|The prequel to The Book Club Baby, this story centers around Stella and Brian Baskerville, residents of a small English village, and Malcolm, a new resident with a clothesline full of nappies and plastic pants.
Childless Stella takes a shine to the quiet, withdrawn newcomer who admits to being a bedwetter. But there is more and as the story develops. we find out how the real-life Baby of the Baskervilles comes to be.
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The Baby of the Baskervilles
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FROM THE UPCOMING BOOK…
When I awoke that unexpectedly sunny and warm English morning, I expected nothing unusual to happen. In sleepy English villages across our isle, little ever happened that was new or different. It was the charm and essence of that life; that it was predictable and welcoming like a comfortable pair of shoes or a warming fire. But this particular day changed everything in my life. As I walked along the narrow path that I had traversed a hundred times previously, I spotted something I had never seen before.
Billowing in the wind was a double-strand clothesline filled with nappies and plastic pants and what looked like baby clothes. I smiled to myself as I imagined the new baby in the village. While childless myself, I loved children and how they represented the ‘everything is new again’ that I treasured about life. It was a sign that everything that was old could be renewed.
As I drew closer to the small cottage that had only just been rented recently, I realized that something was not quite right. The nappies were very large as were the pink plastic pants. And the baby clothes were odd as well. From a distance, they were
certainly baby things, but as I stopped along the narrow path that led behind the cottage, I could tell that the nappies were adult-sized. So were the plastic pants. And the clothes I saw were also adult-sized.
I wasn’t shocked, but I was certainly confused. I understood incontinence. My own elderly mother wore NHS-supplied disposable nappies in her nursing home. But this was different. And I didn’t know why. My mind tried to comprehend the conflict, but failed.
I continued my walk, frequently looking back at the clothesline, trying to fathom what I was seeing. Something inside my head compelled me to look again and again and to wonder what it all meant.
When I chose that morning to walk along that specific path, I did not realise that the choice was one that would define my life for the next two decades. I do not regret that accidental choice. It has been the biggest challenge and wonder of my life and I am all the better for it.
I have made a difference and a number of unwanted babies have found parents.