29th September-Last Date and pro plus

I wake up to sand in my bed, sea weed stuck to my feet, bits I brought home with me last night.

I don’t have time to be swimming in the sea in the morning as I have an application to write that’s deadline is tomorrow. I sit facing the sea, slightly sulking that I won’t be getting in.

Last one to go, onwards we go, to a hall that is not surrounded by a village, a few houses, but nothing more. We are greeted warmly as ever with offers of soup and sandwiches after we have set up. They are actors and performers themselves, know the set up, do what they can to support. I meet their children and learn snapshots of lives, the pressures of funding for the arts, stories that chase around the country. I am interested to see what some of the younger children make of the show, as it relies a lot on words, sometimes on technical aspects of research and it’s just me to watch. It starts to ask questions regarding mortality (something that perhaps you don’t want to be thinking about at 10 or 11).

A small audience, an intimate audience, in low lights but high spirits who stay a while a chat. A woman says to me holding my hand ‘I didn’t know what I was coming to see tonight, but I like to support Angus Arts, so I took a pro plus and ate my dinner on my lap while driving. I want to see you do it all over again, it was lovely’

I say ‘Well you’d have to take another pro plus’

At which she fall backwards into a bench.

People ask me questions like what my parents think of it, what else I do, what I think Miss Gibbs looks like. If I’m really going to swim the channel (it’s always quite hard to explain how that was/ is/ could be an art project). It turns out that the women with the pro plus is Johnny Rotton’s cousin, once removed. The partner of the women that runs the venue, understands my need to be real in the things that I use in the show, that the importance of physical objects, who has touched them, how many times they have changed hands, what is real.

I often get asked if it is real, this show-which I find a sometimes sad question, as fact is often more interesting than anything that can be made up. But the young boy seemed to enjoy it, so its always good to know.

An overwhelming wave of tiredness crashes over me, a little death at the end of the run of shows. It seems nothing that a couple of pints of stella and an overpriced ham & cheese roll can’t sort out as me and Merv throw caution to the find and splash out on £5 each to enter into the only club in Stonehaven. On the way we witness some lads trying to kick each other in the head.

The place is everything I expected it to be, sweat dripping off the walls, faces set in half aggression, half intoxication and the masses sway in a way that doesn’t relate to the beat of the music. There’s a mixture of old and young, huge be shirted men closing their eyes to rytham of Calvin Harris. It’s like walking into my adolescence, the grope of hands, the glazed eyes, the transparent dresses, an awkward attempts at alluring dancing. Rubbing of bodies. The over priced drinks.  I buy us both a jagerbomb (not my tipple of choice, I’m an ale or gin girl).

Merv looks at me questioningly

‘When in Rome..’

We leave before I start wanting more drinks and the sound system starts making Merv’s ears bleed.

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