As the preparations were on there way the gala seemed to be going from strength to strength. Joyce was surprised to see everyone come together for a Christmas Event. Stalls put up as well as well games for the young ones to enjoy and even the farmers were getting the cattle together. Mia Knight arrived in her tour bus to mark this event and stepped out looking glamourous as ever, with her long blonde flowing. “Joyce” Joyce turned to see the stunning young woman. “It’s so good to see you” she hugged her tightly. “How is your father?” “He is good in Colorado,” she said. She held onto Joyce’s hand and they walked over to the stall where her husband was. “Archie, this is Mia” she clasped Mia round her arm. “I have heard so much about you, welcome to town once again” he shook her hand in delight.
Maxwell and Hannah were in the tent having a tender moment until Eliza walked in. “Oh sorry to break up the loving kiss my dears but she is so infuriating that woman!” Eliza took a bottle of white wine, which was on the table and poured a glass. Not thinking of anyone else, she began to drink. “What has she done now!” “Do this, do that” as she poured another. “I am not her slave and I am certainly do not work for her!” Max glared at his mother as she was furiously talking about Joyce Robinson. “Then she wants me to go and give the schedule to the new family at the manor!” Hannah took the schedule. “I will go and give the schedule to the new family” she replied. Thankfully, Eliza grasped Hannah. “Thank you my dear, if it weren’t Christmas I would have throttled her!” “Trust me” Max rolled his eyes looking at Hannah “some of us have.”
“Why on earth do we have to make spectacles of ourselves?” Nina Archer was shouting at the top of the stairs, voice booming for all in sundry to hear. Her sister Ivy rolled her eyes at her younger sister. Ivy was trying to say that she needed to be there to be able to show that the manor was not just a family place but also a business. “I have more important things to do than to be treated like a puppet!” “No one is treating you like a puppet Nina; we are just trying to be a good family to these people so that they can bring their business to us!” “SO why haven’t we shown our faces to these people before now!”
Downstairs Missy was drinking mulled wine, still furious at her brother for not telling or inviting her to his secret wedding. “I guess that this family is quite different from the ones you are used to brother” she called as she looked around. “You set your sights well haven’t you!” “Look I didn’t want to make a fuss and I didn’t want to someone to find out either!” “Oh as if she wasn’t and anyway she would be going to see you soon at the gala” Missy said adamantly. Nina came down the stairs franticly. “Oh this is just great; I got a sister who is playing truant and a brother nowhere to be seen!” She hugged her husband for comfort and Missy pretended to be sympathetic and smiled. “WHAT are families like aye” she called to her brother. “I BET you didn’t expect this!” “Neither did I” Missy replied. Missy’s phone rang. She looked at it. “It’s Marcus. Now you do as I say, before you both get into trouble.”
The gala was in full flow as everyone was starting to arrive for the Christmas Eve celebrations. All families from town were scattered around enjoying the bright light and entertainment. Richard Devlin and his wife Adele smiled as they hurried over to their family. “We have some news,” added Richard excitedly. “What is going on?” “We’re having a baby,” said Adele excitedly. Joyce clasped her hands happily, as she hugged her daughter. “It’s a girl and we’ve decided to call her Martha,” said Richard. Ken touched Richards’ shoulder “Nice tribute mate” he said.
Mia walked on stage and begun to sing a carol to open the gala. Joyce smiled as she lay onto her husband’s shoulder and Hannah beamed with pride. A new family also joined in. “Mum that is the family from the manor” said Adele. “Two girls, one boy and a father. Hmm no mother?” Then another face caught her eye. “Wait isn’t that!” “Mickey!” Hannah was startled to see her old flame with a new woman in sight. Max whispered into her ear. “He’s got a ring as well.”