Downshire Diary – (08) First Impressions (Part 05)
About half an hour into her reflection her train of thought was broken by the telephone ringing and she cursed under her breath about the interruption before she answered it.
“Hello” she said flatly
“Hello Lianne, it’s Jenna” said the curate, although by then she was the de facto Vicar of St Martins while the Reverend Mortimer was recovering from a heart attack.
“Hello Jenna, Jenna Lawton” she said lightheartedly Jenna always had that effect on her.
After a brief chuckle she continued
“The reason for the call is that I’m having an informal dinner party at the vicarage, well when I say dinner party I mean a takeaway curry, I can’t cook to save my life” she paused briefly “so if you’re free on Saturday night, it’s just beer, curry and Trivial Pursuits and you’ll know most of the others”
On Saturday night she would be in Mornington and wouldn’t have contemplated travelling back to Highfinch on the weekend and would have politely refused but for two crucial reasons, firstly her 7 year old niece was having three friends to stay for a sleep over and secondly Jenna mentioned Trivial Pursuits, and Lianne loved Trivial Pursuits.
“I would love to Jenna” Lianne said, “Should I bring anything?”
“Only if you can drink it” she replied, “come about eight, bye”
After she hung up the phone she went downstairs to find Janita so she could book a room for Saturday night as it was obvious that driving back to Mornington would not be an option.
It was a lovely sunny summer afternoon as she left Mornington on Saturday and headed out into the country towards Highfinch and was looking forward to a stress free journey through the beautiful countryside of the Vale, which was beautiful enough but as she got closer to the Pepperstock Hills she knew it would get even more so.
The village of Highfinch sits just on the edge of the Pepperstock Hills and the Lily Green Hollows Golf Club separates the village from the Hamlet of Lily Green, and the combination of those two and Kingfisherbridge made up the parish of St Martins where Jenna Lawton was curate.
When Lianne arrived at the Vicarage, bang on 8 o’clock she was surprised to be told that she was the last.
“Come in” the Vicar said and handed her a menu “we’ve all chosen”
Lianne felt positively tardy.
Jenna Lawton had said that Lianne knew almost everyone and she was not wrong.
Jade Flowers, was the local Doctor and her practice manager
Lorraine Weaving, who was completely bald.
The two redoubtable village good eggs, middle-aged buddies Vicki Paulding and Julia Thomas, and their best friend Cressida van Meeuwen.
Local celebrity TV presenter Nick Faulkner, furniture maker Farron Sutherland and to her utter disbelief Jonathon Walters.
They were a mixed bunch, varying ages and occupations, a mix of the Godly and the heathen, the old and the young the sublime and the ridiculous.
The only one of the party she was annoyed to see was Jonathon Walters but she decided to put him out of her mind and concentrate on enjoying the evening.