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Richard Hart: I knew who you were when we met. You were young. I knew it might get tough, but I was prepared. You're a good mother, but at times you've been a fucking lousy wife. Why didn't you come to me? You could have told me how lonely you were. You never trusted me to help you. I'm not saying I was so fucking fabulous, but I was here.


Sheba Hart: So that's your vicious father? Steven Connolly: You wanted a sob story, I gave it to you. Made you feel like Bob Geldof. Sheba Hart: You lied to me! Steven Connolly: Ooooh, sorry, Miss! What, would you prefer it if I lived in a shithole? Sheba Hart: And your mother? Steven Connolly: I think she's gonna pull through. What do you want? What're you doin' here?


(talking about her cat) Barbara Covett: Someone has died!


(Barbara is upstairs, watching Sheba and Richard having a blazing row about her affair with Steven Connolly) Barbara Covett: (voiceover) By the time I took my seat in the Gods, the opera was well into its final act. Richard Hart: You're his teacher! Sheba Hart: And you were mine! I'm not justifying. I'm not trying to justify it... Richard Hart: You are so full of shit! It's totally different. You were twenty! Sheba Hart: He's sixteen in May. He's not some innocent... Richard Hart: Of course he's innocent! He's fucking fifteen! Are you insane? If you meant to destroy us, why not do it with an adult? That's the convention, it's worked for centuries!


Sheba Hart: When you started teaching, didn't you want to give them a real education to help overcome... the poverty of their backgrounds? Barbara Covett: Oh yes, of course. Bu one soon learns that teaching is crowd control. We're a branch of the social services. Sue Hodge: Console yourself with the gems. That's when it's satisfying. Then you can make a real difference. Barbara Covett: The rest is just cattle-prod and pray.


Barbara Covett: Why were you fighting? Perfectly simple question.
Steven Connolly: (mumbles) Dunno, miss.
Barbara Covett: You don't know. One minute you're an inert lump, the next you're trying to castrate a fellow pupil. Nothing occurred between these two states?


Sheba Hart: My father always used to say... you know, on the tube..."Mind the gap".
Barbara Covett: Oh um...
Sheba Hart: I don't know... it's just the distance between life as you... dream it, and... life as it is.
Barbara Covett: I know exactly what you mean.


(after her affair has become public knowledge, Sheba has moved out of her home and is staying with Barbara)
Barbara Covett: (voiceover) This last month has been the most delicious time of my life. Of course we have had our ups and downs. The pressure is intense when two women share their lives. But, oh, but what marvellous intensity it is! Circumstances are not always ideal. The swinish press, the stringent bail terms, meetings with lawyers and so on. But all things considered, we're coping admirably. In fact, gold stars abundant. The cuckold permits her to see their children once a week. Thee are usually tears and fits of teenage tantrums, too. In time she'll recognise she's just not the mothering kind, and then Barbara will be there to comfort her. Nurse, beloved friend and wise counsel.


Richard Hart: (talking to Sheba about Barbara) Why is she ALWAYS here? What kind of fucking spell has she cast on you?
Barbara Covett: I don't like your tone.
Polly Hart: (to Richard) Ben's getting REALLY stressed, I think he's gonna BLOW!
Richard Hart: (to Sheba) Just get in the bloody car, will you?


Barbara Covett: Judas had the dignity to hang himself, but only according to Matthew, the most sentimental of the apostles.


(about the relationship between Steven and Sheba)
Barbara Covett: Well, that's when you should've stopped it.
Sheba Hart: I did! I told him I wouldn't teach him any more. But he refused to accept it, he just kept coming back. It began to feel like our secret, and well, secrets can be... seductive.


Sheba Hart: When you started teaching, didn't you want to give them a real education to help overcome... the poverty of their backgrounds?
Barbara Covett: Oh yes, of course. Bu one soon learns that teaching is crowd control. We're a branch of the social services.
Sue Hodge: Console yourself with the gems. That's when it's satisfying. Then you can make a real difference.
Barbara Covett: The rest is just cattle-prod and pray.


Barbara Covett: Her preference is for the younger man.


Barbara Covett: People like Sheba think they know what it is to be lonely. But of the drip, drip of the long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. What it's like to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the launderette. Or to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. Of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.


Polly Hart: Your boyfriend is younger than mine!


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