With a sigh, she swung away to wander around the kitchen, idly flicking open the cookery books and poking at the potted plant in the sink. She paused when there was a series of loud bangs above her head and someone thundered down the stairs.
“Ridley?” She peered out through the white door into the hall. “You’re being a terrible hostess, you know! I had to make my own tea! Any biscuits?”
There was silence.
Latimer hopped out into hall and down to the living room; steam rose up from her cup obscuring her view. When it cleared, she raised an eyebrow at the mess strewn across the floor. She perched on the edge of an armchair and watched Ridley rush around. The other girl was packing a massive bindle with endless pieces of clothing, creased maps, sunglasses, teabags and thick guide books.
She shrugged into a Burberry-style coat, straightening it over her shoulders and making sure the stiff collar was flicked down. Pinning her M. Latimer-Ridley badge to her chest, she patted it and smiled over.
Latimer sipped her tea. “What’cha doing?”
Ridley slipped on a pair of purple ear muffs. She narrowed her eyes on her friend, her lips thinning.
“You’re not ready…why aren’t you ready?” She started flapping her arms. “We have to leave in the next few hours, there’s no time for tea breaks!”
Latimer scoffed. “There’s always time for tea, ole Bean.”
Glaring, the blonde girl tried to fold her arms, but the ballooning sleeves were too thick, instead she just held them in the air and started to tap her foot. Her fancy heeled boots made loud thumps against the wooden floor as little flecks of dirt dropped off them.
“So,” Latimer took another slow sip of her tea. “Where are we going again?”
Ridley’s mouth dropped open. Her ear muffs slipped down onto her forehead, obscuring her view. Momentarily blinded, she flailed in a panic, then shoved them back up.
“What do you mean where are we going?” She spluttered. “On the internet hike!”
“That…” Ridley muttered. She pointed at the table where a large poncho style jacket was folded. “I bought you a coat! I hear when the nights roll in, the internet can get quite cold! Something to do with iCloud cover.”
Latimer crossed her legs and sat back. “You do know it’s only the 25th of November? The first of December isn’t for another week, really. We have plenty of time.”
“Oh…” Ridley slumped down into a chair. Her coat puffed up with the movement, she flattened it down with her hands and leaned forward to glare at her mobile on the coffee table. “Stupid phone, with the wrong date. It’s been reprogrammed, how could this have happened!”
“How indeed…” Latimer hid her grin behind her tea cup.
Ridley shot her a suspicious look, she unzipped her coat and shed the extra layering. It fell like a shell to the floor.
“So…the blog tour isn’t for another few days then…” She pulled off her ear muffs, twisting them around in her hands with a sigh.
“Nope, but when it does happen it should be fun!”
“True…” Ridley pouted, she was quiet for a minute. “Did you make me tea?”
“Yeah,” Latimer said, standing up. “Come along, Ridders, you can show me where you’ve hidden the hobnobs.”