Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (05) Plain Sailing (Part 08) Sunday
After agreeing to go sailing with Jeff, Victoria pulled up outside his house.
“Do you want to come in while I get changed?” he asked
“Yes please” she said and switched off the engine “I really need to pee”
“Well now’s a good time” he said “Once we’re out on the water there’s nowhere to go”
While she was waiting for him to change Victoria texted Nez,
“Hi Hon, change of plan, going up to the lake, see you later Vic xxx
As he walked down the stairs Jeff sent a text to Jon
“Going sailing, Jeff”
When he arrived in the kitchen he was similarly dressed to her though he was tanned and toned and looked altogether more comfortable in shorts the she did with her white spindly limbs.
“Where do you go sailing exactly?” she asked after she had regained her composure.
“Teardrop Lake” he replied
“Teardrop Lake?” she exclaimed “Isn’t that private?”
“Yes but I have permission”
“Who from?” she asked suspiciously
“What the film director?” she asked in disbelief
“Yes” he replied
“No honestly who?”
“Peter Lutchford” he repeated “he’s one of our biggest clients, and we got talking one day and I mentioned that I liked to sail and so he invited me up to the lake one Sunday and now he lets me use his dinghy whenever I want”
“Yes I just have to let him know when I want to sail and he says yay or nay”
“Oh I see”
As Jeff’s car was a non-starter, so to speak, they went in Victoria’s Fiesta
“Ok let’s go sailing” Jeff said
“I don’t know where I’m going, so you’ll have to direct me, I know where Teardrop Lake is obviously, who doesn’t? But I don’t know where on the Lake we’re going or which house” she said at a hundred miles an hour.
“There’s no need to be nervous” he said “Sailing really is fun you’ll enjoy it a lot”
“It’s not the sailing that I’m nervous about” she said to herself
“Ok” she said
“I’ll direct you once we get close” Jeff said
They drove through Shallowfield and turned into the lane that passed the Shallowfield Lodge Hotel and crossed the River Brooke as it flowed from the head of the lake and on towards Shallowfield, Mornington and beyond, and then the Lake was suddenly in front of them.
The lake was shaped like a teardrop, hence its name, and surrounded by the ancient woodland of the Dancingdean Forest.
It wasn’t a huge body of water, just over two miles long and almost a mile at its widest point.
But he thought it was simply beautiful and it remained relatively unspoilt which was what made it so special.
The lake was surrounded by a perimeter road which gave access to the 12 significant dwellings that surrounded the lake.
Peter Lutchford and his half-sister Amanda Flanders lived at Forest Lodge on the southern side of the lake.
“Go right here” Jeff said
“Ok” she said
“It’s the 4th House” he added
“Will he be there today?” she asked “Mr Lutchford”
“No he’s away for the day” he replied
“That’s a shame I would have liked to meet him”
“Well there’s always tomorrow” he remarked
“Why what’s happening tomorrow?”
“There’s a party at his house, fancy dress” He said
“This is it, Forest Lodge”