Family Business Part 5

Family Business Part 5

In this week’s visit to Family Business, we find the twins discussing their mother’s latest acquisition and a new boyfriend.  Is Flashy Frank hell bent on emptying Edge’s bank accounts?  At work, the talk is all of who’s going to China for the latest trade fair, while at home, Carla has a big surprise in store for the family.

                                                                   Family Business Part 5

To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 9 Nov

Subject: Flashy Frank

Hope you had a good weekend, my dear.

Sorry I didn’t catch up with you on the phone but ours was manic.  Loads of parties and sports fixtures – spent the entire time ferrying kids from A to B. The car looks like the interior of one of those houses they feature on “Crazy Horders” – full of sweet wrappers, drinks cartons, rugby boots, dog towels and I’m sure I even saw a rodent.  You are lucky you’ve got a girl!

I had a surprise visit on Friday.  Mum and Frank dropped by on their way home from the Races.  Didn’t like what I saw – and I don’t mean the chunky gold bracelets!  He was VERY proprietorial with Ma and they were flirting something horrid.  From their conversation, I got the distinct impression that they have been seeing quite a lot of each other.  He calls her Pussycat and she calls him Tiger (!) – They say it jokingly, referencing The Archers but I’m afraid it’s coming all too naturally.  Not a habit I want to encourage.  Yuk.

Anyhow, Frank seems to have persuaded our dear mama to go shares on a racehorse.  I kid you not!  What could I say?  She’s got her hands on the purse strings at work and seems to have bought some clap trap about it being a tax deductable asset for the business.  So, she’s emptying Edge’s Outdoor Furniture’s coffers faster than Lorenzo ever could.  What a turn up!  Can you imagine what dad will say if he does come back?!!  Seems like an excuse for Frank to squire the old dear around the country in one OTT car after another.  This time, they rocked up in a 1980s powder blue Rolls Royce with gold trimmings.   Mum is adoring all the attention; part of me thinks that she’s convinced that dad is lying doggo, so she’s dreamt this racehorse up as the perfect way to punish him, should he ever dare to show his face again.

More worryingly, Frank keeps saying she should get shot of Oak Farm – the mouldly old pile where we grew up not being “quite the thing for a laydee of her style” and buy one of those hugely expensive new duplex apartments on the river.   Whereas we’ve always joked that we’d be carrying her out in a box, she does seem to be listening to him.  She and Aunty Pearl are going to look at them this week.   Hopefully the price tag will make her choke.  Of course while dad is still missing, she can’t spend their own savings, so any money she needs is coming out of the firm.  I didn’t realize, but the house is in her name solely.  So, she may well decide to sell it just to get her hands on the cash.  She’s not going to want to wait 7 years until she can access their joint savings.  I can’t imagine what will happen if she does move out of the farm – after all it’s where you all work; Massimo still lives there and so (nominally) does Flora.

Love Rosa xxx

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To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 11 Nov

Subject: Business Trip

By the way, who’s going to the Metal Garden Furniture Trade Fair in China this year?  Nick is flying out on Sunday the 23rd (day after Lorenzo’s party so a good job he’s not coming after all) and he’ll be away until the middle of the following week.  He’s seeing quite a few factories at the same time.  He wanted to know if you’d be going but I guess that’s out of the question with Juno to look after – unless Paul’s orchestra is resting.  Is mum going?

Much love, Rosa xxx

                                                                   Family Business Part 5

To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 14 Nov

Subject: Racehorse?

Dear twin,

As ever, you have your finger on the pulse of family drama, way before me!  A racehorse.  Do you know what it’s called – Lazy Susan!  At least someone’s got a sense of humour.

I, too, have seen far too much of Flashy Frank.  If he calls me Princess one more time, I swear I’ll drop a concrete parasol base on his patent loafers.  And you are right; mum loves having a beau.  She’s hardly ever here in the office.  Flits in pays some invoices, phones all the customers and renegotiates deals left right and centre, and skips off again.  Frank’s been helping her with the figures – that’s why he’s become “such a close friend recently”.  I’m worried that he’s sniffed the cash, and that he’s not after our mother for her aluminium patio furniture as much as her property.

You were asking about the Aluminium Garden Furniture show in Guangzhou.  Lorenzo’s going, not mum and not, much to his disgust Charlie.  There’s been quite a saga about it.  Lorenzo feels we should economise and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do the trip alone.  Anyhow, Charlie stamped his foot and said he’d pay for his own flight.  Therein the plot thickens, because Massimo was there when Charlie was moaning about being left behind to Flora, and she offered to pay for his trip.  I think she’s bankrolling Charlie so that she’s got a spy in the camp at work.  She’s got a real business head on her shoulders and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brenda isn’t putting her up to it.  Perhaps they’ve got plans to mount a coup, take over the firm and become the first lesbian ladies of sun lounger land!

X Laura

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To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 15 Nov

Subject: Lorenzo’s 50th

Hi Laura

I’ll be arriving sometime after lunch next Saturday if that’s all right.  The boys are going to stay at a friend’s after an away game against Uppingham.  I shan’t go to support.

Did I tell you that Alex Masters contacted me via facebook?  Remember him, he was a friend of Lorenzo’s from school and he did some holiday jobs with us.  We had a bit of a thing back in the day!  Apparently, he’s divorced (no kids) and has recently moved back to the area.  Lorenzo had invited a group of his old school friends to the party, so Alex got back in touch to see if I was going…

Haven’t heard from him in 25 years.  Facebook is a bloody odd thing.  Now I feel all weird about going to the party – particularly without Nick.   Anyhow, I didn’t tell him about the purple hair so hopefully that will shock him so much that he won’t be able to concentrate on my wrinkles.  He looked pretty good in the online photos – but then, no one’s going to post up their worst ones, are they?

Lots of love, Rosa

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To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 16 Nov

Subject: Trout Pout!

Rosie,

You simply will not be able to believe your eyes when you see what Carla’s done to herself!  She’s only gone and had her lips done.  She looks like a ferret that’s swallowed a banana sideways.  It’s monstrous.  At least as bad as any of those celebrity cock ups.

How it happened…

Picture the scene – we were all at ma’s for Sunday lunch.  She did that immigrant thing of serving up the Auntie Bessie Yorkshire puds with roast lamb.  If she didn’t want us to mind that sort of thing, she shouldn’t have sent us away to school!  Me, Paul (exhausted and twitchy since the Orchestra is off again next Thursday and it’s really a different city every night until 22nd December).  They’ve got a new conductor and there are evidently teething troubles.  Juno (plugged into i-pad so not really a presence).  Massimo and Poppy who seemed very loved up (no Czech beauty in tow today …), plus Poppy’s dad, Dick (which meant he and mum talked about cushions and very little else), plus Flashing Frank who was clearly getting a bit jealous and possessive around mum.  He kept trying to get into the cushion conversation but they just ignored him and moaned on about the Chinese!  (Just realized I typed Flashing Frank not Flashy Frank – somehow that’s even more appropriate.J) Flora and Charlie – on very good form, knocking back the gins and teasing Frank and mum.  Flora nearly choked when he came out with the pussycat line …

In walks Lorenzo (with a fixed smile- don’t think he’s over the shock yet), Maria and Ant (I don’t think either of them have noticed their mother – too busy texting) and finally Carla.  Ta da!  She clearly thinks it looks amazing.  No one knew what to say.  Charlie recovered first and politely said “Oh, you look different – is it the hair?”  Ma, who’s never really liked Carla and isn’t known for her tact at the best of times, kept asking “are you sick? What stung you? Is it an allergic reaction?”  Carla got all defensive and told everyone that she’d never felt better and that Lorenzo thought she was looking better now that she had done on their wedding day.

You are going to LOVE it!  Roll on Saturday,

Love Laura x

Please click on the link below to read all of our Family Business episodes.

http://outsideedgegardenfurniture.co.uk/tag/family-business-a-fictional-blog/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drama

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