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Star-Struck at the Almost Marigold Hotel

Page 4

I looked over again at Bill. I concentrated. Yes, tall, slim, English-looking. Reading, relaxing with his glamorous wife. I couldn’t see what they were reading. Yes. It was definitely Bill. I was excited and disbelieving of the coincidence. Two days ago we were in the Viceroy Room in the Colonial Hotel where they filmed the interior shots for Marigold Hotel and now he’s here by the pool! Clearly inappropriate for a woman my age to appear starstruck, I stared, using my best peripheral vision. Fortunately he hadn’t seen me. I looked again then giggled to myself at my own humour. I was Nighy on star-struck. Pre-dinner drinks in the lounge area of our boutique hotel meant the couch opposite might not remain empty, and I was hopeful Bill and his wife would arrive soon.

‘Can we join you?’ Bill asked unnecessarily as the couch was now the only one now available, fortunately, and we looked fairly reasonable people. ‘Please do,’ my heart fluttered. Bill introduced themselves, ‘My wife Stephanie, and I’m John.’ Bill was clearly lying to protect his identity. Probably his regular alias was John Smith. Slightly taller than how I imagined Bill would be, appeared well over 6’3”, but maybe because he’s thin and I was sitting down and I’m quite short.

We chatted over our drinks. ‘Join us for dinner, unless you’d like to be by yourselves for a romantic evening,’ was my husband’s warm-hearted comment. Stephanie was charming, cuddled in her wrap as the evening cooled down. I chatted to her, she spoke of her life, her step-children, their own children, their dogs, the pub they owned in London. She also worked as a volunteer.

‘Sounds like your life is full. Do you have time for anything else, sport or art?’ I asked. ‘Dressage, I have horses. I compete.’ I was even more impressed. Kind, driven, talented, charming. No wonder Bill, who called himself John, was attracted to her. Outside our waiters hovered. This is a Relais & Chateau boutique hotel, serving boutique food. You tell them the day before your choice from their limited options. Then they obviously dash out at dawn, kill a beast or a chicken or catch a lobster or a few prawns, dig around in someone’s garden for the less noxious greenery and serve it all up to perfection.

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