Family Business Part 6

Family Business Part 6

What’s been happening this week in Family Business? Back at Oak Farm, another visitor makes it plain he’s not flown all this way just for a slice of birthday cake and we find out more about Rosa’s teenage romance, when Alex Garden comes calling. Meanwhile Laura’s got some bad news.

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To: Rosa
From:Laura
Date: 18 Nov
Subject: Bloody bulldog!

Hi sis

I don’t know if mum has told you – you know how she loves a drama, but I spent yesterday in A&E . It’s official. I have a compound fracture to my ankle. I was carrying a garden parasol through the house (don’t ask) when I tripped over Maurice who was snoring in the back passage – just near the steps. I went right over on it and it’s a bad break. Really awful timing with Paul going away on Thursday for a month. Anyhow, I’ve succumbed to the inevitable, and me, Juno and Maurice (very much still in disgrace) have agreed to move back to Oak Farm so mum can drive Juno to school and generally fuss over me. We’ll go tomorrow since Silvio arrives then and he’s always good for a laugh. Bloody fat lump of a dog – I wish I had daschunds like you! At least yours never get off the sofa (or should that be sun beds?) which keeps them out of harm’s way.

Don’t think I’ll be able to handle the party though. It hurts like crazy and I just want to sleep all the time – the painkillers are so strong.

You will come and see me though, won’t you?

Laura the peg leg

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To: Laura
From: Rosa
Date: 19 Nov
Subject: Naughty Maurice!

L,

I’m so sorry to hear about your poor foot. I’ve told Frieda, Wolfgang and Maud that they must never mix with such a bad influence again. Mind you, a dark daschund is an accident waiting to happen – they are always lying across doorways or at the top of the steps. I wouldn’t put it past them to be scheming for an inheritance by plotting my demise. Anyway don’t be too hard on your podgy playmate, the only time I ever twisted my ankle, I fell over a Labrador.

I can’t bear that you won’t be at Lorenzo’s party but I promise to arrive early with gin and chocolate, plus a box set of Downton Abbey. Can’t wait to get away from the bloody metal garden furniture business for a day or two. It’s so tedious at this time of year.

Let me know how you get on at Oak Farm.

Lots of love, Rosa

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To: Rosa
From: Laura
Date: 20 Nov
Subject: An old beau or two …

Hi Rosie Rose

It’s been rather busy here – why on earth people want aluminium garden sets in November, I cannot imagine. But, I wanted to fill you in before you turn up tomorrow since there might not be time then. Silvio arrived yesterday evening and Aunty Pearl invited herself over for supper so that they could get reacquainted. Poor old chap! He’d no sooner parked his wheelie bag, than she’d whisked him off to the snug for a pre-dinner sharpener. He was playing catch up from then on. Pearl must have had half a bottle of Dubonnet before he arrived and she behaved pretty disgracefully all evening. You know her flirty throaty laugh? Lots of that and at one stage she pretended she’d dropped an earring down her jumper and kept asking Silvio to see if he could find it. He looked really uncomfortable. Frank on the other hand dived in – “anything to help, darlin’ ”.

Pearl’s insisted that Silvio, mum and Frank all go to some smart new casino in Milton Keynes tomorrow night. Frank is keen as mustard (as you’d guess) and at the moment, mum just seems to think he can’t do or say anything wrong, so poor Silvio was really stitched up. Interestingly, while he was always very reserved when dad was around, it’s quite obvious that he’s here for one reason only – to rekindle that teenage romance with mum. When mum was acting the married lady, he wouldn’t have dreamt of making a move, but now she’s skipping around like a giddy schoolgirl, he’s clearly thinks she’s fair game. Suffice to say, he didn’t like Frank throwing his weight around. There was quite a bit of squaring up to each other at supper. Silvio suddenly decided he needed some new patio furniture so he made mum go out to the office with him to show him the ranges! And, he kept talking Italian to keep Frank out of the conversation. Frank retaliated by acting like it was his house – sitting in dad’s seat and saying stuff like “puss, have we got in any of that beer, we like?” Wildly irritating.

Pearl got a bit fed up with Silvio not flirting back, so she tried it on with Frank. She’s decided she needs to buy a new Mercedes sports car. God help us! Frank, being Frank, sniffed the money so started paying Pearl masses of attention. That in turn got mum’s nose out of joint since she’s always so jealous of any attention Pearl gets. I must confess that at this point, my ankle felt so bad that Paul and I escaped upstairs. Each time he sees our family in operation, my poor husband seems to get more traumatized!

Just to change the subject entirely – guess who dropped in for a cuppa this afternoon? Only Alex Garden! He asked after you (naturally) and was charm personified. He brought me some fabulous tulips since he’d heard that I was laid up and even let Pearl squeeze his bottom without flinching too obviously. I have to say that marital strife, the recession and life up North have all been kind to him. Looking a bit craggy – but more Daniel Craig than Lee Evans, and he’s gone grey – but in a distinguished, rather than washed out way. At least he’s kept his hair. I’d forgotten what a laugh he was/is. You’d better watch yourself with Nick safely tucked up 200 miles away!

All for now, Laura xxx

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To: Laura
From: Rosa
Date: 21 Nov
Subject: Italian Roulette!

Hi sis

I thought I’d pop off a quick email to cheer you up – although it’s nearly midnight. I’ve had a very drunk mother on the phone. She must have just got back from the casino. Anyhow, she’s absolutely furious with Pearl’s behavior tonight. At dinner, mum said she followed a cute young waiter into the kitchen, supposedly to ‘thank the chef’ – she was gone about 15 minutes and came out with her hair sticking up all over the place and her bifocals all askew. The waiter didn’t come back all night – they sent a butch female in his place, so clearly they wanted to protect their staff. Apparently when they moved onto the casino, our sweet old aunty monopolized both Silvio and Frank all evening. Silvio was too polite to shrug her off and Frank reveled in her sauciness. He kept calling her his lucky mascot and she kept perching on his knee at the tables! At least that should sort his arthritis out. Ha, ha!

This was not what mum had in mind at all. I think she fondly imagined that she’d be rubbing Pearl’s nose in it, by taking along her two admirers. She didn’t reckon on Pearl’s fighting spirit – nor Frank’s lack of taste. Let’s face it; Pearl and Frank are rather well matched.

So, we’re approaching the Family do of the year with mum and Pearl not really speaking; Carla looking like a blowfish; Massimo about to be torn limb from limb by Dick for not respecting Poppy; Silvio and Flashy Frank about to come to blows over our dear mama – all we need now is for dad to walk in.

I’ll come and give you a full update on the party at breakfast – what everyone wore, who went home with whom and what you overheard in the loos.

Lots of love,
Rosie

Family Business Part 6

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