Mornington-By-Mere

Tales of love and romance in mornington

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 02)

Philomena Cruikshank was 12 years younger than her sister Persephone and was able to up sticks and rally to the family’s side because she had no attachments, she was widowed and childless and lived alone in the village of Tipton in the North of the county. In the turbulent two year period of Persie’s decline Aunty Phil became invaluable to the St George family, she was the glue that held the fracturing family together, with her stoical strength and practicality. And she needed every ounce of her not inconsiderable strength of character to achieve it because even she couldn’t prevent the inevitable.

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 03)

While Peter was on retreat a succession of Locum ministers covered for him at St Winifred’s in his absence which rather upset the rhythm of village life especially as Carole was no longer there to make sure the village ticked along. So the news of his impending return was greeted with great relief about the village. Even though, in truth he was not quite the same Peter Cockcroft they had known and loved before Carole’s death. He was a little less open and a little more guarded, but his return had at least restored the equilibrium in Mornington.

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 04)

It was the day after the May Bank holiday and it was a glorious morning. Phil had always been an early riser and that morning was no exception. She had a solitary coffee on the east terrace and then went for a walk with her golden retriever “Biscuit” in Manor Woods. She liked the early morning walks, whatever the weather, but even more so on a bright morning while the rest of the world were still in bed.

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 05)

Philomena and Peter were still intermittently giggling sometime after they had agreed to continue their early morning walks together. They were an unlikely looking pair, Philomena looked every inch a member of the landed gentry, and possessed an inherent elegance about her and she made whatever she happened to throw on look like haute couture, and although she spent little or no time on her appearance she always looked more than presentable. In stark contrast Peter Cockcroft was a big man, well over six feet tall and built like a rugby player, and he looked as unlike a clergyman as it was possible to get, but in Philomena’s humble opinion he had a most wonderful voice. “So why were you singing songs from the Mikado in the woods?” she asked “Ah” he said and ran his fingers through his short sandy hair “I was afraid you were going ask that”

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 06)

More than a week had passed since the Manor Wood Mikado incident and that was the last time she had seen him, and Philomena was thinking that her best course of action was to just knock on the Rectory door and say hello. She was going into the village to pick up a few bits of shopping and decided she would do just that on her way home. Philomena had been to Norman’s and chatted at length with Evelyn while she bought some stamps.

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 07)

As Philomena was stomping her way to the Manor, Peter was doing much the same thing on his way to the Rectory. “My God man have you no self-control?” he muttered “Just because she’s a beautiful woman, you think it ok to go and kiss her” He opened the gate and walked in to his front garden still muttering “Just because she’s funny, and has an infectious laugh and has a pretty smile, and smells divine” he said as he opened the front door “You cannot go around kissing her, her….” and as he struggled to complete the sentence he plopped down in his favourite chair and concluded. “Her beautiful soft lips”

Mornington-By-Mere – (01) A Wandering Minstrel (Part 08)

Philomena and Biscuit walked past the Rectory five times before she plucked up enough courage to go and knock on the door. The drizzle of earlier had turned into proper rain and there were rivulets running down her face and large droplets on the end of her nose as she knocked. But when there was no answer she suddenly felt very foolish, he clearly didn’t want to see her, and he couldn’t have made it plainer. She imagined him to be looking out the window and wishing she would go away.

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 02)

“We have had a better offer” Sir Robin said “I beg your pardon” Natasha retorted “We have had a better offer” he repeated “From a local business man” “Let me guess” Gabriel said “Poole Industries” “That I can neither confirm nor deny” he said

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 03)

It was the week after the handover when Adam Poole was spotted in Mornington Village with a leggy blonde trying to gain access onto the airfield. They were up by the main gate to Mornington Field and he was trying to force open the gate when Gabriel pulled up in one of the estate Landrover’s. Poole was immaculately dressed as usual and the blonde, who was about a foot taller than he was, was also very well presented but not adorned in designer gear like her companion was.

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 04)

The reason Gabriel wanted to see Scott was in relation to Mornington Field and the associated properties the Estate had acquired. They went into the study and found their mutual friend Ray Walker was already there, he was also a local boy born and bred and he had worked for the estate since he left school. He was a giant of a man with a shock of unruly red hair and an abundance of freckles. Ray’s job on the Estate was buildings maintenance so he was about to get really busy.

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 05)

It was a few days before the summer Fête and the grounds around the Manor were full of clutter and the hustle and bustle of activity. He decided to retreat into the sanctity of his study to escape the summer Fête preparations which were happening all around him and had become all consuming. He was also partly hiding from Aunty Phil so she couldn’t rope him in to her plans but mainly he wanted to take a few moments to congratulate himself for the progress that had been made and he even allowed himself to feel a little bit smug about frustrating Adam Poole’s insidious plans. Which was when the phone rang. “Hello”

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 06)

Gabriel left Chantel sitting at the table and went up to the bar and ordered her a drink and Peter the Landlord said in a hushed whisper “I think you rather under sold the young lady if you don’t mind my saying so Gabriel” But Gabe just looked at him blankly, so Peter added “She is an absolute corker” Gabriel turned to look at her as she sat looking out of the window. “Yes she is isn’t she?” he agreed

Mornington-By-Mere – (02) The Mornington Field Triangle (Part 07)

The next day Gabriel surprised the residents of the Manor by announcing he was going on a date. “What with a woman?” Corliss asked incredulously “With a gorgeous woman actually” he said and left

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 01)

The three friends up at Wood Hill Farm were all single girls and looked likely to remain so, Rachel Pegg had an admirer but she thought him unsuitable or unworthy, no one was quite sure which or for that matter why. The wellington boot was on the other foot for Kashveena Kaur who had already lost her heart but was reluctant to do anything about it and Jenna Newman thought that any search for a meaningful love with someone of a like mind would be a fruitless exercise so she wasn’t prepared to bother, which is how the three of them all ended up living together at Wood Hill farm.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 02)

Kashveena’s Aunt Anjuli died while she was studying cookery at college, and the death of her only remaining family and the only real mother she had ever known hit her very hard indeed which was why the girls felt so protective towards her and why they asked her to move in with them at the farm. Suddenly being all alone in the world, moving in with her best friends seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 03)

Over the years things at Wood Hill Farm had settled into a comfortable routine but sometimes the universe has a habit of forcing change on people and it was on a cold misty morning in early March as winter turned slowly into spring that the fates conspired to have their way and the incident occurred.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 04)

From the moment she laid eyes on him Kashveena instantly assessed the situation and then took complete control. “Let’s sit him down in the kitchen” Kash said and Jenna assisted her in silence “Rachel! Call for an Ambulance” she added and then began cleaning his wound. “So let’s have a look at you” she said “Who are you?” he asked

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 05)

While Kashveena and Dave were in yard talking Jenna was in the kitchen and couldn’t hear the conversation, but she was more than a little confused by the laughter. When they walked in she blurted out “Is he ok, is he dead, he’s dead isn’t he? I’ve killed him haven’t I, oh God” “He’s fine Jen” he said interrupting her in full flow “What?” “He’s fine” he said “No broken bones or brain damage, just bruised ribs and a few contusions”

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 06)

Jenna and Rachel were working together in the barn the following afternoon when a strange car arrived in the yard with a strange driver behind the wheel and a familiar looking passenger beside them. Jen had been working like a Trojan since breakfast the previous day trying to make up for the time she lost on the day of the accident and she had been driving Rachel as hard as she had herself, so when the visitors arrived Rachel was relieved as it meant they would be taking a break.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 07)

Jenna introduced Doctor Andrew’s to Kashveena who was in the kitchen and in her element with a houseful to cater for. And when Kash had supplied everyone with a hot drink and produced a plate of biscuits Dr Andrews began. “I know it's the stuff of Hollywood movies and cheap fiction, someone suffers a blow to the head, and that person wanders around aimlessly, unable to remember who they are or where they came from” she said “But while such sudden, profound loss of memory is rare, it does happen”

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 08)

The first thing that happened after Harry had been settled in to his room was an introduction, he had to meet Jenna’s and Rachel’s brother’s Bob and Gavin who were keen to get a look at the potential nutter staying up at the Wood Hill farm. They were an unlikely looking pair, Gavin was a big man, six foot two and a bit of a slow plodder with unruly red hair and a ruddy complexion, while Bob was a short spindly dynamo with long frizzy brown hair that made it look like he had a bad afro.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 09)

When they walked into the St Winnifred’s Church Harry took a good long look at his surroundings and then went straight to the back row and sat down, Jenna motioned towards him to take him to their normal seats but Kashveena took her by the elbow and said “Leave him Hun, just let him take it all in” “Ok, I’ll just sit with him then” Jen said “No” Kash reiterated “He needs to be alone for the moment” “But…” Jenna began “Trust me” Kash said and reluctantly Jenna walked with her to their normal seats where Gavin was already seated.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 10)

Harry had found his visit to the church both very enjoyable and quite useful in equal measure. He recognized the hymns and the readings and although it hadn’t triggered any specific memory he thought it might be quite helpful if he tried some other stimuli so he asked Jenna if he could borrow a book “Of course” she said and showed him into what was referred to as the office. “Wow” he said “that’s quite a collection” Jenna’s father, John, and his brother Charlie had both been avid readers and their collection still filled every inch of shelf space in their old office.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 11)

It was the Friday afternoon of Harry’s 5 th week at Wood Hill Farm which was less than a week after his sojourn to St Winnifred’s and it was raining cats and dogs. As a result of the inclement weather everyone was indoors at the farmhouse. Kash as usual was in the kitchen making tea on that typical rainy Friday afternoon in April, while Gavin and Bob were firing sports questions at Harry as they sat around the kitchen table.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 12)

The quiz night was on the Saturday night of the Easter weekend in Mornington at the Old Mill Inn. Each team in the league was comprised of six players, Kash, Jenna, Bob, Rachel, Gavin and Harry were The Wood Hill-Billie’s. Sgt Dave Jones was normally on their team but he was on duty that night so had already cried off before Harry was drafted in.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 13)

Jenna watched the exchange between Harry and Grant Smith at the bar and she was intrigued by Polly Andrew’s reaction as he got his change. “What was all that about?” Jenna asked when he returned to the table so he whispered it in her ear “What?” she said with a look of horror on her face “Has something happened?” Rachel asked

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 14)

The next morning was Easter Sunday and despite the fact they were all feeling more than a little jaded they were all at St Winifred’s early next morning though not necessarily bright. It was on the other hand a very bright morning for John Andrew who had been greatly encouraged by the hug he received from Rachel Pegg after her team’s victory on the quiz night. So when he saw the Wood Hill Farm Landrover trundle through the village towards the church with Rachel sitting in the back smiling at him he was elated.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 15)

On Easter Monday it was business as usual up at the farm, livestock were no respecters of public holidays. Cows still needed milking and chickens still needed feeding and there were daily chores that couldn’t be left. That was the thing that John Andrew didn’t understand about farming, it was a hard life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you had to love it to survive it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 16)

It was almost the end of April, a week and a half after the quiz night at the Old Mill when Harry and Jenna drove into Mornington together and it was the first they had both been in the village together since Easter Sunday. Jenna had an appointment with Lianne Martin, her Dentist and afterwards they were going to drive into Abbottsford to buy Harry some new clothes, his Versace suit was the best will in the world was never going to be appropriate for farm laboring and the few clothes that Gavin had given him were not wearing well at all.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 17)

The first two weeks of May were hectic in the extreme on the farm and Harry and Jenna barely got a minute to themselves. By the time they reached one particular day in the middle of the month, which was the hottest day of the year so far Bob and Gavin had been out in the fields since first light, fertilising and muck spreading, for days on end, Kash was spring cleaning the downstairs of the house and Jenna, Rachel and Harry were cleaning out all livestock buildings.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 18)

When they reached the Winston Churchill Hospital, Claire went straight through and Jenna waited anxiously in the waiting area. She had been sitting there for two hours before Claire returned with a grave expression on her face. Claire sat down next to Jenna and took hold of her hand, it was supposed to put her mind at rest, but it had the opposite effect.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 19)

When they went into ICU they found Harry in a High Dependency bed and Jenna was pleasantly surprised, She had imagined in her mind’s eye that he would be a mass of bruises and abrasions, with tubes coming out of every orifice, he didn’t even have a breathing tube in. His head was bandaged obviously, but other than that he looked very peaceful. “He looks well” Kash said clearly as surprised as Jenna was.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 20)

After Kash had left her alone in the room with Harry, Jenna began to sob uncontrollably and was still going ten minutes later. “Come back Harry” she sobbed “Please come back” She was holding his hand in hers and periodically kissing it in between sobs so she didn’t notice his eyes were open.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 21)

It was the first of June, a week after Harry was discharged from hospital, when the dust had finally settled, that Harry and Jenna finally found time to have a proper conversation. They were sitting in the office in the leather Chesterfields surrounded by the Newman brother’s book collection. Harry had been trying get Jenna alone since he got back and the office was the only quiet corner they could find.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 22)

Harry thought it quite appropriate that it was the 6 th of June, D-Day, when Jenna and Harry drove into Mornington and parked in the church car park and walked to the rectory, and Harry thought it was appropriate because he was expecting a fight. “Hello Jenna, Harry” The vicar said as he opened the door “Come in, Come in” “Should I still call you Harry?” Peter asked “Yes please, the name has rather stuck now” he said “And to be honest I never really liked the name Keith”

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 23)

It was two weeks after the Vicar had suggested Harry should meet with Gabriel St George up at the Manor that it actually happened and Harry walked up to the front door at the Manor on a Sunny Friday afternoon in June. He knocked firmly on the door and after a few moments it was opened by a very striking looking woman with bobbed blonde hair and a Swan neck. “Hi” he said “I have an appointment with Mr St George” “Ah you must be the famous Harry” she said and shook his hand “I’m Philomena Cruickshank’s, come this way” And he followed her as she strode purposefully through the house.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 24)

On September 27 th , the day of the wedding, Gavin was chosen to be Harry’s best man, Kashveena and Rachel were bridesmaids, while Bob Pegg, John Andrew and Dave Jones were the ushers. The wedding was a much anticipated event and not just by the bride and groom, Jenna was a popular character in Mornington and on the day the church was full to bursting with well-wishers including the whole of the St George family from the Manor.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 25)

Polly Andrew had been serving at the wedding breakfast but for a couple of hours at the dance she was just a guest and she had just got herself a drink when she caught sight of Bob Pegg. Bob wasn’t a regular The Old Mill Inn, not as such, just quiz nights and darts matches but she always noticed when he was in, mainly because he was a bit of a gregarious character. He was a popular guy and was never short of a friend to have a drink with, and Polly liked it when he was in because he made her smile.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 26)

In between their normal chores, Harry and Jenna spent most of the autumn making Wood Hill Cottage habitable as they planned to make it their home in the New Year. It hadn’t been lived in for more than thirty years so it needed a lot more than just a lick of paint. By the time December came around John was spending most of the week at the farm learning the ropes with Rachel and weekends working at the pub with Polly.

Mornington-By-Mere – (03) Living with the Lesbians (Part 27)

When Rachel said “Of course I’ll marry you stupid” And wrapped her skinny arms around his neck and kissed him it was greeted with whoops and cheers and delayed the end of the meal. Which left Kash with mixed feelings, she was delighted for her friends As Harry went around the table refilling the glasses. Polly got unsteadily to her feet “Blimey!” Harry said “Not another one”

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 01)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel. Plans were immediately drawn up to optimize the newly acquired assets the moment the property was formally handed over on the 1 st of June. The guardians of the estate are the St George family and the head of which is Baron Gabriel St George and his friend and architect Scott Collier was tasked with designing appropriate conversions to maximize the potential returns and enhance the benefits to the village.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 02)

Nathan Addison was a second cousin twice removed from the head of the company, Simon, and he was considered as something of a joke in the family. It wasn’t always so, he was once a big wheel in the well-oiled Addison’s machine but after his wife died tragically in a skiing accident and he had a nervous breakdown, the wheels came off his wagon. That was three years earlier and in the time that had elapsed since, he had been worse than useless to the company. So it came as some surprise to Simon when on the eve of his 50 th birthday Nathan approached him to suggest that he take over the running of the Mornington shop. At first Simon was reluctant to agree as Nathan was not the force he once was but he implored him to give him a chance.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 03)

After they unpacked, Nathan and Chloe decided to go for a walk. They followed the long winding route that crossed over the river, then they followed the pathway as it passed a water mill and went over the mill stream and a weir before the path dissected the lush green water meadow on its way to the town. And at every turn they were blessed with a fresh view of the Cathedral bathed in the summer sunshine, so once they reached the great edifice they just had to go in. And it was an afternoon well spent; the Cathedral had a fabulous façade that merely hinted at its grand interior, the stained glass illuminated by the sun’s rays was breathtaking. The two of them spent hours inside reading every plaque and inscription and when they left they felt cleansed and refreshed.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 04)

Nathan and Chloe moved into Number 8 Military Row on August 15 th and took over the running of the Baker’s one week later. For the first few days they had a handover period with the help of Gary Bronson who was probably the most regular of the temporary staff at the shop and then they were all on their own. Chloe knew the shop was going to be a lot quieter than the Abbeyvale Bakery she was used to. But she wasn’t prepared for just how quiet it actually was. The shop itself was quiet small but the footprint of the building was three times the size of the shop floor, so there was room for expansion but she couldn’t envisage the necessity to expand.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 05)

While Chloe busied herself with the aesthetic, Nathan, far from being contend to free wheel, was thinking of ways to make the shop more profitable. Nathan had been looking at the local map and soon realized that although Mornington was a relatively small village there were very many farms and hamlets dotted around the Vale who had to buy their bread from somewhere so he printed off some flyers offering a free deliver service to customers who placed regular orders. After that his problem was how to distribute the orders and then an idea dawned on him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 06)

Scott Collier had managed to wangle a long weekend away from his computer so he spent the morning at the Old East Mill, which was the last of the Mornington Mills to be renovated. He was exceedingly dirty from over two hundred years of dust and grime. Normally on his day off he would go to the pub for a hot meal and a pint but he wasn’t comfortable with doing that in the state he was in. So as the Mill was just over the bridge from The Street he decided to get something from the Bakers that he could take home for lunch and after he had eaten he would go back to the Mill.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 07)

When Gabriel St George got to hear about Nathan trying to introduce a delivery service to the farms and hamlets of the Vale, he was very encouraged. In the fifteen years since the RAF base had closed Addison’s had only paid lip service to the Mornington shop, and if it hadn’t been for the Estate heavily subsidizing the shop they would have withdrawn altogether. He walked into the Bakers and found Chloe behind the counter

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 08)

After a wonderful meal and far too much wine on Friday night at the Manor, Scott was in no fit state on Saturday to be banging and crashing about in the Mill so he decided to write the day off but he would put in a full day on Sunday to make up for it. Addison’s wasn’t open on a Sunday so he got himself something pre-packed from Norman’s and ate lunch on the river bank in the late summer sunshine.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 09)

That afternoon was very quiet so she sat down and tried to figure out what she could do to capitalize on the influx of workmen. The shop was quite small but the footprint of the building was three times the size of the shop floor, so there was room for a food preparation area in what was currently the office, where she could make sandwiches.

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 10)

It was late on Saturday morning as Chloe was dealing with a special order for a 4 tier wedding cake that she saw Scott through the window and he did not look well. The wedding Cake was required for a wedding taking place at St Winnifred’s in two weeks’ time. “So when will it be delivered?” the bride to be, Jenna Newman asked “It will be here on the Friday the 26 th ” Chloe said “Is that guaranteed?” Bridesmaid, Kashveen asked “Well I can promise you that if it isn’t I will drive to Shallowfield myself to pick it up” “Good enough” Jenna said

Mornington-By-Mere – (04) The Baker’s Daughter (Part 11)

Chloe left the house at 7.45pm wearing a blue cocktail dress and a contrasting pashmina and she could see Scott was already waiting by the bridge as she looked down Military Row. “He’s keen” she said and giggled As she reached the bottom of the road she glanced over and could see the lights were still on in the shop. “Am I late?” she asked “No I’m early” he replied “Good, so we’ve got time to check on how they’re getting on in the shop” she said and began walking that way

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 01)

Cynthia Sharp was the Headmistress of The Mornington School, where she had taught for the whole of her professional life. She lived and worked in Mornington-By-Mere, a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 02)

On one Saturday afternoon in September Cynthia stood at her kitchen sink and cursed. “That dammed man has left the gate open again” So she put on her outdoor shoes and trudged down the path but when she reached the gate she found it was prevented from closing because there was the bloodied body of an injured terrier slumped against it. “What’s happened to you?” she said gently

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 03)

The Jeffrey and Teague Veterinary Practice had been fulfilling the Veterinary needs of the Finchbottom Vale inhabitants since God was a boy and it was still going strong. Of the two senior partners, Robin Jeffrey was now retired and living in Dulcet’s Mill, one of the three remaining Mornington Windmills. The 64 year old widow whose children were all living independent lives chose the solitary existence where he could spend his time enjoying the two thing that gave him the most pleasure, birdwatching, which he could do from his vantage point in the top of the mill and fishing which he could do in the River Brooke which ran no more than twenty yards from his front door.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 04)

While Lindsay changed into her clinical scrubs Ian went and got the car and parked out front of the surgery and he then picked up the sedated dog and loaded him into the car and Lindsay got in the back with the injured terrier. “I’ll call you later Miss Sharp” Ian said as he got back behind the wheel “I’m still intrigued to know where you saw me naked”

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 05)

In the summer of seventy-three when "Skweeze me pleeze me” by Slade was top of the pops. Ian Teague was a Patrol Leader in the 6th Abbeyvale Scout Troup who set off in a beat up white Ford Transit heading for the wilds of Downshire. They travelled in the back of the transit van and sat on wooden benches, like the forms you get in school gyms.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 06)

At the end of the mud fight they were, without exception, all covered from head to toe in thick black slimy mud, and they thought it was fantastic. When the task was finished and the rice grass was planted they waded back to shore looking like a group of extras from "swamp thing”.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 07)

It was in 1975 shortly before Ian left to go off to University. He had spent the previous 2 years with his friends Mark and Phil doing a mobile disco, although to be fair they were only mobile due to Phil’s Dad. They called themselves “Sound Sensation” and did 18 th and 21 st birthday parties, engagement parties, weddings, and Christmas parties. Mainly in community centers and church halls, however not exclusively, they had one regular gig at the Kodak social club and on one occasion they did it in a house.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 08)

Ian told her that the little West Highland Terrier had survived the surgery and should make a full recovery, miraculously there were no broken bones but some severe lacerations and a hairline fracture of his hip. As they didn’t know who the owner was they would keep him at the hospital in Shallowfield until he was completely healed.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 09)

Cynthia and Ian set off through School Wood and then crossed the road bridge to the Mornington Field side of the river and turned east out into the country where they let Westie and Colin off their leads and let them run amuck.

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 10)

Two weeks after they had viewed the albums together Ian called round to see her and he found her in a terrible state of agitation. “What on earth is the matter” he asked “It’s the Carol Service” she said “What about the Carol Service?” “They want me to do a reading” she replied “Well you’re used to speaking in front of people” he said “it’s not as if you’re the shy retiring type”

Mornington-By-Mere – (05) Old Dogs and New Tricks (Part 11)

Ian held her in his arms for the best part of an hour while she cried her tears, and beyond until she tried to kiss him, but he pulled away and said. “Now is not the time” “I don’t understand” she said

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 01)

Lorraine Olson had lived in Mornington for two years, in the room above the restaurant at the Old Mill Inn. Originally she was employed by landlady Helen Andrew as the sous chef but after only six months, Francois, the temperamental French chef, stormed out after a heated dispute with a customer who had had the audacity to criticize his sea bass. He returned the next day in a much calmer frame of mind but landlord Peter Andrew wouldn’t have him back under any circumstances and Lorraine was made up to chef until they could find a suitable replacement for Francois.

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 02)

Lorraine got word from the agents that she was being given the tenancy of number 6 The Close on Friday September 26 th , the day before the wedding of Harry Topliss and Jenna Newman, which was the biggest wedding in Mornington for 30 years or more. It was big for Lorraine as well because she was catering the wedding breakfast and the reception with the assistance of Jane Cooper and Emily Goff from Shallowfield, which meant that she and Hannah couldn’t move in until the following weekend.

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 03)

Gabriel St George put his head around the kitchen door and spoke to Lorraine “Lorraine I must apologize” he said “the furniture should have been delivered yesterday” “What furniture?” “Well you’re renting number 6 the Close” he said “Which is supposed to be furnished” “Is it?” Lorraine asked

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 04)

Halloween was one of the few nights of the year apart from Mondays when the restaurant was closed to diners, instead they did the hot dogs and burgers for the Halloween party at the village hall and for Lorraine it was like having a holiday. And it was at the end of the evening when Lorraine, Helen and Polly were packing up that Helen said her piece. “You know that we think you’ve done a brilliant job Lorraine” “But you’re going to go back to being the sous chef and take orders from some arrogant French ponce” That was how Lorraine imagined the conversation going.

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 05)

Tegan was called first and was on her feet immediately but Cally grabbed her hand and said “Good luck” And she meant it too even though getting a job in a restaurant kitchen was her dream and doing it in her own village would have been perfect. Because Cally’s mum had MS and everyone in the family had to do their bit.

Mornington-By-Mere – (06) The Perfect Recipe for Love (Part 06)

As November drifted seamlessly into December the girls all new things were going to get really busy. Apart from being fully booked in the evenings there was also a full calendar of seasonal lunches so as Christmas approached Lorraine was leaning more heavily than ever on Cally and Tegan, particularly the latter because they had a lot more prep to do after service was finished and there were a number of early starts which Cally couldn’t participate in because of her mum.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 01)

The Addison family owned and operated the Addison’s Bakery in Shallowfield and more than two dozen baker’s shops, coffee shops and sandwich bars throughout the county of Downshire. It was a long standing family business stretching back through the generations. The Addison’s relied upon family ties to maintain the business from the Patriarch of the family and managing director of the company, Simon Addison, to numerous aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins and among that number was 50 year old Nathan Addison.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 02)

Everyone in the Addison’s clan thought Nathan was mad for taking over the Mornington Shop, and positively certifiable for volunteering to do it, but Nathan thought otherwise because when the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself, as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel. And it was that property that made Nathan believe he could grow the business in Mornington.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 03)

Chloe knew the shop was going to be a lot quieter than the Abbeyvale Bakery that she was used to. But she wasn’t prepared for just how quiet it actually was. Nathan was also surprised at the level of business and wondered how on earth there would be enough to keep two people occupied sufficiently to prevent them from going insane. So almost immediately the two of them developed independent plans to change things.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 04)

When they first moved to Mornington they both thought it was a pleasant enough shop and they both had to admit Mornington was a very picturesque location. Chloe was sure her dad would be happy to just go through the motions in a stress free way, but she couldn’t have been more wrong. Because while Chloe busied herself with the aesthetic, Nathan, far from being content to free wheel, was also thinking of ways to make the shop more profitable.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 05)

The head of the Mornington Estate was the resident of Mornington Manor, the family seat of the guardians of the estate, namely the St George family, the head of which being Baron Gabriel St George, who lived at manor with his four sisters and his widowed aunt Philomena. Gabriel was a tour de force in the village who worked tirelessly to preserve village and the villager’s way of life. The St George family had been landowners in Downshire since the Norman Conquests and at one time their lands covered the whole of the Finchbottom Vale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 06)

One of the biggest employers in the village was the Mornington Brewery, which produced some very highly regarded ales sold far and wide. The brewery also had a very profitable side line of brewery tours and tastings sessions, and more importantly “off sales”. There was a very heathy trade in selling bottled and draught ales to individuals over the counter.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 07)

Alexandra Barrileau was a small unremarkable looking woman with short blonde hair and green eyes, not unremarkable in an unattractive way but in that she was small and slight and yet despite her diminutive stature she was possessed of great strength of will and an unshakable resolve. So Gabriel found himself agreeing with her completely when she approached him about Oak Dale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 08)

Nathan phoned Alex Barrileau and she said as it happened there were a few bits she could do with in addition to her normal order so he wrote down the list and then went off to fulfill it. He bagged up two dozen assorted bread rolls and four tiger loafs and said to Chloe “I’m off over to Dulcets Green love” “Ok, will you be back by lunchtime?” she asked “I don’t see why not” he replied “Let me know if not so I can get someone to watch the shop when I go up to the field” “Will do”

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 09)

“Thank you so much for this” Alex said as he put the last bag on the counter “No problem” Nathan said “I’m pleased I could help” “Well I’m grateful” she said “will you stay for coffee” “Yes that would be nice” he replied “Thank you”

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 10)

“Hi Dad” Chloe said “is everything alright you’ve been a while” “Everything’s fine Chloe” he replied “Can you manage alright on your own for another couple of hours?” “Why what’s up?” she asked with real concern in her voice fearing he might have been having a relapse “No everything’s fine” he said and laughed “Alex, Miss Barrileau has invited me to stay for lunch, as a thank you for making a special trip” “A lunch date? Excellent” Chloe said “No just a sandwich” Nathan said feeling a little embarrassed

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 11)

When he arrived back at the shop Chloe was grinning from ear to ear. “What’s that look for?” “How was your lunch date?” she asked “It wasn’t like that” he corrected her “Alex is a nice woman and we hit it off, I think we could become friends” “Friends?” Chloe said with disappointment in her voice

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 12)

On Friday night Nathan left home with Chloe’s teasing following him out the door and he drove over to Dulcet Green to pick up Alex who looked marvelous and smelt even better as her perfume intoxicated him all way to Purplemere in the car. At Waterside they had brilliant seats and Kayleigh Parkes was amazing and they had a great evening and they both enjoyed it very much. Then on the drive back to Oak Dale her perfume intoxicated him all over again especially when he leant over and kissed her goodnight on the cheek.

Mornington-By-Mere – (07) Dulcet Tones (Part 13)

When Chloe emerged from the kitchen it wasn’t to be greeted by one of the Addison’s at all it was a small blonde haired woman. “Alex I would like you to meet my daughter Chloe” Nathan said “I’m so please to meet you” Alex said “I’ve heard a lot about you Chloe” “Likewise” Chloe said and kissed her on both cheeks before steering her into the lounge “Go in the lounge and dad will make a drink” And to her father she gave the thumbs up to show her approval. He didn’t rush with the drinks he knew that they would do a far better job of introducing each other than he could manage. When he did join them they were laughing about something they were not prepared to share with him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (08) Wild Eyed and Legless (Part 01)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field back from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village, formally used as quarters for military personnel. The guardians of the estate are the St George family and the head of which is Baron Gabriel St George made immediately plans to optimize the newly acquired assets the moment the property was formally handed over on the 1 st of June.

Mornington-By-Mere – (08) Wild Eyed and Legless (Part 02)

Since moving into Military Row everything was going so well for Ruby and then he arrived in the village, her nemesis. She had been covering for Chloe at the Bakers while Nathan was out doing the grocery deliveries and Chloe was doing her sandwich run up to the Mornington field. She’d said goodbye to her friend and just stepped out on the street when he said “Well look who it is” Although he was behind her she recognized his voice immediately, Allen Boddington. She turned around hoping she was wrong but alas no. “God I thought I’d seen the last of you” she snapped

Mornington-By-Mere – (08) Wild Eyed and Legless (Part 03)

It was Ruby’s turn on the delivery run that Nathan Addison had instigated to service the many farms and hamlets dotted around the Vale. They had to buy their bread, meat, produce and groceries from somewhere so offering a free delivery service to customers who placed regular orders they ensured they got their supplies from them. After the Bakers, Ruby had loaded all the orders with the exception of Boddington’s so she took a deep breath and then walked into the shop and steeled herself.

Mornington-By-Mere – (08) Wild Eyed and Legless (Part 04)

Halloween was one of the few nights of the year apart from Mondays when the restaurant at the Old Mill Inn was closed to diners, instead they did the hot dogs and burgers for the Halloween party at the Church Hall. The early part of the evening was more for children with traditional games but later on when the beer arrived from the brewery it was all about the adults. Ruby however was there right from the beginning helping with the games and playing with the little ones until they were taken home which was when Ellie arrived and Ruby smiled but when she saw that right behind her was Allen her smile faded.

Mornington-By-Mere – (08) Wild Eyed and Legless (Part 05)

The Bonfire night party was normally held in the grounds of Mornington Manor although there hadn’t actually been a bonfire lit in the village in living memory but the fireworks were usually quite spectacular and people came from every corner of the Vale to see them. But this year it was being held up at the old airfield and a huge bonfire had been built, kids in the area had been collecting wood for weeks and the workmen up at the field had contributed materials and their time to build a bonfire of colossal proportions.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 01)

Happy go lucky Penny Williams had lived all her life in Abbeyvale and was a bubbly bright woman who always had a smile on her face she was in fact by nature a happy outgoing person.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 02)

Penny had always loved Abbeyvale because it was busy and vibrant and she was proud of the town too and she thought it more deserving of “County Town” status than Abbottsford. But since her loss she had changed and she found that the busy noisy activity of the town which once excited her actually disturbed her, because there was so much evidence of people getting on with things, getting on with life.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 03)

By the time November arrived she had become a little more adventurous and looked with interest in the direction of the old airfield. However it took a day or two before her curiosity finally got the better of her and she and Tyrion walked through the gates of Mornington Field.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 04)

Tom McGuire was the Construction Site manager up at Mornington Field, and he too was a Widow, but in his case his wife had passed away 20 years earlier. It was a happy marriage even though it only lasted 15 years and they were blessed with two children, a son Kelvin who was 33 and was a Major in the Downshire Light Infantry and a daughter Charlotte 30 who was a nurse in Abbottsford.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 05)

It was pouring with rain the next morning so Penny didn’t venture out, but by midday it had brightened considerable so after lunch much to Tyrion’s approval she donned her wellies and they set off towards the airfield, Tyrion loved it up there with so much space to run around in and she loved the open space and the lack of people.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 06)

Penny only passed one person on the way to the airfield, a young man who kept looking at his watch who was clearly waiting for a girl. She passed him virtually unnoticed and then saw Tom step from the shadows and open the gate. “Great, you made it just in time” he said “We have about 5 minutes before they light the bonfire”

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 07)

The day after the fireworks Penny woke up with the most positive outlook she had had for many months, a feeling which didn’t diminish even when she didn’t see Tom, either going in through the airfield gates or coming out again. Penny was still undaunted the next day when she repeated the experience. She was however feeling a little jaded by the following Wednesday when she still hadn’t had a single encounter with Tom or Jack.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 08)

It was just before 6 o’clock when she received a text message and she got up and put on her coat. The family were all home and the house was full of wonderful cooking smells. Linda might well have been a nasty cow but she could certainly cook well. “Where are you going?” Linda barked “I’m just popping out” she replied “Where?” she demanded “Out” she replied and put the lead on the dog “One of you two had better go with her” she said to the children “in case the fruitcake gets lost” “The fruit cake will be perfectly ok on her own thank you” Penny said and opened the door.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 09)

On Saturday morning Tom was sitting in his kitchen drinking coffee and looking at the clock, he had arranged to meet Penny at lunchtime, and he had a couple of hours to kill. And he had just decided to have a second cup when he heard his phone vibrate on the counter. It was a text message and when he saw who it was from Penny he smiled, but his smile soon faded when he read the message.

Mornington-By-Mere – (09) Penny and Tom (Part 10)

The shopping Centre was jammed and as they reached the main concourse she grabbed his arm and held on for dear life. “Let’s go and have a ridiculously expensive coffee” he said “Ok” she responded weakly They stopped at the first place they came to which was called Espresso Phoenix. It was refreshingly quiet and Tom chose a table in the far corner and Penny sat with her back to the world.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 01)

The Olsen family were originally from Abbeyvale but Lorraine’s older sister Hannah moved to Abbottsford after she had married Mick Hill. Mick however deserted his wife and family after the birth of their second child leaving huge debts behind him including 6 six months of mortgage arrears.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 02)

Apart from their normal business as one of the premier auctioneers in Downshire, O’Sullivan and Springthorpe were also required rather more often than they would have liked to do house clearances. On many occasions they would turn up a few choice pieces to at least cover the cost of the clearance but that still meant there was a lot of serviceable items that weren’t worth auctioning but still had value which eventually found their way into one of their many second hand shops across the county.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 03)

At ten past three the boys came running down the stairs in a state of great excitement. “Mum, mum the lorry is here” Nick said because his brother Joe was too excited to say anything his mouth kept opening but nothing came out.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 04)

Hannah had worked hard keeping the home fires burning and stopping Nick and Joe going off into orbit as they fast approached Christmas and Lorraine was looking forward to having four days off, the first proper break she’d had since Easter. The restaurant would close on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and would not reopen fully until the following Tuesday.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 05)

They stayed at their mum’s in Abbeyvale until the last possible moment and savoured every second of the best Christmas they had had for 5 years. When they got back home it was late on Sunday evening and while Hannah got the boys upstairs into the bath Lorraine unloaded the car.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 06)

“I’m sorry Loz” Hannah said immediately Lorraine returned “That’s ok” she said “is everything ok?” “Yes” she replied “it’s just…” “Just what?” Lorraine asked “Aren’t you happy here?” “Are you kidding? I love it here, I love living with you, I love the house and the village, so do the kids and they’ve made loads of friends and even I’ve made a few” “But I’m lonely for “company”“ she emphasized

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 07)

Hannah was going to phone her ad through the next day but she was chatting to some of the other mums outside the school and she heard about a part time job in the village and it completely went out of her head.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 08)

Tim Moore was 33 years old and had worked at the Mornington brewery since he left school and he had made the walk from number 3, Windmill Cottages to the brewery every morning for 17 years, with his father for the first five of those and on his own since his premature death aged 54.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 09)

Hannah had barely noticed the fact that she had received no feedback from her ad, as she had been really busy, between her delivery job and running over to Abbeyvale every spare minute to help her mum pack up the house, as she was moving to Dulcets Green over the Easter weekend. So Valentine’s Day came and went and so did the rest of February, then March came and went and as the remainder of March ebbed away Easter came and went.

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM (Part 10)

At Hannah’s house she was having to get the children ready for bed as well as getting herself ready for her date as her babysitter, Tegan’s younger sister Victoria, wasn’t expected until 7.45.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 01)

The life of Paige Rawlins changed forever on one rainy Friday afternoon in May when Harry Edwards walked into her bookshop in Finchbottom. Year by year her life consisted of the shop, book auctions, house clearances, book fairs and car boot sales, and other than that she had no human interactions outside the book trade at all which was why as a result, at the age of thirty six Paige was a cold grey dowdy frump.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 02)

On the morning of the funeral Paige Edwards sat in the lounge of the house in Finchbottom that she and Harry had made a home together in and her eyes moved around the room from object to object. Each one was possessed of a memory of their life together and each memory that was evoked by them stabbed her like a knife. His leather armchair by the fire where he sat and read to her beneath the hideous standard lamp he loved so much.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 03)

The funeral was every bit as agonizing as she had anticipated it would be, Harry’s family had done their level best to support and comfort her through the whole ordeal but at the end of the day they were grieving for him also. But somehow she got through the whole nightmare and it was with great relief that she said goodbye to the last guest, Charles Braithwaite, one of the partners from Harry’s law firm, but just before he left he gave Paige a memory stick.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 04)

Around the same time that Paige Edwards was mourning the loss of her husband the fates were conspiring, getting all their ducks in a row so to speak, in order that Harry’s final wish for his dear wife was made manifest. The first duck in their row involved the unsubstantiated rumour of a plan to redevelop the site of the historic landmark in Sharpington-By-Sea, the Seaview Hotel. Word of this development very soon reached the ears of Gabriel St George at the Mornington Manor so his first call was to Natasha Hayle.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 05)

Over the week following Harry Edward’s funeral, Paige never left the house, in fact she didn’t even draw the curtains and she kept everyone at arm’s length which gave her friends and family much cause for concern. She barely ate or drank and spent hour after hour watching Harry’s recording and crying herself to sleep.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 06)

Paige continued to live in the home she had shared with Harry but after his passing for her it was no longer a home it was just a house. She concluded very quickly that she couldn’t continue to live there and spent as little time there as possible. What she hadn’t done was to resolve the problem of what to do about it, sell it, rent or ignore it. She thought she might live to regret selling it so soon, she might want to feel its comforts in the years to come when memories weren’t so painful.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 07)

Gary Hart was five years older than Natasha and when they first met he was already an associate in his firm. He was a tall dark haired man, proud and straight backed and very formidable looking as an opponent in court. When Natasha saw him, five years older and greying at the temples it was like the first time all over again. It was at the Central Criminal Courts in Abbottsford where they met for the first time.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 08)

Natasha’s words rang in his ears as he crossed the Atlantic, “Too good to be true”, “Fools rush in”, “Unnecessarily Hasty” and his favourite “Blinded by ambition” However by the time Gary realized her words were not born out of spite or jealousy but were in fact prophetic and he comprehended he was on the side of the cowboys and not the Indians it was too late, he had burned his bridges and his bruised ego and hurt pride would not permit him to return to Downshire with his tail between his legs. And he couldn’t go back to Natasha because things were said that couldn’t be unsaid or unheard.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 09)

Gary had only planned to spend a week or so in Downshire, primarily he was there for his Uncles funeral but he also planned to catch up with friends and family that he hadn’t seen for five years. However meeting Natasha again threw a spanner in the works in that regard and as a result he ended up staying for a month. Though he didn’t see any more of his friends and family than he would have done in a week. When he did finally return to Boston on October the first he was accompanied by Natasha who had hastily arranged a four month sabbatical to spend some time with him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 10)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel. Plans were immediately drawn up to optimize the newly acquired assets the moment the property was formally handed over on the 1 st of June.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 11)

After having had a tour of “Hanger C”, the old maintenance hangar Paige thought it would suit her needs very well indeed but she kept her cards close to her chest regardless. “It’s a really good space” She said noncommittedly “And the offices are excellent” “But?” Gabriel said “But it’s a long way from Finchbottom” she replied

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 12)

Ray Walker, the ginger giant, led the way along the riverside path from the church bridge and the diminutive Riza trotted behind him and was having to take two strides to every one of his just to keep up. Paige meanwhile brought up the rear and was just ambling along taking her time and drinking in the scenery.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 13)

Before she met Harry, Christmas was a cold and lonely season for Paige, a time for locking herself away from all the poor deluded fools who thought their lives would be enhanced just by indiscriminately saying merry Christmas to all and sundry. But Harry dragged her kicking and screaming into the festive fun and folly and illuminated Christmas for her until she embraced it as much as everyone else.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 14)

In the final reckoning, only four of Paige’s staff failed to make the move to the new premises as it was not practical for them to up sticks, but they did stay on right to the very end to help pack up the stock. It was a blow to lose almost a third of her staff but she was sure she could find their replacements among the villagers.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 15)

After having spent all of Saturday morning unpacking boxes in the Windmill, Paige walked down the river path to the Old Mill Inn to have lunch, but she was lost in thought as she reached Church Bridge and was snapped back to the present by a voice from behind. “Paige Edwards?” the voice said and when she turned around she saw it was Gabriel St George and a tall slightly built man in his mid-thirties.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 16)

Gabriel hung up the phone, reentered the pub and returned to the table and then about halfway through the meal two of Gabriel’s cousins walked into the pub, William St George, who was around Gabriel’s age and Michael who was in his mid to late forties. Paige could see they were related the first moment they appeared despite being a little merry. “My God” she said “Is there a factory in Mornington where you turn out gorgeous men”

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 17)

The first two weeks of her time in Mornington went by in the blink of an eye. She was constantly back and forth between Finchbottom where she was checking on the progress of the packing and Mornington where Ray Walker and six lads from the village started erecting the new shelving the Paige had bought and the reassembling the first of the shelving from the Old Library. She had no more disturbed nights or peculiar dreams as she was normally completely frazzled by the time she got to bed and slept through to the rude awakening from the alarm the next morning.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 18)

On Sunday it was much quieter in Hangar C and much less fraught and chaotic, mainly because there were far fewer hands, but those that were there were very purposeful. Paige would have liked to have gone to Church that morning but she didn’t think it was fare to her staff who were working so hard. They were making very good progress partly thanks to the unexpected help from the day before, but mainly because of the hard work everyone had put in and she thought there would probably have to be a bit of a bonus for the staff as they had been wonderful.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 19)

On Sunday lunchtime Chloe Addison returned with more coffee and the fresh made sandwich orders and as she went out the door Michael St George walked in. “Hello Michael” Paige said with surprise “Well hello yourself” “What are you doing here? I wasn’t expecting to see you today” she said “Didn’t I use and abuse the St George’s enough yesterday?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 20)

Saturday and Sunday had been very productive days which left the remainder of the boxes to be unpacked on Monday, which were completed by mid-morning. Afterwards all that was left to do in the great barn like Hangar was to get rid of the empty boxes and the packaging, tidy up and have a good sweep through. Which meant that in the afternoon they could get themselves properly settled into the offices.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 21)

On Tuesday morning Paige Turner’s were open for business and thanks to Celia’s excellent planning and Ray and his boys doing the grafting everything ran like clockwork. The next two weeks however were hellish busy, partly because of a backlog in orders due to the move but mainly because they were short staffed, because four staff members had left and three were on holiday so they could move into their new homes.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 22)

Ray was in Church View Cottage packing up Natasha Hayle’s personal belongings as per her instructions. There were one or two items he had come across which hadn’t appeared on Natasha’s list so he photographed those and sent the pictures to her and waited for her reply. Ray then sorted and packed everything that he could and left everything that had even a hint of feminine underthings about them until Riza arrived.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 23)

After working all weekend at Paige Turner’s for the second week running the staff managed to clear the back log, which meant that they began March on an even keel. In fact things had gone so well that Paige could afford herself a day off from the day to day and attend the Nettlefield Antiques Fair on Friday, which was one of her favourite events of the year. It actually went on for two days but she always preferred going on the Friday.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 24)

Michael and Paige had a very pleasant morning exploring the stalls and both of them made a number of reasonably good finds and needed to make several trips back to the carpark, Michael however did most of the carrying and on their way back through the gate for the umpteenth time Michael was overcome by the aromas drifting over from Dolly’s burger van so he said “If I don’t get something to eat soon I’m going to faint”

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 25)

It was a little after 8 o’clock when Paige drove back into Mornington and as she drove over Church Bridge she saw Ray and Riza walking along the Street hand in hand and she was so pleased she tooted her car horn and they both smiled and waved to her in response. “There you are darling, job done” she said “A new chapter well and truly written”

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 26)

After she had dried her hair and got dressed she went downstairs and had breakfast then she picked up the box of talking books and walked up to Mornington Field to see Celia. She lived in Dowding House, Apartment 3, which was originally the old Sergeants Mess. It was quite early when Paige left the Mill but she knew it wasn’t too early for Celia as she was well known for being an early riser.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 27)

When she got back to Paige Turner’s on Monday she was much refreshed though her cogitations were left unresolved. So she turned her attentions to business and in particular to the new acquisitions and she managed to sell all twelve of the Dickens first edition within three day and furthermore they sold for almost double what Paige was expecting and made a total of £9750, The David Copperfield turned out to be a very rare printing and went for £2795 on its own and the Oliver Twist for £1900, it was the most profitable last look she had ever had at a car boot sale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 28)

Katie Edwards was a very attractive 28 year old young woman by any measure, with a warm open manner, a willowy figure, and shoulder length brunette hair, intelligent green laughing eyes and a broad toothy smile, Apart from having an altogether very pleasant demeanor, she was also the daughter of the Vicar of St Hilda’s in Forestdean and was a good Christian girl, whose life revolved around her widowed fathers Church and the associated parochial duties and was a passionate believer in family and Paige was family. So she had gone to Mornington that day with that very much in mind.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 29)

Once they were all settled at the table Michael took the drinks order and he and Ray went to the bar. “Now isn’t this better than sitting alone at home” Celia said “Why did you?” Riza asked and Paige fidgeted in her seat “Come on out with it” “Well it’s just that Harry made the day so special for me, he made such a fuss of me, spoilt me terribly if truth be told” she said “And this year he’s not there, and it hurts” “I know it does” Celia said, being widow herself

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 30)

As he walked back to the Manor Michael pondered over what Katie had said and he found himself heartened. His thoughts then turned towards her birthday, he wished he had known in advance of the day, but that ship had sailed so he decided to buy Paige a belated birthday present, something special, something she would treasure. When he was in the Mill he couldn’t help but notice the glass fronted cabinet housing the numerous crystal ornaments that Harry had bought for her over the years, birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 31)

Michael knocked on the door of the Mill and waited and when it opened he said “Hi Paige” “Oh hello” she said brightly “Come in, I’ve just brewed a pot of tea” “Are you ok?” he asked “Oh yes” she replied and squeezed his hand “I’m just really tired, I’m not used to drinking at lunchtime, in fact I’m not used to drinking full stop, and I’m a bit of a lightweight really” “You’re entitled to over indulge on you birthday” he said

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 32)

In the last week of May Michael was away in Tipton on estate business, which actually kept him away well into the first week of June and all the time he was away Paige was dream free. The first thing he did when he got back to Mornington on the 6 th of June was to go and see Paige, he had missed her and it surprised him just how much. He hoped that she had missed him as much as he’d missed her, in fact he was counting on it. It was busy in the village as it was the weekend of the Mornington Beer Festival.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 33)

Paige was very pleased to see Michael back from his travels and even happier to have spent much of day with him in the pleasant June sunshine, but along with his welcome return to the village came the equally unwelcome return of the dream filled and fitful and sleepless night. The next morning she was exhausted, completely and utterly washed out and at 6.30am she surrendered any further hope of sleep and got up and went in the shower.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 34)

Once she had lost her temper with Harry and agreed to go to the Summer Ball in Highfinch with Michael St George Paige slept soundly until 9 o’clock. As she walked up to Mornington Field she felt at peace with herself for the first time in weeks. She put it down to her 4 am surrender to Harry, although she knew of course that it wasn’t really Harry who had been plaguing her dreams but her own subconscious. She also knew the reason for them, Paige had been attracted to Michael since the first day she met him at the Old Mill Inn when she first moved to the village and the dreams that followed were her subconscious telling her to act on her feelings and her reluctance to get closer to Michael even though she wanted too was because she felt guilty.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 35)

On the morning of the Summer Ball Celia and Paige travelled to Highfinch together in Paige’s car. Everyone she had spoken to since accepting the invitation had been green with envy. “It’s a great honour to be invited” Evelyn Norman at the Post Office and her husband Gavin added “It’s one of the “jewels in the crown” of Downshire events, second only to the Lord Lieutenant’s Ball” Well Paige wasn’t concerned with all that she would have been happy enough with fish and chips on Sharpington beach if it meant being with Michael. “As its Saturday you can tell me who invited you” Paige said “No” “What do you mean no? You said I’d find out on Saturday and its Saturday” she pointed out “And it will still be Saturday in 14 hours’ time” Celia replied “Oh you’re so mean”

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 36)

The feeling of shock at seeing her closest friend snogging William St George soon subsided into one of intense disappointment when she realized that Michael wasn’t there. The house was the home of William’s family whereas her cousin Michael lived on the opposite side of the course. When Paige had been shown to her room she dumped her bag and quickly went in search of Celia.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 37)

Michael wasn’t at the house when Paige and Celia arrived, he lived at the other end of the course on the Highfinch side and his rather grand house backed onto the 3 rd green, but he did walk over to William’s for lunch and Paige was waiting in the garden to meet him. Their greeting was a little less passionate than Celia and William’s and involved being kissed on both cheeks but her heart soared when she saw him. After the subdued embrace she stuck her arm through his and said “You may escort me to luncheon good sir” “With pleasure madam” he replied

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 38)

Straight after breakfast the next morning Michael walked across the golf course and then he and Paige went off for long walk up into the forested slopes of the Pepperstock Hills. It was a beautiful morning when they left, clear blue skies, warm sun and a gentle breeze but on their return the skies darkened, the temperature dropped and the heavens opened and they got absolutely soaked to the skin but it didn’t dampen their spirits and they were laughing when they arrived back at the house just before lunch.

Mornington-By-Mere – (11) Writing New Chapters (Part 39)

As Paige recovered from the flu she busied herself at work and tried not to think about Michael which wasn’t an easy thing to do, and the more she tried not to the more she did. “Do you think the fates are trying to tell me something?” she asked Celia “Like what?” “That’s it’s a mistake, Michael and me” “Nonsense” Celia chastised

Mornington-By-Mere – (12) Backwards in Coming Forward (Part 01)

Alex, at 21 years of age, was the baby of the Kincaid-Smith family, and he lived in the house he was born in, at 4, Windmill Cottages with his parents Dane and Hazel and two older sisters Roxie and Lisa. He had never lived anywhere else until he went to University and now he had his degree and was back in Mornington he had no desire to leave again, everything he wanted was in Mornington.

Mornington-By-Mere – (12) Backwards in Coming Forward (Part 02)

Josephine Williamson was right on the money about her daughter carrying a torch for Alex and she wished she could wave a magic wand and make them a couple but she couldn’t. Alex had been a rock for Caz after her father left, and was a shoulder to cry on all through the divorce. Jo and Caz were very close and she was worried that her daughter was holding back for her sake.

Mornington-By-Mere – (12) Backwards in Coming Forward (Part 03)

“Hello stranger” Caz said smiling broadly “I was beginning to think you weren’t coming” “Hi Caz” he replied, “I only got back last night” “I know I saw you” she retorted and he raised an enquiring eyebrow “I was just closing my bedroom curtains when your dad’s car pulled up” she replied and felt herself blush at the lie.

Mornington-By-Mere – (12) Backwards in Coming Forward (Part 04)

As he watched the drunken twins walk away with their parents, heads bowed he heard a voice behind him say “I’m on my break now so I’m ready for that drink” “Ok let’s go” he said He left Cassandra sitting at a table while he went to the bar for the drinks and when he returned and sat down beside her she said a little bitterly

Mornington-By-Mere – (12) Backwards in Coming Forward (Part 05)

Cassandra’s eyes were red and her cheeks were stained with tears though she was much calmer, it had taken Jo about half an hour of soothing words to get Caz to the point where she could tell her what was wrong without bursting into tears again. But at the end of the 30 minutes they had a plan. She was afraid that with all the new influx of people to the village she would lose him to some flighty townie girl like one of the Larsen twins, so the plan had to be actioned sooner rather than later.

Mornington-By-Mere – (13) Destinies and Outcomes (Part 01)

Staff Nurse Jane Hall was in the ladies locker room making the final adjustments to her uniform. She was at the mirror pinning her silly hat in place onto her straight honey blonde hair, which was tied in bun at the back, and then she titivated the fringe that she always wore. On the ward she often wore gold rimmed half-moon spectacles but they were only for reading and she often just peered over the top of them rather than keep taking them off.

Mornington-By-Mere – (13) Destinies and Outcomes (Part 02)

Most of the time Jane Hall lived in Mornington at Windmill Farm which had been worked by the Hall family since the time of the Napoleonic wars. It was a huge farmhouse that had been added to and added to over the years which was just as well as there were 9 of them living there in all. Her parents, one sister, one brother in law, one brother, one sister in law and two nephews and of course Jane herself.

Mornington-By-Mere – (13) Destinies and Outcomes (Part 03)

It had been a very good day on the ward, there were no significant dramas, everyone was making good progress and all in all it was a good day to be a nurse. The side ward had been prepared for the new patient and right on time admissions nurse Lorraine Chapman brought the Foreman’s onto the ward. Lorraine caught Jane’s eye and in response she said “Room 6 Lorraine” “Ok” she said and led them in to a side ward. Mr Foreman was a tall upright man with prematurely greying hair and the beginnings of a paunch and he walked with a stick. Jane assessed he was around 30 and in his arms he carried his little son, Danny.

Mornington-By-Mere – (13) Destinies and Outcomes (Part 04)

The day after Danny Foreman was admitted Jane Hall was starting work 2 hours early because Sister Greenland had to attend an important meeting and she needed her most experience Staff Nurse to take the reins in her absence. As it was such a nice spring day Jane decided to walk through the hospital grounds to enjoy the spring sunshine.

Mornington-By-Mere – (13) Destinies and Outcomes (Part 05)

After Mark Foreman limped away Jane found it easy to catch up with him. “You feel guilty Mark because you lived, but that isn’t the same thing as blame” Jane insisted “Is it just guilt about surviving?” Mark asked “Yes” Jane said “and that’s in the past, you have your son and he is the present and the future” “What kind of future? With this leg and this stick?” he said bitterly

Mornington-By-Mere – (14) I Want You Back (Part 01)

Twenty three year old Carina Crockford lived at number 5, The Close, in Mornington-By-Mere with her parents and three younger siblings. She was small, a smidge over five foot, with delicate features and short strawberry blonde hair and a heart as big as a house and felt blessed to have 4 particularly good and longstanding friends.

Mornington-By-Mere – (14) I Want You Back (Part 02)

Carina Crockford had always been a contented person and altogether happy with her lot and she very much enjoyed her job. Though not a wealthy person, by any measurement, she had everything she wanted and all was well in her world, well for the most part anyway. There was just the small inconvenience of a broken heart and it was that fact which determined her tremendous work ethic.

Mornington-By-Mere – (14) I Want You Back (Part 03)

It was at the end of the main service at St Mary’s when the Reverend Shenton began the Baptism of Carina’s goddaughter Poppy Crockford into the faith that she saw him again, Barry Smart, the man she had nearly run over, the man who was Dick Dastardly to her Penelope Pitstop.

Mornington-By-Mere – (14) I Want You Back (Part 04)

Barry and Carina stood there in the hall staring at each other for goodness knows how long and would have continued to stare had Maya not broken the silence. “This is becoming a bit of a habit” She said as she walked past them and the spell was broken and they drifted away.

Mornington-By-Mere – (14) I Want You Back (Part 05)

“I want you back” he’d said Barry’s words shocked her, because at the start of the day she had been quite content with her lot and had not felt her life suffered for the want of love, she had not craved it nor coveted it, she just thought it was something that was inflicted on other people and since Barry broke their engagement she had become immune to cupids arrow.

Mornington-By-Mere – (15) Brotherly Love (Part 01)

Nick Legg and Kelly Boddington were both “sweet sixteen and never been kissed” the last time they met and before that they had been the best of friends since they could crawl. The Legg’s and the Boddington’s both had farms near the hamlet of Fallowacres, which was as near as damn it the center point of the Vale, though only geographically.

Mornington-By-Mere – (15) Brotherly Love (Part 02)

Everything changed in Nick Legg’s life one morning as he was loading produce onto the Brewery van with Hannah Hill ready for her to do her deliveries. “Oy!” a voice shouted “Oy you, the stick insect with the blonde hair” it said loudly. “They can’t mean me” Hannah said tugging at her ginger locks. “I think you might be right” Nick said “Just ignore them and they might go away” “Oh no I won’t” the voice said much closer

Mornington-By-Mere – (15) Brotherly Love (Part 03)

Helena Legg was 48 years old and had raised her daughter Ruby on her own since she was quite small and Nick since he was 11. She was content however with her life, especially since moving to Mornington, and the business was doing well, so she was quite satisfied. Helena wore her straw coloured hair tied back which gave the impression she was a bit severe though nothing could be further from the truth.

Mornington-By-Mere – (15) Brotherly Love (Part 04)

In between their rather inept efforts at matchmaking Nick and Kelly spent much of their leisure time fishing, which was when they were at their most content. Nick’s cousin Ruby was marrying Kelly’s brother Allen in September so that became the target date for something meaningful to have happened between them.

Mornington-By-Mere – (15) Brotherly Love (Part 05)

Later on Friday night, which was the night before the big day, there was a big family meal at the Old Mill Inn when the Legg and Boddington clans came together for a pre-nuptial celebration meal. Nick and Kelly as usual gravitated towards each other. “Hi Bro” she said “Hey” he said “neat hair”

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 01)

Elspeth St George was the business brain for the Mornington Estate, a role that only got busier with the reacquisition of the Old RAF Base, Mornington Field. She relished the extra work however as she liked to be pushed to the limit. Like all the St Georges she was tall, blonde and quite striking but despite that she had no one special in her life and to be honest she wasn’t really looking. Her last serious boyfriend was Scott Collier who was a local architect who did a lot of work for the estate. They dated for a while just after University but it didn’t really work out, he thought of her more as a sister, and she felt the same way, as a result they were still the best of friends but no more than that and never likely to be.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 02)

Although the estate rescued the Sharpington properties from the developers the business’s had to pay their own way. Although as listed buildings there were some grants available to help towards that but they weren’t enough. Fortunately Sharpington as a town was doing well and had steady visitor numbers. They were blessed with a good stretch of beach, unique and original attractions and a very business savvy chamber of commerce. They had a host of seasonal events, like the St Patrick’s Day Parade in March and another on Sharpington Day on the August Bank Holiday then there were the illumination and a Christmas Pageant as well as summer season entertainments. So there were a lot of reasons throughout the year to visit the town, the trick was to get them inside the attractions and spend their money while they were there.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 03)

Gabriel and Elspeth ran across the road and after she had shaken her umbrella dry they walked into reception and were greeted by a middle aged balding man in a cheap suit. “I hope that’s not him” she said to herself more than a little disappointed. “Good morning.” He said offering his hand “Clifford Reed assistant manager” “Oh good it’s not him” she thought “Good morning, I’m Gabriel St George” he said shaking the offered hand. “And this is Elspeth” He said gesturing toward her. “Hello” She said also shaking hands. “Pleased to meet you both” he said “Shall we go through?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 04)

While they drank coffee in Peter’s office the purpose for the meeting took over the conversation. “So we understand the Galloper is the problem” Elspeth said “I take it that is the reason we’re here” Gabriel added “Yes it is” he said “but The Gallopers uniqueness is part of the problem, it’s so important to us because it’s one of the nostalgia rides, it’s one of the attractions that no one else has, and visitors come here expecting so see it in operation”

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 05)

Spring had come early to Downshire and although she was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather Elspeth had spent the two weeks after her visit to Sharpington slightly depressed and more than a little bewildered. She had been awaiting, no expecting, a phone call, from Peter Philips, she was convinced that they had hit it off, or connected, or something and she just couldn’t understand why he hadn’t rung her or sent her a text or even emailed her.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 06)

Elspeth St George was anxiously stalking Aunty Phil through the village as she went around the parish delivering Church magazines. She had tried several times to approach her at the Manor but she was frustrated by the constant interruptions, either by someone else butting in or by the telephone ringing.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 07)

The moment Elspeth and Aunty Phil returned to the Manor and she had carried the bags to the kitchen, she went in search of her brother Gabriel. She found him in his office in conversation, well he was on the telephone anyway in a form of conversation with her sister Tallulah about a potential tenant up at Mornington Field.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 08)

Elspeth was feeling much happier with the world, not only had she, if belatedly, received and read the letter from Peter Philips but after doing the preliminary monthly accounts the revenues from Mornington Field had set a new high, so she was on top of the world. And on Friday Michelle Norman from Bizzie Lizzies delivered a bouquet of flowers and she managed to corner Aunty Phil in the kitchen just as she returned from walking biscuit.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 09)

She had never sought a soul mate or a life partner she had an abundance of friends with whom she had fun and sitting alone in the kitchen at 4 am was not fun. What her friends must be thinking of her she could hardly imagine all she could do was put the previous month down as a temporary aberration she would tell her friends she had been unwell but that she was much better now.

Mornington-By-Mere – (16) The Morehouse Galloper (Part 10)

A week later Elspeth St George’s attractive figure trembled as she looked up at the board to see that flight BA145 from Sydney had landed. On Sunday Morning she had arrived at the airport two hours before the flight was due and then the flight was delayed a further ninety minutes. Elspeth had spent a sleepless night and rose early and even spending two hours getting ready hadn’t eaten into the time as much as she thought it would so Elspeth decided she might as well waste the time at the airport rather than at home.

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 03)

On the 12 th of August the Welch family moved in to 14, Military Row but it was not the Philips first time there. Jonathon Springthorpe was one of the partners in O’Sullivan and Springthorpe Auctioneers in Shallowfield but he was also a resident in Mornington, living at the Old Forge, and he was also a close friend of Baron St George and his family.

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 04)

Debbie continued firing questions at him for the next ten minutes and after the formalities were complete she said “Well that’s everything I need, do you have any questions for me?” “Only one really” he replied “is there an after school club” “Yes we have a breakfast club and an after school” she replied “We also run a club during the summer holidays”

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 01)

Debbie Dunlop was the Deputy Headmistress of The Mornington School, where she had taught for the whole of her professional life. She lived and worked in Mornington-By-Mere which is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 02)

Philip Welch was 33 years old and by profession was an accountant and would have become a junior partner at Brady and Clare, the firm of accountants he worked for in Abbeyvale had his wife not died.

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 05)

All the teaching staff devoted some of their time to the Holiday Club, in a supervisory capacity only, as most of the activities were run by students from the village. So during the school holidays Debbie worked at the school two or three days a week. The day that Philip Welch moved in to Military Row however she was not working. Since that day back in June when he enrolled his children she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about him, which she thought was a bit silly really, and it surprised her, firstly because she didn’t believe in instant attraction and secondly because he wasn’t her type, not even close to it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 06)

Philip and Debbie worked all afternoon and by the end of it they had made a significant dent in the unpacking, Philip in the lounge while Debbie organised the kitchen and she was quite impressed by the array of implements. “Do you do a lot of cooking?” she asked “Yes quite a lot” he asked “Do you not?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 07)

“I should have snogged him” may well have been her last utterance before she went to sleep but the next morning Debbie had changed her tune. “I should not have kissed his cheek” she said from beneath the duvet “And why the hell did you volunteer to help him again”

Mornington-By-Mere – (17) Learning to Love (Part 08)

She woke up on Friday morning in a black mood, she had made a fool of herself the night before. “What was I thinking?” she shouted to herself “It was a nice kiss though” she replied “That’s hardly the point you stupid woman” she rebuked

Mornington-By-Mere – (18) Standing in the Shadows of Love (Part 01)

Twenty three year old Megan Murray lived at number 3, The Close, in Mornington-By-Mere with her parents and younger brother David. She was tall, a few inches short of six foot, with Caucasian features, coffee coloured skin and short brown curly hair courtesy of her father Phil, who was white and was a child of the Finchbottom Vale and her black mother Lully who was from Jamaica.

Mornington-By-Mere – (18) Standing in the Shadows of Love (Part 02)

When Megan Murray left University she had no idea what she wanted to do with her degree so she took a temp job as receptionist at the Oak Dale Retirement Village and Nursing home in Dulcets Green. But she enjoyed the job so much she was still there two years later. Dulcets Green was situated between Mornington and Purplemere it was only a small hamlet quiet and sleepy, which was how the inhabitants liked it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (18) Standing in the Shadows of Love (Part 03)

The first time she saw Jimmy at Oak Dale she did indeed feel animosity towards him for the way he behaved to her when they were kids, so she was distant and aloof but she eventually warmed to him and those feelings of disdain soon evaporated when she studied the fine looking muscular man that the mean spotty youth had grown into, who was so kind and caring that it was difficult to imagine it was the same person.

Mornington-By-Mere – (18) Standing in the Shadows of Love (Part 04)

" I haven’t seen Jimmy all week” she said “is everything alright?” “Yes” she replied “one of his chums broke his arm, so James is needed on the farm” “Oh” Megan said trying and failing to show her disappointment “That’s good that he’s ok though”

Mornington-By-Mere – (18) Standing in the Shadows of Love (Part 05)

It was Halloween on Saturday and her friends persuaded her to go to the Halloween party at the Church Hall. The early part of the evening was more for children, with traditional games but later on when the beer arrived from the brewery it was all about the adults. There were hot dogs and burgers for all age groups courtesy of the restaurant staff at the Old Mill Inn, the pub was closed to diners on special occasions like Halloween.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere was not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale. And although the village was the hub it was the surrounding farms and hamlets that were its life blood. One such Farm was Mereside on the Southern side of the village.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 02)

On Mereside Farm they were blessed in that regard as there was an old tack room that they could rent to itinerant workers as well as a disused rustic cottage tucked away in a secluded thicket.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 03)

There were a number of cottages and small houses on the Purplemere road and Dulcets Lane which formed the part of Mornington Village known as Manorside and Calvin lived at Corner House with his Aunt Kay and Cousins Paul and Stephanie.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 04)

April and Calvin’s first inside task was to empty the place of 30 years of stored clutter. “So what are we going to do with this lot?” he asked as they looked at the mess of wood, cardboard, broken furniture, old pallets, clothes, paper and general tatt. “Bonfire” she replied “Let’s have a bonfire party”

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 05)

It was a bitter cold day and there was still no heating in the cottage so Suzanne went over and told them to come over to the farmhouse for a hot drink. They didn’t really want to trudge up to the house as they were getting on so well with the work and neither of them noticed the cold they just noticed each other. But her mum was not going to take no for an answer so they reluctantly complied. But despite their misgivings it was much less onerous than either of them had expected and the hot drink and a mince pie was very welcome.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 06)

At the New Year’s Eve party the same problem that had plagued her for weeks arose again, because at 5 to midnight when they stood alone on the terrace and faced each other. They were both about to just blurt how they felt when a girl came bursting out on to the terrace and threw up into a planter.

Mornington-By-Mere – (19) April Love (Part 07)

Over the months they worked together they saw each other at their best and their worst as they laboured away and as each problem presented itself they solved them one by one with their combined grit. But by the time the month of April came around as the job came to a close the one problem neither of them could solve was how to make the transition from work mates to lovers.

Mornington-By-Mere – (20) Farm Produce (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere, a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. A quaint picturesque village, a chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere. But it wasn’t just a quaint chocolate box English Village it was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (20) Farm Produce (Part 02)

It would have been soul destroying to lesser mortals but Mandy and Jason were made of sterner stuff and driven by a desire that would not be extinguished. They wanted a family home and a family to fill it and every crack filled and every fresh lick of paint applied took them a step closer to their goal.

Mornington-By-Mere – (20) Farm Produce (Part 03)

The next day Mandy walked over to the main house with two large baskets of produce and it was a fiercely hot day. “God it’s so hot” she said as she walked into her mum’s kitchen. “Sit down and have a drink” her Mum said “you look done in” “I’m fine” she replied “But I’ll take a cold drink”

Mornington-By-Mere – (21) Can I Borrow a Screwdriver? (Part 01)

At number 18 Military Row in Mornington, Fergal Spelman was sitting in his armchair enjoying the peace and quiet of the empty house when there was a persistent knock on the front door. He didn’t hear it initially because he had been enjoying the peace and quiet so much he was actually asleep in his armchair and he was certainly enjoying that. He did a lot of sleeping in his armchair nowadays it was the by-product of having too much time and too little to occupy it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (21) Can I Borrow a Screwdriver? (Part 02)

“Would you like a coffee while you’re here?” he asked “Oh yes please” she said “You know I’ve made three drinks today already and I let them all go cold” Apart from noticing the obvious facts that she was very attractive, had a sublimely attractive smile, sad eyes and didn’t own a screwdriver, he also divined the fact that Charlotte was Jewish as she wore a gold Star of David around her neck.

Mornington-By-Mere – (21) Can I Borrow a Screwdriver? (Part 03)

Fergal was happy to help Charlotte, it kept him busy and made him feel useful which gave him fresh energy and a renewed purpose and more opportunities to feast his eyes on her and he would have been content if that was all there was. Although he wasn’t aware of it at the time, Charlotte enjoyed it too, but for her it was because she was lonely, she missed her boys and felt she wasn’t needed since the youngest one left to join the army.

Mornington-By-Mere – (22) Destiny (Part 01)

Twenty three year old Lisa Kincaid-Smith lived at number 4, Windmill Cottages in Mornington-By-Mere with her parents and two older siblings. She was five foot eight with luscious thick ginger curls tumbling down onto her shoulders and mesmerizing green eyes, a curvaceous and perfectly proportioned figure. Lisa also had a heart as big as a house and felt blessed to have 4 particularly good and longstanding friends.

Mornington-By-Mere – (22) Destiny (Part 02)

After Lisa Kincaid-Smith left University with her degree she took a job as Trainee Accountant at the Mornington Brewery. She could have done better financially had she gone to a bigger company in Purplemere or Finchbottom but she had no desire to leave the village that she had lived in all of her life and saw no reason to do so merely for a larger pay check.

Mornington-By-Mere – (22) Destiny (Part 03)

Paul had worked for Curtis and Scott, in Abbottsford, since he left school aged sixteen. He started in the yard, fetching and carrying, loading and unloading, but that was almost 10 years ago. Now he was assistant manager and ordered others to fetch and carry, leading him ultimately to spend more and more time behind a desk and glued to the phone. He was more accustomed to working on the shop floor and in the yard amongst hard working, hard living, and hard talking men and was all too familiar with their baser natures. But somehow he had always managed to raise himself above the mire and walked the Christian path. Yet he had always had to walk that righteous path alone.

Mornington-By-Mere – (22) Destiny (Part 04)

She was always the go to girl when there was something important to be done because of her work ethic. Lisa didn’t mind being the odd one out or being the butt of her colleague’s jokes, she was happy with her life choices and knew that brash tarty girls come and go and in the 18 months she was in Abbottsford, she was a constant and she now had the experience and the qualifications were not far away.

Mornington-By-Mere – (22) Destiny (Part 05)

The doors closed and the lift started to descend, but after a few seconds the car came to a juddering halt. “Oh no” Lisa said “Why today?” She said it without anger or fear and that impressed Paul it was said more out of exasperation. “Somewhere to be?” Paul asked and pressed the alarm

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere was not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale. And although the village was the hub it was the surrounding farms and hamlets that were its life blood. One such Farm was Mereside on the Southern side of the village.

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 02)

One of the tasks which fell to Amy more often than not was the management of the cottage, advertising, bookings and when necessary the housekeeping. And it was when she was cleaning the cottage after a two week long let to a newlywed couple that Amy got her first pangs of regret at having no one special in her life, her tomboy sister had manage to get herself a man, eventually, so why couldn’t she.

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 03)

So 2014 had been a momentous year in Mornington for all concerned and Amy and the Hoddinott’s were no exceptions but the year was my no means over. Because at the beginning of October, April announced she was pregnant which sparked spectacular celebrations at Mereside Farm. But there was still a lot of the year left and a new tenant was due to stay at the cottage.

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 04)

The door of the cottage opened and she showed him in and gave him a brief tour. “This is perfect” he said when she finished showing him round. “So what are you escaping?” she asked “Excuse me?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 05)

It was mid-afternoon and the glorious Indian summer sunshine streamed in through the window. Amy and her mum were sat in the kitchen drinking coffee when there was a knock on the door. Amy shifted in her seat and was about to rise from it when her mum said “I’ll get it, the poor man might strain something if he sees you dressed like that without any warning”

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 06)

As they strolled around the water’s edge Amy asked “Why did you really come to Mornington?” “I told you, to fish” he replied “Look Mike you probably already noticed that I am very proud of my village” she said “and the fishing around here isn’t bad but there are better places to fish in Downshire than here, in fact there are better places in Pepperstock than here”

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 07)

Amy had been really surprised when Mike had said “Would you mind if I tagged along?” Because she was expecting him to make some jibe about her being a god botherer or something equally crass. Which was why she responded “What?” Instead of “Of course you can” Mike and his sister Margaret had been raised as Christian’s and although Margaret lost her faith briefly after their parents passed, when she had to abandon University to be Mikes Guardian, she had returned to the fold.

Mornington-By-Mere – (23) Tooke, Line and Sinker (Part 08)

They went up to Mornington Field after lunch and they managed to find a gap through the security fences and wandered up and down between the buildings for about an hour until the October sunshine gave way to more seasonal rain.

Mornington-By-Mere – (24) Christmas Surprise (Part 01)

There are four Windmill Cottages in the village of Mornington-By-Mere and they are as quaintly picturesque as is the rest of the village. They stand detached in a neat row alongside the southern bank of the River Brooke situated between the East Bridge and Church Hall. The Chapman family live in number 1 and Jo Williamson and her daughter Cassandra live next door at number 2.

Mornington-By-Mere – (24) Christmas Surprise (Part 02)

Alan was in a much more positive frame of mind when December came around, because Christmas was just around the corner. He liked Christmas and so did the kids so he was guaranteed they would all be around if only for a few days.

Mornington-By-Mere – (24) Christmas Surprise (Part 03)

Alan was sitting on the sofa when she tottered into the lounge, make up repaired, outfit perfect, and in one hand she held a sprig of mistletoe. “Look what I have found,” she said and as she reached him she raised it above her head. So he stood up to face her, puckered up and gave her a Christmas kiss and as his lips touched hers her it was evident that it was a more intrusive kind of Christmas kiss she was interested in, which took him by surprise, but it was a nice surprise, so in the spirit of the season and just to be neighbourly he responded in kind.

Mornington-By-Mere – (25) The Santa Express (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere, is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. A quaint picturesque village, a chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (25) The Santa Express (Part 02)

The Boddingtons were pig farmers at Saddleback Farm near the hamlet of Fallowacres, which was as near as damn it the center point of the Vale, though only geographically. But they also had a number of butcher’s shops in and around the Vale. The Mornington Estate heavily subsidised the businesses in the village among them were a General Store, Farm Shop, Bakers and of course a Boddington’s Butchers Shop.

Mornington-By-Mere – (25) The Santa Express (Part 03)

The Santa Express was a renovated steam engine and coaches, which ran from Sharping St Mary station to a secret location where Santa was waiting in his grotto. It picked up the local children and their parents late afternoon so that they arrived at the grotto in darkness in order to make the most of the spectacular lights.

Mornington-By-Mere – (25) The Santa Express (Part 04)

On Christmas Eve local Vet Hayley Gwilym was at Manor Farm to look at a sick Lama and she happened to mention that her retired mentor Robin Jeffrey had been bending her ear all morning. And during her visit she asked Michael if he would pop up to Dulcets Mill because he couldn’t get the web cam to work and he needed it functioning for Christmas Day so he could skype his kids and grandchildren.

Mornington-By-Mere – (25) The Santa Express (Part 05)

When he had scrambled to his feet he found he was outside Boddington’s “I’m saved” he thought as he envisaged taking refuge in the shop until the snow abated, but first he had to help the other poor customer he had left prostrate on the snowy ground. “I’m so sorry” he said as he grabbed a handful of coat and pulled the stricken body to its feet.

Mornington-By-Mere – (26) ABC (Part 01)

Twenty three year old twins Cordelia and Corliss St George lived at Mornington Manor, in Mornington-By-Mere with their brother, two elder sisters and an aunt. They were tall, a smidge short of six foot, strikingly attractive with warm smiles, blue eyes and long blonde hair and hearts as big as a the Manor House they lived in and felt blessed to have loving siblings and 3 particularly good and longstanding friends.

Mornington-By-Mere – (26) ABC (Part 02)

Apart from the girls being twins Corliss and Cordelia were also the best of friends and like all the St Georges they were tall, blonde, blue eyed and strikingly attractive and yet they had passed the age of 23 without a steady boyfriend between them.

Mornington-By-Mere – (26) ABC (Part 03)

Nothing happened at all after the first encounter with them on New Year’s Eve at the Manor other than watching silently from afar and following their mutual confessions at Easter the twins did little else than talk about them a lot but that was as far as it went.

Mornington-By-Mere – (26) ABC (Part 04)

A few days later Corliss was just leaving Addison’s Bakers when she saw Paul walking the other way, she liked Paul, and she thought he was cute, but she never got a chance to talk to him when he was alone or when she was alone.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere was not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale. And although the village was the hub it was the surrounding farms and hamlets that were its life blood.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 02)

One of the tasks which fell to Amy more often than not was the management of the cottage, advertising, bookings and when necessary the housekeeping. And it was when she was cleaning the cottage after a two week long let to a newlywed couple that Amy got her first pangs of regret at having no one special in her life, her tomboy sister had manage to get herself a man, eventually, so why couldn’t she.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 03)

Robert Hoddinott was a farmer and he loved being a farmer and he never saw a time in his future when he would cease to be a farmer. Unfortunately it was not a lifestyle that appealed to everyone and young girls, even from a rural community were not always enamoured by farming or the prospect of being a farmer’s wife.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 04)

Maggie was pleased that Suzanne had recognized Mike in her. She was tall like him just a few inches shorter and she had the thick dark curls, but beyond that he had rugged features and hers were a bit indistinct but clearly there was enough of a likeness to be identified.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 05)

Mike had come accustomed to using the kitchen door over the previous week but he knew the kitchen would be chaotic at best so he gave that one a miss and went to the front door instead. When they reached it Mike knocked lightly on the door and went straight in. “Hello” he called “Come in Mike” a voice instructed “Here we go” Maggie thought “Smile through the pain”

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 06)

Before the meal on Saturday Night it wasn’t anyone’s intention to match-make it was just meant to be a pleasant meal for everyone to get to know each other, the fact that she and Robert were clearly attracted to each other was an unexpected bonus.

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 07)

As soon as they got back to the farm Amy said “Let’s go and dry off” But Robert had different ideas “I’m going to check on Juliet” “Can I come too?” Maggie asked “Oh yes” he said “Lovely”

Mornington-By-Mere – (27) Maggie May (Part 08)

Mike and Maggie walked up to the farmhouse at 7.30 and knocked lightly on the door and went in. “Hello!” he called and just as they reached the lounge they were assailed with a hearty “Happy Birthday” Followed by kisses from everyone with Robert being the last and after a tentative birthday kiss the couple became acutely aware that everyone was watching them and then Amy emerged from the kitchen carrying a tray with a chilled bottle of Champagne in a bucket and the wine glasses. She set down the tray and poured the wine and everyone wished Maggie a happy birthday again.

Mornington-By-Mere – (28) Exchanging Gifts on Christmas Eve (Part 01)

There are four Windmill Cottages in the village of Mornington-By-Mere and they are as quaintly picturesque as the rest of the village. They stand detached in a neat row alongside the southern bank of the River Brooke situated between the East Bridge and Church Hall. The Chapman family live in number 1 and Jo Williamson and her daughter Cassandra live next door at number 2.

Mornington-By-Mere – (28) Exchanging Gifts on Christmas Eve (Part 02)

Jo and Alan lay silently in the afterglow in his bed and after a few minutes Jo turned her head to look at him. “My goodness that was really powerful mistletoe” Jo said from beneath the duvet.

Mornington-By-Mere – (28) Exchanging Gifts on Christmas Eve (Part 03)

On Christmas Eve Alan rose early and took advantage of the fact the house was empty to get the chores done. His daughter Lorraine didn’t live with him full time as she was a Nurse at the Winston Churchill Hospital in Abbottsford and rather than commute back and forth she shared a flat with two other Nurses, Jane Hall, and Rosie Parsons who also lived in Mornington and worked at the Churchill, she herself was working the night shift and wouldn’t be home until Christmas Day.

Mornington-By-Mere – (29) Under the Tree on Christmas Eve (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (29) Under the Tree on Christmas Eve (Part 02)

Cally Wilson was only 21 and when she walked into the bar and saw Paul Richardson her heart skipped a beat and when their eyes met they were immediately smitten. She stood six feet tall with short curly auburn hair, and a very large bust, lovely eyes and a nice smile.

Mornington-By-Mere – (29) Under the Tree on Christmas Eve (Part 03)

Paul spent the early part of the morning of Christmas Eve delivering Christmas gifts and cards to friends and neighbours in the village, and when he had finished he planned to spend the rest of it alone at home listening to Christmas music and watching schmaltzy movies on TV.

Mornington-By-Mere – (30) Speech Impediment’s (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere. As well as a selection of all the normal shops and services to make a difference to people’s lives.

Mornington-By-Mere – (30) Speech Impediment’s (Part 02)

In Mornington the field of available men was considerably smaller than when Katie was at University but even if it had been a larger pool to fish in she would still have set her sights on George Boddington because she fancied the pants off him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (30) Speech Impediment’s (Part 03)

Katie was no better at conversing with George than he was with her, in fact she was worse because that kind of behaviour was against her nature, she was a supremely confident person, but her failure to speak was abject and happened with monotonous regularity.

Mornington-By-Mere – (30) Speech Impediment’s (Part 04)

Katie was still arguing with herself when she walked into the surgery “What happened to the girl who dated three guys simultaneously for a whole week at University?” she asked herself “Where is she now that I need her?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (30) Speech Impediment’s (Part 05)

So it was at the end of September when the weather was unseasonably warm that Katie was getting dressed for the wedding and she giggly happy. Rosie wasn’t at all fussed about going to tell the truth it was her day off and she really wanted to drive over to Sharpington and reacquaint herself with a certain chestnut haired florist named Kelly.

Mornington-By-Mere – (31) Roving Angel (Part 01)

Nineteen year old Jenna Crockford lived at number 5, The Close, in the picturesque village of Mornington-By-Mere with her parents and three siblings. She was small girl, a smidge over five foot, with delicate features and long strawberry blonde hair and a large heart and that heart was full to overflowing with love.

Mornington-By-Mere – (31) Roving Angel (Part 02)

He had timed his first Patrol to be in January so as not to impact on his other commitments around the busy Christmas period. On Friday he finished work at lunchtime as that night was his first patrol with the Roving Angels. He couldn’t deny that he had reservations about doing it despite all the encouragement and wondered if it was really for him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (31) Roving Angel (Part 03)

Going out on his first patrol with Michael Hargrave was useful for him, Mike showed him the boundaries of the patrol area and he pointed out the potential hotspots for later, he showed him all the CCTV camera locations and identified areas not covered and crucially the radio dead zones.

Mornington-By-Mere – (31) Roving Angel (Part 04)

When John and Mike reached the carpark they were parked within a few cars of each other and after a brief chat Mike got in his and had driven out of the car park before John had even started the engine.

Mornington-By-Mere – (31) Roving Angel (Part 05)

It was just after eight when he went downstairs to check on Jenna and found she was already up. And as soon as he walked into the lounge she threw herself in his arms. “I’m sorry” Jenna whispered “What for?” he asked “For being a drunken bum.” she said “and embarrassing myself”

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere. But Mornington-By-Mere is not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it is the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 02)

Throughout the year Corner House was always busy if not fully booked, and even at the quietest times they had more money coming in than they had going out. It was mixed trade, at weekends they were Birders, Ramblers or fishermen and weekdays they were mainly business guests.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 03)

Kay Richardson had been alone since her husband absconded leaving her at the age of 21 with two small children. Kay was still an attractive woman though fast approaching her 45th birthday.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 04)

“Oh he’s the one your mum fancies” Cally said as they looked out of the window and when she turned around Paul and Steff were staring at her open mouthed. “What do you mean?” Paul asked breaking the silence “Your mum fancies Mr Gregory” Cally said in surprise and was met again with stony silence. “Blimey do you two go around with your eyes shut”

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 05)

Normally Robert only stayed for a day or two every week but as Block C on Mornington Field was formerly being handed over to him the following day he was planning to be on site all week overseeing the fit out so he was staying all week and into the weekend.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 06)

Kay’s best friend was Philomena Cruickshank and she was best known as Aunty Phil, the matriarch of the St George family, who were the custodians of the Vale, and the residents of Mornington Manor. They had been friends for the five years since Phil first moved to the village from her home in Tipton, in the north of the county, when her sister was taken ill. She was wise and brimming with stoical strength and practicality and Kay was to be her matron of honour when Phil was to be married to the Vicar of St Winifred’s, Peter Cockcroft next April.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 07)

Kay left her room wearing a cocktail dress and her mum’s best jewellery and she looked stunning and Steph met her on the landing and they stood together, to the casual observer they couldn’t have been anything other than mother and daughter, Kay was just a curvier version of Stephanie.

Mornington-By-Mere – (32) Be My Guest (Part 08)

Over the following few months Kay and Robert saw a lot of each other as he was in Mornington for 3 or 4 days every week. And when they were in her sitting room one evening after the guests had been fed they were chatting when the subject of the Sharpington Day Parade came up.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 02)

Jeanne Swann went to the kitchen in George Harding’s house and returned a few minutes later with the drinks which she set down on the small table and then she sat in the vacant chair.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 03)

On Saturday morning George got himself going much earlier than usual and showered and shaved and put on a smart shirt as he wanted to give a better impression of himself than he had the day before if Jeanne was going to be coming with Zachary again.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 04)

Jeanne and George sat on the patio and chatted as Zachary toiled in the jungle, they knew he was there even though they couldn’t see him, as there were tell-tale sounds of a man at work. In truth George initially listened more than conversed as his mind wandered and he ended up just looking at her.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 05)

“Aunt Julia loved her garden and she would hate to see it like this” George said “But here we are, about to restore it to its former glory” She said positively Just then he looked at his watch and realized it was time for lunch

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 06)

Jeanne didn’t go with Zachary every day, she still had to work and if she was on nights then she would be sleeping during the day. Then there were days when she had housework to do or errands to run, shopping, paying bills etc. and those were the days George came to dislike intently.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 07)

George and Jeanne made love for the first time after their second date which didn’t altogether go as planned, because at a crucial point in the preceding’s George’s bad leg suddenly cramped up and he fell out of bed.

Mornington-By-Mere – (33) For the Love of Gardening (Part 08)

“We have had a report that you are using a vulnerable person as slave labour” Mrs Dunne stated “I can guess who that was” Jeanne said with disgust “my brother Danny” “I can’t divulge the name of the complainant” she said “Bloody nerve” George said “He was here demanding that I pay Zachary’s wages to him, and I refused which is why he’s made a complaint”

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 01)

In the seventies Mornington-By-Mere was a busy little village and thriving with Valentine St George as the Baron in residence. Throughout its history the Village of Mornington was largely dependent on agriculture for its survival but RAF Mornington as a fully operational front line bomber station brought additional prosperity.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 02)

Over the next few months they became very close friends but sadly no more than that. It turned out that they had several mutual friends and they kind of fell into a sociable group of a dozen or more friends who would go out either in one big group or smaller ones and go bowling, barn dancing or to the seaside at Sharpington or any number of things, the pub quite often.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 03)

Helen was the oldest of the Palfrey girls at 18, the same age as Lance and was the tallest by several inches and she was blessed with stunning legs, in fact legs so stunning that they had never been surpassed in his eyes.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 04)

When Helen and Lance finally began talking again he found that nothing had changed He was still desperately in love with her but she still just wanted them to be friends. That was the moment it dawned on him that it was never going to happen for them, and he thought he should have walked away there and then but he didn’t. Instead he asked out her sister Martha who was then 17.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 05)

Martha had been lured away from farming by her Uncle into the world of accountancy and had been working for a big Aerospace Company in Finchbottom for over a year, they probably employed a fifth of the town’s available workforce at the time and she earned good money. But better than that they had a huge sports and social club, and better still it was heavily subsidised.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 06)

When Helen kissed him out of the blue it was not a sisterly smack or a friendly peck, this was an open mouthed penetrating tongue kind of kiss which took him completely by surprise and took his breath away.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 07)

Helen and Lance reached Meadow Lea Farm and they walked to the house and Helen opened the door “Come in for coffee” she said His head was swimming with the evenings events, and he needed to think so he shook his head. “Please” she begged “just coffee” Lance agreed and Helen took his hand and led him inside.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 08)

As he left Helen on that joyous morning he thought that the bright dawn heralded a bright new beginning, a new dawn for a new start, but how wrong he was. When he went to the Farm the next day Helen was conspicuous by her absence and his new beginning turned out to be a false dawn, a case of the same old same old.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 09)

After parting with Helen and breaking up with Martha he left Windmill Farm and moved to his Uncles Farm near Highfinch, he told his father he wanted to gain some varied experience so he would be better equipped to take over from him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (34) Lancelot and the Palfrey’s (Part 10)

After he broke up with Katie he hoped that that would be the last he heard of the Palfreys but of course life just wasn’t like that. He had spent two years working with his Uncle up in Highfinch when he decided it was time to go home. He was just turned 25 and was unattached and he hadn’t had a serious relationship since breaking up with Martha and wasn’t looking for one for that matter.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 02)

His name was called after about fifteen minutes and he walked down the corridor and through the open door and was greeted not by a geriatric old man, nor by a Russian hammer thrower but rather by a very attractive female Dr, who was emitting a very exotic perfume every time she moved and he made a quick appraisal, an attractive face, blue eyes, soft shoulder length brown hair, 5t 3 or 4, late thirties, nice figure, everything where it should be and equally proportioned.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 03)

Gary was well tanned well-toned and well-groomed but was not a tall man, measuring five foot six and a quarter, a full inch and three quarters shorter than his sister, which was something she never let him forget and always referred to him as her “little brother”.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 04)

It was the first Friday in June and Kate and Gary were going up to Abbottsford for a few days. They had a big family christening on Sunday at St Dunstan’s Church when their cousins triplets were being baptized. So it was one not to miss, but as it was at the 9.30 service and they didn’t want the hassle of traveling up on the day so they decided to put up at the Abbottsford Regents Hotel the night before.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 05)

On Saturday morning everyone was up early and availed themselves of the full English breakfast but due to a miracle of timing all three couples managed to avoid each other.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 06)

She clearly recognized him however so he looked at her more closely and then the penny dropped. “Dr Goman-Smith” he responded “Do you mind if I join you?” she asked.

Mornington-By-Mere – (35) Doctor, Doctor (Part 07)

Gary walked Sarah rather unsteadily to her door and once she had managed to finally use the swipe card correctly and open the door she announced. “Nightcap” and before he had chance to decline she dragged him into the room where after some intense negotiations it was decided that coffee was the order of the day rather than the contents of the mini bar.

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 01)

Twenty eight year old Matthew Burnham lives alone in the village of Mornington-By-Mere which is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 02)

“She actually asked if she could stay here?” Matthew asked “Well no, I offered on your behalf” she admitted “She’s back from the missions for about a month, catching up with old friends before she returns to China”

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 03)

His Mum phoned again on Saturday morning as promised, but as it turned out he didn’t need to meet Angela’s train at Shallowfield station after all. In fact she didn’t even catch the train, the Christian fraternity had rallied round, as they do, and a rather frumpy middle-aged woman called Lily Mumford delivered her to his door in her Morris Minor.

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 04)

Inconveniently Matthew had to get up for a pee at about 3.00am and as he was just getting back into his bed he thought he heard a noise downstairs so he slipped on his bathrobe and cautiously crept down the stairs.

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 05)

It was 4.00am and Matt was still sitting at the kitchen table having drunk two mugs of Milo made with boiled milk and he was very wide awake and cursing his behaviour. “Why couldn’t you just look away” he said to himself “This is going to make the atmosphere very strained for the next two days”

Mornington-By-Mere – (36) Returning Angel (Part 06)

After making love for the second time on that momentous Sunday, Matthew and Angela drifted off to asleep again. When they eventually awoke and they emerged from his bedroom they went downstairs and he cooked them a fried breakfast, although technically it wasn’t really breakfast but Matt called it that because he didn’t know what else to call a fry up at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Mornington-By-Mere – (37) Three Days of Christmas (Boxing Day)

On Boxing Day Siobhan and Bryan were once again in the Shallowfield Road bus shelter sharing a kiss when she suddenly said “I have a confession to make,” “Not another one?” he said “I’ve still got the bruises from the last one” “No not that kind of confession” she said

Mornington-By-Mere – (37) Three Days of Christmas (Christmas Day)

On Christmas Day Bryan and Siobhan woke up with more than the normal joy of a Christmas morning after having made love for the first time the night before. Brian thought it was a very special night even though he had to climb out of her bedroom window in the small hours and nearly broke his neck in the process while Siobhan watched him all the way and giggled.

Mornington-By-Mere – (37) Three Days of Christmas (Christmas Eve)

On Christmas Eve Siobhan Chapman and Bryan Williams were stood in the old wooden bus shelter on the Shallowfield road opposite the Old East Windmill just after the last bus had gone in the depths of a passionate kiss.“Because my Mum and Dad have gone to midnight mass so you don’t need to be groping me in a bus shelter” Siobhan replied

Mornington-By-Mere – (38) On Account of a Surgeon (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (38) On Account of a Surgeon (Part 02)

Kate Pottinger and Brian Kane stood outside Addison’s Bakery laughing and flirting for about 10 minutes. Working outdoors in a physical occupation Kate was well tanned well-toned but despite that was well groomed. She was not as tall as Brian, which she liked, she stood five foot eight, a full inch and a three quarters taller than her brother, which was something she never let him forget and always referred to him as her “little brother”.

Mornington-By-Mere – (38) On Account of a Surgeon (Part 03)

It was the first Friday in June and Kate and Gary were going up to Abbottsford for a few days. They had a big family christening on Sunday at St Dunstan’s Church when their cousins triplets were being baptized. So it was one not to miss, but as it was at the 9.30 service and they didn’t want the hassle of traveling up on the day so they decided to put up at the Abbottsford Regents Hotel the night before.

Mornington-By-Mere – (38) On Account of a Surgeon (Part 04)

They had lunch at an Italian Restaurant called Roberto’s just around the corner from her office. “So was it just Rhonda that brought you too Abbottsford?” Brian asked “No it wasn’t, but I would have made the trip just to see her” he thought but out loud he said “No I’m in town for the weekend, at the Regent’s, Sarah and I are going to the cricket tomorrow” “We’re putting up at the Regents as well” Brian said

Mornington-By-Mere – (38) On Account of a Surgeon (Part 05)

Brian Kane spent the first part of the day rummaging in bookshops and antique shops of Abbottsford’s old town district and then he indulged his penchant for ridiculously expensive coffees in the trendy coffee shops.

Mornington-By-Mere – (39) Angela’s Mission (Part 01)

Twenty eight year old Matthew Burnham lives alone in the village of Mornington-By-Mere which is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (39) Angela’s Mission (Part 02)

In the month since Matthew heard Angela’s blessed declaration of love, words that he lad longed to hear for 12 long years and he made love with her, he had thought of nothing else.

Mornington-By-Mere – (39) Angela’s Mission (Part 03)

While Lily Mumford was outside defrosting her Morris Minor he sat at the kitchen table drinking a coffee and he was so tired that it didn’t even dawned on him what the significance of Lily’s early departure was.

Mornington-By-Mere – (39) Angela’s Mission (Part 04)

“But I love you Angela” he said and she gasped “And I love you too” “Then don’t go” “But I have to” she said “it’s my life’s work”

Mornington-By-Mere – (40) Affair of the Heart (Part 01)

Bryan and Michelle Robinson boarded the train at Abbottsford Station and quickly made themselves comfortable. But they had barely left the station before Michelle was asleep with her head on her husband’s shoulder.

Mornington-By-Mere – (40) Affair of the Heart (Part 02)

As they approached the station Lorraine got up and carried her bag to the door, and Bryan followed close behind, leaving his wife asleep, then shortly before the train stopped, they shared a long succulent kiss.

Mornington-By-Mere – (40) Affair of the Heart (Part 03)

A week after Jim picked her up from the bus stop Lorraine was at her dad’s house in Windmill Cottages when there was a knock at the door. She opened it to find Bryan Robinson standing on the door step. “Hello gorgeous” he said with a smile, a smile that she used to succumb to but now she saw it for what it was, a leer.

Mornington-By-Mere – (41) A Brief’s Tale (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (41) A Brief’s Tale (Part 02)

After dropping his ex-wife Sarah at the Phoenix Centre Daniel Goman-Smith was sitting in reception at Bramstock, Goodman, Crossfield and Bushe, the firm of Solicitors handling his late Uncles estate, by 11 o’clock.

Mornington-By-Mere – (41) A Brief’s Tale (Part 03)

Brian Kane travelled up to Abbottsford early on Friday with his sister, he had an important meeting with a client and then he was meeting Rhonda for lunch. Because of the importance of the meeting he had allowed a three hour window but as it turned out it was concluded in under two

Mornington-By-Mere – (41) A Brief’s Tale (Part 04)

The food at Roberto’s was excellent but the lunchtime service was very slow and unfortunately Rhonda had to excuse herself before desert. “I’m sorry but I have to go” she said “I really love the desert’s here as well” “Perhaps we might run into each other over the weekend” he said “I hope so, that would be nice” she said then she said goodbye to her brother and left. “Are you going to talk to me now?” Brian asked and laughed but Daniels thoughts were elsewhere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (41) A Brief’s Tale (Part 05)

It was a glorious June day and there was a good crowd at the Cricket Ground and Gary Pottinger and the Goman-Smith’s were among them though due to the numbers they were oblivious to the others presence.

Mornington-By-Mere – (42) A Christmas Misadventure (Part 01)

Peter Andrew was a big barrel chested man with a bushy beard and a happy jovial face and along with his wife Helen he ran the Old Mill Inn In the idyllic village of Mornington-By-Mere in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (42) A Christmas Misadventure (Part 02)

He entered through the main doors to the flats and passed the Christmas tree in the foyer and headed straight for flat number one. At the door he fumbled for his key and presented it to the lock and it wouldn’t fit. He peered closely at it and he was satisfied that it was definitely his door key so he tried to put it in the lock again, but still it wouldn’t fit and suddenly the door opened and a stranger looked out at him. “Can I help?” she asked.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 01)

Rory Hitchen lived in the small country village of Mornington-By-Mere in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 02)

On his return to the UK the weather was so bad that the plane was lucky to get permission to land when it did, as a lot of flights were turned away. However they were able to land and once on the ground he found the local transport infrastructure was suffering also.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 03)

He had no idea how long he’d been walking or indeed where exactly he was because he had no point of reference and visibility was poor but eventually he could see the shape of a house in the distance

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 04)

Mornington-By-Mere wasn’t just a quaint chocolate box English Village it was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale, but there was more Mornington that just its Ancient heart as there were a number of cottages and small houses on the Purplemere road and Dulcets Lane which formed the part of Mornington Village known as Manorside and 31 year old Charlene Rogers lived on Dulcets Road at White Rose Cottage.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 05)

Charlene phoned Alexandra Barrileau at Oak Dale and it was Megan Murray who answered the phone. “Good Morning Oak Dale” “Hi Megan, its Charlene, how was the drive in?” “Oh I didn’t go home last night” she replied

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 06)

Charlene helped Rory up to her bedroom and sat him on the bed while she threw back the duvet and then she laid him down and he began to resist. “Please don’t fuss” he insisted “I’m fine really”

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 07)

At 5 o’clock Charlene climbed the stairs carrying a tray with a large bowl of homemade chicken and vegetable soup, a carafe of water and two paracetamol. She wasn’t sure why, but she was worried he might not like it, which really bothered her and not just because she had spent most of the day in the kitchen, although she had laboured on more than just the soup.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 08)

Charlene went back upstairs with a jug of water and some tablets in order to maintain a Paracetamol, fluids and sleep regime. She opened the door and saw that he was awake.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 09)

Charlene showed Sgt Jones into the sitting room and after the introductions were done Charlene left them alone and then Sgt Jones presented him with his personal belongings from the car. “Richards Recovery took the vehicle away this morning” Sgt Jones said “Here is all the paperwork” “Thank you” he said “I just need you to sign for your belongings and then we’re done” the Sgt said

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 10)

Rory Hitchen sat in Charlene’s cosy sitting room in White Rose Cottage with the TV on, showing the normal daytime programming but all Rory could think of was his caring angel.

Mornington-By-Mere – (43) Unsuitably Dressed (Part 11)

When Rory Hitchen returned home he was left alone with his own thoughts in a cold flat for the remainder of the week and he found them uncomfortable companions apart of course from the thoughts about Charlene.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 01)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 02)

Although her physical injuries had healed, the physiological ones had not, and she hadn’t been able to work since she left hospital and she also found talking to people extremely difficult.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 03)

He could see her thrashing about and could hear her screams and as he reached the spot where she went in he jumped in without hesitation and swam towards her.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 04)

As Craig and Nicola continued to walk soggily beside the River Brooke in the direction of the village the only sounds were from the flowing water and the squelching of their footwear.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 05)

More than a week had gone by since Nicola had opened up to him beside the river and she had agreed to tell him more.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 06)

The night after Nicola had opened up to him he sat up until the early hours with Dave drinking whisky and with Craig’s encouragement whilst in his cups his brother let something slip. The knowledge obtained through the application of excess amounts of whisky was very enlightening and gave Craig considerable food for thought.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 07)

Craig had seen Nicola walk into the woods and was concerned about her and her black moods and what her intentions might be. He was relieved when he emerged from Manor would to see her sitting on a bench.

Mornington-By-Mere – (44) The Guilt of the Survivor (Part 08)

As Craig and Nicola sat on a bench between Manor Wood and the river her sobs came slowly at first but soon became uncontrollable heaves. He kissed the top of her head and could smell her perfume as her head lay against his chest “I'm sorry” he said “I shouldn't have told you, but I didn't want you to keep punishing yourself” “It wasn't your fault that you survived honey” he said “please don’t feel guilty for being alive”

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 01)

In the 1990’s the Dawkins Family lived in the village of Pangmere situated on the Finchbottom Road between Mornington and Finchbottom.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 02)

It appeared that by, 30 year old Annette, distancing herself from 18 year old Brian, in the two years since she discovered he was infatuated with her, it had only served to make her even more desirable.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 03)

When Brian passed the living room he looked in and saw Annette standing in the middle of the room adjusting her stocking, and Brian couldn’t take his eyes off her.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 04)

Annette soon realised that running away and hiding was not the answer. She wasn’t sure what the answer was by any measure but she did know that hiding away in Spain wasn’t it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 05)

Paige, Riza and the three doubting Thomas’s, Annette, Carole Beverley and Jennifer Bardsley, drove over to Mornington.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 06)

In the year following 21 year old Brian Dawkins and 33 year old Annette West being discovered in his parent’s marital bed Brian’s world fell apart as his love affair with Annette came to an abrupt end and then the total disintegration of his life.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 07)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field back from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village, formally used as quarters for military personnel and in February 2015 Paige Turners made the move from Finchbottom to Mornington Field and took up residence in what was formerly Hangar C.

Mornington-By-Mere – (45) Falling in Love with Aunty (Part 08)

Brian opened the door expecting to see a courier driver standing the other side of it and he couldn’t believe the evidence of his own eyes as he stood looking into the eyes of the woman he loved. Annette smiled at him and he smiled at her but neither of them spoke, neither daring to break the spell of what could surely only be a hallucination.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 01)

When Thirty year old Emma Jackson left her flat in Abbey View Mews she was in a pensive mood and as she set off in her car she was full of apprehension. On the passenger seat was a large manila envelope from Stanislas, Boivin and Champeaux who were the Mornington Estate solicitors and the receipt of that envelope was the reason she was in the car and full of apprehension.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 02)

Emma Jackson sat outside her former home in the part of Mornington known as Manorside for over an hour as she sat there reminiscing, but the reason she sat there for so long was that she was afraid to go inside because of the unhappier times that preceded the hasty departure from the house with her mum and her sisters.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 03)

Alan Jackson coped with the grief of losing his son by seeking the solace and comfort of alcohol, which managed at times to drown his sorrows but merely heaped more misery on his family as a consequence.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 04)

Mary hugged Emma and said “Take your sisters across the road to Corner House” “What about you?” Emma asked with concern “I’ll be fine” Mary said “Just look after your sisters, and ask Kay to phone PC Jones”

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 05)

After the incident at the Jacksons house Alan was arrested and taken to Sharpington Police Station where he was detained for 48 hours. Mary didn’t press charges against her husband she just needed him safely out of the way while she got the girls safely away from Mornington.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 06)

Emma Jackson didn’t attend the funeral of her father, in fact the first thing she knew about her father’s death was when she received the letter from the Mornington Estate solicitors, Stanislas, Boivin and Champeaux, but had she known, she wouldn’t have gone anyway.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 07)

Good to her word Kay had washed Emma’s entire outfit from the previous day and returned it to her freshly pressed. And after breakfast Kay and an apprehensive Emma crossed the road and walked along to number 9 Brewery Cottages.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 08)

Emma spent an hour talking to her brother in St Winifred’s churchyard and then walked slowly back to the guesthouse as she decided to walk back via Mornington Field.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 09)

Emma was really worried when she went to see her mum to tell her the news about her dad’s death and about going to Mornington to the old family home, in case she was angry about being kept in the dark, or thought she had gone behind her back, but she needn’t have worried because Mary thanked her for sparing her from what would have been an ordeal. “I wouldn’t have been able to face it” she confessed

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 10)

The day after Emma had shared the photos with her mum she was sitting in her flat and googled the phone number for Digitize Image Lab while she was drinking her morning coffee.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 11)

As they stood in the reception area of the Digitize Image Lab Emma Jackson thought the 30 year old version of the spotty 15 year old Brian Brushwood she had known at school, was gorgeous, with an open smiling face, brown hair, green eyes, clear skin, a muscular physique and he was charming and funny, plus he smelt good enough to eat.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 12)

“It’s all controlled on this touch screen” Louise began “Swipe right to keep, left to discard and up to skip, you can look at the skipped ones again at the end, and even the discarded ones as well if you like, the robot will automatically separate the keepers from the discards”

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 13)

Emma and Brian spent virtually the whole afternoon in the meeting room though it wasn’t until almost 4.30pm that they actually got around to talking about the job in hand.

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 14)

Brian Brushwood stood at the door and watched Emma Jackson walk away from the building and was joined by the Kilbourne sisters “Is she the one you had a crush on when you were at school?” Violet asked

Mornington-By-Mere – (46) Snapshots on Love (Part 15)

Mary had had a wonderful time the previous afternoon and evening catching up with old friends in the village but it had left her drained so once they had breakfasted at Corner House they said their goodbyes and set off.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 01)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 02)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village that was under the stewardship of the Mornington Estate headed up by Lord of the Manor Baron Gabriel St George. The village was well served with all the amenities with a selection of all the normal shops and services to make a difference to people’s lives like Norman’s General Store, Addison’s Bakery, Boddington’s Butcher’s and Legg’s Farm Shop which were all heavily subsidized by the estate in order to survive.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 03)

At the precise moment Robbie Norman looked at the five foot nothing, whippet thin, olive skinned Karen Smith with her unruly jet black hair, the family feud paled into insignificance.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 04)

“What just happened?” Karen asked herself in disbelief as she walked towards home after having been discovered gazing soppily into Robbie Norman’s eyes “He’s a Norman you idiot, that can’t happen with a Norman” Karen continued to mutter all the way home and when she reached the gates of Smithfield Farm she said firmly “Well whatever it was that happened its best that we forget all about it”

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 05)

After more than a century and a half of feuding Robbie and Karen fully understood the gravity of the situation where a Norman and a Smith viewed one another as anything other than enemies.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 06)

“I think we have a date” Karen said to herself as she left the pharmacy “How did that happen?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 07)

Karen Smith was 17 years old and stood five foot nothing tall, was whippet thin, olive skinned with her unruly jet black hair moving in the soft afternoon breeze and was quizzing herself as to what she thought she was doing wearing her best dress to meet one of the enemy.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 08)

“Up here” Robbie said and scrambled up onto the fallen oak then he reached down and hoisted Karen up as if she was a bundle of matchwood. After which he went up to the next bough and repeated the operation and then again on the next until they were concealed beneath the foliage and were in the safety of the leafy shade by the time Emma arrived in the clearing.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 09)

After that first meeting on a hot Saturday afternoon in July the two met in secret all summer long spending their time either up in the boughs of the fallen oak where they shared their first kiss or beneath the weeping willow tree where they shared many more.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 10)

The secret meetings and clandestine planning lasted into the first week of September and they just had to keep up with the secrecy for one more week, when they were discovered. As they sat beneath the foliage of the weeping willow tree a face suddenly appeared and said “What the hell is going on under here?”

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 11)

“You’re leaving?” Michelle asked “When?” “In a weeks’ time” he said “can you keep our secret for one more week?” “I’m not going to tell anyone, that bloody feud is the bane of all our lives” Michelle said and Robbie hugged her and then Karen did the same.

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 12)

Mornington-By-Mere – (47) Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree (Part 12) Michelle cried as she watched her kid brother walking hand in hand with the girl he loved, she didn’t want him to go but she knew it was for the best.

Mornington-By-Mere – (48) The Boy Next Door (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (48) The Boy Next Door (Part 02)

Sarah Younger was a pretty young girl with black curly hair who was barely five feet tall, dark skinned and was fast approaching her eighteenth birthday. She was not a fresh faced English rose like her best friend Victoria, Sarah’s skin was the colour of burnt caramel.

Mornington-By-Mere – (48) The Boy Next Door (Part 03)

Sarah had been rudderless for the last few months of the summer and had lost focus, distracted by thoughts of Andy and her need of him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (48) The Boy Next Door (Part 04)

When she woke up on Saturday Morning (D-Day plus 3) with the sun streaming through her bedroom window Sarah was in great spirits. “Todays the day” she said and leapt out of bed because she was going to take her chance on that fine sunny day.

Mornington-By-Mere – (48) The Boy Next Door (Part 05)

As she sat on the patio drinking a glass of wine she began to feel a little light headed. It was nearly one o’clock and she hadn’t eaten all day as she was on her second glass of Pinot and she wasn’t used to drinking.

Mornington-By-Mere – (49) The Whitsun Picnic (Part 01)

Eric Vineyard’s Uncle George ran a clock restoration business which moved from Purplemere to Mornington Field.

Mornington-By-Mere – (49) The Whitsun Picnic (Part 02)

As soon as the Vineyards sat down Eric was struck by the look of the girl with no bra who walked up and sat down on the neighbouring picnic blanket.

Mornington-By-Mere – (49) The Whitsun Picnic (Part 03)

Stephanie was on the edge of a clearing and the reason for the cursing and the muttering appeared to be because she had unfortunately got herself snagged on some brambles and was struggling to release herself.

Mornington-By-Mere – (50) Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere. But Mornington-By-Mere is not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it is the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale.

Mornington-By-Mere – (50) Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It (Part 02)

Seventeen year old Victoria Crockford lived at number 5, The Close, in the picturesque village of Mornington-By-Mere with her parents and three siblings. She was small girl, a smidge over five foot, with delicate features and long strawberry blonde hair and a large heart and that heart was full to overflowing with love.

Mornington-By-Mere – (50) Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It (Part 03)

He opened the bathroom door, stepped through and opened the airing cupboard and took out a large fluffy bath towel off the top shelf

Mornington-By-Mere – (50) Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It (Part 04)

David and Victoria left the Woodman’s Axe pushing their bikes and walked in the direction of the River Brooke.

Mornington-By-Mere – (50) Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It (Part 05)

David and Victoria walked in silence from the river to the Close, save for the squelching of their saturated footwear.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 01)

Mornington-By-Mere is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills. It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12 th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 02)

The Potters moved into number 3 Dulcet Mill Lane at the end of March, a week before Easter. The house in Northchapel was sold, along with most of the furniture, but there were some things they couldn’t bear to part with even if they couldn’t bear to be around them so they were put into storage.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 03)

Annie Wilson lived in The Close at number 7, with her parents Lloyd and Alex and three younger siblings, Patsy, Cally and Andy. She was 27 years old and just like her sisters she stood six feet tall and had curly auburn hair, lovely blue eyes and a very large bust and also in common with her siblings the auburn haired giant was quiet and reserved and also possessed another Wilson family trait which was the hard work ethic.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 04)

It was late one Thursday afternoon in the week after Easter and the weather was typically showery for April but as Annie Wilson left home the sun was shining. She turned right and headed down the Close, because in between number 4 and number 5 there was an alleyway which led from The Close and emerged between Mazzone’s Hairdressers and the Dental Surgery in The Street.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 05)

When he was interrupted by the doorbell ringing late one Thursday afternoon, in the week after Easter, Karl Potter was ill prepared for the sight that greeted him when he opened the door.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 06)

When Annie Wilson returned home after meeting with Karl Potter she was in a very buoyant mood and was singing. Her mum, Alex, didn’t read too much into that after all it was not a wholly unusual occurrence, she often sang.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 07)

Karl told himself from the outset that it was only her friendship that he liked her for but try as he might his feelings deepened, and he fell for her.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 08)

After the conversation Karl had with his son Mark regarding his attraction to the lovely gardener, Annie Wilson, he spent a very tortuous few days as he wrestled with the dilemma of whether or not to act on his feelings, and Mark’s advice, and ask his alluring young horticulturist out on a date.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 09)

Karl Potter was not the only one to be taken by surprise by the Wilson’s holiday in Sharpington, Annie was also shocked by the disclosure by her parents that they had booked a week at the sea side on a whim.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 10)

Despite the fact Annie hadn’t really wanted to be there, she and her family had a brilliant week by the sea, the kids, even though they were now very much adults, threw themselves whole heartedly into reliving their childhoods and doing all the things their former younger selves did without a second thought.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 11)

Karl had spent a very dull week off and despite filling some of his time fulfilling the items on the comprehensive list of requirements for his son Mark to take off to university, he still found that time hung heavy when he was not fully occupied.

Mornington-By-Mere – (51) Annie’s Song (Part 12)

As he stepped out into the sunlight of Friday morning he saw a sight which took his breath away, he found Annie standing only a few feet away where she was taking the dead wood out of a climber on the pergola while she sweetly sang to herself and he gasped in surprise at the beautiful vision in front of him before giving her a smile.

Mornington-By-Mere – (53) Strangers on a Train (Part 01)

The Varney’s lived in the small country village of Mornington-By-Mere in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (53) Strangers on a Train (Part 02)

George and Tracey spent their first twenty minutes together exchanging glances, his of curiosity mixed with desire, and hers of coquettishness. But then the motion of the train began to lull him off, and when the long blinks had set in he slept, and while he slept he dreamt, and all his dreams were about the girl in the lemon dress.

Mornington-By-Mere – (54) The Student and the Teacher (Part 01)

When the Mornington Estate exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field from the MOD it also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel.

Mornington-By-Mere – (54) The Student and the Teacher (Part 02)

Kirsty Martin was a 30 year old single mother who differed from her older sister in almost every way, she was tall while Lianne stood 4ft 10 in her socks, Kirsty’s hair was dark and luscious and her sisters was mousy and wayward, she had penetrating green eyes while Lianne’s were grey and a bit squinty, Kirsty had a strong jawline and perfect cheekbones, and her sister had a pointy chin with a mole on it.

Mornington-By-Mere – (54) The Student and the Teacher (Part 03)

Kirsty was led by her excited daughter into the lounge where she found Alan Newbold sitting on the floor in the middle of an assortment of toys, Alan was Susan’s eldest son, just back from University after completing his second year.

Mornington-By-Mere – (54) The Student and the Teacher (Part 04)

As Kirsty answered the was wearing her white fluffy bathrobe and a towel wrapped around her head like a turban and was hoping if she opened the door like that it would deter whoever it was from disturbing her for long.

Mornington-By-Mere – (54) The Student and the Teacher (Part 05)

All summer long they spent precious time together, but it became increasingly more difficult to find the time for intimacy as the school holidays wiped out their regular afternoon delights and with the long summer evenings Sasha was taking longer and longer to settle.

Mornington-By-Mere – (55) Fraternal Flirtations (Part 01)

It was the house that 38 year old Angela was born in, which she now shared with her Purplemere born husband Norman and 19 year old daughter Andrea, and to the casual observer they were a happy family but all was not as it seems.

Mornington-By-Mere – (55) Fraternal Flirtations (Part 02)

Dennis looked forward to the time he spent in Morningside and she came to count the minutes until she saw him again. However nothing ever happened between them other than mutual admiration, but it was only a matter of time before that changed.

Mornington-By-Mere – (55) Fraternal Flirtations (Part 03)

After the remarkable June afternoon when Dennis Thorpe made love to his half-brothers wife Angela, for the first time, al fresco in their secluded garden, Angela had avoided him.

Mornington-By-Mere – (56) Soldier Wood (Part 01)

There was a military funeral in the quaint chocolate box English Village of Mornington-By-Mere when the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale fell silent with sombre respect.

Mornington-By-Mere – (56) Soldier Wood (Part 02)

David and Sharon had already had a couple of drinks in the Old Mill Inn when he suggested another, but she declined. “I’ll walk you home then” David said “Ok” she replied

Mornington-By-Mere – (57) Meeting Michelle (Part 01)

In the quaint chocolate box English Village of Mornington-By-Mere, which was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale, stood Mornington Manor which was the beating heart of the Mornington Estate.

Mornington-By-Mere – (57) Meeting Michelle (Part 02)

Thirty-five-year-old Richard Stephenson was one of the attendees of a dinner meeting at Mornington Manor and he was one of “The” Stephenson’s who had supermarkets and convenience stores all over Downshire.

Mornington-By-Mere – (57) Meeting Michelle (Part 03)

Richard Stephenson had been very much looking forward to meeting Michelle Smith again after she had lovingly held his hand under the table during the business dinner they were attending at Mornington Manor, but seeing her the second time was different and if anything it was even better because he knew her and the ice between them had already been broken, but he had absolutely no idea what show of affection, if any, she might reveal at the meeting, before, after or even during.

Mornington-By-Mere – (57) Meeting Michelle (Part 04)

“I thought Gabriel would be in the meeting” he said as he was seated in the meeting room at the Mornington Manor “No this is a one to one” Michelle said trying to remain aloof

Mornington-By-Mere – (58) Lily of the Vale (Part 01)

Quiet and shy 36 year old Holger Isaak lived and worked up at Mornington Field, which was once a fully operational RAF station, and he lived in Apartment 2 of Lancaster House, which had been converted from what was once the bases Officers Mess and he worked as an engineer for Topliss Engineering.

Mornington-By-Mere – (58) Lily of the Vale (Part 02)

Lily Mumford was ten years younger than the object of her affections, quiet and shy Holger Isaak, she figured that age gap combined with his shyness was the reason he had not asked her out.

Mornington-By-Mere – (58) Lily of the Vale (Part 03)

Lily’s plan to ensnare Holger involved her booking a day’s leave on Friday because she had plans for him at the weekend, although he wasn’t aware of the fact.

Mornington-By-Mere – (58) Lily of the Vale (Part 04)

It was an amazing kiss and it was even more of a loin tingling kiss than the previous one in the layby had been because he had kissed her, but frustratingly when it ended, however reluctantly, he had to leave to get back to work.

Mornington-By-Mere – (59) The Khaki Ninja (Part 01)

In the quaint chocolate box English Village of Mornington-By-Mere, which was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale, stood the Old Mill Inn which was the beating heart of the village.

Mornington-By-Mere – (59) The Khaki Ninja (Part 02)

Sharon Taylor was Dave Cooper’s girlfriend and the last time he’d seen her she was wearing the dress uniform of The Downshire Light Infantry after a military funeral in the village a month earlier and he hadn’t seen her since as she had been at the Downshire Light Infantry barracks in Nettlefield.

Mornington-By-Mere – (60) Charity Begins at Home

Joe Martin was on his Easter break from his second year at Abbottsford University and he was at his parents’ house, number 8, The Close, in the quaint picturesque village of Mornington-By-Mere, and his parents, sister and younger brother were all at work, so he had the place to himself.

Mornington-By-Mere – (61) Hidden Angel (Part 01)

Twenty one year old Benjamin Taylor lived with his parents in the small country village of Mornington-By-Mere which lies in the Finchbottom Vale that nestles between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.

Mornington-By-Mere – (61) Hidden Angel (Part 02)

Ben Taylor first saw her one morning as he walked to work, she was a little in front of him when she suddenly appeared as he crossed the bridge over the River Brooke on West Gate Road.

Mornington-By-Mere – (61) Hidden Angel (Part 03)

“Well my hidden angel I will look for you again tomorrow morning” he said to himself