What’s it about?
Can stepping out of your comfort zone lead you to ultimate happiness? A feisty rom-com, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Tracey Bloom.
Trudy Watts has everything she’s ever dreamed of: a job that she loves, a successful boyfriend and an ultra-modern apartment in one of the most fashionable parts of London. With a long-awaited promotion due to come her way and her wedding just around the corner, Trudy’s life is just perfect…
That is until catastrophe strikes and her life is turned upside down. She’s transferred to Turriff, a remote Scottish town to manage a small, struggling bank branch.
Her arrival is traumatic and she wishes she was anywhere but here… Until she sees him – Ethan, the charming pub landlord, who seems to enjoy nothing more than to tease her. And it’s right there, in that pub, that her life will suddenly change…
Celia’s previous book, DON’T MARRY THOMAS CLARK is out now!
“When I said I loved you, I didn’t mean,
‘Please come into my life, completely destroy it and then leave without looking back’
It was more just a way of saying ‘Do you fancy a shag?’”
Happiness is an elusive concept that, if we wanted to, we might compare to a haute couture fashion show – exclusive, expensive and, if you’re lucky, lasting a full season. It’s a pervasive feeling that makes you perform weird, wiggly dances of celebration, in thrall to devastating mental imbalance. So, I wonder, am I really happy? Can I actually, in all honesty, say that I want to burst into I Feel Good using the TV remote as a microphone? No, I guess not.
Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this really is happiness, but at a more affordable level. A sort of off-the-rack happiness…
Oh God, why do I think so much?
Trying to suppress my thoughts, I leave the building and walk out onto the busy pavement.
It’s a wonderful day. After two weeks of continuous rain, the sun has finally started shining and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming like an early summer’s day should be.
“Oh… sorry,” I apologize after carelessly bumping into an old man.
The streets are so crowded at this hour. I had no idea.
When was the last time I took a walk during working hours? I’m generally quite an early bird, but I spend all week in the office and on Sundays I’m always either too tired to get up or I’m in church with my family, who wouldn’t miss a sermon by Father Anthony even if they’d been invited to dinner by Queen Elizabeth in person.
The result is that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be outdoors, and rediscovering it gives me a deep sense of well-being.
Thrilled by this, I breathe in the city air and suddenly remember that I haven’t read the news yet, so I stop to buy a tabloid newspaper. Another thing I haven’t done for ages. I usually read the news online and I have a couple of subscriptions to some online journals in my field that keep me updated via email. Today, though, I grasp in my hands a proper newspaper, realizing that I don’t even know how to hold it without crumpling it. Very anachronistic – or at least, it is for me: I’m usually joined at the hip to my tablet. Browsing through the paper reminds me of when I was a kid. Back when I used to wear Doc Martens, dyed my hair blue and would rummage through my mother’s stuff in search of her old flares. I was a pretty busy bee on the political front as well – there wasn’t a demonstration that I didn’t take part in. I went around with thick glasses and was trying to work out who I was by wearing black nail varnish and getting a navel piercing.
It seems like an eternity ago…
“You’re welcome,” I hear a voice say on the other side of the counter. It’s the girl in the newsagents holding out a handful of change, waiting for me to take it so she can serve another customer. Thanking her, I adjust the strap of my bag on my shoulder and walk back into the stream of people.
For once, I just want to take it easy.
I have the whole day to myself.
I take a deep, relaxed breath, lean against a lamp post and browse through the headlines.
Stab-Vest Tester Sentenced to Six Months for GBH.
Man Dives into Burning House to Save Beer Collection.
Wetherspoon Pubs Refuse to Serve Canadian Customers until They Take Justin Bieber Back.
“Hmm… Maybe next time I’ll buy an antiques magazine.”
Discouraged by the disheartening effect of the news on my momentary optimism, I pull my nose out of the newspaper and find the equally dramatic realities of my own life suddenly coming to mind: yesterday I lent my car to my sister, Kat.
“Bloody hell…” I mutter.
I hadn’t thought I’d need it, because I only live a few minutes away from the bank. However, Horace’s office is situated right across town.
I can’t miss this opportunity. When am I ever going to be lucky enough to have another free day when I’ve actually managed to put on a bra the same colour as my knickers?
About Celia Hayes
Celia Hayes works as a restorer and lives in Naples. Between one restoration and another, she loves to write. Her book, Don’t Marry Thomas Clark reached #1 in the Amazon Italian eBook chart.
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