She’s back! Roxy Collins and her diary entries have returned for a third series.
Before I kick off with Roxy’s latest diary entry, here’s a quick Q&A for new readers and a much-needed refresh for Roxy fans.
Who is Roxy Collins?
Roxy is a thirty something, single mother, looking for love fourth time around.
Her first partner Jon and father to Matilda ran off with a butcher, called Paul. Her second partner, Rob The Fish, had an affair with a blonde barmaid and Marcus, her third love, was caught in the act with her cousin, Mags.
Roxy is still hoping she can find her Prince Charming.
She has four kids (Matilda, 18, Harry, 12, Toby 10 & Hope 18 months), some wobbly bits on her hips and thighs, which no diet can get rid of and they all live with her mother, Lynn.
What do I need to know?
Time has moved on since series two. Her kids are older and baby Hope has joined the fun. This is a new stage in Roxy’s life.
Her best mates are still Shaz, Orange Lorna (addicted to fake bakes) and Useful Kim (ex-convict). They were going to open a beauty salon, but things did not go entirely to plan.
In series two Roxy entered, ‘Search For a Star’ TV Singing competition’ and got through to the semi finals. She pulled out of fulfilling her life dream, because she fell pregnant with Marcus’s daughter, Hope.
Lynn, Roxy’s mother has opened a cafe, ‘Coffee and a Cwtch‘.
For noting, ‘Cwtch’ is Welsh for cuddle or hug. It’s pronounced ‘kutch’ and rhymes with ‘butch.’
Roxy and Matilda both work at ‘Coffee and a Cwtch.’
Here is today’s diary entry:
The queue of early morning coffee customers are all listening to me, brief Pat, one of our regulars, about the important matters of the day.
“Everyone is looking for love online nowadays, Pat.” I hand over a large latte.
Pat’s sparkly blue eyes widen. “Everyone?”
I gesture towards my mother, who is stood beside me, fiddling with her reading glasses and at the same time, trying to read something on her phone. “Mam’s online now.”
“Is this true, Lynn, are you online?” Pat stares at my mother.
“Yes, Pat, I am online.” My mother runs her hands over her wild red curls and smooths down her leather skirt.
Pat dabs her sweaty brow with a napkin. “Oh Lynn, how terrible! You’ve been forced to go online for a bit of romance, at your age.”
“Not an easy decision, Pat.” My mother holds her phone away and then brings it closer, squinting and screwing up her face.
“Nothing taken your fancy in the town, Lynn?”
I speak on behalf of my mother, as she’s clearly distracted. “Mam’s had no luck since she kicked Dad out and found herself, on a singles holiday to Magaluf. She’s dated a few fellas from the rugby club, the butcher and she had something with the bloke who runs the electrical shop.”
My mother shakes her head and nudges me. “It’s no use I can’t see it. Why did he send me something so tiny.”
Pat leans in and whispers, “I’ve heard the men online send you intimate pictures of their body parts before you ask them where they live.”
Grabbing the phone, I read what it says’ “Mam, it is Steve from Slough and… blimey that is small.”
Pat starts to choke on her latte.
“Calm down, Pat, we’re talking about the size of his email font,” snaps my mother. “Steve likes Arial, size 6, but I prefer something much bigger.”
Pat wipes her mouth and looks away.
Someone in the queue groans. A few grumbles can be heard and a pink-faced man, at the front, taps his fingers on the counter. “Can I just get a coffee?”
Matilda rushes past me to the counter. “LOL!” she says, to the frustrated looking man, “Mam and Nana Lynn are busy talking about the size of Steve from Slough’s font and you’re stood here waiting for a coffee. What can I get you?”
“What does Steve from Slough want?” My mother peers over my shoulder.
I scan the email and gasp. “He wants to know whether he should wear his Elvis outfit on Thursday’s date?”
Matilda turns to my mother and grins. “That’s a big yes, Nana Lynn! He’s such a hottie at 69.”
“A hottie?” Pat grips the counter, shakes her head at my mother and mutters something under her breath. After massaging her temples she turns to me. “Roxy, are you online?”
My mother puts her arm around my shoulders. “After everything that’s happened, I am proud to say my Roxy is back online.”
Heat blossoms over my cheeks. “Arrr thanks, Mam.”
It was a big decision to go back online. After what happened with Marcus, giving birth to Hope and then hearing he’d got engaged to Mags, I didn’t think I would ever love anyone again. Luckily Matilda and my mother made me see sense.
“Don’t forget about me?” Matilda pipes up, before frothing some milk. “I am on Tinder, Pat.”
My stomach muscles tense. Even though Matilda is now an adult I still struggle with her online dating.
“Who would have thought, all three generations of ‘Coffee and a Cwtch’ are now searching for love, online.” Pat’s eyes flit from my mother, to Matilda and finally settle on me. “I do hope you find love, Roxy.” She gives my arm a reassuring squeeze.
The sound of a baby screaming fills the air and I put down my tea towel. “Better go and see baby, Hope.”
The morning rush has died down. My mother has seized an opportunity to walk past the electrical shop a few times, by offering to take Hope for a walk in her buggy.
Even though my mother is having some success online, she’s still got a thing for the bloke, who runs the electrical shop.
I am sat at one of the tables, with my three best friends; Shaz, Orange Lorna and Useful Kim. Shaz is looking gloomily into her coffee cup, Orange Lorna is inspecting her mahogony coloured arms and Useful Kim is busy stuffing cake into her mouth.
“Do they know what started the fire?” I stare at Shaz, who hasn’t looked up for a good ten minutes. Shaz’s beauty salon dream went up in flames a few months ago.
Orange Lorna leans into me and whispers, “faulty sun bed.”
Useful Kim stops eating cake and glares at Orange Lorna. “Excuse me, I might be an ex-con and all my goods have fallen off the back of a lorry, but can I just point out, they are top quality goods.”
“Which have fallen off the back of a lorry,” interjects Orange Lorna.
Useful Kim wedges a huge slice of cake into her mouth, as Orange Lorna folds her dark arms across her chest.
I spot customers waiting and seize the gift of a fast exit. Making a mess of my beauty course and accidentally waxing off a woman’s eyebrows, losing control of a spray tan machine and forgetting to shut the door when giving a man colonic irrigation had all been blessings in disguises for me. Luckily my mother had offered me a job in her new coffee shop. Working with Shaz, Orange Lorna and Useful Kim would have been a disaster.
Matilda is serving out the front and I am in the back kitchen loading the dishwasher.
My mother has not returned from her walk with Hope. She’s been gone awhile, but I’m not worried as one of the regulars said he saw her pushing the buggy into the electrical shop.
My mind is awash with romantic worries.
1. Will I ever find love?
2. Are 4 kids, a flea ridden dog and a rat called ‘Bob’ counted as baggage?
3. Is there a man out there who won’t break my heart?
As I stack the plates I can’t help but break into song. A powerful love ballad.
The last year has been hard, but singing has got me through it.
“Mam,” shouts Matilda, “everyone wants to hear you sing out here.”
Chucking a tea towel over my shoulder, I perform my usual lunchtime ritual. A musical treat for the regulars.
As I walk into the coffee shop, I start to sing. Today it’s Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Eclipse of the Heart.’
By the time I have finished everyone is on their feet clapping, the group of handsome electricians in the corner are whistling, a throng of young students are cheering, an attractive, a dark-haired stranger is toasting me with his coffee cup and tears are streaming down my face. I like to get emotional when I sing.
“Can we all give my Mam a cwtch!” shouts Matilda.
I let out an inner groan as the entire coffee shop comes to give me a cwtch.
This was my mother’s idea of a USP when opening, Coffee and a Cwtch. She briefed us all, the day after returning from Magaluf, coffee shops should be offering more than coffee. So, we offer a wide range of hot drinks and the offer of a cwtch. For some reason this promotion has gone down a treat with our male regulars.
My mother has just returned with Hope.
“Is it windy out there, Nana?” Matilda gives my mother a look of concern. “Your hair is all over the place.”
I notice a box underneath Hope’s buggy. “Mam, have you been buying electrical goods again?”
My mother tries to hide a smile. “Just a small kettle.”
“To add to our collection!” laughs Matilda.
We now have 13 kettles.
As I take Hope out of her buggy, my mother checks the clock. “Did I miss you sing, Roxy?”
Matilda nods. “Yea. She was amazing.”
Hope plants a dribble coated kiss on my cheek.
“Some bloke asked why she always sings sad songs too.”
“Who?” I turn back to Matilda. No bloke ever asks about me. They all tend to ask when my mother is going back to Magaluf and whether the rumours of her and the butcher, caught naked in his shop, each wearing a necklace of raw sausages and strategically placed strips of bacon are true.
She grins. “Tall, dark-haired and with an American accent.”
“Did he say anything else?”
Matilda nods. “He asked whether you and I were related.”
“What did you say?”
“I said yes and that I was your eldest child.”
Hope crosses my fingers. She, like me, is praying Matilda did not say I had four kids. Experience has taught me the number of children I have needs to be something I divulge later on in a relationship.
Matilda grins. “I then told him I was one of four kids and there are three dads on the scene.”
My mother’s face lights up. “Nothing to worry about Roxy. I am sure after hearing all that he’ll be hurrying back tomorrow.”
I cast my mother a worried glance.
She giggles. “Let’s hope he has a father who is attractive too.”
Matilda and I both pull a face.
“So, what did you say to him?” I look at Matilda.
She shrugs. “Said your heart had been broken too many times.”
Can Roxy find love a fourth time around?
Who is the attractive, dark-haired stranger and will he return to ‘Coffee and a Cwtch.’
New Roxy – every Monday.