Well, what do you know… the sun came out 😀 We had prime position on the Durbar Lawn of HRH Victoria’s summer palace at Osborne, right at the very front by the beautifully crafted wooden stage. We got a few strange looks as we trundled past with enough luggage for a month’s stay but our mockers were laughing on the other side of their face as they shivered in the cold breeze and we snuggled into our seats wrapped up snug as a bug in a rug in our sleeping bags and blankets. This time I remembered the picnic too, instead of just taking a picnic hamper containing one tomato, a packet of cheese straws and a tub of dip as I did last year when I went with M and have never been allowed to forget!
The play was superb. I highly recommend The Lord Chamberlain’s Men as an excellent troupe of players – the Smudgelets were particularly impressed with the three men who played “ladies”, a concept they’d never come across before except at the pantomime. And Smudgelet did have to go after the play and just check with one of the actors that it wasn’t a real head that was held up in a bag, dripping blood. (Alas poor cabbage, I knew him Smudgelet!). They were excited by the swordfighting, mesmerised by the sleepwalking, unnerved by the witches, delighted when they recognised parts of the play I’d read (or haltingly recited) to them during the day, and impressed when they suddenly realised just how Burnam Wood was going to relocate to Dunsinane. I don’t know which I enjoyed more, watching the play or watching the Smudgelets watch the play. We were disappointed on their behalf that the audience was far smaller than it should have been – maybe because of the bad weather this afternoon. I’m half tempted to book again for tomorrow night, just to make up the numbers (OK, so that’s an excuse. I just want to see it again).
Jack, I am at your disposal as a teller of synopses 🙂 We’d have taken you with us if we’d known you were currently Shakespeare-deprived. That must be the downside of living in London – you don’t get the culture we do 😀
Off to Yarmouth tomorrow to the Old Gaffers Festival (taking Dad and Uncle B as our own personal old gaffers 😀 )
OK, so the ironing isn’t completely done, but I did do one pile, and the lounge is definitely looking tidier (since the cleaner came in yesterday and vacuumed 😉 ) so I reckon I’m safe to blog again.
This is my fifteen minutes of peace while the Smudgelets have their inter-culture nap. Yesterday was part on. Tiddles’ birthday treat. Now those of you who know us may well realise that Tiddles’ birthday was actually in October – the day after mine, to be precise – but everyone knows that if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth waiting for. This was well worth waiting for as it was the perfect excuse to go abroad for a bit of culture. We went over to Southampton to see … wait for it… Starlight Express. 😀 It was fantastic. The boys loved it, as I expected, although I think it was all a bit much for Smudgelet. The 3D effects for the train races were impressive and the dance and music and skatiing stunts and costumes and special effects and .. and.. and… can you tell I was totally enthralled? Mind you, I have suddenly realised I’m getting old. The music was too loud and it was hard to tell what the singers were saying 😉
The timing couldn’t have been better as it meant we were over on the mainland already to meet my brother who’d driven down from Scotland to bring my Dad’s closest friend down to stay for a few days. He’s a lovely fellow, my honorary uncle, and the boys have taken to him immediately. It’s a delight to be able to take him around and show him the sights of the Isle of Wight… shame the weather isn’t more agreeable really. This morning, however, the sun shone enough to make it pleasant walking along Cowes seafront and watching the boats. Meanwhile Tiddles and I went to a funeral – his first experience of one. I felt it important for him to go as it was for his music teacher, a lovely man who died well before his time and who will be greatly missed. I also reckoned it would be good for him to know what a funeral is like and what to expect before he ever has to face the funeral of someone he especially loves. He was distressed, of course, but it was a fantastic funeral for him to have been at – a celebration of the life of this talented musician.
This evening I am sitting here looking at the rain and wondering just how wet we’re going to get. We’re off to an open-air performance at Osborne House of The Scottish Play. The boys are both mad keen on Shakespeare (how on earth did I manage that? Don’t question it, Smudgie, just rejoice in it!) and as long as I tell them the story in advance, they are mesmerised by the beauty (and occasional naughtiness) of the words and the excitement of the action. I think MacB will be a good one for them, as long as they can stay awake and don’t drown.
What a sophisticated lot we are 😉