Autumn, Week 1, Year 3
The next week is spent with the Harringtons. It turned out to be a productive week!
With the pressure on, Alexandra spent every moment of her spare time painting. She had five more masterpieces to create, plus some more of the portraits she was determined to finish before the new museum could be opened. She’d heard from James that the building work had been completed, so they were awaiting her contribution. She even managed to put aside her feud with William for a few hours so she could complete his portrait.
“I say, Francis? Fancy a drink before you go?” George accosted his friend as Francis was getting ready to leave.
“Oh, just a small one, George. Ally’s got herself into a bit of a flap with this exhibition of hers, hasn’t she?”
“Rather,” George replied as he poured a drink for Francis. “She’s painting half the night at the moment. I’ve had a ghastly job trying to fit everybody in to pose for her.”
“I hope it’s all worth it,” Francis replied, taking a sip. “Oh George, you’re getting the hang of this, aren’t you?”
George beamed. “Thanks, old boy.”
“Did I hear correctly that you’ve donated some more money to James’ foundation?” Francis asked conversationally.
“Oh yes!” George exclaimed. “Another §1,000, don’t you know? James will be most pleased.”
“Are you sure his foundation is such a good idea? I mean, it makes him seem like a killjoy.”
“My, my dear boy, where have you been? James was always a killjoy, don’t you remember?” George laughed as he poured himself a drink.
“How could I forget?” Francis muttered darkly.
George spent a good portion of the daylight hours playing in the crisp autumn air with the children. Being the family man had grown on him as the children grew themselves and he was finding every day with them brought them all closer together.
Finally, after what seemed a lifetime, Alexandra finished the last portrait. All that was left was to take the paintings to the new museum. Francis had yet to take his sculptures over so the grand opening wouldn’t be for a few weeks yet but it was a triumph all the same. Now she could focus on running the household again, spending time with the children and putting in the effort with her career. So much to do but with the burden of the exhibition off her shoulders, she could finally breathe to the bottom of her lungs again. It was a liberating feeling.
Even with the work for the exhibition out the way, George was still tending to most of the duties at home while Alexandra worked long hours. Annabelle had recently had her first birthday and was proving to be as naughty as her brothers. George did have to admire her use of the coloured paints though. He suspected his daughter might have inherited her mother’s flair for painting.
After all the hard work, Alexandra was burnt out. She came home early with flu-like symptoms one day and couldn’t believe the noise in the house. George had switched the stereo on with some loud euro-pop music and the children were dancing and squealing. None of it did her headache any good.
With winter around the corner, George wanted to get the garden prepared for the colder weather. Since Alexandra had taken to bed with the flu, he tackled the mammoth task of raking the leaves. The children wanted to help him.
On the road to recovery, Alexandra got back from work one night to find a very angry Nick Bradbury on the doorstep. He wanted to petition to the council about the lack of facilities or consideration for the athletic members of Beckwell.
“Look, I am very sorry Mr Bradbury but we don’t have the facilities at the moment. Perhaps you would do well to contact Councillor Stanton, he’s the representative for Health and Wellbeing. You could even try Mayor Worthington. Don’t you live in his neighbourhood?” Alexandra tried, diplomatically.
“I have contacted Will. He said it’s impossible to get athletic requests through due to the number of people on the council obsessed with the arts! And Mr Worthington doesn’t seem interested in anything other than Stella Humphreys!” Nick’s eyes flashed. “Look, couldn’t you at least say something to your husband?”
“I’ll try, I’ll try,” Alexandra promised before retreating hastily into the house.
George tried having a private chat with William before the next council meeting. It turned out that William had tried several times to broach the subject with James but to no avail. In fact, William didn’t sound at all convinced that James was doing a good job as Mayor.
“So what do we have on the agenda tonight, James old boy?” George asked. He’d opened a bottle of Soft Avornalino Wine for the evening.
“Well, naturally the opening of the new Museum. The Infinity Hall has been completed and I have received the paintings from Alexandra. Very proper they are too. So her exhibition is being displayed in one of the upstairs galleries and I rather thought Francis’ sculptures could go in glass cases in front of them. That way we have a rather super exhibition by the Stilton siblings, which all sounds rather good, don’t you think?” James sat smugly at the head of the table.
“Fabulous!” George nodded in approval.
“What about athletics, James? What’s being done about that?” William tried.
“Sorry William old boy but that’s about all the time we have for tonight. I’ll try and arrange the opening of the Infinity Hall in the coming weeks, once Francis sends his sculptures over there. I’ll be meeting with him in a couple of weeks to sort out the placements. I’ll keep you informed with the details. Good night, gentlemen!” James avoided William and George’s eyes as he rose from the table.
George achieved level 5 Mixology but didn’t unlock anything this week.
Alexandra achieved level 8 Cooking but she did complete all the required paintings to unlock the museum!
Up next: The Stantons!