Like the other children enrolled in the area’s public school, Richard heads off immediately upon moving in. He would’ve been allowed the day off really, but Colin had made the school arrangements early and had informed them that his son WOULD be there Monday morning!
As their meagre funds wouldn’t stretch very far, Colin started looking for a job straight away. They didn’t have a computer yet, so the only place to look was the newspaper. There wasn’t much on offer, but as a stopgap Colin took the Adventurer Career post. Angela would’ve liked to have taken something too, but as nannies were expensive she thought it best to stay home for now and look after Sarah. Once Richard was a teenager she’d be free to take on whatever she liked! Whether Sarah would mind being “looked after” by her brother remains to be seen…
All in all that first day was productive enough. Angela met the neighbours (Betty Holland, Dina Caliente and Coral Oldie), Colin brought home his first wage packet and Richard learnt to study. Sarah hadn’t managed anything fully yet, but was well on the way to walking and being potty-trained. Talking would come later.
Richard was a tease, and couldn’t resist tormenting his little sister whenever he could. His favourite trick was to hold toys just out of reach, whether it be a car, a rocket ship or a boat. He found it hilarious, but Sarah didn’t find it funny at all. Their relationship (such as it was) suffered accordingly.
The days flew by. Before long Sarah had learnt everything, and transitioned into a pretty child whose only “fault” was that she needed glasses. Her outfit wasn’t particularly nice though, but a quick trip to the shops sorted that!
“Dad, can we change my bedroom too?” she asked, coming into the bedroom where Colin was using the family PC. “Yellow’s okay, but the wallpaper’s so babyish.” Colin checked the bank balance online to see whether they could afford it.
“I think we could manage that for you. What would you like?”
Sarah tapped a few keys to show her dad a photo she'd found of an "aqua-themed" room. “That! It’s all watery-looking, and it’s got matching bed, desk and lamp!”
It was a stretch. Not only did Sarah have a tiny bedroom, and the bed and desk took up a LOT of space, but matching everything was also expensive. Still, the effect was worth it, and Sarah LOVED it! She couldn’t wait to go to bed in her “new room”! It could be said that Richard might even have been jealous…
Summer had arrived. The family made a little vegetable plot near to the house, and Sarah seemed to be the green-fingered one amongst them. She was always watering the plants. Angela was fine at planting, but spent most of the rest of the time doing other things – like giving financial consulting online to supplement Colin’s wage. He’d been promoted once, but to get another he needed to exercise.
Before long Colin brought home a cheap stereo, which he installed in the living-room. Pushing the coffee-table against the wall meant that there was enough room for him to work out, and for folks to dance.
“Dad! That is SO embarrassing!” Sarah cringed at Colin’s antics, and was extremely glad none of her friends were around to see this. It would ruin what little street cred she’d managed to obtain.
“What’s the matter? I’m in my own home; I can dance if I want to.” Colin didn’t care what the neighbours thought, even if his children did. Sarah vowed that she’d only dance when her dad wasn’t! Richard was quite happy smustling away in front of anyone. Shame he wasn’t very good though!
Autumn arrived, and with the temperature outside dropping, Sarah needed to don her winter coat to tend the plants. It was unlikely that the growing tomatoes would be ready before winter began in earnest. If she could keep them going for now, hopefully they’d revive when spring came round. The family would have to buy their food for now.
As the week drew to a close, Richard was very close to becoming a teenager. Angela looked forward to his birthday, as it meant she’d be able to pursue her dream of fortune as well as being a mum. Richard was also looking forward to it, as he’d be able to go out on his own. Having to have someone “in charge” wasn’t his idea of fun!
So, will Angela find her dream career? Will Colin get promoted again or will he choose to do something else? How will Richard fare with teenhood? And can Sarah look after those struggling tomato plants over a harsh winter? Find out next time we visit.