The Armstrong’s lived at West Side Farm on the other side of the village where there were a number of cottages and small houses on the Purplemere road and Dulcets Lane which formed the part of Mornington Village known as Manorside
While their kin, the Appleby’s and the Hancock’s had farms at the other end of the vale and they had all worked the land for many generations.
But they were very close knit families and every year they had a family holidays together similarly they often got together oh high days and holidays
So on Boxing Day of 2017 it was the turn of the Armstrong’s to host the Hancock’s and Appleby’s who journeyed to Mornington for a celebration meal.
All three had large families and when the children grew up and had girlfriends and boyfriends no one knew until everyone arrived exactly how many people they had to accommodate for food and sleeping births.
Given the distances involved and the fact that drink was normally taken in liberal quantities there was always a lot of people who stayed overnight which often caused a bit of a reshuffle on the accommodation front.
In the case of West Gate Farm it was further complicated by the fact that the lady of the house, Beth Armstrong, insisted that the unmarried couples sleep in separate rooms.
Mainly because she was a good Christian woman and didn’t want anything unsavory going on under her roof.
So the result of the segregation meant Peter Armstrong’s girlfriend Glenda had to share one of the spare rooms with his cousin Alana Hancock he was forced to endure their enforced separation on the lounge sofa as he had had to give up his own room for his aunt and uncle.
He found it difficult to drop off, partly because it wasn’t very comfortable but mainly because his head was rerunning the conversation he had an hour before with his girlfriend Glenda, in which she had told him she was breaking up with him.
But it wasn’t that so much that was troubling him because he had come to the conclusion that he didn’t actually mind.
After tossing and turning for about an hour and then just when his eyes were beginning to get heavy he suddenly had an acute need to pee so Peter tiptoed his way upstairs to the loo and relieved himself.
He was yawning as he stepped back onto the landing and was not really paying attention and so he bumped into Alana Hancock coming the other way.
There was an instance of recognition and then she pushed him back into the bathroom and planted a wet sensual kiss on his lips.
He had always had a soft spot for Alana but he thought she was out of his league, but that aside she was kissing him, however he immediately disengaged and said
“We can’t be doing that”
“Why not?” she asked
“My girlfriend is in the room you just came out of” he pointed out
“Not according to her” Alana said
“Glenda told me she’d broken up with you” she said
“Oh yes” he said and kissed her
When they returned to their own beds Peter still couldn’t sleep but instead of his head being full of thoughts about his ex-girlfriend Glenda, it was now full to overflowing with images and thoughts about his new girlfriend Alana.