Three cheers as I now have my dining room back without having to stash boxes of papers hastily cleared from the table in the corner!
I had just got back from the pub car park which has generously housed the local bottle bank for some years and was about to make myself a cup of coffee when the doorbell rang, followed rapidly by an urgent-sounding rattling of the letter-box.
“All right, I’m coming, don’t get in a tizzy!” I said, probably not loud enough for anyone outside the house to hear, but it made me feel better.
When I opened the front door, I was somewhat taken aback to see an Audrey Hepburn lookalike standing there, only not for long as, after glancing anxiously around, she pushed past me and into the house, hissing, “Shut the door, quickly, shut the door!”
It seemed unlikely with such an entrance that she might be armed and dangerous, so I complied with her request. Once she was safe from the gaze of the outside world, she removed her hat and dark glasses to reveal herself as ...
“Shh! I shouldn’t really be back yet, they’re still trying to track down one of his friends, but I’m bored out of my mind stuck in a tiny flat on the other side of town where no-one knows me. So I thought I’d come and see how you’re getting on with the advertisers in the newsletter.”
As I looked at her newly bleached hair cut in a most un-Deirdre like style, I found myself unsurprised that anyone on the other side of town had failed to recognise her. “You look... different,” I said finally.
“Oh, I know, I can’t wait for it all to grow out. Though I’m quite getting used to the blonde. Now, these advertisers....”
I made some coffee and brought through some of my latest batch of biscuits while Deirdre leafed through the carefully sorted stacks of invoices and receipts.
“This is brilliant,” she murmured as she found the stapled set of notes I’d put together as a reminder of what to do each month. “It’ll make it so much easier!”
“Yes, it has,” I told her, failing completely to mention the shambles it had all been in when I’d taken it over. “I’m just waiting for this month’s copies to be delivered so I can post them off...”
Deirdre looked up at me, frowned and then chewed her lower lip in a way that completely ruined the Audrey Hepburn image. “Didn’t anyone tell you? Now that I’m back, I shall be doing it again. Though if you could do the run down to the post office for me, that would be really helpful. I don’t want to be seen outside any more than I can help. I mean, I’ve been watching your house through my binoculars to work out when you were in so that I didn’t have to wait outside any longer than necessary. You do understand, don’t you?”
I was too shocked to say much in reply. It hasn’t been that much of a chore sending out reminders though I was a little taken aback to hear that she’d been spying on me with a pair of binoculars, and told her so.
She was very dismissive. “Oh, it’s only been for the last few days. You’re never in! So I had to watch to see when the lights were on. And I didn’t want to risk coming round when your husband was here. I mean, you never know who he might tell.” She scooped up the papers into a conveniently nearby box and paused briefly to replace her dark glasses. “Thanks ever so for doing this. When the dust has all settled, you must come for coffee at my place.”
Deirdre waited at the front door for me to open it as she had her hands full but she didn’t seem at all bothered about my lack of response. So I think now that I can, I should have a dinner party. Why waste a perfectly good dining room?