I spoke to Hope on Monday evening and she agreed to join me on my little trip to the Cotswolds next month. I have also arranged to meet her tomorrow evening for dinner and theatre. I have no idea what we are going to see – I have left that up to Hope – but I have asked that it isn’t one of those high brow arty things. I am not a regular theatregoer by any means but I do enjoy a comedy or a murder mystery. My dear old Aunt Murdock has often coerced me into going with her to see all kinds of shows, some of which I enjoyed, but most I found either infuriatingly self-absorbed or interminably boring.
Even at school, I had trouble concentrating when it came to literature and plays. Shakespeare was the worst. Now, I know that by saying this I am going to offend some people, but I can only say things as I see them. After all, we can’t all like the same things, can we? I mean, it would be a pretty tedious world if we were all the same. Dorothy is always telling me I need to broaden my horizons a little, take in some of what she calls “serious” theatre. Aunt Murdock has been saying the same thing for years, even going so far as to hoodwink me into attending some of these shows.
Now, I am well aware of the importance of William Shakespeare and his role in English literature. I have visited Stratford-upon-Avon several times and know how important a figure he is. I just don’t enjoy his plays. There are actually quite a few literary figures whose work I find either boring or unintelligible. I clearly remember my father insisting that I read works by writers such as Jules Verne, but they never really appealed to me. Each to his own, as they say.
I have to say I am really looking forward to tomorrow evening. Hope has told me she has somewhere special in mind for our meal. She has even said she will pick me up in a taxi so I will not even get any clues as to whereabouts we are going. It is all very cloak and dagger and quite exciting. I just hope that her choice of show is something suitable. A nice comedy would be good. Or perhaps an old-fashioned murder mystery. I have to admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for Agatha Christie type stories. There is a sort of comfortable familiarity with these types of plays. They don’t challenge ones intellect or expect one to look for hidden meanings. I just want to be entertained and the idea of having to decipher what is almost a foreign language makes the likes of Shakespeare more of a chore than a pleasure.
I had another busy day at the office today dealing with the property side of the family business. Aunt Murdock tells me it is the most profitable side our work, after the banking interests. Mind you, that term “interests” is one I use very loosely. Where I can see something tangible in the property portfolio, the whole banking side of things leaves me a little lost. It doesn’t seem to matter how many ways the banking chappies explain the way it all works, I just can’t seem to follow it. Fluctuating markets, CIFs, DTIs, Reverse Mortgages or Escrow Funds – all make no sense to me at all. I am finding dealing with the property and development side of things quite interesting. That is not to say I understand or agree with all the decisions made by others on my behalf, but I am much more comfortable with land and buildings than I am with money or people.
With Aunt Murdock’s current ill health I am having to consider my role in the business. It is obvious I am going to have to take on more responsibility, but I have to admit that the thought frightens me a little.