JUDY stood at the front door of the Ferryboat to welcome Mr and Mrs Donald Campbell.
Roberta looked striking in a deep red dress and little hat on her iron-grey hair. Iris must have persuaded her to have a manicure in addition to her hairdresser’s appointment because the hand she thrust out to show Judy her wedding ring was tipped red at the end.
“Mummy!” Angus shot through the hall into Iris’s arms. “Me and Sandy have been helping.”
“I can see what you’ve been doing.” Iris laughed, taking out a tissue and wiping his mouth. “Sampling the wedding lunch.”
She looked a completely different woman from the one Judy had first met. She was standing taller, her face in what seemed to be a permanent smile. The cause of her happiness followed behind Angus.
“How did it go?” Sandy asked.
“It was lovely,” Iris said. “Very special.” She put Angus back on his feet.
Roberta put her hand on Angus’s head.
“You look smashing in your kilt,” she said. “Oh, I am going to miss you. All those bulbs you helped to plant. You won’t be here to see them grow.”
Charlie came forward, wanting to be among the first to congratulate the newlyweds in his own way.
“You caught her at last, Donnie boy!” he said, clapping his old friend on the shoulder. He turned to beam on Sandy, Iris and Angus his new little family.
Judy ushered the wedding party into the dining-room to be greeted by the rest of their guests, including Marilyn, invited by Roberta because they had got on so well at the hotel’s opening party. And, primed by Judy, Roberta was going to ask Marilyn a question which Judy thought might be better posed by someone other than herself.
The bride stood by her chair and kicked off her high heels before she sat down. She sighed with relief and then removed her hat.
“Stick that somewhere for me, Judy, would you, please? Right, I can enjoy myself now, especially as I see your husband approaching with the champagne.”
To loud applause Donnie stood up and said that he and his wife were very pleased to see them all and hoped they would enjoy the dinner and the rest of the evening.
Judy retreated to the kitchen to help with the serving of the meal.
“Where’s Holly?” she asked Corin.Holly had designed the menus and place-name cards something she could do sitting down and when Judy had last seen her she was putting the final touches to the wedding cake decorations.
“She finished the cake and went to have a lie-down,” Corin said. “She’s really tired those are bouncing babies we’re having! OK, I’m ready, Judy, let’s get this show on the road.”
* * * *
Marilyn came through the swing door into the kitchen.
“What a gorgeous dinner,” she said. “Three cheers for the chef, wherever he is.” She went over to where Judy was making coffee and put her arm around her daughter’s shoulders. “Roberta says that the ferryman’s cottage is up for sale and why don’t I think about buying it.”
Judy held her breath, uncertain now whether it would be a good idea for Marilyn to leave all her long-time friends and social activities and move north to a very different lifestyle.
“Did you put her up to it? Nice try,” Marilyn said.
“It’s a perfect size for one person and with Louise at university now I thought . . .” Judy began.
“I know. And it was a lovely thought.” Marilyn shook her immaculately coiffured head. “When I’m old I promise you I’ll head for the hills and you and Tom. But not yet. Not
while ” She stopped as Corin hurtled through the back door.
“I went to see Holly,” he said. “This shouldn’t be happening for two weeks yet but she says the babies are on their way.”