A Time To Reap – Episode 07

A Time To Reap

“Mamie loves a project,” Neil said as his wife left the room. “Thanks, Peggy. I know she hoped to live in the village when I retired and get involved in all sorts of things, but it would be daft to pay rent when we’ve this place handed to us.”

“Don’t thank me, I’m very grateful. I’m dreading this visit. Hugh is Alec’s kin, but we’ve never met him and know nothing about him. He works in advertising, whatever that means.”

“Don’t worry. I’m sure it’ll all work out fine.”

Mamie came back with the samples.

“There are some bonnie ones, Peg. Ten rolls will do that room. I’m going to the hairdresser in town tomorrow so I could pick them up then, if you like.”

Peggy liked one paper with a pattern of roses and green leaves on a white background – it was so light and fresh. But what would Alec say? Was new wallpaper a “frippery”?

She thought of the room as it might be seen through the eyes of a young, modern couple.

No, not a frippery. A necessity.

“How’s the family?” She’d talked about herself for long enough. “Heard from Chris?” Peggy was in awe of her London-based cousin.

Mamie and Neil exchanged a look.

“She’s moved into a new flat with two other girls,” Mamie said. “One designs dresses and the other is a buyer in one of the big shops. She complains her own job is boring compared with theirs.”

“She still works in the bank?”

Mamie nodded.

“I’ll have to quiz Robbie MacLean when he’s home – you know he moved to London last month. He’s with an accountancy firm and they see each other occasionally. I hope he’ll tell me what she’s up to. Elizabeth doesn’t think there’s anything to worry about.”

“I’m sure she’s right,” Peggy said, trying not to sound doubtful. Elizabeth was fiercely protective of her sister and you heard of such outlandish things going on in London.

Neil rose to look out of the window as a vehicle stopped outside the house.

“It’s Alec.”

“I hope nothing’s wrong with the boys.” Peggy went to meet him at the door.

“I thought I’d give you a lift home.”

“Thanks,” she said.

They went through to the sitting-room.

“Auntie Mamie says she’ll paper the spare room for Hugh coming,” she said, taking advantage of her aunt and uncle’s presence to break the news. “I’ve chosen this pattern. Isn’t it pretty?”

Alec grunted.

“Don’t go to too much trouble. They’ll have to take us as they find us.”

Peggy sighed inwardly. The guests’ bedroom, at least, would look beautiful. And they’d eat well. She could put on a good farmhouse spread. Their own produce, too. They wouldn’t have any complaints about that.

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.