Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I'm not saying I have to grow a beard, he said, But I'll look weird if I don't. I moved into the spare room. You have to draw the line somewhere. He went out three times a week to practise; sticks, swords, pigs' bladders - these days you can get anything off the Internet. I'll be home by nine, he said, then ten, then eleven. Not that he could sneak in after a skin-full. His bells gave him away. And you can't tiptoe in clogs.

I've never liked Morris anythings. There was a Maurice at The Playhouse. The handyman. His wife - Mrs Maurice - passed out at a cast party, in a bed on stage. La Traviata, a big four-poster all trailing lace curtains and satin sheets. Maurice was in the Green Room goosing the usherettes. That summer, when the theatre was dark, he painted the skirting boards in the ladies' loo red. People said it was tactless. A bit pointed. I never understood what they meant, but then I was only sixteen and there was a lot I didn't understand.

There's a lot I don't understand now, if I'm honest.

And the other Morris. I'd offer my cheek and he'd turn my head to kiss me full on the lips. Sometimes he tried to slip in his tongue. Cold lips, like a dead fish. I kissed him out of politeness, because it would have been too rude not to. Once, he crept into my bedroom. I was half asleep, half awake - almost dreaming. He loomed over me and I saw my mother. And even though I was twenty-four, I raised up my arms like a child to hug her, then felt those clammy lips stealing away my breath and screamed. As if a scream would stop a man like him.

Something happened in a Morris Minor. It wasn't minor, that's all I want to say about that.

So you can see, I'm not being hysterical. And I am glad my husband's got a hobby. A man needs a hobby. Just not this one.


  1. Not the Morris again! Aaaaargh!
    So moreish. Not.


  2. At least this lot have kept their swords sheathed...