Travel writer. What a joke. Bernie hadn't been able to travel very far recently. Not since the accident. She was starting to hate her workplace for making her write about humdrum destinations. A divorced mother with limited resources, how was she to afford a holiday but from the win from the competition she hoped to achieve? A family holiday in the sun. Menorca. They'd never been to Spain.
She sighed and tapped her pen absentmindedly to a tuneless beat.
'Will you stop that?'
It was a small office ruled by the gorgon Connie Beauchamp and Bernie thoroughly disliked her. Her colleagues were nice. Jasmine was fashion and beauty, Donna was sex and relationships and their lone male, Raf did the food scene. Bernie thought that a woman close to her age like Connie would foster a more easy-going atmosphere but no such luck. Accompanied by her French bulldog Sacha, she sat in her office and eyeballed them with menace, tore them to shreds in meetings, made Bernie decide every week that she'd look for a new job.
It took another dull month until she got the letter that she had won. The holiday in Menorca was theirs! Out of all the applicants, the dice was spun in their favour, Lady Luck had spat in their direction. She could take Cam and Lottie on holiday!
Getting the time off wasn't so easy, however, no matter how much holiday time she had left.
'It's a bit short notice.'
Connie twirled her pen in fake contemplation.
'I won it. In a competition.'
Connie gave her an evil stare.
'Showing some initiative at last. What angle will you write it from? The guide to menopausal meandering?'
Bernie tried not to let her annoyance show. She wasn't menopausal yet. Connie obviously hated getting older.
'It's a family holiday. I'll be taking my children.'
'Are they not a bit too old to go holidaying with mama?'
Bernie didn't take the bait.
'Not if mama gets them a good hotel. Which is all-inclusive.'
'Ah, children, the same the world over no matter how old they are.'
Connie shared a suspiciously chummy glance with Bernie, having an almost teenage daughter herself. Bernie risked a smile back at the rarity of the situation. A fleeting moment of camaraderie that appeared once in a blue moon.
Blue moon over, Connie instructed her to think of good headlines and perhaps a challenge to liven up the article.
Bernie promised she would, pretending that she would brainstorm it. She had no idea whatsoever.