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Miss Power's Great Adventure
Miss Power's Great Adventure
Miss Power's Great Adventure
Электронная книга343 страницы5 часов

Miss Power's Great Adventure

Автор Janette Davies

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Miss Power's Great Adventure

Book 1

When Carole Power agreed to give up her job as a teacher in a large Comprehensive School, in order to work in a bar in Southern Spain, little did she realise what she was letting herself in for.

It isn't long before she dumps, Lyle, her two-timing boyfriend, gives in her notice at the bar run by his hen-pecked brother, Ben, and dippy sister in-law, Angi, and finds herself in desperate need of a job.

When, Guillermo, a mysterious Spanish neighbour gets himself in a spot of bother, Carole, and new friend, Sarah-Jane, rush to the rescue: this is only the beginning of Carole's great Spanish adventure!

***

Book 2

Has Carole found the man of her dreams?

Will Guillermo be able to resist the scheming ways of a neighbour?

Life on the Spanish Costa is good – well, that is until the arrival of Perky Perkins and his scatterbrain Project Manager, Angi Bailey.

New residents for Apartamentos Paraiso - Ludo, a Belgian man who breeds pedigree Spitz dogs, and Magda, a soon to be divorced lady from the English Midlands, who is keen to re-invent herself.

Two young Russian visitors disturb the tranquillity of Andreu and Luis, who live in the penthouse. Only after Babushka Ellena confides in another Paraiso resident, does peace resume - well, sort of!

Drug dealing in a local bar, murder in a beauty spot, unexpected birth, death, and marriage combined with a most unusual inheritance, once again, bring romantic chaos to the Costa.

ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательJanette Davies
Дата выпуска19 янв. 2018 г.
ISBN9781386225782
Miss Power's Great Adventure
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Janette Davies

Janette Davies (1950-2019) was a social and medical anthropologist at the International Gender Studies Centre, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. Formerly a nurse/midwife she worked in international development in Bolivia, on the Thai/Cambodian border and Bangladesh. She conducted anthropological fieldwork in the UK, Zambia, Tanzania and Georgia.

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    Miss Power's Great Adventure - Janette Davies

    BOOK 1

    Sarah-Jane and Mark

    Welcome to Paradise, Mrs. Cressidge, said Mark, before flexing his muscles, scooping her up and opening the door. She started giggling as he carried her across the threshold and gasped as he kicked the door closed with his heel.

    Putting her down, and after performing an ‘exhausted’ mime, he planted a quick kiss on her lips and went back to fetch the suitcases. Returning, he opened the bedroom door and placed the cases next to the wardrobe. Last into bed’s a socialist. Hurry up!

    Mark, what about the unpacking?

    That can wait – I can’t. Come here!

    Sarah-Jane sat propped up on the pillows, her green eyes sparkling: turning to Mark she sighed and said, "I think we’re going to be really happy here. Our Apartamento Paraiso, is aptly named, don’t you think?"

    Yes, I do. I just hope you will be okay on your own when I go back to work, he said, idly playing with a strand of her auburn hair.

    I’m going to be fine. The area seems nice and quiet – can’t see anything earth-shattering happening around here, can you? We’ll soon make lots of friends, you’ll see. I’m sure all the apartments in this block are now occupied, so there will be people around all the time.

    Yes, you’re probably right – just me being paranoid about leaving my new, gorgeous, wife. Just watch out for sex starved Spaniards!

    No problema, Señor"

    He reached over and kissed the top of her head, and resting his elbow on the pillow, looked at her and said: Seriously, Sarah-Jane, I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get here but I hope you think the wait’s been worth it. I really do love you. Mark pulled her towards him and hugged her.

    Yes, I know you do and yes, the wait has been worth it. We’ve just got to convince all those stupid kids of ours! She laughed and added Fat chance of that happening though.

    Well, forget the kids and anything else in wintery England. Don’t move - stay there - I’ve got something for you, Mark said with a laugh.

    Oh no! Not again Mark, I’m exhausted!

    You should be so lucky, Mrs. C. I’m off to get us a drink.

    Mark returned about fifteen minutes later carrying a tray with a bottle of cava, two glasses and a platter of smoked salmon and scrambled egg on croissants. Sarah-Jane’s eyes widened in amazement when she saw the tray. Mark laughed Sorry I’ve been so long, but I had to cook the eggs!

    It’s 3 o’clock in the morning, where on earth did this come from?

    I greased the palm of a native, and hey presto! a buffet fit for a newly married couple, appeared in the fridge!! Well, actually, you know when I had to go away unexpectedly to Bristol last week? I didn’t go to Bristol, I came out here and organised it with the young couple upstairs; the ones who run Benji’s Bar.I told them we were getting married and they were delighted to help, so I gave them a key. Also, when you get up, have a look in the lounge, you’ll find a big surprise there.

    A surprise? Tell me Mark, what it is?

    It won’t be a surprise if I tell you, will it? No, you’ll have to go and see for yourself – after we’ve eaten our feast and drunk the cava.

    Sarah-Jane slid out of bed, tying her new spearmint green silk dressing gown tightly around her slim body .She ruffled Mark’s hair, gathered up the glasses and crockery onto the tray and deposited them in the kitchen. Walking into the lounge, she saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers, with a card saying they were from Ben and Angi, together with a box of her favourite liqueur chocolates from the other young couple, Carole and Lyle, who worked with them in the restaurant. Mark put his arm around her and gently kissed her neck. Well?

    Wow, how lovely!I bet they were surprised that a couple of old crocks like us had only just got married.

    Speak for yourself. I’m only 52...er...ish. Anyway, I told them I’d been chasing you for nearly 20 years and I’d only just caught you.

    52!! Funny that, I’m 48 and you’re ten years older than me. Hmm,  seems like 20 years though, doesn’t it?

    Yup it does, even though it’s only ten. Don’t you worry yourself, S-J, there’s life in the old dog yet. There might be a bit of snow on the mountain, but the valley’s still fertile!

    The next morning at breakfast, Sarah-Jane suggested to Mark that they should ask Ben and Angi, together with the other young couple, down for a drink to say thank you for their kindness and gifts. Mark agreed and said he would pop into their bar later and ask them to come for tapas when they next had time off.

    On the evening of the following Monday, the two couples came down for a get-together with the newlyweds.

    Come on in and sit down, said their host. Shall we start with a bottle of Cava?

    MMmm,  lovely, Angi laughed and after licking her lips, she adjusted her mini-skirt an inch higher and added, It’s my favourite.

    Anything alcoholic is my sister-in law’s favourite, said Lyle, winking at Mark. At that moment, Sarah-Jane came in from the kitchen. Angi took in every detail of the hostess’s appearance, from her immaculate auburn hair to her strappy, silver sandals.

    Hello everyone.I’ve just popped some nibbles in the oven, they won’t take long.

    They all raised their glasses and said, Cheers.

    Sarah-Jane put her glass down saying, Won’t be a minute

    Carole quickly jumped up making all the gold charms on her bracelet jangle - I’ll help you carry something in - and followed her into the kitchen. They returned a few moments later with two big platters of mixed tapas and put them on the coffee table.

    Help yourselves, said Mark, handing everyone a plate and serviette. We just wanted to say 'Thank You' for being so kind.

    Yes, added Sarah–Jane, "The flowers are lovely and chocolates were delicious." Mark poured more drinks and Sarah-Jane handed more tapas to her guests.

    Have another serviette Carole; you don’t want to get any marks on that lovely white dress. Did you buy it here?

    Before she had time to answer, Angi said, We get all our stuff from the markets, don’t we Carole? They are amazing – not like the markets in Bru..er...Birmingham.I got this skirt and top, plus my ear-rings for ten euros last Saturday. They’ve got them in all colours, not just orange and purple. She jumped up and pulling her top even further down, did a twirl.

    Well, you certainly er..bought quite a bargain, there. I’ll have to go and check them out myself.

    Ben glared at Angi and turning to Mark, asked, Are you living here permanently, or going back to the U.K?

    Unfortunately, I’ve got a few more years to go before I retire. Sarah-Jane’s finished work now and she’s staying here, but I’ll be coming back every couple of weeks or so.

    What do you do? enquired Angi, reaching across the table and grabbing the bottle.

    I’m a Doctor – at the Q.E. in Birmingham – not a GP. Mark replied.

    Angi’s eyes widened, Gosh. Were you there as well, Sarah-Jane? Were you a nurse?

    Sarah-Jane took a sip of wine and said, Yes, I was at the same hospital, but I wasn’t a nurse, I was in ...

    Don’t tell me – admin! You were in admin, weren’t you? interrupted Angi, smiling, All those dishy doctors giving you reports and things to type, eh? Bet you had a great time when you were younger. Oh! I don’t mean you are old, I just meant..er..

    Ben looked at his wife in exasperation and said, Do shut up, Angi and have another drink!

    They all laughed and Carole asked Mark when he would be going back. I’ve got another two weeks off and then I’ll be back at the end of the month. We’re going to try to get a car this week, so Sarah-Jane can get out and about and do the apartment as she wants it.

    Right. If you want to know where all the best stores are, Sarah-Jane, I’ll show you.

    She thanked Carole: I’d really appreciate that. The furniture in this room is okay for the moment, but I really need to get bedroom furniture for the two spare rooms. Sarah-Jane responded, adding What about my hair though?

    Oh! You want go to ‘Spanish Beauty’ when you want your highlights and eyebrows doing again, said Angi, then in a theatrical whisper They’re also really good for doing ..you know..er..your bits and things – I’ll take you.

    Mark looked at Ben and Lyle and winked – What bits and things?

    Don’t encourage her, Mark. My wife can be so dippy at times. Come on Angi – think you’ve had enough for tonight. Standing up, he continued, Thanks for everything – good to meet you both. Perhaps you’ll come and have a drink with us in ‘Benji’s’ next week."

    Love to, thanks.

    Well, what do you think of our neighbours?asked Mark, when they had gone.

    I liked Carole, but I wasn’t keen on the other three, his wife replied. Carole and Lyle are a strange couple – can’t imagine what she sees in him, can you? She seems really intelligent but he seems, well, ..er...a bit thick, for want of a better word. For some reason, I wouldn’t trust Angi and Ben as far as I could throw them, continued Sarah-Jane, Would you? I think they are trying to be something there’re not.

    Mark hesitated for a moment, then, taking Sarah-Jane’s hand replied. No. I think you’re right in what you say. I suspect there is a bit of history with that family! I’m not absolutely sure, but I think Lyle may be taking drugs. I couldn’t see his eyes properly because he never seemed to look directly at me when he spoke, but I’m pretty sure he’s on something.

    God! Do you think the others are as well? Sarah-Jane gasped. I don’t think Carole can be because I got a good look at her in the kitchen. I thought she had beautiful eyes – typical ‘English Rose’ complexion – just like Princess Diana – you know, blue eyed blonde.

    Yes, she is a pretty young lady; she’ll have to watch her skin when the sun gets stronger. I don’t think she’s taking anything – not hard drugs anyway. I don’t think Angi is either.I think she’s been under a cosmetic surgeon’s knife a few times, though. Probably been under quite a lot of things by the look of her! Busty blondes are definitely not my type – give me a leggy, green-eyed redhead any day! He slipped his arms round her waist and his hands started to undo the buttons on her blouse – Anyway, more than a handful’s too much!

    Come on, Doctor Cressidge, that’s enough ‘medi-talk’ for tonight. Bed!!

    Is that an offer I can’t refuse?

    Yup!

    Two weeks later, as Sarah-Jane walked away from the parked car, she heard someone calling her name. Turning around, she saw Carole walking towards her carrying a stick of bread.

    Hi! Has Mark gone back?

    Sarah-Jane smiled, Yes, he’s booked on the first plane out. He doesn’t like me to wait ’til it’s taken off, so I’ve left him in the departure lounge. Gosh, that bread smells good, where’d you get it from at this time in the morning?

    Didn’t you know, there’s a little bread shop around the corner? An English girl called Louise Johnson runs it. She bakes all sorts of bread and she’s open at 7 o’clock every morning. Do you want to share this? I never eat all of it and Lyle doesn’t get up ’til ten minutes before we start work – says he can’t eat breakfast. I’ve always got up early: I think it’s such a waste of the day to lie in bed!

    Sarah-Jane nodded in agreement. Well, it looks and smells delicious. Tell you what – why don’t you come in with me and we’ll have breakfast together on the balcony? I’ll put the coffee pot on.

    D’you know what? That sounds like an excellent idea.

    After they had finished their breakfast, Sarah-Jane made more coffee. Isn’t it great to be able to sit out here in January? The poor devils in England are up to their knees in snow!

    Carole looked at Sarah-Jane, laughed and nodded, then said,:You didn’t work in admin at the Q.E. did you? Are you a doctor as well?

    She smiled, Yes. Your Angi is a case, isn’t she? You’re right, I am a doctor: I was an orthopedic surgeon. It’s quite hard work, you know, doing hip operations – bit like putting up a heavy shelf – all that drilling and hammering! That’s why I’m so strong. Not many women go into orthopedics because they are just too small. Mind you, it does wear you out a bit - that's why I took early retirement.

    They both started laughing. Carole said My granddad has had a hip replacement at the Q.E and he’s really pleased with it.

    They drank their coffee and Sarah-Jane said, Are you enjoying working in Spain, Carole?

    Mmm. I really like Spain. I used to come a lot with my Mum and Dad - for holidays - when I was younger. Not too sure if Lyle really likes it here though. Sometimes I see him looking, well,..er..a bit..er..sort of vague. I’ve asked him if he’s still okay working for Ben and Angi, and he just says everything’s fine. Time will tell, I suppose. Did you go to the market last Saturday?

    Yes, we did. It was really good for fruit and veg. I passed on Angi’s skirt and top though.

    Don’t blame you. Don’t be put off going to Spanish Beauty for your hair though. I do know that Xandra and Zee despair of Angi. I don’t know why she keeps colouring her hair so much – probably an insecurity thing.

    Mm. I feel a bit sorry for Ben – is he a bit henpecked?

    That’s putting it mildly!

    Are they actually married?

    Oh yes. They got married in June two years ago, in Knowle Parish Church. You should have seen the wedding – must have cost her dad a fortune. She arrived in a coach pulled by six horses. My Granddad said he was waiting for Dick Turpin to jump out and demand she hand over her flowers. Carole stopped talking and blushing said, Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.

    Laughing Sarah-Jane replied, I can just imagine it – I think your Granddad was right! Highway Robbery if ever I heard it.

    Carole took a sip of coffee and then asked, Have you met the chap who lives in the apartment opposite yours? I think he’s a bit scary-looking, don’t you? Something seems a bit intriguing to me - have you seen all those girls going in and out? Most of them look a bit...er...like....er.. ‘ladies of the night’ as my Nan would say.

    I know what you mean. A couple of them look quite smart – Mark says those two must be the ‘high-class’ hookers. They all seem to be tall and slim, but some of them look like right trollops. How the two with the long hair manage to walk with those stilettos, I don’t know. As for the Spanish chap, I nodded to him one morning and he seemed very polite. I don’t think he’s scary – he’s just Spanish! I think he looks like a cross between Pierce Brosnan and Rafa Nadal!

    Rafa Nadal – the tennis player? He always looks ‘damp’ to me – well, I suppose he would be if he was playing tennis.

    I mean the way his hair curls over his collar is like Rafa Nadal’s. He wears expensive clothes – designer by the look of them and he’s got a Rolex Oyster; mind you, that could have come from a ‘Looky-Looky’ man. Anyway, I think he’s ‘dishy’ as Angi would say. Come on, Carole, you must admit he does look like Pierce Brosnan. Don’t know what his name is though, sighed Sarah-Jane but he gave me a lovely smile said ‘Buenos Dias’ then something else I didn’t understand, AND, he’s got a nice arse!

    They both burst out laughing and Carole said, Really, Sarah-Jane, is that suitable talk for a newly married lady who, I might add, already has a scrummy tall, dark and handsome husband?

    They finished the coffee and washed up the breakfast things.

    "Thank you for this morning. It’s been really nice to have a sensible conversation for once.’

    ‘No probs, Carole. Let’s do it again, soon.

    Carole

    Sarah-Jane what are you doing at this time of night?" asked Carole.

    Oh Hi. Luis and Andreu’s kitten is in the bushes and won’t come out. Can you hold the torch for me and I’ll try and grab it.

    Okay. Quick, it’s gone in the corner.

    Got it! It’s filthy. Little devil must have shot out when Luis got back. You’re early, where’s Lyle?

    Still in Benji’s. Shall we both go up with the kitten?

    Good idea. You can speak Spanish.

    Sarah-Jane held the kitten while Carole rang the door-bell. Andreu opened the door and gasped when he saw the kitten. We found it in the bushes, explained Carole. It must have escaped!

    Come, come in and have a glass of wine. Luis! Luis, quick come here and look! Luis came out of their sitting room holding an identical kitten.

    Oh no! sighed Sarah-Jane. It’s not your kitten. I’m so sorry. What shall we do with it? I can’t put it back.

    Sit, drink some cava, Señoras and we will make a plan. Luis looked at Andreu and shrugged his shoulders It is simple - we have it! They will keep each other company when we are at work.

    What a pair of angels you two are! said Carole.

    Together they can play out on the roof when we are not here; we have made it very safe. Come, bring your glasses and we sit out there and you can take a look.

    Carole and Sarah-Jane stared in amazement at the roof garden. The two ‘boys’ had totally covered the whole area in a high, fine, virtually invisible, netting: all the plants and trees – actually growing in pots - looked as if they were growing in the ground. The whole area was illuminated by subtle solar lights, giving it the feel of a fairy grotto.

    It’s beautiful; absolutely gorgeous, breathed Carole.

    Yes, it has taken a lot of work but we are pleased with it. Come and sit on this bench and I’ll pull up a table for the glasses. replied Andreu. He looked at Sarah-Jane and asked, Your husband is again in England?

    Yes, that’s correct. He’s back on Sunday.

    Luis turned to Carole - Your man is working tonight and you are not?

    Yes, it was our night off but they had a big booking so he had to work. Er...we’re not actually together anymore, said Carole, blushing as she looked at them. Also, I don’t work at Benji’s now.

    Sarah-Jane looked stunned and asked, When did this happen? Carole are you all right?

    I’m sorry I didn’t say anything earlier, Sarah-Jane, but it only happened tonight. I’m fine though, really.

    Andreu took Carole’s hand and said, This is sad for you but you are surrounded by friends, never forget that. Now, drink your wine. You will want to talk to your friend about this, we understand. Thank you for the new kitten.

    What’s the name of the first one? asked Carole looking at Luis.

    Pen.

    Pen? Like the thing you write with?

    Yes, that’s right.

    How unusual.Ah! then you should call the new one ‘Ink’.

    ‘Ink? That too is a strange name for an animal. Oh, yes, I get it. They would be Pen and Ink, no?

    Yes. Perhaps it would be better to call them Penny and Inky. Seriously guys, listen, they are your kittens. You decide on their names.

    Andreu embraced both women. He looked thoughtful and then said to Carole. So, you are now without work. Our Receptionist is going to America for four weeks on the first day of next month. Would you take her place? We know your Spanish is perfect and you are intelligent. Think about it and let me know. Also, Carole, tomorrow I change the locks on your front door, early, say 9.30 in the morning. It may not be good for you if the ex-boyfriend calls. Now, off you go for girl talks. We see you both tomorrow.

    Come in and have another drink, Carole. I’m so sorry about you and Lyle.

    Thanks. It only happened tonight but I think it’s been waiting to happen for some time now.

    Red or white? Or, I know it’s not really appropriate, but do you fancy another cava? However you look at it, it’s a new phase in your life!

    Too true. Cava would be great. Thanks.

    Sarah-Jane brought in the bottle, with some cheese and biscuits, put them down and said Want to talk?

    Carole gave a big sigh, Well, as I told the boys, Benji’s had a big booking for tonight, but Angi said she didn’t need me - only Lyle, just to help in the kitchen. I stayed in the apartment, doing a bit of housework and tidying up, like you do, and about half past eleven, I thought I’d go down and have a drink with them. When I got there, the lights were off in the front, but I could see a light shining from the kitchen area. The front door wasn’t locked and I walked in. Nobody was about and it was really quiet. I went to enter the kitchen and then I saw them - Lyle and the other waitress, Sam. They were on the floor of the kitchen. Sarah-Jane, they were actually doing it on the kitchen floor!! Can you imagine? I was mortified. Anyway, I crept out again and came back here.

    Carole, how awful for you. The slimy little rat! Then what did you do?

    Carole got a tissue and dabbed her eyes saying, "Sorry, I’m not crying, I’m trying not to laugh. I got his little suitcase, the one on wheels, and filled it with his dirty underwear and chef’s gear; put his shaving stuff in, and as many of his bits and pieces as I could, and wheeled it down to Benji’s Bar. When I got there, the four of them were sitting round having a drink. 'Hi, Bab, want a drink?' Lyle said.

    'No thanks, I’ve just brought something for Sam.' I replied

    'What, for me? What is it?' she looked at me with a smirk and I put the suitcase by her chair.

    'Just his dirty underpants and working clothes. You’ll need to get them in the wash tonight ’cos he likes clean clothes every day.'

    She looked at me and her mouth fell open, 'What?'

    I ignored her and looked at Angi and told her I was giving in my notice as from now and she could keep my week’s wages in lieu. She said not to be so daft and have a drink. I told her where she could shove her drink and said that I hoped she had done all my employment paperwork as I was seeing my solicitor tomorrow. Ben started to look really concerned at this point and said we should all calm down and talk this through. He asked me what I was going to do for money if I left them. I told him not to worry about me, just keep his brother out of my sight. I saw Sam look at Lyle and thought I heard her say bitch. I just looked at her and said, 'If I was wearing the god awful knickers you are, I’d also want to get ’em off the first opportunity I got. Don’t think Health and Safety would be too impressed with you two rolling around the kitchen floor though.

    I stood up and told Ben and Angi that if, in the future, they left a pair of brain-dead employees in charge of the bar, they should at least lock the door first, to stop anybody walking in. Then I told Sam to shut her mouth as she looked as if she was catching flies – then I came back here!"

    Carole, that is so brilliant!! Bet you feel good.

    Yes, I do. I had a feeling something was going on, you know - just couldn’t put my finger on it - I thought it might be..er..something else. Well, I certainly know now!!

    Seriously though, Carole, what will you do?

    "I’ve been thinking for some time that waitressing wasn’t for me, I think they only really wanted me because I can speak Spanish Do you remember last week when you had the letter from the Bank telling you about the change in the rate of charges? Well, you couldn’t understand it could you; neither could your friend Beth? So....I thought what about if I started giving simple Spanish lessons and help people such as you with things like

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