Episode 7 of 8: Mia Maxwell heads to London, eager to get started on writing her book. Back home, she finds her best friend Lizzie cosied up in a relationship of her own. But have the exquisite flavours of Sicily sharpened Mia's taste in men or left her feeling soured? -- Greedily Yours is a serial novel about the quest for top dishes ... with a dash of accidental love. -- Mia Maxwell loves food. She loves it so much that she's made it her career. On the surface Mia seems to have it all sewn up. She lives in trendy east London with her best friend. By day she runs her own food PR consultancy, and by night she's a food blogger enjoying a burgeoning audience. Mia has a banker boyfriend who enjoys travelling the world, enabling her to taste the globe's culinary delights. But Mia is still hungry and, when she heads down to Cornwall to run a food festival, she doesn't realize that her entire life is about to be cast adrift. -- For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Trisha Ashley, and Polly Williams. -- Emma Hamilton is the pen name for a journalist and writer who loves food; She was a staff producer and then freelance reporter for the BBC, CBC, and Deutsche Welle. Emma has written for a number of magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, BBC Magazines, The Mail on Sunday, Four Four Two and Italy Magazine. She has worked on many series and documentaries, including one about food and culture around the world. Emma spent six years reporting from Italy and has made radio programmes in many other countries including Lebanon, Ethiopia, the USA, France, Germany, Russia, and Cameroon. When she's not cooking, reading about food or eating it, she splits her time between presenting, producing and writing. She loves yoga, running, gardening and chilling out with her husband, friends and family at home.
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Greedily Yours — About the Series
About the Book
About the Author
Recipes in this Episode
Greedily Yours is a serial novel about the quest for top dishes … with a dash of accidental love. Each episode features new recipes to tickle your taste buds!
Mia Maxwell loves food. She loves it so much that she’s made it her career. On the surface Mia seems to have it all. She lives in trendy east London with her best friend, Lizzie, who owns a cupcake cafe.
By day she runs her own food PR consultancy, and by night she’s a food blogger with a burgeoning audience. Mia has a banker boyfriend, Paul, who enjoys travelling the world, enabling her to taste the globe’s culinary delights.
But Mia is still hungry and, when she heads down to Cornwall to run a food festival, she doesn’t realise that her entire life is about to be cast adrift.
Episode 7 of 8: Mia Maxwell heads to London, eager to get started on writing her book. Back home, she finds her best friend Lizzie cosied up in a relationship of her own. But have the exquisite flavours of Sicily sharpened Mia’s taste in men or left her feeling soured?
Emma Hamilton is the pen name for a journalist and writer who loves food; She was a staff producer and then freelance reporter for the BBC, CBC, and Deutsche Welle. Emma has written for a number of magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, BBC Magazines, The Mail on Sunday, Four Four Two, and Italy Magazine. She has worked on numerous series and documentaries, including one about food and culture around the world. Emma spent six years reporting from Italy and has made radio programmes in many other countries including Lebanon, Ethiopia, the USA, France, Germany, Russia, and Cameroon. When she’s not cooking, reading about food or eating it, she splits her time between radio presenting, producing, and writing. She loves yoga, running, gardening, and chilling out with her husband, friends, and family.
Episode 7: Missing Ingredients
Digital original edition
Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG
Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany
Written by Emma Hamilton
Edited by Sean Sinico
Project management: Lori Herber
Cover Design by Kelly Gold — www.kellygold.com
Illustrations: © Shutterstock.com: alicedaniel|tachyglossus| Iveta Angelova|Jeff Bird|Yunna
E-book production: Urban SatzKonzept, Düsseldorf
Mia could feel herself blushing and she fumbled with her case as she tried to jam it into the luggage space above her head and sit down, before the tutting woman behind her exploded and caused more of a scene. She was too busy trying not to drop her case on anyone’s head, including her own, to really concentrate on whether Tom was going to acknowledge her. By the time she’d finished struggling with her luggage and glanced down at him, he was staring purposefully out the window, apparently engrossed in watching the baggage carts zipping along to other planes on the tarmac. The woman with the chestnut hair was glancing at a glossy magazine and still chatting to him as she pointed things out to him. With sweaty palms, Mia checked her boarding card again; flicking her eyes from the card up to the numbers above the seats. With relief she realised that instead of right next to Tom and the mystery woman at his side; as she had first thought, her heart sinking, she was right behind him instead; but that still raised the problem of whether or not she should acknowledge him.
Well this is embarrassing, thought Mia, conscious of trying to sit down as soon as possible so as not to be left standing there looking like a fish out of water, yet again, in Tom’s presence. Now what am I supposed to do? Should I lean over and say ‘hi’ or pretend I haven’t seen him? He’s probably not too eager to talk to me, especially with that woman beside him, and what the hell is he looking at out there?
Mia coughed a few times as she settled into her seat. Tom’s head right in front of her stayed stubbornly still, leaning against the window at his left shoulder. Mia took that as a sign that she should wait to see what he did and so she tried to play it cool, flicking through her own magazine but glancing up every few seconds to see if his head had moved at all.
Tom, meanwhile, was quietly fuming. He had walked past Mia just before the departure gate queue. She obviously hadn’t noticed him as she’d been too busy with the Sicilian man who looked as though he wanted to shag her then and there in departures. Thank god I didn’t reply to her email, Tom thought to himself. I would have looked like a right idiot. I can’t believe I’ve been thinking about her this week, this week of all weeks, when I should just be thinking about my mum and family. Then Mia has to invade my thoughts and even my property …. Tom could feel himself spluttering angrily in his head and self-consciously pressed his lips together, afraid he’d look like a madman whispering to himself. He pushed the side of his head harder against the window of the plane, trying to block out the passengers around him and the fact that Mia was sitting somewhere just behind him. Since he couldn’t now turn and have a look, he had no idea that she was in the seat behind him, although he could feel somehow her eyes boring into the back of his head. She can bore all she wants, he thought, I am not going to lean over and say ‘hi.’ I am sick of whatever game she’s playing and refuse to get dragged into anything again.
Mia forgot to be scared as the plane roared through take off and bumpily made its way across the sea north towards the mainland. She couldn’t decide whether she should just bite the bullet and tap Tom on the shoulder. But as the plane tilted back and pushed up through the cloud cover, she could hear the woman next to him discussing what they should have for dinner and persuading him to stay over with her in London.
“Come on, Tom, we hardly ever get to spend any time together,” pleaded Silvia, as Mia strained to hear his response, which was nothing more than unintelligible grunts. Silvia’s voice, on the other hand, managed to cut through the growl of the engines quite effectively and Mia could hear quite a lot of what she said, especially when she put her head forward on to the seat in front of her. “I mean, I know we’ve just had nearly a week together, but staying over a couple more nights in London wouldn’t hurt, please Tom,” Silvia wheedled. “You owe it to me and the kids, they really don’t see enough of you, and they need to.”
Kids thought Mia, jerking her head back as she struggled to take in what the woman had just said. How could he never have mentioned his own kids to me? Mia’s thoughts were reeling around her head as the plane slowly levelled out and the steely blue grey of the sea glittered below them in between the fluffy white clouds they’d just passed through. Bloody hell, well that’s a turn up for the books, a father, thought Mia, pretending to read the same page of the magazine she’d already scanned about twenty times.
“Are you okay?” asked the woman next to her, who had been shooting her nervous glances as Mia leant her head on the chair in front of her.
“You’re not going to be sick are you?" the woman continued, looking at Mia with a mix of fear and sympathy. "I think if you’re sick, I might be sick, too, so I just want to make sure there are enough sick bags to go around.”
“Erm, no I’m fine, don’t worry, I’m, I’m not going to be sick,” replied Mia, trying to pull her facial features together into a convincing smile. “I just get a bit nervous flying that’s all, I find it helps when I, erm, lean my head against the seat in front of me. Like this,” said Mia, demonstrating again, in the hope that she could listen back into Tom and the woman’s conversation and catch some more juicy bits of information. The woman next to her did not look convinced and pawed furiously through the seat pockets for a sick bag whilst continuing to throw Mia apprehensive glances.
Thinking it was perhaps best not to continue to lean forward, as it seemed to be making her neighbour nervous, Mia forced herself to sit straight in her seat and concentrate on her magazine. Although she couldn’t help noticing that when she’d replied to the woman next to her, Tom’s head had jerked away from the window at the sound of her voice — or so she hoped. But apart from that one jerk, he stubbornly refused to turn around. Mia tried her best to think of a way that she could lean over and say hi, but every potential scenario she ran through in her head was quickly rejected. He clearly isn’t interested, otherwise he would have just said something when I sat down, Mia told herself. There’s nothing for it but to sit tight now. Mia scanned through the columns of her magazine yet again. She tried her best to get interested in one columnist’s comical description of trying to persuade her husband to try skinny jeans and shake him out of his early nineties dress sense, but Mia had to admit, it was without much success.
Looking out of the window, the clouds were thicker as they pushed further north, but she could occasionally make out little islands below and Mia wondered idly which Tuscan islands they might be. The flight attendants rolled up with their trolley and Mia decided go for it and have a bloody Mary. The diet can start tomorrow, she thought, reminding herself that the tomato juice was full of antioxidants which were apparently good to counteract the effects of flying. The woman next to her shook her head in response to the hostesses question as to whether “madam would like anything to drink,” her lips pursed tightly and her eyes rolling slightly in her head.
“Ice and spice with that?” questioned the hostess with a bright smile. Mia nodded, “Yes please.” As the hostess passed across the glass of spicy tomato juice and the mini bottle of vodka, the woman next to Mia made a groaning sound and stood up, lips still pursed tightly together.
“Do you want to get out?” asked the man seated on the aisle at the end of their row. With her hand to her mouth now, the woman nodded vigorously and seemed to be about to climb right over him. “Well, hang on a minute, let me just wait for the trolley to pass and then I can get out for you,” said the man, seeming quite flustered himself. Another groan emitted itself from the woman who was still standing up, one hand holding the headrest in front of her and the other hand on her mouth.
“Madam, are you okay?” asked the hostess who had served Mia, as she pushed the trolley a bit further.
“If you could just sit down for a second, then we can move the trolley out of the way.” But as the woman opened her mouth to reply, she let out a final groan, and was sick all over the seat in front of her. Silvia let out a shriek as her swingy chestnut hair and shirt were covered in sick.
“Oh god,” said Mia, clapping her own hand to her mouth, but also not quite able to hide her glee that the pretty woman at Tom’s side had probably just been covered in vomit.
One hostess quickly pulled the trolley backwards into the galley while the other hostess left to try and calm down the passengers and pass towels to Silvia and the woman who had been sick. Mia’s seat mate was in tears, repeatedly apologising “sorry, sorry, sorry,” as she was led away by the hostess who had returned without the trolley.
As Silvia, too, was taken away to clean up in the toilets, Tom stood up, an angry expression on his face. “Do you think that’s funny?” he growled at Mia. “First you turn up at my family’s property in Cornwall, then again in Sicily and now your friend is sick all over my sister.” Mia hardly had time to register the fact that the chestnut haired woman was his sister before she found herself — yet again — opening and shutting her mouth in amazement at Tom’s onslaught. She castigated herself for once more having lost the power of speech in front of Tom. But he seemed good at jumping in and shouting, causing her to lose the ability to speak altogether. Under Tom’s angry gaze, Mia felt herself growing angry and this galvanised her to pull herself together. “I wasn’t the one who was sick. It was the woman sitting next to me who is now in the bathroom. It had nothing to do with me, so I don’t know what your problem is; and for your information, she is not my friend, I have never met the woman before in my life.”
“But I heard you say ‘oh god’ just after it happened,” said Tom, looking slightly shamefaced and perplexed.
“I just saw the woman in front of me get puked on. I think that’s worth an ‘oh god,’ don’t you?” asked Mia. “I’m sorry THAT happened to your sister, but it doesn’t mean I did it.”
Tom cleared his throat. “Yeah,” he muttered to himself as much as Mia. “Okay, sorry, I, erm, I was a bit shocked myself, and I was angry with you. You sat down right behind us without even saying ‘hi’ and so I thought somehow ….” Tom trailed off, clearly embarrassed about what he’d been thinking and realising that continuing would dig him further into a hole.
Mia was turning red with anger by now, although she tried to remind herself to keep her voice as low as possible above the engine drone. They were already the focus of rather a lot of attention from the other passengers, and she didn’t want to turn their exchange into the inflight entertainment.
“You thought what? That I go around ignoring people and then vomiting on them? Why an earth would I want to do that? Tom, be serious.” As Mia was warming to her theme, a third flight attendant from the front of the plane came up to try and minimise the mess around Silvia’s seat. “Could you please sit down. I’m sorry, this is a full plane today so we can’t move you at all. We still have another good hour of flying time, so I’m just going to have to ask you to stand in the aisle for a minute while I try to clear up any residual, erm, mess that I find here.” With that, he set to with a small bucket, and lots of paper towels and silicon gloves on his hands.
Once the steward had finished with Silvia’s seat, he stood up, pushing his fringe back up with his wrist and put his professional smile back on his face. “You can go back to your seat now, sir, it’s as clean as I can get it really,” he said smiling at Tom, who glowered at him but obediently stomped back towards his seat.
The steward then turned his attention to Mia. “Is the back of that seat alright, madam?” he asked brightly. Mia looked at the residual drips of sick on the headrest and silently shook her head. “Okay then, if you and the gentleman there move out, too, please, then I can get in there and disinfect that area, too,” the attendant said, fixing Mia with a bright beam.
Mia gathered her things and tried her best to press herself as far into the seats behind her as possible so as not to touch the affected portions of the seat in front of her. She waited in the middle of the aisle, returning the weak smiles of the passengers all around her, who whilst probably secretly enjoying the drama, were very glad that they weren’t directly a part of it.
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