Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I felt very sad when they all departed in a minibus to go to Southampton airport for their flight to Menorca. I’d left the older girls to sort their own packing, with strict instructions to Henry not to buy them any more clothes, if they took the wrong ones that was their own fault, they had been informed about what to take.
I’d bought each of them a lightweight shower-proof jacket in case there was any rain, though I doubted it, as most seemed to be falling over here. Once the tearful departure was over, I settled down with Catherine for a cuddle. I suppose I should have expected it, but I fell asleep and would have remained so if the baby hadn’t squawked at me and bashed me on the arm. Half asleep I unbuttoned my bra and she suckled for a little while before we both went off to sleep.
Simon, the rat, took a photo of us and sent it to the crew in Menorca, via Trish’s email address. It’s hardly my most flattering image, sitting there with my mouth open and the baby with hers locked onto my nipple. I would wait my chance to return the favour, and my Blackberry has quite a reasonable camera on it.
I think I must have tired because I actually fell asleep during the TdF, anyway, Wiggo was still in control though only David Millar had won a stage of the handful of Brits riding and that was on the anniversary of Tommy Simpson’s death on Ventoux some forty five years before. Simpson was one of the best cyclists this country has ever produced, winning several classics and the world championship long before Cavendish was a twinkle in his father’s eye. Simpson died of dehydration after taking combination of alcohol and amphetamines—neither of which were illegal in those days.
Millar who used EPO to enhance his performance was banned for two years. He has since learned his lesson and is now an advocate of drug free sport, especially cycling. He’s also part of Team GB who will be attempting to give Mark Cavendish a shot at winning the sprint for the Olympic Road Race gold medal. There’ll be quite a few other cyclists trying to spoil his fun.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” Maureen interrupted my reverie.
“You can call me Cathy, you know, Maureen.”
“I’m well aware of that, ma’am, but it seems disrespectful to do that to someone who saved my life.”
“I think that’s a trifle exaggerated, I offered you a job—you did the rest.”
“So you don’t count bringing me back from the abyss?”
“What abyss was that then?” Never having seen one, I was curious.
“You know exactly what I mean, ma’am,” we seemed to attracting a bit of an audience and I felt myself blushing.
“Oh, what’s this about, seems like I missed out on the good stuff as usual,” David was standing on the far side of the kitchen performing miracles with meat and vegetables.
“A while back, I got assaulted by a gang of thugs, I managed to take out a couple before I went down. They nigh on killed me—I reckon they actually did—but her ladyship, here, brought me back.”
“Brought you back? From where?” David put down the vegetables and gave his full attention to Maureen’s narrative.
“I reckon I was dead ’n’ gorn, in this terrible dark place an’ then I ’eard this voice calling to me to follow it and the blue light. I done what she told me, an’ got back to my body.”
“You were in a coma, not dead.” I threw in trying to avoid comparison with someone who was alleged to raise people from the dead a couple of millennia ago.
“Ma’am, they told me I was this far from corpsin’,” Maureen held up a finger and thumb with virtually no gap between them.
“I did try to help you out of the coma, but I think you’re confusing things a bit, Maureen.”
“Well, I know what I experienced, an’ I’d follow that voice to ’ell an’ back, if she asked me.”
“I hope I never do—ask you, that is.”
“You do seem to inspire devotion amongst those who know you,” observed our cook.
“She’s an angel, she really is,” declared Maureen sniffing back a tear.
“Please, Maureen, let’s not talk of this old stuff any longer,” I suggested and just then the phone rang. I went to answer it.
“Hi, Cathy, it’s Andy Bond. I just thought I’d let you know that Mrs Stone has been declared unfit to plead, so she won’t be going to trial.”
“Thanks for that, Andy, I totally agree with it. Let’s face it, she can hardly be punished more than she already has by the loss of her child.”
“Cathy, he was rather more than a kid, and was a real nasty piece of work and I for one won’t be mourning him.”
“It’s still her child and she wasn’t trying to kill him, I was the target, only her aim was off.” I became aware of the conversation behind me pausing as if they were listening to mine.
Andy rang off and when I looked at Maureen and David they were back to talking in low whispers which to my mind indicated that I was the subject of their conversation. I left them to it, the two ‘old women’ they were and went to check my emails. I walked down with Catherine holding my hand and walking alongside me. She was very pleased with herself and giggled as we strolled along.
I’d been invited to talk to the county meeting of the various young farmers groups throughout Hampshire, at their next meeting. I’d have to think about that, because they way I felt at that moment, I couldn’t address an envelope let alone a group of environmental terrorists. I sent back a non-committal response.
Next, the local bike-shop was offering generous discounts on everything, except anything I wanted. Apparently, they were celebrating a British leader in the TdF and offering a per cent off the usual price for each day he held the yellow jersey. It didn’t entice me into parting with any cash, although one of the mountain bikes looked quite interesting.
Sammi came to tell me that lunch was served and as we walked back she asked, “You really are the mystery healer, aren’t you?”
“I can’t answer that on the grounds that if I do, I’ll have to kill you—heal you—kill you—heal you—kill you...” She burst out laughing and I chuckled a bit too.
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