Sunday, 18 May 2008

Speech Day

Saturday was Speech Day at No1 daughter's school.
She was very nervous but excited about her Prize for Creative Writing and insisted we got there early. The town was full of beautiful cars and smartly dressed people.
The Marquee was fabulous, as always, and the choir and speeches were truly impressive. We had to forgo a harp recital from my daughter's old harp teacher though, as she'd been asked elsewhere.
Daughter No2 was interested because she also wants to go to the school. Although she fidgeted and yawned a lot, she thought it was all rather nice, if not boring when the actual prizes were given out. I meant to tell Darling Husband to pace himself on the clapping, one should never clap heartily because stamina is needed to retain any feeling in the tarsals, but fortunately he's very tough.

Daughter No3 was intrigued by the whole thing. Why did some chairs have pink cushions? "I want to sit on a chair with pink cushions!"
"No Darling, those are for the Head and her speakers"
"That's not fair! Why do speakers need cushions? our speakers sit on the side in the kitchen!"
She enjoyed standing on Darling Husband's lap and waving frantically at her big sister while grinning and giggling.
Big sister tried very hard to ignore the elevated scampster, and fortunately there were two very badly behaved boys further back who managed to annoy people far more and save us from being forcibly removed during the proceedings. I only had to take her to the loo once, so all in all I considered the morning very successful.

Canapes, wine and fruit juice were offered after the Ceremonies. Darling Husband was in a terrible hurry to get back to his cattle, but once he had a glass a of wine planted in his hand by a long standing friend, he became quite amiable and time suddenly seemed so terribly unimportant.
Daughter No3, who will normally not eat anything except Jaffa Cakes, tucked into the sausage rolls in an almost industrial manner.
I noticed a female hovering expectantly, waiting for an opportune moment to join the conversation (about Tractors) that Darling Husband and his friend were having. I quickly stuck my head in the middle of the mechanical conversation and said quietly, "I suggest you move immediately if not sooner, because you are imminently to be joined by Mrs (nameless)." I swear the two of them should enter the next Olympics, their reactions were lightening fast and we were out of there.

In the afternoon I indulged myself in some TV..The Importance of Being Earnest was on. Myself and three girls snuggled up on our enormous sofa and laughed at the most brilliant Oscar Wilde Play ever.

Our evening was then another extreme dimension altogether.
We were going to the Theatre with friends...perfectly civilised you may think, but we were going to Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre...a bit of a culture shock after our formal morning.
Ebbw Vale has the most beautiful stark landscape surrounding it, the wastelands of the steel years. The sky was black and threatening a storm and the sun was just going down, it was a very dramatic scene.
We waited in line outside the 'theatre' while the actors warmed up.
It was bloody freezing and we were sorely tempted to go and join them, but we weren't allowed in until they'd finished.
We were going to see "Blackwatch".
No-one was allowed in or out while the performance was going on and we were reminded over the tannoy, to use the toilet before the performance started.
The toilets were scary. Once I had scaled three flights of stairs, and gone through two doors and along a corridor I discovered there was one ladies toilet. Presumably most people gave up long before they got there, so there was really only need for the one. It had a huge dent in the wall and a little graffiti. The taps were reluctant to work and the hand towels were very strange.
I worried I would never see Darling Husband again if I couldn't remember the maze of old fire doors and twisty steps.

The play itself was the hardest play I've ever had to watch. I felt uncomfortable, like I shouldn't be privy to much of the content. It was the most brilliant piece of theatre. There was much bad language, violence and vulgarity, but all put into the context of a regiment and they're experience of Iraq, it worked without question. I sincerely advise anyone to see it, but it's gritty stuff.

After the play we were all exhausted emotionally and none of us wanted to finish the evening on such a sombre note, so we adjourned to an Indian restaurant and ate far more spicy food than can be safe or legal.
The restaurant has been refurbished beautifully, not one dodgy print on the wall, no flock wallpaper and the menu was all spelled correctly, it was almost a let down.
Our friend ordered the set meal for four, my husband ordered the same.

The waiter was obviously having trouble, he managed to stamp on Darling Husbands foot each time he approached the table.

We have yet to go out with our friends and not have something daft happen.

Darling Husband has found a stone in his food, he's been served what looked like road kill and declared to the waiter that it's the best meal he'd ever had in that place (with a straight face, and able to ignore the rest of us crying with laughter), he's had to march into the kitchen demanding to know where our vegetables are, and even had mint sauce served with his pudding.
But best of all, and it must be because he's so gorgeous, he's been kissed on the top of his head by a waitress!