January 11th – Prepared for battle, she made her presence known.
The train to Hastings was uneventful.
She read the newspaper, checked a couple of things online, read her emails (4) and replied (2) and then read the message again. This was the first time she had ever done anything like this, and already the anticipation was causing a couple of nerves to flutter.
‘You’ll be fine.’
She’d said this to herself, silently, over and over on the train from Victoria. And she would be fine. After all, how hard could it be. She knew what she was doing, she was as prepared as she could be, and this wasn’t the hardest place to start what could be, if she got it right, a new beginning. And new beginnings are good. They had to be.
She checked her makeup as the train drew into the station. She knew she had a little under half an hour between trains: enough time to get a coffee on the opposite platform and go through her notes again. It didn’t matter that this was her first group session: it was just the same as all the one-to-ones she’d done across the south east. And the feedback had been good, positive, full of praise for her easy manner, the way she put people at ease. This was why she was here.
The coffee was unspectacular, but adequate. She re-read the briefing notes again, preparing herself for who to expect. Her next train was a couple of minutes late, but she would still be there in plenty of time, enough time to make sure she was exactly ready to give them what she wanted.
The walk from the station was fine. She was as ready as she was going to be.
They would pay her upfront: that was the one thing that she needed to make sure of, to get the transaction over and done with before she started on the group. Prepared for Battle, she made her presence known. They were exactly where they said they were going to be, with the money ready and with eager faces.
“Good morning. We’re standing outside Battle Abbey, one of the most famous buildings in England. In 1070, William the Conqueror vowed to build an abbey where the Battle of Hastings had taken place, with the high altar of its church on the supposed spot where King Harold fell in that battle on Saturday, 14 October 1066. William started building it, dedicating it to St. Martin, sometimes known as “the Apostle of the Gauls,” but died before it was completed. Its church was finished in about 1094 and consecrated during the reign of his son William known as Rufus.”
Inspired by a prompt from here