She’d only asked her Mum to lend her some money for some new summer clothes.
‘Get your arse into gear girl, her dad had ordered her, ‘I need to see you trying harder to get a proper job. Four afternoons a week behind a bar just isn’t the key to self-sufficiency.’
He went on to inform her that she was not to treat her parents like a money tree and gave her an ultimatum in what sounded to be military terms – “shape up or ship out”.
Craig was regularly getting the same type of earache from his mum and dad. He was in a similarly dependent relationship with them.
‘I’m going to go into town tomorrow to have yet another try at handing out CVs in the shops,’ she said, ‘It’s never worked in the past but I have to try something.’
‘We’re doing fine as we are though, aren’t we?’ he asked.
‘It’s just that I seem to have less options as time goes on,’ she said.
‘Fewer,’ he said, ‘Fewer options not less.’
‘Jesus, Craig,’ she said, ‘You sound like my old English Language teacher.’
‘Your occasional grammar lapses could cost you an interview, Mel,’
‘Your perfect grammar hasn’t got you a job, has it though,’ she countered, ‘if I was you I’d be looking for work outside this area.’
‘Were – not was,’ he said, ‘you should have said, “if I were you”. If suggests a hypothetical situation that requires you to use the subjunctive mood of the verb.’
‘There you go again,’ she said, ‘Nobody but you would be so picky. Everyone I know would have understood immediately what I said. If you don’t like how I speak, fuck off and find someone who speaks proper English.’
‘Okay, okay,’ he said, ‘I was only trying to help.’
Craig tried a way out of the hole that he’d dug for himself.
‘Listen, Mel,’ he said, ‘if I seem a little edgy it’s because I keep thinking about that bloke you kept eyeing up at the bus-stop earlier.’
‘What bloke?’ she asked. She was angry now. It wasn’t the first time that he’d accused of something like that.
‘Oh, come on, Mel,’ he said. ‘You know very well which bloke. There were only two of them and you kept staring at the taller of the two. A dark- haired guy in a leather jacket.’
Mel was flummoxed. ‘I don’t even remember seeing anybody else at the bus stop, Craig,’ she said, ‘let alone staring at them.’
She turned her head and looked at him, puffing her cheeks out in exasperation.
‘I know,’ he said, ‘you’re just trying to spare my feelings – but it is hurtful.’
He turned his head to her and pulled her close to him.
She decided not to argue. It would just make things worse. It was the wrong time and the wrong place. She’d pick her moment in her own time. He kissed her forehead and they cuddled, as if comforting each other, but Mel didn’t feel comforted.
I took this photo a couple of days ago while walking around Bold Country Park – another shot featuring water, reeds and reflection in an industrial setting of reclaimed colliery land. I used my Pentax 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 telephoto lens.
The EXIF data were 1/60 secs @ f/11 and 31 mm. The ISO was 100.