[The bedroom of number 49. Early morning sun lights the bedroom. The strain of music from Classic FM stream into the chill morning from the radio. The sunlight highlights a woman sitting at her dressing table, applying foundation to her face. A mobile phone beeps.]
Christine: Who is that?
David [lying in bed.] It’s Keith, he will be with us in ten minutes.
Christine: What time is it?
David: Just gone eight.
Christine: He said he’d be here at eight thirty. I am not ready! I will be ready for eight thirty, but not eight fifteen!
David [climbing out of bed]: I’ll tell them they can come in or wait.
[Outside, in the road, before a Citroen DS3. Keith and David pack lunch bags and a silver foiled package into the boot of the car. Christine welcome’s Bilgen and Gary. Bilgen holds the door as they all climb into the car. Christine, David (in the middle) and Gary all sit in the back seat. Keith is at the wheel.]
David: Is everyone ready?
Keith: The only postcode for the Angel I could find began with NE?
Christine: I couldn’t find one either. [The satnav calculates the route.]
Keith: It say’s we’ll be there at 11am!
Christine: Only takes two and a half hours from Liverpool.
[They set off on their journey. The M62 from Liverpool, then the M60 (around Manchester) then back onto the M62. Bilgen falls asleep. Gary tries to take her picture. Christine cheers when they get to the highest point of any UK motorway, some 372m! The roads are pleasantly quiet. David jokes to Bilgen that it is because after a certain point in England, like the film ’28 Days Later,’ parts of the North are barricaded as a hoard of zombies roam the northern wilds. They leave the M62 and join the A1 (M). Christine looks out of the window and gets excited. They are drawing near to their first destination.]
Keith: We should be getting close now.
Christine [looking at her phone]: It says after the Washington Service Station continue on the A1 (M) until the main roundabout and take the A167 turn off. The Angel site is on your left and parking available nearby. [Looking up] There she is!
[They pull into the parking bay beside the A167 and excitedly get out of the car. Christine leaves her jacket in the boot of the car, though there are rain clouds overhead. They all have cameras and mobile phones in hand as they walk the short path towards, Sir Antony Gormely’s ‘The Angel of the North.’]
Christine [taking a different path from the others.] Isn’t it wonderful! [David follows after her.]
[After a quick bite to eat in the car at the Angel car park. The five-some travel on towards Middlesbrough to visit friends Paul and Gemma. On arrival at their house, Christine hands Paul the silver foiled package.]
Christine: You asked for bread?
Paul: Thank you!
[Some four hours of chatting goes by and many pictures taken of Paul and Gemma’s King Charles Spaniels, Kash and Ruby]
Christine [to David]: What time is it?
David: Half five.
Christine: We can’t stay here all evening, it’s not fair on Paul and Gemma!
Bilgen: I’m getting hungry.
Christine: We have to go home and have dinner.
[They say their goodbyes.]
Paul: Thanks for coming.
Christine: It was nice to meet you!
Gemma: Have a safe journey home.
[In the car, they seat belt up.]
David: So what do we do next?
Christine [deflatedly]: Go home. [Cheerful.] Or go to Whitby like Gemma suggested.
Keith: We could go to Maggies?
Christine [corrects]: Magpies in Whitby. [She looks at her phone and finds the postcode for Magpies.] YO21 [Keith programmes the satnav.]
David: What happen’s if it is busy like Gemma said it would be? It being a Saturday and all!
Christine: Then we look for food elsewhere, or go hungry!
[They travel for 40 minutes, mainly in silence. Everyone is hungry and tired. Christine looks out of the window at the heathland around them.]
Bilgen [to Gary]: Do you have pain killers? I will have a headache if we do not eat soon!
David [to Christine]: What time is it?
Christine: Six o clock.
David [to Keith]: Put Classic FM on, Saturday Night at the Movies.
[Music from the film The Prestige plays. As they near Whitby they see the ruined Abbey on the headland. Christine think’s Anne Bronte is buried in St Mary’s Church, but [looking at her phone] finds it is in St Mary’s of Scarborough. They look for the Magpie Cafe and have to turn back as they travel too far. They end up parked in a makeshift car park by the harbour. Keith and Gary go to the paying machine and an Asian man hands them a ticket. They return to the car as a rain shower beings.]
Keith: The Indian man gave me a ticket. It looks like he paid for 24 hours not 4!
Christine: Did you give him any money for it?
Keith: No, he didn’t want it!
[They leave the car and walk down the main street of Whitby. They look at the harbour arched in a rainbow. They pass many groups of rowdy men and women dressed in 1950’s clothes. They take pictures of the town and on finding the Magpie Cafe. They look at the menu.]
David: Do you want to eat in our get a takeaway? It looks busy.
Christine [resigned]: I don’t mind.
David: Shall I look for the takeaway menu?
Christine [sighing to David]: I don’t mind want we do. [David and Keith walk further up the road. Christine turns to Bilgen and Gary]. He never takes me out to restaurants. I would like to go to a restaurant once in a while.
Bilgen [to Christine]: I want to go and get a table inside. I want to eat a proper meal. [Christine shrugs. David and Keith come back.]
Keith: The takeaway menu is on the other side.
Christine: I’ll do whatever you all want to do.
Bilgen: I want to go inside.
David [To Christine]: We’ll do whatever you want?
Christine [To Bilgen]: Go inside and ask if there is a table for five.
Bilgen: Come with me! [They all walk up the steps to the entrance.]
Maître d’: A table for two?
Bilgen: No five.
Maître d’: The table in the corner over there is available. [Bilgen looks around at Christine and they share a smile.]
Bilgen: A nice table. [The view is over the harbour and towards the abbey. The waitress Joanne comes and takes their order.]
Bilgen: I’ll have grilled Salmon and vegetables.
Gary: The same but no vegetables.
Keith: The Cod and Chips.
David: Grilled Salmon and chips please.
Christine: I’ll have the poached Lemon Sole and vegetables, lots of them! [They order drinks. Christine orders two small glasses of the pinot grigio, for herself and Bilgen. Gary tries to order Bilgen a lemonade. Christine corrects him and laughs with the waitress and the others.]
Christine: I’ve not ordered two glasses for myself. I’m not that bad!
[As dusk descends on the fishing village and they tuck into their food. They laugh and enjoy each other’s company.]
[After 9 pm thoroughly fuelled they head from Whitby back along the A1 (m), and M62 to Liverpool in pouring rain. The journey takes just over 2 hours. Christine enjoys listening to the 80’s songs on the radio and watches the cats eyes light their way. She marvels at the cities they pass sparkling with lights.
On disembarking Keith’s car. Christine thanks them for inviting her, she had had a nice time and gives Bilgen a hug and another silver foiled gift.]
Christine: For Jeanette. [and Christine and David wave them on their journey home!]
Christine Lucas © 2014