Countdown To Christmas – Episode 11

NOT charging?” Jack echoed, and Ted shook his head.“Of course not! This is a celebration of the hall that this community built, and it’s a show put on by the community itself. It seems a bit off to charge them to watch it.”Jack looked around him, and saw his own puzzlement reflected on the others’ faces. He cleared his throat.“Then how are we going to pay for it all? There’s the electricity, lights, tickets and programmes, for a start. I know most of the groups are making their own costumes and so on, but even so there’ll be costs. How are we going to cover those expenses?”Ted felt as though someone had just pulled his seat out from under him. He hadn’t thought of costs, plain and simple. He’d been so intent on the million little details of the show, he had lost track of the bigger picture.Instinctively he looked to Evelyn for help, as he had always looked to Lilian. She saw his panic and smoothly took over.“We’ll fund-raise! After all, we’re good at that, aren’t we? We still have a couple of months to go. We can have a raffle for starters. Everyone likes a good raffle!”Megan and Nick cottoned on to Ted’s lapse at just about the same minute.“How about having a big jar on the counter of your shop, Evelyn,” Nick suggested, “and customers have to guess how many sweets are in it?”Beside him, Megan diffidently raised her hand.“At my old school we used to have bake days whenever we were trying to raise funds for a project. No-one can resist some nice home-baking. We could have a weekly sale at the hall. Or at the church, after morning service.”“I’m not sure what that’ll do for my business,” Evelyn responded wryly, and Megan flushed.“Oh, I never thought of that. Sorry!”“Don’t worry about it,” Evelyn reassured her at once with a smile. “I’m sure I can get by for a couple of months. It’s a good idea. We’ve got some lovely bakers in the village, and I’m sure the WI will help, too. What do you think, Ted?” she said, wanting to give him back his place as leader of the meeting.He flashed her a grateful smile.“I think that all sounds excellent. Good work, everyone. Shall we call the meeting closed?”As the others shuffled out, he caught Evelyn’s sleeve.“Thanks, Evelyn. You helped me out of a sticky situation there. I can’t believe I was so stupid as to forget something that important. Maybe I’m getting too old . . .”She patted his arm.“Don’t be silly, Ted. You’re just busy. This is a big project, and you’re managing so much of it yourself.”He gave her words some thought.“You’re absolutely right. I should have known better than to forget the first rule of management.”“What’s that, then?” she asked as she shuffled her notes together.“Delegation! Every manager needs a right-hand man they can rely on. Or, in my case, right-hand woman. I couldn’t do this without your help, and I won’t forget that in the future. From now on we’re a team. Deal?” He held out his hand, and she grasped it with her own.“Deal. Now, do you fancy a quick cuppa before we head out into the cold again? I happen to know where the WI keep their chocolate biscuits.”


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