The Parting Of The Ways

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Julie Gets Fashion Advice From Athene

'Wake up Julie!' called Charlie.
'Don't tell me it's Sports Day again,' she groaned.
'Unless Sports Day and Speech Day that we've just sat through were a terrible nightmare,' said Athene, 'no.'
'If that was a nightmare, this is a dream!' beamed Charlie, 'pack your bags kids! It's the Summer Holidays!'
'That's why I woke you up early,' said Charlie, 'your Dad said he'd be early, but you slept in. He'll be here in twenty minutes.'
'Thank god I'm already packed!' gasped Julie leaping out of bed and rushing around to get dressed.
Twenty minutes later, she had transformed herself from the pyjama-clad girl with messy hair, into the walking goddess she usually was, complete with perfectly done hair, makeup, and a navy skirt and cream blouse.
'How do you get up so quickly and look so perfect?' asked Charlie who was still in her pyjamas and packing.
'Maybe it's a supernatural gift?' suggested Athene.
'It just takes practise ladies,' smirked Julie finishing her lipstick.
'Jules!' said Mark coming into the room not even bothering to knock.
'Your Dads here, Harry's come to help with the luggage.'
'Thanks,' beamed Julie.
Julie took her small suitcase and tennis racket leaving the boys to lug her heavy trunk behind her.
Not many cars had already arrived, as it was only nine o'clock. But Mr Fforbes Hamilton has stood by a shiny car, chatting to Mr Mitchell.
It wasn't the range rover or one of the working vehicles, but the Morgan. Mrs Fforbes Hamilton had very firm rules that the family had at least one car that wasn't used on the farms and wasn't covered in mud.
This is why they had the morgan convertible, which had the roof down today as it was a sunny day.
'Daddy!' squealed Julie running over to him, her suitcase banging against her legs.
'My little Jewel!' exclaimed Mr Fforbes Hamilton giving Julie a huge hug.
'Good term?'
'Brilliant,' beamed Julie, 'I got the tennis cup on speech day, and I won the doubles.'
'I know darling, I would have come to Speech Day, but I had a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.'
'Was it interesting?'
'What's happened to my little Jewel, who used to say 'ugghh! That sounds boring.''
'She grew up,' laughed Julie.
'Nope,' said Mr Fforbes Hamilton shaking his head, 'I refuse to allow it!'
'My little Jewel has not become a young lady, you're still my little girl.'
'Alright Mr F.B?' asked Mark coming over with the trunk and Harry.
'I'm great thanks, Mark, thank you for your help boys.'
Mark and Harry put the trunk in the car, and they pulled away from the school.
'Daddy,' stammered Julie, 'there's something I need to talk to you about.'
'Talk away old girl,' he muttered turning the corner.
'Mummy too,' she added, 'it's important.'
'Tell you what, we'll talk about it over lunch alright?'
'Alright, Daddy.'
Julie and her Dad caught up on the way home, she told him about the tennis tournament and Mr Fforbes Hamilton told her about how his favourite heifer was getting on.
'Juliet darling!' exclaimed Mrs Fforbes Hamilton coming out of the house to hug her.
Julie looked exactly like her mother, down to the immaculate clothes and hair, apart from the fact that Julie had her Dad's eyes.
'Just you wait until I show you the dress i've bought for Nick and Isabelle's wedding!'
'The weddings, a week away and you've only just bought a dress? That's not like you at all Mummy!'
'I know it's not,' muttered Mrs Fforbes Hamilton, 'but I went through all the shops in London and found nothing, then last week, I was going past this little shop in Horsham, and found the perfect thing!'
'Always do Mummy,' said Julie shaking her head.
'I'll take a look later alright? I've got the unpacking to do.'
Julie carried her small bags inside, and Mr Fforbes Hamilton and one of the farmhands brought up the trunk.
One of the maids, Mary was already waiting in Julie's room and had just made Julie's bed. Mary was only a few years older than Julie but had started working for the Fforbes Hamiltons when she was sixteen, so had been with them a few years.
Julie always liked talking to Mary when she was at home.
'Good term Julie?' asked Mary as they started on the unpacking.
'Pretty good yes, I still can't believe I've only got a year left.'
'What in the name of all that is holy are these?' asked Mary picking up two shining silver cups.
'Tennis cups, I won the Aldershot schools championship doubles and singles.'
'You won a doubles tournament on your own? How?'
'Charlie's friend Diana, she's my tennis partner' explained Julie putting the cups on the shelf with her dance trophies.
'You given up on the grease lights and paints then, or are those rumours that you've turned down a Hollywood film contract wrong?'
'I still do acting and dancing, but just for fun,' said Julie, 'but they're true yes. Mark's going to Hollywood and I'm not.'
'Why not?' asked Mary, 'i'd kill for a film contract, I'm still thinking about killing Mark to get his!'
'Don't be ridiculous,' laughed Julie.
'You'll know sooner or later,' Julie sighed, 'i'm not going because I'm staying here, to help Daddy with the land. I'm going to tell Mummy and Daddy in a few minutes.'
'You really are crazy,' said Mary.
'Yes well I'm telling Mummy and Daddy after this, and they're probably going to think the exact same thing.'
'Good luck,' smirked Mary.
Julie took a deep breath and went down to the sitting room where there was already a tray of tea and sandwiches waiting.
'Daddy said you had something important to talk about, so I thought we could have lunch in here, it's less formal.'
'Alright,' said Julie, 'I think I should tell you why I turned down that contract in November.'
'We thought you'd just gone off the idea,' said Mr Fforbes Hamilton, 'didn't want to ask.'
'What do you want to do then? Tennis? You're getting quite good you know.'
'No,' said Julie, 'I want to stay here and run the farms. With Daddy.'
'You what?' stammered Mrs Fforbes Hamilton a sandwich halfway to her mouth.
Mr Fforbes Hamilton didn't look shocked, but he had a knowing smile. He had thought Julie might be saying something like this when she turned down the contract.
'But darling,' said Mrs Fforbes Hamilton, 'you don't have to do that. We could still have a son, running an estate this size, its not a job for a lady.'
'Mummy,' said Julie smiling slightly, 'we both know you're of a certain age.'
'I'm only forty-three,' said Mrs Fforbes Hamilton.
'Now is not the time for taking years off your age dear,' said Mr Fforbes Hamilton gently.
'Julie's quite right, if it had been a few years ago, there might have been a son, but as it is.'
'Well, why the devil can't Julie help run the estate if she doesn't want to?'
'Because she's a young lady,' affirmed Mrs Fforbes Hamilton.
'Priscilla,' he said firmly putting his foot down.
'I know it is your life ambitions to turn our daughter into a proper young lady. But she is not.'
'If she wants to learn how to run the estate, that's more than fine by me, who else are we going to leave in charge when I retire?'
Julie bit her lip and looked terrified, her parents were fighting, and it was all her fault.
'You're right George,' she muttered.
'What was that dear?' asked Mr Fforbes Hamilton.
'You're right, but I have one condition.'
'I do not want Julie's nice clothes getting all dirty, she'll need working clothes just like you do George.'
'Anything Mummy,' said Julie.
'Why don't you go take a look then,' beamed Mr Fforbes Hamilton kissing her on the forehead.
'I've got to show my trainee estate manager around the farms tomorrow.'
'What?' asked Julie.
'You silly,' laughed Mr Fforbes Hamilton.
'Oh thank you, Mummy! Thank you, Daddy!'
'But I don't have any old clothes,' she stammered, 'I throw them all out.'
'But I know someone who might,' she exclaimed rushing over to the hallway where they kept the telephone.
'Hi Mark, it's Julie, can I talk to Athy?'
'Hi Athy, can you come round right away, with some old clothes?'
'I know yours won't fit me, but Tony's might.'
'Yes I know they're boys clothes, but they're only for working in, and we can fix them up.'
'Mummy can Athene and I borrow your sewing machine?'
'You don't know the first thing about sewing Juliet. What in the world are you two up to?'
'Athene knows how to sew properly,' said Julie, 'and she's bringing around some of Tony's old things.'
'You said I needed working clothes, well we're going to turn Tony's old clothes into working things.'
'You really have gone mad darling,' muttered Mrs Fforbes Hamilton.
'If it doesn't work, I'll take you shopping in Horsham for some next week. Tell me if you need any help.'
Ten minutes later, Athene and Julie were sitting around in the sitting room next to the sewing machine. Athene had brought her sewing box, and a large bag of Anthony's old clothes.
'We've got some trousers, and some old rugby jerseys. They'll need taking in a bit, and the trousers will be far too long, but that might be a good thing.'
Athene took Julies measurements, to figure out how much she needed to take the trousers in and how much she needed to cut off.
'We've got a good few inches to play with on the bottom of these jeans,' said Athene.
'These jerseys should fit you anyway, a bit loose, but Anthony hasn't worn them for about three years.'
Athene cut the first pair of trousers, and rehemmed them and took them in. But then she took the scrap material and started sewing them together and looking for buttons.
'What are you doing?' laughed Julie.
'I'm making you a pair of dungarees,' said Athene, 'pop these on over the jersey, and you'll be all good.'
Athene passed her the first pair of finished jeans, and Julie went to go and try them on with a jersey. She even did her hair in two plaits so that it was out of the way.
'Dear God,' gasped Julie looking in the mirror as she got back into the sitting room.
'I look like Charlie!'
'No,' corrected Athene, 'Charlie's hair is a darker shade, and her clothes aren't as well fitted.'
'Do you really think I look alright?'
'You look fine,' assured Athene.
'Can I tell you something funny,' said Julie.
'I actually feel more comfortable in these old jeans and a jersey, then I do in all my posh clothes.'
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