Goodbye, Farewell and Amen – Part 1
Tuesday 8th November 2016
11 am Local Time
As the two women pushed their cart along the dusty road, they talked quietly to each other, before they heard the jeep approaching and looked round.
As it came closer, it slowed down and stopped, the window going down as a dark skinned woman looked out.
“That appears to be a heavy load – may we offer you assistance?”
“The offer is well meant, but we thank you,” one of the women said. “Welcome back Leader – Teacher is expecting both of you and your guest.”
They caught a glimpse of the dark haired woman in the rear of the jeep as Leader smiled and drove off again, Liz turning her head as she said “we’ve only got another mile to go.”
“So what is this place we’re going to?”
“Our training camp,” Leader said as she looked in the rear view mirror, “in many ways, it is my home now, but it will provide sanctuary for you while you decide what your next course of action will be.”
“Well, given the world seems to think I’m dead, I guess the world is my oyster,” Alex Green said as the jeep continued along the dusty road. Like Leader and Liz, she was wearing a short sleeved blouse and tan covered pants with hiking boots. Through the windscreen, she saw a collection of huts come into view, as Leader smiled and said “be it ever so humble…”
“It looks perfectly normal,” Alex said as the jeep came to a halt, and she got out behind Liz, looking round and seeing groups of women as they walked to and fro, some of them carrying tools.
“Well, we have welcomed many to this place, but I can honestly say this is the first time we have welcomed a dead woman to the sisterhood.”
Alex turned to look at the blonde haired woman standing and looking at her, and next to her a dark skinned woman with a prosthetic leg.
“Well met, Teacher,” Liz said, “allow me to introduce Alex Hope-Green. Alex, this is Helga Svenson, also known as Teacher.”
“No – just Alex Green now,” Alex said as she shook the hand of the Swede, “but I did not expect to meet a European here.”
“Oh you’ll meet all sorts here,” the other woman said with an Australian accent. “I’m Sunburst McRae – welcome to our camp.”
“So I have been told – and what role do you play here Sunburst.”
“Small arms, tactics – and I help feed everyone here. So they call me Poison – for now.”
Alex looked round, putting her hand in her hair as she said “well, as a place to stay, I’ve seen worse.”
“Little Mother says you are to rest, and watch,” Teacher said.
“No – if I am to stay here, I earn my place,” Alex said, “just tell me what you want me to do.”
The four other women looked at each other, before Poison said “well, if you insist – I need some help with the prep for dinner. Come with me…”
“So if you’re Poison, and Helga is Teacher, do I need a name as well?”
“Funnily enough, Little Mother did want to suggest one – how do you feel about Muis?”
Thursday 10th November
7.30 am GMT
The hotel staff had never seen anything like this in all their time working there. It had started the previous day, when at first light a team of men and women had descended on the hotel and conducted a fingertip search before the first of the expected guests arrived.
They knew the hotel had been booked out for one night, and with breakfast the next morning, but when the first car had pulled up outside, the last thing they had expected was the distinguished and well-dressed man and woman who came in.
They were only the first – there was the Amazonian blonde with her dark skinned daughter, who smiled as she signed in. Then there was the other couple, the French noblewoman with her daughter, and finally the young woman in her wheelchair, accompanied by her mother.
They knew they were all here for the same thing – the whole town knew, and other hotels in the area were booked out as well. They had talked to their colleagues at the Marine, which had become for the two days an outpost of Complete Style. The media had also moved into other places…
The morning was grey, a soft rain falling, and the mood in the dining room was just as sober as the first guests came in.
“Good morning,” the young girl said as she came over when they had sat down, “what can I get you this morning?”
“Black coffee – for both of us please,” Klaus said as he looked over. “We’ll just help ourselves to the buffet later.”
“Of course,” she said as she walked away, Klaus looking at Juliette as she sat in her black dress.
“I still can’t believe it, you know,” Juliette finally said.
“What, that we say goodbye today?”
“That and the fact he won,” Juliette said as she shook her head, “I suppose we can take comfort from the fact Tom was re-elected, but even so…”
“What has happened, has happened – we will face it as we face everything,” Klaus said quietly as the coffee was brought over. “Come – let us see what they have.”
“How are you feeling this morning,” Ama said as she sat next to Jeannie, the two teenagers wearing black jerseys and pants.
“Strange – sad, but I knew we had to be here,” Jeannie said as she poured some coffee, the waitress putting some toast on the table. “What would you like, Miss?”
“I will have kippers, if that is all right, and some tea,” Ama said with a smile as Barbara came in with Caroline.
“Are you sure you’re all right, love,” Barbara said as she sat down.
“I am,” Jeannie said quietly, “it just made me think of when you told me about Dad’s funeral. I was in hospital, so I could not be there, but I still felt as if I was. This is different, though – but I’ll get through it.”
“Of course you will,” Caroline said with a smile. “Coffee and the full Scottish please.”
“I’ll have the same,” Barbara said as Jeannie wrinkled her nose. “How can you eat that?”
“What, the Haggis?”
“No – the potato scone…”
8 am GMT
The Marine Hotel
"I think now we are here people are finally convinced that she is genuinely dead," Merlin said quietly as she cried a little tear, "that it isn't all just a collective delusion and that she hasn't just slipped out to make herself a cup of tea."
"I'm just glad that most of the media is respecting her wishes and staying away," Grace sipped her own cup of tea. "She wanted it to be as quiet a funeral as possible. Jeanne is different, but the others can stay away."
"Ai we can
at least give her that," Mary nodded, "but the memorial service will
be the kind of crowd scene that she would have loathed."
Grace said as she wiped her mouth, “but she had so many friends and admirers,
and I don't think that she would deny them that chance to come together and
"Who is the rather official, but distinguished looking, man over there?" Anna asked. Grace looked over, and smiled as she said "That’s Sir Thomas Campbell-Gordon, he's the Under Secretary at the Scottish Office."
"You mean he's from the government? I thought Fiona specified no 'official' guests?'
here in his official capacity," Mary smiled, "Fiona knew him when
they were both still children, and he's married to Jean Doig, and I know you
"I thought I saw her chatting to Marie-France," Anna nodded.
"Young Jeannie spotted her last night when we went for the meal, and I know badly wants to talk to another 'living legend' to use her own words."
“Well, doing our exercise was certainly different this morning,” Marina said as she sat down with Kylie.
“Indeed darling – the se air was so invigorating,” she said as she looked at her phone. “Mother and Aunt Kerry are driving from Aberdeen airport with Gio. They will meet us at the funeral directors.”
Marina nodded as she said “so we’re all flying down to London later this evening.”
“Indeed – and I am curious as to why I have been asked to attend the meeting at the solicitor tomorrow. Surely Fiona did not leave me something?”
“Only one way to find out kiddo,” Marina said as she finished her coffee. “Come on, we need to get ready…”
9.30 am GMT
“The morning mail, Agnes,” Sue said as she put the opened letters on the desk for Agnes to look out.
“Thanks,” Agnes said as she glanced at the pile, and then picked up the first one. “I have to go to Lovibond and Bird tomorrow at eleven? Whatever for?”
“If I read it correctly,” Sue said with a smile, “Fiona MacKenzie has mentioned you in her will.”
“Me? I hardly knew her. Still, if I am summoned… Better make some space in the diary, Sue.”
“Already done boss…”
11 am GMT
Macintosh and Steven Funeral Directors
They came from all directions, making their way in the damp Scottish air as a soft rain fell from the grey sky.
Outside the funeral directors, Will looked round as he said “so we are in agreement, gentlemen? Me and Archie, then Luke and Jack, and finally Klaus and Rudi?”
He looked round as in turn Lord Archibald Gordon, Luke Heller and Jack Linklater, Klaus and Rudi all nodded.
“We have the honour of being the pallbearers at the church,” Will said to the director, who nodded as Victoria Gordon, Teri, Mandy and Juliette looked on. All four were in black coats, their leather shoes with short heels, and veils coming down from their hats.
“At least the rain seems to be stopping, darlings,” Mandy said as she looked up.
“True, but the sky is still grey,” Juliette said as she looked round, Caroline and Ama arriving with Barbara and Jeannie. All four had on long dark coats and boots, Jeannie and Ama with a dark scarf tied over their hair.
“It may be grey, but for Fiona it would be what she wanted,” Mary said as she pulled her own great coat over her body, and then said “Mother – thank you for coming today.”
“It’s my pleasure,” Linda Evangelista said as she nodded to Jeanne Beckmann, “how are the arrangements for tomorrow?”
“All in place,” Grace said with a small smile. “You will be able to attend at the solicitor’s as well?”
“Indeed – I have no idea why she wants me there, but I will be there…”
"So what news from the wider world Juliette?" Caroline asked as her friend quickly checked her messages.
"A lot of things are going on as normal, a lot of things appear to be changing," the model/author sighed. "A lot of people are worried just what will happen next."
said to me earlier a lot of certainties that we have always lived with seem to
be coming to an end."
"I'm going to concentrate on the things I can control,” Juliette said quietly, “and try and be prepared in some way to face the unknown."
"Are you going home via Ireland as well?"
the memorial service is over, we fly over the next morning and do those shows
and then it’s back to New York."
"Or in my case on to Iceland to start filming."
“When does Ama fly back over?”
“A week on Friday – so she gets some schooling in…”
“I would say good morning, darlings,” Kylie said as she and Marina joined Ama and Jeannie, “but somehow it seems inappropriate today?”
“I know,” Jeannie said as she looked up, “but I understand what you mean. Is Marina with Anna?”
“Indeed – she is walking with the rest of the Complete Style Editors. I heard Poppy stayed in London?”
“She did – she’s going with Laura and Mylie to the school today, but she’s coming out with us tomorrow night,” Ama said quietly, “before we all head for home.”
happy with who is here," Mary Thomas smiled as she looked round, "her
dearest and oldest friends from the fashion world, plus a few friends who knew
her all her life."
"I guess I
never thought she had a life outside fashion and the magazine business,"
Karen Boyd said as she adjusted the veiling on her hat, "it was like it
was her entire existence."
"Oh no she had other interests," Mary smiled, "she just liked to keep them private. I think everyone is going to be surprised by one or two things today."
“Changing the subject completely,” Jeannie said, “Erica’s party next week. Nessa booked the Astoria?”
“Indeed - so a taste of senior year,” Ama said as they noticed a long black hearse slowly pull out, the coffin inside covered with floral tributes. The funeral director looked at the group, and said in a clear voice “may I invite you to take your positions, as you accompany Fiona on her last trip?”
"Today she comes home for the very last time," Merlin whispered the words as she and Grace took up their positions following the coffin.
As Grace nodded, a lone piper walked forward and bowed to the hearse, and then went to the front. The mood turned sombre as the party assembled, before the director put on a top hat, and bowed to the hearse.
The piper put the mouthpiece to his lips, and as he stated to play Dark Island he walked slowly forward, the director and the hearse following as Grace and Mary followed behind. Klaus and Juliette, Rudi and Teri, Victoria and Archie, Will and Mandy and Jack and Luke formed a group to walk behind them.
Ama, Jeannie and Kylie moved behind them, Kylie joined by her mother, aunt and Gio as Barbara and Caroline came too, followed by Anna and the assembled editors. They followed as the groups turned right onto Arbuthnot Place, people standing as they passed and bowing their heads.
Turning onto Bridgefield, Juliette noticed how the numbers of people seemed to be growing, all dressed in sombre clothing as they bowed their heads while the procession went by. They crossed the river, going along Allardice Street and then turning into Evan Street.
At the Market Square, Mary saw a Guide troop waiting, wearing black armbands and waiting until they passed before they joined the end of the procession. “Girl Guides?” She looked at Grace and nodded as she said “she was a great supporter of the movement.”
They walked slowly, Jeannie noticing how the shop windows had black bands across them. People came out of the shops and bowed their heads, shoppers, tradesmen, ordinary people paying their respects to the daughter of the town.
“Have you seen how many people are stopping and watching,” Ama whispered to Caroline.
“I have – it appears she was very much remembered here,” Caroline said quietly, fighting back memories of her as a girl a little younger then Ama at her mother’s funeral. She felt Karen grip her hand and nodded as they moved on, turning into Slug Road as they moved slowly along.
By the time they reached Kirk Road, the pavements were full of the local people, the men removing their hats as they entered the road that led to Fetteresso Church. Standing outside were a small party, including those who had not walked with the hearse, and an elderly couple that looked familiar to Juliette.
“Mary,” the woman said as Mary Thomas hugged her, “thank you – to see so many walk with her.”
“Ai it was our honour. Juliette, this is Norma MacKenzie, Fiona’s sister, and her husband Douglas. Norma, Douglas, Juliette von Furstenheim and Anna Mitchell.”
“It is a real honour to meet you,” Anna said as they held hands, the piper stopping as the hearse came to a stop, Dr Fyfe Blair coming forward in his back robes. The director and piper bowed their heads again as the hearse was opened, the floral tributes removed and laid reverentially to one side before the coffin was gently taken out.
As this was done, Wil and Archie took the front, Jack and Luke coming to each side and taking their position, and finally Rudi and Klaus. The men gently lifted the coffin onto their shoulders, before they carried Fiona through the doors.
The organ was playing the Skye Boat Song as they walked down the central aisle, the mourners filing in and taking their places in the pew. Jeannie went with her mother, Ama and Caroline to the front pew on one side, as the coffin was laid gently on a pair of trestles, and then the six pall bearers moving to the side to join the other women there.
Dr Blair then came to the front as the organ stopped, Juliette looking at the order of service she had been handed when she came in. “Welcome,” he said as he looked over the packed church, “and thank you all for joining us today as we say goodbye to Fiona MacKenzie. We open with our first hymn – Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven…”
As the congregation sat down, the minister said “I call on Ama Jameson to read the lesson.”
Ama slowly stood up and walked to the front, looking in the lectern bible before she began to read.
“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
“For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
“Amen,” Ama said as she looked at the coffin, then slowly walked back as Dr Blair came forward.
“Fiona MacKenzie,” he said quietly, “was a tower of the fashion industry, and a daughter of this community, but she was also a loving and caring woman, who quietly supported many causes and wanted to encourage talent whenever she found it.
“She may have spent most of her adult life away from here, but from talking to others in preparation for today, I discovered her heart never truly went far from Stonehaven, and when she did come back, her sister told me it was truly coming home for her. So it is only fitting that she chose this to be the place she came for her final journey.
“She was a woman of strong faith, but a faith that never proclaimed itself in a public way. And it was that faith that carried her through the battle with cancer, and that faith that sustained her through the dark times as well as letting her celebrate in the good ones.”
As the congregation listened quietly, some wiping tears away, he continued “Fiona wasn't the type to want a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth - her wishes would have been towards living life the best you can and one of hope for the future that all will one day be better. To speak to that side of her character, Jeannie Brewster has asked if she could say a few words.”
Jeannie nodded as she wheeled herself to the front, turning to face the congregation by the coffin.
Eventually, she smoothed out a few pieces of paper before she said “many people here know my story – how I first met Fiona when I was invited to go on a visit to the Complete Style offices in London, and she saw something in me that caught her eye. To me, she had always been this name in the magazines Mum brought home for me to read, but I met this vibrant, excited woman who loved life, and loved discovering new things in life.
“After all, she discovered me,” she said as there was a small round of laughter.
“At the time, as I said to Jeanne Beckmann when we did the tribute show, I thought she was just giving a young girl an amazing treat, but afterwards I heard how much she had gone to bat for me, because she saw a talent in me – and she loved to find young talent. There are many others here, I am sure, who would speak to the influence she had on their career when they first started – although I suspect they are holding on to those memories for another place.
“As I got to know Fiona, however, I knew she had a passion for helping youth come through. It was only recently I heard, for example, of her support for the Girl Guide movement – even to the extent, apparently, of advising Jeff Banks when he re-designed their uniforms in the 1980s. For my sins, before the accident I was a Brownie – and to know now she helped design the uniform…”
As she spoke, Caroline looked over to where the Guide troop were sitting, before they started to applaud, others joining in. When they stopped, Jeannie continued “I benefited from her eye and her support, as did many here – especially my friend Kylie, who is here today. I want to thank her, and to say goodbye – may she rest in peace.”
She bowed her head and put her hand on the coffin, before she wheeled herself back, Caroline standing up and coming to the front.
most of you in some way knew Fiona, or knew of her incredible life and
career," Caroline tried to smile as she looked out over the congregation,
"but I want to talk about the Fiona who I knew personally."
"Aunt Fiona - as I was told by her I must call her the very first time I met her," Caroline sniffed back a tear, "took it on herself to try and watch over me in that period when my Mother's life was totally disintegrating. She did all she could to try and help my Mother, but to try and see no harm came my way."
Caroline stared at the congregation before she continued. “When my mother died, it was Aunt Fiona who came to the hospital to find me. I was sitting in a corner, too scared to do anything, but she just sat with me, saying nothing, until I started to cry on her. She was a tower for me for those few days – and although we did not see each other for years afterwards, that memory always stayed with me.
“I did not know
what, if any faith Aunt Fiona had. But,
if I had to say that Aunt Fiona had a creed, it was the idea that one should
try and do no harm, and prevent others from doing it as well."
The tall blonde
paused and took a deep breath.
you know that Stella Jameson, my mother, entrusted Aunt Fiona with some letters
to be given to me after her death." Caroline paused to cry a few tears.
"What I want is to reveal a few things I learned about Fiona from those letters."
She took some sheets out of her inside jacket pocket, and looked at them.
"It was Aunt Fiona who in the end talked Aunt Charity, that's Karen Boyd to most of you, into going into rehab for her addictions, and she tried just as hard to get my Mother to do the same, if not for her own sake, then for mine."
Karen nodded as she dabbed a tear away from her eye, as Caroline looked at another sheet.
“My mother entrusted Aunt Fiona with her diaries, and also with the details through the letters of what little legacy she was able to give me. It was Aunt Fiona that she told me to turn to first, if I wasn’t able to get back to my father – and in that mad time, my regret is that I wasn’t able to benefit from her wisdom in those years.
“But more importantly, it was through Aunt Fiona that Mum told me of the rest of my family, and that I was able to get in touch with my own grandfather when I decided to come out of my private world of security, and reconnect with others. That day when I did the charity fashion show in New York was one of the greatest days of my life – and Aunt Fiona was there for it.”
“But the thing I learned most was how much my mother loved and trusted her – and as I got to know her anew, I also got to love and trust her. She took a real interest in Ama, when I adopted her, and it was only recently she was talking to her of her own experiences growing up here. So it was no surprise to me when I was asked if Ama would read the lesson today.”
She paused for a moment, before she said “I will miss hearing her voice, seeing her smile – but I carry her memory in my heart. Goodbye Aunt Fiona – say hello to Mum from all of us…”
As she sat down, Ama hugged her while Dr Blair came forward. “Let us all in silent prayer remember Fiona, before she takes the next stage of her final journey.”
The congregation bowed their heads in prayer, each with their own thoughts, until he said “and so, O lord, we commit your servant Fiona into thy tender mercies. In the hope of resurrection unto eternal life, through the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we faithfully and victoriously give him/her over to your blessed care. Amen. God has blessed and enriched our lives in giving us Fiona to know and love here on earth, may she now be safe in your presence. Amen.”
As the congregation raised their heads, Will led the pallbearers out as they stood by the coffin, raised it onto their shoulders, and carried it out to the waiting hearse, to the sound of the organ playing Memories…
1.30 pm GMT
“That was beautiful,” Mary said as she and Grace made their way into the hotel dining room, where a buffet had been laid out and chairs arranged around tables, “a simple final service, and then it is over. What are the plans for her ashes?”
“Once the formalities are over, her sister is to take them and scatter them over the water on Loch Lee – apparently it was a favourite family spot when she was growing up.”
“Ai – the right thing to do…”
“That was a beautiful service,” Gio said as he sat with Lerry, Sami and Kylie.
“Indeed darlings,” Kylie said as she sipped her tea, “will you be coming tomorrow Gio?”
“Sadly, no – I have to be at a shoot elsewhere – but I am sure it will be just as moving,” Gio said with a sad smile.
Ama and Jeannie looked back at the tall, slim woman who was standing behind them. “May I sit with you for a few minutes?”
“Of course – I do not believe we have met?”
“No – my name is Jean Campbell-Gordon. I just wanted to thank you both for what you said in the service.”
“It was my honour,” Ama said before Jeannie stammered “it’s a real honour to meet you, Mrs Campbell-Gordon. Did you know Fiona?”
“More my husband,” she said as she looked at Thomas talking to Will and Mandy, “they were childhood friends. But I have followed your career with great interest Jeannie – and did I see your name in the Under-17 Scotland squad for the next international, Ama.”
Ama blushed as Caroline came to join them. “And then there is your mother – I heard of what you did for Tom and Paula Lardarn, Caroline.”
“Well, it is my profession, after all,” Caroline said with a smile. “Is your husband canvassing Mandy in her role for the Scottish Fashion initiative?”
“I think so, but let’s not talk about that just now – I understand you are a fashion historian Jeannie, so you must have questions…”
Doig..." Jeannie began hesitantly, unsure for once of what to say.
you can safely call me Spider," the older woman laughed and tossed her
still luxuriant auburn hair.
Spider," Jeannie blushed, "You were so influential..."
different?" Jean laughed, "is that what you were going to say
in the 70's so many people said you were the 'anti-model' model. How did all
that get started?"
Jean sat bac for a moment, and then said "I guess it was because I'd always hung out with friends like Vivienne, Malcolm, etc, and when punk was first noticed by the fashion industry, I got noticed as well. I got that 'anti-model' tag because there were so few girls dressing like I did, with my hair and makeup being so radical looking."
"I've seen so many pictures of you."
you," the veteran model smiled, "but remember that whole scene didn't
last that long really."
"And Spider has had a long, LONG career since those days haven't you darling?" Mandy kissed her on the cheek. "She was MY inspiration."
“Well, you certainly continued to carry the torch,” Jean said,” and now look at both of us. Did you know Fiona asked me to come to Sydney?”
“I heard, but you were busy?”
“I was – and I watched it, to see so many of my old friends come out onto the stage. Will Bandit be there tomorrow?”
“She will – in fact, the rumour is her son will be doing something as well, but the only person who knows the full program is Mary.”
“And she’s saying nothing?”
“Got it in one,” Mandy said with a smile.
for that interruption," Mary Thomas said quietly as she closed her phone,
"it was the Master of Music at St Paul's just confirming the musical programme
gathered from your end of the conversation," Will nodded. "From what
I just heard it sounds like it will be excellent."
Fiona wasn't quite as into music as I was,” Mary said with a smile, “but she still
had definite preferences in what she liked to listen to."
"I remember running into her at Covent Garden more than once. It was always a surprise to me to see her there, but she was a great supporter as well."
"Ai she'd go on her own and enjoy the music. It was never truly my scene."
me to the Paris Opera back in the day," Juliette took a sip, "looking
back I can also say I guess that I owe my tastes in opera and ballet to
always tells the story of the thrill she got when Fiona showed her some of
the Rudolf Nureyev memorabilia she had."
"Fiona was one of Rudi's closest friends," Mary paused, "Fiona always said his death in 1993 in Paris was one of the worst days of her life."
“Forgive me,” Jack said as he joined them, “but Fiona was a ballet fan? I never knew that.”
“We all have our secrets, Jack Linklater, as you well know,” Mary said as she poked him in the ribs. “But yeah, Fiona loved her classical arts…”
it Jean," Juliette grinned as she turned round, "or I'll start
calling you Lady Campbell-Gordon in return."
darling," the older woman laughed and then kissed the blonde on the cheek.
an age, it's just sad that it's taken Fiona dying for us to be in the same room."
know," Jean paused, "Tommy was heartbroken. He'd convinced himself
she was getting better, and then to get the news just out of the blue like
"I know," Juliette shook her head, "I think we were all in a state of shock."
"I think some of us still are," Jean said as she looked round. “I remember meeting her with Vivian and Malcolm, when she was working for the upper establishment, as we called them. I mean, what we did in those days was completely against the establishment norm.”
“You mean the safety pins and the torn clothing,” Juliette said with a smile.
“Yes, but also the attitude of wanting to rebel against anything. Fiona was possibly the last person you would expect to find something in that, but she did, and she supported it.”
“So what exactly did she say when McQueen picked Mandy as his spokesperson?”
“Honestly? I met her with Malcolm for a drink the ay that announcement came out, and she just said ‘Aye, guid choice….’”
"So, are you still keeping busy darling?"
"Oh I find a few things to keep me out of trouble," the older woman's eyes sparkled.
must be snowed under with work seeing Scotland voted Remain, but the
Westminster government is determined to press ahead with Leave?"
"Yes it's going to be a trying time. But, I suspect, no more trying than your own country is about to go through."
“Listen – why did he buy those two golf courses, and why did they let him?”
“It was over Tommy’s strong objections – especially Turnberry. That is going to come back and bite them…”
for your help in clearing a path through the red tape for Aggie McAdam's
initiative at Ardray Thomas."
as he sipped his tea. "Not a
problem Will. Everyone knows something has to be done to help rural Scotland,
and what Aggie and Cat are trying to do is an interesting pilot scheme."
speaking in my Fitzstuart Woolen's voice, giving us incentives to set up a
distribution hub in Ardray actually makes sound commercial sense."
being told." the older man sipped his tea. "I hear Aggie played a
role in setting tomorrow up?"
"Well with dean of St Paul's being her Uncle David, a lot of people, including my wife, thought she was the perfect person to ask the cathedral."
“Indeed – did you know Fiona spoke of her admiration for her when her story appeared in the Times? I think she saw something of a kindred spirit in her…”
7.30 pm GMT
Petrus, Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge
“I never fouht I’d eat in a place like this,” Kerry said as the small party walked in. The four women were wearing jackets over dresses, while Gio had a uit on with an open necked shirt.
"You know she brought me 'ere fer lunch that first time she gave me sumfing to shoot for CS," Gio shook his head as they waited to be seated. "I'd never eaten in anyfing approaching such a fancy gaff as this and I guess she could tell I was nervous as 'ell, but I'll always remember 'er tellin' me to bluddy get used to it because I was goin to do great fings, and be a big success in fashion photography."
"That sounds just like her," Marina shook her head, "Fiona went out of her way, even though she wasn't well, to phone me and encourage me to take the job with Anna."
talking about Miss Mackenzie?" the Maitre d' asked in a respectful tone.
Louis," Gio shook his head, "we just flew back from the
about it on the television news," the man said quietly as he led them to a
table, "we will all miss her. She wasn't just a valued customer, but
equally one of the loveliest people most of us on the staff ever met."
was wonderful darling," Kylie smiled slightly.
"Louis meet Kylie Mitchell, 'er Mum, and you've met Kerry of course," Gio made the introductions, "and this is Marina Sowkowski who works for CS in New York."
"It's a pleasure to meet you all," the man smiled, "now Robert here will be serving you tonight, and can I again express our condolences?"
“Thank you darling,” Kylie said with a smile as she looked round, “such a beautiful place…”
8 pm GMT
Shirley and John’s home
“Thanks for inviting me over,” Juliette said as she took the glass of wine from John, “I just need a few down hours before tomorrow.”
"I can imagine,” Shirley said as she looked at her friend. “So how was it Juliette?"
"It was sad, it was sombre, it was simple. I think she would have been happy with that Shirley."
little I knew her then I agree with you on that."
"She would hate the fuss of the memorial service, but we had to create someway that the industry could remember her and celebrate her contributions."
“Well, it should be a fitting tribute to her,” John said as he sat down, “and yes, she would have hated it, but I’m sure Mary and Grace will have kept things in check.”
Juliette nodded as she said “What I don’t understand is why Fiona has named me in her will…”
"Still no ideas why you've been invited to the readin' of 'er will luv?" Sammi asked her daughter as she looked at the menu.
"Not really darling,” Kylie drawled as she looked over, “I suppose she's been kind enough to leave me a little bequest."
"Well she was both an admirer and a fan of your work Kylie," Marina looked up, "that very last editorial she wrote for CS talking about the great British designers, finished with her saying that you were the next superstar."
"I know, she was far too kind," Kylie blushed.
"She was right though," Gio said as he beckoned for the waiter to come and take their order, "you are amazin' Kyles."
"Agreed," Kerry put down her menu. I mean, look at you – you’re not the street kid any more, either of you.”
Marina blushed as she looked over, and said “well, it took a lot of hard work, but we do seem to have become better people for it.”
“It is as I told you that day in New York, mother,” Kylie said quietly, “we had ot get away to do this, and now we begin to reap the benefits.”
“So who else has been asked to be there tomorrow,” Sami asked.
“Well, I know Jeannie has also been asked to come, and Anna as well Marina?”
“So I understand – but I won’t go. This is personal, and Mary wants my help at the cathedral given she has to go as well…”
“Thank you Maisha,” Shirley said as Maisha cleared the starter plates, and went to the kitchen with her, returning to sit down as Shirley brought the first plate through – just as Juliette looked at her phone.
that darling?" Klaus asked as Shirley started to serve dinner.
"Eve Stone," Juliette said as she tucked her phone in her handbag, "just to say that the Irish contingent have arrived safely at the Savoy."
"I've been getting messages from people all day saying they are here," John said quietly as he poured everybody some more wine, "it will be an incredible turnout tomorrow."
hear the Duchess of Cornwall will be there?" Shirley asked.
that several members of the royal family will be attending in a private
capacity my love," John put the bottle down.
a fashion advisor and confidante to many of them you know?" Juliette
heard from Jack, although she kept that secret as well. What about European royalty Klaus?"
"Oh I think several of my relatives are coming Shirley," Klaus said as he accepted a plate.
will be one of the people reading a lesson," Juliette nodded.
"My sister will be among the ladies acting as ushers," Klaus added as Juliette’s phone went off again.
was THAT message from Juliette my darling?" Klaus smiled at the slightly
embarrassed look on his wife's face.
Jayes, she works for my publishers. She was asking when I want to see the
proofs for my new book so I can make any corrections," Juliette turned off
her device, "I'll make sure this lovely dinner isn't further
remember you introducing me to her," Shirley started to eat again,
"she's that New Zealand girl."
remember you telling me that she had an ancestor who knew yours Shirley
"She did indeed John. Where is she?"
“In New York – but we fly to Ireland tomorrow, so I’ll see if I can fix a meeting up for next week…”