Practically Perfect

Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde Page B

Book: Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde Read Free Book Online
Authors: Katie Fforde
biscuit she wanted, helped herself. ‘Hate him, I mean?’
    ‘Well, no, not really. I agree that these are very special houses—’
    ‘Very small houses.’
    ‘And they should be done properly. I just feel a bit daunted about doing it.’
    ‘I have huge faith in you, Anna. Think what you’ve done already. Even your sister would be proud of you. The floor is lovely.’
    ‘Yes, it has worked OK, hasn’t it? I might ring my sister. If I’m going to make this darn staircase, I’d better get my boards. Oh, where are the boys?’
    ‘Bruno and Tom are playing with Alistair, a friend of Bruno’s from school. Harry’s having a nap. I wondered why you said darn.’
    Anna drained her cup. ‘Thank you so much, Chloe. I feel revived now. You’re such a good friend, even if you didn’t tell me Rob was coming to dinner.’
    Chloe laughed and patted Anna’s arm. ‘Yes, well, a good friend who wants an en suite in her garret,’ she said. ‘When you’ve got a moment.’
    ‘I’ll do it as light relief from the damn staircase. Come on, Caroline, time to go home.’
    Once she’d let Caroline out into the garden and back in again, Anna telephoned her sister. Laura was pleased to hear how Anna had got on, though also worried. ‘Oh my God!’ she said. ‘Are you sure you can do it yourself? I mean a plain staircase is one thing, but one that’s practically spiral is something else.’
    ‘I know. But the listed buildings man – Rob Hunter – said that was what I had to have.’
    ‘Can’t you appeal? You mustn’t let these people bully you, you know.’
    ‘I don’t know if I could appeal, but my heart tells me he’s right.’
    ‘You and your heart, Anna.’
    Anna chuckled. ‘I was wondering about how to get my boards, Laura.’
    ‘What, in the storage place? It’s funny you should say that, but the bill came the other day, and I was thinking it’s fearfully expensive, and if we haven’t missed the stuff, and I haven’t, we should get rid of it.’
    Anna instantly felt guilty. ‘I should pay you something towards the cost of the storage unit.’
    ‘Nonsense,’ Laura replied resolutely, ‘but if you want your boards and we want to get rid of most of the stuff, we’ll have to come down with a van and collect it.’
    ‘It’s an awfully long way.’
    ‘We wouldn’t do it in a day.’ Laura had obviously been thinking about it. ‘We’d stay the night with Sally in London, and drive back the next day, dropping your boards off with you.’
    ‘Would you want to stay?’ Anna tried not to sound alarmed at the prospect.
    Laura laughed. ‘Don’t worry. I’m dying to see how you’re getting on, but one night on a floor will be enough for me. I’m not as young as I was.’
    ‘What about the boys?’
    ‘Will’s mother will have them, I hope. I need a night away so badly! You’ve no idea!’
    Anna realised her sister did sound rather exhausted. ‘Laura, if ever you want me to come up and stay for a weekend so you can go away, I will.’
    ‘Sweetie, that’s lovely, but you’ve got enough on your plate at the moment. I’ll ring Will and see what he thinks about the van.’
    When Laura got going, the tough lay down and did as she wanted. Within twenty-four hours she had organised time off for Will, a weekend with their grandparents for her sons, and a bed for the night in London for just over a week’s time.
    ‘Your sister is amazing,’ said Chloe, watching Anna measure her stairs for seemingly the nineteenth time. ‘I can’t wait to meet her. You mustn’t let her come here though, unless you give me plenty of warning.’
    ‘You could come over and have coffee when she and Will come then,’ Anna suggested.
    ‘Won’t that be a bit much for Caroline? If I’ve got the boys with me?’
    ‘Well, it will be a bit. We’ll have to think. Now I must go and make a start on these drawings. I want to have something substantial to show Laura.’
    At midnight that night Anna was still sitting at her

Similar Books

Lipstick Jihad

Azadeh Moaveni

Living Violet

Jaime Reed

Beneath the Ice

Patrick Woodhead


Ann Jacobs

The Eden Effect

David Finchley