Mik T and Angela F have left the wine bar business behind and have become the keepers of Saint Mary’s lighthouse – AGAIN! (of course in this version of events the lighthouse still requires live-in keepers). As a regular visitor with a keen interest in lighthouses I have many questions for the two of them.
There is always the chance that I may become stranded by the tide and this will mean that I can stay overnight. Mik T gives me the tour (Angela F remains in the gift shop). We climb the staircase round and round, higher and higher. There seems to be no end to it and the higher we climb the steeper the steps become and the wobblier the handrail! We are now on hands and knees. I follow behind at some distance – partly out of fear of falling, but mostly because I am tearing the pages from the tide timetable booklet and stuffing the screwed up paper into the cracks in the walls. As he ascends, his arse crack rising above his shoddy suit trousers, Mik T speaks over his shoulder down into the abyss of the building.
“The lighthouse was built in 1984 from bricks and pebbles washed up on the shore. The extension was made from empty wine bottles that we brought with us…”
I see now that the walls have become glass and that the handrail has completely disappeared. The North sea, Whitley Bay, Blyth, and all the way down to Souter in South Tyneside is spread below me.
I bump into John E in the dreadful shopping mall in Whitley Bay. Due to the plague there are few shops actually open anymore, and the ones that are sell only the most useless and cheap tat! “Ah, what lovely things,” says John E. He has his masked face up against a shop window, but I am hard pushed to find anything either lovely or of much interest to me on display. But beyond the display of rubbish I notice Jane M is in the shop. She is rifling through boxes of brightly coloured material and some pieces she throws to the floor and some pieces she wraps around her shoulders. I tap on the glass to get her attention (but she cannot hear me). “Ah, what a lovely lass,” says John E.
I am in a pale two-piece suit, the trousers cinched, the jacket fitted. A dark fedora and dark shoes (perhaps Oxfords). My footsteps tap a slow and confident rhythm across the shopping centre floor. Everything is crystal clear.
Lottie X is behind glass, teaching a class. Her hair, as always, is bobbed at the chin. Her fringe is short, blunt. Oversized shades cover her eyes and most of her forehead. The rims rest on her cheekbones. Her grey dogtooth coat is belted. She wears black tights and black DM shoes (with a simple buckle beneath the ankle – a sandal.)
I walk right in and begin a seemingly well-oiled seminar about some aspect of this or that – although it is all nonsense! She leans against the front of the desk, crosses her legs at the ankle, folds her arms across her chest and I see her eyes rise over the tops of her glasses, briefly, as she listens with her chin lowered. She smiles.