Copyright© 2010 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
I was dishing up the soup—I know, Julie should be doing it, but she makes such a mess and I have yet to chop that herb Sage, into a million bits.
The doorbell rang—actually somebody rang the doorbell, it doesn’t usually ring by itself, but as it’s sort of implicit that someone rang it or at least pushed the bell push, it seems hardly worth noting it except for accuracy—um, shall I run that past you one more time? I thought not.
“I wonder who that is?” asked Julie.
“Duh—go and see, or are you practising your remote viewing?”
“What’s remote viewing?” asked Stella passing out some spoons.
“It’s using a psychic technique to project the mind to a specific place—haven’t you seen, Men who stare at goats?
“They give films such stupid names these days,” she opined.
“It’s someone to see you, Mummy?”
“Bloody typical, just as we’re eating.”I hissed to Stella. “Are they good looking?” I called to Julie, imagining they were probably political canvassers.
“Yes, very.” Her reply sounded like I should go and look for myself, perhaps George Clooney had got himself lost while filming, or even Johnny Depp—I went all goose bumps.
Abandoning my soup, I set off down the hall and stopped suddenly. “Oh, Dr Sage—I have a bone to pick with you.”
“Oh, it’s arrived. I asked them to wait until I’d spoken to you.”
“Cathy, I’d like a chance to talk to you about this, I know you’re busy and all that...”
“Yes, far too busy.”
“Please let me talk to you first.”
“You’re wasting your time, Gareth.”
“Can you decide that after we’ve spoken.”
“We were about to eat, would you like to have some soup?”
“I um, don’t want to put you to any trouble...”
“Feeding you is no trouble, explaining why I won’t do what you want might be.”
I led him through to the kitchen and gave him a bowl of soup and sliced off some bread, Stella suddenly seemed to glow with happiness went to get him a plate and a knife to butter his bread, walked into a cupboard door she didn’t see—perhaps she was looking at something or somebody else?
Gareth jumped up to help her and I felt like saying, ‘Don’t encourage her, but then if he dated her a couple of times, it would cheer her up and serve him right for coming around here to annoy me.
The conversation over lunch was light and Stella flirted outrageously with Gareth; even Julie was embarrassed. After we ate I made tea and Gareth and I withdrew to the dining room to talk business.
We sat at the table and sipped our tea. “Before you shout me down, please listen to why you were nominated.”
I sat and glowered at him.
“Believe it or not, you weren’t the original choice.”
“Oh that makes me feel really wanted,” I pouted at him.
“Sorry an’ all that; David Attenborough was first choice.”
“So why didn’t he agree to do it?”
“This is a long term project—he’s getting on a bit.”
“He’s only eighty four, he could live another ten years or more.”
“Yeah, he could also keel over tomorrow, which is what he said, and told us to ask you.”
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes, I do.”
“He said you had a better set of um—you know,” he pointed at my chest.
“Would I joke about such a thing?”
“Yes, you Welsh wotsit, you would.”
“Okay, so I’m joking.”
I laughed and wanted to slap him at the same time. “Now tell me who nominated me, so I can kill them, slowly.”
“His holiness, the Attenborough, now I know you are joking.”
“I’m not, okay he couldn’t remember your name, except that it was Cathy something. Then he mentioned the dormouse film as being one of the most charming he’d ever seen and the presenter as being one of the sexiest and most beautiful he’d seen.”
“He said that?”
“No, but I thought it would get your attention.”
“You are asking for a hard slap, Dr Sage.”
“He suggested that we needed someone with media experience, you’ve been on telly, done your own film with suitable acclaim, and have a title—which believe it or not still carries weight in the world.”
“Why, if I saw some committee headed by Lord Knows-who, unless he had some credibility in the field, it wouldn’t impress me.”
“Ah—but you do have a track record. You’re published on the dormouse, you’ve done media stuff and you even taught ecology, you should know something.”
“Not necessarily, remember the old adage—those who can do, those who can’t teach, and those who can’t even teach, write books about it—or in my case make films.”
“Cathy, that is total bollocks and you know it. Okay, if you’d written books or a book you could have cribbed everyone else’s material and rehashed it. You didn’t, you went out, found dormouse sites and filmed them. Not only that but you raised public awareness of the cuddly little buggers, so much so that anyone who admitted to having so much as looked at one the wrong way is likely to be lynched.”
“A slight exaggeration, if I might say so.”
“It isn’t—your film was really well received, did you know the BBC are thinking of re-running it?”
“No, I wonder if I get a repeat royalty?”
“I doubt it, they tie that up in the first contract.”
“Damn, something for nothing would be nice.”
“I suppose it would, you should have offered them an update—instead they’ll do it as Springwatch or something similar.”
“When have I got the time to do updates? I suppose I’d have more time if I threw you and your silly offer out on your big fat bums.”
“I don’t think you will when I tell you why I endorsed the view of the Attenborough.”
“Ah, so it’s your fault? Prepare to die.”
“Cathy, put down that banana.”
“Well I couldn’t find a pointed stick.”
He laughed, “I didn’t know you were into Monty Python.”
“Yeah, and being married to Simon—well, he’s a Python nut.”
“Pity,” he mused then blushed.
“Um—nothing,” he blushed again.
I tried to remember what I said, being married to Simon who’s a Python nut. I was pretty sure it had little to do with Monty Python, so it had to be my marriage to Simon. Now it was my turn to blush.
“I didn’t know you fancied boys?”
“I don’t—what are you talking about?”
“Me—would the UN be interested in being fronted by a tranny?”
“I thought we’d discussed this already. I know you’re only trying to paint yourself as negatively as possible so I find someone else to do this.”
“No, I’m trying to see all the angles, including what could happen with the media.”
“They could have roasted you any time they wanted, so why now?”
“Because this would be the biggest thing I’d done yet.”
“I doubt it. To the tabloids, marrying a peer and adopting children, let alone making a film and presenting it, are all fair game. That they’ve largely left you alone must demonstrate an element of restraint on their part.”
“Do me a favour—the only reason is Henry Cameron, and the clout he carries—now there would be a distinguished chairman for you.”
“Like David Attenborough said, you’ve got the better tits.”
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