Tuesday, April 24, 2007

all aboard the arc

The phone rang. ‘Hello’, I said. ‘Rilly’ said the voice, ‘it’s your agent’. ‘I’m sorry’, I replied, ‘I don’t know anyone of that name’, and hung up. The phone rang again. I picked it up. ‘Be serious Rilly, you don’t get paid for cheap gags.’ ‘You really do have the wrong number don’t you’, I said. ‘Rilly’ said the voice, before you hang up, I’ve just got two words for you’. ‘That’s a coincidence’ I said, ‘so have I’. ‘You first’ he said. ‘No, you first’, I replied. ‘No, you’ he argued. No you’, I remonstrated, then I thought perhaps I had gone too long without the company of anyone over , err, however old my daughter was. ‘OK Rilly, here goes’, he sighed, ‘narrative arc’. ‘What another coincidence!’ I said, slightly fibbing. ‘You need to change, Rilly’ said my agent. I looked down at my top. ‘It’s just a bit of sick’, I said. ‘Babies recognise their mother by smell you know, I saw it on a nature documentary, it's a bonding thing’. ‘I mean you must change, Rilly, character development, that’s what we need.’ ‘Change? How?’ I asked. ‘You have to stop being grumpy about The North’. ‘STOP BRING GRUMPY?!’ I shouted. The baby started crying. ‘Stop being grumpy?’ I whispered. ‘Can you hear that? I asked him, ‘I’m covered in mushy pea sick from a baby who gurgles in a northern accent and you tell me not to be grumpy!’ ‘But you have to learn and grow and change as a person from your experiences Rilly’. ‘I am not a novel, I am a free woman!’, I argued. ‘I am not a fictional character!’ ‘But wife in the north has a narrative arc, Rilly’, said my agent. ‘Yes, but she’d rather have a pantry!' I pointed out. ‘What’s in it for me anyway?' ‘Well, according to marketing,’ he began, 'royalties on another fifty thousand sales’.


I laughed as young Tilly skipped laughing through the buttercup filled meadow under the typically bright and warm northern spring sunshine. ‘I’m so happy mummy’, she laughed. I laughed too. ‘why are you happy Tilly, my love? Because it's always sunny?' I asked, smiling. ‘Because I love you mummy’, she said, with a beautiful childlike grin, and she put a daisy chain around my neck. ‘You look pretty mummy’, she chuckled and we both laughed. ‘Mummy?’ asked my lovely daughter. ‘Yes Tilly darling?’ ‘I want to live in a castle’ she said. ‘We already own half the village dear’, I explained, ‘What more do you want?’ ‘I want to live in a proper castle and be a princess’. ‘Oh gosh’, I said, ‘we’ll have to see what we can do about that dear’, I told her, wondering if my old chum the paper’s court correspondent could swing an invite from any newly single eligible bachelors of her aquaintance this summer. ‘Oh mummy, it’s starting to rain!’ said Tilly, tugging my sleeve, 'let’s go and sit in that old boat over there and pretend we’re in a storm!’ and so we ran, mother and daughter hand in hand, fleeing two by two to board The Narrative Ark and get out of the rain. I hoped we wouldn’t be aboard for forty days and forty nights though; I didn't know how long I could keep this up, the baby sick was starting to whiff a bit and a nagging recollection from my catholic upbringing told me The Ark had no bar onboard.

15 comments:

Drunk Mummy said...

Weren't Noah's children all called something like Ham, Sham and Jam? Rather like Milly, Tilly and Willy - that should help your narrative arc.

Sarnia said...

Scrape some of that mushy pea sick off and shove it under a few hundred matresses. Get Tilly to sleep on top and see whether she can feel (smell?) it. That'll sort whether she's a princess or not.

I Beatrice said...

You're so lucky to have an agent who cares, Rilly! Or who is even prepared to take you on. At my approach they all run a mile. They only take on people who have 'a reasonable career span ahead of them' you see.

Try hearing that when your heart is full of hope and you still believe you're about thirty five years old!

Why else would one blog-it, after all?

So far as narrative arcs go - well, I always hope one will develop for me as I go along.

spymum said...

Excellent! I can just see your agent rubbing his oily hands together with glee at this brilliant new character development!

Well done Rilly - think of the fifty thousand sales! Tee hee!

Anonymous said...

i beatrice - I believe you're about 35 years old ! After all you sound like a woman in her sexual prime.

Unlike us blokes, where it all goes down hill after the age of nineteen.

Hope dies last, they say. Anyway why bother with agents and publishing. Follow the example of this literary genius who has published her life story, oops, sorry 'novel' online...

http://jennytc.blogspot.com/

The novel is called 'Going Back', although 'Not Going Back' would be more strictly accurate. Have a box of Kleenex at the ready though...

This 'novel' makes the grimness of Rilly's life look almost bearable.

Anonymous said...

Rilly,

Don't worry dear, you are not alone.

You certainly aren't the only one struggling with a child who has acquired a Northern accent..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/funny_old_game/6583707.stm

Anonymous said...

Drunk Mummy - Surely Ham, Shem and Japeth ? Although from a recent play I saw, all might not have been quite as it seemed on the ark...Although the book on which it is based admits it is 'starkly revisionist' so not entirely based on the story we know..

http://www.bristol-old-vic.co.uk/whatson/mainhouse_press.php?show=277

For example, I never read in Sunday School about Noah's wife starting a 'matriarchal mutiny'...

Jack Havana said...

Pure genius. Fancy a pint? Or ditching your husband and shacking up with me?

dulwichmum said...

Mr Havana,

The fragrant Mrs Super is a devoted married lady, and is trying to make the most of this dreadful situation. How dare you be so flippant! Mrs Super drinks from champagne flutes or at the very least - wine glasses, and she would never 'shack up' with anyone? Are you mad or rich?

Please put your cigar away, it really is rather distracting...

Rilly, Rilly - are you still with us dear?

Anonymous said...

Mr Havana - Never mind 'shacking up' with Ms Super, hadn't you better get some gainful employment now that your current contract on 'Life On Mars' has come to an end ?

Although rumour has it that you will soon be back, and driving an Audi Quattro - Nice !

I was thinking along the lines of a long overdue remake of those 70s TV classics 'The Protectors' [now who to play Nyree Dawn Porter's role?] or even better, 'The Persuaders'.

Or you could 'moonshine' as a 'Private Detective' and find out what the 'Wife In the North's hubby gets up to when he is in London, and feed the information back to our friend Rilly Super.. I hear she can be terribly discreet if required..

Lizzie said...

Oh Rilly. I have just looked up your I Tube music stuff for the 1st time and I haven't laughed so much for so long (on my own that is) since whenever. Thank you.
You have made my night. You are my absolute star.

Time to start my blogroll (once I can find out how to do so). Do you mind if you are the 1st on my list?

Lots of love
Lizzie xx

rilly super said...

drunkmummy, I can only live in the shadow of your old testament scholarship!

sarnia, I hope your mention of the old 'princess and the mushy pea' story does not imply any other percieved resemblance of this blog to a fairy tale my dear

Beatrice darling, my agent may care but my long awaited dream of buying the house next door to JK Rowling, I mean of sharing my heartbreaking story in the hope of helping others to overcome their own struggles seems as far away as ever. We must both keep at it though, because if only one person reads it, and I'm hoping to hit that target any day now, it must be worth it. Do persevere beatrice.

spymum dear, thank you. I am struggling with my new identity I do confess, it feels a bit like wearing an ill-fitting bra, but still, if it makes me better off, I mean a better person...

anonymous, I read that story, which is particulary tragic as a scouse accent is involved, sob

Mr Havana, you are very kind to make such an offer. I fear that if I went to live in sin with you over the border and this was followed by Scotland's secession from the union I would go from being a scarlet woman to a Scarlet O'Hara, and then would you still give a damn Rhett, I mean jack...

Dulwichmum, you are so kind to be so very concerned. I'm am pleased to report that I have alighted from the ark after it was found to have more holes than one of my metaphors, and upon the return of a dove carrying a small jar of extra virgin olive oil showing there was still some remnant of civilisation out there.

All of those clips are extracted from the blog lizzie, got to think of the film soundtrack album you know. I would be most honoured to feature on your blogroll and please let me know if I can be of any assistance with it's creation, oops, there I go again with the old testament...

I Beatrice said...

Thanks for your kindly good wishes Rilly. They are much appreciated as I soldier on in my lonesome fashion.

I won't hear a word against the Scouse accent, mind! Since next to the Geordie one (got it right this time I trust!), it has one of the funniest, friendliest sounds on earth. I could never believe any ill of Geordie or Liverpudlian...

It's only the Brummie one I can't quite be doing with (sorry for any offence caused). But then I'm not one to talk anyway - having long ago lost the knack of the NZ one I once had (sigh). My sons do a pretty good rendition of it however (they need it for all those Oz-in-London impersonations.

Which is some solace to me in my loss.

(Please will you tell me btw, why I ALWAYS have to do the verification thingy twice?)

rilly super said...

maybe you are right beatrice, I don't want to be accused of stereotyping on this blog.

don't worry about the word verification, two attempts is really quite good by my standards. I'm often banging away at it for longer than it took me to wrote the damn comment in the first place, sigh

rivergirlie said...

i've never before read something that had been typed with gritted teeth. most entertaining. how long can you keep it up, eh?
(mind you, i'd have a good stab at it if it meant i'd get into the sunday times top 10)