Family Business Part 12

Family Business Part 12

New Year’s Eve with Family Business Part 12.  Jack’s reappearance means everyone needs to make some adjustments, with inevitable tensions all round and Laura’s party ends with an unexpected announcement from a surprising quarter.

                                                                     Family Business Part 12

To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 29th December

Subject: Massimo’s showroom offer!

Dear Laura

I had to share this with you!  Last night apparently, Poppy lured Massimo off into Nick’s Garden Furniture Showroom for a bit of privacy… You do remember where the showroom is, don’t you?  Slap bang on the market square, next to that really busy gastro pub, The Apple Orchard.

He clearly thought she was going to make an extra effort to win him away from her rival, and he was quite happy to go along with it.  She grabbed a bottle of fizz, dimmed the lights, whipped out some handcuffs and got him to lie down on an extending 8 seat aluminum table.  I think the champagne must have taken the chill off the aluminium because he was quite happy at this stage.  Poppy then proceeded to remove his clothes, bit by bit before … turning the lights up full, and leaving him, locking the door behind her!

There he was, for all to see, naked as a supermarket chicken in a glaringly bright showroom.  Oh, and before she left, she took a photo of him on his phone which she sent to Lucie!  The girl has teeth after all.

Have a look on twitter – it’s gone viral.

X Rose

                                                                     Family Business Part 12

To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 29 December

Subject: LOVE IT!

I hear he was there until the police called Nick to come and rescue him – apparently he was causing a disturbance as the crowds gathered!

Love from Laura x

                                                                     Family Business Part 12

To: Rosa

From: Laura

Date: 1 January 2015

Subject:  Happy New Year!

Dear Rose

Thank you so much for having us to stay after everyone else disappeared.  It was such a treat to be alone with your family and Paul and Juno.  Even Maurice took rather a shine to the dachshunds – if not as much as he did to the duck poo!

I promised to let you know how our New Year Eve party went.  So ….

Firstly, I guess you’ll want to know what everyone was wearing.  Carla excelled herself (primarily because she’d invited Herb who was at home with his parents for Christmas).  She was wearing one of Maria’s (truly) Primark black lace bodycon dresses – the sort that looks no bigger than a hair band when hanging on the rack.  Need I say more?  Lorenzo was looking very dapper in one of his typical Ralph Lauren shirts – trouble is, the stripe coupled with his pronounced gut made it look like a beach tent.  He’s noticed that Carla’s eye is straying and in a bid to appear more youthful, he’s started dying his hair!  What hair, you may well say.  He’s dyed his remaining head hair a glossy chestnut but unfortunately, he hasn’t thought about his neck hairs which are quite copious and undeniably silver.  There’s a rather striking line where the one stops and the other begins which belies the natural look he’s after.  Just so long as he doesn’t go for a hair weave, that’s all.

Ant on the other hand, looked super stylish.  He’s turning out to be a very elegant young man – almost queenly in his demeanour, if you get my drift … Herb looked utterly preposterous in a sort of mock 18th century hunting garb.  White breeches, long over the knee black boots, a scarlet jacket and a cravat.  These media types, eh?  Actually he was rather jolly company and told us loads of gossip about people like Alan Titchmarsh and Anthea Turner!  He was really nice to Ant who seems to want a career in TV (If you can imagine anyone preferring a job in media to a career flogging metal garden furniture).

Mum had invited Frank and was obviously taking some pleasure in seeing him and dad pace around each other like two dogs squaring up for a fight.  Remarkably for her, Mum had had her hair done and had got a new expensive dress.  She looked good!  For form’s sake, she’d also invited Pearl who seems to have put jag-gate behind her, and is seizing the opportunity to spend more time with Frank.  She was wearing something a bit like Carla (!) and actually looked rather better in it.  Perhaps it’s just because she’s so much more likeable.  She certainly knows how to get a party going and since nearly everyone here knows what she’s like, she didn’t cause any major embarrassment – although Juno’s headmaster did suffer rather at her hands!

Amazingly, Flora took time off from the Club and was very much in evidence (you’ll see why later on).  I wonder if having dad back will thwart her ambitions for the firm?  She’s spending a lot of time with him discussing finance, targets and strategies.  My hunch is she’s trying to get dad to off load some of the dead family wood (Carla, Massimo, even Lorenzo, me??) and he seems to be listening.  The more of us she can oust, the bigger the piece of furniture pie for Charlie, methinks.

Back to the party.  Massimo made no effort at all – he’d clearly been wearing the same clothes for several days.   Came empty handed and scoffed huge amounts of food and drink as usual.  He and Poppy arrived separately.   I gather he’s moved back in with mum and dad, and hasn’t forgiven Poppy for the Naked High St Humiliation.  Poppy looked lovely and positively glowing with happiness which seemed odd at the time given how things were between her and Massimo.   They certainly seemed to be avoiding each other.  He turned up late and nipped off to the Buck and Fart twice for fags during the evening.  Clearly he was trying to spend time as much time with barmaid Lucie as he could.  As it happened, he nearly missed the big announcement …

Charlie and Poppy are getting married!  I know! I really didn’t see that one coming.  Massimo went absolutely white and stormed out.  I guess he was going straight back to the B&F to find consolation in arms of Lucie.   But, I think he’s just realizing that whereas Poppy has the added bonus of a job, a lot of family money, her own flat and a nice personality, Lucie is not much more than a stroppy teenager and as poor as  he is.

Charlie’s a sly one though, isn’t he?  He gave absolutely no clue that this was how he was thinking.  It confirms my view of him as Mr Sneaky.   I think he’s worked out that dad isn’t half as indulgent of Massimo as mum is, so he wasn’t afraid that his actions would alienate him from the firm – and I have my suspicions that he’s done it to consolidate his interests with the metal garden furniture scene in the UK.  Poppy’s dad, Dick, is the no. 1 cushion supplier, after all.

It’ll be interesting to see how Massimo handles their engagement.  I wouldn’t put it past him to make a bid for Poppy again himself.  I only hope she’s got the sense to keep well away this time.

Anyhow, here’s to a 2015 chock full of orders for parasols, benches and every sort of outdoor garden furniture.  J

Laura x

                                                                     Family Business Part 12

To: Laura

From: Rosa

Date: 1st January

Subject: Happy New Year to You Too!

Dear Laura

Your email really cheered me up – my NYE was rubbish.  Nick and I did nothing but row.  He’s such a bore these days.  He just seems to talk about money all the time.  I was really cross with him for picking so many fights with Lorenzo – I’m sure if he had a wider range of conversation, they could have been avoided.   But, there’s something of the bully in my dear husband and he couldn’t resist having a go.

I’m also in a bad mood because he’s suddenly sprung Cruella on me.  The boys need to see their real mother apparently, and the only way this will happen is if she comes to stay with us.

Ok, rationally, I can understand that she’s not over from New York very often, and it seems mean to make her stay in a hotel.  But, she’s IMPOSSIBLE.   Let’s face it; there isn’t a hotel in Norfolk that would meet her standards, so there sure is plenty for her to turn up her nose chez-nous.  First off, she was very disappointed that I couldn’t rustle up a soya latte or a broccoli, kale and citrus smoothie at breakfast time.  WHOPPING FRAUD.  I caught her scoffing a bowl of cocoa pops later on when she thought I was out with the dogs.  Then the shower wasn’t power-showery enough for her so she’s insisted on swapping rooms with Nick & me so that she gets the en suite bath.  It’s rather odd being kicked out of the marital bed for the ex-wife, you know.  After that, Nick had to drive into Norwich to get her some particular bath oil because our water isn’t suitable for her precious skin and she daren’t corrode its precious surface with any old bubble bath.

What makes matters worse is she’s writing a lifestyle column for a New York glossy mag – all about combining motherhood with a career!  This is the woman who left her children aged 1 & 3 so it will be revealing to see what she knows about it.  She’s using this time to take loads of selfies of her with the boys which no doubt will pepper the articles over the coming months.  Nick doesn’t object, and so it really isn’t my place to, but I can’t think it’s very desirable for the boys to be used as marketing tools by their over-ambitious demon of a mother.  The little brats of course, are lapping it up and cock a hoop with the i-pads she brought them both.  She swans in after almost 6 months away, and they’re all over her.  Men!

Result is, I’ve decided to go to Brittany for a few days.  Alex Garden has a gîte there and he’s invited me to stay.  Don’t tell anyone it’s Alex’s – I’ll say it’s another school friend for form’s sake.  Think I’ll be gone by the weekend, but hopefully you and I will still be able to email.  The boys go back to boarding school on the 9th January, so I’ll leave them with Cruella playing happy families until then.  Then she’ll have no excuse to stay on.  Let’s hope one of the dachshunds pees in her bag this time.  Do you remember when Maud weed in her quilted Chanel handbag all those years ago?  All-time Great Dog Owner’s Moment.

Bon Voyage! Laura x

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