I took a period of leave of absence from my job to allow my foot and lower leg to properly heal. I did have to attend a board meeting’ so I rented a driver and car to take me there. I spent the night at my parent’s house and we had some long discussions about so many things. It was good to feel they agreed with my choice of husband. I find they both have a lot of common sense and they both tell me that Leo and I have that ‘glow’ about us that shows great happiness in each other. I also went to my apartment and brought back more clothing. I had very little at the palace.
I worked with Leo meeting with the architect and builder so that the orphanage repairs would make the place more modern. It felt very strange going there and realising I could have been dead under the rubble. The housemother had run to the doorway and been crushed by the falling beams. I was lucky that the strong wooden desk had created a space for me and protected me from too much damage. I didn’t go far there as I was still on my crutches.
The wing with the children’s dormitories was intact. More recently built than the original house which had formed the offices, kitchen and dining areas, as well as the large indoor play and study area for the children.
We had lunch in the local town with the architect and builder and realised we wanted to modernise and upgrade the common facilities there, not just re-build them. That would take more money than would be paid by the insurance and the government’s assistance to repair the damage.
We decided a fund-raising event would be the quickest way to go. A dinner and entertainment at the palace’s formal area would be appropriate. All the local and international donors we could think of who have soft hearts for children, and large chequebooks as well were invited.
Several local musicians and dingers I approached were happy to give some of their time to provide the entertainment. Then a great surprise. Carlo B, a singer with a growing international reputation phoned and said he’d heard about the evening, and as he’d always wanted to come to the palace (which has some historical significance) he volunteered to be a part of the entertainment. I quickly agreed, and said I’d organise lunch with the king and the old king for him on the day of the dinner. The old king would happily give him a tour of the palace with all the usually untold stories. He was delighted.
When I again rented the car and driver and visited the glass factory and craft hall, I was delighted when the artists said they wanted to donate some of their work to be auctioned at the dinner. Thomas was also at the gallery, and he donated some sketches and an oil painting of Edmund to be used for the fund-raising as well.
The day of the fund-raiser started well. I went to the hairdresser, checked with the caterers and palace staff. When Carlo B arrived, Gerard went to meet him and brought him to the formal reception room, where we chatted for a while. Leo finished his meeting with some political group and joined us for a pre-lunch drink. When he helped me up and onto my crutch as he usually did, I noticed Carlo looking closely at us.