Rose Lane Ch16
Posted: 24 January 2004
Word Count: 5648
It was the opening night of My Fair Lady and no mean secret that it had been
nigh impossible to find a Dr Higgins with the right voice and maturity to look older than Miranda Allerton's Eliza, but the show was a success anyway. Melanie high kicked and polkaed about the stage with the other ballet girls and everyone had a jolly good time.
But Melanie wasn't as excited as she should be on such an occasion. This was different, for a start Nanna wasn't there, and Sid had stayed home to look after Cassie who was exhibiting all the signs of dog dementia. Somehow with just Pattie and Jean to impress the evening took on a dull edge and Melanie had a nagging feeling that everything was changing , that moment captured when childhood begins to recede and the adult world take its place. There is definitely a moment, a little voice in your head speaks up, I don't believe anymore, what they call a Santa Claus moment, I suppose.
Melee's friend from Boarding school, Helen couldn't stay for drinks as she had to rush straight back to her dorm and the other girls Cindy and Angela were all busy chatting to their huge families, all still alive, grans, grand dads, fathers, mothers, cousins, all healthy and present.
Melanie strolled over to the buffet table to help herself to a devon roll, when she noticed a very pretty girl in a tight skinny ribbed pink jumper and flared jeans standing all by herself near the door, smoking and sipping a glass of red wine. She had shiny black hair cut into a bob with a thick fringe, giving her a sort of oriental look. Melanie was drawn to her, to her big green eyes, she spoke to no one.... just watched everyone, just stood there - observing. Eventually Miranda went over to her, they chatted and Miranda threw her head back and laughed, that loud, unselfconscious guffaw she was prone to. Then Miranda took her hand and led her over to Brian, Melanie watched as this theatrical scene unfolded before her. Brian also took the girls hand and held it awhile,he listened to whatever she had to say and nodded his head, leaning in to catch her words.
As Pattie and Melanie left, the others gathered together by the piano in the foyer. John was tinkling away on the keys and several members of the company were already queuing up to out perform each other in their impromptu concert.
"Come on", said Jean, "we have to get back or the dog will go all over my carpet. " As they left Melanie could hear a very high pitched voice, trilling to the tune of 'Wouldn't it be lovely'. When she turned back she was surprised to find it was the girl whom she hadn't recognised, the pretty dark haired girl with green eyes, she recognised her now though, she was the real Eliza and encouraging her to sing was her very own Dr Higgins, Miranda Allerton.
Melanie was meant to be meeting Sarah for a drink and a bite tonight. Sarah said she should get out more, she was becoming dull and we couldn't have that now could we. Sarah arranged the evening, she like arranging things, flowers, lives, it was all the same to Sarah. Melanie showered and trawled through her wardrobe for something that might restore her self esteem and indeed her figure. Finally settling on a mauve floral skirt and black top she poured a glass of wine and sat down at her dressing table to apply her makeup. This was once such a girlie going out ritual, sometimes accompanied by girl friends all intent on getting sloshed and laid, other times just on her own, getting ready to meet hubby for a do ,going out together with friends, awaiting the baby-sitters knock heralding parental duties over for the next six hours. Now here she was alone and with her arm in plaster, fortunately she could still use a mascara.
What was it you were supposed to do with your hair when you were over forty again? Her mother always insisted it was cut short and permed. "Can't have long hair after a certain age, makes you look like a witch."
She scanned her reflection for witchy traits, no wart or huge nose, just very dry hair in no particular style with strands of grey becoming more evident by the day.
Must make appointment for haircut, she promised herself, maybe a nice colour red or those golden copper streaky low lite things brunettes had these days rendering them not quite blonde but near enough. But that could wait, you needed to be in the right mood to visit the hairdressers, and right now Melanie didn't think she could cope with an endless stream of inane questions along the lines of "Where are you going on holiday this year?"
Right , ready at last, and off she went to meet Sarah at that wine bar on Church St that they seemed to have been going to for years.
But then the phone rang.
"This place is amazing mum, " enthused Alfie, "it's got like 7 bedrooms and a pool and horses and we're having horse riding lessons tomorrow."
Mel was pleased they were having a good time but she still half hoped it would all go wrong and that Kim and Matthew would fall out, have some tremendous row, like the ones she and Matthew so often had. He could storm off all red faced and sulky, then Mel would have to fly out to France and bring the boys back and Kim would be left sobbing and puffy eyed alone with her precious daddy.
"So how are the boys getting on with the bimbette?" asked Sarah wide eyed.
Sarah pursed her lips together making a smacking noise she liked to punctuate her sentences with a physical effect.
"Yeah fine, Alfie called just before I came out actually, everything's great."
The restaurant was unusually quiet most people choosing to dine al fresco in the small garden out the back or reserve one of the scant tables positioned on the pavement in front of the restaurant. Only Mel and Sarah and a few others were inside. They sat next to a table of four, two elderly couples it seemed. The women were very well dressed, they'd obviously both had a trip to the hairdressers that day. The men chatted on red faced about golf and the club and their properties in Spain.
Another couple tried to enjoy the warm summers evening. She tried to make polite conversation and he hushed her with a subtle hand gesture and said, you told me, so you said, I know...each time she made the effort. No doubt they were celebrating an anniversary of some sort, or the fact they'd got so far without murdering each other in their beds.
Sarah had been with her bloke, Pete for donkeys years. He was older than her and had his own kitchen design business.
"Typical isn't it, he's made fantastic kitchens for half of the bloody country and I've been making do with a crappy old seventies MDF jobbie for the past fifteen years, just as well I don't cook that's all I can say, hey, did I tell you he's thinking about retiring, I said you must be bloody joking, you're not driving me mad, sloping around the house like a pensioner, lolling about on the sofa watching every bloody sporting event scheduled, you can think again mate. "
Sarah ran a photographers agency and had an office in Islington which she captained with much authority.
They first met at college and for a time she worked freelance from home as a curtain designer, quite apt really as she was forever twitching her own. But for all her creativity Sarah was much better at administration and generally bossing people about, she was the perfect agent, always on her clients backs and always getting them the best deals.
"So do the boys really like this what's she called? Kimberly is it?" asked Sarah knowing full well Mel's usurpers name.
"They get on OK," Mel said, pushing pasta around her plate.
"Well let's face it, she's closer to their age group than Matthew's."
Sarah laughed her big, belly laugh and the other guests all turned to stare.
"You must miss your boys though, I couldn't bear the thought of Alice going abroad with Pete and another woman, urgh. Some daft old bat filling her head with all sorts of rubbish, like women should shave their legs instead of waxing, or use pads instead of Tampons."
"Of course I miss them," Melanie snapped. " But what can I do? They wanted to go on this trip, besides the whole bloody thing's bad enough for them , I don't want to put them in a situation where they have to take sides."
She downed half a glass of wine , then deftly repaired her war paint, in this case - her favourite Mac lipstick.
Melanie's husband has always been very exacting when it came to the boys. When Ben was just 3 and having a tantrum, Matthew blurted out to the tiny cherub that he should stop acting like a small child.
Matthew was prone to outbursts, on a drip to Disneyworld Orlando he managed to make Snow White cry, a feat he was so proud of he never tired of re telling the tale at dinner parties. "Thing is we'd paid a shed load of money and we simply weren't getting the service." Everyone laughed and nodded and voiced their own experience of incompetence.
But Mel sensed the feelings toward her. How does she put up with it, but they knew Matthew was bloody gorgeous, and after all they had been together such a long time.
The idea of camping appalled Sarah, "I loathe camping, used to go as a child, awful queuing for a shower, other people so close you could smell them. Everyone noshing down to fabulous BBQs and exotic stews, and there was mum persevering with frozen fish fingers and lumpy mash. Oh ghastly, give me five star anything."
"It was only for 2 weeks now they're staying with Kim's father at his villa somewhere in the mountains."
"Oh no, a step grand father that really is too deep south."
Sarah summoned over the waiter and casually ordered another bottle of wine.
"What have you been doing with yourself, I mean I know you can't get down the gym but we haven't seen you in ages."
Mel knew she'd have to tell her about Oscar at some point during the evening, they were best friends after all and had no secrets from each other, especially sexual secrets but when Sarah had called the morning after her date, she didn't feel like discussing it, just made some excuse, said it was alright, knowing she'd given Sarah the impression nothing had happened, as usual.
"Oh pottering about, I'm painting again."
"Huh, trust you, wait till you' ve got a broken wrist before you begin a work of art." Sarah toyed with a piece of smoked chicken before shovelling it into her mouth.
"I feel like it, I'm enjoying it."
"That's good, let me know if you want to have an exhibition, Pete has a friend in PR he'd guarantee you a fab opening, somewhere ultra trendy, with just the right catering."
"It's just for me at the moment, no one else."
"Well about time you started thinking about yourself, what about your sex life,anyone?"
Oh dear, here was the perfect opportunity.
"You did what? You slut! I can't believe you didn't tell me, details, details." Sarah was grinning from ear to ear and had leant forward so as not to miss a word.
"And was he any good?"
Melanie nodded, "Oh yeah, bloody fantastic, I'd forgotten I could get that much pleasure out of something that didn't have chocolate on it."
Well that has been known darling."
"Ergh, too messy, but wouldn't you know it he's in a long term relationship and didn't tell me about her, then he called me and wanted to meet up and Oh God and I'm just too bloody old for all that bullshit. " Mel shrugged as if to say, aren't they all, men, all just lying bastards.
"Well does it matter, I mean you weren't serious about him were you? A performance artist, really dear, isn't that a bit Covent Garden for tourists? "
Melanie shook her head, 'No, of course I wasn't serious, I'm just sick of being lied to that's all, what is it about me that people feel they have to lie?, Huh, am I that fragile, do I look like I'm going to break?"
"Well you are wearing a plaster on your arm kid."
Melanie tried to laugh but tears welled up in her eyes.
"What's up Mel, have I been tactless again? I'm sorry, just kick me in the chin under the table, I'm married I'm used to it."
"No, it's not you." said Melanie, "it's just my past catching up with me, you think you're all grown up and confident then you find out that tongue tied shy little nobody has been living alongside you all the time."
"What are you talking about?"
"I think my self esteem has deserted me, I'm a bloody wreck, Oh God."
Melanie cupped her head in her hands.
"Oh hell, I'm sorry darling, I've been a rubbish friend haven't I?" asked Sarah as she lit a cigarette in favour of pudding.
Melanie felt like crying but there was something so defiant about Sarah, even though she was her best friend that always made Melanie's emotions feel trite.
"I hope you're not getting to that dodgy crisis stage of your life when you might do something really stupid" warned Sarah.
"I've been through that stage many times," assured Melanie sipping her third glass of wine.
"I just don't want to open some crass cheapie magazine and see you grinning from ear to ear with an elephant on one side and a Massai warrior on the other."
What do you mean?"
"Oh you read about it all the time, bored housewife and mother of three up sticks from the family home, goes on holiday to Kenya and before you can say, mid life crisis, she's divorced her husband, given him custody of the kids and endured a village wedding to a Massai warrior, truly,then they come over here,set up home, only he can't get a job because there's very little call for lion killers in the south east and bingo he's left her and shacked up with a bottle blonde barmaid from his local ,her husbands remarried her best friend and her kids hate her, don't say I didn't warn you" Sarah sucked on her silk cut like a hammy porn star.
"Never wouldn't happen, you don't fancy Matthew."
"Ha ha, touché, well leave out the best friend part but the rest is a disaster waiting to happen."
"Sarah, trust me, I'm not having a mid life crisis, I'm not stupid I just had a one night stand with a 47 year old bloke called Oscar and managed three orgasms in under a hour, what's the crime?"
"Three, shit, and he's called Oscar, " Sarah pulled a face, "Got his number? I might have to stick him up on my mantelpiece."
The two women turned into girls for the next few hours and laughed and drank themselves beautiful and smoked and flirted with the waiter, what better way to spend a summers Wednesday evening.
"Tell you what, we've got a last minute deal in North Majorca, some pal of Pete's owns a villa blah, blah, why don't you come with, we're leaving next Thursday, oh do come, it'd be such fun having you there, and you could shag any waiter you fancied, I promise, I'll interview them all first and make sure there's not a lying bastard amongst them, not that my Spanish is up to much but at least I'd have tried."
Melanie smiled, "No, really I want to stay here, get on with my work, besides I've got a doctors appointment next week, need to get this thing off." she lifted up her arm displaying her plaster cast.
"Okay, " shrugged Sarah, not trying terribly hard to convince her to change her mind. "Well if you don't fancy Majorca why don't you have the cottage for the Bank holiday weekend, we were up there last week and it's spotless, the gardens looking gorgeous and lush and you can paint to your hearts content, go on, you'd be doing me a favour, I've promised a plant to my neighbours the Simons, you can drop it off, what do you say?"
Melanie nodded, "Okay, I just might."
"Well, well , well - lovely to see you again so soon."
Melanie followed the voice and looked up to see a handsome man in his mid thirties, bestowing a charming smile on Sarah, who had transformed herself from sophisticated hard faced business woman about town into a giggling gauche school girl.
"Finlay...Gosh....what a surprise....what are you doing here? Oh sorry, excuse my manners, Finlay Gordon this is my best friend in the whole wide world, Melanie Chase...I told you about her...hee, hee."
Oh dear, Melanie wasn't too keen on this new Sarah, she felt like slapping her across the face three times with a silk glove like you see in old black and white films, then shouting "Come on girl, snap out of it!"
"Hi, nice to meet you."
Before Finlay had a chance to reply, Sarah had jumped up and was busying herself rearranging chairs so that Finlay could join them.
"No, really , can't stop, I saw you as I was passing and just popped in to say hi."
Sarah looked crestfallen, was it possible thought Melanie? Could Sarah be keeping something from her? Was she really so eager for Melanie and Finlay to get together or did she just want her friends approval of him for herself?
When the gorgeous Finlay left and the soppy hang dog expression on Sarah's face was beginning to put Melanie off her dessert she asked her outright.
"What? With Finlay? Good God no! What are you talking about? We haven't all got the morals of alley cats you know."
Melanie was wounded, Sarah was the only person , apart from Toni that she'd ever confessed to about her one, two, well three night stands. Sarah seemed thrilled at the time - "Go on, tell me more." she'd insisted.
"What about that photographer you had a little liaison with years ago, doesn't he count?" Melanie asked.
Sarah put down her wine glass and fiddled with her serviette.
"I don't know what you're talking about Melanie, really I don't."
Melanie said good-bye to Sarah, kissing her on both cheeks and walked back home deep in thought. The last thing she needed to do right now was alienate her best friend. Of course Sarah had pretended everything was fine and normal and gave her the keys to the Cotswolds cottage, but Melanie wasn't so sure.
Bloody sex, why did it cause so many complications.
She'd been lying on her sofa, engrossed in some MTV documentary about an ageing rocker when the phone rang.
"Hello, Mrs Chase, um Melanie?"
The fragile young girls voice filtered down the phone line like pure spring water poured into a glass.
" Elise...is that you?"
The girl was obviously upset but why was she calling her.
"Melanie, I'm outside can you let me in?"
Melanie pulled back the curtain, sure enough the gothic figure of Elise loomed on her doorstep.
Without much thought, she opened the door to her.
"Oh thanks, thanks you've saved my life."
"Elise, what are you doing here?"
"Sorry to disturb you, I was out nearby with some mates, and they all went home and I was waiting for the bus when I realised I didn't have my keys, I must have left them in my other bag or something."
Melanie frowned .
"Isn't there anyone at your place?"
"At home? Oh, no that's just it, my mother's gone to stay with some guy she met and...my brothers at his girlfriends, I'm really sorry but I thought as I was so close to you - I mean in distance - I could just crash here, is that ok? I mean if there's a problem I'll just go and wait in a cafe or something till its light."
Her big brown eyes pleaded with Mel, in spite of the fact it was obvious her answer was going to be yes.
"Oh don't be ridiculous, come in, you can kip in the boys room, my spare rooms full of junk, sorry. "
After insisting on a brief tour of the house, Elise offered to make them both a pot of her special calming and sleep inducing tea. Mel declined preferring to stick with a glass of red wine .
"When are your kids back?" she asked.
"In a few weeks, I heard from the tonight actually , they're staying in a magnificent and splendid French chateau, aren't they lucky?"
"Yeah, it'd be really cool to have you as a mum, my mother's French did I tell you that?"
Mel shook her head.
"Yeah, her name's Marie she met my dad when she was working over here as an au pair."
"That sounds romantic."
"It wasn't, he's Asian and he kept her a secret from his family, they don't even know about me."
"What about your brother?"
"Luca? Oh no we haven't got the same father, his old man was from Trinidad but he went back years ago."
"Do you ever visit your family in France?"
"No, my mother never got on with them, she says they're snobs, and racists and fascists . You'd like my mother, she's got the right attitude now. "
"Is she single?"
"No, well sort of, she's seeing two guys, they're brothers and they kind of have an understanding, you know. One screws her Fridays the other Saturdays and on Sundays they both join in. "
Melanie was stunned.
"Sorry to be so frank, but mum and I have always had a really close relationship she tells me everything."
"Does she work?"
"She's a singer, does loads of session stuff and gigs round the country, yeah she's cool."
Elise sipped her tea and hungrily devoured a digestive biscuit.
"So did Oscar get in touch?"
Melanie blushed, remembering how Oscar had said Elise passed her number onto him.
"Um, yeah, he did."
Elise nodded, "Did you sleep with him?"
This was getting a bit too personal now and besides Melanie had the distinct feeling she was being set up.
"I'm sorry Elise but I don't really thing that's any of your business."
Elise sprang to her feet, tears welling in her eyes.
"I'm sorry Melanie, really, I didn't mean to be rude, it's just my mother's always tells me everything, we've got no secrets, sorry, I didn't mean to offend you, honestly, do you want me to leave, I will if you want."
Elise was panicking now, she'd already picked up her bag and began stuffing her cigarettes and book inside.
"No, please, it's no big deal, stay, really, I'm sorry, I'm just not used to talking about things like that with...
"But I'm not a stranger!" blurted out Elise, as if she'd read Mel's mind.
"No of course not, but Oscar's in a relationship isn't he? You knew that didn't you?"
Elise sat back down, she shook her head.
"You mean Tanya? Oh but they're not really together, you know they just meet up for sex every so often, that's Oscar , he really loves women, he's cool."
Melanie knew then that Elise had too slept with the tactile Oscar and she felt a fool. She could hear Sarah, "You bloody idiot, put it down to experience, remember the three orgasms and go and get a check up at the pox clinic. "
"Listen how about I show you Oscars web sites and anything else you might want to access, I've got some cool addresses." enthused Elise.
What the hell thought Melanie, it's about time I got a bit techno smart, and so Elise took Mel into this odd new world known as Cyber , windows appeared, doors opened, time altered and Melanie felt like she'd finally entered the 21st century.
After they'd inspected Oscar's bizarre site and sniggered at some of his more than insane ramblings about politics, art and the state of the state. There was even a short film, titled 'One Side" where you could watch various stilted images of people chatting away on their mobile phone, but you could only hear what they were saying, i.e. one side. Riveting, whole snippets of absolute mind boggling crap . Sarah was right, she had had a lucky escape. But the whole process was really very impressive and Mel became quite enthusiastic about the power of the computer.
"Elise, do you know how I'd go about trying to find someone?"
"Who, an artist?"
"No, just some people I used to know a long time ago."
"Oh no, you don't mean Friends Reunited I hope. Lets face it if you haven't heard from someone you went to school with for a zillion years there's probably a good reason why not, like you have absolutely nothing in common with the saddos."
"No, nothing like that, I'm trying to solve a bit of a mystery that's all."
Next thing she knew Melanie found herself telling this odd girl all about the past few weeks.
Elise eyes magnified with astonishment.
"That's amazing, you might actually know someone who was murdered, oh wow that is so cool."
"It's mad really, I should be thinking of better ways to spend my free time but curiosity just got the better of me, so any suggestions?"
"Oh yeah, have you tried the telephone directory." Elise said in the most matter of fact way.
Ten minutes later the clues were mounting up.
"There's 11 J Lincoln's in the Sydney area, lets not forget she may have married and changed her surname. " said Elise taking charge of the investigation.
"Right, well now what, I can't just phone up a complete stranger in Australia and ask her what? Is she still alive?"
Melanie suddenly realised how mad this whole scheme was starting to sound.
"I'll do it,' said Elise, "Won't cost much on a weekend. "
And on the fifth attempt Elise shouted, Bingo!.
That J Lincoln was her brother, Jonathan, he said he's got a sister called Jennifer aged 40 something and yes she used to dance and she lives in Port Macquarie with her family, here's the number. Are you going to call ?"
Melanie shook her head, "What's the point, she's alive and I doubt very much if she'd remember me, oh this is insane Elise, look thanks for the IT lesson, let's call it a day."
"If you're sure, I mean I don't sleep much, I'm happy to search for you all night if you want."
"No, really, let's just chill out in the living room."
"If you're sure but it's dead easy to fine out about people, just type in their name, you never know, then go to a search engine."
"Thanks but I'm a bit knackered if you don't mind, another time maybe."
Elise sat back watching her, then nodded, "Sure, whatever, absolutely."
They took a leather sofa each and sprawled out watching the end of some crap comedy quiz programme that the studio audience were clearly enjoying more than anyone else.
After about half an hour of small talk and herbal tea, Mel said she'd had enough for the day. Elise asked if she could stay up awhile watching telly, Melanie gave her motherly permission and retreated to bed.
She lay there, stretched starfish on that great big, six foot bed, a single person in a double bed, so much room and so little warmth. But it was comforting to have someone else in the house especially a young person. Elise had only been in her class a few months so Mel had never really got to know her that well, she was a quiet girl and left without making any real friends. When Mel asked her where she'd been for the past few terms she said she'd spent the last 18 months travelling around the continent.
After a few moments Mel's day softened and gradually turned into night, the events of the last 24 hours fading and weaving their way through her mind, entering her dreams like a toxic and silent gas.
The next morning she awoke to the smell of cooking, a sweet bready smell pervaded the house and the scent of freshly ground coffee beans steamed up the stairs. She quickly pulled a robe around her and went in search of breakfast.
"Hello, Elise, Elise."
But there was no one in the kitchen, a pot of coffee stood still warm on the sideboard and the remains of something that may or may not have been pancakes gripped tightly to the blackened frying pan in the sink.
"Elise, Elise are you here?"
The girls back pack and denim jacket were still in the hall so Melanie went back through the house in search of this curious creature. As she passed by the spare room she heard a noise coming from inside she knocked on the door.
"Elise, Elise are you in there?"
The handle slowly turned and the door opened. Elise's makeup stained face appeared.
"Hello Melanie, sorry but I can never resist a closed door."
Melanie entered the room, there was nothing of any real value inside, just personal belongings, old things, toot as Matthew always referred to it. And of course great light that's why she chose this room to paint in.
"It's fantastic, why didn't you show it to me?"
Melanie's lost girl was now in the centre of the room gazing back at its creator.
"I..um...I'm just a bit out of practice, its therapeutic."
"Are you joking, It's amazing, so amazing everyone should see it, are you selling it? Are there more? Are you going to have a show?"
"No, I said, it's just an exercise."
But Elise wasn't going to give up.
"That's very selfish Mrs Chase, you should have more respect for your ability, you always taught us that. "
Melanie felt naked despite her robe.
"Come on Elise, I need coffee - it's all a bit early for this sort of conversation, ok?"
While they sat in the kitchen drinking coffee Elise continued interrogating her former teacher.
"Do you have to be anywhere?" Elise probed Mel as if Mel's reply would decide what Elise did for the rest of the day.
"Um, Just some shopping."
When Elise left a few hours later thanking Mel profusely for her hospitality , Mel felt a slight pang, what of she didn't know. Was this what it was like to have a daughter. She'd always worried that she'd be a bad mother to a girl, surely it must run in the family, what with being so hopeless at girlie type stuff. Mel was the sort of woman who could never adjust a bra strap properly or was always forgetting to take her makeup off with the right cleanser and then tone then moisturise, never remembering to apply her anti ageing cream to her hands. Even her best pal Sarah dismayed at her hopelessness.
"You really are a disaster aren't you?" she'd often exclaim, shaking her head in rueful resignation.
But Melanie enjoyed the young girls company and what with Elise coming from such a crazy background perhaps she could do with a bit more stability and normality in her life. So she was dull, but at least her home life didn't sound like a 24 hour bordello and both her kids had the same father , crap as he was.
"Pop round again," she heard herself calling after Elise.
Elise ran back and hugged her.
When she went back and checked her computer she noticed the screen still on. A file on the desktop was highlighted, it was saved as Lost People. Mel clicked to open it.
It read - Hi Melanie, hope you don't mind but I couldn't sleep so I searched for those names you had written down, read on it might be interesting.
First up was Inge Fauber, Inge married American businessman Stefan Gregor in 1982 and now lives in San Diego where she and her husband run a chain of imported luggage outlets. They have four children and Inge is currently president of her local weight watchers branch.
Angela Daley of Campbell Daley Mason advertising agency North Sydney, where she is an MD.
Well there's a turn up, so she's done something after all.
Cindy Simms, Nursing sister at The Green Gables Hospice Manly.
Helen Grady, nee Doyle, Headmistress at an exclusive girls school in Adelaide. Married to a Maths teacher and mother to six boys.
They were there, those girls she'd known back then , all alive and presumably well.
Her tummy rumbled reminding her that she still hadn't had breakfast. She popped a slice of bread in the toaster in readiness for her old stand by, avocado spread on toast, with lemon squeezed on top and black pepper sprinkled over it. A favourite for ages, recommended by ....a friend, a girl, a few years older than her, go on try it Mel, I love it, it's gorgeous, you try it, go on... My God, I remember she thought, it was whatshername.
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