Countdown To Christmas – Episode 13

BUT anyone can see that Evelyn’s much more his type,” Kate said stoutly, breaking off to shout at the referee as she saw an opponent try to trip up Robbie.“Young lout,” Sally agreed in sympathy.“What are we going to do about it?”“Well, we could have a word with his mum she’s over there.”“Not that! The Ted/Evelyn/Dolores love triangle, you idiot!”Kate offered Sally one of the mints she’d found when she’d stuck her hands in her pockets to keep them warm.“Maybe we’ll have to try to match-make a little bit. Speaking of love, have you noticed the way Nick Evans looks at Megan Stubbs?”Kate’s head was already nodding wisely.“I have. It’s so sweet. His eyes follow her everywhere not in a creepy way, of course. He just looks besotted.”“Oh, no . . .!” Kate groaned as the opposition scored again. “Poor Robbie. I’d better make sausage and mash for tea it’s his favourite and he’ll need consoling. How many is that now? Six?”“Seven,” Sally corrected. “We missed one when we were talking about Dolores.”Guilty, they watched attentively for a few minutes, but soon more pressing matters distracted them again.“Do you think he’s asked her out yet?” Kate wondered. “I haven’t really seen her giving him much encouragement, though I can’t imagine why he’s a lovely lad. If I were a bit younger . . .”“And not married with two kids!” Sally pointed out. “Maybe Megan has a boyfriend back home. I’ve not spoken to her much. Not about personal matters, anyway.”Kate considered this possibility.“She’s a pretty girl. I can imagine her having a boyfriend somewhere.”The referee blew his whistle for half-time and the boys began to troop off the pitch. As Robbie headed their way, Kate made one last observation.“We never imagined we’d be witness to so much romantic intrigue when we signed up for the tap-dancing, did we, Sal?”Then she shifted into proud- mother mode.“Robbie, you’re playing great! They’ve just been lucky up till now. You wait till the second half . . .”


“I knew this was a stupid idea!” Kate muttered, exasperated. “I don’t know how I let you talk me into it!”It was rehearsal night, and Dolores was doing her best to teach them the sequence she had made up from the six simple steps they had learned for their routine.“Just follow me,” Sally said, grasping Kate’s arm.“No, no, no, we don’t link arms!” Dolores shouted. “Really, it’s so very simple . . .”“For you, maybe,” Kate muttered resentfully. “Honestly, if she shouts at me one more time! I’m doing my best.”“Perhaps we might have a break for a couple of minutes?” Sally suggested firmly to Dolores, and grudgingly Dolores nodded.“Take five!” she announced imperiously, and Sally led Kate over to one of the chairs at the side of the room.“I’m sorry,” Kate said, taking a quick swig of water from her bottle. “I don’t mean to be a grump. It’s just that I’m trying so hard!” She could have wept with frustration. “I’ve even been practising in the kitchen. Phil caught me at it last night while I was doing the ironing. He thinks I’m nuts!”As the class stretched and tapped around them, Sally rubbed her friend’s back.“I know, love. You’re doing brilliantly. You’ve managed to learn all the steps, after all, and you never imagined you’d be saying that four weeks ago, did you?”“No,” Kate agreed, sniffing forlornly. “If I could only remember the sequence!”“It’ll come. Try not to worry so much about it. And follow me. We’ll be all right so long as I don’t lose count again!”They’d had a fit of the giggles earlier when they’d turned from a rather splendidly executed shuffle forward, only to find that the rest of the class had been moving backwards.Kate rubbed her tired legs and flexed her ankles. She hadn’t imagined this would be so strenuous.“On the plus side, I noticed this morning that my jeans have got a bit looser.”“Me, too!” They slapped their hands together in a high five. “Give it another couple of months till showtime and we’ll give Rosemary Conley a run for her money.”“Thank goodness we’ll be getting something out of it. Otherwise I might as well have stuck with the choir.”“What, and have to put up with Mavis queening it over you?” Sally pulled a face. “I heard poor old Brian has done his best to give someone else the solos, but there’s no denying Mavis has the sweetest voice in the village.”“So at odds with her personality,” Kate added acidly, and Sally grinned, glad to see her friend’s good humour restored.“Attagirl!”“Come on, then.” Kate stood up and rolled her shoulders. “Let’s get to it. And thanks for the pep talk, Aunt Sally!”


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