Concert tickets bought on a whim – cheapest available – from a street vendor dressed in C18th garb (think Amadeus) – are never going to be the best seats in the house. Before setting off in our glad rags, however, I do check online to discover with some relief that the opera house does indeed exist, that we have paid the going price and, moreover, the concert is almost a sell- out. Continue reading →
… for a quick waltz through today’s highlights.
- A visit to the Albertina Gallery to see their ‘From Monet to Picasso’ exhibition.
- ‘City highlights walk’ with our trusty Rick Steves audio guide.
- Purchase of tickets for concert tonight of Mozart and Strauss
- Packing up ready for tomorrow’s departure
and (drum roll)
- Figuring out how the dryer works in laundry down the road so we now have clean and dry socks.
Now need to get scrubbed up for tonight. Meanwhile, a taster from this morning:
We’ve come to an agreement, this apartment and I. I’m going to be grateful to it for providing a comfortable bed, reasonably priced, reasonably near the centre of Vienna. In its turn, the apartment will try hard to not resemble the set of a black and white cold war thriller starting Alan Bates and Richard Burton.
We’d promised ourselves some exploring in the Yorkshire Dales and, to that end, had picked up from the tourist centre a promising looking leaflet for a circular walk. As directed, we’d gone through the churchyard, and over a stile, and left at a gate. The next instruction read “turn right at the tethered goats.” Continue reading →
I’ve admitted before that I’m not an adventurous cove.
Exhibit 1 – domicile. Ten minutes walk from childhood home; five minutes from Aged P’s; two streets from previous house.
Exhibit 2 – employment. Teacher for twenty five years, twenty one of those in same school and, had PD not intervened, would probably be there still.
Exhibit 3 – holidays. Adverse to flying – conventional in extreme. Never been outside Europe, unless you count Yorkshire.
So this blog is being written at the start of what is, for me anyway, something of an adventure. I’m sitting in the dark on a balcony outside an apartment in Lille. ActorLaddie and I are inter-railing round Europe for nearly three weeks. Tomorrow we’re going to take the train to Cologne, then head off South to become RhineMaidens.
Tapping a blog out on mobile + added interest of tremor = bitesized, I’m afraid. So three things that have struck me about Lille:
1. Many scary looking police officers, particularly around the station, carrying bloody enormous machine guns.
2. The Bourse has become a market for second hand books, art, music and is utterly beautiful.
3. They still have a C&A’s, bringing back memories of my aunt taking me to the one in Clapham Junction to buy me a bikini for my twelfth birthday, which I insisted on trying on over my vest. Ah, those swinging Sixties.
And, in case you were worried, with the help of TunnelBear making my mobile think it’s still in Britain. I can still listen to the Archers. So that’s all good.
Your Honour, I can certainly attest that there was cake. Much much cake.
What’s that? Attest? Yes, good word isn’t it? Truth is, since coming home early from camp on Wednesday, on account of a vicious bout of tonsillitis, I’ve been basically living in St Mary Mead or thereabouts, binge-watching Miss Marple. There are few things more soothing than Joan Hickson: head slightly tilting, hands still knitting, blue eyes kindly twinkling as she explains whodunnit. And, of course, there are people attesting to things left, right and centre. Attesting is the new black.
Are you sure we can’t be overheard?
I shouldn’t really be telling you this: don’t breathe a word – not even if Tom Hiddleston tempts you to swap confidences with promises of a ride on his motorbike. I will deny all knowledge, if challenged. I’m taking lessons from Boris on denial and will do so at bumbling length and in Latin.
“I kept this for you,” says Mrs Jones and hands me a leaflet.
Mrs J it was who greeted news of my diagnosis by telling me that she knew several people with Parkinson’s “and they went on some lovely trips.” A rosy prospect, as you can imagine.
I look at the leaflet. ‘Fit for life,’ it’s called, and is illustrated with a photo of elderly people stretching and smiling. I read the back and laugh.
“What?” says Mrs J.
“‘Produced by Age UK’,” I read. “I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
“So, what does it mean ‘trending on Twitter’?”
“Right,” I say. “Touch the ‘Search’ icon… now, give it a second to refresh – and, look, there’s a list of the main things that people are tweeting about at the moment: at least, the main hashtags being used.”
We look at the list, ActorLaddie and I. Some of the entries mean nothing to me but in at number five, pop pickers, is a real blast from the past. AL touches it and we follow the link to the following tweet:
“Just saw Postman Pat trending on Twitter and worried that 2016 had claimed another celebrity. #Phew #PostmanPat.”
Phew indeed. Simply the start of a new series; Pat being still alive, well and battling extreme weather conditions in Greendale.
Today I am covering Mrs Grenfell’s class and am under instructions to lead a discussion on different sorts of airborne travel: aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets and the like.
“I have something sad to tell you about Mrs Sugarsprinkles,” I start. The children glance at Mrs Sugarsprinkles, who attempts to look grave. “At the weekend,” I continue, “she got stuck on a desert island.” I draw on the whiteboard a stick figure with a sad face and long hair, standing by herself under a tree on a small island. I add some surrounding sea and sharks fins, in an attempt to rack up the excitement. Bit of a masterpiece, if I say so myself. Continue reading →