I barely slept again last night. I think it was the combination of the heat and being afraid that I'd failed alarm setting. I think I was so restless I kept LonelyDumptruck up as well. Double fail.
I needn't have worried, of course, it was much easier to get out of Amsterdam than it was to escape the gravitational pull of Leeds.
We got our train tickets to Scarborough at 11:13, but the train left at 11:11. Luckily the trains are scheduled every hour, so we just settled in to wait. Then the reports started.
Train after train was being reported as delayed or canceled. Some mentioned signal problems, some mentioned trespassers on the tracks, and a few just left us hanging with no excuse. My sense of direction is non-existent and geography is not my strong suit, so I kept hoping
that our train would be one of the lucky few still running on time.
No such luck. Our train was announced as running late without reason. We sat for a while and almost hopped on the wrong train just for the chance to get moving, but finally our train came about 12:40. When we got to Scarborough I got cleaned up and headed over to the theatre to double check what time the official meet-n-greet started.
Thank Zod I did. I was sent right up to Simon the Organizer`s office. Simon and his assistant, Jaye gave us a hero's welcome. It seems that seconds before we walked in they had received a call saying all the trains out of Leeds had been canceled due to cable theft! The price of copper is so high that people are stealing wires. Simon was telling everyone that he could get participants here from Alaska but not from York.
Our room is in a small guest house kind of place practically around the corner from the theater. We are in room 10, the one at the very, very top of the stairs. Yay stairs.
When we got to the room and I changed from shoes and socks to sandals, I got a nasty surprise. Now, I have very loose ligaments, so I am constantly tottering and turning my ankles on uneven ground (
would like to add that I wear clogs, which he thinks contributes to the situation) Last night I fell off the curb in Amsterdam and, at, the time, I made LonelyDumptruck
stop and told him that I'd actually hurt myself that time, but then I sort of forgot about it, because my feet and legs have been tender from all the walking.
Anyway, I got my socks off and discovered my left ankle was nicely swollen. That didn't stop us from heading out to see the town, though.
My internet research pointed to a place called Mother Hubbard's, having the best fish and chips in Scarborough, but the reviews also suggested it was impossible to find and the combination created an irresistible urge to find the place....which was right on the main drag with a large, prominent sign. Maybe the sign is invisible from cars?
and I both got a medium order, which was about half a haddock fillet each, and I got a prawn salad since I wasn't sure if I would get the chance to eat again before the evening play. The food didn't change our lives, but it was damn tastey.
Well fortified, we walked down to the South Bay, which was thick with tourist shops, arcades and families on holiday. It was another cloudless, hot day, so we practically had to elbow our way down the boardwalk. We found the Bolts, alleyways left over from the Middle Ages that now all seem to back kitchens, and discovered we were so close to the castle that it would be stupid not to venture up there, hurt ankle or not.
The castle had portions built by Henry III and King John, two of my favorite kings, so Scarborough is pretty much nerd heaven for me. The castle was shelled during World War I, so half of the keep is ruin and rubble, but the other side is nearly intact.
We looked around the castle for as long as we could, then headed down to change and to the meet-n-greet. The group was about half people who had been to the week-long Ayckbourn events they held before his stroke (officially called Ayckbourn in the Round, but all them referred to it as Summer School) or the weekends they started last year, and about half new. I still felt like the only new person. There was a woman from California and one from Geneva who were both jokingly pissed at me for claiming the record of traveling the furthest.
The Friday show was Dear Uncle, Ayckbourn's adaption of Uncle Vanya. I'll give a review in another post, since this is late and long. After the show, Sir Alan Ayckbourn had a little closing night party for the cast in the hotel bar, and Simon said we all could crash as long as we were unobtrusive. That is where I got my second hero's welcome of the night.
and I were chatting with Simon when he spotted an older lady walking towards Sir Alan's table and called her over.
"Ghost_Light," says Simon. "This is Heather, Lady Ayckbourn. Hea-"
"Ghost_Light! Ghost_Light from Alaska!" cries Lady Ayckbourn. "I have wanted to meet Ghost_Light from Alaska! You have such a wonderful name!"
I didn't get to say hello to Sir Alan that night, but I had a lot of fun chatting with his wife.
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