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Songs of Bliss


lemons, almost empty. When she peels the lid off the margarine tub she discovers mixed-in
toast scrapings.
"Dad!"
Billy looks sheepish. The toaster pops. Bex puts two crumpets each onto side plates
and dumps them on the table. "Ha il fellow, well met", she says, levering off the lid of the
marmalade jar. Breakfast is a brief affair. Father and daughter bicker amiably about the
state of Billy's culinary supplies and of his being a total boy. At his age he should know
better.
With the second, slightly stewed cup of coffee Billy asks, "So, what's the plan?
How much work have you got to do?"
"Q uite a lot, really. Chemistry, physics and biology. It's not like English. I wish. I
actually have to know this stuff. I reckon I ought to work most of this week. Boring." Bex
makes big brown cow eyes at him. "What about you?"
"Easter holidays. The clubs are ramping up. I've got gigs in Taunton, Paignton and
Bristol, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Nothing else till then. I've kept next week free apart
from the Saturday, though. Figured we could do something." Billy sips at his coffee, which
is just turning bitter.
"Like what?", Bex asks.
"I thought Padstow, Rick Stein's, the bistro. Or we could head into Exeter for a bit
of shopping, whatever you want to do. It's your break. We can sit on the beach at Instow for
a week if you want. I'm your slave, within reason." He grins. Billy has been many things
but never anyone's slave. "Is there anything you want to do?"
Bex considers her options. Better come clean. She has already made plans. "Well,
apart from work, I'd like a quiet week. Could we stay in, watch a bit of telly, play a few
records. You could teach me stuff. It's really cool having a Dad who's a singer, even if your
stuff came out of the ark. I thought we could we go and see Maggie at the club on
Wednesday. When you're away I'll do my revision and play house."
Everything comes out in one long stream. Bex pauses, takes a breath and before her
father can interrupt she lays out her plans for the following week.
"Next week, I'd love to do Padstow, Tintagel, maybe the Eden Project. Definitely
the Eden Project. And Newquay zoo. Vet stuff." Billy looks impressed. Organised. He has
yet to visit Cornwall's indoor jungle.
Now for the big one. "And then I've invited a couple of mates down for the last
weekend. I want to go surfing. Tod's wicked. And Lizzy, you know Lizzy, they're both
from school. Westward Ho or Baggy point. Bigbury, yes Bigbury. A night out on the town.
That club in Bideford. And the pub with a ll the moon boots. Lobster Jack's. Tod and Lizzy
need some relaxation as well. You don't mind, do you? Say you don't?"
"Tod?", Billy gasps, quite out of breath with the sheer rapidity of his daughter's
suggestions and orders.
"It's cool. He's just a mate, nothing heavy, none of that deflowering stuff. You'll like
him. He plays guitar and the piano. Please?"
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