Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (33) Love at a Gallop (Part 01)
Copper Beech Farm is in the Dulcets, and the Dulcets consist of a collection of villages and hamlets such as Dulcet Meadow, Dulcet St Mary, Dulcet Green and Dulcet-on-Brooke to name but a few and
After moving up to Copper Beech farm Lynda Radcliffe’s riding School went from strength to strength.
So much so that she increased her stable of horses from six to nine and in addition to the short term girls she employed from the local village she took on an old friend, Hazel Morris, to manage things at the yard for her.
The farm belonged to Anthony Holmes though he was not a farmer and never would be, he was a computer geek and a fairly successful one at that.
He employed a skinny young woman named Charlotte Clode as manager but inadvertently they fell in love and became a couple just before Christmas.
Hazel Morris had fallen on hard times and as luck would have it her arrival at the farm came only a few weeks after Charlotte had moved into the farmhouse with Anthony so she was able to live on site in the converted part of the stable block which had previously been Charlotte’s home.
It had a bedroom, a sitting room, a small kitchen area and a toilet and shower, which suited her needs very well.
It was a very significant moment for Charlotte as it drew a line under her old life and committed her to her future with Anthony.
But Hazel’s arrival also gave them an ally in their quest to finally unite Lynda Radcliffe and Elliott Browning.
She had known Lynda for many years and could think of no one else who deserved happiness more than she did.
Hazel was in a bind financially and all her money was going straight to her debtors even though the debts were her ex-husbands.
Their house was repossessed, as was their car and most of her possessions were sold to pay creditors.
She was left with a modest selection of clothes and two small boxes of photos, family papers and precious mementoes.
As time went on Hazel became friends with Anthony and Charlotte and they were able to help her out by giving her addition work on the farm and in exchange they didn’t charge her rent for her rooms, and as that was her largest personal expenditure she was able to pay off her debts even quicker.
The task of fixing up 28 year old Spinster Lynda Radcliffe with the gregarious larger than life Dr Elliott Browning proved a more prolonged endeavour than anticipated.
Anthony and Charlotte had decided to give the Doctor the gift of six riding lessons as a thank you for the treatment Charlotte received when she was struck down with a very nasty fever the previous autumn.
But although the gift was made in January the earliest opening in the Riding Club diary wasn’t until the beginning of March.
Hazel Morris kept the identity of Lynda’s final Wednesday afternoon pupil a secret.
They had booked Elliott in as the last one of the day in the hope that they would drift seamlessly into a date after the event.
As it turned out it wasn’t until Elliott’s next lesson, three days later, that the big jovial doctor and the good hearted spinster were discovered in the barn locked in a passionate embrace.