I went on holiday to Canterbury with the family for my birthday. It was wonderful being back in Kent again. We stayed in a house in Whitstable which had three double bedrooms (one of which had a dormer roof so that was mine) and an enormous kitchen. Mum, Dad and I ate fish and chips on Friday evening (since sister and brother-in-law weren't going to arrive until 9pm) after happily wandering around Canterbury for the afternoon. Then we all wandered around Canterbury again on Saturday and actually found a restaurant in Whitstable that could seat us that evening. H and D had been recommended a restaurant by someone who came from Whitstable but they had not informed us of this until we were actually there, so of course, we didn't end up eating there as the restaurant was fully booked. And then we went to The Sportsman on Sunday, of course. I had been especially looking forward to D's reaction and he was very pleased (if D had enough money and capital, he would be a chef).
Mum came back with me for the week and then I was off again last Friday and the whole of this week for the Cheltenham Literature Festival. This has been the only time this year I've been able to use the Gift Membership that I asked for as a Christmas present. They completely mucked that up by putting in Mum's name and then I actually had to phone up and activate it. Never again. I'm letting it expire and just buying myself a membership under my previous account next time.
This is the first time I've been to the festival while being able to drive so I used the Park and Ride, which was pleasingly efficient (a bus every 12 minutes and it only takes 10 minutes or so to get into Cheltenham). Parking is free if you use the Park and Ride bus, with an adult return being only £3. Given parking charges in Cheltenham, this is a relief.
Last Sunday I went to a discussion on The Tempest and Professor Mary Beard talking about Roman humour. The discussion of The Tempest had an all-female panel! The chair was male but the ones who did the talking were women, which was great. They also pointed out that Ferdinand might not be that good looking, he's just the first young man Miranda's ever seen. So she might fall in love with another man when they get back to Italy. She might even fall in love with a girl! The chair called them "cynical" and they laughed, sharing knowing smiles. Mary Beard talked about humour in general, why it's so cultural and specific, and why certain things can still make us laugh centuries apart. I was slightly distracted because 45 minutes into the 60 minute lecture, two women charged through the curtains at the side of the balcony and sat beside me. I was annoyed, partly because I thought this was disrespectful to Mary and partly because I wondered what was the point of coming into something 45 minutes late when it was going to end soon, and it did end just over 10 minutes later. (The start times of all the talks are printed on the tickets so it's not as if they didn't know they were late.)
Monday, I didn't have anything so I just relaxed and went into Gloucester to sell some DVDs and donate some books to charity. I'm trying to declutter. It's not easy as I get very attached to possessions but I did make nearly £20 off the DVDs so that's something.
I only had one thing on Tuesday as I was going to see a screening of A Streetcar Named Desire with Grace in the evening. This was a theatre troupe doing King Lear in Original Pronunciation and it was fantastic! I would love to see a whole production in OP. If you want to know what OP sounds like, go to Passion in Practice and click on the "Original Pronunciation" tab, there are some sound clips there. As the troupe was all young men, they did Lear by turning him into a puppet made out of a backpack for his torso, washing up gloves for hands, party poppers for eyes and a furry hat for a mouth. It was surprisingly convincing. I hadn't meant to buy any books but I went and bought the book of the troupe leader afterwards just so I could tell him how much I enjoyed it. And he was good-looking up close: red hair, freckles, deep blue eyes and a prominent nose. Basically Ron Weasley apart from the Welsh accent, haha! ;) I didn't see the screening in the end as Grace was sick (which isn't surprising since her twin stayed the weekend, her twin had a cold, and they shared the same bed) and I didn't want to see the play without her. Plus she'd booked the screening at a cinema in Cheltenham so I wasn't driving all the way there and back just to see it.
Days three and four coming soon!