Gaby Book 14 ~ The Girl ~ Chapter *20* Weined Up

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*Chapter 20*

Weined Up

Ten days and whether I like it or not I’ll be a fully functioning female of the species, urgh I hate you body! Mind you it’ll be better than how things are at present and have been earlier in the year. I shuddered to recall the incident in Hamburg and looking back other incidents stretching back all the way to the Grottoes trip best part of two years ago.

Well that’s next week, I need to get through this one first, the party at Schloss Rech being the biggest headache, what the heck do I wear?

“You listening, Gab?”
“We were just saying, Mart hasn’t said anything about Halloween,” Nena reprised.
“No, Bern’s coming at Weihnachts.”
“Hey we’ll get to see your niece!” Pia enthused.
“But what about Halloween?” Steff whined.
“We could ask him,” Con proposed.
“Gab?” Brid prompted.
“Er yeah,” I agreed.
“So we’ll leave that with Gabs to sort,” Brid announced.
“Everything set for tonight P?” Steff asked.
“Yeah, we might have to put up with Ingrid and co though.”
“Sure we’ll survive,” Con noted.
The bell rang to announce the end of lunch break, back for double Viessner.
“What exactly are we doing at this Pia’s place,” Mand asked while I mashed a pot of tea.
“You know, just stuff.” To be honest I’m not sure exactly what Pia’s got planned but there’s bound to be food.
“Did you find out about Saturday?” Mum enquired when I handed her a mug of tea.
“Er yeah.”
“It’s the Baroness’ birthday according to Max, he’s got to wear a jacket.”
“Bugger!” Dad let go.
“Dave!” Mum admonished, “I guess that means party frocks.”
“Do I have to go?”
“Yes you do young lady, you can wear that red velvet dress, get some use out of it. Have you got a frock, Manda?”
“Yes, you’re invited too of course, so, dress?”
“Just the one I took to Japan.”
“Not exactly society party, no worry, I’m sure we can find you something suitable.”
“You need picking up?” Dad enquired as we pulled into the Sebenschuh’s car park.
“I think Pia’s organised the dad taxi.”
“Well call if Helmut isn’t dropping you off. What are you up to anyway?”
“Okay, I probably don’t want to know what a bunch of teenage girls get up to do I? Go on, enjoy yourselves.”
“Thanks for the lift, Herr Bond.”
“No problem, Connie.”
Dad waited until we entered the building before departing.
“What is this place?” Mand enquired.
“They have the restaurant and the weinkellers of course,” Con supplied.
As usual we’d gone through into the restaurant, which was currently a bit thin on patrons but it’s still quite early.
“Hello, girls, they are in the keller,” Eva, Pia’s mum advised from behind the bar.
“Thanks, Mrs S,” I supplied.
“Where’re we going?” Mand asked as I led the way through the restaurant.
“To the cellars.”
“Cellars as in dark, damp and dingy?”
“Not exactly, you’ll see,” I smirked opening the door into the network of tunnels and cellars that provide the Sebenschuh’s with an income.
I’ve told you about this place before, right, we usually have our gatherings in the tasting room; the rest of the cellars can be a bit chilly even in summer. Of course it brings back some sad memories too; the last time we were all together with Claudia was here when we had that daft Weihnachtsmarkt back in June. Sad yes but we had a really good time and Claudia herself was chuffed to bits, mind you, I could’ve done without the Angel Gabrielle outfit!

We weren’t the last to arrive; Steff and Brid were behind us by a few minutes. Of course first up was getting everyone introduced to Manda, it was a bit of a novelty for the guys to be trying out their English skills. I was a bit surprised when Kat Pinger arrived with Lori and Freddii but of course they are friends with Ingrid, Pia’s sister.

The older girls disappeared into a corner to do who knows what, the seven of us, Anna was a no show, gathered around a table and started one of our fabled card schools. Well what did you think we were gonna do? Aerobics? Eva brought a tray of snack food through and even Mand was soon deeply involved in the raucous card game.
“Night, Gab, night, Mand!”
“Night P, thanks for the lift Mr. S.”
“Girls,” Herr Sebenschuh allowed.
We walked up to Schloss Bond and I let us in.
“Anyone want a drink?” I called through to the lounge.
“We’re okay thanks,” Mum called back.
I know that tone; they’ll be cuddled up on the sofa with a bottle of red not watching the telly.
“Kitchen,” I directed Mand, we so do not want to be in the lounge.
“This thing on Saturday,” Mand started as I filled the mini Gaggia, “its gonna be a posh do?”
“Kinda, I think it’ll just be some of Max’s rel’s and some friends like us I guess.”
“You guys certainly mix in different circles.”
“Hardly,” I scoffed.
“Well I couldn’t even tell you the names of the local knobs back home, you’re dating one and get invited to their soirées.”
The coffee machine gurgled loudly.
“I am not dating Max!” I stated.
“So who are you dating then? It can’t be that Italian lad, too far away.”
“I’m not dating anyone, why does everyone keep on about me and Max, just because I went to that stupid wedding with him everyone’s marrying us off, I’m not even a girl for heavens sake!”
“A technicality.”
“I give up!”
We couldn’t sit in the kitchen all night so once the coffee was ready I led the way into the boudoir, I mean living room where, true to my prediction the parental units were sharing a chair and not watching RTL1.
“So you guys have a good evening?” Mum enquired.
“You know,” I shrugged, aha the remote.
“They didn’t corrupt you too much, Amanda?”
“Er no, I mean not at all, it was nice to meet everyone.”
“Never guess who was there?” I put in.
“Queen Victoria?”
“Duh don’t be daft, Mum.”
“Well Gaby how do you expect your mum to know who was at an event she didn’t attend?”
“Girls’ night?”
“Put us out of our misery, who was there?” Dad suggested.
“Kat Pinger!”
“And this is worthy of note because?” Mum pressed.
“Well I was just saying.”
“Oh I forgot earlier,” Dad interjected, “I’ve put your training schedule in your room, Amanda, you’ve a low intensity session tomorrow with Gab, you’ll do some solo stuff once you know your way around a bit.”
“After school I guess?”
“Unless you both want to get up at five?”
“What is this five you talk of?” I hammed.
After a bit of channel surfing I gave up on the telly, it’s a school night anyhow so bed seemed like a good idea, Manda agreed with me so we made our excuses and headed to our respective beds.

Not that I could get to sleep, my mind kept coming back to what Mand said earlier - ‘I couldn’t even tell you the names of the local knobs back home, you’re dating one and get invited to their soirées.’ Back in Warsop I must admit that I was only vaguely aware of the local gentry, I guess someone owns the Welbeck estate but I’ve no idea who and why would I? It’s a bit different here in Germany; a lot of the titled and good aren’t landowners to anywhere near the extent they might be in Britain.

Max did try to explain it to me once, it’s all to do with inheritance and who you marry apparently – a family’s holdings can wither away or be bolstered purely by a marriage or birth. The most ‘successful’ families still wield considerable power largely because of marriage ties. Whilst I know the von Strechau’s there must be other titled bods in the area but I don’t know them, maybe I’ll have to ask Max sometime.

Sod being part of all that hoo ha, being told who to marry – is that even legal these days? Marriage – huh, once upon a time I had some vague notion that I would follow that tradition, find the girl of my dreams, have sprogs, so on and so forth. Now, well the very idea of being the XX element in that relationship – it’s so not gonna happen, I might be a pure virgin but I do know the mechanics and even if I have the equipment no one’s getting the chance to do the deed with yours truly!
“Gab, you’re gonna be late again!” Dad called up to my eyrie.
Oh sod! Not again, I’ll have to turn the alarm up to ‘wake the dead’.

Mand and Goth Gurl were long gone when I got downstairs; they have two trains and tram to catch to get to the English School, best part of two hours each way. Glad I don’t have that although it’s not unusual here in Germany – I’d never get there if my ‘commute’ was any further.
“About time, this afternoon,” Dad started.
“Steady ride I know.”
“Steady for Amanda, I don’t want you half killing her, I know you of old.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I allowed.
“Up to Adenau and back should do it,” I was instructed.
“Fine, steady for Mand, up to Adenau, no racing,” I repeated. “Can I go now?”
It was looking a bit like rain when the pair of us set off a little before five after another thrilling day of education.
“Urgh, my legs don’t want to work,” Mand complained.
“Well you’ve not ridden since, what, Saturday?”
“Yeah,” she agreed, “so how come you’re okay?”
“I have been riding to school.”
“I can’t believe you use that thing.”
“Everyone else does, why not me?”
“Well, I suppose I expected you to at least use a road bike.”
“Not very practical in a skirt,” I pointed out.
We were already passing the Sebenschuh place.
“That where we went last night?”
“Yeah, Steff and Max live over there,” I pointed to the main part of the village across the river.
“I still haven’t got my head around being straight into the country when we set off.”
“Never thought about it, I’ve always lived in the country.”
“Take my word for it, it’s a blessing not having half an hour of urban sprawl to navigate before you get to a field.”
“I guess,” I allowed. “Brid and Nena both live in this next place.”
It turned into a bit of a sightseeing tour as I pointed out the Tanz Klub, our favourite restaurant, well in Ahrweiler at least, the cable car, the road out to Bad Münstereifel. It was difficult not to push the pace, my legs were going through the motions but even Mand was comfortably holding the conversation. Dad said Adenau; he never mentioned which route to take.

“Gets a bit more exciting from here,” I advised my riding partner as we rode through the town.
“How’s that?”
“You see those trees up there,” I pointed vaguely in the direction of Nurburg, ”we have to get up there.”
“Great,” Mand allowed with a sigh, “thought it was too good to last.”
“The good news is there’s a short way or an easier way.”

I was gonna go that way anyhow, I hate the other road. We soon crossed the Ring and out of Adenau we started the more serious climb up to the Grand Prix circuit. There’s nothing that you need to be out of the saddle for, well maybe a couple of steeper bits if you were going for it but otherwise inner ring and twenty one sprocket is the order of the day.

Mand was gamely holding my wheel but any pretence of conversation from her quickly went west, all her energy redirected into getting up to the village that names the race circuit. I sat there happily tapping out the watts and whilst I’ve done the climb much quicker I’ve done it slower too.

“That’s it,” I announced when we joined the Mayen road, “all down hill now.”
“Thank god for that, I thought we were back in Switzerland for a minute there.”
The promise isn’t 100% true but close enough. A good surface, few percent of downhill and we both changed chainrings and clicked up a couple of sprockets. Easy ride? Well it could’ve been much harder – honest, Dad!
Maddy Bell 22.11.15

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