Our adult weekend, came to an abrupt end due to the needs of some non-adults. I shall start from the start.
Fife suggested that we have a Friday night, which is totally adult and more like dating than family time. We started off with a pre-show dinner at the Playwright, and then opening press showing of the Tempest at the Rep Theatre. Fife’s obviously not press but a friend of a friend in his village had the tickets and passed them on to us.
It was a brilliant show. I’ve never read or seen the Tempest before, which I was nervous admitting. At our pre-show meal, Fife discussed the various productions he’d scene including one back in Uni, and during the interval everyone in the bar seemed to be comparing notes on Shakespeare’s written word versus the Director’s take for this production. I kept quiet regarding my ignorance until the walk back to the house, when I couldn’t keep my secret any longer. Fife finally asked point-blank how I liked it…compared?
I tried to beg him off by arguing that we should be able to see Shakespeare without comparing it to the written play or other productions. We should take the performance for face value, and not try to subvert it as something that’s inferior or as an infidelity to the original. (Yeah, I sound dead smart, but that was something I overheard during the interval.)
To this Fife said, ‘You’ve never read the Tempest or seen it before. Have you?’
I sheepishly answered, ‘No.’
He hugged me and as we walked down Blackness Road he quoted to me his favourite romantic lines from Shakespeare, and as we approached the flat – with it fairly late in the evening but still bright from an evening Scottish sun – he began to quote A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Or so he claimed, he could have been making it all up. I have no idea.)
In bed that evening, he whispered Shakespeare into my ear and called me his Juliette.
We went over to the cottage the next morning, dropped off our stuff then Fife took me to Blair Atholl Castle. We didn’t go into the house, but wandered the grounds, and then had a stroll through Hercules Gardens.
Fife took me there because his new book has a few scenes set in the garden, and as it had been a long time since he’d been there, he wanted to have a look and then rewrite those scenes if necessary. Other than my ‘edit the first book before rewriting the second’ nagging, we had a lovely day in the gardens. It was grey and slightly drizzly, but the lilac is in bloom and it smelled so lovely. There’s a pond in the Hercules Garden with numerous ducks and swans, and little baby signets and ducklings. I was in love.
There’s nothing more wonderful than baby animals. Cute and fluffy baby animals. And these little mamma birds were so used to humans that I could walk right up to them. I wanted to reach out and cuddle the little ducks, but I knew the mama would come after me – even if she was being docile to start.
As we circled the garden, with me following the baby ducks like a child myself,Fife asked if I ever wanted children. Without thinking I said, ‘Of course,’ then I remembered. Fife’s been ‘fixed’ and if this relationship is to go down that route, his kids not only become my kids, but they become my only kids.
I stopped short and changed my answer, ‘But [BigOne] and [LittleOne] are what’s really important, so they’re enough.’
To be honest, I don’t think I was lying. The kids Fife already has are a handful, and adding more on top of that would probably be too much. But I always assumed I’d have my own kids. Then again, maybe that’s just what you assume because that’s what we’re told we’re supposed to assume. And my career is important, but I can have a career and kids. But, since Fife can’t have anymore kids, it’s really just…I don’t know what I think.
We went to the Festival Theatre in Pitlochry on Saturday night to see Rope. Rope is the most amazingly – fucking amazingly suspenseful – film. The film is Hitchcock and base don the play we saw last night, which in turn is based on a real murder trial.
I’m not going to get into a synopsis of Rope, because that’s what Google’s for, but SEE THE FILM! That’s all I have to say about that.
Anyway, it was HarryPotter who introduced me to Hitchock when I was living with him. Fife had never seen Rope, and I spent all of pre-theatre talking about the film, and I wonder what would be different, and I was so excited to see it on stage. I was like a 40 year old woman going to a Take That show. I was over the moon.
At the interval I desperately wanted to compare and contrast the play with the film, but since Fife had never scene it, he just listened intently then said, ‘We should take the performance for face value, and not try to subvert it as something that’s inferior or as an infidelity to the original.’ Fair play to him.
I texted HP to say I was seeing the play Rope, and he texted back straight away. After, I excused myself and went to the loo to ring HP to tell him about the play, and all the differences from the film. He asked loads of questions, and before I knew it I had been in the bathroom for 20 minutes with Fife waiting for me upstairs.
But luckily, while Fife was waiting for me, he ran into some people from the village the cottage is in, and they invited us to an art show in a little hamlet outside Pitlochry the next day.
Today we trucked over to the art show, which was in this posh gentleman farmer and his good lady wife’s house. The art work was quite good, rural images of seascapes and cows (obviously, not together, although I’d buy an oil of a cow on the beach), and lots of bright colours. It kind of reminded me of LadyBohemia, except her stuff is a bit more detailed. As I was looking at a painting of a farm garden, Fife’s phone rang and he stepped outside to take it.
I could hear through the open window, ‘No, sort something out…You know I want to spend time with my boys, don’t you dare play that card…I’m not dropping things on your whims…getting them to school from Dundee…crack of dawn…No, he is not watching my children…I’m not your…fine, but you’re bringing them to the flat…no that’s not an option…’
He came back into the house, and I didn’t even need to be told, we were leaving the art show, getting our stuff and heading back to Dundee. The car ride was silent. He was angry with Helen and I was freaking out that his ex-wife was about to come into my flat. I was actually kind of embarrassed, and also worried she’s kick up a stink about the kids spending the night in a little one bed room apartment. She’s got a great house and a great job, and I barely make above minimum wage and only have furniture because Fife brought a bunch of stuff with him.
Waiting in the flat for Helen and the kids to arrive, I was shitting myself. I just knew she would judge me, and I didn’t want to face it. Plus, the thought of her judging me, reminded me of how I’d been judging PoshPhD. This might have been a good time to go and apologise to PoshPhD.
I got a bottle of wine out of the cupboard and went across the landing and knocked on the door. PoshPhD answered in her short-short underpants as usual, I handed her the red as a peace offering, and went into the flat.
‘I’m sorry. I really am,’ I said.
She took the wine into the kitchen and came back with it poured into two glasses. She remained quiet so I continued, ‘I can be difficult. I know. I don’t mean to be. I just don’t think,’ she was still quiet, so I talked faster, ‘I did judge you, but it’s just because I’ve never known anyone like you, and I didn’t know how to react to you, and you do kind of take liberties other people wouldn’t take, but I guess you were just being friendly, and I guess I’m not always used to people being so friendly so quickly, but I really…’
She cut me of by raising her hand. Then she said, ‘You’re forgiven. Now, on to more important things. I’m moving toLondon. Oh, and [CoolTrous] is coming with me.’
‘Wow,’ I said. ‘When is this happening?’
‘Next week, I think.’
I sat down and let her talk. She said she could fight the decision for the PhD, but her heart isn’t in it anyway, and she doesn’t want a job in academia anyway – the only reason, according to PoshPhD, you’d get a PhD. Then she said that she was never destined to do well in academia, anyway. According to PoshPhD, getting a Doctorate isn’t enough to get a job as a Lecturer. She would have also needed to have been fully funded, have work in peer-reviewed journals, one major published or exhibited work, have won awards, have been teaching on both undergraduate and Masters’ courses, have been paid for at least one research project (such as a summer stint doing research for your supervisor), have a well known supervisor, and excellent references. All of this on top of finishing your PhD in three years.
She said that she only chose to do a PhD was because she didn’t feel like she could hack it in the art world, and she can’t really hack it in the academic world. She’s going to London to try and hack it in the world of art business. She then added, ‘If you can be an agent so can I.’
See, that’s why she annoys the fuck out of me. It wasn’t always snobbishness at this point.
We chatted for quite a while longer and until I realised that it was quite late, and I excused myself to go back into the flat. But before I left, Posh (I’ve dropped her PhD, since she’s moved on from that) asked if Fife and I wanted to go to the Scottish Fashion Awards in Glasgow tomorrow night. She’s got four tickets.
I got back into my flat, and Helen must have come and gone while I was at Posh’s. Fife was on the sofa bed, asleep between the boys. They all looked so angelic.
I went into the bedroom and opened the laptop to start blogging, when there was a little tap on the door. It was LittleOne. He came into the room, crawled onto the bed and said he couldn’t sleep. I asked why and this is what he said, ‘I am worried about mummy and daddy. I know mummy loves [Dave], but daddy loves you and mummy. I don’t think it’s fair mummy only gets to love one person, and daddy gets to love two. Because he will never stop loving mummy.’
Then he hugged me and said, ‘But don’t worry. He loves mummy first, but you’re second. It’s okay to be second wife. That’s how they do it in the middle east, and that’s how they did it in the Bible.’
Then he got off the bed, and just as he left the room he gave me a sly little smile. Wow. My opinion of that kid has just changed.