RSC Richard II

I had two reasons for my trip to London. One I’ll talk about next week, because I don’t want to be too wedding-heavy this week.

So the other reason was sort-of theatre trip. I don’t know if you’ve discovered this, but some theatres have this frankly fantastic scheme whereby performances are filmed and screened live to selected cinemas. For a fraction of the price of a theatre-ticket. I’ve seen several plays this way: The Audience, with Helen Mirren; The Taming of the Shrew; and an all-male production of Twelfth Night with Stephen Fry.

And now I add to that list the RSC’s Richard II, starring David Tennant as the King. And his wig. A good wig, that.

Now, I may not have read many of Shakespeare’s plays, but I’ve seen my share over my few years on this earth. And apart from Macbeth, which was quite honestly studied into submission, I’ve enjoyed them all. There is one version of Macbeth I like. (Well, two, if you include that reference to it in the very first episode of Blackadder.)

While I was growing up, my dad introduced us to comedy programmes from the ’60s and ’70s. There’s one episode of I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again where they take on Shakespeare, and Macbeth. It’s my favourite version of the play. But they make the point that Shakespeare’s plays are full of jokes.

It’s only now that I’ve grown up that I hear and understand the jokes.

Basically, the most important thing to take from this is: If you get the chance to see this production of Richard II, seize it with both hands. I don’t think there’s anything I can say to praise it highly enough. It is brilliant. Go. See it.

The Conversion of the Unbeliever

But not on the way to persecute the believers.

Instead, I’m on my way to London for the day (and night).

I’ve never really thought that I needed or wanted a phone with internet. I have a laptop and I sometimes like being out of range. Makes me feel less dependent.

Except this means that, while this post counts for yesterday (I know, I forgot…), I’m not going to be able to post for today. Because my phone doesn’t have internet on it. Either that or a little netbook/tablet thing. You can tell: I’m a techno-geek, honest.

But I don’t have one of these exciting things which would allow me to work on the go (and no, I’m not lugging my laptop to London just for one night). So there we go. That and I really don’t like touchscreens.

With this Ring…

I thee wed? I rule the world? I hide it away and wait for it to duplicate and make me lots more gold?

Guess which I’m after…

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There’s this look that people have in jewellery shops when my partner and I ask about wedding rings. It’s a nice blend of confusion, doubt and “you’re just trying to be difficult, aren’t you?”. We know it quite well, even with our preliminary investigations into wedding rings.

You see, in his infinite wisdom (and knowing my taste in gold) Mark found for me a beautiful engagement ring with a rose gold band. Vintage Art Deco. Not my favourite period, but I’m not sure that I coud’ve found a better ring. Sapphire, diamonds and rose gold. Both our birth stones and my favourite colour gold. In 18ct rose gold.

Most places don’t even do 9ct rose gold, let alone 18ct. Although, I’ll have fun when we do find one. Because then my inner geek will come out to play. Because my wedding ring will be the (almost original) One Ring.

I might have mentioned my minor obsession with all things Völsunga. The story which both Wagner and Tolkien used, with a Ring which everyone wants and fights over. A Ring which, if left alone, perhaps guarded over by a dragon, will duplicate every nine days. Made of red Rhine gold.

Yes, one of my first thoughts on being presented with a rose gold engagement ring was “My wedding ring’s going to be the One Ring!!!” (Obviously, the very first thought was “Yes!”)

Dear Diary, Today I…

Before I begin, I’d like to say, I’m trying not to whine or complain or bitch or anything negative in that sense. This is merely a musing which occurred to me this evening as I try to reach today’s target of words, plus extra to make up for really not reaching my target on Thursday. Due to the procrastinating.

It occurs to me that this daily blog-thing feels something like a diary. Only not. Because my diaries are frankly boring (I live a quite pedestrian sort of life), and I’m not about to start sharing my most private thoughts and feelings. Hell, I won’t let my partner read my diaries! Not about to share them with the world.

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Only, with a diary, if I miss a day, I can catch up the next day, or whenever I have a moment to sit down and write in it. With this, because I made a commitment to write a daily blog-post, I can’t do that. Because then I’d get lazy about it, and I’d start skipping days left right and centre. And I can barely manage to write one a day, let alone two or more!

Don’t get me wrong, I quite like having to force my brain to be creative every day and think of new things to write about, even if I don’t have photos for all of them, but darn do I leave it late! Mind you, writing late at night is when I tend to be the most productive. At least, it was when I was writing essays.

I’d sit and grumble at the time-gremlins, but I doubt that’s such a good idea. Which reminds me: must leave some milk for the writing-brownies…

To Relax :-)

Ah! The end of the week. A moment to rest and relax.

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And what better way than with a good hot chocolate topped with ice cream? I’d say when eaten with cookies, but the only ones I’ve made this week have been peanut butter ones, and I’m not a huge fan of peanuts…(the things one does for one’s partner!) I’ll let you have the recipe when I’ve adjusted it for non-peanut eaters…

I don’t often drink hot chocolate. I don’t normally like drinking milk (call it an eccentricity) but sometimes I indulge myself. I prefer to use cream (double, if possible) but that’s not a fridge essential. 

How do you relax at the end of the week?

(This is only so short because I’m behind in my NaNoWriMo word target for this week…)

The Pursuit of Love

It occurs to me that of all the things I’ve talked about, I seem to be missing the literary influences.

Lots is written about love; what it is, and what it isn’t. Romantic novels and love-stories are dismissed as ‘chick-lit’, not serious literature. Which I think is something of a shame. Because while quite a lot probably are light-hearted bits of fluff, there’s a lot more that isn’t. And they get missed because they’re ‘just’ romances. And yet, that’s what most of us are looking for: someone to love, and who loves us.

The first love-story I heard, I heard many, many times. It was an audio-book of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. I didn’t read it until I was in my teens, but by then, I knew it pretty much off by heart, and the voices of the characters were those the reader had given them.

The Pursuit of Love isn’t really a traditional sort of romantic novel, but it is, most definitely, a story about love. As the title suggests. But it has a bitter-sweet ending, unlike most romances. Even Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate and the story of Fanny, the narrator of both, manage happy-ish endings.

It is, quite possibly, my favourite book of all time. It speaks to me of my childhood. Of many happy hours curled up by a heater, listening as Linda Radlett’s life and great love unfold. Of the dreams of glamour, of an overwhelming, all-consuming love-affair, of finding happiness.

Sometimes we dream so much about chasing the elusive thunder-bolt variety of love that we miss the enduring variety of love. Chasing the exciting, we become like the Bolter, flitting from one to another to satisfy the belief that love must always be electric. But even an eco-friendly light-bulb reaches a steady level of output after enough time.

Love has many forms. And from all I’ve heard, love in relationships requires patience, good humour, and hard work. Sometimes it’s not easy, but love is always worth it.