Copyright© 2011 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
Driving home from the clinic, I mused on what Stella had told me about her mother and I think it was Simon who’d said she was deceased. So Henry had spoiled their marriage with his philandering, and she was the aggrieved party, I wondered what had happened to the mother in between turning down Michael’s proposal for marriage and her death. How and why had she died?
I’d wondered about this before only with less detail; now I was really curious. I suppose I could ask Simon although he’d be suspicious after my seeing Stella. But why hadn’t he told me? I’m quite prepared to talk about my own parent’s deaths, even though it’s rather sad for me. Perhaps it’s just too painful for him, or is there something else he’d rather forget?
I began to think where I could find out more about the previous Viscountess—newspaper archives, the Times or Telegraph would have obituaries in their archives which might tell me what happened. My mind was speculating like crazy—it could be something straightforward, such as cancer or an infection, or an accident—or did she die in suspicious circumstances? Murdered by her new lover or while working for MI6? Now it was getting silly.
I arrived back at home unaware of most of my journey so engrossed was I my latest research project. I was suddenly back at the gateway to the farmhouse—thank goodness I hadn’t had any of the children with me because I’d driven on autopilot for almost the entire journey.
It was five o’clock and I quickly bundled a tray of pork loin steaks into the oven to cook, while I sorted out the vegetables. Trish came to help, although I’d let her use her computer again, she wanted me to ride with her either one evening or at the weekend, so she was still collecting Brownie points.
I had to wait until the next morning to have a chance to look for information, and then after I returned from the school run. Jenny was finishing the laundry and she was looking forward to cuppa and a chat and I was l anticipating my opportunity to browse the net.
I tried desperately to be patient, but she went on and on about nothing—mainly gossip about people I didn’t know or cared even less about—but that didn’t stop her.
In the end I had to stop her by telling her I had work to do on the computer and she took the hint and went off to finish the laundry and hang it on the line. I went on to the Daily Telegraph website and eventually found the archive and called up, Lady Stanebury in their search engine.
There were several, but only one obituary from 1998.
Margaret, Countess of Stanebury, has died at the age of forty one. Who can forget the beautiful model who married Henry Cameron after a whirlwind romance. Her looks and figure meant she was in demand at all the main haute couture fashion houses of Europe and America.
They married in 1980, when she was twenty three, and had two children Simon in 1981 and Stella in 1982. The marriage ended in 1993 with her receiving an undisclosed but substantial settlement from her bank owning ex-husband.
She married stock-broker Michael Dallimore in 1997 although her happiness was short lived due to his premature death in air crash in which he was piloting the single engine Cessna. He was a very experienced pilot having served fifteen years on fighters in the RAF.
She suffered with acute depression following her second husband’s death and it is believed she took her own life while in one of her bouts of illness. She leaves two children by her first marriage.
The article contained three pictures of her, two while working for Chanel and Chloe, and her last wearing a Dior outfit that looked absolutely stunning. It was easy to see where Stella had got her good looks, although I suspect her mother was more beautiful by some margin.
This short obituary perhaps explained why Simon never mentioned his mother and why he was upset when Stella tried to kill herself. Does depression run in families? I honestly didn’t know, and let’s face it the poor woman had plenty to be depressed about. Life seems cruel to some people—which I know some interpret as Karma— personally, I don’t buy any of that stuff from any religion.
I suppose one of the risks of marrying someone who has a bit of a reputation for playing around, is that they may continue old habits. Similarly, people who fly light aircraft do risk the ever present threat of being heavier than air if the engine stops or some other mechanical fault arises.
I felt really sorry for her and wished I’d had the chance to meet her. Do I try and get Simon to talk about it, or do I let sleeping dogs lie? Has he had therapy for it or is he suppressing it all? I have no idea, nor where to start dealing with it.
Whilst I was at the computer, I did a search for her late husband and discovered his obituary which was longer than his widow’s. He was a positive hero, flying Harriers in the Falkland’s War and credited with shooting down two Argentine fighter bombers.
He was involved in an attempt at the world record to set a new height achieved by an aircraft, although the Americans took it back soon after, and he left the RAF to fly commercial aircraft before training as a stockbroker, at which he showed great skill and soon made his fortune.
Ah, here comes the but—at the time of his death, he was being investigated for malpractice involving some very iffy investments running into millions of pounds—and the cause of the crash which killed him was never fully explained by air crash investigators. In the end it was attributed to pilot error—he hit an electricity pylon and his plane exploded in a fireball. What a horrible way to go, whether deliberate or accidental.
At least it proves that the Cameron family had tragedies before they met me, so maybe I’m not the jinx I sometimes think I am.
I closed down the computer and decided that if I got the chance I’d visit Margaret’s grave, once I’d located where it was I would do so. They’d lived somewhere in Surrey according to the obituaries, so that’s probably where she was buried.
It was time for lunch, so I did us a quick mushroom omelette, that is, Jenny and I, then by the time I’d done a few chores, like making a chicken casserole, with dumplings for Simon and Tom, and sorting some books in our new library, it was time to get the girls.
I felt saddened by what I’d discovered of Simon and Stella’s mother’s life and premature death. I felt like I wanted to visit her grave to say I felt sorry for her and to reassure her that I’d look after Simon for better or worse as long as I could. I felt a bond with her despite never having met her. I suppose the bond being Simon and to some degree, Stella.
It just goes to show that people can seem to be having everything going smoothly for them and suddenly it nose dives and crashes in flames. It made me think a little about my own career and how ephemeral it all is. I mean what would I do if Simon cheated on me? Or worse, what would I do if he were to die suddenly? I’d have to keep going, I have more than him depending upon me and I know we’d be secure financially, but there’s much more to life than money.
I was still contemplating these things when I walked across the playground to collect the girls. Trish and Billie had been taking their pills for a whole day—they take one with breakfast each, and I half expect them to be measuring their chests every day for the next umpteen months.
Billie was already wearing a padded bra thing, although her chest was pretty flat just a little puppy fat under the nipples, and Trish had developed a little in the chest department since her DIY orchidectomy some months ago.
Billie’s demeanour had certainly improved in a day or two, and she was quite talkative on the way home. I felt even more pressured because in meeting the girls at the school, I bumped into the headmistress who suggested they were looking for the play to run during the first week of June. Damn, that meant I had lines to learn.
After learning this, I didn’t really listen to the girls as we drove home, I had my own agenda to worry about and was deep in it, when I heard Trish yelling at me. “MUMMEEE.”
I roused myself back to deal with her. “There’s no need to shout, I’m not deaf you know.” They all laughed at this.
“Well why didn’t you answer, then?”
“Excuse me, but is that any way to speak to your mother?” I chided Trish.
“Well, you weren’t listening.”
“There is no need to be rude, young lady.”
“You weren’t listening.”
“Perhaps I wasn’t, there is still no need to be rude to me, is there?”
“No,” I saw her blush in the rear view mirror and mutter, ‘’S’not fair.’
“What did you need to tell me that was so important?” I asked still watching her in the mirror.
“Can we go to Emily’s party?”
“I don’t know, when is it?”
“We’ll see, I have to take you to see Dr Rose tomorrow.”
“At the hospital, Mummy?”
“Oh poo, I hate going there, seeing Dr Cauldwell at home is much nicer—can’t you invite Dr Rose to dinner or lunch?”
“No I can’t, besides he has to do some blood tests, I think.”
“Oh poo, poo, poo.”
“Trish, don’t be dirty.”
“I hate blood tests, they hurt.” This was being said by someone who tried and nearly succeeded in hacking off their own scrotum and testes.
“Well, if he wants to do some, you will have to comply, won’t you?”
“Oh poo,” she said and sat back her arms folded.
“You’ll be able to see how much hormone you have from the pills,” suggested Billie, but Trish wasn’t buying it and almost sneered contemptuously at her sister.
“Won’t have taken enough of the bloody stuff by then, will I, you nit?”
“You’ll have taken two or three lots,” Billie continued on her path oblivious to the fate she was courting.
“Two or three lots won’t show, you dimwit, two or three lots of your pills won’t make any difference either, will they, Mummy?”
“I doubt it.”
“See, it takes months not bloody days.” Trish rolled her eyes in despair—to be fair, Billie isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and Trish does get frustrated at times.
The upshot of this was I had two of them sitting with arms folded and faces distorted by a huge sulk. I wondered if I’d collect a whole set before we got home?
It wasn’t to be, Meems and Livvie chatted away together ignoring their siblings and then Livvie asked me if I’d seen Sister Maria, because she’d asked her to tell me she wanted to see me.
I explained that I had just before I’d seen the girls emerging from their classrooms. Meems then asked if we had any mushrooms. I told her we did, although I then remembered I’d used them all in my casserole. “Why do you want mushrooms?”
“We’re doing decay in science, and mushrooms decay things.”
“They do indeed. I can stop on the way home if you like and get some?”
“Yes please, Mummy.”
“They won’t show you how it all works, but if we have time maybe Trish will allow you to borrow her microscope and you can have a look at their gills and the spores they carry.”
“Gills are on fish, not mushrooms,” said Trish firmly and with superiority.
“Well that’s where you’re wrong, Miss Know-it-all; certain types of fungi have parts which are called gills because they look similar to the gills of some fish, only they’re not involved in respiration.”
“Huh,” she huffed and folded her arms tighter and upped the sullenness of her face.
It was going to be a fun evening if this continued.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudo!
Click the Good Story! button above to leave the author a kudo:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.