Occasionally, the merits of the simple life come into sharp focus.
Emma: Lily seemed well.
Shane: Yeah, she did – very relaxed, good with Alex - she was good.
Emma: You seemed more patient with her than you have been in the past.
Shane: You make me sound like an ogre.
Emma: You know what I mean.
Shane: Hmmm. She seemed… less air-headed, bit more earthed than usual, and a bit less ‘look at me’.
Emma: Mm, there’s not much room for ‘dizzy blonde’ at the moment, is there?
Shane: What do you mean?
Emma: (puzzled) (pause) Oh-, you missed that bit.
Shane: What bit?
Emma: Her sister and Turkey –
Shane: Oh, if this is some kind of kinky farmyard –
Emma: Shut up-. Her older sister – what’s her name?
Emma: Yeah – she’s been doing a lot of holidaying in Turkey.
Shane: Is that bad?
Emma: In itself, no – she’s got a man out there.
Emma: But it’s more complicated than that.
Emma: Well, there’s the childcare – Ryan is nearly five - her mum’s been helping her with him.
Shane: Good, I think.
Emma: Mm, but taken-for-granted, it seems.
Shane: Ah, not good.
Emma: That’s not the problem.
Shane: Oh, or should that be ‘Oh?’
Emma: The Turkish bloke – he’s asked her to marry him.
Shane: Bloody hell, eh. No messing!
Emma: But she’s not told her family.
Shane: Other than Lily.
Emma: Yeah. But can you imagine… it’s just not…
Shane: (smelling an unexpected streak of prejudice) What?
Emma: Well… he’s not even met Ryan yet.
Shane: (stunned silence) What! That’s ridiculous.
Emma: It’s a bit worrying – Ellie is away with the fairies, so Lily is having to be the sensible one.
Shane: Jesus, that is worrying.
Emma: She’s agreed to look after Ryan for a few days in a couple of weeks – whilst Ellie lands unannounced in Istanbul.
Shane: But, isn’t that just encouraging it - the flitting-about behaviour?
Emma: Not really – she’s expecting to receive a tearful Ellie-shaped phone call soon after touchdown.
Shane: I don’t get it.
Emma: A reality-check in the form of a cheating Turk?
Shane: Och – not good.
Emma: (pause) Depends how you look at it.
At which point, my mind wandered back to shudder-worthy relationships that I’d contrived in the past, and the point that Emma later made: ‘You’ve got to ask yourself what it’s doing [for her] – apart from the obvious’.