“Okay … Katania sounds interesting! I suppose I just thought she would be chilled, like the rest of them.”
“Well, chilled isn’t the word I’d use.”
“I thought our London visitor, would be the high maintenance one. Sounds like our lady from Paris might be worse. Anyway …” Rudd takes a deep breath, and rubs his hands together, “… just as long as they love it.”
“Can’t see why they wouldn’t. I mean look …” says Tim, sweeping an arm across the view.
“Thanks. We’ve done a bit of tidying. What do you think of our new dance floor?”
Rudd leads Tim out of the bar area, on to the wide, freshly-sheltered section at the end of the verandah.
“Got the roof on yesterday.”
Tim whistles, his eyes on the corrugated green above him.
“Well done. Must have been hectic.”
“It was, but we’re pleased with it. “
“Congrats,” says Tim, turning back to Rudd. “Listen, you mentioned a medical room. Do you mind if I see it? Doctor’s curiosity I suppose.“
“I’m impressed you’ve got one.”
“Well, don’t expect anything too fancy,” says Rudd, heading back inside. “It’s got a bed, a big first aid kit, and there’s a defibrillator that a South African donated.”
“A South African?”
“Ja. He collapsed here last year at a family party. Luckily a doctor, his nephew actually, saved him. They sent us one soon after they left.”
They cross through reception, to a door just off the main entrance. Rudd opens it, and lets Tim through ahead of him.
“Good light from that window. Fresh air if you need it. Mind if I have a look in the First Aid pack?”
Rudd watches Tim. He notices his signet ring catch the light as he sorts through the scissors and bandages.
Tall, but Hansie’s chest still equals two of him. Wiry as a praying mantis, and those legs. So white pale. He better watch the sun, that’s for sure.
Tim looks up.
“You happy sleeping here. Not the widest bed.” He pushes down on the plastic covered mattress. “It’s not that thick.”
“This is fine for me for a few days.”
Tim nods and returns the first aid kit to its shelf. He looks at his watch.
“I’d better go and find Hansie. The others will be here soon. Thanks Rudd. It’s good to have seen that.”
“And it’s good to know there’s a doctor here. This is one of the biggest groups we’ve had.”
“Can’t believe you’re going to get us all in.”
“It’s a stretch. Only managed thanks to the campers.“
“Okay. There’s a few of those. Good luck with it all,” Tim calls as he heads off towards the squash courts.
Rudd closes the door, and goes down the steps into the dining-room. Here the tables wait quietly for guests and, through the swing doors beyond, he can hear the chat and clatter of the kitchen. He loves the sound, and the way it energises his bones.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023