Lally hummed cheerfully as she crashed around her little kitchen. An impromptu gathering around a gingham-clothed table; what could be more delicious? Her face shone with perspiration and delight as she popped her simple but wholesome french farmhouse chicken goo into the oven.
Oh but she would have loved a little aga. One of those darling two foot ones in peony pink. She’d petitioned her landlord Valentine Chevaux on the subject many times but he had a habit of looking right through anyone who approached him with requests for money or services. And rumour had it that he’d not eaten a hot meal in his own kitchen since 1988 when dear Nanny retired, preferring instead to live off cheese and pickle sandwiches from the BP station or tins of pineapple chunks stockpiled during the eighties in case of nuclear holocaust. So she didn’t have much faith in being able to win him over.
She’d asked him for supper of course, but apparently he’d been seen gunning his Landrover out of his driveway early that morning and wouldn’t be back today. In fact, he’d decided to pay a visit to one of his special pals in Norfolk. The kind of special pal with bloody lovely fun-bags and no knickers.
On the other hand, Lally had received affirmatives from Aubrey Sinclair, and Adrian The Redeemer (although he’d evidently experienced some difficulties with Whitney Cox over the invitation and he did keep saying odd things about how they were all destined for the infernos of hell). She’d also invited the vicar. She never included women in her soirees, feeling that she herself emitted quite enough pheromones for one small room.
Over at Glebe Barn, Vivienne was giving off some pretty fierce scents of her own. Lars had finally awoken from his vegetative state and was due home that evening. She’d checked with the doctors that he was absolutely fine; he would most likely always walk with a limp and would experience excruciating pain in low temperatures but he was fully functioning in all other departments. And Vivienne was looking forward to road-testing him that night. She felt almost girlish as she popped on a wool-mix jumpsuit from Austen Reed and swept her bobbed auburn hair up into a high bouncing ponytail. Then she slipped downstairs for a Campari and to catch the last of Cranford before the ambulance arrived. David was nowhere to be seen. She suspected he was in his room sulking. He’d been doing a lot of that of late.