It’s been an odd sort of weekend. I only managed to update the blog yesterday by scheduling a post – isn’t technology magical?
And why did I need to schedule? Because I was away! I have been staying with the lovely Vin, in her enormous (no exaggeration) house in the East Anglian countryside. It’s her birthday tomorrow and so she invited me to come up and go to the theatre with a few other uni mates.
I had prebooked train tickets – if you are going any distance I would always recommend this. I managed to get them at £6.60 each way. Bargain. Getting up at 7am, I packed a bag, picked a nice dress and hopped on the bus. Of course, I got to Liverpool Street far too early, so killed time in the shops. Chocolate and New Scientist saw me through until my connecting train.
Eventually, I got up to East Anglia. I waited at the station for Vin, but she and the boys were late in coming – we had intended to take the train to Norwich, but ended up having to drive. We only got to the Theatre Royal 5mins late, so didn’t miss too much.
We were in to see Sheridan’s “The Rivals“, starring Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles, and directed by the very talented Peter Hall (of the RSC). It’s a bit of a farce, with plenty of dramatic irony and lots of confusion and hilarity. Vin originally described it to me as a “Victorian romcom” (well, it’s set in 1775 so a bit older than Victorian, but you get the idea), and yes: it ends up with everyone getting happily married, but it’s a very complicated journey to get to that point.
The costumes were beautiful, the comic timing was spot on – Lydia Languish did slow the pace a bit, but it looks a very tricky part to time well. Jack Absolute was GORGEOUS, as was the servant girl Lucy. We saw it on its final day in Norwich, but if it does come to the West End (which I hope it does) do try to catch it, because it is a very light hearted and enjoyable watch. Oh, and malapropisms are wonderful things. I will forever try to be the pineapple of politeness.
After the play, we headed back towards Vin’s going via a curry house. As I mentioned in a previous post, Vin is on a bizarre diet which means she isn’t eating like a normal person. Her mum is on the same diet. So is our old uni mate Ben (who lives with them). So that left me, uni mate Luke and family friend Kumba to stuff ourselves with curry. Ace. I picked a wimpish but delicious chicken passanda, sided with saag aloo and poppadoms.
I didn’t know what to expect with Vin’s house. I have never been before. I have not even seen photos.
Well, it is huge. It is GORGEOUS. She has a library, for christsakes. And yes, it has a SECRET DOOR BEHIND A BOOKCASE.
It also has two resident Newfoundland puppies, Thor and Jester. At only 16 weeks old and already the size of small bears, they are a bit of a handful (and are still going through the nippy bitey stage, which would be cute if they weren’t so HUGE) but they are adorable and dopey.
Anyhow, after curry, we retreated to the living room to sit in front of the fire and play Articulate. Not even fuelled by booze, we got incredibly competitive. I teamed with Ben and Luke, whilst Vin was with her mum and Kumba. I would like to state (for the record) that our team won, because THAT IS HOW WE ROLL.
The dogs got a bit tetchy after a while, so we put them to bed and hung out in Ben’s room for a while (well, Ben and Luke mostly sat on each other. Vin poured water on them, but I think that was unwise. I sat in the vibrating LazyBoy instead). Around midnight, enough was enough for me – I retreated to my room (one of SIX bedrooms), read a bit and went to sleep.
The following morning, at about 6am, I needed a quick trip to the littlest room (except in Vin’s house, they too are huge and there are four of them). I got a bit lost and walked into Luke’s room by mistake. I tried another door: more success this time.
The house was pretty much awake by 10am, so we had a bit of breakfast (those of us who eat, anyhow), and then Vin and I went to take the doggies for a walk. The hilarious thing is, despite them being the size of small ponies, they refuse to get into the car boot by themselves, so Vin had to lift them in bodily. And take them out on the other side.
When we got back, there was enough time for some bread and cheese, and then I had to catch my coach to Colchester and connecting train back to London. And now I’m here! Phew.
I’ll be back there soon. If just to sneak in to the secret library.