Delighted to have the pleasure of collaborating with the remarkable  ESTER DEE on her biography. Watch this space for release date.

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 Prologue

Spring 2021

‘The Chester Meeting’

 

  

‘I’m here, darling! Sorry I’m late,’ were the first words I heard her speak. We were outside the Grosvenor Hotel on the 24th of March and she wasn’t really late, a few minutes and my initial meeting with this interesting woman had begun.

     As she rushed towards me a curl tumbled from the mass of honey-blonde hair and was quickly pushed behind her ear. The sparkling eyes and huge smile were disarming to say the least.

     ‘Hello!’ I replied, matching her enthusiasm. ‘Only a few minutes, don’t worry, no problem.’

     We bumped fists in the accepted socially-distanced manner and she blew an air-kiss to my cheek. My smile was almost as wide as hers.

     ‘I’m SO excited about this, darling.’ Her perfect English was made more  charming by the Central European accent. ‘Shall we get a drink, then find somewhere to chat?’ 

     I nodded. ‘Sounds good.’

     As we made our way along the sparsely populated street she asked about my family, my kids, my work. Her enthusiasm for our project was clearly evident. Her excitement was infectious. At the entrance to the café we put on masks. The obligatory face-covering only serving to accentuate the huge eyes.

     ‘What would you like, darling? Do you want to eat something?’

     I shook my head. ‘Just a cuppa tea please, love.’

     Hot drinks in hand we returned to the street and shed the masks. She stuffed hers into the big Louis Vuitton bag. Her excited smile returned. ‘We can find a seat in the Cathedral gardens.’

     As we walked the occasional passer-by recognised her and smiled. We chatted until the gardens, then found a south-facing bench at the side of the majestic structure. Within seconds of sitting down the sun came out.

     ‘Even the sun comes out for us, darling.’

     We sipped our drinks as a couple of local police walked passed. They nodded and smiled.

     As they moved away she said, ‘Don’t like the cops, reminds me too much of the Czech Republic in the old days.’

     I grinned. ‘Yes, I know what you mean. I worked in the Former Soviet Union many years ago.’

     ‘Really?’

     ‘Yes . . . but for now we’re here to talk about you, not me.’

     The big smile returned and her excited chatter continued. I listened, she talked.     

     She complimented me on my boots. ‘You can tell a lot from a man’s shoes, darling.’

      I smiled and alluded to her outfit. In pure white trainers, with a stylish puffer-jacket over double denim, she told me she was dressing down for town. It wasn’t working. She looked terrific.  The conversation continued with random snapshots of her life.  We, mostly she,  talked for over an hour. I explained what I wanted to get from her. What I needed to make her biography a testament to the woman behind the glamour. The woman who grew from a Cinderella to a Wonderwoman. She laughed at the analogy.

     ‘I want to know what’s in your mind, your heart, your soul.’

     Suddenly the smile was gone and the huge eyes welled up. 

      I handed her a tissue. ‘You okay, sweetie?’

     She sucked in a deep breath and patted away the tear. ‘I can’t believe it . . . No one’s wanted to know the real me. To listen to my story. My life . . . Thank you, darling.’

     For a moment I was surprised at her vulnerability. But then this was exactly what I needed. The real woman behind the public’s perception. I knew she was intelligent, smart and clearly a strong independent lady. But in that moment I realised all that was her armour, her protection against the world. I knew then Ester’s story was one that would entertain, surprise and inspire.