Nena: Book 5
by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2008 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.
"We still okay for the last stop?" Jonathon enquired as I tidied up the galley a bit.
"Ja, I think so, it’s a pleasant evening and not far I think."
"What’re we doing about food tonight?"
"For dinner?" I pretended to play dumb, as Chris I’d already discussed this with him."
"Yeah I sort of left it up to Chris."
"Of course, we will go into Lüneburg; there are many restaurants to choose from, oriental, some brauhaus and other cuisine also."
"Sounds good, I’d best gather the troops then."
"Everything okay?" Den asked when I returned to the front of the bus.
"Uh huh, one more pile of rocks then back to change for dinner, I can drive into the town if you like."
"I wouldn't mind a beer or two."
"Well I won't be drinking much anyhow."
"It’s a deal!" he grinned.
Most of the group were by now back aboard and Jonathon soon ushered the laggards on board allowing us to get on our way.
It truly wasn't very far to our last scheduled halt, only a little over ten minutes’ drive and thankfully on a more Tiddler friendly road.
"You sure this is it? I can't see anything." Den mentioned.
"It’s a few minutes’ walk down that track according to the notes."
"I’ll put the bus on the side then."
"Psst, this it Nena?" Jonathon queried.
"According to Chris' notes." I confirmed.
"Bit of a wild card this one, not sure how much there is to see, you guys coming for a walk?"
"Yeah why not." Den agreed, looks like I’m going whether I want to or not.
Five minutes later we were taking a fairly relaxed stroll along a farm track between freshly ploughed and harrowed fields; away across the rolling countryside other fields were still being worked on, the whine of the tractors reaching us on the light evening breeze. The conversation around us varied from discussions on real ale to how military guardianship affected archaeology. Den was happily chatting to Graham up ahead; by the snatches I caught they were talking about airfields of all things.
"Penny for them."
"Eh!" I nearly jumped out of my skin.
"It’s an English saying," Jonathon explained, "a penny for your thoughts, you looked miles away."
"Oh yes of course, I was just enjoying the countryside."
"It is quite pleasant out here, bit like home really."
"Uh huh." I idly agreed without thinking, it is quite like north Nottinghamshire hereabouts.
"Where do you come from then?" Jonathon pressed.
Born and bred in Mansfield, "I come from," my girlfriend’s imagination, "a small willage in the south."
"You’re English is damned good."
At least I have a cover story, "I did a tourism course in Nottingham which is how I met Chris and got to work with Global."
"So you like this kind of work?"
"Ja, I get to travel and meet people und get paid to do it."
He chuckled, "never thought of it like that before. Look tonight, can I buy you dinner?"
Shit, he's making a move on me, how do I get out of this?
"I should eat with Dennis."
"Yes of course, I mean I’ll pay for dinner for you both, you guys have really pulled out all the stops for this trip."
He wasn't very good at hiding his disappointment at my deflection but it looks like he'll be eating with us.
"Um sure, danke."
"This it?" Stevie yelled back towards us.
'It', when we arrived a minute later, was a small clearing resembling a corral for miniature horses with, at first glance, a few random stones littered across.
"Not much to look at." Graham noted.
"There is more but we'll come to that shortly but for now, welcome to Bonstorf." Jonathon started.
Over the next twenty minutes, whilst hardly resembling either of this morning’s stops, the more ignorant of us (me and Den that is) learnt a surprising amount including how to spot a burial mound hidden in scrubby woodland. I was starting to see the attraction of this 'archaeology safari' as Jonathon called it.
The walk back up to Tiddler was less animated, it’s been a long day and clearly there were some tired bodies making the journey.
"I think Jonathon's a bit soft on you." Stevie's voice cut into my thoughts.
"Eh? Soft?" I hammed.
"You know has a thing, fancies you."
I really can't like this woman although I've come to the same conclusion.
"He’s very pleasant?"
"I er have a relationship already."
"Oo, it’s not Den?" she probed.
"Of course not Dennis." I almost snapped back.
"If you say so," she didn't sound convinced, "so where are we eating tonight?"
"We’re going into Lüneburg." Jonathon supplied having dropped back to where we were now lagging.
"Brill, I can wear my posh frock." Stevie enthused.
"Heels and tiaras." Jonathon joked.
"Rob!" and she was gone.
"Is she always so erm intense?"
"She can be a bit full on sometimes but give her a spit to dig and she'll happily sit in a hole all day scraping away."
"It’s what we call a level when we're digging, like you see on Time Team®."
"You know, archaeology on the telly, Tony Robinson and co."
"Sorry you've lost me."
Well of course Chris knows about it but why should Nena here in Germany? Of course my feigned ignorance meant I received an, if not exhaustive at least thorough description of not just the programmes format but his, and the groups brush with fame a couple of years previously. The original thread of our conversation, Stevie, was forgotten long before we got back to the road.
"Come on you two." Barbara, one of the 'old ladies', encouraged, "we'll miss dinner."
"Just telling Nena about the castle." Jonathon supplied.
"Well I hope you didn't bore the poor girl too much."
"It was interesting." I allowed, well it was up to a point.
"Well just tell him to shut up if he's boring you."
She was certainly not averse to straight talking at the same time I got the impression from the rest of the group's smirks that this interaction was a fairly regular occurrence.
"We should move on?" I suggested.
"Good idea," Jonathon agreed, "come on Barb, I’m starving."
We clambered up into Tiddler; Den had the door shut before I was sat.
"Home Parker." I sighed strapping myself in.
"Fwoff," I blew into the mic, "if I can have your attention please?"
The chatter from our passengers died down somewhat.
"Just to let you know the arrangements for this evening, we'll be back at Am Bahnhof in a few minutes but tonight as some of you know, we are going into Lüneburg to eat. So can I please ask for you to be back at the bus for nineteen hundred, er seven o'clock that is. We have no group booking; Chris suggested that smaller groups will be easier to find accommodations to eat. Anyone have any questions?"
"Is there much walking?" Stevie enquired.
"Some I think but not so much, we will park the bus as close to the centre as we are allowed
Maddy Bell © 160313
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