Well - what a response. Since I posted chapter 18 a few days ago I have had 52 emails about my story. Thank you all so much.
I have now replied to all of them. Unfortunately, 5 were from anonymous posters so those I couldn't answer. If you sent me an anonymous mail, feel free to do it again with an email address I can reply to.
And if you haven't mailed, but want to know what is going on - chapter 19 follows shortly!