Well, my dears I promised that I would update you after my coffee morning with Teddy and Giselle. Of course, everything didn’t go quite to plan – whenever does it? As you know my two friends were coming along to give me information (and gossip) relating to the death of poor Patricia. I had arranged for Teddy to come a little earlier than Giselle as I wanted to have a private conversation with her before G joined us.
I was just getting ready when I was a surprised by a knock on my door. Visitors need to come through the door entry system. The resident buzzes them in, and gives directions to their flat – if this is their first visit.
As the buzzer hadn’t sounded, the person at my door must live within the building. Yes, you’ve guessed it – Mrs. M had decided to pop round for coffee and biscuits. I’m always delighted to see Mrs. M – she’s a charming person, and we always have a lovely chat. However, she normally rings first and asks if it’s convenient. This time she didn’t, and it wasn’t – but I didn’t want to be discourteous so of course, I invited her in and while the coffee was filtering I went into the bedroom and sent a couple of text messages asking my two friends if they could possibly delay their visit by one hour.
Within a couple of minutes I received texts from both girls saying that it wasn’t a problem. Teddy would take Harry for an unexpected and very welcome walk on the beach while G said it would allow her time to ice a couple of cakes.
I went back to find Mrs M had covered the dinner wagon with one of my embroidered tablecloths, placed a large plate of shortbread biscuits, two side plates and coffee cups and saucers ready for the coffee which had by now filtered through the machine. Together with a small jug of cream Mrs. M had ensured that we had everything to make our impromptu coffee morning ready for us.
As I had managed to delay the girls for a while I sat down ready to enjoy my coffee with Mrs. M. We haven’t had much time to chat recently, so it was very pleasant so hear what she had been doing. Apparently the coffee shop is due to open this week and the new owners had brought several flyers into our complex. These detailed special offers for residents in their first week of opening – toasted teacakes included in the price of coffee during the mornings and warm buttered scones in the afternoons.
We decided to go there both in a morning and also in the afternoon on different days. In this way we would be able to observe other customers without it being obvious. Mrs. M said that she had already made arrangements for go with Mr. S for lunch one day. Whilst she was drinking her second cup of coffee she mentioned that Patricia’s flat had had been visited several times by various officials. Apparently, she had been told this by the person who lives in the flat across the corridor from Patricia. Mrs. M didn’t have any further news to give me – she was a little more interested in finding out whether I had any green yarn she could “borrow”. She wanted to knit a shawl to go with a silk dress and jacket she had just bought. I suggested that she would need a 4ply otherwise it may look too heavy over the silk. There was much to consider, according to Mrs. M. It would take her too long to knit it – she wanted to wear the outfit for an evening reception to which she had received a special invitation. I went and brought out a selection of yarn which I thought might be appropriate. That was definitely a mistake – she couldn’t make up her mind. She loved two of them and wanted them both. She thought it would be lovely to have a shawl in each of the two yarns because they would complement the outfit perfectly for different occasions – and then she went for it – “you knit so beautifully, please do you think you could make them for me?” When you’re put on the spot like that what can you say, other than, “well, I’ll probably be able to complete one by the end of next week.”
Once that had been decided, she suddenly had to go. In other words, the main reason for the visit was to wheedle me into knitting a shawl for her. What can you do, though – she’s an elderly lady and I find it difficult to refuse!
Once Mrs. M had departed I rushed around tidying things and putting out fresh cups and saucers. I knew Giselle would be bringing cakes so I just brought the cake stand out, together with my cake knife. I reset the coffee machine and less than two minutes later the entry system buzzer sounded. I answered and it was Teddy asking if she and Harry could come up.
It was lovely to see them again, although it had only been a couple of days since we were at Patricia’s funeral. Once Harry was settled we decided to have a cup of coffee even though G would be here in about half-an-hour. Teddy was able to give me some details regarding Patricia’s death. It definitely wasn’t an accident – we both knew that already. It was the callous murder of an elderly woman who hadn’t done anything wrong. Teddy was also the CSI who had been in Patricia’s flat – apparently it had been ransacked and left in a complete shambles.
Teddy had been trying to lift fingerprints from the flat. This had been a very large undertaking as although Patricia usually kept it spotless, everything had been emptied out of containers in the kitchen. Jars of talcum powder had been emptied in the bathroom and bedroom which made the job nearly impossible. We were saying how wicked this was when the buzzer sounded again.
This time it was Giselle. She arrived at my door a few minutes later, laden with biscuit and cake tins which she had carefully balanced in her wicker baskets. While she unloaded her goodies, Teddy made another pot of coffee (I won’t sleep tonight after all this caffeine). G had excelled herself. There were dainty cupcakes, fruit scones, carrot cake and my favourite chocolate brownies. There was even a pot of whipped cream.
While we were choosing what to eat Harry wandered over and sat by Teddy’s feet. He looked up at her and gave a single woof, We all laughed as it was perfectly obvious what he wanted. Knowing that any of these could upset him, I went into my kitchen and brought out a couple of baby bonios – the treat size. Harry’s tail wagged like mad, so I placed them in front of him. Well, they didn’t last long. Before I could even sit down again, he had finished them!
My dears – just look at the time! I really can’t continue with this just at the moment. I have too many other things which I must get on with – including starting a shawl for Mrs. M!! I will pick it up at this point next time, but in the meantime – As Always –
With Love – Jan xx