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Alice was playing with her ‘possibility’ lists as she waited for Morgan to arrive. He sounded rather serious on the phone. Was he about to tell her that he wished to step back from the project? He had been so generous with his time so far. She hoped his business had not suffered neglect because of her. The lists were a light weight distraction until he arrived.
Names for Thudder house:
A gem of a place
Clock tower House
Lovell Love it.
Mor-gone than help
Triple S Gems.
Uses for the house:
Murder mystery weekends
Residential health club
Residential weekends for short courses
Sanctuary for Rehabilitation
Weddings & Receptions
If we do go down the coffee shop road, what do we call it?
A little Gem
Coffee, Cake and Crumbs.
House of surprises
Leaf & bean
Sweet’s n’ Treat’s
The Chiming Clock
Tolling Bell Coffee House
“What are you up to now?”
Alice was clicking ‘sort’ on the last of the three lists when Morgan breezed into the room.
“Lovell was on the door step to greet me, she told me you were in here. Good job I had treats for her and some for Crumbs. This one is for you.” He said, handing over a bottle of wine. “Now that you own a priceless cellar full of liquid gold, we need to learn more about it. If we share a bottle a day, we might be expert enough for the ‘hen’s teeth variety’ in about twenty years time!”
“Morgan, at this rate, in twenty years time I’ll be a very merry 75 year old woman! Here, you have me giggling like a school girl before I have my first sip of the day.”
“Then we better up it to a two bottles a day.” Said Morgan. “After all I will hit 49 before the year is over. Now let me get two glasses, I have something important to tell you.” With that he was off to the kitchen.
Alice, set the laptop to sleep and relaxed into an arm chair by the window. She could see Lovell happily playing with Crumbs on the lawn.
“I had a meeting up near Thudder house yesterday, so I called in to look over the outbuildings.” Morgan said as he poured and handed Alice a glass of wine.
“The Outbuildings must have been part of a stable block at one time. One gable wall has a large horseshoe pattern in-filled with bricks. Perhaps it was home to a forge before conversion. The Cottage at the far end has a kitchen, dining room, sitting room with fireplace and in the small hallway, a spiral staircase leads to the first floor, which has two bedrooms a bathroom with bath, shower, loo and airing cupboard.
The second cottage, with the green door, has a hall and kitchen on the ground floor. Again a spiral staircase leads to the first floor where a long landing leads to a sitting room, 3 bedrooms, airing cupboard and a bathroom with bath and over-bath shower and separate room for the loo.
Beside the green door and below the upper floor of rooms, are a range of three garages with concrete floor, electric lights and individual up & over doors. The third one has an inspection pit and workshop, ideal for working on cars!”
I also discovered a useful secondary driveway leading off to the laneway. You know the laneway we wondered about, where it let to etc. If we did decide to use the house as a business, that lane and gateway, would provide a goods entrance to the back door and not interfere with the parking or driveway at the front.
“Goodness, Alice, you collect houses like others collect stamps!” He said, dropping down into an armchair at the far side of the window.
As he dropped into the seat, the tension in Alice evaporated.
“That sounds like you will be around to see the project through. I worried that you were ready to back down in order to concentrate more time to your business.” Said Alice.
“I did want to talk about my business.” He said.
“I think I told you I bought out my partner’s share about fifteen years ago, he wanted to emigrate to warmer climes. Client numbers have almost tripled since then. I was at the stage of taking on another one if not two accountants. Mind you, the work lost the excitement for me, it had become rather mundane. I was glad of the distraction of Thudder house. You must have realised that.
Well, two month ago I was offered the opportunity of a buy out. I decided to say nothing until I was sure of the outcome. Negotiations went too and fro, I did not want to let the years of slogging slip away for the first offer. We came to a final agreement last week and I happily signed on the dotted line. Alice I want to throw my lot into this adventure. I mean, put the money from my business into it, become a partner.
That is, if you will have me as your side quick!”
“Hell! Fish in butter, as you say Morgan, why not? It is better than a poke in the eye with a rusty nail any day?” Grinned Alice. “Now, I am even beginning to talk like you.”
“It will take time to get Thudder house into the condition we want, but we are wasting time, money and energy travelling up and down that road, while paying rates etc on all the houses. Why not renovate the stable block first? You and Lovell move into the three bedroom one and I’ll live in the other one. Then we can put the Home house and the Workshop on the market.”
“I get it now. You only want to be able to play cars all day in the garage pit!” Teased Alice. “I suppose it would also mean we were on hand to oversee the renovations. Then when the house is ready, we move in and have the cottages for staff or rental. Good idea, partner.”
“Right then Boss, I am away to the work shop. I need to spruce myself up for my date tonight”
“You have a date?” said Alice. “I think that is a first in a long time.”
“Yes. I have a date with two women tonight and a reason to celebrate. Now off you go and round up Lovell, you two need time to titivate. I like my women to look beautiful. Now don’t be late, I’ll collect you both at eight.”
Lovell was excited about going out for a meal. She insisted on wearing her new dress. She was very fond of Morgan, but then he was the person who found Crumbs for her. He in turn, had great patience with Lovell and she was responding well to the tasks he was teaching her. Alice could see her sister was becoming more outgoing as the weeks and months went by. Even at the restaurant, Lovell now had the confidence to order what she wanted to eat and drink, with no prompting needed.
She even entered into some of the discussion at the table, which pleased them both. After a couple of visits to Thudder house, she looked forward to bringing Crumbs to walk in the gardens, hopefully by the time they were ready to move, she would be happy to live there. Time alone would tell…..