Here we go again for another series of Last Tango in Halifax being aired on PBS with clips and sections edited out for various reasons, the choices in the edits I don’t always understand. For me, whether you like the choices made or not, each part of Sally Wainwright’s writing is very specific and nuanced, so making the editing choices from the full BBC edition to make way for PBS’s advertisements during their airings of the show doesn’t make sense.
This series was just as interesting, beautiful, heartbreaking to watch for the second time as it was the first time. Admittedly, while I own the official BBC DVDs and have digital copies of the episodes on my computer’s hard drive, I’ve not actually re-watched the third series again until now. In order to do the write-ups for series three, I’ve recorded the eps from PBS to my DVR, and using the digital BBC copies on my computer to make the comparisons. There are a couple of lines or sections of lines that I did have to guess at due to the mumbling of a word or two, or an unfamiliarity of a word/location. I’ve tried my best to sort out everything for you. If you happen to spot an error in wording, let me know and I can fix it.
A HUGE thank you to Sally Wainwright, Red Productions and the cast and crew of Last Tango in Halifax for yet another strong series, which made me laugh and cry in almost equal measure. The writing, acting, directing (and so much more) were phenomenally done. Original dialogue and images belong to Sally Wainwright and Red Productions.
This post covers the first three episodes of series three. The next one will come after the second half of the series has been aired. If you’re interested in checking out the previous posts on missing scenes/words/sections from LTIH, here they are:
As per previous posts, the segments/words edited out are written in red.
Series Three – Episodes 301
Caroline and Kate are celebrating Valentine’s Day with chocolates and cider, kissing on the couch while University Challenge plays in the background.
Host: Your bonuses are on quantum physics: Heisenberg’s original uncertainty relation concerns which two observable properties of a particle?
Caroline: (briefly breaking kiss) position and momentum.(continues the kissing)
Student: Yeah, location and momentum.
Host: Position and momentum is correct, yes. (clapping from studio audience). Quantitatively, the product of the two uncertainties is always greater than or equal to the unreduced Planck’s Constant H divided by what number?
Caroline: (breaks kiss again) 4 pi.
Host: (after students look at each other in query) Come along. Let’s have it, please.
Caroline: (responding to the tv screen) 4 pi. (Kate feeds her a chocolate candy).
Caroline: (indignant, speaking around the chocolate) It’s 4 pi….hello?
Student: Speed of Light
Host: No, It’s 4 π.
Caroline: Mmm. No shit.
Host: A similar uncertainty relationship exists between energy and what quantity?
Kate: (grabs the remote) I’m turning this off (spoken over the host, then hits the off button).
Caroline: Oh, guess what? Gillian’s got a date.
Kate: Has she? Gillian?
Caroline: This bloke…
Kate: What bloke?
Caroline: Just came in to the shop apparently and asked her out.
Kate: Oh that’s romantic.
Caroline: Is it?
Kate: Isn’t it?
Caroline: Oh, it’s very Gillian.
Kate: I can never work out whether you love Gillian to bits or you think she’s a complete plonker.
Caroline: It’s kind of…both. (starts rubbing Kate’s pregnant belly). I’ve got something else for you. As well as the card, and flowers and the chocolate.
Caroline: Okay. You know Christmas?
Caroline: (continuing to play her fingers over Kate’s belly) I was so happy…when you know…and I was thinking, with the baby nearly due and everything (reaches behind her and puts an open ring box on Kate’s belly). Should…shall…why don’t we get married…properly…married.
Kate: (bubbles up with happy laughter.)
Caroline: (leaning up to look at her properly) Is that a…? What is that?
Kate: nods her head and they both start giggling before returning to the kissing.
This scene picks up with Caroline & Celia’s conversation where Caroline informs Celia that she and Kate are getting married. It is kind of a long scene, and the part PBS cut was near the end of it, so rather than type out the whole thing, I’ll backtrack slightly before the end of what PBS aired and continue on. Celia was getting on about what the baby would call her, and blaming Caroline’s father for being ineffectual as a man as to explain why Caroline was gay, so Celia had projected expectations onto Caroline growing up.
Celia: …I thought you were in a rush.
Caroline: Yeah, but you know that’s all bollocks, don’t you? I was born this way, to quote Lady Gaga. (turns to the door and opens it).
Celia: Oh, I like Lady Gaga.
Caroline: Do you?
Celia: Mmhmm. She’s nuts.
Caroline: (turns back to her mum and gives her a kiss) I’m going now. (heads out the door back her own part of the house).
Celia: She reckons to be a lesbian. I’ll bet she isn’t, anymore than you are.
Caroline (stops and turns back to her mum. She starts to speak then turns back to the car rather than get into another argument). No, I’m going to work.
Celia: Okay, ta ta love. (closes the door to her granny suite).
Raff, Ellie, Alan, Celia and Gillian are having dinner, talking about Harry’s accident with his narrowboat. Alan and Gillian aren’t really participating in the conversation after talk about Alan’s old fling.
Raff: It’s shameful. A fella in his 70s being ordered by some over-privileged toffee-nosed twat of a judge to sell his house.
Ellie: He could have killed someone.
Raff: Yeah, but he didn’t. He was enjoying his retirement. He had a mishap.
Ellie Which would have all been fine if he’d not been over the limit.
Celia: Who is it that he actually owes the money to? Who is it that’s taking him to court? The council?
Ellie: No, it’s the…
Raff: Waterways and Rivers Authority. Evil bastards.
This next scene was completely missing from the PBS airing of this episode.
Celia, Alan and Harry are at Harry’s house while Harry goes through some papers. Alan’s sitting in a chair, very pensive while they talk about Harry’s need to sell his house.
Celia: I think you’ve got to bite the bullet.
Harry: I have. I’ve rung the estate agent. That one down Rippondon. She’s popping up this aft.
Celia: Hmmm. I’ve very good at selling houses. Sold four and we always got the asking price.
Celia: What you need, Harry, is a good tidy up and a lick of paint.
Harry: I have tidied up. (Celia turns around to him, askance, as he moves some things off the couch.)
Celia: When? Recently?
Harry: Yeah. Just before you came.
Celia: (disbelieving) Okay.
Harry: I think, what somebody would be buying, with a house like this, is personality.
Celia: I think, I’m only giving you an opinion…
Harry: No, no. Go on.
Celia: I think your definition of tidied up and somebody else’s might differ.
Harry: Well, yeah, obviously. But anybody with an ounce of wit can see it’s got potential. And you couldn’t put a price on view out that Velux window in the attic.
Celia: Oh, no. I think that’s your big selling point. It’s a blank canvas.
Alan: Have you thought where you might move to if it did sell?
Harry: I’m not moving without Yvonne.
Alan and Celia: No.
Harry: Even if she asked me, which she wouldn’t. I’ve got an appointment with local housing. Rang ’em this morning. Nice girl. But obviously there’s a waiting list.
Celia: (to Alan) Right. Should we make tracks, Mr. Buttershaw?
Harry: You don’t suppose I could move up to farm?
Alan: No, you couldn’t. There’s not room.
Harry: Yeah, but you and Celia have got your little pad in Harrogate. I could doss in your room.
Alan: Don’t be so bloody daft.
Lawrence and Angus are at school walking in the hallway, talking about his mum and Kate’s wedding.
Lawrence: You don’t have to come, man.
Angus: I don’t mind coming, dude.
Lawrence: It’ll be, like, boring.
Angus: Dude, so what. Saturdays are, like, boring anyway.
Lawrence: They better not read out, like, any poems.
Angus: Why not?
Lawrence: ‘Cause that would be truly embarrassing.
Some classmates come up to the boys and turn to place a sticky paper to the back of Lawrence’s school jacket, then walk off laughing.
Boy: Sorry, man.
Lawrence: Oh, yeah. (More laughter from the passing boys). (Back talking to Angus) Poems, no. Not poems. Search for poems that are lesbino.
Angus turns back to look at the guys still laughing then back to Lawrence but not before noticing the sign stuck to Lawrence’s back and pulls it off.
Lawrence: What? What’s that?
Angus: It’s nothing.
Lawrence: What is it?
Angus: (crumples the paper and holds it up) Nothing.
Lawrence: (grabs it and unwrinkled it to read it, then crumples it again about ready to take off).
Angus: It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it!
Lawrence tackles the boys that were responsible.
Very shortly thereafter, the boys are in Caroline’s office. She unfolds the sheet of paper in question, which reads “My mum sips from the furry cup”. She’s not amused.
Caroline: Who was it?
Lawrence: No one.
Caroline: Who was it?
Lawrence: No one.
Caroline: (turning to Angus) Who was it?
Angus: (looks at Caroline then Lawrence) Seb Dickson.
Caroline: (to Beverly who is standing there) Could you find Seb Dickson’s parents for me and explain to them that he’s been involved in a homophobic incident…
Lawrence: Do you have to?
Caroline: …and I’d like to see them at their earliest convenience? (Beverly turns to head out to her office). (To Lawrence) Yes, I do have to. (Sighing, she turns to Angus) Are you coming a fortnight on Saturday, Angus, to the wedding? Has Lawrence invited you?
Angus: Yep. Thank you.
Caroline: Nobody is going to bully or humiliate or ridicule me…
Lawrence: It’s not just about you!
Caroline: …or anyone. Anyone! In this school.
Gillian and Robbie in bed chatting post-coitus.
Robbie: Dark horse isn’t he, your Dad?
Robbie: You all right?
Gillian: I ought to be really cross with him. I am really cross with him. I’m more…It’s my mum and he’s…And she never knew, he says. How can I be cross with him, with his heart? I can’t say, ‘You…shag bandit.
Robbie: *smiles & chuckles*
Gillian: Well, that’s what he’s called me over the years.
Robbie: Was it just the once?
Gillian: He says.
Robbie: Do you think there were others?
Gillian: Not asked…Oh, I don’t want to know. I can’t imagine there were. But Caroline said she couldn’t imagine her dad…
Robbie: How did it happen? How does a fella like your dad end up getting into bed with somebody else?
Gillian: I don’t know. I’m not… I’m not going there.
Robbie: Maybe it was in the back-of-the-car, knee-tremble type job. (They both laugh). Huh. So, does Celia know?
Gillian: No. Shit, no. Not yet.
Robbie: Is he going to tell her?
Gillian: Don’t know.
Robbie: So, what’s he after, this Gary?
Gillian: No. He doesn’t seem short of money.
Robbie: Yeah, well, don’t you be fooled.
Gillian: Caroline and Kate are getting married.
Robbie: Are they? (Gillian nods) Are they?
Robbie: You going?
Gillian: Just the toffs being invited by the sound of things….How’s Cheryl?
Robbie: Uhhhh. She wants a new kitchen. (they both chuckle at the absurdity of things).
This scene flits back and forth from a phone conversation between Gillian and Caroline and a supper conversation between Caroline and Kate. It is a bit long but necessary to understand Gillian’s reaction (even though it’s eliminated.
Gillian’s phone rings while she’s under a tractor. Caroline’s calling her on her mobile from work.
Caroline: Hi, how are things?
Caroline: I’ve not heard from my mother for a few days and I wondered if there’d been any developments in this Gary situation?
Gillian: Oh. Yeah. Um. I shoulda rung you. Sorry.
Caroline: Apparently. Well, he definitely had a fling with this woman and the dates fit so, yeah.
Kate: God, you never can tell, can you?
Caroline: My mother still doesn’t know.
Caroline: He’s going to meet him. Apparently, Alan’s going to meet this guy. Gillian’s fixed them up with a date in a tea shop in Halifax next week. She’s going to take my mother out shopping for a new outfit for our wedding, so it’s all going off behind her back. She thinks her and Gillian are having a girlie day out. In fact it’s just a ruse to get her out of the way. That’s more or less how she said it, ‘like I choose to spend a day with your mother’ and I thought don’t you damn well talk about my mother like that.
Kate: She didn’t say that.
Caroline: The subtext.
Kate: You didn’t say anything?
Caroline: Well, yes, in fact I did.
(On phone with Gillian)
Caroline: Okay, well, Gillian, I’m sorry. I understand it’s a difficult situation and I really don’t want to make it any worse, but he…well, someone is going to have to tell my mother at some point and if none of you do, I will because my dad deceived her for years and I am not not having that happen again. Ever.
Gillian: (pulls phone away from face, looking at the screen whilst holding up a two-fingered salute and mouthing ‘bitch’ at the phone). Thing is, Caroline, nobody wants to deceive anybody. I just…I think if he meets him first and gets that out of the way sort of thing.Yeah?
Caroline: Thank you.
Gillian: Congratulations, by the way.
Caroline: Oh, yeah. Thank you.
Gillian: (holding her finger over the microphone) on being a lesbian. (removes finger from microphone).
Caroline: Are you busy, fortnight on Saturday?
Gillian: Oh, uhm…
Caroline: Ah, you, Raff, Ellie and the baby. 11:30 at the register office in Harrogate.
Gillian: Well, we…
Caroline: It’s not going to be a big do; don’t feel obliged. It’s just us, one or two of my friends from Oxford, a few of Kate’s friends from uni, one or two members of senior staff. You don’t have to, you know, be obliged. Um.
Gillian: Sorry, it’s ummm. Yeah, sorry, damn. Sorry, we’re hum
Caroline: Well, I know it’s short notice.
Gillian: Sadly, yeah. We’re ah busy. Otherwise, yeah. We woulda have loved to…yeah been there.
Caroline: (heavy sigh) So…
Kate: He wasn’t unfaithful to her, though, was he?
Caroline: I don’t think it matters. She’ll be gutted. She’ll be devastated. But I do know she’d never forgive me if she knew I’d known and not said anything.
Celia and Gillian at a cafe in town.
Celia: So you’re not coming to this “wedding” then?
Gillian: She did ask me, only I said we were busy.
Celia: And aren’t you?
Gillian: I don’t think she really wanted me there. I think she only invited me ’cause she thought she should.
Celia: I think you’ve been a bit sensitive. If she didn’t want you, she wouldn’t ask you. You know what she’s like.
Gillian: Who else is going?
Celia: William’s coming up from Oxford, a few people from school, couple of her pals from Oxford. I don’t know about Kate’s family. Fairly small. It’s all about last minute as not everybody’s available. Our Muriel’s in Corfu, sadly.
Gillian: So, John’s living at the house and Kate’s on leave now, so she’s at home all day, with John.
Celia: Oh, yeah. Presumably… ’cause he’s never at work, is he? I don’t know why they pay him.
Gillian: (starts to giggle slightly).
Celia and Alan get ready for bed.
Celia: I do like Kate, you know. I suppose if Caroline had to be that way, she could have done a lot worse. It’s funny, isn’t it? Babies, they’re always welcome when they come, even when they’re unexpected. Like our little Calamity. And now, there’s this other one.
Alan: (leaning against the headboard) sighs.
Celia: I know there’s something bothering you. I wish you’d let on what it is. Is it Harry and that damn silly mess he’s got himself into. (Alan shakes his head) Well, what then.
Alan: I’d have had a bit of news.
Celia: What news? (Celia comes to sit on the bed)
Alan: I’ve been in two minds about whether to tell you or not.
Celia: What news?
Alan: No, it’s not…I’m not ill. I suppose there’s a lot about each other that we still don’t know, isn’t there?
Celia: Is there?
Alan: Well there were 60 odd years not seeing someone, there’s bound to be one or two
Celia: What? One or two what?
Alan: It turns out I’ve got skeleton in the cupboard.
Celia: What do you mean?
Alan: One I never even knew I had. Well, not (puts hand over his face)
Celia: What? What is it? Oh, I don’t care what it is, Alan. You can tell me anything. Nothing’s worth making yourself ill over. Just tell me. Just say it. Just spit it out.
Alan: You’ll think I’m like Kenneth.
Celia: How could you ever be like Kenneth?
Alan: I’ve got a lad. A son. A boy I never knew I had. Well, I call him lad, he’s a man now. You see, I had a bit of a fling.
Alan: No, years ago.
Celia: Before you were married?
Alan: No. (Celia pulls back a bit from him) Celia, I don’t want to make excuses. It happened, it shouldn’t have. But I didn’t know there’d been a child.
Alan: Year our Gillian were born. Only as I said, I’ve only just –
Celia: The year Gillian was born? But you’d been married nine years when Gillian was born. Who was she?
Alan: Oh, you wouldn’t know her. They lived up further… Siddle. Mary. She were called Mary. Mary Kershaw. Came to work at Jessops. She were the secetary. She, uhm, she had a look of you.
Celia: The year Gillian was born you were…did Eileen know?
Alan: No. It’s like I said to Gillian, it stopped before it started. It were never…
Celia: What does Gillian know about it?
Alan: Her date, on Valentine’s Day; it weren’t a date, as such. It were him.
Celia: Well, how long did it go on?
Alan: We didn’t.
Celia: Long enough to get her pregnant.
Alan: Only the once. Then she left. I never saw her again. I had no idea she were…
The rest of the conversation carried on in the kitchen is the same.
Raff comes out into the yard to find Gillian working with one of the tractors. He’s looking for Ellie.
Raff: Have you seen Ellie?
Gillian: Yeah, she were up at quarter past six. She was off to catch the ten to seven bus. She has to be at Greenoughs at half past.
Raff: She didn’t discuss this with me at all. Nothing.
Gillian: You need to be communicating with each other more.
Raff: Ahh, No shit.
Gillian: I’m not being an unpaid nanny if she’s out earning money. It’s not, that’s not the way the world works. This isn’t cloud-cookoo-land. Also, plus, Yvonne is slinging me cash every week for her housekeeping, whi-…I can’t accept that. I’m not accepting that if Ellie’s working. Did she even speak to her mother last night?
Raff: No idea.
Gillian: Do you just not talk to each other at all, about anything?
Raff: (starts walking away in a huff with his hand up).
Gillian: Hello? Oh well, I’ll have to bang on her about it then.
Raff: Oh, feel free!
Gillian: Well, see you later. I’m on a shift, after I’ve done everything bloody else for every bugger else! (She throws down the spanner on the tractor in frustration.)
Raff: (turns around and starts back to his mum) What’s up with Celia and my granddad?
Gillian: What is up with Celia and your granddad?
Raff: They sat at the breakfast table not speaking to each other. Has something happened? They were up at night. I heard them.
Gillian: No, I…I don’t think.
Raff: Is one of ’em ill?
Gillian: No, nothing like that. Just. It turns out I’ve got a brother. (Raff lets out snicker). A half-brother, I didn’t know about.
Raff: How? (disbelieved laugh) What?
Gillian’s watching the Greenough’s manager explain some things to Ellie. When it looks like the conversation is easing off, Gillian grabs a couple of boxes in front of her and walks over to Ellie.
Gillian: You and me need to be having a proper conversation at some point, lady.
Ellie turns and walks away, and as Gillian does the same, she spots Cheryl walks into the grocery store in her police uniform, walking right up to Gillian.
Cheryl: How’s yourself?
Gillian: Yeah, yeah. I’m all right (looking over her shoulder)
Cheryl: Oh, bless. I heard the news.
Cheryl: That you and Robbie’s been at it behind me back. Is there anything you’d like to say to me?
Cheryl: You don’t know what I’m talking about? No. I’m sorry, that’s not going to wash. That it were Robbie who told me himself. Yeah, a bit of a domestic about the kitchen and him not wanting to spend money and me saying, well, it’s just a breeding ground for bacteria. Well, one thing led to another and it all came tumbling out, so what I’d like to suggest is, next time you’re making whoopie, if you could just ask him to wear one of these (hands Gillian a box of condoms on top of the boxes of things she’s still holding and by this point several store customers are watching on to the confrontation much to Gillian’s horror), ’cause obviously I personally don’t want to be picking up anything unplanned. Oh, and as well, if you’re so desperate for sex that you need to borrow other people’s fellas, let me give you this: (Cheryl puts an activated purple rotating vibrator on top of the boxes as well. Gillian’s mortified) Yep. So, there we go. Have a nice day. Mind how you go. (Cheryl turns around and addresses the increased crowd.) Careful now, don’t get too close or she’ll have your keks off. I know, and with a face like a bust shoe. She must release some sort of like pheromones, eh? (turns to a patron) Oh, I like your shoes.
Gillian makes a face like: Go on, get your gawking over with and move on, then turns back to see the store manager and Ellie looking on and turns back to quickly get rid of her armful of stuff – including the still rotating vibrator that only seems to get louder as she tries to figure out how to turn the damned thing off. And people are still looking on.
At the farmhouse, they’re getting ready to go to supper with Gary, and having a discussion about the confrontation at work.
Raff: Ah, yeah, Mum, what’s this about you and a vibrator and some condoms?
Ellie: I said not to say owt!
Raff: So, actually you got sacked, in fact.
Gillian: I resigned.
Ellie: (at the same time) She resigned.
Alan: What happened?
Raff: Cheryl came in the shop apparently.
Ellie: I wouldn’t have told you about if I thought you were going to be horrible and repeat it in front of your granddad.
(Knock on the door)
Raff: I’ll go.
Alan: What happened?
Ellie: (approaching Gillian) I wouldn’t have, Gillian.
Alan: Well, what happened?
Gillian: There was an incident at work, involving Cheryl, who clearly has some form of borderline personality disorder and who got the wrong end of the stick, yet again.
Alan: So? What happened?
Flashback to Gillian trying to get the vibrator to stop but it won’t shut off. Ellie comes up to help pick up the stuff that was dropped on the ground. People are still gathered about.
Gillian: It’s nothing. It can’t turn off.
Ellie: (turns from picking stuff up and shoving it in a bag, to the gawkers) Carry on!
Boss: Perhaps we should have a chat, Gillian. My office? (he turns and walks away)
Ellie: You all right?
Gillian: Yeah, I’m fine. (end flashback)
Gillian: So, he said it was a final warning and I resigned.
Alan: No, hang on. Why would Cheryl do something like that?
Gillian: Because she’s deranged.
Ellie: And she’s thick. Not that she can help it.
Robbie: (walking into the living room) I heard what happened. Just wanted to say I was sorry. I should have warned you that she um…that she…(Alan’s looking back and forth between Gillian and Robbie). Anyway, she’s moved out. She’s gone.
Gillian: (after Alan’s giving her a look) Don’t you ever, ever pull that face at me again, young man.
Robbie: Why? What did…oh.
Gillian: I did tell you.
Alan: You…you told him? (incredulously) When?
Gillian: (to Robbie) We’ve been invited out to tea, to Gary’s.
Robbie: Gary? Oh.
Gillian: (gives Robbie a hand gesture to head out the door) So
Robbie: Okay, so…blimey.
Gillian: So, she’s moved out?
Alan: Come on, we need to be setting off.
Robbie: Sorry, well, I’ll catch up with you later.
(Looks passed between Raff, Alan and Gillian as she’s herding them out the house.)
Following the main part of the meal at Gary’s, they break off into different groupings. This part is completely edited out of the PBS version. While Gillian and Felicity are still in the dining room drinking some alcohol (brandy?) and they and Ellie are laughing and chatting, Gary and Alan off in a sitting room and Gary is showing Alan an old book.
Alan: And this is a first edition? (Alan’s looking at an old book)
Gary: No, not quite. God knows how much that’d be worth. No, this is a first edition in America with, look, the publisher’s misatribution on the title page to Charlotte Bronte. Isn’t that, you know, amazing?
Gary: I’m so excited that we’ve met, Alan. I feel like I need to know everything…everything about you. And I want you to know everything about me.
Alan: Yeah. Yeah, well. We will, lad. We will.
The morning of the wedding, Caroline wakes up to an alarm clock and after shutting it off turns on to her back then happily turns over to curl up to an already awake Kate.
Caroline: Good morning.
Kate: Well, hello.
Caroline: How long have you been up?
Kate: I couldn’t get comfortable. Then I got heartburn, again. Then I had to get up to pee, about 19 times. And I got all excited thinking about being married, to you.
Caroline: Ohhhh. (curls up even closer to Kate, resting her head on Kate’s chest). Aren’t you simple.
Kate: Just think, in over three hours we’ll be shackled to each other forever. Have you chosen a poem?
Caroline: I might have.
Kate: Don’t want to be the only one reading out a poem.
Caroline: Might have written one.
Kate: Have you?
Caroline: Might have.
Kate: No, have ya?
Caroline: My love is like a hot water bottle.
Kate: That’s so flattering, Caroline. (sarcastically)
Caroline: My love is like a thermal vest.
Kate: God, you really missed your “metier. haven’t you? (Kate’s rubbing Caroline’s head that’s draped across her abdomen, lulling Caroline back to sleep).
Caroline: Shall I compare thee to my Jeep Cherokee?
Kate: Go on then.
Caroline: Thou art more…
Kate: Built like a tank and guzzles diesel like it’s going out of fashion?
Caroline: Yeah. I’ve not thought that one through yet.
Kate: Well, you’ve got three hours. (Kate’s noticed Caroline’s responses have slowed down and her breathing has changed to sleeping). Caroline? (softer) Caroline? (She presses a kiss to sleepy Caroline’s head then reaches over for her mug of tea.
Robbie turns up at the farmhouse at a rather awkward time for Gillian so she goes out to see him.
Gillian: This is all your fault (as Robbie’s getting out of his truck).
Robbie: What is?
Gillian: I should have been on a shift at Greenough’s now. Then I’d have had enough money for…(starts to turn away, then back). Why did you tell Cheryl?
Robbie: It just…it…I don’t know. It just came out. I thought you said you were happy to have an excuse to chuck it in.
Gillian: Yeah, but now the euphoria has died down and the reality is in a few short days I’m going to be skint.
Robbie: Okay. Well. In fact that is why I’m here. Is there somewhere where we can talk?
Gillian: (Looks around at the otherwise quiet space around her farm, raising her hands then dropping them back to her side). Harry and Raff and Calamity are up the sitting room so, fire away.
Robbie: Okay, well. I’ve suggested this before, and you know it’s a good idea, but then things got a bit messy because of that John. Twat. But look. I’ve seen the light, with Cheryl. I don’t want to live in a box, worrying about a new kitchen and a new bathroom and a new carpet. I know you’re…you. But look, why don’t we get married. You can farm and I’ve got my salary and then a good pension. Good enough. And you won’t have to worry about doing anything part time. I can help you. Yeah? You know I can. I can turn my hand to owt. What are you thinking?
Gillian: I don’t like being dependent on people.
Robbie: I know that, Gillian.
Gillian: Well, what would…you mean you’d sell your house and come and live here?
Robbie: Yeah, married. It isn’t about being dependent. It’s about sharing…everything. Pooling our resources and yeah, being equal…partners.
Gillian: I don’t know.
Gillian: You’re a nice fellow. You’re a good man.
Robbie: So? You think about it. If you give me the nod then I can have my house up on the market within a week.
(Gillian’s gently nodding her head in understanding, thinking.)
John drives Alan over to the farmhouse in Halifax rather than dropping him at the train station. Gillian’s surprised to see him back.
Gillian: What’s going on?
Alan: John’s kindly driven me over. He was going to get the train. You know, with his (gesturing to his heart)
Gillian: Has something happened? You’re not at the wedding?
Alan: No. (he walks on ahead, Gillian turns back questioningly at John wondering what’s going on).
Inside the house the conversation continues.
Alan: She just needs time. That’s all. It’s all been a big shock for her. For all of us. And these things just take time. That’s all.
Gillian: Caroline’s going to be like gutted, that her mother didn’t…
Alan: Yeah. Yes, I think she was.
Gillian: You shoulda gone. You shoulda gone to support Caroline at least
Alan: Yeah, yeah, well. I did go, in fact. I said to Celia, ‘I’m going, whether you do or not. And then when I got there, she told me there were no point me being there if her mother weren’t, so…
Gillian: She said that?
John: Did she?
Gillian: Caroline did? In front of everybody?
Alan: No, outside. Everyone else had gone in. It were cutting. I was shocked.
Gillian: Right. Bitch. (picks up her mobile, and starts pressing keys)
Alan: Ah, she were upset, obviously.
Gillian: Don’t care. She’s not talking to you like that.
Alan: What’re you doing?
Gillian: I’m sending her a text. ‘F-Off, bitch. Hope you have a shit day.’
Alan: (Interrupting her) – Don’t do that!
Gillian: I’m tempted.
Alan: Yeah, none of it would have happened if Celia had’ve…(sighs) ah, then, of course none of any of it would have happened if I hadn’t…
John: Sorry, what? What did happen?
Gillian: (after a long pause) I’ve got a half brother.
Alan: I’ve got a son.
John: You? So he’s…
Alan: He’s younger than Gillian.
Alan: And it’s all been a bit of a surprise.
Raff: Uncle Gary.
John: Ah. Gosh. Okay. So
Gillian: Yeah, they’re coming over for Sunday lunch tomorrow. Him and Felicity. (turns to Alan) Did you know?
Alan: What? Of course I knew. I was there when you arranged it.
John: So, Celia…
John: Wouldn’t like…
John: So. So how do you feel about that, Gillian?
Alan: Well, it’s complicated. Obviously.
John: So you had a fl—
Alan: Ehhh. It should have never happened, but it did. So.
John: God. That’s really…God. And this Gary…he’s…
Alan: He’s a nice lad. He’s done very well for himself. He just…he wanted to get to know us.
Gillian: (to John) You all right?
Gillian: Celia said you were upset about this…baby business.
John: Oh, well, yes. It’s been…well, yeah.
Gillian: And Judith’s?
John: Gone. To stay with her sister in St. Albans.
Gillian: So that’s…
John: Good. Yeah. I think for everyone.
Alan: Well none of us know what’s round the corner, do we?
Gillian: There’s some soup and some bread, for dinner, if you fancy stopping.
Gillian and John are still in the kitchen having gone through a considerable amount of wine and are both drunk.
John: So how did she find out…Cheryl…that you and Robbie had?
Gillian: He told her. Robbie did.
John: Well I can’t say I’m sorry. Woman like you shouldn’t have to work at a check-out.
Gillian: Nothing wrong about working at a check-out. If people didn’t work at check-outs, snobby piss-heads like you wouldn’t have to buy their Recaro.
John: This is undoubtedly true.
Gillian: In fact, people like you only exist to keep the check out assistant amused. Did you not know that? Paying £14.99 lahdida for something the French paisant wouldn’t chuck over a casserole.
John: Ooooh, listen to you.
Gillian: I was doing French A-Level.
Gillian: Yeah. Until I had to drop out, cause of…
John: Oh yeah.
Gillian: Not being pregnant…puh…Not that…
John: Not that..? Not that what?
Gillian: Not that it would have done me any good, finishing my A-Levels
John: You don’t know that. You don’t know what you might have done.
Gillian: Huh. I love drinking too much at lunch time. (They share a short laugh). Sod it. I mean…pblblblbl! (gives the two-fingered salute) I’ve lost my job, I’ve no money, my dad’s fallen out with his girlfriend/ladys/wife/woman, my son’s…phhhh, God knows he’s thrown his future away and chucked his lot in with…actually, you know what? I like Ellie. But the bigger point is why bother pretending? Just go with the flow. Just stop trying to imagine you can resist the onslaught, the inevitable, just give in to the gentle whittling away of anything you imagined resembling a life or a personality.
John: Yeah, I know. It’s just that waking up feeling like shit thing later.
Gillian: I have a thousand and one things I want to ask you.
John: Oh, gosh, well, plunge in.
Gillian: (clears her throat) Okay. One. Did you have no idea that Caroline wanted to bat for the other county before, you know, announced it?
John: Dunno. It’s odd. Looking back, you wonder…
John: How much I didn’t know her, really. I was in love with her. I fell in love with her. My God, I was in love with her, Couldn’t believe she existed. She was so…you know, Caroline. But then you realize all you’ve fallen in love with is this face, this lip, this eye, this nostril. It took me ten years to realize that actually when you get beyond the tantalizing exterior, she’s actually pretty boring. (Gillian giggles) I mean, who the shit reads chemistry for God’s sake. (Both of them start giggling again). I just think that people have a shelf life, with each other, and we should just accept that and learn to move on, so we can enjoy…ahhh
John: The next thing. Marriage vows are so ancient, so elderly, there’s so…actually today, those two…she’s 47, Kate’s 43. Maybe that works. Maybe they will forsake all others til death do they part. But come on. You can’t say that at 24 and know what you’re buying into. Not when people live to be 90. It’s all right if you drop dead at 27 of plague or small pox. You’ve got a built-in exit to the whole damn pantomime, but come on.
Gillian: Do you. I know what you’re saying.
John: You do? Of course you do. You’re an adventurer. You’re a buccaneer. You live life, that’s why you’re so exciting you silly bitch.
Gillian: Yeah, until the next thing that comes along.
John: Yeah, but as long as we both understand that, isn’t that…You know I’ve got all this money…they bought out my half of the house, the lesbians did.
Gillian: Oh hey.
John: I think you and me could be very good for each other. I think you know that. You’d never have to worry where the next five quid was coming from ever again. I’m serious. You could farm, I could commute to the university and write my novel. I think life could be…I don’t know…pretty good.
(Phone alert sounds)
Gillian: Who’s that? Is that you, Dad? (She calls out to Alan who’s having a nap in the sitting room with Calamity. He wakes up.)
Alan: Huh? Oh. (Sitting up, he reaches for his mobile phone from the table. There’s a text from Harry. ‘I’ll be in the Crown at 7 if you fancy a pint’.) Oh. Hey Gillian?
Gillian: Yes, father?
Alan: Can I borrow Land Rover an hour or so this evening? (Gillian’s giggling away in the kitchen with John).
Kate: Your mother’s car is gone.
Caroline: Gone to get the Mail on Sunday.
Kate: A bit early.
Caroline: She’s the sort that sits outside in the car til they’re open.
Kate: Okay. She’s your mother. (Looks over when she noticed Caroline stopped looking at her iPad and turned to face her). What’s up? (Caroline passes over her iPad enough for Kate to read the screen) Piss off you mad old…(full text reads: ‘Piss off you mad old dyke, I hope you have a shit day. Gillian.) That’s a bit…’ Maybe it’s a joke? Maybe she thinks she’s being funny. Ironic. You know I mean maybe in Halifax that’s how they say ‘Congratulations’…kinda thing. (Caroline looks at her askance.)
Caroline: (Turns back to her iPad and starts typing then shows it to Kate. It reads: ‘Thank You X.’ Kate smiles and nods).
Gillian’s mobile beeps and she opens the message and reads the response and then looks back at the previous text to see what she had sent.
Gillian: Oh shit. No. Shit. No. He’s…I did not send that…(drops her phone to the ground and puts her hands to her head). Ohhhh….ahhh. WANKER!
Celia comes to the farmhouse to apologize to Alan.
Celia: (after Alan opens the door) Hello.
Celia: Look. I’m sorry about yesterday.
Alan: (nods) You want to come through.
Raff: (holding Calamity) Hi, Celia.
Celia: Hello, love. (She approaches Calamity) Hello. Hello.
Raff: I’ll just take her upstairs and change her.
Celia: You don’t have to run off because of me.
Raff: It’s nice to see you. (He leans in to give her a one-armed hug and a kiss before leaving the room with the baby).
Alan: Do you want to (gestures to the chair).
Celia: Well I’ve not slept, again.
Alan: Yes. I thought when I saw you; you must have set off early.
Celia: I wonder if…looking back, I was more bothered that you went and met him without telling me than the thing itself.
Alan: I don’t know. I’ve no idea.
Celia: Well that and going on about how wonderful he is when you could see that I was struggling with it all.
Alan: He’s a nice fellow. I’d be lying if I said it was.
Celia: Well do you want me to go away again?
Alan: (finally sitting down) How’s Caroline?
Celia: Oh, she’s not speaking to me.
Alan: No. And do you wonder?
Celia: I would have been at that wedding if none of this had happened.
Alan: You were wrong to take it out on Caroline.
Celia: I was upset.
Alan: Oh, yes. I think we all got that, Celia. Loud and clear.
Celia: I want to move on. And I don’t want to fall out with you.
Alan: You’re your own worst enemy.
Celia: I can’t help how I am.
Alan: You should have never have taken it out on Caroline.
Celia: I went round last night to apologize and she wouldn’t listen.
Alan: Did you?
Celia: And now you’ve fallen out with me.
Alan: I don’t want to fall out with you. It’s last thing I want.
Celia: (grasps his outstretched hand) Is it?
Alan: You know it is.
Celia: So I’m sorry. I am sorry. I’m just…you know it takes time sometimes to deal with something.
Alan: I know that. They’re due round to Sunday dinner today. Him and his wife. I can call; put ’em off.
Celia: No, don’t do that. I think perhaps it’s time I met him.
Alan: Are you sure?
Celia: I’m sure.
Alan: Interestingly, oddly, when we went round to tea t’ other night, as evening wore on and our Gillian drank too much, like she does and his wife, Felicity, she were knocking it back as well; I sensed an undercurrent. Nothing to do with us being there, she seemed perfectly happy with us. I sensed it were more between them, somewhat, I don’t know, so, he probably isn’t perfect.
John goes out to see Gillian in the yard and she’s sitting on one of the tractors.
Gillian: How pissed were we yesterday?
John: Oh…(scrunches up his face)
Gillian: I’ve done something really stupid. I sent Caroline a text.
John: Oh, yeah.
John: She won’t care.
Gillian: I care.
Gillian: Why didn’t you stop me?
John: Well I did. Tried to. I said probably best not to but you called me a limp-wristed twat, so…
Gillian: I gotta stop drinking. I really have got to stop drinking.
John: Celia’s turned up.
Gillian: Has she?
John: Looks like you’re going to have a full house for lunch.
Gillian: Did you…Did I invite you to stay for lunch? Ahhh, I did, didn’t I?
Gillian: Okay, well, thing is, you can’t, because yesterday I invited Robbie as well.
John: You? When?
Gillian: Before you turned up, he came over. Now look, whatever the hell we were talking about yesterday, when we’d had a few, it’s not going to work. It’s not ever going to be a good idea, is it? Okay, so…
John: (moving over to the tractor to sit next to her) Why isn’t it? Why not?
Gillian: Thank you for driving my dad over.
John: I meant what I said…about helping out financially. I didn’t just say it because we’d had a few.
Gillian: I know, I know, I know that. But in the sober light of day, It’s not what I want. All right?
John: Why? Why not?
Gillian: We can be friends but that’s got to be it.
John: No. Why?
Gillian: John. (shakes head) You turn up. You go out and you buy a load of wine. At lunchtime. I didn’t get anything done yesterday afternoon.
John: Well it’s nice, occasionally.
Gillian: I’m not getting into all of that.
John: I didn’t physically pour it down your neck.
Gillian: I know. I did. I’m not blaming you beyond bringing the stuff in. It’s me. I’m ridiculous. I’m rubbish. I can’t be trusted. But what I don’t need is someone who is no better than I am.
John: We’re very alike, you and me.
Gillian: No…yeah, in a bad way.
John: No, Gillian. You… You’ve just got to like yourself more.
Gillian: I don’t even know what that means. If I liked myself more I wouldn’t drink so bloody much. If I liked myself more I’d be able to be more grown up about everything, like Caroline is. I can’t cope with you and Robbie and every bloody body else I’ve got coming today. And then this stupid text I’ve gone and sent.
John: You sent that text because she’d gone and upset your dad. That wasn’t very grown up was it?
Gillian: Yeah, but I didn’t have to be childish about it, did I? She wouldn’t have been, would she? She goes ‘Thank you. X’ like she thinks…Do you think she thinks I was joking? Think she thinks it’s a joke? Do you think she thinks it’s my daft way of saying ‘Congratulations’?
John: Let me read it again? (Gillian gets her mobile and opens the text for John to see) I think you see Caroline through rose-tinted glasses sometimes. I don’t know why you give a toss what she thinks. She’s not perfect you know. Far from it. Yeah, she might have thought it was a joke. She still upset Alan.
Gillian: Yeah, well, maybe Alan’s asked for it in a bit, ya know. I mean, he was unfaithful to my mother, lest we forget, and for once, for once I don’t blame Celia for being pissed off at him.
John: I suppose nobody’s taken your feelings into count in all of this, have they? Not properly. It’s all been about him and her.
Gillian: You’re a nice fellow. But I really don’t want you and Robbie at the same dinner party.
John: Well, tell him not to come then.
Gillian: I can’t do that.
Gillian: Because yesterday morning, before you turned up, he asked me to marry him. And then, God knows how many hours later I was in bed with you, because I’m stupid, flaky and fed up being those things.
John: You don’t want to marry him.
Gillian: Don’t I?
John: I asked you to marry me. More or less.
Gillian: But what if I did want to marry him? What if I do?
John: You don’t.
Gillian: (starts to smile) I do. I do actually. I need you to leave, John. I need you to go. Just go. Stop coming here. And stop thinking you can come here.
John: I brought your dad…
Gillian: My dad asked for a lift to the station in Harrogate. He told me.