Arriving a few minutes late to meet the accountant – who is about to make me one happy lady – the heavens open in the Chapter car park. Marvellous – two crutches = no umbrella and I simply will not lower my standards to lift a hood onto my nicely coiffured barnet! I say barnet because after the moisture sodden gusty wind has whipped my hair into a frenzy it looks like I’ve popped a bird’s nest on my head.
As I am regaining my balance, having loaded myself up with two bags and a carrier of files, I only just avoid kissing the tarmac as I crush a cigarette with my foot. Too many limbs going in opposite directions when will I learn less is more and slower is safer! Walking towards the glass doors into the garden at the back of Chapter I notice a shifty looking slightly built bald man loitering. A second glance and I realise it’s the accountant.
As I can’t wave to get his attention I smile and yell encouragingly ‘hello, you can come and take these files’. We both confess we hadn’t remembered what we looked like as it is several years since we last met. I cruelly remind him it had been summer and he had been wearing shorts which he vehemently denies! Oh no I absolutely recall those calves lovely boy! Cardigan boy in the City in knee length shorts and summer shoes – cut quite a dash with the outsized auditor briefcase.
He reminded me of ‘Flat Stanley’ the childrens book about a boy who lived in an envelope. Said man-boy could easily have concertinaed himself fitting into the large black leather number and still had room to snuggle up on the bank statements. Given a bored moment I might even have tucked him up! Being a somewhat Amazonian scale woman I find myself constantly fascinated with small men. In days when I could balance unaided the irresistible urge to pick them up was hard to leave alone!
The accountant has one of those cheeky boy grins somehow even more wicked without a strand of hair to hide behind. What is it about a bald head that is so sensual, so alluring and well sexy I suppose? Chatting through the festival accounts takes less than the time needed to drink a coffee – me a filter him a latte. He is a curious combination of city spiv and naive country boy – he attempts to hang on my every word when I know my utterances of explanation mean absolutely nothing to him! The only way to engage him on matters of international feminist theatre would be to show pictures of some of the festival contributors but there are none to hand and he is being paid to listen.
In a sympathetic attempt to give him a reason to stay and finish his coffee I regale him with stories of doing business in the Russian Federation. His eyes light up as he looks away trying not to say ‘respect lady’! He doesn’t take his coat off and given that it’s wet (and warm indoors) he doesn’t need to tell me the time is being metered; the Company will be paying for this flirtatious chick chat (no doubt already built into the quote)!