Leggings - Fake Trails...
Leggings - Fake Trails....
I was out shopping with Phylis one morning, to resolve her material shortages, and over coffee help chose a winning designer from her three students. All keen as mustard to work a range of their very
Kitty had become senior supervisor, and now managed the first shop by herself with two of the students for company. Phyliss was setting up the new shop nearer to the main shopping centre. Not so many original designs, a few last years – and then before that, at very affordable prices.
“People who want originality, and will go all the way, can call in to Kitty and her minions.” she told me gaily over coffee and cake. “Go on choose the best ones.”
What she provided me with shocked me. All the designs photographed in their final stages, were placed around a grid, six to a line, twelve lines long. No names were given. It had to be fair.
“How will you know who did what/” I asked her. “They are all rather good!”
The colour spread was amazing. It varied from pale lemon, right through to deepest purples. “How many seasons are they trying to cover?”
The winner goes into the window over Christmas – from mid November, onwards! Own label! Then I see how that goes... over three months, the others two have to wait until that's over, then I'm inclined to let them try the summer ranges from April onwards... It will all have to be done on marks for each piece. So see the little square in the pictures, put a number in each one from 1 to 6 on how much you lik e it. 6 being excellent, 1 being poor and so on!”
I set too immediately. The easiest ones to mark were the ones I hated on sight! I put 1 or 2 in nearly all the lines.
“The best ones next!” Phyliss commanded calmly. “they are easy to spot.”
They were. “Okay the 5's have it!” I replied gaily sticking down 5's. It took about 2 mmutes to choose 10.
“Well all you got to do now is choose the worst of what's left,” laughed Kitty, “They are 2's.”
I nodded. Breaking it up did make it easier. Another twenty hit the dust.
“Dead Lame!” chuckled Phyliss, “I tried this method on Kitty yesterday, and then stopped it. She's so tender hearted, she didn't want to put the students down!”
I had to laugh. It must be hard if youve got to know them. “Are you going to use her scores?”
“Not this time. One day she'll have to make her mind up to be a little more objective.”
As I whisked through the 3 and 4 with confidence, she said suddenly. “I wanted to talk to you. I heard a Norfolk story the other day. It's a bit nasty, as true Norfolk stories are. I didn't want to burden Kitty with it...”i
“Yes, and No.” she went on. “Listen up. It may be a fake trail. A young man, very strange, hiding his face went to see a local preacher one day, at a little village location, outside Ingham. He gave into her hands a key and the deeds to a tittle cottage on the other side of the road. “I'm going to die soon. Please will you give it to her?”
So the Preacher who had never met the man before, and yet was interested in his tale, sat him down and took all the details he could give her. As soon as she'd finished promising, and writing it down, he left. “I can't come back,” he said to her, “Yet if she lives here I can come and see her.”
Some weeks later the young man died. The Preacher a practical woman was left holding the house for the woman he'd loved. The house and garden became untended, the stones became more evident with every year. People asked her for the key to the house, if they could rent it, for it was a pretty cottage, with a large garden, conservatory, with a view over the fields... a big sky.... She refused saying she must keep he promise to the young man who'd assured her that his love knew she'd come herself for the key.
Only she never came. Years more passed. People wondered if it was legal. People wondered if it was that the church was greedy and was hanging onto the loot. It was obvious that there was a problem.”
“A problem?” I said half falling off the bar stool. “What was the problem?”
“The church in other areas had taken up a fight with the woman. They were almost all MacDonalds and were determined that she could have nothing back. They were set on keeping up the Scottish curse. She could not be allowed to own a house! How could she believe that they would let her get away with that!”
“That sounds like someone I know!”
“Yes, never let them know what you have!”
“They are all doolally!”
“Yes, only they've held that house as collateral for their damn game.”
“So it's a true story?”
“I'm not sure I'd go that far. It's talked of. And you need to know it. As he loved you. Only you have to consider if he did love you, if he left this house as prize to be given only when you lose everything you have to the Dreadfuls!”
With that, she got up, gathered my homework up, and smiled, “Think about it. Really Did he or didn't he... or was the house to give them a different focus. Where he could find all of them.”
I sipped the cold coffee. It was as bitter as the story. It felt like poison in my throat. “I never talk about him. It's as if sometimes it was a bad dream. Then I wish. That I could see him again.”
Phyliss sighed. “It hurts. I know. Only you got to let him go.”
“The story could apply to both Kitty and me,” I said slowly, “She suffered a church group, mostly men making remarks when she goes to the toilet.”
“Yes, perhaps that was the Barnacled Onion lot.” said Phyliss unhappily, “They were advertising for more broad minded amateur actors this week on Uj!”
“Unemployed people do that to other people... “ I was speechless.
“The more desperate the better!” she said and turned to go, “Take care, Leggings, you can tell Kitty the story. I have to work with her... And there's matter of which fake trail you took... this one or an earlier one...”
Can I work this one out? Not without a pickled egg...