Imported Bride Tradition

Imported Bride Tradition

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

Summary

A rural Australian goes to England to find a prospective bride associated with a particular county, just as the oldest son in the family had done for more than a century.

Summary

A rural Australian goes to England to find a prospective bride associated with a particular county, just as the oldest son in the family had done for more than a century.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Imported Bride Tradition

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 21, 2017

Reads: 290

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: February 21, 2017

A A A

A A A

Chapter 1

Bridget Stone’s parents watched their daughter enter the hotel in London where they’d stayed occasionally to reunite with Bridget and in return she would visit then at Cambridge over Christmas and Easter.

This had been the routine for the past two years when Bridget (31) left Cambridge University to gain a step-up lectureship at a London university.

“Omigod, that broad-shoulder chap with blond hair immediately behind her is with her,” Margaret breathed through flaring nostrils.

“How can you be so sure?” said her conservative husband Rupert, risk control manager of a bank.

“Because he’s close enough to penetrate her from behind.”

“Margaret!”

“Sorry, I should have known I wasn’t chatting to females in my HR team.”

“Your apology is accepted. He looks rather carnivorous from this distance. Is that good or bad?”

“It’s better than good; it’s fantastic because whenever we’ve met Bridget in London accompanied by a friend, that person has always been female and I worried that she may have become a lezzie.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m shielding you from hearing the explanation, my sweet man. I’m well aware that you think all that adult females are good for is making beds, dusting and operating the kitchen and dining room.”

“Rubbish, I’m very aware that women are useful…”

“Can it Rupert, the couple approaching will hear you uttering things you regard as filth. Hello dear, it’s so lovely to see you again and who is this fine example of manliness?”

*  *

Almost three hours later, Margaret and Rupert stood in the hotel foyer and waved off their dinner guests.

Margaret turned to her husband and said, almost in tears, “Fuck me, a disaster looms.”

Rupert looked startled, and made no comment about his wife’s disgusting language in public.

“What kind of disaster is looming?”

“That fuck-happy chap is about to take our daughter to Australia.”

Rupert laughed and said, “And how many cocktails and wines have you consumed this evening? No mention was made about Bridget going to Australia to visit, not a word.”

“I must sit down,” Margaret said shakily, and Rupert steered her to a sofa.

Margaret said, “Darling you are considered an authority in banking law extending from the Bank Charter Act of 1844 to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act of 2013 and what you don’t know about financial risk management hasn’t been documented yet. Conversely, as head of human resources for the large company I work for, I’m an authority of knowing about people, employment law and employment risk management.”

“Therefore, I don’t need to be told my daughter’s mind is already fixed on Australia, getting married there and with her husband producing the next generation of owners of the farm that he said the family has owned for five generations.”

“I really don’t think…”

“Allow me to finish Rupert. I know people and I listen to people. You heard Wally – Christ, what a name – say he’d been to England once previously with his parents to visit distance relatives in Berkshire from when Thomas and Sarah Haines immigrated to Sydney, Australia, in 1880 to establish a farm large enough to support them and their nine children.”

“Actually, I did hear him say that.”

“Oh right, you would have been only half-listening because the conversation wasn’t about money and financial risk.”

“My dear, your tongue inevitably turns peevish when you are drunk or you are losing at cards.”

“Tut-tut, don’t become nasty because I’ll need you to finger me tonight to release my tension.”

Rupert chuckled and said that was an honest reason for explaining why she required his services for her addiction, but that allegation failed to fire the expected vigorous denial.

Instead, Margaret explained that Wally didn’t actually reveal the reason why he’d come to England but had said his mother had pushed him to ‘visit the home of his forebears’.

“And?”

“Hmm, little wonder banks are stuffy; it’s the people who operate them, bereft of spirit.”

“And exactly what does that mean?”

“Keep calm dear; it was simply a though I tossed in your direction when I decided to vocalize it. I guess it means one requires fire as well as intelligence to mine intelligence more effectively.”

“I see, and off you go in one of your irrepressible tangents again.”

“Bear with me darling; you knew I was like this when you began courting me and I suggest you chose me for my looks and brain rather than my pussy.”

“That assumption is 100% accurate, I say to the former Margaret Howard.”

“Oooh, darling, begin flexing your fingers.”

“God, Margaret, you are irrepressible. Please complete your explanation why you have this notion that our daughter will marry in Australia?”

“My belief, formed in the absence of hard evidence, is that Wally’s mother is English and she is continuing the tradition of the Australian farming branch of the Haines family with its roots in Berks to insist her eldest son goes to England and returns with an Englishwoman suitable to become his bride.”

“What preposterous rubbish.”

 “I bet you can’t substantiate that rejection of my notion.”

“There is no need to, rubbish is rubbish.”

“Darling, my brain has simply put one plus one together. One, have you even seen the look on your daughter’s face when she glances at a guy as she displayed this evening when looking at Wally?”

“Ah, you’re right about that; and they both have the look of a couple who are shagging frequently. But that’s one plus zero.”

“Good boy. And now I ask where was our daughter born and raised for the first years of her life?”

“Reading, and whatever has that got to do with Australia and our daughter?”

“And in what county is Reading located?”

“It’s the county town of Berkshire… Omigod.”

“It’s time to retire to our suite darling as my pussy requires a much-needed massage. Forget about Wally and our daughter marrying in Australia, because as you say, at this stage it’s only a stupid notion of a woman who knows nothing.”

“Say what you wish sweetheart but I’m now convinced Bridget brought that chap along tonight to assess the extent of our unvoiced approval of him and to whet your appetite because that girl knows how your mind works much better than I do.”

*  *

At Sydney International Airport, Bridget Stone said, “Wal, is that tanned woman in white staring at me your mother?”

“I haven’t spotted her, she must have been held up by rush-hour traffic.”

“Look in the direction of 1 o’clock.”

“Jesus, that’s my mother. How did you recognise her?”

“I think in simple logic, inherited from my mother. That woman was the only person focused entirely on me. Remember, you sent her phone camera pictures of us and of course she would have recognised you first. Is my lipstick okay?”

“Lipstick, what on earth has that got to do with meeting my mother?”

“First impressions are important darling. I have no wish to give the impression I’m sloppy with my make-up.”

“You look immaculate darling, but I wonder what she’ll think if she ever sees you pussy and learns it’s hairless.”

“Brilliant Wal, now you are thinking like my mother but not as accurately because she would be aware that seeing my bald pussy will not count as one of your mother’s first impressions of me.”

 

“Hi darling, first allow me to hug and kiss my son.”

“Sure, but no tonguing.”

Wally looked shell-shocked but his mother squawked in laughter, turned and kissed Bridget on the cheek and said, sounding impressed, “God, you talk like an Aussie woman already.”

“Thanks for that supreme compliment Mrs Haines.”

Brenda looked at her prospective daughter-in-law in surprise.

“My mother told me she believed you’d be a well-educated Englishwoman with adaptability qualities.”

“Oh, and how would your mother know that?”

“All I can say is my mother is rarely totally wrong in her assumptions.”

“Hmm,” Brenda said, eyeing the young woman intently. “You may tell your mother I’m from a farm in West Berkshire near Hungerford, Wal’s father Barry came to England after advertising for a month’s accommodation on farm in Berkshire.”

“I was 24, a junior schoolteacher and still living at home. Without the knowledge of our parents, my youngest sister aged 15 replied by email to the advertisement, writing as if she were our mother. Robyn invited the young man to stay with us as we had 1535-acre mixed farm of 1200 arable acres, close to a town with a spare bedroom in one of the farm cottages. To our astonishment, the guy arrived to inspect the farm and accommodation and to find out about employment opportunity for up to a month.”

“Robyn came clean and said she’d lured the advertiser to our farm because she thought being Australian he’d be a great swimmer and could coach her and could also act as a cricket coach for her brother and two sisters.”

“We all laughed at her devious behaviour and dad found the guy was off a mixed farm in New South Wales and liked the Australian and employed him. Mum said he could have the guestroom and looked at me as if I might be interested in room-sharing. Well, as it turned out Barry and I began dating and eighteen months later I was married to him in Australia with all my immediately family and a few friends attending.”

“Oh, how romantic and now the same pattern is unfolding for me,” Bridget cried and she and Brenda fell into a hug.

“Not quite the same pattern,” Brenda laughed. “Wal emailed us he’d met this stunning young woman at a night-club in a sleazy part of London after your boyfriend punched him unexpectedly for dancing with you and the three of you were ejected on to the street where the real fight took place and you three almost ended up being arrested by a police patrol.”

“Ah yes, and I was helping Wal to stem the blood flow from his nose and my friend ran off and the two policemen raced after him on foot and I waved down a taxi and fled with Wal, taking him to a late-night pharmacy for assistance.”

“Mum, I’m still waiting for you to kiss me and welcome me back home, mission almost completed.”

“Almost completed?”

“Yes, while Bridget and I are awash in sex, we’re not married yet.”

“Ah yes and I’m telling you that’s a foregone conclusion,” Brenda said, welcoming her son home with a fat kiss and murmuring, “My very good boy; she’s terrific, exceptionally so.”

They set off from the airport, with Wally at the wheel of the white Toyota SUV.

“We’ll stop for refreshments on to way to Forbes which is about five hours away. Our farm is less than an hour on from Forbes.”

“God, that’s a long way away,” Bridget yawned.

“That’s why you are in the backseat darling,” Brenda said. “Relax and go to sleep when you wish but keep your seatbelt fastened. We are somewhat isolated but you’ll be relieved to know we have outside cell phone coverage anywhere on our farm.”

“How large is your farm?”

“It’s 2318 hectares, or 5283 acres and that is large enough for us as because we don’t have any livestock and land that is not growing winter wheat, oats, barley or canola is being rested.”

“Oh really, no livestock? I was hoping to ride a horse.”

“Then you will. Wal’s younger sister is married and lives close to us, about 30 miles away and they farm cattle and some sheep.”

“How can 30 miles be quite close?”

“Omigod, I can remember asking that same question when I was making this same journey all those years back when I was brought from West Berkshire to settle upon my marriage. You’ll come to learn than long distances are not considered long distance here, especially to rural Australians. I’ll fly you to Sydney or Melbourne or perhaps to Adelaide when we have the desire to experience some real shopping.”

“You have your own aircraft?”

“Yes, and my pilot license is current. My husband gave me 4-seat Piper as a present one year when our farm income had gone through the roof after crop failures hit Europe and especially Russia due to a series of adverse weather conditions and we happened to have bumper harvests that year. But we knew what their grain producers were feeling because occasionally it rains too much and our yields are low or entire crops even fail to reach maturity because of prolonged drought and we even have crops ruined by flooding in our area, but thankfully not often.”

“Golly,” Bridget yawned and within a couple of minutes was sleep.

Wally checked the rear-vision mirror, grinned and whispered, “She’s asleep.”

“That’s good and please don’t stop until she awakes, as a good sleep will help her to be on the best when we arrive at the farm.”

“Ah you remember your experience of arrival?”

“Not really apart from being lost in my mind and feeling apprehensive. Christ Wal, that was almost 36 years ago.”

“Yeah and I understand because I can’t remember what I was doing 36 years ago.”

“Well, since you are not yet quite 34 I can understand that.”

“I was just attempting to pull your tit, mum.”

“Please don’t speak coarsely within her hearing, at least not initially.”

“Why mum? When her boyfriend landed a king-hit on me and I went down, she smacked him real hard, I could almost hear his teeth rattle. And outside the nightclub when he attempted to punch my lights out, and I was blocking his swings, Bridget yelled to him to back off or else she would kick in the balls and pulverise them.”

“She said that?”

“Honest mum, those were her very words.”

“Omigod.”

“Ha, mum. You’ve more than half-accepted her already.”

“Well there’s no need to pass on that knowledge. Is there anything else I should know?”

“Yes, she’s anxious that it might upset you if you learn that she completely shaves her pussy.”

There was silence.

“Mum did you hear what I just said?”

“Yes, and keep your voice down. If you must know I’ve shaved down there on perhaps five occasions, usually after your father has watched a porn video. I did it to stop him whining on and on about wanting me to do it. I shaved and then I let the hair regrow and he didn’t seem to notice for ages, usually after a year or so until he once more viewed on video a close-up of a pulsating nude pussy of a babe whom he thought was rather hot.”

“Gawd, what other bedroom atrocities does he put you through?”

“That’s more than enough from you Wally, shut up.”

“Okay mum, take it easy. You know, I’m so proud of you submitting to doing what your man wants.”

“Shut your fucking mouth Wally and keep it shut about this otherwise you’ll answer to me.”

“Okay mum, cool it and I’ve backed off. Please pour me water.”

“I have thermos with coffee in the bag at my feet.”

“Cool mum. You are such a sweet and thoughtful mother.”

“Indeed, and I think you are very okay um most of the time.”

 

Chapter 2

They reached Forbes, their principal local town, population 7500.

Brenda said to Bridget, who’d been awake for the past 1½ hours, they would stop for late lunch as Wal had announced he was starving.

“Oh darling, you should have stopped earlier.”

“I did, to refuel, but since you didn’t wake up I decided to push on.”

“Oh, my hero,” the refreshed Bridget said and Brenda made a sound very much like supressed giggling.

During the hour stopover, two young waitresses came over and asked Wally to introduce ‘his lady’ and one of them took out her phone as they left the table and soon up to a dozen young women progressively dropped in to say hi to Wally and his lady.

One grilled Bridget, asking what sports she played and Bridget said tennis and was active in women’s cricket and was immediately asked if she knew anything about coaching cricket and she replied yes and that led to excited chatter among the visitors.

When she was asked how long she would be staying, Bridget said “Perhaps forty or more years, I’m here to marry Wally.”

The three drop-ins and the two waitresses who heard that appeared stunned but there was no comment.

Brenda took the driver’s seat and said they had less than an hour to go.

Bridget asked, “Why did those females look shocked when I said I was here to marry Wally. Is the wedding off?

“No, of course not and my son doesn’t require permission to marry. Those girls were dumfounded because Wally is considered the most eligible bachelor around here, I guess.”

“Who Wally?”

Brenda giggled and Wally said indignantly, “Go easy on me darling.”

His mother said, “You must understand darling males outnumber females in this district because the females who go off for higher education don’t return in large numbers because they consider job opportunities and prospective suitors exist in greater numbers elsewhere.”

“Oh. And that could be almost a universal occurrence in rural communities world-wide, I guess.”

“That’s very astute thinking and is probably correct,” Brenda said. “In most families, the eldest son gets to take over control of the family business whether it’s the farm and packaging peanuts or whatever. What is your degree darling?”

“I have a Business BSc with honours and a Master’s in Business Finance with Accountancy and until very recently was lecturing first and second-year university students in London about accountancy.”

“Omigod.”

“They are only academic qualifications and an intermediate level lectureship Brenda and Wal told me you arrived here with a Master’s in Education and after acquiring Australian-required specific teaching updates, you taught high school students in this district for years.”

“Yes, but I’m excited that we might have employment for you as our farm accountant as we are dissatisfied with the firm we use in Dubbo and I’m thinking some of our neighbours could be interest in your services too.”

“But Brenda, I’m not fully certified to practice accountancy in New South Wales.”

“No and you’ll be in the same position I was when he arrived here at a time of a high school teacher shortage.”

The women laughed.

Chuckling, Wally said his mum was always quick to snaffle opportunities.

Brenda asked Wally to phone in with their arrival time.

Twenty minutes later as they turned into the track to the farm, Brenda said, “Re-fresh your make-up darling; everyone will be gathered to get their first look at the bride-to-be and neighbours will arrive later for an evening barbie. Remember, first impressions are important.

“A barbie; is that short for barbecue?”

“Yes dear, Aussie are big into shortening names and you experienced that at the café when the some of the girls began calling you Brie.”

“God, was that what they were doing?”

“Yes, and if you don’t like it, make a stand. That’s why no one around here calls me Bren.”

 

Chapter 3

The two-storey farmhouse came into view that Wal had told Bridget had been added to by successive generations of the family.

Bridget suddenly became apprehensive. She was 24-hours plus flying time from London and she was in an unfamiliar time zone as it was spring at home whereas it was autumn here and she was about to meet some people she didn’t know.

What if those people didn’t like her and rejected her? What then? What if they thought she spoke without a drawl and her voice sounded plummy and…?”

“Breathe deeply, darling and try not to panic. I think I can remember what was flying through my head when the farmhouse was looming large for me as it is for you know. And afterwards I was happily enjoying the attention I was receiving from guys as well as females and I was wondering what I’d been so uptight about. Although it’s autumn when we step outside this air-conditioned cabin you’ll find it quite hot out there. Just remember to breathe deeply and remind yourself to smile… to smile.”

Bridget, sitting in the front passenger seat beside Brenda the driver, let a slight whimper escape. Brenda reached for her hand and Bridget grasped it and felt power radiating from it. She gasped and felt a smile coming and said confidently, “Thanks, I feel better now and slipped her hand free.

“Good girl, I picked you as not being a pussy.”

“What’s that about pussy?” came the drawl from the back seat and the two women laughed easily and didn’t offer an explanation.

“That’s my husband Barry striding towards us wearing an Akubra hat, the Aussie original similar to the American Stetson.

“Omigod, he’s lean, tall and handsome, rather like his son.”

“Why thanks darling but make that sons. We have a younger son Mike and his twin sister Della although she was originally names Doris.”

“She was smart to rename herself.”

“As you see it darling.”

“Oh Brenda, how insensitive of me and I apol…”

“Hush Bridget and you’ll never hear me admit after 21 years when she defied me at seven years of age that she was changing her name, that I now accept she did the right thing. My best friend since when we started school in England was Doris Blakely, these days a university professor. She was honoured to learn that I called my first and only daughter Doris.”

“And have you subsequently…”

“No, sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie.”

Brenda rolled down her window and Bridget noticed her man kissed her as if he were honoured to do that.

“And hi young lady, please call me Barry.”

“Thanks for your warm welcome. I loved seeing you kiss your wife so affectionately.”

“I could say I’ve not seen her since 3.30 this morning when she left for Sydney.”

 “Dad and mum often act like they’ve not known one another for long.”

“Oh, hi son, sleeping on the job again I see.”

“Nah just resting. Get around and open Bridget’s door for her and get an eyeful of her awesome body.”

“Wow, that’s my top invitation of the year. I’m on to it son.”

 

Clutching Brenda, Bridget eyed the dozen or so people on the wide front veranda.

“Omigod, that’s Della and she’s a mother.”

“Yes, she was well pregnant when she and Simon married two months ago. Simon stepped up after the father died when driving home from Dubbo with a part urgently required for a combined harvester. He fell asleep and drove into a bridge abutment just two weeks before the wedding, almost seven months ago. Simon was Mick’s best friend and went looking for him when Mick failed to arrive home by 3 a.m. and found him very dead amid the wreckage. You may have noticed even in daylight road vehicles are not all numerous in these parts and so it is with people.”

“Della and Simon and wee Andy live just down the road from here, about an hour’s drive away on his parent’s sheep farm.  I predict you and Della will become good friends and oh, they have horses. Err, I’m thinking haven’t we had some of this conversation before?”

“Yes.”

“Oh my, you are so polite with me.”

“No problem. I have a quick question: am I to sleep with Wal?”

“I have made up the guest room for you two and shifted all his things there. But if you wish…”

“No, what you’ve arrange is my preference. We began doing it the night we first met.”

“Oh, I say. He emailed about that time that he regarded you as rather a hottie and I gathered that meant he’d bedded you. I entirely approve and everyone who needs to know has been told you will be sharing a room with Wal.”

“Hi everyone, meet my future daughter-in-law, the delightful Bridget who is…”

“From Berks, UK,” chorused many of the extended family.

There was an edge of finality to that chorus that rather unnerved the would-be bride. However, that understandable reaction was soon allayed.

Shortly afterwards, as drinks were being poured ready for the formal welcome of Bridget to Windsor Farm (named after Windsor Castle in Berkshire), Brenda and Barry drew Bridget into a side room.

Brenda said, “Bridget, this is a gentle enquiry to confirm a couple of things.”

“Yes,” Brian smiled. “Are you totally happy about marrying Wally, I mean are there lingering doubts?”

“No, I remain fully committed.”

Brenda said, “That’s excellent, and pleases us immensely. We suggest a wedding date on a Saturday, two months hence.”

“That sounds fine but why should we wait that long?”

“It establishes a bolt-hole for you, should you decide after gaining experience here… after all is a long way from your immediate family and familiar environment. At that stage, you may decide to opt out.”

“Well, I accept that is a sensible suggestion and, um, I accept your suggestion.”

Barry said, “And we suggest the two-month delay gives your family and friends you will wish to be invited to the wedding, time to make their arrangements. We will provide return air tickets to your immediate family members and cover their accommodation requirements for the wedding.”

“Oh, that’s very generous of you but you really don’t…”

“Nevertheless, it’s our pleasure to attempt to be the perfect hosts on your behalf,” Brenda smiled warmly.

“Oh, I’m feeling so humbled but also so pleased.”

“And that’s exactly how I remember feeling at this precise moment of my arrival here,” Brenda said, reaching for Bridget’s, but they ended up in a hug and Bridget drew Barry into the huddle.

“Wal had agreed to us raising these points which we discussed with him. He suggested I announce the wedding date this evening when I formally introduce you after the arrival of our friends in the district this evening at about 7:00,” Brenda said, adding with Bridget’s agreement of course.

 Bridget said everything proposed sounded so perfect as proposed.

“And I assure you I feel I possess the required adaptability to settle into this environment perfectly, err once becoming used to the vast openness and the extremely low number of people in this district. You two already feel like family to me and Brenda, you’ll become as close to me as my own dear mother is.”

“Aw.”

Bridget laughed and said, “It’s okay Barry, the only person my father closely relates to is my mother, and we as a family have long accepted that’s mainly because dad accepts her as his intellectual superior and I must say even I find her quite awesome. That means Barry, you may become regarded as more fatherly to me than my own dad is.”

“Ah the hottie in you that Wal spoke to me has appeared,” Brenda laughed. “You certainly appear to be your own woman and I feel so happy that Wal has brought you to us and I should think the younger females around here will have you playing cricket before you know it.”

“Cricket is played around here?”

“Yes darling, almost everywhere.”

“It’s Australia’s national summer sport – playing it or watching it being played,” Barry said with authority. “Come on you two, let’s get back to the others. Wal is probably telling everyone you can cook and you’re bloody good in bed.”

“Yes, let’s stop such nonsense,” Brenda said firmly.

“No, allow my fame to spread.”

The females left the room, hand in hand, giggling.

*  *

Twelve weeks after Bridget’s arrival in Australia, she told Brenda she would like the wedding planning to proceed.

“Ah, you feel you are acclimatized to life here on the farm?”

“Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, and there’s the matter that I’ve just had a call from Doc West confirming indications that I am indeed pregnant.”

“Omigod, darling, what wonderful news for us all.”

They hugged and kissed and Brenda said, “Right you call Wal about the confirmation and then call your mum. Don’t worry that it will be almost midnight in London because this is the kind of news mothers hope their daughters will be calling about. I’ll call Barry with the news and then call Della to get her arse over here and we three girls will drive to Dubbo to look at wedding dresses and wedding venues. We can discuss the time and date of the event on the way there.”

“Um Brenda, what’s the rush?”

“It’s a consideration that you may not have thought about. Call me old-fashion is you wish, but I would prefer my grandchildren, when viewing your wedding photos with me in years to come, that they are not compelled to ask why their slender mum has a fat tummy in the photos.”

“Wow, great thinking. Thanks a million.”

“It’s what grandmothers do darling. I’m so excited about my new role just as you will be with yours.”

 

The End


© Copyright 2017 Grigor McGregor. All rights reserved.

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