Family Business Part 1 – In this first visit to Family Business, Rosa’s feeling isolated in Norfolk and is worried about the family firm.

Family Business Part 1 – A Garden Furniture Firm Saga

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To: Laura

From: Rosa

Family Business Part 1, From: Rosa
Date: 23 Oct 2014
Subject: Where’s Dad?????

Hi Laure,

What is going on? Please tell me there’s been some news about dad by now. It’s been almost six months since he was pronounced officially missing at sea. For once, mum seems to be buying into the story – she rang yesterday in hysterics again, wailing that she wanted a body to bury!

Honestly? I can’t imagine our dad – of all people – just getting up in the night and plopping over the side. I know mum likes to see doom and gloom everywhere but this feels suspiciously like one of dad’s stunts to me … I like to think he’s hunkered down in some Croatian fishing village and that when whatever it is that he’s been avoiding has passed, that he’ll pop up again right as rain.

I feel so cut off down here, do let me know the latest at your end,

Lol Rosa xxx

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To: Rosa

From: Laura

From: Laura
Date: 23 Oct 2014
Subject: RE: Where’s Dad????

Hi R,

Good to talk to you earlier. I was in the office with Lorenzo’s antennae going full blast, so I didn’t want to say anything indiscreet, hence the email. I’m with you, twin, this has all the hallmarks of one of dad’s famous disappearing acts. Thing is, while mum usually lets slip that he’s just laying low for a while, she really does seem to believe he’s gone for good this time. Lorenzo’s all for jumping on a plane and flying out there but what good could that pompous ass do? I mean, his Croatian is sooooo fluent!!

Rosa, I wish you’d come home. I mean, come back to Edge’s Outdoor Furniture! After all, I did it and while it drives me crazy, at least this way, I have some chance of keeping it all together until dad comes back (or, if we really have to face it, he does actually turn out to be lost at sea). In his absence, we’ve a power vacuum and Lorenzo’s all set to wreak havoc on all fronts. If we’re not careful everything dad worked for over the past 40 years, could be wiped out in one garden furniture season. Girl, this is our inheritance too and while you might not need it like Paul & I do, surely you can’t bear to watch Lorenzo destroy it all?

Our immediate problem is the orders and suppliers for next season. We’re just in the process of sorting out who to use and someone needs to take the reins. Lorenzo’s frankly crap – no surprise there – so the idea of him being given free rein with the Chinese metal garden furniture suppliers is horrendous. You know how he likes to over order and is always having his head turned by a flattering comment. It was fine having him as nominal managing director while dad was in control – they always travelled to appointments with suppliers together, but Lorenzo with no one to talk sense?

By the way, please, please don’t tell your darling husband about the latest dramas with the family firm – he’d only use it against us.
In haste, L xxx

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To: Rosa

From: Laura
Date: 24 Oct 2014
Subject: OMG! Flora’s big reveal

Dear sis

I had supper with big sis last night and you are not going to believe what she told me! I thought it was odd to be summoned to supper at the Club, but Paul is away this week so had a feeling she might want to ‘share’ some intelligence. I was way off the mark – she didn’t want to talk about Edge’s Outdoor Furniture – not even about dad – she wanted to tell me her secret!!!!

I don’t mean she’s finally come out – Brenda was very much not in evidence (does she think we’re as naive as mum???? I mean, they’ve been an item longer than any of the rest of us has been married and it’s plain that the staff all know). No, she wanted to sound me out about taking on a new employee. Not just any employee, but her very own illegitimate son! It seems that while you and I were busy doing entrance exams for the High School, she was busy having a baby. She wouldn’t tell me who the father was – apparently Charlie (that’s his name) doesn’t know either. He’s been working in Australian garden furniture industry and now he wants to move to Britain and embrace his roots (ha, ha!). It seems that mum and dad fixed it for him to be adopted by some folks they knew through the business, hence the patio furniture connection. Dark horse, eh? Perhaps the whole teenage pregnancy lark put her off men for good, hence the Brenda thing.

Anyway, Flora was definitely sounding me out before she discussed it with mum or Lorenzo. I told her, mum will be thrilled – another bambino and a boy to boot, but I can see this putting Lorenzo’s nose right out of joint. Particularly if Charlie turns out to know what he’s talking about. Flora was surprisingly firm about it all – she feels that she’s never relied on the family firm for anything, so now she’s calling in her dues. She also feels that with dad gone, it’s a very good time to introduce some new blood.

She said she’d try to drive over to see you at the weekend, so I expect you’ll have it from the horse’s mouth before long.

Your loving twin,

Laura xxx

Family Business Part 1

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