27th September…leaving Banff

We eat  breakfast and leave Banff with the sun shining. The lady who runs the B&B calls me a peculiar creature, aplogisies, then says she’ll be getting the flags out as we leave. I’m not entirely sure she’s joking. I blame Merv and his ‘specific eating requests’.

We travel onwards to Stonehaven, closer to Aberdeen making a groundhog stop to the Asda/ Macdonald’s where I thought we died before. It doesn’t get any better in daylight, Merv only recognnises it as the same place upon my highlighting the fake ski slope adjoining it.

Our new B&B looks out to the sea, 10 feet, maybe 20 feet away, my window facing the sea so I can hear the waves as they come in. Its calm, barley a crest of a wave, I’m getting in that sea, none of the dead seagull yellow foam of Banff. But not right now.

Onwards to out new destination, the venue for that evening, a new build hall with huge glass windows that look out to the countryside. A quick set up and on to eat, Merv’s specifics around eating having led to the third sandwich and chips lunch for him in a row. This leads to quite an in depth conversation as to what makes a bistro a bistro and not a restaurant.  I try not to eat cake.

A slight nervous start as there is sometimes a confusion as to what I am, who I am when performing the show. People turn up with it armed as a play, a monologue, a drama that has no placing in reality. Sometimes they are expecting an actress and they get me telling stories.  A man talks to me after about social history and sparks an idea about the researching of a particular person, a particular woman of that time. Sometimes I am lambasted in gentle disbelief for not following up on different clues and parts of the story that I tell. It’s difficult to explain that I have to let this lie for a while.

We run into a local pub at 10.50pm breathless for a pint, but our rushing is not necessary, as they won’t shut until 12. I hear stories of locals and bar flys, a woman with a Scots accent born in Bournemouth, returning here to Stonehaven at 16 with a child. We watch a man cheer to himself, football chant alone on a Thursday evening.

‘Aye, it was OK when he was 20, endearing maybe, but now he’s pushing 30 he’s just a pished up prick’.

Half arsed glances from men over pints, just because I’m the only other women in the pub and happen to be wearing a skirt. We make our way to the only other place open where the chanting man still appears to be going strong having latched onto a group who are deaf to his cry’s. Merv is disturbed by the presentation of a pint of lager in a chalice.

I fall asleep to the sound of the sea. Alarm set to get up in the morning and swim. Merv tells me to knock him up, I tell him I’ll go on my own.

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