And it was a lovely day out, which I wasn't expecting, only being able to get tickets to the screening in my dreary home town, as it was. We arrived with hours and hours and hours to spare, forgetting that we we weren't commuting twixt cities, for once, and so we had brunch. It wasn't that bad, either. The cafe had seen better days, with crumbling concrete and kicked in doors (it must have been another typical Friday night in the old town), but the food was better than I dared hope, and, indeed, better than I've had in a cafe for brunch for a long, long while, so appearances aren't everything.
Ignored the big shopping mall to wander down the main street, which featured, and you could have knocked me down and served me whisky, get this, a brass band, ladies practising with big fans in the park (usually a nature reserve for drunks and drug dealers), a farmer's market and ...an ice skating rink! Okay, what have they done to my home town?!
I'll tell you this much, as a deterrent to the bad element in parks, you can't do better than a brass band of middling proficiency, because I saw many a cove wander up and wander off again. Maybe that's why they always had brass bands in parks back in the day. And anyway, they weren't that bad. They played such a dark, bleak, slash your wrists version of Summertime that I was quite in love with them. 'Summertime, and the living is empty, empty, so empty', whimpered the Peanut Gallery, rocking back and forth with dead eyes. Heh.
We found another two cafes that looked very appealing, snuggled up in one that was such a snook that the PG started to doze off. The tea was abysmal, I have to say, but I'd suffer that for such a cafe in the city if I could curl up in a corner seat and scribble away in my lunch break.
There was also a record shop, curated more to the prog rock side of things, but that's okay because that meant the stuff I was interested in was for cheap. Alas, my vinyl attempt at the old C-Decoy, that is, trying to hide a daggy purchase in between purchases that are somewhat cooler was for nowt as the beardy record shop guy (and they are a type, aren't they, this shop is straight out of a Nick Hornby book) totted up my purchases with a yep, yep, yep, REALLY???!!!, holding up the offending disk. So much for trying to get away with it without comment. Not a chance, gloats Record Shop Guy, delighted that my pink cheeks of shame have made his morning.
No, I'm not telling you what it was, but it wasn't The Beatles, The Jam or The Cure that caught his ire. Oh no. And yeah, there was a sold off collection in there and so I was buying it up, all the stuff I was never allowed to have. Including THAT. Don't care. Got what I wanted for my 15th birthday at last. Bitch.
There was also a crazy second hand clothes shop that seemed to be curated from the Mighty Boosh side of things (you've bought the album, now dress like Brian Eno). What a hoot, but sadly too small for me, heffalump that I am.
Toddled down throgh the markets, via the dvd shop, which didn't have what I went in for but I seem to have fallen prey to the bargain bin as always (more shame).
Now clanking with goods, we rambled down to the theatre, oh, we popped into the mini museum across the road to fill in more time first. A bit sad, but some familiar pieces of emphemera brought a smile to my face.
So, to the theatre, not over crowded with some private function, so I figured we could actually stop in the seats they had about the place, but they opened the doors early for once. Oh those seats. Horrid little plastic institutional seats. But the crowd is always more interesting than in the city, including Mr Grahame Bond sitting in the row behind us (which is just about as interesting as it's ever likely to get). For those of you wondering who Mr Bond is, here he is, in all his 70s glory. Yes, the one in the dress.
So that was kind of cool, for those of us, me, who get a bit of a flutter when someone from tv doth pass us by. It was also fun to hear him hoot during all the really funny bits. Dear Mr Corden gets the thumbs up from a leading comedian here, which is no bad thing.
The play was no bad thing either. Total farce from start to finish, not as brilliant as seeing it live (so very glad I went, and the NY version was different, slightly, but it'd be different every night) but oh so good. It's so funny, especially as I was brought up on that style of British comedy. Not the grim cheerless kitchen sinkers they do these days, but the old 50s-70s stuff, all chasing girls and getting smacked in the face by a two by four. It's not sophisticated but it's damn funny and there's a part nostalgic glee, part I never grew up, that just wants to hug the stuffing out of this piece.
And James is fantastic as both hapless fool and ruthless protagonist, playing both roles with gusto, the scene where he beats himself up a particular favourite. Oh, and the serving of the two lunches, what a hoot. It ain't flash but it works, and there's nothing to be ashamed of in a good laugh. I wonder if we'll see a return to old school Carry On farce?
Anyways, apres theatre it was on to our now traditional hot chocolates, at the Spanish place again, this time. It always smells too strongly of urine but I'm such a sucker for a Spanish hot chocolate (mousse in a cup) that I'll put up with just about anything, including all the Japanese schoolgirls and tattooed gangsters (the two main client groups, go figure).
Lavishly took a taxi home and was back in time for tea and Hustle on the telly. A grand day out.
Sunday was sunny so it was hard labour from dawn to dusk, including re-stringing the clothesline again with proper ply wire. The nasty neighbours kept cutting it so I gave up fixing it, but I had a backlog of sheets and towels so it had to be done. Cut myself to actual ribbons attempting it (I am more bandaid than flesh this morning) but at least the birds were impressed. No, really, I went inside to make a cup of tea and admire my very shoddy jerry rigging (I'd lost the proper clips so I had to tie it up with old wire) and all the local birds came down before I'd barely finished to bounce up and down on it and try it out. I hadn't realised the loss of all those lines had been crimping their style as well as mine.
So, encouraged that the new line was rated for at least two magpies and a dozen or so noisey miners bouncing up and down on it, I hung out the sheets, and it held. For now.
Did get some typing done after dusk, not much, especially as the poor mitts are all bandaged up, but I tried. And then I found White Collar on telly. Still series two, but beggars can't be choosers. Also tippy typed through Cambridge Spies (which seems to be a far more complete version than I ever saw on the ABC) and True Blood and even a bit of Wallander.
So, that was the weekend.
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