My family are not readers. Inherited wealth often leads to a good deal of inbreeding, or as my husband puts it ‘lack of hybrid vigour’. Horse & Hound is about the best that they can manage. They will never realise, I tell myself, that I’ve written about them at all.
That was before I’d wound up on Radio 4 and the broadsheet newspapers. Then news travels fast. Especially when it’s bad.
But gratefully there are others in the audience when Auntie C- turns up. Her hair is a tepid yellow, set like concrete, and her mouth curling down as it always did. Not the sad face of upside down happiness, but the lip edges dragged disagreeably, permanently south.
She’s in her tweedy uniform though the sun is shining outside, and she’s driven a whole hour and a half to get here, to this small and beautiful bookshop, hidden down a side street in Stockbridge. It is clear she is on a mission. My stomach twists over what that mission could possibly be. To bully I am guessing, because she has bullied me before.
C- married the legitimate member of the family. He inherited everything. I’m not sure then why she is here to bark. I have not even mentioned her in the Untruths, though I could have. But it was a lie that I felt too worried to include. One where she is shouting at Mum's graveside and we’re all having to pretend that she is not.
So now we have to drag through a ghastly repeat at this sweet, sweet bookshop, Golden Hare, in Edinburgh. Less a shout than a barbed heckle, which is never loud enough to eject or to yell down.
Proof that I am not lying, I tell myself. Look, my family really are bonkers, diabolical. I have not exaggerated them at all.