Downshire Diary – (57) The Distraught Muse (Part 03)
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.
Furthermore, even though it was the landlord’s mistake, he and his wife were on holiday and the manager was unable to make reparation until they returned.
All of this meant that after all the other out goings she wasn’t going to have enough to fund her new laptop until she was home next.
She really wanted that particular laptop but she said that she would just have to get something cheaper and gave a weak smile.
Owen managed to persuade her not to settle for less than she really wanted and just soldier on with what she had for a couple more months and as every cloud had a silver lining by the time she was ready to buy it would be at an even better price.
Juliana punched him for his sunny optimism but seemed happier with life.
He then offered to go into town with her and keep her company while she did her other shopping.
She gave him a hug and a kiss and said
“No that’s ok, I’m meeting mum for lunch”
When he left her at the door she was altogether happier, he on the other hand was less so.
In the meantime he walked briskly, through the now pouring rain, to the cottage and got in the car and drove into Finchbottom, he knew he could get there and back before Juliana returned to the village.
The reason for his sojourn was to purchase her a new laptop, printer and accessories so she would have them to take with her when she returned to University after the weekend.
Her parents would have done the same thing if they could have afforded it, but they couldn’t, they were nice hard working people and had no great wealth but considered themselves rich beyond measure because of what they did have.
The last thing he wanted to do was to step on their toes and steal their limelight so he planned that they would present it as a joint gift.
They were all going out for a meal that evening at the Leathern Bottle in Finchbottom but they were meeting first at the Molesworth’s so they could present it to her before they left for the restaurant.
He drove back to the village, and when he got indoors he called her dad Greg, he span him a line about getting it at a knock down price through a friend who used his staff discount.
Owen thought he wanted to believe him more than actually believing him but he was pleased his daughter was getting her laptop.
He repeatedly insisted on paying something towards it and Owen repeatedly declined his offer and in the end they compromised.
He would let Owen pay for the gift if he let him and Lavinia take Juliana back to University on Monday morning and they verbally shook on the deal.
He knew Juliana wouldn’t mind as they had already discussed the possibility.
Her parents struggled at times to reconcile themselves with the changing nature of their relationship, Greg in particular was feeling more than a little redundant.
It was undoubtedly the way of the world but it was hard for a father to take in and Juliana and he had no intention of exacerbating the situation.