April was a pretty good month.  My hip cleared up and I had a total of 102.54 km (64 miles) for the month.

Early in the month, we went to London to see David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho.  He was truly outstanding as always and I am so glad that we got the opportunity to see him in the theatre again.

I was glad that my hip felt improved enough so that I could get my run in in London.

I drank a lot of nitro cold brew, ate too much gelato, and had a great time as always.

The rest of the month consisted of running, Pilates, and the never ending job searching.  I’m all set to graduate next month, and hopefully I’ll be able to celebrate also having found a job!

Hopefully May’s catch up will be more interesting as I’m off to Mallorca this weekend for some R&R (running and rest) so. . .

After we pet the kitties, we walked to the St. Paul’s area for lunch at Hush Brasserie.  I had a wine spritzer and a chicken Caesar salad, and Steph and I shared truffle fries with parmesan.

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Afterwards, I took a few pictures before we headed back to the hotel so I could get ready for Hamlet.

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Once I got to the Barbican, I got myself a water, a snack, and a program and sat down to people watch.  I missed breaking my drink tradition before the play but I was still worried with the random allergic reactions and the fact that I knew there was a long way to go before the interval, and booze wouldn’t help that.  I made sure to take a dorky pre-theatre selfie.

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Once we were allowed in the theatre, I went in and sat down.  I had been third row for Much Ado About Nothing, and maybe 8th row for To Kill A Mockingbird.  However, tonight, second row here felt, very, very close.  This was really emphasised once the screen went up and I could see the stage.  I was astonished.  It was the most elaborate stage I have ever seen.  I had a hard time taking it all in *and* watching Benedict, so I had to stop watching him and take a moment to take in everything I could.  Unfortunately from my seat, I couldn’t see the entire stage, especially the centre and where it went all the way back.  Luckily, this didn’t take away from the absolute brilliance of the performance.  I was completely transfixed and couldn’t believe how much time had passed once it was time for the interval.  I really hope that I get to see it in the encore performance in the cinema so I can get a different perspective.

After, I did go out for stage door, but I didn’t have any expectations (especially considering when I got there before the performance, people were already queuing up).  I did see Benedict as he signed for people across from us, but I was more shocked at some of the behaviours of the fans, to be honest.  I’m not going to talk about that here, but let’s just say I was not impressed by how some people were acting.

By that point, Steph had come to meet me and we walked back to the hotel.  She had gone to Whole Foods and got me sandwich fixings, which I hungrily ate as I checked my messages.  She got me this as part of my birthday present (so I had something to open).

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Friday was our last day in London.  I didn’t have any specific desires or plans, so we left our bags at the hotel and just walked around the Southbank area after getting another coffee at the Coffeeworks project.

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For lunch we went to Wahaca for fish tacos.  I had been craving them for days and I could have eaten twice the amount I had!

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After, we walked around a bit, poked a bit into Borough Market and then headed to Hummingbird Bakery for a birthday cupcake.

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My cupcake was delicious!  I wish I had taken a second one to bring home!

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After we went to pick up our bags before heading to Euston and the train home.

So, that’s it.  I wish the trip could have been a bit longer, so I could have done some things/seen some sights I have yet to see, but hopefully there will be time for that in the future.  I was so glad to have been able to spend my birthday this way.

Tuesday

No much to say about the train ride down.  It was a train.  I listened to Blake’s 7 Audiobooks and tried to doze.

We arrived in London mid afternoon on Tuesday.  We checked in and I unpacked, so my clothes wouldn’t be wrinkled.  And because we are grown adult women:

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I was still pretty sore from the half-marathon, so I knew I didn’t want to go galavanting about the city (until the following day).  We had an idea where we wanted to go to dinner, so we headed back out only to find the restaurant in question had a queue a mile long.  So we backtracked a bit and ended up at Brewhouse & Kitchen in Islington.  (If you know me, you know I was giggling.  I honestly, and I do mean this, had no idea that the hotel I booked was so close to Islington.  I really, truly didn’t.  I wanted to stay close to the Barbican, and that was really all I was thinking at the time I made the booking.  Nothing else.  I swear on Bailey’s life.)

It had all the main things we needed; a chicken sandwich for me and beer for Steph.  I had the fried chicken sandwich, chips, and a huge salad.

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After we ate, we did a bit of shopping/browsing and then headed back to the hotel.  The hotel had a pool/hot tub and we wanted the chance to relax.  I was still exhausted from the half and getting up early, so I was glad to spend the rest of the night soaking and relaxing.

Wednesday

Wednesday, we started the day with coffee at the Coffeeworks Project.  I had a latte and Steph had a flat white and a sandwich.  I couldn’t make a decision and ended up going to Tortilla after for chicken tacos.

Steph's flat white

Steph’s flat white

Afterwards, we headed to the Royal Exchange, where I went to Tiffany & Co to buy my 40th birthday present.   You’ll see it in my selfies from the next 2 days.  Then we headed into Soho/Covent Garden and wandered a bit.  Steph bought some tea and then we went to Amorino for gelato.  Mmmmm gelato.

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We stopped for a drink at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs.  I wasn’t in a coffee mood, so I had a ginger beer.

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It was then time for my blowout.  In an attempt (that failed) to have something go right for something, I thought it would be nice to have my hair done.  It looked great immediately after the blowout, but wind and moving about flattened it by the time I needed it to look good.  Oh well, lesson learned.  It was nice to get pampered anyways.

From there, we went to dinner.  We went to Homeslice for some pizza.   And then it was time to head over to Southbank, but there was enough time for some selfies first.

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We headed over to the National Theatre and I got myself a gin and tonic, per usual.  And then things got a bit weird.

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For the duration of this trip, I kept having allergic reactions.  I have NO idea what caused them; I didn’t eat anything I hadn’t eaten before.  So of course, right before it was time to be seated I was as red as a lobster.  My face was numb and my neck was swollen.  I was completely panicking.  I did ask for assistance, which I normally wouldn’t have done but I didn’t have any antihistamines on me.  Of course, they didn’t either, but I was more worried about missing the play (of course I was).

Three Days in The Country was absolutely fantastic.  Granted, it’s the second time I’ve seen it, but it was just as hilarious as the first time.  Actually no.  It was even funnier the second time.  Mark Gatiss absolutely killed the proposal scene again, crawling about the stage like a crab as he tried to unsuccessfully get to his feet; at one point he looked how I am certain I had looked the week before in Pilates class.  And once again, John Simm played the unrequited lover with the utmost brilliance.

And I bet you can all guess what happened next?  🙂

I’m really, really very lucky.  There was a lot of waiting as Mark didn’t come out for almost an hour.  When he saw us all waiting, he did a doubletake and then pretended to go back inside, but he came out and was once again so generous with his time.  I was third to speak to him and Steph piped up, telling him it was my birthday.  He wished me a happy birthday and then asked me how old I was.  He must have thought that was the wrong thing to ask, because he was like you don’t have to say, and then asked me to whisper it in his ear.  (OMG!)  He had to bend down so I could (Of course; if there is a next time, I need to wear heels!)  I told him and we had a giggle, and he signed my copy of the Vesuvius Club and took a picture with me.  He wished me a happy birthday again, and I thanked him again, and Steph and I headed off/got out of the way, so that the others who were waiting could have their turns.

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Of course I was totally giddy afterwards as we headed back to get the Tube to the hotel.  We stopped to take a selfie and some other pictures.

My Gwen Cooper tooth gap is getting pretty serious here.

My Gwen Cooper tooth gap is getting pretty serious here.

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Thursday

I was still pretty giddy when I got up, and excited for Hamlet.  We went to Friends of Ours for breakfast.  I had scrambled eggs, toast, and a cold brew coffee with cream.

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We wandered around a bit before our next appointment, which was an hour to spend at London Cat Village, petting cats!  It was a fun hour and a completely different way to spend part of my birthday.  I think many of them were tired when we got there, and they didn’t all want to play, especially this one, who slept nearly the entire time!

Sleepy kitty

Sleepy kitty

A very soft cat

A very soft cat

So cute!

So cute!

I was going to try to cram the rest of the trip into this post, but it’s gotten pretty long.  Part 2 will feature Hamlet and fish tacos.

Hello there!  I’ve been absent, I know.  I’ve been terribly busy, but that really is no excuse, as I have time to waste lots of time on the internet doing other things.  Anyways. . . what have I been up to?

1. I took a quick trip to London.

It was just a quick overnight jaunt, but it was incredible.  I went down to see Three Days in the Country (which if you know me, that should be no surprise.)  The play is absolutely amazing; both Mark Gatiss and John Simm were brilliant!  And I had a great seat with a perfect view of Mark’s  . . . .assets.  😉  I really need to spend a day writing up all my theatre trips this year!

After the play, this happened.  🙂

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2.  I’ve been training for a half-marathon!

I’ve been doing a lot of running!  I’ve just started week 8 of my training plan, and I feel pretty good.  Tired, but good.  Also, rungry!  I’m actually pretty impressed with myself as I’ve only missed one training run in the 7 weeks that I’ve been training.  I rolled my ankle on week 6, so I took a day off to make sure I hadn’t mangled it again.  It was a bit tender, but it didn’t swell or bruise.  Ice and resting helped it, and I was fine to continue on.

3.  I’ve been writing.  And writing.  And even more writing.

My thesis has been progressing.  Not with any amazing speed of course, but progressing all the same.  I have my secondary annual review in 10 days, so I’m freaking the fuck out, basically.  I have to get this chapter finished by the 9th and I am feeling a tiny bit hopeful.  If all goes well, I will be able to finish up my PhD.  If not, well, I don’t want to talk about it right now.

4. I went to the Doctor Who series 9 premiere!

With all the running and all the writing I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for fun (not since I saw Three Days in the Country).  I’ve been pretty focused on getting my work done, so it was nice to take last Thursday to first get my hair done, and then pop over to Edinburgh for the premiere.

The episode was brilliant, and that’s all I’m allowed to say.  🙂

Afterward, there was a Q&A with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, which was pretty cool.

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I can’t wait to watch the episode again on September 19th.

Other than that, my life has been rather boring.  I hope to start planning my 40th birthday theatrepalooza very soon (Yay Hamlet!  Yay Three Days in the Country!  Yay high tea on my birthday!), and will share all the plans as soon as they are made.

 

Here’s a random Bailey 🙂

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Oh and if you’re interested, new hair

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First off, I suppose I should preface all of this with the statement that I haven’t seen The Imitation Game and to be honest I didn’t really know (and still don’t) know an awful lot about Alan Turing.  Thursday and Friday changed that, and I hope to be able to learn more about him in the future.

 

Lovesong of the Electric Bear is simply an amazing piece of work.  It’s hysterically funny, charged and moving, and terribly, terribly sad.  And it all takes place in a theatre the size of my living room, making it incredibly intimate.

Ian Hallard, as Turing, is flawless.  We are taken on a journey from his young life as a lad at boarding school, to war hero, marathoner, and beyond.  Through it all, you can see the struggle of someone who was rather uncomfortable in his own existence.  Hallard’s portrayal speaks volume to this, in the fidgets and nervous tics that are expressed throughout.  The entire time, there is an undercurrent of sadness and turmoil that peaks right before the interval, in a nightmare where Turing is tormented and exposed bare (quite literally) for all of us to see.

There is laughter in the sorrow, most expressively so in the J. Edgar Hoover cabaret scene.  Those red dresses are fabulous and the entirety of the scene is hilariously surreal.

It comes quickly to a head as he is betrayed and let down by the country he served and protected.  While not everyone in his life has vilified him, Turing feels so increasingly hopeless that he takes his own life.

While many of the scenes are so raw, the last one is the most so.  Both evenings I had to consciously keep from sobbing as the life drains from him, and his dear teddy bear is inconsolable in his grief.

It may seem odd that a representation of an inanimate object evoked such emotion, but Porgy’s self-evisceration was as gut-wrenching as Turing taking a bite of the poison apple, echoing back to images of his childhood earlier depicted.

Lovesong of the Electric Bear only runs for another 2 weeks, so if you are in London or are going to be in London, I would run to the theatre to see it.  it is truly an amazing piece of work and I feel extremely blessed and honoured that I was able to see it twice.

 

 

For more information and reviews:

http://blog.scottrylander.com/enigma-in-the-dark/

http://www.camdenreview.com/reviews/theatre/lovesong-of-the-electric-bear-at-the-hope-theatre

http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/entertainment/theatre/hope_theatre_s_new_alan_turing_play_is_no_imitation_game_1_3979285