Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Holiday

For once the weather forecast was spot on. They had been promised a long hot Summer and here it was.Endless days of sunshine and balmy nights had produced a sort of euphoria in the village . The annual village fete, usually damp and miserable had  looked more like a Spanish Fiesta with all the brightly coloured bunting and the stall selling fajitas. Mandy thought that she had never seen the village look so beauful. Nestled in the valley surrounded by beech woods and the little stream perfect for paddling. Visitors came from far and wide when the sun shone like this.
Mandy checked the forecast on her i- phone yet again.it was her latest gift from Robbie.She had become obsessed with it, staring at the row of yellow suns, promising another week of  this gorgeous weather. The one Summer which was perfect for what the politicians liked to call a staycation and she and Robbie were off abroad. She walked into the little village post office and was greeted by the furious whirring of the fan and the sight of Mrs. Rodgers in a sundress , the flimsy straps cutting into her plump shoulders. 'Hello Mandy, 'she said,' Aren't we lucky with this weather? It reminds me of when I went to Majorca with my sister Doreen way back in the seventies. It was our first time abroad. All those sangrias and paellas and the Spanish lads with their big brown eyes.' Mr. Rodgers paused in the process of sorting out the Pension forms and gave his wife a saucy wink.'Then she met me and Olé!' He said grinning mischievously.
Mandy smiled at them . Thanks to them the Post office had become the hub of village life and tourists and ramblers came in crowds to sample the delicious home-made cream teas that Mrs. Rodgers served in the tiny front garden. They had made her feel so welcome when they moved in to  their little cottage  next to the pub where she worked as a waitress. 'Your  Robbie came in earlier, looking really dapper', said Mr. Rodgers, 'that new job suits him. He said how excited you  both are about going to Greece.Your first trip abroad.!'Mandy paid for her shopping and  smiled at the pair of them . When Robbie had got his longed- for promotion at Christmas  he had suggested booking a holiday straight away. 'It will give us something to look forward to through the winter months and we both need a bit of sunshine.' So they had booked a hotel on a Greek island that reminded her of Mamma Mia, one of her favourite films. The song 'Slipping through my fingers' always had her in floods of tears.She had been  delighted.  They had never had enough money for holidays, just the odd day trip . This was going to be the holiday of a lifetime.
The new promotion though ,had meant that Robbie worked long hours and they didn't see much of each other. Often she would eat on her own in the evening and now he was even away at the weekends. The new job had come with a new assistant, Karolina, a very pretty Polish girl who spoke perfect English. No more sharing Mrs. Sedgmore with the others and hearing about her arthritic knees. Being on her own so much meant Mandy had been getting to know their new neighbour. She had discovered that he  had moved to the village so he could commute easily to the airport.He worked as a pilot and was due for early retirement and wanted somewhere he could call home.Every evening they chatted happily over the garden fence and he confided in her more and more. He told her that he had never married. He had always been so busy travelling the world and there had never been anyone special enough to make him stay in one place. She told him that she had never been outside England. He told her about all the places he had seen. He had asked her round for a drink this evening and her heart was fluttering with an unfamiliar sensation. She really didn't want to go away on holiday any more. It didn't seem right. How could she tell Robbie?
She entered the house and was surprised to see Karolina  and Robbie sitting in the kitchen. They jumped up when they saw her .  'We've got something to tell you', said Robbie.
Mandy looked from one to the other.  'Shall I make us all a cup of tea while you tell me ?' 
While they sat in the shade of the cherry tree in the back garden Robbie told her that he had fallen in love with Karolina. They had been trying to keep it a secret, the strength of their feelings for each other had overwhelmed them both. Karolina had decided to apply for a new job because company policy frowned on office romances. Nobody in the office had guessed but they couldn't contain themselves any longer. Karolina held out her hand 'You have a wonderful son , I am so pleased to meet you at last'.
After they had all hugged and cried and congratulated each other, Mandy had an idea.'Why don't you take Karolina to Greece ?' 
'Oh but Mum you've been looking forward to it all winter, we could all go!' Robbie started to protest ,then looked in amazement as the new next- door neighbour appeared over the fence and winked at Mandy.
'Oh I see' Robbie grinned, 'well Mum you are a dark horse!' 
That makes two of us, thought Mandy, smiling at the son she had worked so hard to raise on her own .His dad  had run out on her before Robbie was even born. Her own parents had never been around for her and she was determined that Robbie would grow up feeling loved.
'You must all come to Krakow to meet my family, ' Karolina announced.  'It will be another holiday for all of us. My parents are longing to meet you.'
Greece and now Poland, Mandy had a job to take it all in . What would Mrs.Rodgers have to say? She couldn't wait to tell her.

No comments:

Post a Comment