August. School’s out for summer. The kids are in France with Richard catching tree frogs, swimming in the lake, demolishing brioche. The above ground swimming pool is up and full. The ph balance has been tested and chemicals added. The sun is caressing the lizards on the barn wall and the grapes are hanging heavy round the stable door into the cool, stone kitchen. But I’m not there. I am in Liverpool. Again. Fourth time in 18 months. It’s a very nice city full of very nice people but I don’t want to be here. Once again I am earning the bread (‘pain’ en Francais, just a pain for me). We are coming to the end of the tour – just 3 weeks left after this – and there are mixed feelings. On the one hand I am desperate for a break. Just to be at home in the evenings and sleep in my own bed more than one night a week. On the other the dreaded period between jobs that actors euphemistically refer to as ‘resting’ drives me nuts. Finishing a contract is like walking the plank – you have to do it, but the water is cold, the sea is thick with the bodies of other victims and desperadoes and there is not a rescue ship in sight. There be dragons. Who knows if/when the next job will come along? We are having our kitchen ripped out and refitted plus some internal work done. The whole thing is falling down anyway so even though the timing is bad it can’t be avoided any more. But if I’m honest the worst thing about the tour ending, the thing that has me waking up breathless and sweating at dawn, is not the lack of money, the bailiffs or the final demands – it’s the fact that I will have to be a full time mum.
Shit. I’ll have to know stuff – like, where the PE kit/lunch bags/school is.
I must ring my agent.