11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 26

“So you were out dancing the other evening?”

Next day, entering the living-room in time to hear her mum’s question to her grandad, Georgia stifled a smile. Her grandad had come round to watch the football with her dad. Her mum was trying to sound casual, but Georgia was aware that ever since she’d mentioned going round to his bungalow to find him being driven home by an attractive lady friend, her mum had been longing to know more!

Georgia also knew her grandad would tease her mum by keeping her waiting and, true to form, he turned and asked how her plans to give language lessons from Number 11 were progressing.

“Pretty well, but I’d be struggling without the rents from the other offices. As you know, I only thought of doing that because it’s what I’m trained for. I may have to think again.”

“You were always good at making clothes when you were young,” her grandad recalled.

“I made a fair bit of my own stuff,” she agreed. “Just copying you, really.”

“I don’t recall you turning out many three-piece suits!” Her grandad’s eyes twinkled, as they always did when he talked about the years he’d run his successful tailoring business from Ladysmile Lane.

“I mean, I was inspired in a general sense by you.”

“Me, inspire anyone? Don’t be daft.”

He laughed, but Georgia had always suspected he would have liked the family business to have continued, in some shape or form. Alas, no-one had been interested. She’d been the only one to spend time there with him.

“I reckon you could do all right even with dressmaking,” he continued. “You can charge a fair bit for frocks, you know – posh ones. Wedding gowns in particular . . .” He broke off awkwardly and Georgia was aware of her parents pausing in what they were doing.

“That’s true,” she said quickly, “and maybe we’ll talk about it again. But I’ve got to go now – to help someone choose a posh frock, as it happens!”

“Oh, yes,” her mum said, clearly grateful the conversation had moved on. “The daughter of that accountant at the offices, the widowed chap, isn’t it?”

“Amy, yes. Alex is doing a great job of bringing her up on his own, but she says he hasn’t a clue about clothes. I said I’d go with her to choose something for a special party.”

“Well, good luck,” her mum said, with feeling. “I remember going shopping with you when you were that age!”

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.