(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
Simon, grumbling about no breakfast—his own fault—took Danielle off to her soccer match accompanied by Livvie with her camera. In the past she’s taken some amazing photos, given her age. I told Danielle to keep the goals down to single figures which made her laugh as she pecked me on the cheek and went off with her dad in the F type.
Once that was over, I made a quick cuppa and after its consumption went upstairs with the other little maids and we had a group shower, then it was drying them and their hair—Hannah and Trish helped with the youngsters in the combing out of knots and tangles by which time I was dry myself and my hair wrapped up in a towel. They all ended up with pigtails, except Trish, who wanted a single plait. Then it was getting them dressed and as predicted involved me ironing favourite dresses before they could be worn. We then had three of them running about in their underwear as I wouldn’t allow them to dress until we were nearly ready to leave.
I had to wet my hair again before I could style it, which I did in an up-style, defying gravity courtesy of some combs and clips. I wore a simply summer dress and kept my makeup simple as well, mascara and eyeliner, some eyebrow colour as mine are so blonde, and some lippy. Perfume was Coco and the jewellery, a bangle bracelet and a gold chain with marching ear studs. The girls were allowed to use their own colognes/ eau de toilettes and I let Trish and Hannah wear a little eye shadow.
When the soccer stars arrived home it was a rush job to get them showered and changed in time for our luncheon appointment, especially as Danielle needs two hours for her eyelashes, or the mascara on them, to dry. Having said that, she looked really lovely in a skirt and top and I began to feel old and drab by comparison to her. She was full of herself and Livvie showed us four of the goals she scored, which our photographic whiz had captured on the camera’s memory. All in all she scored another two, making it two weeks running where she scored six and she also made three others. They won nine nil. I asked if the other team had gone home after the kick off?
Simon drove the VW to the hotel and we were welcomed by fawning employees and led to the restaurant where Monica and Henry were waiting for us, sipping something fizzy. I agreed to drive the VW back so Simon could have a drink and he opted for a glass of red wine, Henry kept him company while Monica admired the girls and told me she was driving back to London afterwards, so was on fizzy water. I’ve never quite understood the attraction of mild carbonic acid and the damage it can do to teeth, but people drink it all the time in fizzy soft drinks where the added sugar helps destroy their teeth in record times.
I settled for a lime and soda, I know, I’m a hypocrite but I really didn’t want to be there let alone choosing a drink from a list of thousands. By the time I drank it, the fizz had pretty well gone but it was cold and tasted fine.
For dinner I had a lamb shank with a mint based gravy, it was different but I’d have preferred ordinary gravy and some mint sauce—but hey—you have to try these things. The meat was helped down with a plethora of fresh vegetables including broad beans and sliced green beans, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots besides roast and new potatoes. I was too full to eat a pudding though Henry ordered me a sorbet with ice cream—which I should have thrown at him but instead let Trish eat for me. He gave me a wry look and shook his head.
We all celebrated Danielle’s goals and he offered her a fiver for every one she scored next week. That would probably put her off as it would change her way of thinking about scoring—the game being a team one and if she hogged the action it may well reduce the number overall. I’d have word with her before then and point this out to her.
Before I could realise I was being included in a meeting, Monica had disappeared with the children and Simon, Henry and I were led off to a private room and coffee or tea was provided.
“Okay, what’s going on?” I asked as soon as the flunky had left us.
“We’ve been thinking...,” began Henry, never a good start to a meeting. He prattled on for several minutes and I wasn’t sure how I felt about what he said.
“Let me get this straight,” I said about to recap on what I thought Henry had said. “You want Trish to develop her potential and go off to Cambridge but you share my concerns that she is too young to be there on her own, so you have proposed to the master of St Thomas college, that you endow a chair in ecological science on the understanding they offer it to me. You must be crazy—that will cost you millions.”
“I appreciate we could probably run a reasonable cycling team for the same cost which would get us oodles more publicity but it wouldn’t solve Trish’s problem, and they have an excellent department of physics and mathematics. It would also enable you to start a new department from scratch and build it as you want to.”
“But everyone will say that you bought me a chair at Cambridge because I was too stupid to get one by my own efforts, not to mention that it may not have occurred to you that I don’t particularly wish to move to Cambridge.”
“Actually, Cathy, they told us what they wanted to do—or what they wanted us to do in endowing a chair and that they thought with your record, you would be an excellent choice and let’s face it, this will be far better than waiting for Esmond to retire from Sussex. I suspect Cambridge—best university in the world last year—has a bit more kudos than even Sussex, which is well up the food chain from Portsmouth.”
“Henry, I’m flattered that you should endow a chair and want me to take it, especially as it could possibly resolve the dilemma of Trish achieving her full potential...”
“There’s a but coming, isn’t there?”
“I can’t do it for two reasons, it would look like, because it bloody well is, nepotism; the second is, Daddy relies on me to help him at Portsmouth. The cries of nepotism there were quite loud until I showed I was my own person and threatened to bring down the academic council.”
“I somehow could never see you as a Bolshevik, Cathy causing revolutions, you’re far too beautiful.”
“Perhaps you don’t know me as well as you thought, so sorry boys, I’m not going to Cambridge.”
They looked at each other and almost high fived, just what is going on?
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