Daisy had been shocked at Annie’s announcement and had put up a good argument at why she shouldn’t even consider the property, Annie had stubbornly stood her ground, and for the first time in her life she had asserted herself. As she had quite calmly said to Daisy, it’s not as if she couldn’t afford the cottage and its renovations. Ben had said he would sort everything out for her and the two women had driven individually back to Annie’s. This had given her the much-needed time to calm her thoughts and increasing excitement. She had fallen in love with the cottage, it had felt loved and yes it was in need of decorating etc., and probably some building work. Her thoughts instantly went to colour schemes and new kitchen, she did love to cook.
Back at the cottage, Daisy had continued her views until conceding that with work it would be a good investment. After Daisy had left with a ‘you have my number just ring if you have any questions’ Annie decided to take a walk along the beach, she loved nothing more than the sounds of the waves falling onto the shore then the shingling sound as it subsided back into the ocean. As she walked down the path to the sea, she breathed in the wonderful sea air, she could feel it filling her lungs, and as always giving her a wonderful feeling of being at one with the sea. The day had turned out warm and lifted her mood even higher, she wanted to laugh, scream, shout and a bubble of madness churned up inside of her until she burst out with a ‘YES!!!!!’ then laughing at herself, she carried on down the path to the beach. The beach at Combe Martin was beautiful, the side she had come down, went first to pebbles then to sand, with the tide out the two beaches joined, so you could walk from one beach to the other and then into the small town. Annie had put a couple of bags in her pockets and was busily gathering shells, and interesting pebbles. An interesting piece of driftwood had been swept up onto the beach; it was black and white in colour, looking at it she could feel the sea energy tingling in her hand. Before long her bags were starting to fill, and she had hardly moved, shading her eyes she looked out over the horizon, all was so calm, so wonderfully calm. She was so lost in her own world, she jumped out of her skin when a soggy wet brown and white spaniel jumped up at her and started licking madly, tail wagging, laughing at the mad dog antics Annie stroked and pushed the dog away from her, this unfortunately excited the dog even more and started to run round and round her barking with excitement, the sand spraying everywhere as it jumped and ran. ‘Poppy, naughty dog, Poppy come here, I’m so sorry Mrs Marsh I don’t know what came over Poppy’ Sandra Tilsley came out of breath towards her, lead hanging aimlessly from her hand. Catching her breath she quickly tethered Poppy telling her off as she did so. Poppy however had other ideas and started jumping and pulling at the lead. Annie couldn’t stop laughing until Sandra gave in and let the dog of the lead, it didn’t take Poppy long to run off and chase seagulls on the beach. ‘Dam dog’ she grumbled ‘it was my daughters dog until the baby arrived and they couldn’t cope with it, and I was stupid enough to say I’d take her!’ they watched Poppy’s antics for a while, then Sandra asked her how she was getting on in the cottage, they chatted for a bit until Poppy seeing something in the distance had decided to chase leaving poor Sandra shouting ‘sorry, catch up another time….Poppy come here you bad dog…’ as she chased after the dog. Annie watched as Sandra chased Poppy her plump body in bright Wellington’s made for a comical sight.
Making her way into town, she decided to nip into the newsagent and thank Sue for her help the other day, when she had embarrassingly passed out. The shop was quite busy, so she decided to grab a couple of bits whilst she waited for the shop to quiet down. Sorting through the magazines, she picked up the local paper and a couple of magazines, a chocolate bar she fancied, and headed over to the bakery section, grabbed a loaf of bread and some ham, a nice sandwich when she got home, her tummy rumbling in anticipation; Heading over to the till she passed by the alcohol section and one section was locally brewed wines and ciders. On impulse she picked up an elderflower wine, and a blackberry wine. By this time the shop had emptied to just one or two customers, ‘Hi Sue’ as she placed her items on the counter ‘Annie, how are you, I’m just about to put kettle on have you time for a cuppa?’ smiling Annie nodded and was duly sent round the back to put kettle on and Sue would be with her in the flick of a lambs tail. The shop kitchen was a small cosy little space housing a small cooker, a worktop with cupboard above which housed the cups, biscuits, coffee, tea and sugar, and various plates. The kettle sat on the worktop, picking it up Annie filled it up and switched it on, grabbing to mugs and a spoon from the drawer, she put coffee and sugar in hers and waited for Sue to come through to see what she was having. Looking around she could see on the fridge numerous childlike drawings of crayons and felts of houses, cars and stick people with large heads. ‘My granddaughters artwork, she’s not long started nursery school and loves to bring her nanny a drawing’ smiling she gestured for them to sit, ‘how’s it going?, did the lady from the lottery come down?’ laughing Annie replied ‘yes and yes ‘briefly she told Sue about Daisy’s visit and how it hadn’t really hit her as yet. Sue considered Annie for a moment then as if deciding took her hand ‘Annie when you were here and had fainted, when we bought you round you was terrified of a Simon? Now it’s none of my business and tell me to butt out if you want, are you hiding from this Simon?’ Annie had to take a moment to gather her thoughts, and sipped her coffee, Sue watched her with concern ‘I’m sorry Annie I should mind my own business but you remind me of my daughter, and I guess I feel protective’