Anyhoo, the play, which I studied at school (my old curriculum must be up again because if I can get tickets to a couple more shows I'll pretty much have all the plays I had to study but never, ever saw or even heard performed ticked off and done) and I finally, finally saw it performed on stage at last. It's still as brutal as I remember, but also much funnier and sly as well, and how on earth was I, a child, supposed to get, I mean really understand, the whole thing about the last doll, the way I do now (all things must end).
Anyway, I wouldn't say it was a fun night, the play is still, sixty years on, far too raw as the characters tear each other to pieces in the last act, to say it was fun. But I was so glad to see it. It finally made sense in ways laboured schoolroom readings just never did. I get it now. I really do, and I'm still mulling it over. Stays with you, it does, a good play.
And it is such a classic, everyone knew it when I mentioned having seen it, the taxi driver home, the fruit stall guy this morning. I think we all had to study it at school - grin.
They should have warned me about the violence done to the poor seventeenth doll in the last act, though. Ouch. Like I said, I used to collect 'em. It's like when I see any crockery I fancy hurled against the wall. Cringe.
And I managed to get home in time to find tea still warm in the oven and the late screening of Sherlock on telly. What fun. It was the Dancing Men one, which really should have been on last week, with Weng-Chiang, to really make for a silly week, but it's still so much fun. Here's hoping I can get home on time tonight as Dame Benedict Cumberbatch's (oh yes, Mark, that name is going to stick) dear old mum is in tonight's episode of Who.
It's a hair past a freckle right now. Seriously, I had to put my watch in for repairs and I keep convulsively clutching at my bare wrist. I know, a watch in this day and age. What can I say, I'm old and set in my ways. Still, nervous I'll ever see it again as I don't have much luck with watches. This one replaced one that was lost replacing one that was stolen replacing one that was returned replacing one that had the face shattered replacing one that just broke...
You get the idea. It's a sad, sorry lineage, my history of watch abuse. Still, I feel all squirmy and uncomfortable without it.
I'm having a day/week. I'm going to blame it on lack of sleep, as always. Man, what I wouldn't do just to be able to sleep. I can't do anything right and the snarls re my incompetence are not helping, just making me even more shaky and stupid. And so it goes.
I should be sleeping like a baby, 'cause the neighbours from hell (mark whatever, do Roman numerals even go that high?) appear to have moved out while we were at the theatre, darling, on Saturday. I thought it was just a weekend away (refusing to get my hopes up, so often dashed) but no, it's all dark and quiet over there, for real this time. So quiet. Creepy quiet.
You'd think I'd be relieved, breathing out at last, no more screams, shouts, shrieks, thumps, property damage, trespass, feral cats, personal injury (they'd hurl things, large, wounding things, over the fence at me while I was in the garden, hence the decided lack of gardening these last couple of years), but no, I'm just waiting for the next lot who are bound to be even worse, because I thought it couldn't get worse than the drug lab but I was very much in error there. At least the dreadlocked drug dudes kept to themselves, pretty much.
So, what should be the best week ever, I'm just sitting up at night, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Dreaful I know but I've been truly traumatised and damaged by really bad neighbours - the block was rezoned for towers and they've been shooting the worst of the worst at us ever since, but I'm stubborn and annoyed, and my ability to sleep has long since fled so moving isn't an option anymore anyway. Sigh.
There's an article in the Herald about getting sick of travel, and it happens to us all. I only mention it because I was just thinking of that very thing this morning.
For a while I've been contemplating a return trip to the US, but in the cold light of day, I'm not so sure. And it wasn't the food, or the security, or LAX, or getting in trouble every time I try to fill in a customs form after 14 hours crammed in economy with nothing but screaming babies and Adam Sandler films for company and I go and write down my birthday the way I always write it, as is right and proper, and completely forget, in my bedraggled and panda-eyed state, that I'm supposed to write it backwards in America.
And here we come to it. The whole Bizarro world that is America. I can get around Japan with only three words of Japanese just fine, I can even get around on trains by counting the stops, but America? No, sir.
It was the bath plug that finally did it. The hotel room I was staying in boasted a bathtub in ways British hotels never do these days (to my distress) and as I had blisters on my feet the size of parsnips I wanted to run a hot bath and throw in the handful of salt packets I'd swiped from the Burger King up the road (Yeah? Whatya gonna do? Transport me to Australia?). Slight problem in achieving my aim as the bath plug attached to the chain came up quite a few centimetres short of the plughole, which used to be precisely the sort of low bastardtry I'd expect in an English hotel. Hotel management suggested I invest in a bathplug, and I was agreeable as the old sink at home leaks something rotten so I figured I'd buy me one of them there old school imperial bath plugs and take it home and try it out.
Oh, so much easier said and done. Oh, the Americans, bless 'em, bless 'em, have to have a different word for every damn thing, and even a lifetime of American telly isn't enough to pass, I discovered, as, due to the American prudish aversion to ever having bathrooms on telly, I have no American bathroom vocabulary. The Brits? No probs, they fight, fuck and die in bathrooms. British TV cops will happily discuss their latest investigation while chasing the cake down the trough. But Americans? They never go to the bathroom. Televisual camels, one and all.
So I had to mime that I wanted a bath plug in the Not Woolies shop under the Empire State (of all places, CCT footage is probably still on the Xmas reel). Could the situation get any more John Cleese if I'd tried? No, I think not. Turns out I wanted something I think they called a tub stopper. Shrug. Whatevs.
And so I had my bath. But seriously, it's a moment I return to every time I think of travelling back there, like aversion therapy. Like, really, what are you going to have to mime this time? Is the airport security dude gonna buy me dinner first, or at least promise to call?
Oh well, 'two nations divided by a common language', as they say. So, is there a 'How To Speak Like An American' app? So handy, if there is. Bet it's for iPad only if there is, mutter, gripe (I wuv my Samsung).
It probably wouldn't stop me being deliberately provocative for fun though because they can get so damn aggressive when you try to speak the Queen's English as she is spoke, and I know I did take great delight in winding up that fearsomely awful barista in that Starbucks by constantly asking for biscuits and scones (pronounced correctly). Heh. I wonder if that's the same New York Starbucks that actually arrested someone for doing the same sometime later. If so, I'll take that as a win - snerkles.
Now if we could only do something about those voice recognition things they love so much.
Not to say I don't come a cropper in the UK but that's usually to do with opening hours, as in they have none. Even if you check the damn website, ring or write, the day you arrive in that town, the one day in all your days you will ever have for the viewing of their treasures, the flippin' museum will be closed for St. Swithin's Day day or some such nonsense. And they've never even heard of convenience stores. Apu on The Simpsons must be a complete mystery to them. Or maybe they think Apu is based on the guy in the corner store that only opens from noon to one on Tuesdays, closed for lunch. Harumph.
And don't even get me started on the whole 'this is a local store for local people' thing, which even applies when trying to book a flippin' train over the interwebs (you can't without a UK postcode). Rrraaaarrrgh.
Yep, I think a weekend spent on the couch is beckoning. I think even a bus ride would have me frothing over the inconvenience this week.
Hmmm, hungry, grumpy, sleep deprived and craving a weekend of dvds and chocolate. Oh, come on, you're a week early.
Oh, I take it all back. God Bless America.
Oh, dear Matty. I'd love to line up the folks on your show and slap them all with a wet fish, but you, my dear boy, there ain't nothin' wrong with you. Not at all.
PS. I had no idea the American anthem was based on an old English drinking song. Snort. Giggle. Tee and hee. (Well, it is hilarious when juxtaposed with po faced Republicans).
I know, I know, wtf 'girt by sea', glass houses, etc. Hey, at least you can sing our anthem to the tune of Gilligan's Island.
Friday: More on Lucky Charms. Since I mentioned them, Himself saw a convenience store down by the Quay selling American breakfast cereals (though I'm not sure they'd allowed to be called cereals under EU regulations) and he bought us a tub each, just we could try them. WTF, America. Children's pencil erasers are not a breakfast food. And what was with all the fish? Some sort of blatant Christian symbol to combat the flagrant paganism of the product? Anyway, omg, some things are better left to the theatre of the imagination. Yikes. Never again, not even for a dare.
It makes black pudding and kippers actually seem like sane breakfast options.
I remember the time I found black pudding on the menu for breakast once in Edinburgh and I decided to be brave. I remember that morning well, there was snow falling in the cobbled courtyard of the seriously ye olde pub I was staying in. So I decided to try the black pudding and decided, very quickly, that I wasn't a black pudding person. I think I ended up with coco pops instead. Yes, I'm pretty sure it was straight to the coco pops to counteract the black pudding flavours. Mainly, I just remember watching the snow fall (I can count on one hand the times I've seen snow fall, so it was a novelty to me).
But still, British B&B breakfasts. The reason why I now prefer my sausages carbonised, and why I won't go near scrambled eggs any more (oh, that B&B in Straford Upon Avon, I think I bought out the local Boots with remedies to counteract my dear host's cooking).
Still, the place I like to stay in London does a ripping porridge. Or oatmeal, as the Americans are wont to call it. I love watching their faces when I sprinkle salt on my porridge, as is right and proper. Even in New York and LA this attracts incredulous and horrified stares. If only I was still allowed to BYO vegemite (now a banned subtance in the UK and US). I love whipping that out and hearing the squeals. Heh.
Speaking of porridge, Himself now makes a mean porridge, using a recipe from the book my Scottish Aunt gave me, with a proper spurtle, hand hewn in Caithness. My heirloom spurtle, now dyed yellow by Himself after being deployed with saffron rice (grizzle). Oh, the time he was licking the spurtle in front of the kitchen window, then realised he had the light behind him and all the screening trees were all gone and so he probably shouldn't. Okay, so you had to be there. No licking of spurtles, not even in private.
Oh yes, the grumpy ain't being helped along at all this week as it's the second night this week I had tea after eleven, such was the being kept back at work, impossible commute home (they've scrapped my buses and trains so what was once an hour's commute now takes three to four hours of cross country shambles) and stuff do to. At least I got to slump down and watch most of True Blood. It is a silly, silly supernatural soap but since Barnabas Collins is my only other early childhood memory (aside from Daleks, Cybermen and the Doctor) I figure I'm pre-programed to wallow in it, and wallow I did, especially as I was exhausted and frazzled and now clinically psychotic with sleep deprivation, a situation helped along by the road works banging, crashing, whalloping, grinding, rumbling and beeping outside my window all night. They knocked off and reopened the road just in time for my first bus again. Yay.
PM update. Argh, my boss. She catches me reading a paper at my desk and goes in for the kill, never mind that it's my lunchbreak, and raining, so I couldn't skip across to the park for a bit of peace and quiet. Did I mention that I really, really don't like her?
She always assumes I'm doing the wrong thing, every time, and, yes I know it means that's what she's like and reflects badly on her, but I've still had my poor nerves shredded even more. Gawd, it's like my dead mother assuming everything that came out of my mouth was a lie, just because she was a compulsive liar, when actually she caused me so much misery I am a OCD truth teller.
Harumph. Can this day be over yet?
Also, no cool Who to look forward to tonight. At least, nothing so cool as to warrant pvr setting. Caught the end of Image of the Fendahl, with Dame Benedict Cumberbatch's mum (yes, that name is sticking, I can just see him producing the correct inflection on the line 'a handbag?') gadding about in her best Lady GaGa ensemble. A yet another Doctor Who monster in questionable taste (it's like the St George dragon and the Telstra sock had an illicit affair, scowls the Peanut Gallery), not to mention the jolly lab coat guy who escaped. He cracked me up.
Sunday: So here we are, an actual sunny sunday, and I'm out here on the back porch, where there is actual interwebs connectivity (yays) and enjoying myself, well, until that spider crept along. He ain't so incy or wincy.
Anyhoo, didn't get my lie in yesterday as the Granny Smith day beckoned. Himself said he'd make a decision about going or not re iffy weather at 8:30 am. This meant I staggered out in trackie daks and a t-shirt a few washes shy of cleaning rags at the appointed time to find him in suit, hat, keys in hand, by the door. Passive aggressive much?
So off I went, dragging shopping trolly. I did pick up a large rose, much admired, and, oh dear, I killed a kid's balloon with it. The look on the wee fellow's face, oh dear. I couldn't help it, he brandished his balloon sword at my rose, my rose proved to be no pushover, kid left just with a balloon pomel. I exited, stage left, in case he had one of those parents.
We had prawn quesadillas, made by some lovely Vietnamese folks who helped rearrange our shopping as we had to balance food, drink and balloon killing roses as we ate. They were yummy quesadillas. Very yummy.
Got to the park and I managed to plop down in a patch of bindi-eye that I saw but figured would be benign and not ripe yet. Wrong. so wrong. Damn you, global warming. What once was a Summer threat now wreaks its vengeance in late Spring. I'd forgotten, over the decades, that they're not just sharp, they sting. I suffered all afternoon. Stupid, stupid.
I like Granny Smith day. About the only harvest festival that venerates a fertile crone.
So, big day out, brought back some plants and baked goods. Was knackered so I didn't do ANY of the typing I'd hoped to but there's still time after I get my rose in, I guess.
Now I'm done and it's morning tea time after I get the last load on the line. Laters.
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