* Tara is off on her jollidays for a couple of weeks. Fictional Guest Bloggers, Tark and Mara, have climbed down from their pedestal to leave you with this post.
“And again! Tark!”
“Just lift your feet, darling, and watch where you’re going.”
Mara made a noise deep in her throat. She had just about had enough.
Had she complained when Tark had driven them south, instead of north (where the airport was located)? Indeed, she had not.
Had she demurred, when he was hopping about their obscenely large penthouse like a skittish goat kid, childishly delighted with his mysterious holiday preparations? No: she had been the very picture of acquiescence.
Had she made a fuss when she found – to her horror – that Tark’s insistence on keeping their destination secret, meant that she couldn’t even issue guidelines, let alone strict instructions, to their personal packing consultant?
Non. She had agreed to everything. But this: this was the last straw. She was in her last pair of Prada slippers – the brown ones, which adorably looked like her once-hated school shoes (though anyone who saw them would instantly know that they were Prada) – and now they were ruined.
“But, really, Tark, what’s the point? If you’d brought me to Nice, like we’d planned, there would be a reason to look where I’m going. There would be a reason to look up and take in the architecture; to gaze upon the most stellar of seas – which once, I might remind you, husband, you said mimicked the precise colour of my eyes. I could have the salt tang of perfectly priced oxygen on my tongue. But no! You bring me… to Gorey.”
“I know, my burry limpet. But I’m sure they have dogs in Nice, too. And parts of the continent can be even less particular about faeces than Wexford.”
“I can barely believe you’ve done this,” said Mara, her face suddenly ageing beyond the five years the botox removed last Thursday. “One moment, I’m booking a chemical peel for my bikini line, and taking delivery of all six sets of Urban Bonk beach jewellery; the next, I find myself looking at chain-store flip-flops in a two-room chalet in a working class area of the Irish Sea!”
“I knew you’d like it,” said Tark, confidently. “Nobody else has taken the Retro thing as far as us. You mark my words, my scalded kitten: before six months is out, every newspaper from here to Irkutsk will be extolling the virtues of the Back-To-Your-Childhood Holiday. And you can nod, in that fabulously regal way you have, as they rush to do then, what we are doing RIGHT NOW.”
Mara shuddered. Tark was awfully masterful when he spoke in capitals.
“We were first, Mara,” he continued. “We set the trend. And don’t you forget it.”
Mara sat down hard on a dune, subconsciously grateful that its sandy softness compensated for the relatively unforgiving boniness of her sitting apparatus.
Tark was right.
How could she have doubted her hairless husband? His sure-footed descent of the dune was gathering a crowd of admirers at the finish line. He was a giant in a small man suit. For a fleeting moment, she wished he had, after all, gone to that Game Of Thrones audition.
“I will endure,” she called after him. “For you, Tark. For none other.”
“For our publicist too, darling,” called Tark from the bottom of the dune. “She’s coming at sundown with three photographers from the Indo, the Daily Mail and VIP. They’re fighting over exclusivity, and I’m going to let them all have it.”
Mara gazed at her little husband as he examined various buckets and spades they were to use as props, before lifting her eyes to the horizon. The murky grey sea swirled thickly, an unshaken test tube of clouds and albumen. It was an Irish summer, the shade of a vast number of ordinary childhood memories to which she wished to lay no claim.
A Paleo chef and two butlers awaited them in their twenty-square-foot chalet. The staff one-man tents had been set up ten feet away. It was time to square up: to tackle, with valour, a week at the Irish seaside.
It was a small price to pay for at least three colour spreads, and the inimitable kudos of being so far ahead of the crowd, that she was about to make dog poo the ultimate fashion accessory.