Angel - Chapter 1

"But I want to come on an aeroplane too," Angel whined.

"We've got lots of business to do in California, grown up stuff and it wouldn't be much fun for a little girl," Mum answered sternly.

"Oooh please?"

"No and anyway you'll have much more fun staying with Nana for six weeks, than trailing around America with us."

"Boring," Angel protested, stamping her foot. "It's not fair."

"You've never stayed with Nana before, so you don't know. We'll bring you back a present, AND, I'll leave a super present, so you can open it as soon as we've gone."

Angel felt a bit happier. A present and six weeks staying with Nana might not be so bad after all. She loved Nana, but had never seen her cottage because it was so far away.

"Is her cottage nice?" she asked quietly.

"Oh, you'll love it, it's painted pink and is in the country, down a winding lane."

Angel watched Dad carry all the suitcases down from the attic. "Don't forget I'll need a suitcase too."

"Yes, this little one is for you," Dad said.

Angel looked at the case. "It's not fair, you've got all of those."

"Yes, but there are two of us and we have to take lots of work," Dad said. "If your case isn't big enough you can have my very special rucksack as well."

Angel picked up Bertie Bear, "I want him to come, but he's too big for my case," Angel laughed cheekily.

"He's not too big for my rucksack." Dad picked up Bertie and carefully slid him in. His nose and eyes peeked out. "He's all ready for his holiday now."

Mum started to put her clothes onto the bed in piles ready to pack into a suitcase, while Dad put lots and lots of books and papers into another case.

Angel began to think her parents' trip looked boring.

The moment came when they all got into the car and set off, prepared for the long journey.

At last, Mum said, "We're nearly there."

Angel rubbed her eyes and yawned. She stared out of the car window, but couldn't see any houses, only a long, winding country lane.

"Look, there it is," Mum pointed ahead.

Angel could see a pretty, pink cottage among the trees, with lights twinkling, and started to feel very excited. "It's not like our house."

"That's because this is the country," Mum answered, "And we live in a busy city."

Nana opened the door. "Hello darling," she said to Angel, picking her up. "My word you're heavy, haven't you grown since the last time I saw you. I'm so glad you've come to stay with me. I've been looking forward to it for weeks."

"I've brought Bertie Bear too, he's in Daddy's rucksack."

Nana looked across at the rucksack and saw a nose peeking out. The nose of Bertie Bear.

"We can introduce him to my Bear, he's called Fred. He's very old now, I've had him since I was a little girl. Can you carry Angel's case up to her room? It's at the top of the stairs." Nana asked Daddy. "I won't offer you a cup of tea because I know you're in a hurry to catch your plane."

Angel's eyes opened wide with wonder as she looked around Nana's living-room. Fairy lights twinkled, water tinkled in a fountain, and a large sofa was covered with fluffy pink and white cushions.

Logs crackled in the fire, and the soft light made the room look almost magical.

"What's that next to the big clock?" Angel asked.

Nana laughed. "That's my harp, and the big clock is called a Grandmother clock. Like a Grandfather clock but smaller."

"Nana plays the harp beautifully," Mum enthused.

The Grandmother clock started to chime. It chimed and chimed.

"Time we went," Mum commented. "I've brought Angel a present." Mum put a large bag on the table. "Just in case she's sad tomorrow. Thought it might settle her."

"She'll be fine here, don't you worry. You think about your work and we'll think about having fun," Nana chuckled. "You two go now, and I'll show her round the rest of my cottage."

Mum bent down and kissed Angel. "Enjoy yourself, and we'll send you lots of postcards, so you can see where we're staying, and we'll bring you back a nice big present."

"Come on Nana," Angel said eagerly.

"Kiss Daddy goodbye first."

Daddy picked Angel up, "Bye, bye darling, don't forget we love you, and we'll be thinking of you every day."

Angel kissed him, then squirmed to be put down.

"Come on Nana."