Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 19

Friday morning I phoned the studio and left a message for Sue that everything had been approved. Then I got out my notes and called Canberra. After explaining things to Janice, she told me she'd do a "bit of rummaging" and call back as soon as feasible. I'd heard Mona come in, so I went next door. The coffee wasn't quite ready, so I sat down.

"Anything new?"

"It's my mum's gall bladder. They'll do surgery on Monday."

"Don't worry. It's no longer a big deal."

"You're the third person to tell me that."

"Anything else?"

"Janice is going to phone with information on building funds. And furnishings. And staffing."

"Well, I put together the 'Policies and Procedures' and the sundry forms. There's a lot of paper, but none of it looks like a problem."

"That's a relief. Coffee?" I poured a mugful for myself.

"Just half, I want it quite white this morning." I took care of her request.

"Do I have any vacation time outstanding?"

"Over a month. Why?"

"I want to go visit my mum once she's feeling better."

"That might come under compassionate leave. I'll look."

"Don't bother. I'll never use up my vacation time otherwise."

"Will all three of you go?"

"Of course. Here to Brisbane to Roma."

"You'd best book seats soon."


"Brisbane'll be infested with tourists."

"Right. And that's got to have an effect on other bookings."

"Exactly." The phone rang. "CSIRO, Dr. Hollister's office. Oh, good morning, Miss Carr. He's right here." Mona just handed me the phone.

"Hey, Sue!"

"So it's all okay."

"Yes. 'We few, we happy few... '"

"Henry V."

"So, not just a pretty face, eh?"

"Not quite. Anyway, when do you want to start this?"

"When will the paperwork be done?"

"Tuesday or Wednesday."

"I'll come to your place on Wednesday. What's a good time?"

"Between 14:00 and 16:00."

"I'll be there around 14:00."

"Fine. I'm looking forward to this. How about a taping the next week?"

"I'll let you know on Wednesday. My mum's having surgery on Monday and we'll be flying to Queensland about 10 days later."

"Right. Well, have a good weekend."

Mona looked at me. "That sounded interesting."

"I'll tell you all after we've got a handle on space and you've spoken to Janice. But make a note that I'm at Seven on Wednesday afternoon." At that moment the fax began to print pages. "When you've got that stuff, come next door." And I went to my office.

There was a folder marked "Budget" and one marked "Buildout" on my desk. The only thing in the first were last year's and the current year's; the second contained Shirl's notes. I guessed this was Mona's preparation for combat.

Monday around two my Dad called. Mum was awake, achy but all right. They'd decide in the morning whether she could come home tomorrow. He'd had a bed moved and had asked the crew to regravel the drive so it wasn't so rutty. I told him to call me on the mobile, as I'd be at SciTech on Tuesday. I then asked Mona to get us to Roma via Brisbane a week from Thursday, returning the following Friday. "Ask how much Business Class for the three of us would be," I said.

Wednesday I spent an hour signing paper and left with a portfolio of paper.

Just over a week later we were flying to Roma.

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