Agatha strode down the street. The striding was only in her mind; anyone observing her would have called it walking, possibly mincing, because at only a hundred and fifty-eight centimetres, her gait was not long enough to stride. Although only ten in the morning the heat was already stifling, but she moved along the pavement with ease, looking comfortable despite being dressed in jeans, Blunsdstone boots, a long sleeve shirt and a jacket, topped off with a wide brimmed hat. Dancing around a small boy hurtling down the path, she grinned. Her brother and nephew would be in town today and life would be less lonely. Feeling the tension returning to her shoulder and back, she consciously breathed deeply, forcing herself to relax. She heard a voice calling her name but before she could seek out the speaker her mobile rang.
“Hello, Agatha speaking.”
“Agatha? Agatha Nellan?” the voice was cheerful and clear.
“Hi. This is Cleo, from Hays Recruitment,” her pause for breath was less than a heart beat. “I’ve seen your CV on-line. Are you interested in working in the UK? We’ve got some jobs starting in great schools in January, Head of Drama or Performing Arts. What do you think?”
“Oh…ummm. Wow! I only posted my CV this morning,” Agatha was taken aback. “The UK? London?”
“Well, the one I’m thinking about is quite close to London, just on the edge really, in Essex. Your qualifications and experience fit the bill. The school is looking for a Head of Performing Arts to oversee Drama, Dance and Music. Would that interest you? We’ll do everything for you. Contact the school, set up a telephone interview, sort out bank accounts, etc. You’d have to come into the offices for an interview. We’re in North Sydney. Where are you at the moment?”
“Alice. Alice Springs. When would the job start? What’s the pay like?”
“When are you planning to return to Sydney? The salary is very competitive and although you’d be initially employed on a temporary contract for a trial period it is a full-time permanent position so it would be a salary rather than a daily agency rate. When are you back?”
“I haven’t actually decided,” Agatha said. “I’ve just finished with my school and my brother and his family arrive today so I’m not really sure. If you need an immediate yes/no answer then I’m afraid it would have to be no. I really cannot decide that quickly.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” the voice was less excited. “Look, let me check some details and I’ll give you a call back later today. Is it okay if we contact your referees now?”
“Sure. Yes absolutely,” Agatha, once again, had to consciously relax. “Sorry to be so particular but can you give me a ball park figure re the salary? It will just help me make a decision.”
“In the region of £30,000 depending on the responsibility. So I’ll speak to you later,” Cleo disconnected the call.
Agatha slipped the mobile into her pocket.
“Max!” she grinned at him. “And Hector!” Agatha swept her nephew up in a tight hug and he hugged back.
“Aga, Aga,” he chortled.