Perfect day ruined by a phone call

This morning while Fife was on his run I hung LadyBohemia’s painting – the one I got from the house on Friday night. I put it over the fireplace, and I think it looks absolutely lovely. Although, I was quite disappointed that Fife didn’t notice when he got back to the flat.

The weather was amazing today. The sort of day LadyBohemia would have loved. Crisp blue skies with a few fluffy white clouds, and green bugs coming out of every tree, bush and blade of grass. Also, as this is Scotland, the sun was up at stupid o’clock this morning and it wouldn’t set until stupid late, so nature was begging us to spend the day outside.

I suggested heading over to the park by the house, but Fife had a better idea – the Arbroath cliffs. I’d never been to Arbroath or its cliffs, so I was game for something new. We packed the car with a blanket, a couple of towels, my kindle, a book, a notebook (that’sFife, he doesn’t go anywhere without his little notebook) and a picnic.

We parked the car at a sandy part of the beach and walked down quite a ways. I was more than happy to camp on the beach just there, but Fife said he knew a better spot farther down. After about a twenty minute nature walk (you know how much I love those) and ‘farther down’ we found ourselves in this little cove.

There were striated walls of rock around us and lovely soft sand beneath. Little greenish blue pools sat to one side and out in front was the North Sea, bluer that I’d ever seen it. It looked like our secret Greek cove.

We stretched out our blanket and settled in. The weather was perfect. If I got too chilly I needed nothing more than my hoodie. In fact, it was a little odd being on a British beach without a parka.

We spent the day lazing about, reading and talking. Fife jotted notes in his book, and he had me play a character game with him. He had me ask him questions the characters he’s developing  – any question at all, like ‘What’s your favourite nut?’ – and Fife had to answer the question. No matter what. It was a super fun game, and Fife said that it helps him get to know his characters better.

This was for the lit fiction book he’s writing (he also confided in me that his publisher is getting a bit annoyed with him that he still hasn’t finished the edits they asked for on the last book), and the characters sound really interesting. He desperately wanted to tell me the plot, but I told him not to. I don’t want to read the manuscript until it’s finished, and I don’t want to know all about it before I read it. Plus, like I said before, I don’t want to affect what he writes. Changing genre is such a big deal for an established genre author, and I don’t want any sort of career failure to fall into my lap. 

After our character game, Fife waded into a rock pool and came back with fists full of razor clams. He was so excited, and said he was going to cook them right there. I thought he was mad. He put the clams on the blanket and dug through our bag pulling out a lighter. We also had brought a bowl strawberries that we had already eaten. He put sea water in the bowl and put the clams in the bowl. Then he then ran up to the base of the cliffs and came back with some rocks and sticks. After getting a fire going then letting it die down so it was coals, he put the razors onto the coals and they slowly began popping then opened up. They were ready to eat.

‘My god. It’s like dating Bear Grylls,’ I said before asking if it was safe to eat molluscs we’ve pulled from the sea. ‘What if there’s sewage in the sea?’

‘I’m sure there is,’ was Fife’s answer.

I thought he was joking at first, but he then he said, ‘There’s shit everywhere. If you thought about it too much you’d never eat a thing,’ and he pulled a clam out of a shell and gulped it down.

It was time for me to try one. They were weird. Kind of like mussels but more salty and kind of gritty. But they were okay. They’d probably be better with sauce, but they weren’t bad – especially for having gotten them out of the sea for free. Which is kind of cool. Despite the fact that there may be shit in the sea.

We stayed on the beach until quite late. The sun was still out but the cliffs were casting a shadow over the cove, plus the tide was coming in and it was getting chilly in the shade. 

With it now being light so late, we felt it was too early to head back to the flat, so we decided to spend more time outside and we grabbed a burger from Dukes in Dundee where we could sit on the patio. It was a lovely end to a sunny day, a fruity beer and a burger. My skin is a little pink from spending the day outside, and Fife is getting a slight tan.

I truly hope we have good weather this year.

We’d been home for about an hour when Fife’s new mobile rings. I know when Helen calls or texts Fife because his demeanour changes immediately, and to be honest he becomes a person I don’t like. He becomes edgy and argumentative, not just with her but with me as well. I’m trying to be understanding, because he’s going through something I can’t even fathom.

As he was talking on the phone and I could tell there was some sort of drama with the kids and the school run. From what I could tell, by listening to Fife argue with Helen, she had to be in Edinburgh early and her mum can’t sort out the kids, so Fife has to go back to the house and get the kids off to school then come back at the end of the day to collect them. Then he has to stay at the house until Helen gets home. She requested for this to be the routine all week.

As much as I’m trying to stay neutral this does seem like a massive pain in the arse. This whole running back and forth thing is ridiculous. But Fife gets so aggressive with her, I don’t really blame her for being on the defensive.

After a bit of shouting, he told her that the kids would be staying with him this week, until she could get her schedule sorted. When I first heard him say that, I thought, ‘Oh. Well that makes sense.’ Until I realised that they would staying here in the flat and Fife would bring them back and forth to school. Suddenly it wasn’t such a good idea any longer.

I’m trying to be supportive, but this place is too small for Fife, me and two growing boys. I know it’s only for a week, but what if this is setting a precedent? To be honest, I’m kind of freaking out. Yes, when I started dating a guy who’s also a father, I knew there would be kid duty. It’s not like I expect to never see them or anything. In fact, I guess they’re okay kids. Or at least LittleOne is. But a week in the flat. I am not looking forward to this.

Then I thought. If Helen has Dave, why doesn’t she just go stay with Dave and then Fife can go back to the house until it’s sold? That makes the most sense. I waited until he was off the phone to ask this very reasonable question, but was unable to do so at first because he spent ten minutes after he hung up continuing to rant nonsensically, ‘I’ll be damned if she thinks…’ ‘Like hell I’m going to just drop everything because she…’ ‘I’ll do what I like with my kids…’ You know that sort of thing.

He eventually stopped pacing and ranting and flopped down on the sofa, so I asked what I thought to be a logical question, ‘If [Helen] is with [Dave], why doesn’t she live with him and you live in the house?’

‘Because it’s not an option, that’s why? And I don’t want to hear anymore about it. The kids will be here during the week, and I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but I’m not choosing my boys over you,’ and he flipped on the television.

I went into the bedroom, because I’m not getting into this argument. It is indeed my business because this is my flat, and I’m not asking him to chose between me and his children, I’m just asking a logical question.

It’s been hours since he’s been off the phone, and I thought he would have come to bed by now, but I guess he’s still sulking. I even feel asleep for a while and have since woken up, but I’m not bringing him to bed, because if he wants to be in a strop he can stay in a strop. I’m not apologising.

I think I’m going to text HarryPotter and see if he’s still up.

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