Dearest Fanny,

I think of you often. Even now with the passage of time your image stays with me – as fresh as a daisy in springtime.

Do you remember when we took that camel train across The Sahara desert?  Week upon week without shadow; the harsh unforgiving midday sun and sandstorms; you and I gnawing at freshly prepared goat meat on flat bread with such venomous hunger – moreover you and I gnawing at each other with equivalent passion.

Then Fanny that afternoon when we arrived at the Awjila Oasis on the old trade route – it was there that we bathed naked in the invigorating waters cleansing both our bodies and souls. And later, after quenching our thirsts we took shelter from the stark rays of the fiery orb under the protection of palms where we made such sweet love until our passion was duly quenched also. What a time that was!

And just a few weeks on whilst heading for Constantinople on the Orient Express when over dinner you told me you were with child. Never had I seen you so radiant – such heady times!

So then to Paris and that little street café just off the Champs Elysees when the accordion player clad in Breton shirt and beret played for us at our candlelit table as we shared coffee and cognac.  Do you recall that it was there that I asked you to close your eyes tightly shut and speak your name aloud? ‘Fanny Bygaslight’ you confirmed in that cute little manner you have about you.  It was then, with eyes still firmly shut that I told you I had a special little something just for you in my pocket. How excited you became. Then when I handed you the Criminal Bankruptcy Order served under the terms of the Insolvency Act 1792, Part IX and subject to section 266(3) and further in accordance with section 264(1) upon which the petition was based, how that exuberance turned to tears when I added that a significant custodial sentence was a forgone conclusion.  You see Fanny you really should not have abused your Poundland Store Card to the extent that you had should you?

So now as you languish in a debtor’s cell at Newgate Prison, the child in the care of nuns I think of you often.

Yours Once,

Mo Collarup



61 thoughts on “FANNY, I THINK OF YOU OFTEN

    • Cheers…when back in the PI game one of my rivals was just like Mo. One year on Christmas Eve a long time ago he was trying to repossess a TV from a top flat in a block. The occupant refused to open the door so my rival climbed to the top of the blocked and disconnected the aerial (no satellite back then) serving everyone living in the building…then using a loud hailer broadcast that there would be no Xmas TV until the miscreant opened his door. His plan was a success!

  1. Ha Ha. I don’t think I will get a better laugh today Mike. You led us up the garden path with this one. brill. I will never look at the book Fanny By Gaslight the same again either.

    • My mother used the phrase when faced with women who idled or were aloof…mum used to get things in her head (like insisting Brian Clough was, if pronounced Brian Cluff and went spare if I dared called him Clough…for reasons still unknown to me) yet was often way off the mark. Was her usage correct…it would be great to know after all these years?

      • My gran and mother used it as a term for women who were deemed flighty, unreliable, so along the same lines actually. Personally, it always conjures an image of…well, a fanny quite literally by gaslight whenever I hear it. Hahahahaha.

        – esme and her vivid imagination upon the Cloud

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