Tuesday, 19 August 2008

I should be so lucky

I had an unexpected Sash-free evening in London last week, and discovered that 'Merry Wives' was on at the Globe, and had got a rave review in the Guardian. I checked the Globe's website the evening before, and there were at least seven tickets left for the yard (that's where you stand, in the middle: it only costs a fiver and gives a real taste of what it would have been like to be a groundling, I think - it's certainly a unique experience). Next morning I was at work and forgot to phone the damn box office until 1130. They had no tickets left except five for the Yard, which someone on the website was dithering over - call back in 20 minutes, they said. I thought it couldn't take that long, so I called back in five. Sorry, sold out, they said. What about the website, I said - any that anyone's dithering over? Ooh yes, they said. Two left. So I got the last-but-one ticket in the whole theatre. Remarkable luck.

Later that day, a old work colleague of mine came into the office. She had a baby about a year after I did. She had a tough pregnancy: swollen ankles from month one, that kind of thing. And she had terrible problems with her hips - has been in and out of hospital ever since. The kind of thing that's so gruesome you forget the details, deliberately. She was still limping six months later. And she must be at least ten years younger than I am. How on earth did I get off so easily?

So I'm lucky in the big things, and lucky in the small things. It freaks me out rather, if I think about it at all.

'The Merry Wives of Windsor' was really good, too. Aaaargh.

It was quite broad, but never descended into caricature, so when Ford found redemption, it was not only believable but very affecting. Well, I cried, anyway - as usual. One of the things I like most about A, you know - I do call him A, don't I? - is that he cries as often as I do. The scene in the Archers between Ed and Emma had us both wiping tears away afterwards. I don't really feel apologetic about it as I can't see any way in which it's a bad thing - it would be more worrying not to be affected by art, if I may call it that. The Archers is very well written these days.

I've just spent a lovely day with a woman who would be my sister-in-law, if I was married to A and she was married to his brother, and neither of us is. Should I eschew the labels that reflect such tired conventions, or adopt them, as another kind of rebellion? Answers on a postcard would only work if you had very small handwriting.

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