11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 13

“OK, so I’ll see you at two o’clock tomorrow,” Georgia said as she put down the phone.

Noting the appointment in her diary, she then turned off her computer. She felt she’d been staring at a screen long enough, looking at the websites of other Spanish teachers in the locality.

Her original motivation had been simply to weigh up the competition. But the idea had grown on her that, really, she should have a website, too. She herself didn’t have a clue how to go about it, so she had arranged for representatives from two firms that specialised in such things to come in and see her.

She’d also sent her CV off to the languages school to which her cancelled block booking were now all going, arranged by their employer, just in case the school needed any extra help for this sudden new influx. Doing maybe a day a week for someone else wouldn’t interfere with the development of Georgia’s own business.

During the morning she’d also considered how to make more of 11, Ladysmile Lane. Sometimes people needed not an office, as such, but just occasional meeting-room facilities. That was something she could think about.

“Right now,” she said to herself, looking at her watch, “it’s time for lunch. I wonder if Carly’s free?”

Picking up the phone again, she dialled her friend’s work number.

Carly couldn’t make lunch, but they arranged to meet the following evening.

“I remembered your wise words this morning about all the nice guys having already been taken,” Georgia joked with her.

“You weren’t brooding about Russ, were you?”


It came as a surprise to Georgia herself, but it was the truth. She hadn’t been thinking about Russ at all.

They chatted a little while longer, or tried to, for suddenly there was the most awful crashing, banging and shouting from directly above. At one point it was so loud even Carly heard it on the other end of the phone.

“Sounds like a madhouse there!”

“It’ll be Brett, the photographer and Eloise, the feng shui woman,” Georgia guessed. “Both rather excitable sorts. They’ll be arguing about Tarot.”


“Eloise’s dog. Look, I’d better go and find out what’s going on. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

When she got upstairs, there was no sign of Eloise, though Georgia remained sure she’d heard more than one voice. Mind you, she reflected as Brett came stomping out of his office – or studio, as he called it – he could make enough noise for half a dozen!

“I was just coming to find you,” he bellowed. He halted a moment. “What are you staring at?”

“Nothing.” Georgia shook her head.

But she had been staring. She was sure Brett’s hair hadn’t been as grey yesterday as it now looked.

“Anyway,” he continued, “come and look at this!”

She followed him inside, but couldn’t see anything wrong.

“There!” he said, in response to her blank expression.

Georgia looked up to where he was pointing. The ceilings in Number 11 were mostly high and ornate. It was the abundance of features like this which had made Georgia think about turning it into a house.

This one had some particularly fancy plasterwork over by the window, beneath which she now noticed a pile of pale dust.

“I get it!” she said, realising what had caused Brett’s hair to change colour. Clearly some plaster had fallen down, and he must have been standing underneath when it fell!

“Get what?” he scowled.

“I, er, see now what’s wrong.”

She gave him a reassuring smile then looked back up at the ceiling, though she couldn’t see any obvious signs of damage. Still, what with wear and tear, and the plasterwork being old . . .

“OK, right, I’ll get someone out to attend to it right away. Meanwhile –”

“As long as you do mean right away,” he snapped. “Things have a way of just getting forgotten here!”

She felt her hackles rising. There was no need for him to speak like that. Of course she wouldn’t just forget about it!

She recognised he had a problem here, and she was the landlady, aware of her duties and responsibilities which she did not intend to shirk.

She was on the point of telling him so but then remembered her recent insight.

Keep cool, Georgie!

“I promise you I’ll make enquiries right away and come back up to inform you of the progress I’ve made,” she said instead.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.