Amy was sitting on the edge of the bed, Jimmie was wrapped around the policewoman. “It's going to be a so-so day, not cold, not warm, not wet, not sunny. It's a day for keramics and passports.”
The three of them took a train to Big City on a group ticket. “This is Exhibition Road – it's full of museums. We're going in here to see the keramics.” There were three huge halls full of pots, plates, jugs and vases. Amy had a guidebook and explained everything. Jimmie enjoyed it, after a while. They did see one museum guard and the museum cat, otherwise they were alone.
They ate sandwiches in the nearby park. “What's that over there?” Amy pointed. “It's the Ministry for...” “Foreign Affairs?” “No.” “Interior Affairs?” “Yes.”
“OK, guys. I'm going in there and you are taking Jimmie for a row on the lake.”
There was a battleaxe of a woman at the reception desk, Amy said that she was visiting the minister and the battleaxe said that an appointment would take months. “Fill in these three forms.”
Amy stared heavily at the woman, who slumped back in her chair. Amy knew that the minister was in his office on the fourth floor.
The minister was bored, he had nothing to do, nothing to do that was important. He could go and discuss with some dreary civil servant about something really unimportant and really uninteresting, but very important and very interesting to the civil servant. The question was really: do I really want to be minister?
In came Amy, much more interesting. “Hello, Minister, I'm Amy, that Amy. I want you to do something very important for this country.” The minister was all ears. “I'm the manager of 9gals! The girls want to tour the USA next month and Europe a little later. This is important for this country, not just the money, but the prestige.”
“9gals! you say and you're that Amy. How can I help?”
“We need passports. But there is a problem, the nine girls were born in this country last year at the age of eighteen and my story is not much difference. We need passports – no questions asked...”
The minister smiled. “I think I can help.” He pressed a button and into the room came the minister's personal assistant. “Hello James, this is Amy, the Amy who wants ten diplomatic passports pronto. Amy, give him the details.”
“So, you've got a passport already, Jimmie?” “Yeah, I needed it for the Ballermann trips.”
“Yer fly to Malle, go to Aldi's, buy a bucket, some long drinking straws, and bottles of red plonk and fruit juice; and you're away.”
This was exactly what the minister liked, he was surrounded by singing girls, lots of people, everyone was happy. The girls stopped singing and the minister hung a passport with a ribbon around each girl's neck – much laughter and shouting.
They stood in front of the Wonder Bus which was parked in the town square in Bigtown. There was a large crowd of people – everyone was happy.
The girls linked arms with the minister in the middle and kicked their legs high into the air and sang:
Forget your troubles, come on get happy Chase your cares away Hallelujah, get happy Before the judgement day
“Tell me, Trace...”
“Yes, minister. I understand that you are not happy with your job, you are not doing what is important and not doing what you want to do. Being Minister of the Interior is really not your thing. I will tell you what to do, it won't be easy.”
Make a list of activities that are important to you. Make a list of activities that you want to do. Make a list of activities that you are really good at.
“Then make one, short list – that's the difficult bit.”
“I know that you can sing, you're a member of three different choirs back home in Methyl Tydfil. However you are hardly ever there. And somehow I know that singing is not the best you can do...”
“That's very positive, Trace. But you have it easy, you can simulate everything, 9gals! are just an illus...”
“No, no, minister. They're real enough, they can sing well, dance quite good. OK, their song-writing is abysmal.”
“What about Eloise?”
“The one Eloise is real, but the hundred Eloises on the stage belting out Eloise are of course an illusion.
Every night I'm there I'm always there She knows I'm there and heaven knows I hope she goes (Eloise) I find it hard to realize That love was in her eyes It's dying now She knows I'm crying now And every night I'm there I break my heart to please Eloise Eloise
“A hundred real-life Eloises would collapse the stage. The Roberts' Revival Band and the Hugh Gaitskell Bass Choir are of course illusions. How could that be otherwise?”
Illusions will be my epitaph!