Here is the next chapter of Esther (Book 2 of Waldmeer – 2nd Generation).
Summer was in the thick of things; smack-bang in the middle of Waldmeer. The tourists had taken over the little town, as they always did at this time of year. The locals oscillated between threatening to run them over and reminding themselves that without the summer trade, the businesses would not survive. They cursed the noise, rubbish, traffic jams, and “obnoxious, selfish, self-entitled” city-dwellers. The long-term business owners pleaded with their fellow-locals to be patient and polite. They coaxed them along with, A smile costs nothing. They reminded them that the majority of the visitors would only be around for six weeks and then they would have their beloved town back to themselves. Mostly.
One group of critters who adored this time of year was the cockatoos. They virtually had a six-week food coma from the overflowing piles of rubbish. Yet another point of contention. The Council. Why don’t they collect the rubbish more often? What are we paying rates for? Oh, yes, it was a six-week grumble-fest. Luckily, the tourists were blissfully, if selfishly, unaware of it.
It wasn’t pleasant being in Waldmeer at this time of year. Also, Merlyn’s adopted dogs were becoming more restless and problematic in the tiny, rented unit. So, she decided to take up a residential offer from Prana Community. If she worked for the community and its outreach programs then she could live and eat there for free. No one in the community was paid but everyone was supported. They were, however, expected to devote themselves fully to the work, for the good of all. It was communism at its most pure. Merlyn liked things simple and pure. Once again, this time with Bertie and Bella (the dogs), she moved.
There was one more reason for Merlyn’s decision to move. Although summer and the tourist-invaders were well and truly in Waldmeer, Ben was not. He said it was the dogs. And the tiny flat. And the combination of the two. It wasn’t.