Monday, 25 November 2013

The curious case of Noah and Jess.

Hatty Huckleberry and Velvette Slydale have been best friends since nursery school, and though the two families share a house (the Huckleberry family and Slydale family live together in Cedar Terrace 3) the two friends don't have a lot of time for socialising.

Hatty and Velvette therefore have a standing weekly appointment at The Tea Room. The two friends usually meet each other there after they have dropped off the kids at school and completed their morning chores. Arvey Maces are always excited to have these two ladies as customers.

As soon as they sat down Hatty and Velvette got into discussing the village news. They shared the latest gossip they've heard, shared the happiness and joys of being a mother, but also the downside thereof, and obviously there successes of being professional working woman. Hatty mostly admires Velvette caring nature and that she always finds a way to help those in need. While Velvette finds Hatty's work as a school inspector extraordinary, though exhausting.

Arvey: Good morning ladies. Here for the usual?
Velvette: Hello Arvey, today it is more about the quietness and the relaxing than the eating, but yes a pot of Early Grey tea would be lovely.
Hatty: Yes, please no cake today, I'm still struggling to shed the last few pounds after the birth of the twins.
Arvey: Oh nonsense, but by the way how are the twins doing?
Hatty: Extremely good, the transition was really easier than expected, and Esmé has been a wonderful help too.
Velvette: You are so lucky my friend.
Hatty: Well for now that is, the teething is already starting and the nights are becoming more difficult after months of good sleeping.

Arvey served them their tea and the friends continued their conversation. Just as Hatty was starting a new story about the hideous standards of some schools, Velvette noticed Katrina Whiskers and Heidi Mcburrows approaching, accompanied by two baby mice. A peculiar picture indeed.

Velvette was instantly curious about this, but unlike her friend, Hatty was not very happy to see Katrina. Hatty and Katrina has never seen eye tot eye. Hatty thought Katrina was too rigid, while Katrina felt Hatty was too obnoxious for a grown-up. Velvette has tried many time to get the two better acquainted but with no good results. She is, however not giving up. She greeted Katrina and Heidi in her usual friendly manner.

Velvette: Morning Katrina, and Heidi, you look in a hurry. What are you up to?
Katrina: Oh, hi Velvette and of course Hatty. We are one our way to Mayor Hugo's house actually.
Hatty: Morning.
Heidi: Morning ladies, indeed we are. You will never believe what happened to me.

Heidi relayed the exact same story that she has told Katrina the previous night. Katrina was quite impressed by Heidi's memory of the facts and how she again remembered everything in detail. Velvette was giving little squeals of disbelieve every few seconds and even Hatty had a look of horror on her face. Katrina was surprised by the emotion that Hatty showed as she thought the woman didn't have any.
Heidi: ... and that is the short and the long of my terrible encounter.
Velvette: That is shocking and unbelievable. The poor babies, but more so the poor parents, they must be sick with worry.
Katrina: It just worries me, that they have dissapearred into thin air.
Velvette: This is something I would love to sort out, don't worry bothering Hugo. He will in any case refer you to me.

In the mean time a bit of a crowd have gathered outside the tea room, including Savannah Trunk, Hildie Hawton and Mona Hazelnut.
Savannah: Did I hear my husband's name?
Velvette: You did Savannah, sorry. Good morning.
Hildie (close to tears): Did I hear correctly? These babies are temporarily orphaned? Oh my!

Heidi again told a much shorter version of the story to the three newcomers.

Savannah: I totally agree with Velvette, this is something that fits her job description perfectly and I'm sure she will do an excellent job of getting behind the truth of this sad story.
Katrina: I agree with this plan, and totally trust Velvette.
Hatty: Oh really you do?
Katrina: Yes Hatty, I do. The question is do you.
Hatty (turning scarlet red): Of course, of course!
Heidi: The only other little problem I have is ... and please don't blame me for saying this ... but who will be willing to look after them. To be honest our Mole House is just too small, and to be frank we are struggling a bit at the moment, with our business still be new and so on.
Velvette: Heidi, don't worry I fully understand. We will find someone suitable and in the meantime ...
Hildie: Oh I want to! I will look after them. Please can they stay with me? Look how adorable they are. Velvette you know I will be an excellent foster mother?

Savannah: I'm sure that can be arranged? Velvette?
Velvette: Hildie, you will indeed be a wonderful foster mother and I'm happy to leave little Jess and Noah in your care.
Hildie: Oh thank you, thank you. They are so adorable. I wonder what they will have dinner. And where did I put that baby blankets of Jenna....

As Hildie made plans to accommodate the babies; Velvette and Savannah had a final chat with Heidi to clarify some of the facts. 

Another happy ending, though temporary in Sugarbush Valley!

To be continued ...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Dinner with the Mcburrows.

Meadowcroft cottage where the Whiskers family lived was a buss with activity. It has been a while since Katrina felt like having guests over and hosting a dinner party. After the 3 months that her friend Christabel Corntop and her family stayed with them and then the renovations of the Florist, Katrina was just too tired to entertain people.

But she has been toying with the idea to invite the Mcburrows family over, for a while now. Not only are they new to the village and do they need some proper Sugarbush Valley hospitality but the two families never had a chance to celebrate the selling/buying of the landscaping business.

When Katrina told her husband Sebastiaan of her idea he was on-board immediately and so it was arranged that they will have a small dinner party.

Everyone in the household was doing their part to get the house ready and in good order for the guests. Katrina herself was responsible for cooking a delicious dinner, Amelia was setting the table and Branson offered to tidy the front yard and get all the toys ready for some fun-filled playtime with the adorable twins, Muddy and Molly.

Sebastiaan, maybe had the hardest job of all and that was getting the twins, Jeremy and Stephani, into a bath, cleaned up and dressed before he had to set out some drinks for the evening.

After a bit of a struggle and some big eyes and empty threads, the twins were dressed for the visitors and Sebastiaan could get on with arranging the drinks. Luckily, for him, Katrina was very organised and he only had to put everything on the drinks trolley. No need to search for anything to locate it.

Amelia: Look mommy, the table is set. Did I do it the right way?
Katrina: Very good, honey. You are becoming a real lady now. Thanks for the help.
Amelia: What can I do next, mom?
Katrina: I only have to finish the salad then everything is ready. Just keep an eye on the twins, and remember to entertain Muddy and Molly. They might be a bit shy at first.
Amelia: Ok mom. You know I love babysitting.
Katrina: Well, it is not really babysitting, but ok if you want to call it that.

Katrina continued with making the salad and was once again grateful for her well behaved and good mannered children.

Outside Branson was finally done collecting all the toys. He is not really looking forward to an evening spent with babies, but he just knows his mother too well and will regret it, if he doesn't behave as the well mannered eldest son of Katrina Whiskers. He would much rather be spending his time practicing soccer or tennis with his friend, Oliver.

Just as Katrina was throwing a final eye of approval over her house to see if all was in order, there was a knock on the door.
Katrina: Our guests are here, and on time. I just love it when people are one time. It is so selfish if people arrive late and very annoying if they are too early in case one hasn't finished all the preparations yet.
Sebastiaan (smiling): I know you appreciate that, honey. Should I get the door?
Katrina: Lets do it together. Are you ready?

Sebastiaan and Katrina opened the door and invited the guests in.
Katrina: Heidi, Digger! Welcome to our home! Do come in.
Heidi (giving her trademark shy giggle): Hello Katrina, Sebastiaan. Thank you so much for inviting us over. I must say I love my cosy Mole House, but it is nice to get out from time to time.
Sebastiaan: Good evening Digger, Heidi, oh and the kids too. Yes come in, come in!
Digger: Thank you, yes, again for the invite. You have a lovely home.

Katrina was a bit taken a back to see that 4 children accompanied Digger and Heidi and not only two. She thought they had the twins, Muddy and Molly. But clearly they have adopted some babies, as two cute little meadows mice came crawling through the door with the rest of the Mcburrows family.

Heidi must have seen the surprised expression on Katrina's face, as she immediately started to apologise.
Heidi: Katrina, I want to apologise for the two extra guests we brought along, but you will not believe what happened.
Katrina (smiling): Oh they are no problem, but I would love to hear your story ...
Stephani (yelling at the top of her voice): Mommmy, loooooooooooooook!

Just as Heidi was about to start her explanation, little Stephani demanded her mommy's attention. She was playing on the slide.
Katrina: Well done, sweetie pie. Sorry for interrupting you Heidi! Branson, please look after your sister, that she doesn't get hurt,  I see Muddy wants to have a turn too.

While Sebastiaan was serving drinks to the guests, Katrina was having a final stir of the stew and ensured that nothing was burning.

Katrina: Everyone the food is almost ready, but lets have a chat before we sit down for dinner. Heidi where were you with that story?
Sebastiaan: Here are your glass of wine, Honey.
Digger: Oh yes Heidi, please tell them what happened. We are unsure of what to do, maybe they can shed some light. Sebastiaan, you have to listen to this!

So Heidi started to tell the most unreal story that Katrina has ever heard.
Heidi: So it happened like this. This afternoon when I was out in the forest, collecting mushrooms and truffles, I heard some strange "squeaky" noises. I called out a few times, but to no avail and actually forgotten about these strange noises. So while walking over to your house this evening, I again heard the strange "squeaky" noises and suddenly remembered that I heard them earlier today too. Luckily Digger heard them too, so I knew I was not going crazy. As soon as we started speaking to each other, the noises changed to faint "yelps" and then crying.
Digger: We immediately started searching, as both of us were very curious about what on earth it could be.
Heidi: I was actually getting very scared of what we might find, and the next moment there they were, two baby mice. The little girl was crying and the boy whimpering with fear. All we could get out of them is their names, Jess and Noah, and that they are lost and cant find their parents.
Katrina: Oh my goodness, that is awful! The poor babies. Have you reported it to mayor Hugo yet?
Digger: That is the thing, we only found them on the way here and we didn't want to be late for our dinner with you. Also we thought to give it a chance to maybe tomorrow morning, before we make it official that they are lost.
Heidi: Yeah, I'm so afraid that the poorlings will get lost in the system. Then I would rather care for them, even though we can't really afford it!
Sebastiaan: Well, yes, I agree with you Heidi, but we have to let someone know they have been found.
Katrina: I agree and I assure you that Hugo Trunk will never let them "get lost in the system". If you wish I will accompany you tomorrow morning.
Heidi: That will be great, thanks Katrina!

Finally it was time for the delicious dinner that Katrina has prepared. While her guests were sitting down, she quickly served the kids the homemade pizza she made earlier that evening with some juice.
Molly: I love pizza, thank you Mrs Whiskers.
Katrina: My pleasure, sweet Molly. Ok kids enjoy.

Suddenly a quietness fell on Meadowcroft cottage as everyone was enjoying their meal. Only the soft giggles of the little babies were audible.
Digger: Katrina, this stew is delicious.
Sebastiaan: I have to agree with you Digger, this is wonderful.
Heidi: Digger, I just really hope you don't expect me to serve you this at dinner time every night.
Everyone had a good laugh at Heidi's comment.

After the main course, Katrina got up to prepare the dessert. Digger and Sebastiaan gathered the children's dishes, while Heidi rounded up the children to come and play inside. Heidi just had to have a quick peak upstairs and was astonished how such a small space was used. She made some mental notes for her Mole House.

The adults enjoyed dessert, and again everyone was full of praise for the extraordinary dish. The conversation also got more serious. Sebastiaan gave Digger some tips about the landscaping business, who and what to avoid and who to contact first for jobs. Digger was grateful for this.

Upstairs the kids were having a tremendous time too. Amelia was reading a story to Molly and the babies.With her soothing voice she actually managed to get the two smaller boys, Jeremey and Noah, to fall asleep. Branson was helping Muddy to sail a boat  in the bath tub, and to Branson's own surprise he was actually enjoying himself.

When dessert was done, the adults had a quick cup of coffee. Once again Katrina was complimented, this time by Heidi on the exquisite china set she was serving the coffee in.
Heidi: What a beautiful china set.
Katrina: Thank you, it belonged to Sebastiaan's mother, and she gave it to us on our 15th anniversary. 
Heidi: Exquisite indeed.

Too soon it was time to leave. Heidi and Digger gathered the children, and each carried a sleeping baby.
Katrina: See you tomorrow morning Heidi.
Heidi: For sure, these poor babies' parents must be worried sick, I know I would have been.
Katrina: We will find them and hopefully sooner than later. Goodbye Digger, have a good night.
Digger: Thanks Katrina for a lovely meal, and Sebastiaan for all the good tips, be sure that I will ask for a lot of help in the future.
Sebastiaan: My pleasure, and be sure you do that. I have a lot of contacts and will be more than willing to recommend you. Good evening.

After the Mcburrows left, everyone gathered downstairs and shared the good experience they just had. The Whiskers agreed that the Mcburrows are a lovely family and that all had a great time.
Amelia: Molly and Muddy are the just the sweetest children, and those two babies are almost as adorable as my little twins.
Branson: Yes babysitting is not that bad, I will help again.
Katrina: You see, I told you so. Off to bed you too. It is already very late. Good night.
Amelia: Nighty night, mommy and daddy.
Branson: See you in the morning.
Sebastiaan: Good night you too, love you, and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Katrina went upstairs to quickly tuck in the twins too. She felt very satisfied with the evening. And was really glad that it went down so smoothly.

Downstairs the house was a mess, but unlike Katrina she didn't mind. She was more worried about those two babies, Noah and Jess, and was hoping that there is a good end to this story.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Arrival of the Hunter-Smyth family in Sugarbush Valley.

It was a dreary day in Sugarbush Valley. Luckily it wasn't raining yet, though it was dark and overcast. It was confirmed that the Hunter-Smyth family will arrive in the village today. Hugo and Kenneth Furbanks was waiting with Sydney Hazelnut at the Commune.

The Hunter-Smyth's room was ready and waiting for them.

Despite the miserable weather the kids has gathered outside and was playing different games, the older girls were watching the babies.

Upstairs Savannah was having a quiet visit with Mona, while Emily was taking her nap. Savannah appreciated the few seconds of quietness as she was babysitting Lumy Honeybear for her friend Tamsie and both Nellie and Ivor had their best friends, Mark Maces and Katy Honeybear, over for a sleepover too.

Isabel Fisher has not been that lucky, she has been struggling for over an hour to put the twins down for their nap but because of all the laughter coming from outside that was an extremely hard job.

Elsewhere Teri Chocholate was tidying their room. She was very excited about the arrival of the new family. She has heard that Camilla and her husband Charles will be opening a dress shop, and Teri just loves shopping for new clothes.

The next moment someone shouted "they are here, they are here". Everything came to an immediate standstill, for the Hunter-Smyth family has finally made it to the village.

Hugo immediately rose to his feet and rushed outside to meet the new residents of Sugarbush Valley.

Isabel was relieved that she managed to get the twins to bed just in time and went outside to introduce her to Camilla. Mona and Savannah had also came downstairs.Little Gerard immediately decided to have a look around, but Hector and Thomas decided to keep close to their mother.

As soon as the introductions were made, Sydney ushered everyone inside and straight to the Hunter-Smyth's room.
Camilla: Wow, this is way more than I expected. Before we had kids me and Charles went on a backpacking trip through Australia. We spent one night at a backpackers, it was terrible. So when I heard we will be staying in a Commune until we found a house, I was very skeptical, but this is perfect and nothing compared to that horrible experience.
Hugo: I'm relieved that you are satisfied. As I explained in my letters, it is nothing fancy, and should only be functional and comfortable.
Sydney: Ok ready to see the rest?
Charles: Yes, please.

Hugo and Sydney quickly gave Camilla and Charles the "grand" tour.
The bathroom.

Hazelnut's room
(Due to the lack of space, they have a sleeper couch as a bed)

Spare room
Currently this is unoccupied, but Stilton and Rosemary with their children will soon move in here, while their Cottage are being refurbished.

"On the ground floor the one room is occupied by the Fishers and the other by the Chocolates. We also have a lovely fully equipped kitchen, explained Sydney." Savannah and the rest of the woman living in the commune immediately made Camilla feel welcomed and while the men was sorting out a few final detail, the woman was getting comfortable in the kitchen. There was alot of catching up to do.