Well, this has been 10 days to remember – Mrs R, IS and ES have all been suffering from flu for some days. Between the three of our girls they’ve missed 11 days of school.
In between, we had two heavy snowfalls – the second fall resulted in five days of sheet ice and the worst driving conditions that I can recall in this country.
Worst of all, we were due to make the long trek south to Hove before my mother’s 80th Birthday, but illness prevented us leaving the house. Ho-bloody-hum!
Happy Christmas to all my readers!
Back to the novel.......
Chapter 8 concludes with the family returning to Beckside House; on the way home there is an involved and animated conversation about getting a pet – which pet, how many pets, what colour - is punctured by the car breaking down.
Chapter 9 has the Joshua family getting more integrated in village life. Nick has to go on a photo-assignment in West Yorkshire, and Kate takes the girls to visit Julia. Julia goes into a diatribe about her life in the Church, but it’s all finding members of the village who will swell the meagre numbers who go to the Church - and Kate, who likes Julia a lot, has put to put their cards on the table.
It is also time for the Joshuas to prepare for their girls to go to school. Hughesy, a postman, who delivers oppose at any time of day and night, arrive is and joins in the burgeoning conversation about pets.
Chapter 10 is long and important one. It is Bella’s birthday and presents are being opened. But there is one final gift which Nick and Kate tell Bella about – they will go to the RSPCA in York and Bella will choose a pet.
Within the hour they are in the car and heading south to York. The Joshuas receive an informative welcome but their feelings turn to anguish as they see the large number of dogs who are caged and yelping and barking – these are all unwanted dogs who desperately need an owner. But they haven’t come for a dog – of course Bella is dog-phobic – and they are directed to the small reptiles and small mammals department where the choices are between....a tortoise, two rats and two African snails. The family go to a local café to make a family decision.
After lunch they return to the RSPCA and have a family vote in the garden. But Bella has wandered off. She is attracted by a dog in a compound on its own. The next thing the family notices is that Bell is missing and they find her talking to this dog: they are astonished. They are even more astonished when they see Bella stroking the dog and she finally tells them that this is the pet that she wants!
The Joshuas are then house-checked by an RSPCA agent and they wait impatiently for the decision.
12 pages : 3680 words