Downshire Diary – (57) The Distraught Muse (Part 02)
But all the normally enjoyable pastimes that would ordinarily keep him entertained didn’t distract him for the time Juliana was away at University, but he poured all his love and longing into his second novel instead.
However as much as the time may have dragged, the time of his lonely exile did come to an end.
Juliana she returned from Abbottsford on Friday night with her parents as Owen was in Nettlefield at his publishers.
He spent Friday night in the Prince Royal Hotel hoping to relax and catch his breath, after all the frenetic activity of the day not to mention a long boozy lunch and the associated meetings and he was completely knackered and he was understandably looking forward to a good night’s sleep before Juliana’s return from University.
However there is a well-known saying about “the best laid plans”.
Things began to go wrong at about 2 am when the people in the room next door got drunk and started to trash the place.
Then after the night manager had dealt with the disturbance he just drifted off to sleep when a crack of thunder almost blew him out of bed and then the storm rumbled round for hours after that, making sleep nearly impossible, he would just doze off and then Boom, then things would calm down again and then Boom.
He gave up eventually because after the 9th or 10th time the fire alarm went off so he went downstairs and checked out and set off on the drive to Denmead.
When he got back to the village and went to his bed but he’d not been asleep more than an hour when he was woken from his slumber, not this time by drunks, thunder claps or fire alarms but by the persistent ringing of his mobile phone.
He reached a hand out from beneath the duvet and grabbed the phone
“Hello” he said sleepily and he was snapped awake by the sound of unrestrained tears coming from a distraught Juliana.
Once he had calmed her down sufficiently that she could speak and having determined no one had died he quickly washed and dressed and went out into the rainy morning and trudged the relatively short distance to her house.
She was still in tears when he arrived; though much calmer.
Her parents were both out at Stephenson’s Supermarket where they worked so she had to unload it all on him.
It took him about half an hour of soothing words to get her to the point where she could tell him what was wrong without bursting into tears again.
Ruth was returning to the University at Roehampton at the weekend in time for her final year although her first lecture was still two weeks away.
Juliana had worked her socks off all summer at the Green Oak pub in order to earn enough to enable her not to need to get another job in Abbottsford.
She already had a little job in the University Library, which although it didn’t pay well it fitted in perfectly with her studies, but she didn’t want to have to take another job as well.
She had calculated that with all the shifts she had done, on top of her future earnings from the library added to the meagre savings she had left from the previous year, she had sufficient to meet her needs and leave her enough to treat herself to a new laptop, her old one being on its last legs.
But when she had gone to the pub first thing that morning to pick up her wages she found that she had been under paid by the sum of £300.