has been told of your arrival and requests an audience,” the soldier said.

“That would be the king of Aopa-Golo?” Davie replied. “Certainly, my wife and I would be glad to present our credentials in his Court.” He stood and reached for Brenda’s hand. They stepped off the monorail and the soldiers flanked them. Whether they were a guard of honour for visiting dignitaries or to stop them running back to the monorail neither were entirely sure.

The inside of the palace was as strange as the outside. The walls were all covered in pastel images of those same anthropomorphic animals that had adorned the bridge.

“How old is The Mighty YaYa?” Brenda asked. It occurred to her that the palace resembled a rather large nursery.

“He was forty-five years old last birthday,” replied the captain of the escort detail. “He was given a new bouncy castle as a present.”

“Really?” Davie and Brenda both wondered what to make of information like that. Then they stepped into the Throne Room.

It had a throne, of sorts, on a raised dais. It was pink and shaped like a hippopotamus, which was mind-boggling enough to begin with.

There was a bouncy castle at one end of the Throne Room, a deluxe model with a coat of arms on top. The coat of arms was pink and blue and featured a hippopotamus standing on two legs with giraffes either side. There were inflatable slides from the top of the bouncy castle down into two sand pits with a selection of ‘sandcastle building implements’ available.

There was also a man sized rocking horse and a swing that looked as if it had been made for the hippopotamus from the coat of arms.

A man who, surprisingly, wasn’t fat, but tall and thin and resembling a bright red colouring pencil bowed, giving the impression of a pencil that had just been snapped. Davie recognised his rank as something like Chamberlain.

“I am Lord David de Lœngbærrow Campbell of Earth and Gallifrey, Governor of the colony of Santuario. This is my wife, Lady Brenda of Earth and Tibora, and these, of course, are our blessed heirs. We bring cordial greetings to The Mighty YaYa.”

“Did you bring a gift?” the Chamberlain asked in a low voice. “The Mighty YaYa likes to get presents.”

Davie panicked momentarily. Brenda reached for the bag he was still carrying and took out a hand carved and painted wooden model of a horse that her father had made for the nursery toy shelf. She hated to part with it, but her father could make another easily enough if it saved a diplomatic incident.

“That will do nicely,” the Chamberlain said. “I….”

His voice was drowned by a whooping sound. Davie and Brenda looked past him at the strange figure standing at the top of one of the inflatable slides. He whooped again and slid down the slide which wobbled alarmingly, before landing on his well-padded bottom in the sandpit. He scrambled to his feet and bounded towards his guests. They tried not to stare. They shut their mouths firmly so as not to gape at the sight of a fat forty-five year old man, bald except for a few blonde wisps in a comb-over that was plastered down with hair cream. He was wearing a romper suit very much like the sort the twins were dressed in and ankle socks. The Chamberlain dutifully put a pair of slippers with hippopotamus motifs before him and he stepped into them. Then the pencil thin man introduced Brenda and Davie to The Mighty YaYa. He was word perfect about the titles Davie had given for them both, but as far as the king was concerned he might as well have said he came from Tellytubbyland. He would have taken as little notice once he was given the toy horse.

“I like new friends,” he said in a voice that was as childish as they fully expected. “Bambom, I want jelly and ice cream and buns. I want a picnic.”

“Sire, my name is Lord Bamborn,” the Chamberlain sighed. “I do wish you could learn to say it properly.” Then he sighed again. “Very well, jelly and ice cream and buns. Would you like to sit at the table or on a picnic cloth?”

“Cloth,” The Mighty YaYa replied. “A proper picnic.”

Davie felt a rush of sympathy for the Chamberlain. He seemed to want to be a member of a proper palace service, but it was difficult when jelly and ice cream were called for.

They were brought very quickly. Obviously the palace kitchens expected such requests at any time. A big striped cloth was spread by the sandpit and the food placed on it. The Mighty YaYa sat down. The Chamberlain nodded politely and Davie and Brenda sat, too. YaYa got stuck right into his feast. Neither of his guests were especially hungry to start with, and watching a grown man eat ice cream and jelly with his fingers didn’t help their appetites.

Both of the twins stirred. It was feeding time. Brenda reached into the yellow bag again for chilled bottles of expressed milk.

Davie took each bottle and warmed it in his hands before Brenda fed Sebastian and he did the same for Mark. YaYa watched in fascination with ice cream around his mouth and then demanded a ‘bobo’. A chocolate ‘bobo’. Brenda raised an eyebrow and Davie felt her offer up a sort of thankful prayer that she had remembered to have the bottles in the travel bag. She enjoyed breast feeding usually, but she certainly wasn’t going to do it in front of The Mighty YaYa.

He might have wanted to join in!

A large bottle of milky chocolate with a huge rubber dummy on it was hastily brought. The Mighty YaYa sat and drank it noisily.

Davie almost lost his carefully maintained composure when he felt Brenda’s telepathic thought.

“Please tell me this idiot is toilet-trained.”

A round man in a suit, pastel blue, but actually a suit, came into the Throne Room. Standing next to the Chamberlain he resembled a huge eraser to go with the pencil. Both of the men tried to look dignified, but it was difficult in such circumstances.

The man in blue introduced himself to Davie as Lord Numan, the Prime Minister.

The Mighty YaYa addressed him as Numnum.

“Sire,” the Prime Minister said, bowing to his monarch and ignoring the fact that The Mighty YaYa was making rude noises with the last dregs of his milk and chuckling about it. “Might I be permitted to invite Lord Campbell of Earth to the Cabinet Room to discuss matters of State?” He looked at Brenda. “Madam, there is a nursery where you might attend to the children in peace. There is a nursemaid on duty to assist.”

“There are babies in the palace?” she asked, then realised that was a silly question. It was obviously The Mighty YaYa’s nursery. But if he wasn’t in it, that would do fine.

YaYa wasn’t happy about having his picnic disturbed, but he was distracted by a large plate of cream buns that arrived from the kitchen and Davie and Brenda made their escape from the Throne Room.

The Cabinet Room was a refreshingly normal place with a long polished table and no animal motifs at all. The Prime Minister sat at the head of the table and invited Davie to join him.

Then the man broke down and pleaded for Davie to give him refugee status on his world.

“I was a young man when YaYa was born,” he said when he had composed himself again and Davie prompted him to explain how Aopa-Golo came to be such an odd place. “He became king at the age of six weeks when his father died of a heart attack. The queen… poor woman… I think the grief of her loss so soon after the birth of the prince drove her mad. She decreed that her son, though king, should never be burdened by the sort of State matters that drove her husband to his grave. King YaYa would, she decreed, never grow up. His life would be one long playtime. And, as you can see, that is what happened. His body grew… but he remained a child at heart, always playing. When he was an adult, he started to make decrees of his own. But what decrees! Golopolis became a giant playground. He had refused all attempts to educate him and decided that nobody else would be educated, either. Nor would anyone work in the capital. Schools, factories, offices in the city should be closed and all the people free to play like him.”

“There is no education at all?” Davie was appalled.

“Schools are run in secret by the teachers who lost their jobs following the decree. Children flock to them to learn rather than the endless playtime. But the economy of the city is madness. Food is free… but what food… only the kind that YaYa likes to eat. There isn’t a vegetable or piece of fruit to be had.”

“Do the people like living in that way?”

“The people are tired of enforced leisure. They are tired of roller coasters and monorails as the only form of transport. And… as for me, I cannot stand it any longer. Please, please take me with you when you leave. Let me seek sanctuary on your world.”

“I….” Davie wasn’t sure what to say. “Well… if you really want to leave, I can help you. But how many other people would want to join you? Is there likely to be revolution if what little government there is breaks down?”

“I… had not thought about it. But I assure you the people are all dissatisfied with living in this madness. They would like a king who will rule properly.”

“If YaYa was persuaded to abdicate… is there any other heir?”

“There is a cousin… but he is….” Lord Numan shook his head. “Twenty years ago, Anton Ya submitted a petition to the parliament that he should be made Prince Regent with executive powers to rule the planet in YaYa’s place since he was clearly unfit for his duties. The queen still lived at the time and induced her son to dismiss all of the cabinet except my own self and to have Anton Ya arrested as a traitor.”

“He was executed?”

“Thankfully, no,” Lord Numan responded. “He is of the royal line, after all. He was imprisoned in the palace dungeon. It is… not as bad as it sounds. He has every comfort except freedom. I and the Lord Chamberlain visit him regularly. He is a man of sound mind who would rule far better than YaYa.”

“He could hardly rule much worse,” Davie pointed out. “Could you take me to see him?”

“Yes,” Lord Numan replied. “I could. My Lord, can you help us?”

“It isn’t usually considered diplomatic to depose a host within an afternoon of arriving on a planet, but I have never encountered a ruler like The Mighty YaYa before. I think I should like to talk to Anton Ya before I decide what to do.”

Lord Numan nodded. Davie followed him through the palace to the lower levels where the murals were still as childish as they were above. They passed a door which was guarded by two men in the pastel toy soldier uniforms. They bowed to the Prime Minister and his guest.

Through another door which was unlocked by another pastel guard, was Anton Ya’s dungeon home for the past twenty years. It was, in fact, a rather comfortable suite of rooms with everything he might need except windows and a key to the door. He was a well-built man but not overweight. He seemed to have made an effort to exercise within his confines. There was a family resemblance to YaYa, but this man looked intelligent and well disposed.

Lord Numan introduced Davie to him. They sat and talked over coffee which was smuggled into the dungeon since YaYa had declared it to be ‘horrid’ and banned its consumption. Davie found his first impression confirmed by what Anton Ya said to him.

“Just one thing,” he said when he was ready to leave the dungeon. “The palace guards in their toy soldier uniforms have real guns. Who would they stand with if they were given the choice?”

“My friend, they are ready to stand with the blasted hippopotamus if it showed better judgement than our monarch. But I do not wish to see bloodshed in our city. There must be another way.”

“I believe there is,” Davie said. “Be patient a little while longer.” He shook hands with the prisoner and left the dungeon. He walked quietly next to Lord Numan back towards the Throne Room.

Then he heard a scream. It was Brenda. She ran from the nursery pursued by YaYa who waddled along calling out something idiotic.

“Bendy, come play,” he shouted as Davie put himself between him and his wife.

“Keep him away from me!” Brenda gasped. “He tried to grab me on… the… on….”

“Grab you where?” Davie demanded, but Brenda was too embarrassed to elaborate. “I’ll do more than grab him if he….”

“Madam,” The Lord Chamberlain hurried to calm the troubled waters. “Please do not be distressed. He did not mean it in any kind of amorous way. He does not understand about such things. He just wants… playmates.”

“That is absurd,” Brenda responded angrily. “Even if he WAS a child, he shouldn’t be allowed to behave like such a spoiled brat. But he isn’t. He’s a huge, dreadful man. It’s… it’s ridiculous.”

“I agree,” Davie said. “Enough is enough. Lord Numan, please prepare release papers for Anton Ya and bring them in five minutes for the royal signature. Lord Chamberlain, open the door to the Throne Room.”

With that, Davie grabbed The Mighty YaYa by the collar of his romper suit and pushed him towards the door the Chamberlain hurried to open. He protested loudly about such treatment, but Davie ignored him. The soldiers on guard stared in wide-mouthed surprise but did nothing to challenge the man who had laid hands on the king.

Davie pushed and prodded YaYa up onto the throne dais. He himself sat on the ridiculous hippopotamus throne and flipped the king over his knee like a child. He proceeded to spank him hard. Brenda followed him into the Throne Room, wondering what he was going to do. She tried not to laugh at the sight of not so Mighty YaYa getting what he so richly deserved. She didn’t really approve of smacking children and neither did Davie. They never expected to do that to their own sons. But this was an exception to their rule.

The Lord Chamberlain was standing very pencil straight, but he was vibrating slightly as if he was supressing his laughter, too. The soldiers who were on guard inside the Throne Room were joined by several more who kept their guns lowered and watched with unbridled amusement. Some even cheered as YaYa howled like a baby.

Davie finished spanking YaYa and sat him down on the carpeted dais. He remained seated on the hippopotamus throne and Brenda thought he managed to look quite dignified despite the absurdity of it all. YaYa, red faced with humiliation, was quiet now, shocked into silence by the realisation that he was alone and friendless among so many people.

Lord Numan arrived with a carefully written parchment. Davie read it equally carefully.

“Sign this,” he ordered YaYa. “Just your signature. Don’t try to lick it or anything stupid.” YaYa looked at the parchment blankly for a few seconds then reached for a fat wax crayon and scrawled something that vaguely resembled the four letters ‘Ya Ya’. Davie gave the parchment to the Lord Chamberlain who ordered two of the guards to bring Anton Ya to the Throne Room without delay.

While Anton Ya’s release from the dungeon was being expedited the Lord Chamberlain and Prime Minister found the original document that had been submitted to parliament twenty years ago proposing him as Prince Regent. Davie looked it over and made a few slight amendments which those two learned gentleman countersigned. When Anton Ya presented himself in the Throne Room everything was ready. He placed his signature on the proclamation. YaYa again scribbled his name in wax crayon then his nurse came to take him for his afternoon nap. Davie offered Anton Ya the throne but he shook his head and suggested they continue in the Cabinet Room.

Brenda brought the twins from the nursery and sat with them, watching Davie mediate in the discussion between Anton Ya and the Prime Minister about forming a provisional government and passing emergency laws to restore a sense of reality to Golopolis and to Aopa-Golo as a whole planet.

“YaYa will have the best psychiatric help in the quadrant,” Anton Ya promised. “There will be people to look after him until he is capable of looking after himself. It may not be too late for him to become a rational man.”

“I hope so,” Davie agreed.

Sitting on the sofa in their own living room, Davie and Brenda laughed at the memory of one of the most extraordinary places they had ever visited. Sebastian and Mark gurgled along with them. They had enjoyed the story in their own way. Brenda’s eyes shone with amusement as she remembered again the sight of Davie punishing the foolish king.

“You were magnificent,” she told him.

“I just gave him what was coming to him,” Davie answered. “When the twins were born I worried about them being spoilt, between my mum and yours and all the rest of my family to fuss over them. But after seeing that big baby I know we have nothing to worry about. Our boys have more sense already than he had. They’ll be fine.”

“I should think so.”

“One of these days we should go back there and see how Anton Ya is getting on. He planned to get rid of the hippopotamus throne, the bouncy castle and the sandpit and allow the public to come to him with petitions and requests. I think they would probably ask for the roller coaster to be dismantled and ice cream and jelly to be put on the prohibited foodstuffs list.”

“That would be a start,” Brenda agreed. “We’ve got ice cream for dessert tonight, incidentally - luxury brandy and raisin and I expect you to use a spoon to eat it with.”

“If I don’t, you’re allowed to spank me,” Davie replied with a grin.

“Don’t think I won’t,” Brenda replied. “You’ve got to set a good example to your children.”