Wedding Tiers

Wedding Tiers by Trisha Ashley

Book: Wedding Tiers by Trisha Ashley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Trisha Ashley
    ‘I can see you have it all in hand,’ Dorrie said. ‘Now, perhaps we had better see what those two young men have been discussing. And I am sure you and I,’ she added to me, ‘have much more idea of what is wanted, regarding vegetable plots, than they do!’

Chapter Seven

Gathering In
    By the end of October all was safely gathered in, as the old harvest hymn has it. Or almost all. My elderly neighbour helped me to make a beetroot clamp and then store away the last of the carrot crop in layers of sand, and I’m still pickling and chutney making. I’ve also dug over the pea and bean beds, set out Brussels sprout plants and divided clumps of chives.
    Throughout all this, the Artist could be seen in his studio, working on a new series of three-dimensional paintings. He had to be coaxed out from time to time to help with heavy jobs, like chopping logs into firewood and hefting sacks of henfood about; but I expect it did him good.
    ‘Cakes and Ale’
    Now Ben was home, life should have settled back into the cosy, comforting, uneventful round of cooking, dog-walking and gardening, but I found that I still felt vaguely uneasy.
    Of course, the even rhythm of our former existence was bound to change once Libby exploded onto the scene like a demonstration of chaos theory in miniature. But actually, that didn’t bother me in the least, for I was used to Libby and very happy that she was going to be living in Neatslake again. No, it was just a feeling that something wasn’t
, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was…
    Ben, too, seemed even more abstracted than usual and hadthrown himself into finishing his latest series of paintings. He tended to work on five or six simultaneously, and I never knew what to call them: paintings, installations, constructions, or just artworks. They all
as flat canvases, but then things began to burst out of them, because two dimensions simply weren’t enough for Ben and couldn’t contain his imagery, which dripped, oozed, sidled sideways or simply exploded into 3-D.
    His original inspiration came from our shared love of thrusting, exuberant and earthy nature, full of flowers, rampant foliage and small living creatures. I’d always considered him a brilliant artist and I still did, even though what had been emerging more recently was much darker and (though I hadn’t, of course, said so) rather nasty. I hoped it was just a temporary phase.
    As I worked in the garden I noticed that he was getting an awful lot of calls on his mobile, which seemed to make him cross, but then, if he didn’t want to be disturbed he should have switched it off!
    Once the woodworm treatment at Blessings was done, and the rooms aired, Libby and I returned to our dusting and cleaning, keeping one room ahead of the specialist painters. I was amazed at Libby’s stamina. I was only helping out for an hour or two in the afternoons because of all my cake-making and other commitments, but she seemed to be working dawn to dusk.
    When we took the old curtains down they pretty well fell to pieces, but she had surfed the internet and found a firm who sold medieval-style crewelwork curtains and fabric by the metre, all curly foliage, birds and rabbits—lovely, though very expensive.
    Dorrie brought her friend Miss Hebe Winter (who is my friend Sophy’s great-aunt), to look around one day while we were working. The room we were in was a bit gloomy and for a minute we thought we were seeing ghosts, because they walked in wearing Elizabethan dress. Miss Winter, who is tall, grand and aquilineof nose, is a dead ringer for the Virgin Queen, and even Dorrie was transformed by a wide ruff and full skirts, despite having kept her beret on.
    It turned out they’d been to a historical re-enactment society meeting in Sticklepond. Lots of the members help out as volunteers at Winter’s End in full costume, when it’s open to the public. They are very big on the Elizabethan over there, especially

Similar Books


Paul Johnson

David's Inferno

David Blistein

The Star of Kazan

Eva Ibbotson


Jaci Burton

Children of the Dawn

Patricia Rowe

An Affair of the Heart

David George Richards

Primal Calling

Jillian Burns