Today I have Elizabeth Whitgift in the hot seat talking about how she met Nell and what she needed to tell here, so please sit back, help yourself to a glass of bubbly and enjoy my interview with Elizabeth Whitgift – Nell’s best friend in Gilli Allan’s FLY OR FALL
Introduce yourself and tell us how you came to find yourself in Nell’s story?
“My home is in the original village, but I met Nell when she came into my shop in the centre of Downland. We started talking and I discovered she was new to the area. They’d moved from London. In fact, they bought their house through my Dad’s estate agency.’ Elizabeth pauses and bites her lip. ‘He died about a year after. Anyway, I made her coffee and we chatted for a while. I admit I was intrigued. She’s unlike so many of the women around here … the yummy mummies, gym bunnies and horsey types. It’s an affluent area but Nell seemed weighed- down and out of her comfort zone.
How do you mean?
“I got the impression she hadn’t wanted to move. I was curious. She seemed thoughtful, and questioning, unlike many….. The kind of woman who would call herself a feminist. Why had she allowed herself to be pushed into it? It was only later I came to understand how she’d been manipulated by her husband, Trevor. “
So you immediately hit it off. But what is it about you that appealed to her, do you think?
“I can’t answer that. Perhaps she saw in me someone more like minded? I don’t make friends … real friends … easily. I’m not anti-social, not like my other half. I know loads of people. I’ve lived in the area all my life, after all, but I’m not a joiner. I’m not good at chit-chat. People seem to find me a bit odd and call me a hippy…. Just because I like to burn joss sticks. Or perhaps because I’d rather do something creative, like making my jewellery, than spend my time worrying about filling my wardrobe with the latest fashion, sculpting my body with exercise, or trying to create a house like a glossy film set. I could really talk to Nell….”
You had a lot in common?
“It turned out we had more in common than even she realised. I wasn’t deliberately keeping secrets but….” Elizabeth sighs and shifts on her chair. “I found it hard to talk about. And to be honest, I thought she knew! That club is a hotbed of gossip and scandal. I couldn’t believe no one would have put her straight. But I was sorry not to have been more open with her in the beginning. It obviously came as a huge shock when she found out. We still remained friends, but it changed things. There was a distance between us from then on. I don’t blame her. If anyone’s to blame it’s my husband. But he has always been my weakness, and I’ll forgive him almost anything.”
What did he do?
“He caused havoc as he always has, and I fear he always will. It hurts me that he’s suffered such bitter jealousy and resentment for so long. I was never able to compensate for the loss and injustice he felt. Never able to reassure him. I can only hope that now…’ she pauses and looks up at the ceiling. ‘He’ll settle down and find peace of mind at last.”
So, what about you? How do you see your own future after so much upheaval?
“Oh, I’m all right. I’ll always be all right. I have Synolda with me now. She’s a Reiki Master. My chakras have never been so aligned. So, we live holistically and I have achieved self-acceptance and calm. I have no regrets, helped by the fact I was able to put things straight with Nell. She was in such a bad place. Her whole life had fallen apart. At the time I almost felt sorrier for her than I did for myself. She was stumbling around in the dark. I was glad I could shine a bit of a light on events and relationships that she was still unaware of. And I hope too that what I divulged to her about Pat helped her to remake her life. “
What did you tell her about Patrick?
“You’ll have to ask Nell. Or him…….!”
You can meet Elizabeth Whitgift again in Fly or Fall
You can find out more about Gilli and her books at the following….