Thursday, 15 May 2008

Episode 38 - The Fete

It never ceases to amaze me how some people can get so stressed organising something as simple a summer fete. You’d have thought that we were trying to re-launch the Millennium Dome rather than running a few stalls to raise money for a donkey sanctuary.

Poor old Malcolm had himself in such a stew earlier, running around trying to get us all organised. If that man doesn’t calm down he is in serious danger of blowing a gasket before the day’s out. It isn’t as if we were expecting thousands of people to turn up, we’ll be very lucky if we get a couple of hundred.

Mind you it’s been quite busy so far on the refreshments stall, Michael and I haven’t had a chance to catch our breath yet. I must admit I was surprised when Michael said that he would come today, I thought that he would still be far too upset to want to come out. The trouble was with him being so brave that I felt an absolute drip for dropping out because of Martin. Poor Cassy looked so relieved when I said that I would be OK to help even if Malcolm looked like he was about to throw his clip board at me.

Isn’t it funny, when Sonny was alive I don’t suppose many of us really knew what he and Michael did for a living. It wasn’t until Lizzie was chatting to some of their friends at the funeral that we found out that while Michael has taken early retirement, Sonny was still taking his act around the clubs back in the UK. Ella thought it was hysterical when she found out that Sonny had been a drag queen and took great delight in teasing Martin about the people he was hanging out with in Spain. Some of the old boys at the golf club had been quite shocked and at the time it was the only topic of conversation in the club house.

I wonder who will be the target for their next gossiping, I overhead old Mr Turnbull asking Martin if he was going back to work because of financial pressure or did he want to just escape from the old ball and chain for a while. Cheeky sod and I could have strangled Martin when he started laughing about how he was looking forward to getting away from my nagging for a while. Didn’t take him long to get back to his old ways did it? But at least Martin’s ‘little jokes’ don’t hurt me any more. I must be getting immune to them.

Lizzie was telling me that Clara Hale has been seeing a lot of Michael since the funeral. Now that’s a funny friendship. I always felt sorry for Clara living on her own in that big house in the village, she didn’t seem to have any close friends and ate on her own in Maria’s every night. But now, according to Lizzie, she meets up with Michael a couple of times a week for lunch and she’s even been spotted walking over the valley to his cottage. I suppose she feels sorry for him and is just being kind. Kinder than me, I haven’t been over to see him since the funeral. I phoned a couple of times to see how he was and I must admit I was surprised at how well he has taken it all. I’m sure most have us would have fallen apart if our partner had been knifed and murdered in front of us. I don’t think that I would have wanted to stay around here any more. I’m still a bit nervous about driving after dark; after all they still haven’t found the murder.

Gloria and Malcolm have suggested that we try and get some sort of neighbourhood watch going. I’m not so sure that it would work. It could be fine at La Vista but outside the complex it wouldn’t be quite so easy, for example who would be watching my villa. I don’t have any neighbours, well non close enough to see if anything is wrong. Martin suggested that we could get a couple of big guard dogs to have around the place. I don’t think so, I know who would end up having to look after the damn things and take them out for walks every day and I’m sure it wouldn’t be Martin. No, I’ll probably just take my chances, after all Sonny was miles away from here when he was killed.

Let’s face it before all this happened I felt really safe living here on my own while Martin was over in London. And in a couple of weeks Sophie and Alistair will be moving in with the girls while they are waiting for their new house to be built at the farm. So there is no need for guard dogs or any other dogs come to that, thank you very much.

It looks like some of the stalls are starting to pack up now and I think that when these last few customers of ours finish their cream teas we can probably start doing the same. Maybe I could invite Michael over for supper this evening, it would save him having to get home and start cooking for himself but if I invite him maybe I should ask Clara as well? Oh what the hell why not, let’s make a party of it. I’d better give Martin a quick ring and ask him to get some steak out of the freezer and fire up the BBQ. That should give him something new to moan about.


‘This is really very thoughtful of you Fliss’ says Clara Hale sliding into the back seat of Michael’s car.

‘It’s no trouble, honestly. I have to cook supper for Martin anyway and I thought that we could all do with a drink after being on our feet all day.’

‘Fliss would Martin mind if I left my car at yours and took a taxi home after supper’ asked Michael ‘I’m still not too happy about driving on my own after dark’

‘Of course he won’t mind, we can drive your car back tomorrow if you like. The walk back over the valley will do us good’

‘Thank you Fliss that’s very kind of you.’ Says Michael ask he starts off up the hill to the villa

That’s strange but I could have sworn that I just saw Clara out of the corner of my eye. I’m sure she was looking at Michael and biting her lip to stop herself from laughing. Now what was that all about?