Friday, December 07, 2007

New Friends and Old

Story contd

I learned a lot working back stage on ‘The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’ and had dreams of directing a play myself. At the wrap party Pete the director, introduced me to his wife, Julia. I had heard a lot about her. She was a writer, producer and actress and about ten years older than me. I heard her before I saw her and she was clearly a ball of fire – surrounded by a group of appreciative listeners whilst she held the floor. What intrigued me was the fact that she was lively and bouncy with black hair and a pale face but with tragic eyes. I recognised that look of a hidden sadness and when we were introduced the recognition was mutual.

We became friends – kindred spirits really - and when I saw her productions and saw her acting I realised how very talented she was. I told her I would be happy to help in any way in her next production although I was getting a variety of acting parts. I must have had a good report from Pete because she asked me to be assistant producer on her next play. She said I would have to take rehearsals when she was kept in town so it would be great experience.

Every year William and I took the boys on typical children’s holidays to Devon and Cornwall, Wales and the Lake District, Southwold, Frinton and sailing on the Broads. There would be Easter visits to cousins in Gloucester, week-ends withWallace and Fleur and trips to my parents in Lancashire. Apart from this, William and I had widely varying interests. I was something of a social butterfly and he was content with his books and music. His outdoor pursuits were walking, sailing and archery. We got into the habit of one of us looking after the children whilst the other went off and did their thing.

William was fortunate to have six weeks annual leave so when I saw an advertisement f or a drama course for acting or producing I asked William if he would mind if I went away for a week to do the production course. He was happy about it and we agreed that he would go sailing with his brother in the summer. We had started to make money in the shop. We now had an accountant as well as a solicitor. We wanted to do things properly – stay solvent, pay tax etc so Dave the accountant gave us an analysis book; on one half were Receipts which was all the money that came into the shop and the other half was Payments with columns for everything that was paid out. With his help we worked out our annual expenses with a bit extra for contingencies, divided that by 12 to estimate our monthly expenses. Dave suggested an approximate figure for the partners to withdraw each month but I had a better idea.

To make it more interesting and fun, I suggested that whatever the takings were each month we would subtract the monthly expenses and whatever was left over would be our salary. If we didn’t clear the expenses we would take nothing. Dave thought this was unnecessarily complicated but the other girls recognised what fun it would be each month to see what we’d get. I was happy to do the work. It’s the sort of thing I love to do. I still remember the glee when we had had a bumper month in the school holidays and the resigned shrugs when it was peanuts. Dave never understood.

Out of the blue I heard from a friend from our Epsom days. Beryl was one of the young mothers who had befriended me when I had my first baby. She and her husband had become very wealthy. He had left the large engineering firm he had worked for and set up in business with a partner. They had enormous success and gone public.

‘We’ve got this smashing house near Brighton; we’ve met lots of exciting new people, we’re gonna have a BIG party and we want you and William to come.’

I remembered she had once admitted to me – after a drink or two - that she fancied William – because of his brain, she said. I knew parties weren’t William’s scene but I wanted to see Beryl and was curious to see how her life had changed. The house was fantastic with beautiful views of the Downs. There were lots of impressive oils on the walls individually lit and the whole place reeked of opulence. It was the sixties; the women were very glamorous with legs and bosoms on show, and the men seemed to be in a uniform of black silk shirts with gold medallions round their necks.

I was very conscious of William being bored out of his mind and decided we would leave after supper which looked as if it was going to be delicious. Beryl had told me they had a covered swimming pool in the grounds over which was an apartment where they had two male lodgers who were air-line stewards. I told William I was going for a swim and then we would have supper and leave.

It was a fantastic pool with lovely plants and it was hot and steamy. I could just make out two men in the pool at the far end and assumed they were the stewards. I have never been a strong swimmer but it was so warm and inviting I decided to stick near the side and to do a length. When I was about half way there the men got out and I realised to my horror they were completely naked. I lost concentration, gasped, got my mouth full of water and panicked and floundered and yelled out. In flash the men were there and rescued me. They were sweet and said I only had to say. Just as they were lifting my shaking body out of the pool William walked in to see his wife in the arms of two naked men.

I wasn’t exactly dragged out by my hair but that’s what it felt like. We didn’t stay for supper, we didn’t say good-bye and on the journey home I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was too ridiculous both men were gay and I had done nothing wrong. When we got home to his dismay, William discovered he had some of Beryl’s precious silver cutlery in his pocket ready for the supper we never had. Then I laughed!

A week later driving in my little car to the country town where the college was situated I felt a rare thrill of delight. A week’s freedom!

45 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I like to read your stories about. It gives me so much to know about you and your life.

BTW, I wish I could lay my hands on your OLD books!

Michele sent me after I was thrown out by the spam filter numerous times!


rooted

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Pat...I feel like I missed something here...When you got involved in the Theatre you speak of at the top of this post. Hmmmm. Well, this was very interesting and I love the story of William and his response to the naked men...And in fact, YOUR Response too! LOL! That is exciting that your business was becoming so successful! A lot happening in your life at that time!

PI said...

Gautami: I must be careful to keep a few secrets. MTL can still surprise me by producing a book I didn't know we had.

Naomi: The theatre was the local Theatre and Arts club and many of the members were ex pros so the standard was high. As it was am - dram it gave us the freedom to do anything, without the usual financial constraints. We had a tiny theatre and also the use of the local public school's large hall for big productions. Eventually we had our own beautiful theatre which was originally and Oast House house which was opened by one of the Queen's sons.
I'm glad I got to act and do some productions there before I left home.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Awwww William, why didn't he stop to ask first?

I know one couple where the man is a stay-at-home and his wife goes out with her gal pals, but that suits them. I wonder why it works for some couples and doesn't for others.

I like your method of payment, Pat, never mind that Dave the accountant never understood.

R. Sherman said...

I'm not sure what the fuss was about. I frequently find myself in pools with multiple naked women. It hardly bothers the EMBLOS, at all.

Cheers.

PI said...

GG: mind you it did look a bit suss:) I prefer the way we are now where we do most things together. I didn't like not feeling a real couple and now I know why.

Randall: tee hee! You are a young devil! Now go and tell her what you just said but wait till I dive for cover:)

rashbre said...

Great storytellling. I like the way it built to something that the reader might be suspecting! Excellent.

And Hello, today Michele sent me for some poolside drama!

rashbre

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

I could use an instance of being escorted out of a warm pool by swarthy men.
Michele sent me.

PI said...

HRH: what- swarthy, naked men? Swarthy, naked, gay men? Imagination boggles!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Oooooooh! Blimey - nekkid men in a swimming pool. It's too bad you had to go home. I'd have like to've seen how that party unfolded.

PI said...

Sam: I sort of connect black silk shirts and gold medallions with car keys. She did grow out of it I'm happy to say. I rather prissily asked her how she got involved with people like that and she said they seemed so exciting and different. It was the sixties and we knew there was some fantastic party going on somewhere and didn't want to miss out.

Anne said...

Hi, Michele sent me, though it took me a bit too long to read through the post, too many distractions.

Lovely story about swimming, so funny! Thanks for sharing.

PI said...

Hi Anne! Glad you enjoyed it:)

Lorraine said...

Hi, Pat. Michelle sent me. Lovely story.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Absolutely brilliant!!!! Proud of yer girl!!!! You've had daft things happen to you n all.

sablonneuse said...

Sounds like a good party but are the cracks beginning to appear between you and William?
sablonneuse

PI said...

Lorraine: thank you!

4d: you're being very generous and I like it:)

Sablonneuse: slowly, sadly and surely.

craziequeen said...

It's a lovely story, but I don't know if I would even have gone in the first place if I knew MB would be uncomfortable - William must have been very patient, up until the naked men........

:-)

Michele sent me to say hi, Pat :-)

cq

THE BLUEST BUTTERFLY said...

I like that you blog about your memories. This is wonderful for your children and grandchildren...the parts that they are old enough to read.

PI said...

CQ: ours was a very difficult relationship and I felt I had to assert myself occasionally - or go under.

TBB: I hope one day they will enjoy reading it. Thank you for your visit

November Rain said...

michelle sent me

WOw in the theater I always wanted to do that but
well we do what we are destine to do

PI said...

Novy: its never too late!

moon said...

So glad the business was doing great, and your other endeavors also...by your admission that u hadn't done anything wrong by being rescued by 2 naked men, I get the feeling that William didn't have much of a sense of humour, or was he just a stick in the mud? lol...

kenju said...

That must have been very funny in retrospect - even if it wasn't at the time. Did you return the silverware?

PI said...

Moon: he did have a sense of humour but was also rather jealous which made it difficult at times. The problems went back a long way.

Judy: that was what really made me laugh because William was the most honest person I have ever met and he was mortified when he found the cutlery and immediately returned it.
For all our incompatibilites we did share a SOH. Most of the time:)

kenju said...

Pat, I would have been horrified too, and it is still funny!
Michele thinks so too!

honestyrain said...

i thoroughly enjoyed reading that. eating my cheerios and sitting on the couch this cold saturday morning, that was a good read. thanks! i'll be back for the next installment.

honestyrain

Dawn-Enigma Artist said...

Whatever did William think you were doing? He was in the pool as well, right?

::too funny::

here via Michele

PI said...

Honesty : thank you for your e-mails. With regard to the gun - there was no way I could take it from him once he had seen it so I just had to lump it and let him be a cowboy. At least we didn't have all the death and destruction in the media.
I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post.

Dawn -EA: no William wasn't in the pool. He just happened along as the men were lifting me out. I expect he thought we were having a bit of an orgy:)

gautami tripathy said...

I loved re-reading it. As I Michele sent me back again, I left a comment on that cappuccino post too!

PI said...

Gautami: inspired by you have just been looking through a book case I don't see very often and found a book on the Shakespearean Gardens which has inspired a post, so thank you for that:)

David said...

funny story ( the pool)
and good long walk down memory lane. Thank you.

Sara said...

Hello Pat, Michele sent me to say that it is always fun to read your posts and stories...

PI said...

David: thanks for dropping by. Enjoy your coffee.

Sara; that's kind of you to say so.

margalit said...

Glad to read that William returned the cutlery. How embarassing. But two naked men helping you out of the pool? What a dream come true!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

The tension mounts. You know you've married the wrong man when ... oh it's too complicated to go into now. Despite being the same age physically, Harold was born aged 65 and I am an eternal 28. I bet there was coke being sniffed off gold spoons somewhere in that house.

PI said...

Daphne:

'You know you've married the wrong man when ...'
I'd love to hear the rest of this. I'm sure it's very true. There were certainly a lot of people smoking grass at that time and possibly snorting coke. I had quite s sheltered life- I was offered marijuana on three separate occasions but never really fancied trying it.

FOUR DINNERS said...

got a new blog addy babe. Change is as good as a rest eh?

PI said...

4d: Babes's coming over:)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I bet Johnny Cash could have made up a song about you in the pool.

"Pat Gets Patted, Sunday Morning Going Down"

PI said...

Hoss: wouldn't that be great? I could play it on You tube.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Pat - no mockery from me today (for once!), just a comment to say I loved this instalment. As usual. And William may have been jealous, but at least it stopped him being bored!

PI said...

Zinnia: with mockery or without s'OK. Just so long as you drop by. I was quite adept at stopping William from being bored.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Oh gosh Pat, I hope you don't mind me saying this, now I'm really curious as to what makes you feel like a 'real couple.' I'll just wait for your story to develop.

For me, feel like a 'real couple' it's like a jigsaw falling into place and being able to talk...really TALK.

PI said...

GG: of course i don't mind. William and I seemed to be at loggerheads a lot of the time. I think it all stemmed from my telling him at the outset that I didn't think I could ever love anyone else after Jamie. A lot of it was my own fault but I would look at other couples and feel there was something lacking.