Wednesday, January 14, 2009

good things come in fours

Current work: Norway book and nonfic
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: Next on TBR pile

Yes, I know that things are meant to come in threes, but I’m greedy. Yesterday was a super, super day. So, in order of event…

Good thing number one: WE HAVE A FLOOR!

That deserves caps and a screamer. For five and a half months, I’ve been living in a mess. It’s not quite finished (awaiting some work on the units), but the floor is the bit that really drove me bananas. So, hip hip hooray, my kitchen is back to (almost) normal. It’s so wonderful having a proper floor again, rather than scavelled concrete.

Good thing number two: amid ordering books (not for me… well, not originally for me, but I got distracted), I discovered something very exciting: the cover of my new nonfic. (Actually, it’s the draft cover, as the title is now A Norfolk Miscellany. But this is the gist of it.)

Am so pleased that they’ve decided to use my pic of Thurne Mill. I feel vindicated now for dragging DH out there twice! The first time, the light was wrong, so the picture wouldn’t have worked. The second time, it was misty all the way there and I was all for calling it off and going back another time. DH said we were close enough to take a look, and luckily by the time we got there the mist had vanished.

This is the flat part of Norfolk. The salt marshes and Broadlands to the east and the Fens in the far north-west are probably what made Noel Coward come out with his dismissive comment, ‘Very flat, Norfolk.’ Snooty man. And uninformed. Actually, the county has quite a varied geography. The middle bit is all soft dips and hills, and the Cromer-Holt ridge (where the glaciers stopped on their movement south, during the last Ice Age) is definitely not flat. Not to mention eight different soil types, which means lots of rare fauna and flora coexisting. (Oops. The research is showing.)

Good thing number three: my work-life balance is indeed in balance. During my lunch break yesterday [notice, I used the B-word], I happened to check the local theatre’s programme on the internet. Result: we have two treats arranged.

I really enjoy going to the cinema, but the theatre is where my heart lies. I know it’s a bit expensive, but the kids are old enough now to appreciate it, so I don’t mind paying. (And DH can’t argue that I’m wrecking the household budget, because this is my treat. I might be short, round and scruffy, but I’m not stupid. A bit on the profligate side, maybe, but as I work hard I think treats are allowable.)

Son has been asking to see Shakespeare, but I need to pick the performance carefully so his first Shakespeare will be a good experience. Twelfth Night, Much Ado and Macbeth are probably the most accessible, and I think it needs to be a conventional performance rather than an experimental one. Years ago, I took DH to see Troilus and Cressida (a bad choice of play, for starters), set in the 1930s (a selfconsciously clever production), and it put him off to the extent that he refused to come with me to see Derek Jacobi in Macbeth – such a shame, because he would’ve really enjoyed the Jacobi production. (Not to mention Robert Lindsay in Richard III. Talk about stage presence. He had the entire audience eating out of his hand.)

So, until the right production comes along, for the moment I’m sticking with musicals. We’re going to see Joseph in the Easter hols (daughter was so excited when I told her), and in August we’ll see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (with a cast and crew of 100, including 10 dogs – how can you resist that?). I am SO looking forward to this, as are the kids. I used to really love going to the theatre with my mum – Dad was never into the theatre, but she indulged me so we’d get tickets to Wednesday matinees in the school holidays, or maybe to an evening performance in term time if it was something special. (Nigel Havers and Judi Dench in The Importance of Being Earnest – now that was special.) It’s wonderful to be able to share a joy like this with my own children; and DH, despite his grumpy male exterior, enjoys it too. As long as it’s not Shakespeare.

Good thing number four: my mate Steve Denby popped round with my prints, and they are SO FABULOUS. Have promised to tidy my desk in return for DH hanging them in my office. (If you want to know what they look like – go and check out Beachcombers and October Mist. Proper size and mounted, they're even better, and I'm thrilled with them.) Kids and DH are well impressed, too.


India said...

Oh, I'm envious about your Chitty Chitty Bang Bang treat. We went down to London to see it years ago, but since daughter #3 was still tiny and breastfed I wandered up and down Oxford street and couldn't get the pushchair into most of the shops while He and the other daughters had the time of their lives at the Palladium. I'll never forget standing on the pavement opposite and seeing the look on their faces when they came out!

I'm taking my two older ones to Stratford to see Romeo and Juliet on Saturday. I'm a bit nervous about it. If it's not good, this could be the start of a long-term Shakespeare aversion...

Good news about the floor!!

Diane said...

Treats to the theatre are SO permitted that I've scheduled in at least 4 for this year, although I may start with a comedy club. I even have someone pegged to come with me.

I was a Go-Go dancer in Joseph ... (As in Go-Go-Go-Jo-seph ...)

carolwarham said...

Hooray on the new floor at long last, it must have driven you stark staring bonkers!
The prints are absolutely gorgeous, I particularly loved Beachcombers.

Kate Hardy said...

India - I can't wait. And oh, poor you, missing out on it!

Kate Hardy said...

Diane - good for you on scheduling them in :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Carol - thanks :o) It did, and it's SO nice to have a normal house again.

And aren't Steve's pics fantastic? He's going to be an angel and let me have a pic for next year's Breedon book. (Which we will have to discuss over coffee and cake...)