Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (06) It was the Argyle Socks (Part 01)
Tallulah St George was among other things the property manager for the Mornington Estate, a role that was only going to get busier with the reacquisition of the Old RAF Base, Mornington Field.
Her elder brother Gabriel was the Lord of the Manor but she and her three sisters Elspeth, Cordelia and Corliss all played a part in the Estates running along with Philomena Cruickshank better known as Aunty Phil.
Philomena and her dog biscuit returned from their early morning walk at 7 am to find Tallulah was in the Mornington Manor kitchen boiling eggs and burning toast, cooking not being her forte and even boiled egg and soldiers was a little ambitious for her rudimentary skills.
“Hi Auntie Phil” she said brightly “Did you have a good walk?”
“Yes we did” she replied “It’s such a beautiful morning”
Having quickly assessed the situation in the kitchen and Aunty Phil said
“I’ll do that Honey, you go and get yourself ready, we’re leaving in an hour”
Tallulah and Aunty Phil were very close, perhaps because she was the eldest daughter or maybe because they were cut from the same cloth.
Shortly after the death of her father, Valentine, and Gabriel had taken over the running of the estate, her mother Persephone was taken seriously ill.
It was a bitter blow for the family and hit everyone very hard, it felt to them like they had been knocked to floor by their father’s death and were then being kicked while he was on the ground.
So Persephone’s younger sister Philomena moved into the Manor to help nurse her and organize the family at the same time.
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.
And during that time a strong bond was formed between Philomena and the St George Children but the strongest bond of all was that between Aunty Phil and Tally.
They were off to Highfinch for a week, Tally to play Golf and Philomena to spend a restful week away from wedding planning.
They were going to stay with Cousin Michael who had a rather grand house that backed onto the Golf Course.
Tally had played the Lily Green Hollows course many times and it was her favourite, more often than not when she got to play Golf it was at Forest Ridge, which was a great course but it was still a poor second to Lily Green.
Philomena was to marry the Vicar of St Winifred’s Peter Cockcroft the following year but the Church calendar was so crowded they had to plan early.
Philomena had become friends with Peter and his wife Carole almost the moment she arrived in Mornington.
Sadly while Carole was attending to the flowers in the church, she suffered a sudden agonizing headache, so sudden and intense it felt like she had been struck violently on the head, which was in reality the result of a ruptured brain aneurysm.
Carole’s death was so sudden and unexpected that it took a little while for those close to her to come to terms with it and in the end it was the Mornington Summer Fête which brought Peter and Phil together.
But Tallulah took the credit for sealing the deal, when pride and guilt threatened to keep them apart.