Author Topic: A troubled Advent.  (Read 301 times)

Offline norfolkdumpling

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A troubled Advent.
« on: December 01, 2022, 08:04:47 PM »
The story is set a year after Steve's aunt, Milly Lane died. Annabelle Seaton Carew has moved into the annexe next door to Steve and Dora and although she cannot replace Milly the arrangement is working out well.
(AUTHORS NOTE. I am aware that the legal niceties of this story are probably not accurate, but they are really an aside to the relationship with Dora, Steve and the family- so bear with me please!)
Just after breakfast on 1st December the telephone rang at 'Copper's Rest. ' Steve picked it up and recited the telephone number.
'Would that be Mr. Steven Ross?'
'Yes, that's me.'
I am calling from Leeds Central Police station where I'm the desk sergeant on duty. I have a Mrs. Katherine Ross with me, and she would like to speak to you.'
Steve wondered what was coming and sent both children off to their rooms to get ready for school. Dora went and stood beside him and he held the telephone so she could hear.
'Steve, I've been arrested. I need you to come and stand surety for me.'
'Oh mum, what have you done now?'
'Well, I er accidentally kicked a police officer outside my local last night but they're saying it was deliberate. I spent last night in a police cell..'
'Have you got a solicitor?'
'Yes. I told them I haven't any money, so they've arranged for the duty solicitor to come in. I've got to have a bail hearing at 11.30 this morning and if I can't find anyone to put up the bail money, I'll be remanded in custody till my court hearing seeing as how it's not my first offence.'
Part of Steve wanted to say that it would serve her right if that was what happened but after all she was still his mother, and it was almost Christmas so...
'I.ve got to take the children to school but I'll get there as soon as I can.' He put the receiver down.
'Accidentally my foot! she knew what she was doing although she was probably the worse for drink which is why they put her in the cells for the night. She was warned the last time she was in trouble that if she offended again, she would be looking at a custodial sentence.'
'Do you think she can be trusted not to try and skip bail if it's granted?'
'I dunno Dora but I suppose I'll have to give her the benefit of the doubt.'
'Do you want me to come?'
'No stay here. See if you can get someone to take care of our chores and stay by the phone.'
Pru and Jeff emerged from their rooms and Dora checked they had everything they needed for the school day. She kissed all three of them and said 'See you latet.'
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

Offline norfolkdumpling

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2022, 07:30:24 PM »
When Steve arrived at the station, he was greeted by a stern looking desk sergeant. 'Can I help you sir?'
My name is Steven Ross, I believe-' 'I presume you are Katherine Ross's son.'
'Yes.'
'If you're willing to stand surety for her she'll probably be granted bail, but I need to go through some things with you so please come through to my office. I'll just get someone to man the desk.'
Meanwhile, back at Copper's Rest Dora received a visit from Annabelle. 'You look troubled Dora, is anything wrong?'
Dora explained about Cathy and her past brushes with the law. 'Milly's late husband Bert and Steve have helped her out before, but she has a bit of a drink problem and I suspect she was the worse for wear when this latest episode happened. She could be facing a jail sentence or at least a hefty fine and if it's the latter I know who'll be paying!'
'Try not to worry too much. I'll make us a nice cup of tea and I know you've got some fig bars, your favourite biscuits. ' Dora was on auto pilot as she got out the biscuit tin and mugs and accepted the drink from Annabelle. 'I wish Steve had let me go with him.'
Although she was expecting Steve's call she jumped when the phone rang. 'Steve, what happened?'
Bail was granted with £200 surety. It's a bit more than they would ask for normally but she's considered to be a bit of a risk. I told her that if she wanted me to do this for her, she would have to come and stay with us until the court appearance which won't be until sometime in the New Year.'
'Oh Steve, what a responsibility!'
'I know, she's packing her things right now. you need to take all the alcohol which was left from you parents Christmas gift last year and lock in the cupboard at colonel G's, hopefully she won't think about looking for it there. You also need to tell everyone that they are not to offer her an alcoholic drink- not even Marianne's home-made wine and definitely not to buy her any. Also no-one is to give her lifts into Whistledown or anywhere else for that matter. I'm really worried in case she tries to do a runner, but I don't know what else can be done.'
Annabelle had been listening. 'It's going to be very difficult to watch her all the time. I'll do my share of course and so will everyone else.'
'Well, that's one advantage of living out here. There's no bus service and it's a long walk to the nearest village. The trouble is there's a lot of work to do and she can't stand horses. I must get that drink locked away.'
'Give me the keys and tell me where it is and I'll do that for you while you go and talk to everyone else.'
'Thanks that would be a great help. ' Steve had told Dora to have her lunch as he had to go to the supermarket to get some food Cathy would eat as when he mentioned home-made soup which they normally had at lunch time, she said she only ate the tinned stuff and liked things like burgers and fish fingers for tea whereas they liked to provide a meal with fresh vegetables and fruit for the evening meal as Jeff and Pru had a packed lunch.
When Steve and Cathy arrived, she was carrying a cage covered in a sheet. She set it down and uncovered it to reveal a parrot.
'Hello you daft s---' it squawked.
'I didn't know you had a parrot!'
'It's not mine. I'm looking after it for my boyfriend. He's abroad on business for a few weeks and when he gets back, we're getting engaged.'
'Well, you'll have to keep that thing in your bedroom' said Steve coming in with loaded shopping bags.
'Show me where it is. I need to have a rest. I got hardly a wink last night in that cell'
'According to the sergeant you snored enough to keep all the other detainees awake!' said Steve. He took her bags to her room. 'You'll need to get me a telly unless you want to spend your evenings watching what I want.'
'Milly's set is stored in the loft as Annabelle has her own. I'll get it down for you tomorrow.' said Steve.


norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2022, 10:05:37 AM »
'I'm a bit peckish now. I'll have a can of tomato soup and one of those nice rolls you bought. Let me know when it's ready!'
'A please would be nice!' said Steve as he went back to Dora who was unpacking the shopping.
'I've put your soup on to heat up Steve. Ron rang earlier and when I told him what was going on he said he'd pick up Pru and Jeff and bring them back after tea.'
'Oh heavens. I'd forgotten how late it was. We'll leave lighting the candle till they get home. Mum would like a tin of tomato soup and a roll please- not that she said that.'
'Did you know about the boyfriend Steve?'
'No and obviously not the supposed engagement. I'm not happy about that flaming parrot either. She'll have to look after it because we're not.'
'Have your soup while I look after Cathy's. there's an awful lot of junk food here Steve-oh except for the butter1'
'Yes, I know. She won't touch any of the margarines. I think she had better have her tea earlier than us, I don't want the children to think they're going to eat that kind of thing every night! Once in a while is fine when we go out but not as a general rule.'
'Give Cathy a call Steve, her soup's ready.'
Steve opened Cathy's door went in and called her. 'Where are your manners you should knock before coming into a lady's bedroom' said Cathy angrily.
'Sorry, I'm sure.' There was the smell of cheap perfume in the room. Cathy had picked it up and squirted it as Steve walked in.
'Hello handsome!' squawked the parrot. Steve was startled at first. 'You'll have to get used to him if you're going to come in here. His name's Perry by the way, short for Peregrine.'
'You can butter your own rolls mum' said Steve as she sat down to eat.
'Oh for pity's sake drop the mum and call me Cathy, you, Dora and the kids- no grandma or nanny- understood?'
'Oh I don't know about that, they always call you Nanna Cath' said Dora.
'Well if they do I won't answer.'  After she'd eaten her soup and roll Cathy gave a loud burp. 'I'll have a nice cup of tea now. milk and two sugars!'
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2022, 06:57:04 PM »
After lunch Caty retired to her room again for a rest. Steve could see that his mother's behaviour was causing problems for Dora because of the sort of upbringing she'd had and the way they were trying to bring up their children. He felt exactly the same himself because at the orphanage discipline had been strict and good manner were expected. 'I don't know what we should tell the children about Cathy staying here.' said Steve. 'I'd just tell them she's having some work done on her flat and will be with us for a few weeks.'
'That's a good idea and we'd best tell Cathy that's what we're going to say.'
'Steve, if she's going to be here for Christmas there's no way we can celebrate with the rest of the folk here as we normally do. They're all entitled to have a drink or two but I'm sure Cathy would not stop at that.' 'No, you're right. I'm beginning to wish that I hadn't bailed her, but I don't know how long they would have kept her locked up.' 'We'll manage Steve. We always do!
When Cathy emerged from her room a bit later, she said 'Where's Steve?'
'He's picking the children up from school. He's going to tell them that the reason you're here with us is that you're having some work done on your flat.' 'You could tell them the truth. I am innocent you know. I didn't mean to kick the pig' Dora grimaced at the use of that word.
'They both have very enquiring minds, and you would have faced a lot of questions about what happened.'
'What about the story you've concocted. Won't they ask about that?'
'I don't think that they'll find that very interesting but if they do ask, we'll tell them you're having electrical work done.'
Pru and Jeff were quite excited because they had started to learn songs and poems for a concert that was to be performed at the end of term.
'You'll be able to come too na- I mean Cathy.' said Jeff. There's a special performance for grandparents with free refreshments.'
'Oh, I'll be long gone by then-, but the free refreshments sound nice.'
'Can we open our Advent Calendars mum?' asked Pru.
'Yes of course and we'll light the Advent candle at teatime.'
'What's that in aid of?' asked Cathy.
'It's a Christian tradition to light a candle and burn one section on every day in Advent' explained Dora.
'And we're going to remember Auntie Milly,' said Jeff. 'The children also open one door of their calendars each day. There's a chocolate behind each one and a picture related to the Christmas story.' said Dora. This year Pru's picture was of Bethlehem and behind door one she found an image of a star. Jeff's picture was of the wise men's journey, and he also found a star.
Hhm. you might just as well buy a big tin of 'Midnight' chocolates then we could all have one each day. I can't be doing with all this religious claptrap!'
'Go and change out of your uniforms and get your homework done before tea.' Steve told the children. 'Cathy can you be a bit more sensitive towards the children's feelings? They used to love it when Milly told them the Christmas story and of course now they learn about it at school.'
'Do I have to sit and eat my tea by candlelight?' enquired Cathy.
'We thought you could have your tea first.' said Dora. 'What would you like tonight?'
'Burgers with chips and onions.'
'Would you like to cook your own?'
'You've got a gas cooker. I'm used to electric so you can cook it for me. There's got to be some benefits to living out here.'
Steve looked as if he was going to say something, but Dora put her hand on his arm and said, 'Never mind Steve, let it go.'
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2022, 08:35:37 PM »
After she had had her tea Cathy said 'I watch Kingdom Street every night at 7 o'clock on ITV, I've seldom missed an episode and the story has reached a very interesting point, so I don't want to miss it.'
'But there's a documentary about Richard 3rd on BBC tonight,' said Dora. 'Steve is really into history.'
'Well, he'd better get me the television he spoke about then!'
'I can't go up in the loft tonight!'
'Well your programme is sure to be repeated.'
'Okay, just this once you can watch our set. I'll read for a while. Dora is going to wash Pru's hair and Jeff's making a Lego model.'
Steve went into the bedroom when the programme started because Cathy had the volume up very loud,. Jeff came into the room on his way to the kitchen to fetch a drink. 'Get my cardigan from off my bed there's a good boy.'
Jeff entered the bedroom. The parrot had been left uncovered 'Whatcha!' he squawked. Jeff wasn't at all scared by the sudden noise and went over to the cage.' Hello Polly, Who's a pretty parrot?' 'Geroff out!' said the parrot. Jeff picked up the cardigan and took it to Cathy.
'Polly doesn't like me. She told me to get off!'
'Well he would. He's called Peregrine or Perry for short!'
'Does he talk much?'
'Yes, now do as he says because the adverts have finished.' Jeff went to his room muttering to himself.
Later Steve went to Pru's room to read her a chapter of 'Tom Sawyer.' Jeff joined them. 'Cathy's got a parrot!' he said.
'Does it talk?' asked Pru. 'Yes, it said Whatcha but when I called it Polly it told me to Gerroff out. He's called Perry.
'I wonder what else he can say!' said Pru. when the children were safely in bed Steve went back to the lounge where Dora was writing Christmas. Cathy was fast asleep in the recliner chair.
'I'll make us a hot chocolate,' said Dora. 'Lovely- by the way the children know about the parrot.'
'I hope it's not said anything rude.do you think there's a smell of alcohol in here' Steve sniffed. 'Yes you're right, there is. I bet that was what was in Cathy's holdall. she wouldn't let me carry it. 'Cathy stirred and opened her eyes. 'Have you been drinking?' asked Steve.
'Just a little one. Have to have my nightly dose of Christmas cheer, don't I?'
'Well don't expect us to buy you anymore if you run out, and don't ask Annabelle or any of the others to do it either because they won't!' said Steve.
'It's drinking too much that gets you into trouble!'
'Oh stop preaching at me!'
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2022, 04:05:24 PM »
The next morning Steve had taken the children to school and was working at Follyfoot when Cathy finally put in an appearance. 'I want  a full English breakfast today.'
'I'm sorry we only have bacon and eggs at the moment. I'll get some mushrooms and tomatoes when I go shopping.'
'And sausages.'
'Very well!'
'You've got bread, haven't you?' Dora nodded keeping her temper with difficulty.
'Well I'll have to make do with two slices of fried bread, two rashers of bacon and two fried eggs.'
'I'll do it for you today but we don't normally have a full cooked breakfast except on Sundays- and scrambled or poached eggs would be much better for you. I won't have time to cook for you every day as I have work to do.'
'What do you normally have?'
Yoghurt,cereal, toast with jam, marmalade or honey, sometimes scrambled or poached eggs but normally in winter it's porridge.
'How about a couple of pancakes?'
'If you want some tomorrow there's plenty of eggs but I don't have time to cook them as I have a dental appointment. I'll be off to work in a few minutes. Enjoy your breakfast.'
'What's for lunch?'
'Well we'll be having home-made soup and rolls as usual. I presume you'd like a tin of soup with your rolls.'
'How about a nice cheese and pickle sandwich?'
'We're out of cheese at the moment. Steve and I will go shopping before we pick the children up so if there's anything else you'd like let us know at lunchtime.'
'Has Steve got me the telly yet?'
'No, he's going to do it at lunchtime.'
Cathy finished her breakfast and gave a loud burp. 'Can I watch some daytime telly in here then?'
'Yes of course but please excuse me now as I must get to Follyfoot.'
'Will you be back for lunch?'
'I'll probably get something at the farmhouse, but you can help yourself to a drink, there's biscuits in the tin.' Dora indicated where it was kept.
'I might come and join you there. The walk will do me good!'
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2022, 07:50:41 PM »
Dora found Steve in starlight's stall. i don't know how much more of your mother I can take, Steve' she said and went on to tell him about the morning this far. This is only the second day.'
'I'll have a word with her. There's no way we can pander to her every whim. The children will start to question why she always has different food to us. As she had said she would Cathy appeared at 11 o'clock and made herself known by shouting 'Hello. Dora, Steve where are you? I've come for elevenses.' Steve appeared from one of the stables with Dora close behind him. 'Actually we don't have exact times for our breaks we fir them in around midmorning when we have time. We'll be about another 10 minutes yet.'
'Where do you normally have it?'
'In Jodie and Grant's kitchen on most days. Jodie is usually on hand when we need a break.'
'That's good to know. Point me in the right direction.'
Steve showed her the way and then said 'Oh mate, what have I done? she'll be bothering Jodie as well now!'
'Let's finish what we're doing as quickly as we can and then go and join her.' said Dora.
They found Cathy in Jodie's kitchen eating a large scone. Jodie usually baked a couple of times a week and today was a baking day. Cathy eyed the tray of sausage rolls that had just come out of the oven. 'Can i take a couple hme for my lunch. I don't eat that homemade soup stuff and it's good to have a bit of a change from tinned soup and rolls.'
'Of course you can and take a couple more scones too. i expect you've got some jam haven't you Dora?'
'Yes strawberry and blackcurrant.'
'I can't eat strawberry as the seeds get under my plate and blackcurrant's too sharp. You'll need to add Plum jam to the shopping list Dora.'
'Don't worry,' said Jodie. 'I've got some hoe made plum jam. We had a good crop of plums this year but dora prefers blackcurrant and Steve and the children prefer Strawberry or raspberry.' Jodie produced a jar of jam and put the scones and sausage rolls in a couple of food bags.
Lovely' said Cathy. I'll wander off back to the bungalow now and probably see you this afternoon.'
'I'm so sorry Jodie,' said Steve. I hope she isn't going to make a nuisance of herself. We need to go shopping when we've picked the children up or we'd make sure one of us was there for afternoon tea.'
'It's no bother. I reckon she saw me put the Victoria sponge in the oven and is hoping for a piece later.'
'Don't make her too welcome or you'll never get rid of her!' said Dora.
'She's probably a  bit lonely. i don't mind keeping her company sometimes.'
'I'll get Milly's television down and install it in her room for her after lunch. I'm not missing the programme about 'Bournville' tonight.' said Steve. He explained to Jodie about Cathy's liking for 'Kingdom Street'. 'I used to watch that but it got a bit too raunchy for my liking so I've not seen it for years.'
'Don't let on to Cathy or she'll be bringing you up to date!' laughed Dora.

norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2022, 10:22:02 AM »
When Cathy saw the size of Milly's television she said 'Well i suppose it will have to do. At least it's colour..'
'Annabelle has asked if you would like to go there for afternoon tea. like Jodie she is a very good cook and I'm sure she'll have something nice for you. You can go round about 3 o'clock. Steve and I need to go shopping when we pick the children up from school so it will be company for you' said Dora. Alright, I'll go. I usually watch the daytime quiz at two o'clock so I'll go when it finishes. 'I'll make a list of thing for you to get for my meals. I'll have the sausage rolls and scones Judy gave me for my lunch today.'
 It's Jodie, not Judy. I suppose you don't have the money to pay for all this extra shopping' said Steve.
'On the money you let me have  each month- of course I don't!'
'You have your pension as well.'
'Yeah, well that doesn't go far.' When Steve saw the length of her shopping list he said 'Perhaps you can give Dora a hand with the housework while you're here instead of paying us money.'
I'll do my own washing and washing up, make my bed, look after Perry and keep my room tidy, how will that do?'
'Well it's better than nothing I suppose.' Pru and Jeff each had chores to do to earn their pocket money, small things like setting and clearing the table, putting their dirty clothes in the wash basket, feeding Benny and emptying the indoor bins into the dustbins as well as keeping their own rooms tidy. When they got home from school that day they were asked to help put the shopping away. 'If you can give us a hand with the extra work now that Cathy is staying with us there will be bit extra pocket money for you ok?' Jeff was saving his money for a Manchester United football kit and Pru wanted some roller skates so they both agreed happily.
'Alright for some!' muttered Cathy.
'Did you have a nice afternoon tea with Annabelle?' asked Dora.
'Yes, like you said she is a very good cook and had made a ginger cake.'
'Ooh we love Auntie Annabelle's ginger cake' said Jeff. 'Did she send us a piece each as she normally does?' asked Pru.
'Oh was that for you? I thought  it was a bit extra for me so I ate it with another cup of tea when I got back. I thought the pieces were a bit small!' 'honestly Cathy, Annabelle must have told you' said Dora.
'I think I must be going a bit deaf. I must have misheard what she said.'
Jeff looked mutinous and was about to say something but a warning look from Steve made sure he kept quiet. When all the shopping had been put away the children went to their rooms to change. Steve took Dora aside and said 'I'm just going to pop and see Annabelle.'
The children were sitting having a glass of milk when he got back with a serviette parcel in his hand. Cathy had gone to her room for a rest
'Here we are. Auntie Annabelle thought Cathy might have misheard so she saved you another piece each. Have it with your milk and not a word to Cath!
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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2022, 07:34:46 PM »
The next day when he arrived at Follyfoot Steve was met be a very anxious looking Tony. 'I think we should ask the vet to come and look at Fred.
He's off his food and seems generally unwell. Steve went into Fred's stable and gently ran his hands over him. One leg was obviously causing hem pain and Steve thought he could feel something under the skin. 'Yes you're right Tony. Phone and tell him there seems to be a lump on this front leg. I need to tell Dora. He's pretty special.'
Years ago when Folly was born Slugger had insisted that it should be called Fred as it definitely looked like a Fred but because Folly was a filly this had not happened. When Slugger was approaching the end of his life they had taken in a pregnant mare when it's owner had to spend a year overseas. In lieu of paying for her keep he had said they could keep the foal. As it was a male when it arrived in order to try and perk Slugger up they named it 'Fred'. He had remained healthy up till now and Steve hoped that the vet could put him right. When he went back to Copper's rest for morning tea Steve told Dora the news which was received as he thought it would be with a few tears.' Is Cathy not up yet. I'd better go and check that she's ok.' said Steve. He knocked on the door and receiving no answer went in. The bed was empty. 'Oh mate' he groaned.' Silly old fool' squawked Perry. You're not wrong there! If she's done a runner... He went back to the lounge.  'She's not in her room Dora. Have you been out this morning?'
'Yes I went to see Marianne but I wasn't gone more than a few minutes. Lily has a bad cold so she's at home.'
'I'll have to take the land rover and see if I can find her. ' Steve hadn't gone far when he spotted Cathy sitting on the grass at the side of the road with an empty bottle in her hand. 'What are you doing out here in the freezing cold Cathy?'
'Thought I'd come out for a walk as you don't like me drinking in the house.' Steve helped her up and ushered her to the vehicle.
'Was that bottle full when you started out this morning?'
'No. I had some yesterday and finished it off today.'
'Have you got any more?'
'That would be telling and don't you go poking about in my room!'
'Just make sure you don't let the children see you the worse for drink or I'll have to take you home.'
'And risk using your bail money. I don't think so!'
'Let's get you back in the warm. I'll make you some black coffee.'
At home Steve found Dora had her outdoor clothes on.
'The vet's been. Fred has an infection and is on antibiotics. I want to go and see  him.'
'Be careful it's a bit slippery underfoot. I'll try and get some black coffee into Cathy. She's been on the whisky. She hadn't got very far..
Cathy wouldn't touch the coffee Steve made but went to her room for a lay down. When later he once again knocked on her door and received no answer he went in and found her spark out on the bed. 'Shut the flaming door' said Perry. Steve resisted the temptation to search for alcohol and not for the first time wondered what they were going to do with his mother. The weekend was approaching and the children would be at home. Had he made a big mistake in bringing Cathy to stay with them?
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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2022, 10:33:51 AM »
The next day Dora went down to Follyfoot early to check on Fred. Steve had to see the accountants after the school run and as it was her day off Annabelle promised that she would look in on Cathy at morning tea time. There was no sign of Cathy in the lounge so Annabelle knocked on the door of the spare bedroom. There was no answer so she went in.'Give us a kiss' squawked Peregrine. Although she had been warned about the parrot Annabelle was caught off  guard and let out a shriek. Cathy's head appeared from under the covers.
'What do you want?' she asked angrily and Peregrine made a laughing noise.'
'I just came in to see if you're alright and make you a cup of tea.'
'Any cake?'
'Yes there's a piece of ginger cake.
'Do you think you could bring it to me- i feel a bit off colour this morning.
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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2022, 12:20:40 PM »
Annabelle sighed. 'Very well but don't get crumbs in the bed.'
'Silly old b----' said Peregrine. 'Well really!' said Annabelle. After drinking her own tea she went back to the annexe and phoned Dora at the farmhouse where she was having morning tea. 'Dora, i think Cathy's been drinking again. she was still in bed when I got there and that darned parrot scared the life out of me. I screamed and woke her up. She was not in a good mood and I had to take her tea into her. I'm sure I could smell alcohol in the room.' Dora said something very unladylike. 'It's only been a few days and I'm fed up with her already.'
'Can't she go back to Leeds?'
'Our address has been recorded as her temporary accommodation  and I don't know what would happen if she went back to her flat.'
'Well let me know if I can be of any more help. My skin is thick and I'm a tough cookie.' After his appointment Steve found Dora in Fred's stable.
'How's he doing?' he asked.
'He seems better, the vet's coming back tomorrow to check on him.' replied Dora.
'Are all the others ok?'
'They seem to be. The vet thinks Fred injured himself  and that triggered the infection. He doesn't think it's catching but we need to be extra vigilant.' She told Steve what had happened that morning with Cathy. 'I'm really fed up with her!'
'Me too but I don't know what we can do.'
'Do you think she's deliberately playing up  so we'll take her back to the flat.' Dora said.
'I wouldn't put it past her, i feel like wringing that bloomin' bird's neck'
'We have to be careful as he does not belong to Cathy. At least he shuts up if you put his cover on. I don't think Pru and Jeff have heard him say anything too rude yet!
 
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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2022, 04:58:01 PM »
Mum, don't forget we have to take our money for the Pantomime trip in today' said Jeff at breakfast the next day.
'Well done for reminding me!' Dora got out her purse and extracted the right money. After putting it in an envelope and writing on it what it was for she looked in her purse again and frowned. 'That's odd' she said. 'What's wrong love?' asked Steve.
'Not much really, it's just I thought I should have £3 left but there's only £2. I must have been mistaken.'
'Have you got enough or do you need any more?'
'I'm okay for the moment.'
'Well  if you need any extra just let me know. Are you going to Follyfoot?'
'Yes but just to check on Fred and say hello to the others then I'll be in the stables here. I want to try and make sure Cathy doesn't go walkabout again so I'm going to lock the door and keep the key with me.'
'She won't like that!'
'She probably won't be up until lunch time anyway. she's getting up later and later. I reckon she has a fair amount of drink before she settles down at night. She can't have that much left surely' said Dora.
'Goodness knows what's going to happen when she runs out!' said Steve.
When Steve got in for lunch Cathy was up and had already eaten. 'Can I come with you when you go to pick the children up from school?'
'Yes, but why would you want to?'
'I just want to get my bearings in the village in case I want to go in for  a wander around and do a bit of shopping.'
'I can get you anything you want from the supermarket. It's about 6 minutes walk away from where I park the car.'
'Steve there are certain things a bloke shouldn't buy for his mother.'
'Well Dora does the school run on Fridays. She can either get what you want or take you to the supermarket'
'I just want to get out of the house for a while.'
'No problem.'
When he had parked the car Cathy said 'which way is the village centre?' Steve showed her. 'How long will you be picking the children up/'
15-20 minutes. Do you want to come?'
'I think I'll sit and people watch.'  Steve left her. Ron Stryker had been to visit a friend in Leeds and because he was a bit late decided to take the car to meet Rikki instead of going home first. Seeing Steve's car he parked alongside it and noticed that one back door was not properly shut and the interior light was on. He did the honours. The door was not self locking and he said 'Not like Steve to be careless!'
Two mothers who he knew drove up just then. 'Janet, can you do me a favour and ask Steve Ross to pick up Rikki and bring her here. He's left his car unlocked and I don't like to leave it unattended.'
'Of course. Steve doesn't usually do things like that!'
'Perhaps Dora came' said her friend Jo.
'Dora is always very careful' defended Ron who had noticed someone in the distance walking towards the village. When Steve was told about the car he said 'I left my mother in the car!'
'Well she wasn't there when we arrived was she Jo?' said Janet.
'No. The car was empty.'
Steve hurried the three children back to the car park. 'Thanks Ron. I left Cathy in the car. She must have gone for a walk.'
'Was she wearing  a green coat and black woolly hat?'
'That's right.'
'It must have been her I saw walking towards the village.'
Cathy had found the supermarket and managed to buy a cheap bottle of whisky which she secreted in the deep inner pocket of her coat. As she left she saw an elderly lady getting into her car.
'Excuse me luv. I'm lost. I'm supposed to be meeting my nephew at the car park near the school and I'm already late. Could you give me a lift?'
'Yes of course. It's on my way home. Hop in.'
Steve had told the children they needed to get in the car quickly as they had to go in search of Cathy. As he was about to start the engine a car pulled up and Cathy said 'There he is. Thanks so much!'
'Sorry Steve. I walked further than I intended and got lost. This kind lady brought me back.'
'You left my car unattended and with the door unlocked and open. You're lucky Ron turned up before anyone stole it!'
'Ah well, all's well that ends well. I'm ready for a nice cup of tea now.


norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

Offline norfolkdumpling

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2022, 11:46:09 AM »
Dora was horrified when she heard what had happened. 'Don't take her with you again Steve!'
'I won't. I wouldn't mind betting she managed to buy some alcohol.'
'But she can't contribute to the shopping bill!' grumbled Dora.'
'Well she's had her allowance for this month but if she's here when next month's is due I'll re-direct some of it to our account. She can't have very much money left so hopefully this little jaunt will be the last.' said Steve.
Next day at lunch time Steve went into the second bathroom to wash his hands. 'Oh for goodness sake! Have you seen this Dora?'
Dora had been at Follyfoot with Fred most of the morning so hadn't been in the bathroom so went to look. There decorating every available surface were Cathy's items of underwear. 'Can't she use a washing machine!' exclaimed Dora. She got a large bowl and transferred everything to the washing machine. Hand washing had not got things particularly clean! I'm going to wake her up and tell her this is not acceptable.'
Dora banged on Cathy's door. There was no answer so she went in. 'Hello darling' said Peregrine. 'Don't you darling me you disreputable bird!'
Seeing Cathy's bed was empty she said 'Oh no, Steve. She's gone again and this time she's left a note.'
'Didn't you lock the door?'
'Yes but the other day I had to tell her where we kept the spare key in case she needed to get out in an emergency, ' Steve went to look.
'It's gone, what does the note say?'
'Gone to the village to catch a bus to Leeds to see my friends. don't worry, I'll be back later.'
'I wonder how she got to the village- if indeed she did of course' said Steve.
'She can't have walked all that way.'
'Perhaps I should go and see if she's at the flat.'
'If you're going to Leeds there's a couple of charms that need soldering on to my bracelet.'
'I'll have lunch and then go. Can you do the school run?'
'Yes, I need some more shopping anyway.'
'She's eating us out of house and home!'
'Actually it's fruit and veg. I need this time.'
When they had eaten Dora went to the bedroom to fetch the charms. Her jewellery box was in the safe but she had left the box with the remainder of Milly's jewellery on her dressing table. She remembered that there was a St. Christopher which she intended to give Pru for Christmas in the box but the clasp on the chain was broken so she thought she would give it to Steve so he could get it mended.
'Steve!' she called and he hurried into the bedroom wondering what was wrong. Milly had a necklace of real pearls which Bert had given her on their wedding day. They had offered it to Annabelle but she had refused it saying that it should remain in the family.
'You haven't moved Milly's pearls have you?'
'No, why?'
'They're not in their box.'
Pru wouldn't have borrowed them when she was playing dressing up would she?'
'She knows she mustn't come in here when neither of us is about and if she did come in I'm sure she wouldn't touch anything after the trouble she got into after playing with my make up!' Steve laughed at the memory and then became serious again.
'Has Cathy seen it?
.Not to my knowledge but if she has been in here she could have seen the box and recognised it as Milly's. She had had it a long time.
'And there's a pawnbrokers shop 5 minutes walk away from her flat!' said Steve.
'She wouldn't would she?'
'That's why we didn't give it to her in the first place. right I'll go to Leeds straight away. I may not be able to stop her but I can perhaps buy it back.' Steve picked up the charms and the necklace and made ready to get in the  car.


norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2022, 08:54:40 PM »
(Sorry no episode today as I have a bad cold. hopefully 2 tomorrow.)
norfolk dumpling aka loopylin

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Re: A troubled Advent.
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2022, 04:17:34 PM »
Cathy Ross had not even got as far as the village. She had taken what was left of the bottle of whisky she had bought the day before and after having been dropped off on the outskirts of the village by a delivery van who had picked her up she stopped to have a drink before venturing any further. Not looking where she was going she tripped and fell to the ground  hitting her head and passing out at the feet of Bert, the local bobby on the beat who called an ambulance. Searching her bag for identification he found a postcard addressed to a Mrs. Katherine Ross and her address in Leeds and also  a card with Follyfoot and a number written on it. He knew the place was owned by Steve and Dora Ross and at that moment he saw Eddie Shaw coming out of the garage and walk towards his car. 'Eddie,' he called. 'Can you come here please?'
'Wondering what he had done Eddie went over.
'Do you happen to know whether Steve Ross's mum is staying with the at the moment?'
'Yes- Oh my goodness that's her  he said noticing the inert figure on the floor and hearing the wail of the approaching ambulance. 'I'll tell Steve!' Eddie drove to Coppers Rest  where Steve was just about to get in his car.
'Can't stop to chat Eddie. I need to go to Leeds to try and find my mother, she's done a runner!'
'Well she'll be in Leeds alright, in the general . She's collapsed on the ground near the garage and is unconscious. Bert, the policeman called an ambulance which  was just arriving as I left.'
How did he know who she was?'
'Found something with her ID on and also a card with Follyfoot's number on I believe and then I confirmed who she is.'
'Thanks Eddie. I'll just go and tell Dora.' He did so then said 'I'll have to go to the hospital to see how badly injured she is. I'll be back as soon as I can.' Steve went to the reception desk in the A and E department and was told that his mother had been taken into one of the cubicles for assessment and he needed to wait. The receptionist said she would get a message sent through to say he had arrived. After more than an hour a doctor came to see him. 'Mr. Ross, your mother has a nasty cut on her head and she has broken her right wrist. Normally she would be able to come home after treatment but she has had a fair bit of alcohol and it could be that she's concussed. We have taken some blood samples and should have the results back soon.



norfolk dumpling aka loopylin