In Pavers Place the residents have also got into gear for the new season. Daphne is back from visiting her relatives and therefore Garth has returned to wearing the hideous jelly shoes, Ian and Raphe are back from their extended cruise and whilst Ian is sporting a lovely tan, Raphe has been overrun with freckles. Gary and Harry are talking about putting the ice cream freezer back into the shed and replacing it with the Christmas card stand (always a bleak sign for me) and Catherine has the latest prospectus for adult education. She is considering which courses to try out this year, snail farming, hair extensions and wicker basket weaving all seem to be in the running for the term ahead.
Catherine was discussing her choices with Daphne and Jacinta in the street, she was probably trying to persuade one of them to join her, as she did me the year she tried belly dancing. I was moderately keen until I realised that you had to let people see your own stomach, the appeal went out of it after that and I gave up my place, in the end I think Raphe went with her, that man is game for anything.
Daphne was telling them, in rather a loud voice, that she was a trained beautician, she had let it slip since she went to work at the chicken factory but felt that her skills were still as finely tuned as they used to be. I have met Daphne close up on a couple of occasions now and although I found her quite friendly she is one of those people who speaks her mind and has no fear in calling a spade a spade.
‘I have a wonderful idea, why don’t we have a girly night, I’m sure Garth won’t mind, we can hold it at his house. I could do all your nails and it would be great to do something with your roots.’
The roots in question were Jacinta’s and she looked alarmed at this statement, as did Catherine who was more than a little taken aback.
‘I don’t think Jacinta colours her hair, do you, I mean, there doesn’t seem to be any roots.’ It was unusual for Jacinta to be speechless but she just nodded in agreement with Catherine.
Daphne laughed at this, ‘If you insist dearie, but I could certainly intervene if you did decide a colour would help to offset your face.’
I was up close to the window by now, eager to see the look on both Catherine and Jacinta’s faces, but Daphne appeared to be the type of person who did not recognise offence when she caused it and she carried on regardless.
‘Never mind, we can still do the nails, both fingers and toes if you like. Let’s say Thursday, you bring some Labrini and I’ll do some nibbles, and ask that skinny lass, the one who says like a lot, calls herself Man’.
Daphne swept away towards the Spar leaving the other two looking red and annoyed, but as they had not actually said no it appeared that Thursday night was a date, although I could not imagine that Mand would be in attendance.
On Thursday evening equipped with one bottle of bubbly per person Catherine, Jacinta, Suzy and Margaret made their way to Garth’s house; they were joined by Ian and Raphe, who were seeking a manicure and Mand, who wanted to see for herself the destruction that Daphne had wrought on her precious Garthy’s house.
‘I don’t like the woman, but I do need my nails doing and I like need to see for myself that he’s alright, like.’
If a girly evening is supposed to be a bonding experience it would be safe to say that this one failed on every level. Mand fell out with Jacinta after agreeing that her hair could do with being a shade lighter, Daphne was upset with Suzy because she had heard about the embrace with Garth the previous week, which also upset Mand. Raphe was annoyed with Ian because he didn’t help to defend him against Daphne when she suggested he needed a spray tan to hide, ‘those ugly freckles’. Catherine got into a rage with Ian when he suggested that she couldn’t hypnotise a snake from a basket, let alone a person seeking help and Margaret sat in a mood all night after Daphne referred to her more than once as Mrs Sausage. Thank goodness I didn’t go.
Catherine summed up the evening to Ken the next day when he was sitting outside the barbers, ‘I think that woman would manage to upset the corpse at a funeral, but she does do a lovely set of falsies.’ Praise indeed.