The journey back from Hayward's Heath, or Crawley or wherever we were staying last night was traumatic in the extreme. Traffic was solid - bumper-to-bumper - pretty much from Gatwick to Heathrow which made us all grouchy and miserable. The plan had been to spend today - my Mother's birthday - in London, and I'd thought how lovely it would be to show them the cafe I like to work in (closed) and as an alternative, Highgate Village (mostly closed!)
We ended up in Cafe Nero drinking orange juice which, the bottle reliably informed us, was the product of ten oranges "lovingly" squeezed into a bottle. How insane do these advertising executives think we are? I mean, how does one prove that their oranges are squeezed lovingly? That said, as my brother later pointed out, how do you prove that the oranges WEREN'T squeezed with love?
This evening we went to the theatre to see the Jeeves and Worcester play at the Duke of York's Theatre. Unfortunately, we were placed in a row, at the end of which, two enormously fat women were sitting. My poor father was squeezed into his seat like the oranges in his juice at lunch time. There was all sorts of passive aggressive sighing from both women when any of us tried to get to and from our seats at the interval; "Mum you're going to have to stand up again ..." "Oh no." Meanwhile the two of them couldn't stop gulping down huge vats of strawberry ice cream.
The theatre was boiling hot and smelt bloody awful as we entered, which made is laugh like school children. The auditorium was also filled with Christmas jumpers. I've seldom seen so many comedy knitted Christmas trees and reindeer! It prompted me to wonder whether patterned knitting is making an unnecessary come back!
I wish I could say the show itself had made me laugh. It felt extremely old-fashioned; men dressed as women, people doing funny voices, and hamming things up in the true style of coarse acting. It wasn't very me, I'll be honest, although, as my Mum rightly pointed out, "it's nice to get out!" There is something about going to the theatre which is special, even if the piece isn't great.
I've come home and am watching the ABBA documentary on BBC4, with Agnetha talking about The Winner Takes it All. What she said almost broke my heart. "sometimes when I feel low-morale, I play some of the ABBA songs, the ones we're most proud of, and think, "I did this at least." The legend that is Agnetha saying "I did that at least..." She did that, and so much more besides.