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Living it up in London

Hanging my head in shame at the long silence. We’ve been busy but that is no excuse as my headmistress would have said, ‘It is just a case of being organised”. Organised I obviously am not, but we have been happily busy and I am sticking to that as an excuse.explanation.

We went down to London last week, John on the Wednesday as he had a rather nostalgic and fun cricket club reunion dinner at Lords to attend. I joined him on Friday evening, when as far as I was concerned the family/friends/fun began. On the Friday evening we went to see for the second time – last time in Scarborough – Alan Ayckbourn’s latest play, Neighbourhood Watch, in which Frances Grey, a Douglas’s Barn guest, was unrecognisable playing – most convincingly – the part of Amy , the seductress wife of the hapless Gareth. Then on Saturday afternoon seven of us trooped off to the Aldwych to see Tom Chambers (again) in Top Hat. Having toured the provinces for six months this is their London premiere. The theatre was packed and the audience wonderfully appreciative – as far as one could see the production was faultless.

My only problem was the person on my left sang her way through every piece, quite loud and more than quite out of tune. Pointed looks from several of us did nothing to dim her enthusiasm so we just had to try to not let it bother us too much.

The dancing is terrific, so slick, and all the dancers manage to look as if they were really enjoying it; Tom was saying they really do when the audience is responsive. How they all but Tom in particular, manage to sing and dance non stop without ever faltering is most impressive. When we saw Tom at the stage door afterwards he looked as fresh as if he had just woken up from a thoroughly refreshing nap! And he had to go through it all again that evening.

Drinks at a friend’s house afterwards and an Indian meal for us all, then brunch with another friend the next door and we felt thoroughly relaxed. Then reality struck and the bubble was burst. A text from Janet let us know that the power had gone off in Parwich. Having just had a 15-hour cut only a few weeks ago, we assumed this one couldn’t possibly rival that, but…it did. We got back at 7ish to find Parwich plunged in darkness and the house pretty cold. Our Tom’s Barn guests were pretty cheery because of course they had the log burner and they had arranged to have dinner at a pub, but the Douglas’s Barn guests were very glad to huddle up with us in our house, all in our anoraks, and valiantly consume pizza and red wine to combat the cold. In fact so jolly it was that when the lights came on at about 10ish everything looked so bright and garish we promptly turned them off again and reverted thankfully to candlelight.
These days we are all so dependent on electricity, it is very salutary every so often to have to cope without emails, (digital) phones not to mention lighting and heating. computers, kettles and toasters. But not for ever.

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