CAREER CHANGE OR NOT?
We went over to Epsom to take some measurements; the sale of the bungalow seemed to be going through quite smoothly and the agent let us have some wall paper books from which to choose. Once the contracts were exchanged the decoration would be done at no cost to us. William was happy to leave the choices to me and I had the time of my life deciding on colours. Most of our furniture was dark so I wanted light bright walls and paintwork with lots of blank spaces for pictures The people we were buying from seemed decent enough but I tried not to feel too confident until all was signed, sealed and delivered.
Back at the flat we were greeted by Renata who said there had been a message from Marta – would I phone her– urgently? Renata looked as if she had been crying and kept her head down. I asked her if she was alright - she said she was a bit tired so I invited her to pop in for a coffee in the morning. She nodded and then disappeared upstairs. I told William about the message from Marta and asked him what I should do. After her previous rudeness I wasn’t keen on jumping when she snapped her fingers.
To my surprise William said I should give her a second chance. It was an opportunity and if I spurned it I may regret it later. I really didn’t enjoy relying on William financially and there was such a lot I wanted to do to the house once we were in it. If Marta were right and I could be accepted as a model I would be earning much more than I have ever earned. After dinner I phoned Marta.
‘Pat! Meet me at my agent’s office tomorrow at eleven. And look your best – don’t let me down.’
‘Oh Marta I’m sorry - I’ve made arrangements for the morning. Renata…
‘Cancel them! Pat this is important. There are hundreds of girls who would give anything to get on Paula’s books and I have gone to a lot of trouble to…’
‘OK Marta I’ll cancel it. And thank you – I am grateful –umm – can you give me the address please?’
She did – it was some Mansions in Soho and I hadn’t a clue how to get there but felt it wouldn’t be in Marta’s remit to give me travel directions.
I dashed upstairs to apologise to Renata and ask if she would mind postponing our coffee date. She was fine about it but I felt guilty. I didn’t go in because I knew the spiv was at home and the less I saw of him the better.
William worked out that I should get a tube to Leicester Square and then walk up Charing Cross road to Cambridge Circus. I washed my hair and prayed it wouldn’t be wet or windy tomorrow. Or - heaven forbid –both. I decided to wear the same outfit I had worn when Marta stood me up – freshly laundered of course and with more comfortable shoes. I put my heels in a smart carry- all I had bought.
It was a lovely day and at Leicester Square tube station I popped in the Ladies for a last scrutiny and tweak – something I would be doing regularly for the next eighteen months. Walking up to Cambridge Circus there were book shops with exotic books and men in hats and mackintoshes. It was a curious mixture of sleaze and culture. The Mansions had a lift like an ornate cage and as the agent was on the sixth floor I was glad of it. There was a lift attendant- whatever happened to them?
Outside the agent’s office was narrow passage where three beautiful girls were sitting. They looked more like show girls then models and looked surprised when I said good morning to them. From inside the office I could hear the constant ringing of a phone –interspersed by bursts of conversation then more ringing. Suddenly the door burst open and a large untidy woman appeared and said that any one there without an appointment should go as she wasn’t seeing anyone without. Two of the girls left. I wondered where Marta had got to and then she suddenly spotted me.
‘Who are you?’
She was quite imperious and scary and her eyes looked me up and down and felt as if they were going through to the marrow
‘I –er, um, I’m a friend of Marta’s. She asked… er we were supposed to…
‘You’d better come in then.’