Sunday, September 16, 2007

alonement

As I stood on the steps by the fountain a feeling of utter loneliness washed over me like the Atlantic over Kate Winslett's life raft. It was September. The children had gone off to wherever it is they go off to at this time of year and soon my husband would leave me too. I lit a cigarette as a figure appeared at the French windows with a suitcase.

‘What are you doing out here Rilly’ asked my husband
‘Oh, just imagining I was Keira Knightly
‘Well, you certainly could be her in the right light darling, oh, no, hang on, you just slightly raised your right eyebrow, damn, that’s just too much like acting to be Keira’
‘Are you leaving me then darling? Must you go to London, Must you?
‘Yes darling, I must’
‘Yes, I suppose you must. At least we’ll always have our last night together watching Atonement
'Yes, even if it was spoiled by all those Redcar people talking during the film about how much the film crew improved the sea front when they turned it into Dunkirk'
'Yes, sigh'
‘And to think they said it couldn’t be filmed’
‘Yes, who would have thought Allo Allo would work as a feature film’.
‘I say, isn’t it actually an Ian Mcewan novel darling?’
‘Oh, yes, of course. It’s about time someone did a send up of one of his books. He really does go on doesn't he?’
‘I don’t think it was meant to be a parody darling’
‘You mean all those daft misunderstandings and hammy accents were meant to be serious?’
‘Yes dear’
‘Gosh, well, that explains why the fallen madonna with the big boobies wasn't in it but if that’s how Hollywood treats highbrow literature these days then I really must be careful when I sell the film rights to Strife in the North.'
‘Strife in the what, darling?
‘Oh, nothing darling’
‘well, I must be going’
‘Yes, you must be going, goodbye darling'
'Goodbye darling'

With that he disappeared into the car and the sound of the tyres on the gravel drive faded into the distance. I didn’t know when I would see him again. How much older would I be when next I was with him? One thing I had learnt from Atonement, at least if I kept the same hair cut then no matter how much I had aged at least he'd still know it was me. The night grew cool. I should go in. I thought once more how terrible it was to pretend that something was true when it was all really just made up and went inside.

31 comments:

lady thinker said...

I see for the penultimate photo of Redcar crowd scene a true bona fide northerner in a flat cap...
I se they do have mobile phones in the north then - I assume Redcar is in the north - I've not looked it up on the road map.

I think if it's made up sometimes it's better than what's true. And if you are a schizo would you know the difference anyway?

Just think when I first started on the blogosphere I couldn't tell the difference between you and Wifey.

rilly super said...

lady thinker, Redcar is indeed in the north, just south of where the Tees meets the north sea, the steel works and leaden skies thought to be a suitable back drop for this particular epic. You are quite right of course, what is really real? Not sure I like reality actually, perhaps I should turn to fiction, make myself a character, be in control of my life, sigh. I don't know, now where is that Mcewan chap when we need him, eh?

beta mum said...

I was going to go and see Atonement - but perhaps I shouldn't bother calling the babysitter, paying her, providing her with snacks and bribing the children to be nice to her?

dulwichmum said...

Darling Rilly,

I am not sure I like reality either. I think I shall take my silky lingerie and my bread stick look for a change in career.

I am sooo hoping to see your blog on the silver screen. I think you should be played by a statuesque raven haired minx. Perhaps Catherine Zita Jones?

Marianne said...

Rilly I do so feel for you - such a sensitive soul. But do I take it that Atonement is not worth the effort, even though you got a blog out of it?

@themill said...

Rilly, perhaps you should start making things up - you may get a book deal out of it.

rivergirlie said...

i went to see atonement (having not read the book) and was mildly baffled. one thing that i really didn't get, though, was that the younger sister, when grown up, looked years and years older than lustrous keira. maybe that's what a guilty conscience does to you...

Ms Baroque said...

Rilly, it is so wonderful when life imitates art like this. I often think that must be what life is for - don't you?

Do keep the haircut; I'm sure it's charming. While you wait for your husband to come back, why not do some volunteer work?

As for me, maybe I won't rush to the cinema...

EmmaK said...

Poor Rilly...for now it will just be you alone...having conversations with all the many people in your head. My deepest sympathies.

rilly super said...

betamum, darling, I would hate to think I had stopped you having a well earned night out. I would perhaps even see this film again actually, but with the sound turned off

dulwichmum, crikey, I would be happy to be played my the lovely Ms Jones, although my husband may be less sure what would be implied by casting her hubby Michael Douglas to play him

marianne, of course, I did get a blog entry out of it and I should imagine that with it being such a long film most fellow bloggers could write several posts during it, sigh

@mill, yes, sigh, it does rather seem that gritty northern realism is out of favour currently and is not quite 'the next Harry Potter' as my agent claims. I should just go back to my novel...

rivergirlie, a quick bit of research reveals that Ramona Garai who plays the grown up Briony is actually three years older than Keira Knightly, her elder sister by ten years in the story. I'm sure if events had been different and Cecelia had appeared in the scene where Vanessa Regreave is the 70 year old Briony at the end she would still have been only 23. I don't know how this works, some kind of macrobiotic diet perhaps...

Ms Baroque, lovely to see you darling. yes, life imitates art, maybe that is true but the cruel person who told me 'you're no oil painting yourself' the other day perhaps doesn't think I quite imitate art enough, sigh. As for volunteer work, well, protracted contractual wranglings currently mean that writing this blog does actually count as that, sigh

emma, at least the voices in my head speak in recieved pronunciation so I can understand them. If I had to rely on the locals for company imagine how lonely I'd be...

Reluctant Memsahib said...

I'm not likely to see atonement, being a million miles from any screen other than computer. I have got the book. I suppose I ought to read it so I know what everybody's talking about? As for the lonely, I empathize hugely. I'm not lonely because husband miles away; I'm lonely because I moved a million miles to be with him (hence distance from screen). Getting hair done is necessary luxury when I get away - leaving him behind - I think he'd always recognise me, sadly he'd never clock the change. Perhaps I ought to go red? He might notice then?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Ah but sometimes things that are made up are more wonderful than those things that are true.
And you certainly look fantastic in that green dress...
Pigx
Oh, just realised, I think I've read atonement, it wasn't that bad...

lady thinker said...

Oh no not Cat Zit Jones - I always picture Rilly as Reece Witherspoon - feminine, pretty but more intelligent than she looks. And a kindly beautiful nature.

Eats Wombats said...

Isn't it time for you to leave your other half a note explaining why you have upped sticks and left?

Even when making an art of suffering some verisimilitude is required.

Of course, it's a note we'd like you to share.

Linda said...

Rilly Dear, did you watch the documentary You're not splitting up my family? I watched it and was aghast to think of you living within shouting difference of those poor wee boys, whose nana told them she would kill them. I do hope this doesn't start a trend.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Rilly darling, do not stay outside in the cold. Winter draws on you know.

NMO x

mutterings and meanderings said...

Ah Rilly, what a beautifully written post. It fair tugged me northern heartstrings ...

I always imagined Rilly as a younger Penelope Keith, circa To the Manor Born ...

Anonymous said...

Rilly, rilly - did you see this story ? Sadly you don't have email, or I would have sent it to you earlier.

I sent the story to Wifey, but alas no response...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/18/nvoice118.xml

How bizarre...Perhaps they will offer it as 'cosmetic surgery' up there..

Flowerpot said...

And I'd had Atonement on my list of films to say. Oh Rilly my hopes are dashed. I do hope you didn't get cold out there - nights are drawing in you know. time for a nice hot toddy.

I Beatrice said...

I wasn't able to read the book, much less see the film - but I did enjoy the post. And confess to wondering, myself, what direction Rilly should take next?

Fiction seems a good idea. Reality's never quite what it's cracked up to be you know.... I've lived a long time, and I know. And after all, what else can you do in the grim north when winter comes?

Think Bronte I say, and be brave!

Frog in the Field said...

Ahh, at least it's so much better to be sad he goes than sad he comes back!

lady macleod said...

sigh. Oh you poor dear. The unfairness of life, the uncertainty of drama, the wardrobe for overacting... I believe you have it all you cheeky wench. I'm still smiling...

Flowerpot said...

Rilly - if you are looking at this at all - you have been memed - tke a look over at my blog.

Flowerpot said...

rilly if you're there you have an award!

rilly super said...

releuctant mesahib, thanks for visiting, That sounds the most romantic thing I ever heard, following your chap all that way, even further than I did by the sounds of it

pig in the kitchen, I think that may be why I've been buried in my novel instead of updating SITN, sigh. My agent is going to kill me..

Lady Thinker, crikey, how lovely that I bring the super ms Witherspoon to mind. My husband is a big fan of her's in The Importance of being earnest although I think he tries to hide it because if I walk in on him he always seems to watching Rupert Everett's scenes, sigh

eats wombats, it always seems to be him leaving me, sigh

Linda darling, the worst thing about that is the thought that there might be a film crew in the area looking for dysfunctional families....

nunheadmum of one, super to see you. Don't worry, I had to go in, the dress had to go back to the rental shop..

oh, M&M, you always say the nicest things.

anonymous, what a curious story. At least I know that if my children develop northern accents there is a surgical procedure available as a last resort

rilly super said...

flowerpot, oh no, please undash your hopes, it's not that bad I suppose, take your ipod and some kitting and it'll be fine

beatrice, I often see myself in the Brontes you know, up here in the north, lost in my thoughts, I've even got the same internet speed as they had

frog in the field, you are so right, although it is nice to have the whole duvet to myself...

lady macleod, I do have a wardrobe that didn't get the part of Cecelia because it wasn't wooden enough, sigh

flowerpot, sorry for me being most terribly remiss in this, I will be right over...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

where have you gone Rilly?

lady thinker said...

I'm just off to visit Pig in the Kitchen to see if we should hold a seance?
Are you still alive and well??

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I will provide tasty nibbles for all those interested in holding a 'bring back Rilly' seance.
Pigx

Single Mother on the Verge said...

I watched Atonement in a cinema in Notting Hill, whilst holidaying in the mighty capital of England. It was a far cry from the scrubby one in Urmston I usually go to (in Manchester for non Urmston aware people) There the Bingo Caller ruins the good bit or kids disco dancing starts. I recommend you go one day. There are plenty plenty of poor people who do hilarious things like wash dog poop of shoes with twigs, drink out of cans of cider and throw sweets into other people's hair. One such person could be me.

I need advice on how to pick up a stinking rich man who will look after me once my vegan eco warrior boyf' has left. Which is imminent as is the mortgage payment.

I Beatrice said...

"Oh where and oh where has our dear Rilly gone

Oh where, and oh where can she be?

With her blog cut short and her ab-sences long

Oh where, oh where-ere is she?"


That's the little ditty that plays sadly over and over in my head these days. Even in my slumber, I hear it... So much of the gaiety has gone out of blogging without her you see - never mind about the glamour!

Come back Rilly, I say! We miss you.

( I'll be gone soon myself you know - the story has almost ended. And if I'm willing to tackle vmyoldwi for your sake, you must believe I'm serious!