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Authors: Janey Louise Jones

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BOOK: Pop Star Princess
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In the middle of the week, Daisy, Rose and Lily came over to Honeypot Hill to visit Saffron's Sewing Shop. Since Saffron was going to be making their stage outfits, she needed to take all the girls' measurements and show them the fabrics she had in mind.

“I've already got a fabulous idea for your outfits – but it's going to be a surprise!” she explained. The girls couldn't wait to see what she came up with. “I'm also going to ask Holly Mallow to make some jewellery to go with your outfits and I'm sure Lily Ann Peach will come over and do your hair!” she continued.

“Wow! That sounds amazing. We're so lucky,” said Poppy.

The days before the trip were spent packing picnic things, bathing suits, buckets and spades, toys and clothes, plus favourite foods. By early Sunday morning, the
Cottons, Grandpa, Honey and Granny Bumble were finally ready to make their way over to the neighbouring coastal town for their holiday.

To get everyone properly in the holiday mood, Grandpa had booked them all tickets on the paddle steamer. He thought that a gentle boat trip down the River Swan to the coast would be by far the most relaxing way to travel to Camomile Cove. So they all made their way up to the quay, where Mr Crowther helped them aboard the
Paddle Princess
.

Poppy was absolutely thrilled when she saw The Pebbles, the beachside lodge Grandpa had rented. It had just been built by Mr Atkins, the local builder from Strawberry Corner, and was painted a soft cream colour with lots of huge picture windows and balconies. To the back was a grassy garden with lots of space for tennis and rounders. To the front was a decking area for eating out, which led to a private jetty where a little fishing boat was moored. They even had their own stretch of pebbly beach, which is how the house got its name.

“This is amazing!” exclaimed Poppy, itching to see the inside.

“Nothing but the best for my family and friends,” said Grandpa, smiling proudly.

The inside did not disappoint. It was all very clean and simple, with smooth tiled floors and vanilla walls adorned with splashy modern art paintings of sunny
coastal scenes. Squashy cornsilk-yellow sofas faced out onto the bay. The cheerful family-friendly kitchen with adjoining dining area all looked well furnished, with natural wood fittings and masses of everyday essentials. Grandpa had even ensured that there were two high chairs for the twins.

“Come and look at our bedroom, Poppy!” cried Honey, calling down from the third floor.

Poppy raced up the wooden staircase to reach her friend. “Wow! I love it!” she squealed, taking in the sweet attic bedroom, with windows overlooking the sea.

There were two beds with sunshine-yellow covers, a pretty wooden dressing table, a large painted wardrobe and a cheerful patterned rug.

“Isn't this the
best
? A beach holiday
and
a talent contest. It's
perfect
!” said Poppy. “Let's unpack quickly. Mum said that lunch would
be ready soon. Then we can go to the beach and then, after that, Daisy wants us to head over for a proper rehearsal.”

Mum and Granny Bumble produced a lovely simple picnic lunch on the table on the balcony. As they ate their lunch, they all enjoyed the breathtaking view of rocky outcrops, pale sandy beaches, aqua sea and sailing boats bobbing to and from the harbour.

By mid-afternoon, everyone was having a heavenly time down on the main beach, which was reached along a path near The Pebbles. Angel and Archie were both
bucket-and-spade mad, even though they mostly wore the buckets on their heads as hats rather than making sandcastles. Dad was more relaxed than he had been in months and he and Mum were laughing the whole time. Poppy and Honey were splashing about in the sea, and Grandpa and Granny Bumble were chatting away happily as they relaxed in two stripy deckchairs.

“Remember the Punch and Judy shows we used to watch on the beach, Joseph?”
recalled Granny Bumble. “Weren't they grand? And the colourful beach huts and ice-cream stalls. It was super. Those were the days!”

“They certainly were,” agreed Grandpa. “It's great to be back.”

“You used to hang out on the beach with Philip Forster every summer, didn't you?” asked Granny Bumble.

“Yes,” mumbled Grandpa. “In fact, I believe he's spending the summer over here too.”

“Oh, how nice – I didn't get a chance to chat to him the other day at the teashop. I was much too busy making lunch for the girls. We should have him over to supper one night,” suggested Granny Bumble.

Granny Bumble, Grandpa and Philip Forster had all been in the same class at Smuggler's Cove High School many years before and had been great friends.

“Maybe we should,” replied Grandpa.

“Maybe you should what?” asked the familiar voice of Colonel Forster as he walked up behind the two deckchairs and greeted his old friends.

Chapter Four


AH, JOSEPH. TAKING
up the lion's share of the beach, I see!” teased the Colonel. “What brings you over to the Cove?”

Grandpa cleared his throat. “We've taken a little house for the week,” he said. “That's it behind us.”

The Colonel almost choked on seeing the smart modern beach house. “Very good. Looks flashy,” he commented. “Can't beat the little fisherman's cottages, though. They're so full of character.”

“Any luck with finding the pirate ship?” Grandpa asked casually.

“Still looking for the cave, old boy!” said the Colonel. “Still looking!”

“You must come over for supper this week, Philip,” said Granny Bumble. “It would be lovely to catch up.”

“Well, thank you very much. That sounds splendid. I'll check my orders with Martha and let you know if I've got any free evenings. I'd best be off now,” said the Colonel. “I've got a pirate ship to find!”

“Honestly,” chuckled Granny Bumble. “I can't believe you two are still so competitive after all these years. You're behaving like a pair of overgrown schoolboys!”

Later that afternoon, Poppy and Honey strolled down to Daisy's house with Dad and the twins. Just as they passed the village shop, Poppy noticed a news-stand selling the local paper, the
Camomile Chronicle
.

BOOK: Pop Star Princess
7.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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