Saturday, 10 June 2017

Mornington-By-Mere – (97) A West Bank Cottage Christmas

The James family lives in the village of Mornington-By-Mere, which is a small country village lying in the Finchbottom Vale nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.
It is a quaint picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.
But Mornington-By-Mere is not just a quaint chocolate box English Village it is the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale and there were a number of cottages and small houses on the Purplemere road and Dulcets Lane which form the part of Mornington Village known as Manorside where the James’s lived in a small two bedroom cottage in the row of West Gate Cottages on the banks of the River Brooke.

Wilson James was 18 years old when he fell in love for first time and it happened at Christmas at the next door neighbour’s house while he was home from University.
He hadn’t intended to, he wasn’t even looking for a girlfriend, he was far too busy and struggled to fit in all the student socializing as it was.
In fact he didn’t even want to go to the Craven’s house that night and he had never even given Deirdre a second look.
Mainly because she was just a kid, after all she was also only 15 when he went away, but also she wasn’t his type, although he had only met her a couple of time as the family only moved in at Easter.
But he did at least remember that she had a crush on him but he shrugged that off, because a lot of girls that he met seemed to feel that way about him.
So under sufferance he went next door with his parents a week before Christmas and when he went in the house and the pleasantries were exchanged he realized that the immature 15 year old who had a crush on him had turned into a dazzling young woman and all at once she had his full attention and he thought that if he couldn’t find a way to fit Deirdre into his life, there was something wrong with him.
They only had eyes for each other from the first moment and over the next week they were inseparable but on Christmas Eve she and her family were driving to Nettlefield to spend Christmas with the Grandparents.
So on that morning shortly before the Craven’s set off the love struck couple exchanged presents, he gave her a locket with his photograph in it, which she loved and then she gave him a beautifully wrapped gift box and said,
“This is for you”
“Wow” he said and was a bit embarrassed and felt a bit guilty because it looked so much more than what he’d got for her.
But he opened the box anyway and found it was empty.
“Is there supposed to be something inside the package?” he asked and she smiled
“It's not empty” she said “I blew kisses into it until it was full”
“That’s really sweet” he said and kissed her
“I got you a proper present as well” she said and handed him what appeared to be a CD “That was just a bit of fun”
He loved the CD because she had chosen it for him, and even though she said it was only a bit of fun he kept that gold box by his bed while she was away and whenever he missed her he would
open the box and take out an imaginary kiss.

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