Countdown To Christmas – Episode 07

BUT Ted doesn’t know anything!” Mavis was still protesting as she came back to the present. “It’s not just a question of directing the show and all that entails, though that’s demanding enough we are artistes, after all. But what about lights, publicity, catering or ticket sales? There’s so much involved, and he won’t have the faintest idea!”Kate and Sally walked into the shop just in time to catch the tail end of this tirade.“What’s going on?” “Mavis here was just pointing out the challenge we face to get this show on in three months, and how demanding it will be for the director,” Evelyn supplied tactfully.“Oh, the director!” Kate echoed. “I’d forgotten we’d need one of them. I assumed it would be Brian from the church choir, or Dolores with her showbiz experience. Has someone volunteered, then?”“Ted Hodges,” Mavis replied quickly. “Mr Entertainment himself,” she sneered.“Good for him,” Kate responded, reading Evelyn’s pained expression. “I don’t imagine anyone else stepped forward.”“It’s like the hall all over again. If it hadn’t been for Ted I doubt if we’d have raised half the money we did. But when he makes his mind up to do something, it gets done. I’d say he’s just the man for the job,” Sally put in stoutly. Like Kate and Evelyn, she liked Ted. He was a quiet man, reserved, and although he could be a bit officious when it came to hall business, he was a diamond through and through.“Of course, he had his wife Lilian back then,” she added. “She was a little powerhouse, too. But I reckon this could be just what he needs. He’s not been the same since she died. Hopefully this’ll give him something to get fired up about, and we’ll see the old Ted back among us.”Evelyn gave them both a grateful smile as Mavis Prior harrumphed doubtfully.“Hmm, we’ll see.” “Of course, he might need a bit of help,” Evelyn went on, fidgeting with the jars of sweeties on the counter in front of her and straightening the already regimental row. “I can do that. I used to do quite a bit of amateur dramatics in my home town, and help backstage, too. I think I might still remember my way around a lighting board.”She blushed a little as she said it, looking suddenly quite pretty, and Sally and Kate exchanged a quick glance. Was it possible Evelyn had a bit of a thing for Ted Hodges? With another quick look, they agreed silently that they would talk about this later over coffee. For now, though, they hoped that they had at least put Mavis in her place.Evelyn packed up Mavis’s purchases into the wicker basket she had brought with her, trying not to let the frosty air of disapproval spoil her day.As soon as Mavis left, Kate and Sally exploded.“The cheek of the woman! There’s always someone ready to carp and criticise, isn’t there? Ted’ll make this show a success.”The three woman nodded.“Of course he will!” “Even though he’s an absolute amateur, as are we, and he’s only got three months to do it in,” Kate said, the slightest shade of doubt colouring her voice . . .


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