Queer Tango Episode 12: The Pink Plimsole


I hope that you are smiling and enjoy this week’s episode of Queer Tango called The Pink Plimsole.

Big Smiles,


Queer Tango

Episode 12: The Pink Plimsole

Bumblethorpe was a town divided with families battling amongst each other and opinions that were stronger than Janis’ mother’s Irish Coffee: Was Trevor a victim, a misunderstood man who had been bullied by his ex-wife, his overpowering mother and that Barry’s exposé in the Bumblethorpe Buzz was all but a fabrication? Or had he really done a Trevor?

The intense atmosphere was heightened due to the fact it was bucketing it down and the bowls league was postponed until Mavis Jones could get out of her weed riddled garden—she’d hired Trevor—to let Stan in so he could fix the drainage.

Yes, it was a tense period even when many like Mavis didn’t actually read the Bumblethorpe Buzz, know who Trevor was or care but the freebies were worth pretending they did.

Paulette was, of course, on Ceri, Janis’ Mother and Glynnis’ side mainly because Trevor had upped his pursuit of Ruby and had taken to singing outside Andy’s window. It wouldn’t have bothered her so much if she’d remembered to bring earplugs with her.

Andy had upped his own romance level to make sure she didn’t think that he was doing a Trevor so had taken her all the way to the very posh shopping centre in Sludgeford and told her not to worry about the price tag. Yes, they were at the serious cohabiting of wardrobes stage.

‘Isn’t that Tracy?’ Andy asked knowing full well it was but Paulette had been quiet for ten minutes and he was worried that he’d needed to buy more clothes to make her feel better.

‘Yep,’ Paulette said, content just to gloat that she was in Andy’s car, with Andy, having spent lots of Andy’s money. ‘She’s flagging us down… but I’m not doing street dancing, you’ve seen George dance… he doesn’t need to try spinning on his head.’

Andy chuckled. ‘He once did a rolley-poley for Ruby,’ he said and slowed the car. ‘Ooh, is this your dashing son?’

Tracy nodded with a proud smile then frowned again. ‘Paulette, tell him your mother isn’t a criminal, will you?’

‘Mum, I didn’t say she was.’ Her son blushed at Aunty Paulette. He did love her Plimsole solo number when she could scratch her ear with her big toe. ‘My sergeant said that there were reports Great Aunty Agnes was responsible for stealing Trevor’s gardening tools. I don’t believe it but I have to check out the leads.’

‘Mum?’ Paulette snorted with laughter, then hiccoughed, then snorted even harder until tears ran down her cheeks.

Andy patted her on the shoulder unsure if she was choking, laughing or just hyperventilating. ‘Why do they think Agnes has stolen anything?’

‘She’s in the W.I. for a start,’ Paulette said between snorts of mirth.

Tracy chewed on her gum, hoping it looked like she found it funny as Tammy sped past in her car. ‘Yeah, just like your grandmother,’ she said to her son and tapped his hand. ‘She’s been in the W.I. since she was… less ancient.’

Paulette nodded, gasping for air. ‘She darns socks… how would she lift gardening tools?’

‘I’ll just do some checking… It’s probably just Trevor being Trevor.’ Tracy’s son sighed. He didn’t believe it but it was better than nicking his dad for theft again. He was all for father-son bonding but all the other officers made fun of him.

‘Maybe your sergeant is on Trevor’s side?’ Paulette asked, regaining control and taking a tissue off Andy to dab at her mascara. ‘I think we should check too.’

‘Yes,’ Andy said, happy to gallantly come to Plimsole’s rescue. ‘We’ll investigate if Trevor is pulling in favours and then send in a private investigator to uncover the truth.’

Tracy wiped her sweaty brow. ‘Or you could just go ask Ceri. She’ll know if Trevor knows the sergeant… right… cheaper an’ all that?’

‘We’ll hold the P.I… for now…’ Paulette squeezed her tissue. ‘We’ll check out your lead because I can check if she has been practising the steps for her and Janis’ first dance.’

Andy clapped. He did love dance.

Paulette held the wheel for him—she loved not driving into things as much.

Andy checked his own mascara and drove them to the community hall where Janis was fixing the rail leading up the steps. ‘As suspected… witness is at the location.’

‘Yes, where there are yellow dusting cloths… there are feather dusters.’ Paulette pulled her tango hat from the backseat, tilted it onto the side of her head and strode out to Janis. ‘I’m Plimsole, this is Ruby, we’d like to ask you a few questions.’

Janis raised an eyebrow and stared at the store discount card Andy held up like a badge. ‘Sure.’

‘What happened to the bannister?’ Andy said, Ruby’s blue wig in place then he gazed at Plimsole in her hat and fanned himself.

‘Oh, W.I again,’ Janis muttered, firing in the screws with her new lightweight, brushless, electric screwdriver—Ceri had bought it for her. ‘I tell Mum that rail-dancing isn’t good for her when she’s had a few. Especially when Liza turns it into a competition… the steel just can’t hold them.’

‘The W.I?’ Paulette was sure that Janis’ mother was slim—due to the huge step-count Ceri continually reported—so Liza… whoever she was… must need to buy a step-counter.

‘Yeah, hooligans in tea cosies,’ Janis said and whirred her screwdriver. ‘Should see Gladys when she decides she wants to dance on the canteen counter.’

Andy pressed his finger, pensively, to his lip. ‘Liza?’ He tapped out several tap routines. ‘The Liza?’

Paulette held his shoulder. ‘We need to focus on the case.’

Andy nodded, then did jazz hands. ‘Where’s Ceri?’

‘Trying to get lipstick off the vending machine,’ Janis said with a grunt and then a smile and whirr of her screwdriver. ‘I don’t know why they wanted to kiss the vending machine but it’s not the place to store bloomers, I don’t care what Mum says.’

Paulette and Andy exchanged a glance. Yes, neither wanted to dwell on the fact her mother, Agnes, could be bloomer-less. They strode up the steps and burst in through the double doors… or tried to but Paulette’s side was locked so she slithered down it into a heap. It hadn’t hurt… much… She hadn’t needed her nose… really.

Andy dashed to her side and carried her over the threshold to Janis’ muttering about being gentle with the doors.

They found Ceri scrubbing the empty vending machine with a perplexed look on her face.

‘Look, Snickers bars,’ Andy said, placed Paulette down and stooped to pick up a discarded wrapper. ‘Tammy must have been through here.’

Ceri looked up. ‘Ooh, pass me the detergent, will you?’

Paulette handed it over and steadied herself, checked her nose was still inline and focused on her witness. ‘You were once married to Trevor.’

Ceri paused, detergent squirty bottle raised. ‘I’ve tried to block that out.’

‘I know it’s painful,’ Andy said placing the wrapper in the recycling bin. ‘But we need you to dig deep for us.’

Ceri pursed her lips. ‘I’m not responsible for him anymore.’

‘But do you know if he has connections in the local force?’ Paulette tilted her hat further and handed over a clean cloth. ‘Could his solicitor girlfriend be pulling strings?’

Ceri scrubbed at the machine. ‘She dumped him, or so I heard, when she read the Bumblethorpe Buzz story on Barry… but he hooked up with some other solicitor that his dad plays golf with.’ She glanced at the door. ‘But you didn’t hear it from me. I only bother listening to see if I can help get the police off Janis’ mother’s back.’

Andy salsa stepped to her side. ‘Am I correct in thinking that Janis would be unhappy if you were found talking to Trevor?’

Ceri stopped cleaning. ‘I would be unhappy if I had to talk to Trevor.’

Paulette pulled out her shopping receipt, pencil from the shopping outlet, and noted down Ceri’s words. ‘And how is Janis’ mother coping? Could she have broken and stolen his gardening tools?’

‘Technically, they’re Glynnis’ tools and no. Janis’ mother is thoroughly enjoying being interviewed by the nice handsome young man who makes her tea.’ She smirked then shook her head as Paulette’s pencil poked a hole in her receipt. ‘They’ve been at it for weeks and so far he’s learned that up until the age of ten, she didn’t like doyleys.’

Andy put his hands on his hips. ‘But she liked them after age ten because that shows insanity.’

Paulette nodded and decided to hide all of her school photos—her mother had liked doyleys.

‘Janis,’ Ceri called then smiled as Janis strode in, screwdriver whirring. ‘Don’t suppose you know how they’d find out if Trevor has connections to the sergeant?’

Janis stroked over her beard. ‘You could try Liza. She’s been driving them taxis years. She would know.’

Andy did a Liza move then flicked his hand through his wig. ‘Liza is a stunning actress… so will she tell us the truth?’

‘Who knows… she could be stepping out on us.’ Paulette shoved her receipt in her pocket and strode to the door. ‘Oh, and one more thing.’

Ceri and Janis huddled together looking shifty. ‘Yes?’

‘How is the waltz coming along?’ Paulette beamed at them.

‘Oh, wonderful,’ Ceri blushed and pecked Janis on the cheek. ‘Janis even bought a step-monitor to wear.’

Andy and Paulette nodded, happy with the conclusive evidence that Janis was not doing a Trevor.

‘To Liza,’ Andy said, ripping open the car door in his best ‘hot pursuit’ style.

‘To Liza,’ Paulette said, fanning herself with her hat.


Liza’s house was on Surreptitious Street, two doors from Tracy’s. The intrepid investigators parked up on the double yellow lines and Andy put his ‘I’m working on repairs’ sign out. They headed up the pristine garden path, between pruned rose bushes and Andy pointed to the magnolias.

‘Clearly not on Trevor’s side then,’ he said and pulled out his store discount card. ‘So she might be a willing witness.’

Paulette nodded and gave her best police style knock. ‘Yes, but it could be a ploy.’

Liza yanked open the door and smiled at them, her red hair in tight curls and her cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth. ‘Plimsole, Ruby… I heard a lot about you.’

Paulette steadied herself and pulled out a ready-peeled bar mat she’d found in Andy’s glove compartment. ‘We’re here to ask about my mother.’

Andy nodded and clapped because he realised Liza was Tammy’s mother even if she didn’t look like she did on TV.

‘Agnes, now what do you want to know about her?’ Liza glanced over her shoulder and slid something to the side with her tartan slipper. ‘She makes the best cakes.’

‘She does, you can’t deny it.’ Andy smiled then eyed the tell tale motif of a Snickers bar. ‘No, we’re trying to clear her name. We want to prove that she didn’t nick Trevor’s tools and that he has his criminal fingers plunged into our legal system.’

Paulette nodded, trying to find her pencil. ‘What Ruby said.’

‘Ah, you can’t listen to those silly rumours about Agnes,’ Liza said and folded her arms over her sizable bust. ‘Those stories from years ago about her stealing all the crockery from the police station was all lies.’

Paulette was still looking for her pencil.

‘Ooh, do you mean the ones with the old force logo on the front?’ Andy asked and placed his ‘pensive finger’ to his lips once more. ‘She served me tea in one of those.’

‘Oh, they were just from her husband.’ Liza waved it off and dragged on her cigarette. ‘Gladys, now she was a right one.’

‘My mother’s friend?’ Paulette stopped her pencil search to stare at Liza. ‘The one who wants a parade?’

Liza grinned. ‘We love a parade in the W.I.’

Andy plucked Paulette’s pencil from behind her ear and smiled. ‘Yes, parades are wonderful. We’re going to do a medley.’

Liza beamed. ‘I hope my Tammy is going to take part too. Colin has been so glowing about her moves.’

‘Of course.’ Paulette nodded. She couldn’t really be glowing. Tammy’s dancing resembled the grace of a front row in a rugby match.

‘Here’s something else for you,’ Liza said delighted that her youngest daughter was so talented. ‘Glynnis is Trevor’s mother and so she might know who he knows… you know?’

Paulette gave her the ‘duh’ look. ‘Yes, that’s helpful.’

Andy nodded. He hadn’t popped around Glynnis’ since he’d painted her shed. ‘Ooh, I think a visit to my saucy salsa lady is called for.’

Paulette pursed her lips but it was hard not to agree Glynnis did very saucy salsa especially when Andy and her had strayed too close to Gaynor and ketchup had flown everywhere.

‘Glynnis, it is,’ Paulette strode to the car.

‘Oh, and one more thing,’ Andy stopped halfway.

Liza shoved more Snickers wrappers out of sight. ‘Yes?’

‘Can I have your autograph?’ Andy hurried up to her with the bar mat and pencil. ‘I loved the scene when you were alone in rehearsal and you free-danced.’

Liza scribbled her signature not sure what Andy was on but he was cute even in a blue wig so she went with it.


Glynnis house was at the forefront of the battle. Trevor’s HQ lay beyond the jungle-like foliage and Andy guided his intrepid Ruby through the grasses sure that he could hear poetry and badly sung romantic songs. Could it be his heart singing off-key to his love?

‘Oh,’ Hedges said as she bumped her bum into Paulette. ‘I was in the middle of my prose.’ She held up her brush cutter. ‘And in the middle of what used to be the lawn.’

‘Can I stop singing now?’ Mr Hedges yelled plaintively from somewhere in the wild grasses.

‘No, Mrs Thomas wants two songs and then you need to play the bongos… and find the strimmer… somewhere.’ Hedges put down her brush cutter. ‘You here to fix the shed roof again because I don’t have the machinery to hack through that jungle.’

Andy smirked. ‘No, we’re here on Agnes’ behalf to prove her innocence… and we need to grill saucy Glynnis.’

Hedges smiled. She’d been cleaning ketchup out of her ears for a week. ‘Oh, could you tell her I need to borrow her bee suit again because I swear there’s a nest over by the shed.

Andy averted his gaze and hurried to the door before Hedges or Paulette asked questions.

Glynnis was on her front step cleaning the door in a manner that Ceri would be proud of.

‘Glynnis,’ Paulette said, pulling out another bar mat because Andy had placed his autographed one to his chest. ‘We heard that you may know if Trevor has connections within the local force.’

Glynnis paused, raised her eyebrow and gave them her best ‘innocent’ look. ‘Trevor has no connections, my husband has the connections but most of them only bother with him because he’s easy to beat at golf.’

Andy nodded then performed several tango moves with Glynnis just for fun. ‘Isn’t that Tammy?’

Paulette turned, sure that Tammy was sneaking from the jungle, but then was grabbed by Glynnis who twirled her around.

‘Um… we’re not those kinda friends,’ she mumbled.

‘You need a snapback for that,’ Hedges yelled from amidst long grass.

‘I’m protesting that you are accusing me of bothering with my own son,’ Glynnis said then pirouetted back to the door. ‘He’s accusing Ceri, Janis’ mother and I of being Trevor-ist and pulled in someone to paint his shed “boy colours’ to protest against his unfair treatment.’

Paulette peered through thick foliage. ‘Green is a boy colour?’

‘I objected to the binary nature of his request.’ Andy shrugged and pointed to the paint pot at the side of the house. ‘He hired me and I don’t do binary and neither do my colour schemes.’

Paulette fanned herself with her tango hat. ‘I love that about you.’

Andy winked. ‘Ruby is fluid and green means that Glynnis doesn’t have to look at it.’

Glynnis nodded. ‘I appreciated your help with the beehive too.’

Andy flicked his gaze away. ‘I can’t remember doing that.’

Paulette was too busy running through her evidence to hear… and that evidence was… that her new trousers had been in the sale and looked fantastic on her.

‘Why don’t you try Mary-Lou,’ Glynnis said with a strange tone. ‘Barney has joined the golf club.’

‘Yes, we’ll do that,’ Andy dragged Paulette along the jungle path.

‘One other thing,’ Paulette said and spun—full dancer prowess on display—to Glynnis and her door.

‘Yes?’ Glynnis cast a furtive glance at her car which sped off down the road.

‘Your hold was perfect,’ Paulette said then led Andy back to the car. ‘She was hiding something.’

‘You think so?’ Andy said speeding them toward Squishy.

‘Yes, her hair isn’t naturally blonde.’ Paulette glanced at her blank bar mat. ‘I know that could be a clue but I don’t know why.’

‘To your mother’s innocence?’ Andy pulled them into Squishy’s carpark.

‘Maybe… there are too many questions.’ Paulette strode in through Squishy’s doors and fixed her sights on Miriam who was on the phone.

‘Yes Mrs Crinklestone, I know you bought the antiqued pouffe with extra stitching in the steps-for-step-gran sale but hiring Trevor has negated your refund,’ Miriam waved at Paulette and placed the customer on hold. ‘Hi.’

Andy pulled himself up onto the counter and pecked her on both cheeks then flashed his store discount card—a Squishy one. ‘We’re here to interrogate Mary-Lou on Barney’s shady connections with Trevor.’

Paulette nodded. ‘And furthermore… his false accusations that my mother—’ she thumped her chest then winced. ‘—yes, my own dear mother could do anything as low as nick his gardening tools which aren’t actually his anyway.’

Miriam clutched her chest.

Andy gave his sternest expression. ‘It’s a seriously stinky matter.’

Miriam hiccoughed. ‘I need water… you should find Lanie.’ She glanced over at the reception doors which swayed suspiciously.

Andy went to them and scoured the area with his sunglasses then plucked a Snickers wrapper from the plant pot. ‘Exhibit A.’

Paulette nodded. ‘She really needs to cut down on those Snickers.’

They turned back to Miriam but she was busy on the phone so they traipsed through the office until they spotted a familiar bicycle helmet.

‘So, she does take it off then?’ Andy said with a snicker (and the wrapper) and perched beside the hard working manager. ‘Dearest, sweetest, Lanie… you are without your protective headgear.’

Lanie nodded then checked her bike was still attached to her desk—Tracy had been in customer services that morning. ‘I heard that you’re investigating Agnes?’

‘Word travels fast,’ Paulette said with her best searching look—she’d lost her pencil again. ‘We are. My mother has been falsely accused of stealing from Trevor and we want the truth.’

‘Truth?’ Lanie glanced at the reception doors again then planted a false smile on her face. ‘The truth is that I saw someone matching the description of your mother creeping across Glynnis’ driveway at precisely five in the morning.’

Andy placed his hands over his mouth. ‘You did… how… you live the other side of town?’

Paulette swiped her finger through the air. ‘You must be mistaken.’

‘I’m not. I didn’t say anything because… I was in Miriam’s house.’ Lanie blushed then shrugged then checked over her bicycle helmet. ‘I didn’t tell Tracy’s son or anything… but it really did look like your mum. She had a pink hat on, mask and I could swear she was wearing pink plimsoles too.’

Paulette wasn’t sure whether to believe it. Her mother had never been good at matching her shoes to her hats.

‘Hey, you looking for something with that store card?’ Mary-Lou said as she swept from the boardroom in a thick sweater and pants.

‘We’re looking for answers,’ Andy said noting down what Lanie had said and that there was a sale on antiqued pouffes. ‘Barney has gone to the wrong side of town.’

Mary-Lou nodded. ‘He sure did. He wanted to play golf so bad that he headed to the club but his heart won out and he told Mr Glynnis where to stick his club and came right back home.’

Paulette steadied her hat—easy witness. ‘Mr Glynnis?’

‘Yeah, he told Barney that he was stopping people buying our goods ‘cause we were saying Trevor was no good,’ Mary-Lou checked over her hair then sighed. ‘And Barney tried reasoning with him, he told the guy that no matter what Trevor had said, Glynnis hadn’t forced him to divorce Ceri and he was glad that she was marrying Janis ‘cause the lady can move.’

Paulette wasn’t overly sure of that but she nodded anyway.

‘Trevor told his dad that Glynnis forced him to run off with Barry?’ Andy put his hands on his hips in a full Ruby-pout. ‘That’s ridiculous.’

‘It is. Barney said that Mr Glynnis is having way too much fun competing against Glynnis though so he doesn’t really care for the truth.’ Mary-Lou slunk onto one hip and huddled closer to the radiator. ‘Barney left at that point and decided he’d try bowls.’

Andy clapped his hands. ‘My granddad plays bowls. He’d love Barney.’

Paulette wasn’t sure why anyone would love bowls but there you go.

‘We need to know about Agnes though,’ Andy said with a solemn sigh. ‘How do we vindicate her if we don’t have leads.’

‘Why don’t you guys try Diane… she and Gaynor must hear all sorts cutting peoples’ hair.’ Mary-Lou shivered again then frowned at a wonky display. Several Squishy employees dived from out of nowhere and dragged the offending display off.

Paulette turned and headed to reception but Andy twirled back around. ‘And another thing…’

Mary-Lou hid a Snickers’ wrapper behind her back. ‘Yeah?’

‘I do love your sweater.’ Andy smiled, nodded then flounced off.


Diane’s hair salon was in full swing with poor customers frying under the dryers, being shaven bald by Gaynor mid-scone chew and discussing the possible parade.

Andy held open the door and lifted Paulette into the shop sure that Glynnis’ car had just driven by without a driver. He checked his sunglasses. He’d heard of love rose-tinting things but giving someone hallucinations?

‘Diane, Gaynor… we want a word.’ Paulette clamped her hat to her head because she’d seen what they did to people’s hair. ‘We want to know all about my mother and her pink hat.’

Diane froze.

Gaynor handed her a cup of tea. ‘Relax, it’s just nonsense. The Pink Plimsole doesn’t exist.’

Diane took her tea and sipped at it. ‘My mother told me the tales. The Pink Plimsole would right the wrongs of Bumblethorpe with her trusty side-kick The Ruby Rug.’

‘Ooh, another Plimsole and Ruby?’ Andy clapped his hands.

‘They weren’t those kinda friends,’ Gladys muttered from under her dryer.

‘They stole all the cups from the police station in protest when the officers arrested Liza, you remember that?’ Mavis said amidst planning her float for the parade. ‘They didn’t argue for long without tea.’

Paulette folded her arms. ‘We had a cupboard full of cups.’

‘You still do,’ Andy said flashing his discount card. ‘Well, your mum does.’

‘I saw your mum with a pink hat on too… least I think it was her. She was sneaking down the street when I was closing the blinds the other night.’ Gaynor chomped on her ketchup covered scone. ‘I told Stan but he thinks that I was seeing things because I was having scone-withdrawal.’

Andy glanced over at Stan’s van out on the street as Stan picked up Hedges’ son. He scrunched up his eyes sure that Hedge’s son was handing something to Glynnis’ empty car. Strange.

‘Besides, elderly respectable ladies do not nick gardening supplies and hide them,’ Diane said then froze again.

Gaynor handed her another cup. ‘You really need to put the heating on.’ She turned to Paulette. ‘You should ask George though because he puts the bins out at that time and she headed this way.’

‘A lead!’ Andy clapped then twirled then ‘Liza moved’ his way to the door.

‘One more thing,’ Paulette said with a stern tone.

Diane froze again and Gaynor blew the hair dryer at her. ‘Yeah?’

‘Gladys’ dryer has finished.’ Paulette flicked off the switch and smiled down at her mother’s dearest old friend. ‘You always look so lovely in that top.’

‘Yes you are partial to that shade of red,’ Andy said and led her from the shop.

They headed into find George yelling at his niece and nephews.

‘Your fishy,’ Andy declared in his best investigative tone.

‘It’s not my fault, I dropped the box on me.’ George turned and shoved cake boxes behind the counter. ‘You want lunch ‘cause I haven’t got anything cooked yet.’

‘No thank you, Ruby has been led astray by your grease before,’ Andy said and leaned on the counter. ‘And your beard needs trimming again.’

‘It was dark and I was hammered.’ George shrugged. ‘How can I help you?’

Paulette stared out of the window in thought then waved at Tammy and Tracy who were sneaking by. Most light on their feet she’d ever seen them.

‘We need to know if the sergeant is in cahoots with Trevor,’ Andy slammed his hand to the counter. ‘And you put bins out Gaynor said so have you seen a pink plimsole or a ruby rug?’

George smiled a strained smile at his niece and nephew.

The younger boy smiled. ‘I—’

‘You can have a fry up.’ George wielded his spatula.

‘We haven’t seen anything at all.’ The boy smiled and his siblings did too.

‘George, would you lie to Ruby… would you lie to the wig?’ Andy stared him hard in the eyes.

‘I haven’t seen Agnes in her pink outfit sneaking by… no,’ George glanced at the cake boxes. ‘I haven’t.’

Paulette stormed to the counter and waved at the boxes. ‘Only my mother makes that kind of cheesecake.’

George hung his head. ‘I won’t talk. I won’t.’

Paulette hurried from the shop, sure that she’d pieced it together. Andy hesitated in the doorway. ‘And another thing…’

‘I’m not talking,’ George buttoned his lip with his spatula.

‘Your apron is wonky,’ Andy fired and hurried after Paulette. ‘Where are we going?’

‘To confront my mother,’ Paulette got into the car in a flurry of dance steps. Yes, she wanted the truth.


Agnes’ house was a modest little build with a perfect garden. Paulette hurried from the car and dashed up to the door catching Tracy and Tammy as they ducked into the garage.

‘Not so fast,’ she said and pulled her plimsole from her pocket. ‘Inside.’

Andy held open the door and they headed in to find Agnes eating teacakes next to her window.

‘You, you… the upstanding W.I. attending cake-maker are the pink plimsole?’ Paulette smacked her plimsole to her thigh and Tracy and Tammy jumped.

‘Have you had too much wine, dear?’ her mother said in her innocent tone and righted her blue rinse.

‘No, Glynnis doesn’t have blonde hair naturally so would be grey and the driver of her car had white hair,’ Paulette said and waved at the door. ‘A driver with a blue rinse.’

‘You mean Glynnis’ car?’ Agnes chuckled. ‘She let us borrow it to go and buy some extra equipment for Hedges. It’s very hard for her when she needs to trim Glynnis’ garden.’

‘Oh,’ Andy said and sat down in the seat next to Agnes. ‘That’s alright then. Can I have a cake?’

Agnes nodded and Tammy and Tracy blew out a breath of relief and joined him.

‘But,’ Paulette was swayed by the tea cakes. ‘What about the police cups?’

‘Your father was a policeman, dear,’ Agnes said with a twinkle in her eye. ‘He used to laugh at the stories Gladys told him. She made up whole tales about someone called The Ruby Rug too.’

Tracy and Tammy nodded, eyes locked on Paulette’s plimsole.

‘Oh, well… I’ll get more plates then,’ Paulette tucked her plimsole away and headed into the kitchen then stilled as she reached the pantry… one pink hat, one pink face mask… and one pink plimsole.

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