82. Sour Milk Sea

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Get out of sour milk sea 
You don't belong there
Get back to where you should be 
Find out what's going on there

'Not going with them, Hannah?' Dennis says, twisting around in the driver's seat to look at me.

'No,' I reply, quietly. 'I'm waiting here. I... don't want to get wet in the rain.' I glance down at Bobbie, held on my lap. She pulls her face, imitating crying but there's no tears in her eyes. She's annoyed at being kept here with me, cooped up in the car and then separated from George, especially after the two hours it took to drive to Portsmouth.

'Aren't they going for lunch somewhere?' Dennis asks, furrowing his brow.

I nod slowly. Yes they are, and George is pretty pissed off that I won't go with them. But I told him I didn't want to come today. I told him Bobbie wouldn't be good in a car for two hours. Taking her to Liverpool and back showed us that. But he still insisted I came with him, so I insisted I would stay here and wait. George has gone with Mal to find Bob Dylan, who has just arrived for the Isle of Wight festival at the weekend. We've driven all the way to Portsmouth so he can meet him for lunch and then we're going home again. A pointless waste of time. We can't go over to the Isle of Wight yet. George has to attend a record launch for the Radha Krishna Temple on the twenty-eighth. I don't understand why he forced me to come here today. I've agreed to go to the damn festival. Isn't that enough for him?

'Bobbie's tired,' I tell Dennis. 'She's grumpy and whiney.'

'A bit like her father,' Dennis says, smiling.

I return it coolly. 'She'd be terrible to take inside anywhere. I'd be continually carrying her out again to try and quieten her down. We might as well wait here until they've finished.'

'Doesn't that mean you miss out on lunch too?'

'Oh. That's alright. I'm not hungry. I've some baby food for Bobbie in the bag in the boot. I'll get it when the rain lets up a little.'

Dennis presses his lips together. 'That's not right. Your fella going off to enjoy himself while you miss out.' He twists back around in his seat. 'There's a chippy over there,' he says, tapping the glass of his side window. 'How about you grab the bairn some grub from your bag and I'll go and nab us a couple of bags of chips? We'll have our own little lunch party in here!'

'Um, no, that's okay. I'm not all that hungry, thank--' I start but Dennis is already shouting me down, talking over me and then he's out of the car and jogging across the car park towards the fish and chip shop on the road opposite, pulling his blazer jacket over his head against the rain.

'Doesn't take no for an answer, does he?' I say to Bobbie, moving her off my lap so I can go and fetch her lunch from the boot of the car.

Dennis is gone for ages. Well over half an hour and so long I'm beginning to think he's not coming back. But eventually I see him ambling back towards the car, two newspaper wrapped bundles in his hands. Bobbie is crying properly by then. Wailing. She refused to eat any more than two mouthfuls of her pureed apple lunch, and the rest of it is down the front of her dress because I didn't have the foresight to pack a bib in her baby bag.

Dennis opens the rear car door and climbs onto the back seat next to me without asking. I have some of Bobbie's toys, blanket and the remnants of her lunch spread out on the seat. I have to awkwardly grab them out of the way before Dennis sits on them.

'Raining cats and dogs out there,' he says as he closes the door and I snatch Bobbie's pink plastic bowl out of the way of his ample derriere. 'Funny saying that, isn't it?'

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