Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Ten by Ten at the Cumberland

It was my first attempt at the Ten by Ten event at the Cumberland Arms (Ten performers have ten minutes in which to sing, dance or read their work)I had practiced my routine, but found that on the night needed to refer to my notes, I wore my paisley pinny and turban which I had made. What an act to follow, Gerard Rudolf, a fine poet and storyteller, I was second, which was good for me in another way as I was really feeling nervous, I`d be able to relax afterwards. The acts were of a really high standard and I was really pleased with the response I received (Even when I forgot some of my words)

Lots of things go on in the rest of the building, a skiffle group plays catchy tunes like Don`t bring Lulu and Roll out the barrel, there were Morris dancers and accordian players in another room, it`s been packed the couple of times we`ve been in the audience, and they have bands playing throughout the week.

As I had been on strike Wednesday and Thursday, I took the day off on Friday to travel with my friend KW, who I have recently caught up with again after losing touch with eachother in 1973. She had moved away to go to university and as people do, we got absorbed into our own lives.At an old school reunion last November, someone had her telephone number, so I rang and as a result she has stayed with us a couple of times.

We drove down to Suffolk where she now lives and I spent from Friday until Tuesday visiting market towns in the area, eating home grown and cooked food, looking at old photos and her art work. I have always drawn first, then got frustrated when I apply the paint to find that it hasn`t turned out quite how I envisaged. She starts with colour, and sometimes doesn`t know at the beginning what she will create, a much more imaginative way to work, I`ll certainly try that.

She had always been a fan of retro fashions, we used to make our own clothes, only she was a perfectionist, tacked and took her time, whereas, I had to have the creation on that night, so hence one puffed sleeve and one floppy one, we used to trawl the jumble sales, seek out a nana`s festooning skirt, cut the waist band off and lay a pattern on it, and there we had another dress.

KW has an impressive garden with summer house, beautiful plants and a water barrel and pump which two local cats frequent as their watering hole. A ginger cat and a smoky grey one, the grey one has a cropped tail, he`s called Arthur, so they have dubbed him Arfur-tail (Half a Tail, ha ha) He was lying on the path on his back and K said "Look at him sunning his bollocks, only he hasn`t got any now."

We toured the retro shops looking for necklaces and ear rings, went to a place called Snape Maltings which used to be an old brewery near the river, but the buildings have been turned into art and craft galleries and a museum, the old buildings are fabulous.

Came back on the train. K dropped me at the station where I took a train to Peterborough, then went first class from there to Newcastle, not a way I usually travel, it was such a fabulous way to go. A single window seat with a little table,fabric place mat, ceramic cup and saucer, sugar bowl. A trolley came around with sandwiches,crisps, fruit juice, cake and coffee. I was even asked if I wanted a top up. I could get used to this, but unless I win the lottery....

Caught up with my ironing today and as I was flicking through the channels, stumbled on the God Channel, a bloke was telling people in the audience that God was working on people with lung problems today,(God had told him this) so he was inviting anyone up on the stage if they had asthma, bronchitis or lung cancer to be cured. This was going on in Florida. A man got up and stated that he had asthma for 20 years and it was now gone. An assistant stood behind him, and when the "healer" touched his forhead, he blanked out backwards into his arms. Healer told the people "Cynical people don`t last long, happy people do." He did this kind of Harry Potter movement as if he had a wand in his hand, directing his "energy" towards a nana on the stage, she flipped over onto the people sitting down in their seats.

Went into town, called in to Art Cafe, and B was on top form, asking all of the women in there how old they were, he was the youngest at 45. I told him that he was the young chicken and we were the old roosters, he said "I don`t know about a young chicken, more like an old cock." I was trying to see a detail on a photograph and asked him if he had a magnifying glass, he replied "Why, is it that long since you`ve seen your husband`s apendage?" He brought me a pair of jam jar bottom glasses and I still couldn`t see. As I wasn`t with friend D today, he asked "Where`s all fur coat?" He should be on the stage, but then he wouldn`t be able to pretend that he`s working, as he does now in his own cafe`.

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