It was a terrible Monday, really dire and quite nasty, so when I bottled down the road to the Quay I was actually quite relieved to fling myself into CityExtra. The Peanut Gallery refers to 'slumming it at CityExtra' and it is indeed just a chain restaurant, but it's been there since I was a teenager, it's been there for celebratory cocktails in my yoof, wicked not gone to bed yet breakfasts, miserable very bad day breakfasts and dinners, before theatre dinners, lunch with mates (when I had them). So for me, the pleasing patina of the past, and a menu and decor that hasn't changed in three decades, makes it comfy. And I needed comfy.
So I had the crepe and the crumble (I know, but it's been black tea and hot water the rest of the week) and just two glasses of actually quite drinkable wine, and, oh my, that last glass hit me, and hit me good. Which was the idea, because I was still all tightly clenched after just one glass, but, still, not even an additional cappuccino could give me my sea legs back, but I figured it was all homage to Mr Thomas, to whom I'd raised a glass in tribute at the White Horse Tavern, at least, that's my story, re the wobbly pilgrimage.
And besides, I really was both tired and emotional, which was probably why, when Living Legend Jack Thompson bestrode the stage and began reading, a tear trickled down my cheek. Dear Jack, so familiar, so admired, finally, at last, seeing him there, reading those beautiful, wonderful words like he'd been born to it. I was moved. Sometimes I need something beautiful to remove the ugliness of everyday life.
Of course, the play is nothing but beauty and the ugliness of everyday life. And it is such a stunningly accurate snapshot. Just the description of the night rolling in at the beginning reminded me so much of Wick, another coastal village, and though it's a far whack north of Wales, the tropes were amusingly accurate (and Hamish Macbeth, BallyK, all follow along in Under Milk Wood's footsteps). Such a sly serve on small town intrigues, so pinpricklingly spot on.
The staging was, rare for theatre here, a treat. Yes, we start with a bare black stage as always (sigh) but we had Captain Cat (played by Living Legend Bruce Spence - two living legends for the price of one!) rolling back and forth in a dream tossed recliner chair, and then we had windows out onto the town as backdrop, and the near Busby Berkeley-esque stumping town gossips with their trollies was a laugh out loud joy to behold.
I really, really enjoyed it. Do go and see it, if you can. What a pity the STC doesn't do more live feeds to an international and regional audience.
So I was all happy and cheered up. I wandered back through Vivid, under the giant dancers rolling all over the sails of the Opera House, past the giant glow fish that had cycled past us the week before, in a truly mind boggling moment, past the whirling projections on the MCA, and the crazy cartoon New York scenes projected up onto Customs House. I just loved watching it rain, and the little cars whizzing along the balcony. It's the sort of stuff I've always dug (one of my favourite books as a child was a book about New York in cartoon form. I borrowed it again and again and again from the library and read it to myself - my parents never read to me, or remembered my name, most days). So I stayed and watched it for a bit and loved it, before I checked my watch and knew I had to be home before the door was locked (yes, still operating on that rather draconian system, but it was good training for British B&Bs).
That was Monday. Um. Yeah. Grimm was on telly on Wednesday. That's pretty much it. Another one of those weeks. I kind of got the sense of it, the way my bus was fifteen minutes early when I was only four minutes late on Monday, and I had to wait in the freezing cold another hour and a half for the next one, then a pigeon pooped on my beloved blue coat, which fortunately proved to be spongeable (thank you, M&S).
That sort of week. At least the stolen tickets will be replaced (so I am promised), the IT situation is still not resolved to my satisfaction, satisfaction being measured by everything working as advertised and expected in 2012, fie on your mid 90s dialup speeds and your PC that sounds like a 50s era old truck when I try to start it up. It's a wonder the neighbours haven't complained about the lawnmower-like noise every time I try to turn it on. I deeply suspect I'll not be having to deal with this problem PC for long. I'm already stroking others in stores, but it'll be at least a year before I can afford to buy another, dammit. Sigh. Mutter. Gripe. Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
Under Milk Wood
Life proves a cabaret as Team Amanda receives a giant kick-start to career
A man who won't forget Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury dies at 91; author lifted fantasy to literary heights
The Most Beautiful Covers of Fahrenheit 451
Mary Rose sailors ate diet of salt beef and biscuits, bone analysis shows
'Band of Brothers' honored on D-Day anniversary
A second shot at marshal law
Lost art comes back to haunt us
IGN interview with Steven Moffat
All-glass viewing platforms planned for Space Needle
Transit of Venus
Hot spot: all eyes on small black dot for transit of Venus
MIT students' invention turns bananas into keyboard
London reflected in puddles and wet pavements: photos by Gavin Hammond
London and the Thames: in pictures
Old people don't smell so bad, study finds
'Our house, in the middle of One's street': Madness transform Buckingham Palace into terraced housing with amazing light show
One hug a grieving father cannot forget
Autism signs in fish 'astonishing'
Everything’s Bigger About Texas
Alexander Skarsgard: Calvin Klein Fragrance's New Face?
Alexander Skarsgard: Stanley Cup with Ellen Page!
Hammer of Thor! Why The Avengers belong to Joss
Heroic rainbow rebirth for gay Green Lantern
Why the tale of Achilles and his lover still has the power to move us
Neil Patrick Harris talks fatherhood with Oprah, teases Tonys
New 'Hannibal' Is Mads Mikkelsen
Is Paramount redeploys 'GI Joe 2' to next spring, is summer the only place for tentpoles?
Channing Tatum: 'Rooney Mara terrifies me'
Channing Tatum Strips to “It’s Raining Men” in New Clip from MAGIC MIKE
'Magic Mike' hunks Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello trade props
'White Collar' Season 4 Promo Reveals Neal's Whereabouts: 'Welcome to Paradise' (Video)
White Collar Exclusive: Get Your First Look at Season 4!
Matt Bomer Blows Up His White Collar Season 4 Promo
'White Collar' season four trailer released
Magic Mike Poster Revealed! Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer Send Us to Shirtless Stripper Heaven
Channing Tatum’s Sexy New ‘Magic Mike’ Clip: More Stripping, More Humping! (VIDEO)
'Magic Mike' Trailer: More Male Stripping, Less Romance (VIDEO)
WATCH: Channing Tatum and Magic Mike Cast Strip to 'It's Raining Men'
White Collar - All new season, July 10th
Exclusive: White Collar Nabs Castle Alum Victor Webster
'White Collar' Season 4 promos: Neal and Mozzie in paradise -- VIDEO
Matt Bomer & Jessica Pare - CFDA Fashion Awards 2012
'White Collar': Matt Bomer hits the pool in new promo video
Matt Bomer: My White Collar Cast Mates Make Fun of Me for Magic Mike
Matt Bomer at CFDA Awards 2012
Shopping Snapshots: June 7
Neal's Paradise, Peter Gone Rogue on 'White Collar'
First Look: White Collar's Neal Woos Mía Maestro
Hot Video: White Collar's Neal Soaks Up the Sun
53 High Res Images from MAGIC MIKE Starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello
'White Collar' First Look: Neal's a Wanted Man (Photos)
White Collar First Look Photos: Will Neal and Mozzie Find Trouble in Paradise?
New Magic Mike UK Poster