Edgar Braithwaite was uncomfortable. He shuffled from foot to foot in fancy shoes that pinched his bunions. He’s rather be in his work boots feeling the earth beneath his feet and breathing the country air.
He wasn’t impressed with this black and white corporate world he’d been plunged into. But here was a spark of colour, a young girl being led like a lamb to the slaughter by the look on her face in a dress as dazzling as a buttercup. A pretty young thing with that ponsey trussed up Sebastian. And leading the way as ever motormouth Melanie.
He rolled his eyes, how did he end up in this mess?
It was his niece Victoria’s fault, sweet liitle Vicky, who had followed him round the farm when she was little, had got herself mixed up with a strange crowd make no mistake. She was very la-di-dah these days.
There was a market for grapes and the soil at the farm seemed to be just right. A good opportunity to diversify, it’s what you had to do these days to stay afloat. It seemed a much better bet than these glamping pods springing up everywhere. Edgar wasn’t one for strange people milling about the place. Wasn’t one for people full stop to be honest.
Then Vicky said she had this friend with money to invest, wine was the way forward and if they made sparkling wine actually on the “estate” they couldn’t lose – apparently.
And so Brook Farm became Summer Brooke Winery. With an e “so much more prestigious” said Melanie who was brought in as head of PR and marketing.
Overnight Edgar found himself elevated from humble farmer minding his own business to CEO of a proper limited company.
“If it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well, and doing it with style and sparkle, that should be our motto. Don’t you agree Mr Braithwaite?”
“Edgar, just call me Edgar.” He liked things plain and simple, always had and always would.
“Edgar, I’d like you to meet… oh I’m sorry I never did catch your name?” Melanie looked at Alice properly for the first time but seemed completed unfazed by her distinct lack of manners in the introductions.
Alice wanted to reply, you never gave me chance to tell you but instead she looked past the woman and caught the eye of the robust Edgar.
He looked as startled by it all as she did and she warmed to him immediately.
With some hesitancy she held out her hand, “Hi I’m Alice.”
His grip was firm, “Edgar Braithwaite, pleased to meet you.”
“CEO of Summer Brooke Winery.” Trilled Melanie, right on cue. “And Alice here is our golden girl, full of sparkle for our advertising campaign. I can’t take all the credit, something Sebastian and I cooked up together. A black and white ball but with one golden girl, standing out in the crowd, a golden English rose in a black and white world, drinking Summer Brooke Sparkling Wine – naturally!”
You had to hand it to her, the girl could talk bullshit for England, thought Alice and if she’d been brave enough to share her thoughts then and there with Edgar he would have wholeheartedly agreed.