Harrogate By The Sea

The final instalment of a six part series.

31 March 2017

Dear Frank,

As you read the words large, brown envelope, delivered this morning at your behest, you’ll perhaps understand that its presence on the kitchen table feels both immense and not that interesting, neither state being worthy of a rush to open it. Maybe tomorrow, okay?

Today, our group, the orchestra, is meeting. I don’t know how or why, but it’s working, and we find ourselves quite suddenly in this beautifully messy thing trying to come up with some inventive way of taking it forward. By luck, our second piece it seems, we have Margaret. Margaret has survived the daily grind of a troubled life, and she’s kind and has strong feelings and can intuit things, and that has power. She is the best person to (help us) make sure we don’t get pushed down by the problems that will inevitably crop up.

Margaret isn’t big on platitudes either. I like that about her. She says, “there’s no such damnable smell under Heaven, as the faint sweat of someone who can’t be happy”, partially quoting some sixteenth-century dramatists she says, but it’s stuck around in my head. I loved being by your side, and until recently it used to be the only place that made any sense, but I see it now for what it was, a happy, stinking lie. The truth is, it was often pretty crappy, and there was never much to do on Sundays.

But that would be a cheap way to end the story.


Jenny Hill is a story writer at Writer of Things.