"A fast read with lots of plot twists, great new characters, very funny situations and Mick and Jim are as devious and clueless as ever.
I laughed out loud loads of times."
Chapter 35 (excerpt)
Two Alka-Seltzers and four paracetamols later, Jim sat opposite Mrs Hathaway leaning heavily on the beach bar counter, trying to make sense of it all.
Her story was long and complex. Jim was conscious enough to realise he was in a conversation and, despite the fact she was moving relentlessly in and out of focus, he was doing his best to take part.
He even tried an extremely potted history - sometimes featuring verbs - of how he and Mick came to be on St Bernards.
But the truth was, he couldn’t remember what he’d been told, or what he’d said. However, he did remember that, in a conversation, etiquette demands new topics are introduced from time to time. So that’s exactly what he did.
He raised one arm and brought it down slowly to point in the vague direction of Mrs Hathaway’s bikini top.
‘Who?’ he said slowly and deliberately.
He paused for thought, but no thoughts came. He rolled his eyes up to look at the beach bar roof, and took a deep breath in an attempt to get more oxygen to his brain.
‘Go on, who?’ encouraged Mrs Hathaway.
‘Yeah!’ said Jim, leaning on his glass of water and spilling it all over the counter.
‘Who?’ he repeated.
He began to pat the water with the flat of his hand. This tactile therapy and the little splashes he made seemed to bring him back into the real world. He smiled and opened his mouth.
‘Who - are all those dead blokes propped up against the bar?’
His elbow skidded on the wet counter and his head hit the bar top. His eyes closed and his mouth started to blow little bubbles in the thin film of liquid.
It was at this point, Mrs Hathaway realised what she was dealing with. She picked Jim up, laid him down gently with the others, slipped the bucket back over his head and waited for a more opportune moment.