Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Macbeth in Brittany.

Brest - July 2020

 You know that bit at the beginning of Macbeth, when he walks in on the three witches ( i can’t remember their names right now, but i’ll look it up later) and says – “so foul and fair a day I have not seen”, well it was like that.

Except it wasn’t three witches, but three sisters and they didn’t look like witches but, hey, what do witches look like?

And it wasn’t Scotland, it was Nantes.

Some say Rennes is the capital of Brittany, but JP says it’s Nantes. He seems to know what he is talking about as he will explain that in Rennes they never spoke Breton which they did in Nantes.

It’s a strong point. 

JP knows the three witches, who aren’t three witches but are sisters and could be witches if they wanted to be, and he opens the door of his house where I first meet the three. One is called Fred, one isn’t and one might be Veronique but I don’t really remember – I was much too taken by the Macbeth feeling. (except in Macbeth they were nameless - i looked it up).

Evening was setting in and they were outside in the back yard sitting in a semicircle of almost perfectly and equally distanced chairs. I sat on the bench and faced them. 

The one who was not Fred was seemed the nicest and also the quietest and if she had been a witch she would have been the most dangerous. The others were too obvious.

JP was in his element, playing host and serving cocktails the colour of blood.

There was no fire, no cauldron.

I think there was a fire in MacBeth and that the witches were cooking something up. I’m not sure I will have to look that up too. Here no-one was cooking anything but someone had brought an olive cake and we started to use that to soak up the blood cocktails, that weren’t blood but would have been if the sisters hadn’t just been sisters.

This was the first time I had met three sisters.

It wouldn’t have been the first time with three witches.

The three sisters had known JP for a long time, as long as I had but we had never met before. They told stories of Mick, who I also know but they spoke mainly of stories that I didn’t know and described him in a way I didn’t know either. My own relationship with him had been uneasy.

Professional jealousy.

JP offered me a third blood cocktail that wasn’t, but I opted for water - If it turned out that the three sisters were in fact witches, I felt I should at least be sober.

Better to be fully aware and able to appreciate what was happening as they turned me into a toad or themselves into crows.

Do witches do that?

A bottle of wine appeared, and some olives; I tried both.

Then some of those fish cake ball things called something that begins with A.

By now the Fred witch was inviting me to stay at the top of an old windmill somewhere hidden in deep countryside outside of the city. I smiled and said it would be lovely but filed it under ‘interesting moments’ rather than ‘ must accept invitation’. 

Then a bottle of cider ws opened – what is it they say?  Beer on wine, you’ll feel fine, blood cocktail before cider, it’ll be difficult to keep it inside ya.

Something like that.

I stayed on the holy water.

And suddenly they were saying goodnight.

No-one kissed, it’s not that time yet, and then they were gone and it was JP and me and my wife who was well on her way to a hangover.

We stepped out of the backyard, through the garage where the fridge is but not the motorbike. That is outside in the front garden. Then I took a shower in the bathroom that is down stairs and climbed up stairs to the kitchen. Here we had a look at where we would drink coffee together in the morning and then we climbed up more stirs to go to bed under the roof while JP went back downstairs to sleep.

Sophie, who was there earlier and I forgot to mention was already asleep somewhere near the kitchen. In the morning she would be gone before our coffee as she is working on a film set that starts early.

It’s not Macbeth.



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