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  • Writer's pictureAngela Barton

Boomerville at Ballymegille by Caroline James.

Shhh! Fingers on lips… As we eavesdrop on Hattie and Jo from Boomerville at Ballymegille (publishing 6thOctober), while they chat about their brand new Boomerville retreat in Southern Ireland.

Hattie and Jo are relaxing in the lounge at Boomerville Manor, a retreat for those of a ‘certain age.’ The view from the window overlooks an ornamental lake and garden. In the distance, the Boomerville Babes, an all-female, middle-aged aquatic team, are practicing a routine.

‘By heck, Jo, its grand to back in Ireland and if it’s okay with you I’m going to plonk myself down on this sofa and have at gander at the garden.’ Hattie places her shapely rear on the cushions and wriggles into place. She reaches for a lipstick in her bra and smears a coat of pearly pink on her pouting lips.

‘Make yourself comfortable, can I get you anything?’

‘Looking at my watch, I would say that it’s time for a livener, wouldn’t you?’ Hattie raises an eyebrow.

'A large gin and tonic, coming up.’ Jo moves to the bar and spooning ice into two tumblers, free pours.

‘Easy on the tonic,’ Hattie says, as she stares out of the window. She smiles as eight bouncing bodies appear, clad in multi-coloured Lycra and floral swimming hats. They move backwards along a jetty, flippers flapping, and plunge into the water. ‘Like a tsunami,’ Hattie chuckles when waves of muddy water create a swell on the surface of the lake. As she takes a deep swig of her drink, her cheeks colour, heightening her freckles. Her green eyes twinkle.

‘The Boomerville Babes are part of the course itinerary, the guests love the classes,’ Jo frowns as a rake-thin Babe is hurled high in an attempted back-flip, limbs flapping wildly as her body crash lands. ‘It’s a miracle no one has drowned.’ Jo runs elegant fingers through chestnut coloured hair and shakes if off her slim shoulders. Smoothing her pencil skirt, she sits next to Hattie.

‘I’m thinking of joining them myself.’ Hattie leans forward to study the moves as the Babes attempt to spin in a circular motion. The two women are fascinated as they stare at the routine.

‘Well, that was quite a performance,’ Hattie says as she hoists her body off the sofa and teetering on kitten heels, steps towards the bar to top up their glasses.

‘I heard that their show at the local swimming gala last week was a great success.’

‘Aye, it certainly was,’ Hattie smiles as she watches the Babes climb out of the lake, towels wrapped around their sagging shoulders, rubber caps pulled tight squashing weathered faces, as they stagger, chatting happily, over the grass to the manor.

‘The lady mayor rang earlier,’ Jo says, ‘she’s asked them back for an autumn show; she said it was a tremendous success and there wasn’t a spare seat. The locals loved it.’ Jo turns to Hattie, ‘Did they raise money for a local charity?’

‘They did more than that,’ Hattie says. ‘They raised the mayor, as part of their act, wearing multi-coloured Lycra, over a trembling tower of Babes. It bought the house down.’

‘Oh Lord.’ Jo shakes her head and imagines the display. ‘Was the mayor sober?’

‘As pissed as a fart, she went face down in the shallow end. It took four lifeguards to lift her out and five to resuscitate her.’ Hattie grins. ‘The audience filled the collection buckets to the brim with euros. I’ve never seen anything like it.’

The two women raise their glasses.

‘To the Boomerville Babes,’ Jo says

Hattie knocks back her drink and with a smile as wide as the beam of sunshine that suddenly brightens the garden, replies, ‘And all who swim with them.’

Link for Boomerville At Ballymegille:

About the author:

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can.

A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. Caroline also runs writing workshops.

In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking up a mountain with her two Westie dogs, sipping raspberry gin or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Books by Caroline James:


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1 Comment

Caroline James
Caroline James
Sep 18, 2020

Angela, thank you SO much for hosting Hattie and Jo from Boomerville at Ballymegille, on your lovely blog. They had a great time! Happy reading everyone xx

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