ghost_light: (Bliss)

VivaVoom brought up a burlesque troupe from Seattle to perform at Koots and in Homer, so we are hosting one of the ladies this week.  Very sweet girl.

 

Friday night LonelyDumptruck, Frankie, Lola and I met up to take the guys shopping for outfits to wears to the Burlesque Hall of Fame  at the end of the month.  We hit a couple different places, with moderate success, and then had dinner at Table 6.  They are actually serving a Coke and red wine cocktail.  They're charging too much, but it was tasty.

 

Saturday morning I finally got to strap on my skates and go coach Jr. Derby.  Most of the regular crew was off in Fairbanks, so I ended up in charge of all the littles for warm-ups and both teams of bigs for the practice scrimmage.

 

We have our last public scrimmage of the season next Saturday. I'd heard that the plan was to keep doing regular practices all Summer, but it sounds like that changed.

 

After that I just bunkered, napped and watched LonelyDumptruck play Borderlands.  We made peanut butter noodles and then met up with folks from VivaVoom to see Sinner Saint Burlesque.

 

Wow!!  Their show was flat-out amazing!  The overall theme was forces of nature, and the numbers spanned from one about gravity to the Goddess Diana and the hunt.   The MC did a boy-lesque number as a bird of paradise with the full voice over from an episode of Planet Earth.  Seriously amazing stuff.  There were not after-show plans, so we just got too much Taco Bell and sat up until after 2 talking with our houseguest.

 

Sunday morning came early, and with the discovery that our box of wine had been leaking into the fridge all night long, so I cleaned that up and then we went to brunch with Stephanie, The Boy Who Kisses JDawgsPI and Geolinguist.  It was Beer and Bacon Day at Midnight Sun Brewery -  one piece of bacon per beer (per person).  We were those people and ordered an extra round of bacon.

 

Frankie and Lola turned their anniversary party into a bbq for the visiting burlesquers so we made brown rice salad for that.  I'd forgotten how awesome that dish is even though it used to be one of my go-to party foods.

 

It was actually a beautiful day after all the snow we got Friday and Saturday, so Stephanie and LonelyDumptruck rode their bikes to the party.  Frankie grilled up way too much food and we got to sit around the firepit and talk until late.

 

Good times.

Hmm

Jul. 14th, 2012 11:04 am
ghost_light: (Ghost Light)

So.

 

Ya know how you're supposed to turn off phones for the flight?

 

Why does the plane have free in-flight wifi??

 

ghost_light: (Le Tired)
Mornings kept getting earlier, but at least getting to Amsterdam was quick and painless. Good ol' Jet2.com had a fleet of people working at check-in, though, so there was no wait at all.
Our hotel wouldn't let us check-in until 2, but they would let us leave our bags so we could go adventure. The original plan was to go out, then take a nap around 3 and try to stay up as long as we could since we'd have to be up at 3:30 or so to head to the airport, but we never got around to the nap.

We started out to get a hop-on hop-off pass for the canal tours, or at least a tram pass, then decided to get breakfast at Barney's Uptown instead. Then I got the bright idea of trying one of the other places Boom Chicago suggested, but we didn't have the guide. That began the Epic Quest - Go Retrieve the Map to Find the Location of the Epic Breakfast!
Yeah, that didn't happen so much. We made it about halfway to Boom Chicago but the force was weak with us. We found a great little Dutch place to eat instead. LonelyDumptruck got an omelet that was served over slices of bread. I got eggs, bacon and cheese, which ended up being 3 fried eggs cooked so the bacon was fused in the whites laid over 3 slices of bread and covered in melted cheese. Best meal of the whole trip, hands down.

After breakfast we rolled down to the theatre to grab a guide and then over to the Heineken Experience. I just couldn't resist - I wanted to see all the dolls singing "It's a Good Beer After All" (You're welcome, Kornopolous). Seriously, it wasn't that bad, but it was great marketing fun. My parents used to take me on the Budweiser Brewery tour when I was a kid. The Heineken Experience included a 4-D tour where they had you stand on moving platforms so they could turn you into a Heineken and give you the experience of dropping into the tank, sprayed us with water and shook us down the bottling line. We also got to personalize bottles, so we got one for Jay and one for Lori-O.

We started heading back to the hotel after the tour, but I got distracted by a conveyor belt sushi place. I have always wanted to try that and it ended up being some nice little nibbles. They put the time on top of every container, plus we could see what the chef was making and nabbed the tuna as soon as he was done making it.

By the time we got back to the place with the hop-on hop-off canal tours there were only two boats left so it wasn't worth the price. We got a regular one hour tour instead and then rushed down to Boom Chicago to try to catch the show. Unfortunately, I either misread it or their own guide was wrong, there was no Monday night show. Instead we stopped at one of the cafes in the square for beers and bitter ballen. I had seen those on menus all over town, but had no idea what they were. They tasted like little fried balls of gravy. The waiter I asked told me that he couldn't explain what they were in English. LonelyDumptruck was told they were a ragout of veal with some kind of thickener. Dead on delicious.

From there we just wandered back to our hotel and enjoyed the night. We did a bunch of last-minute gift shopping and stopped off for a drink at a place where I was stopped by a woman wanting to entertain us by reading my fortune with numerology. Turns out my honesty is my weakness and I should think and listen before opening my mouth, Thoughts, anyone? We also sat outside at a bar in the Red Light District (our hotel was right nearby, which was very handy) just to see how many customers the girl in the window got in the time it took us to finish our drinks (One, and she waved him off).

We finished up the night getting shawarma that was everything the donner kebabs from Wednesday wishes they could have been and then napped for a couple hours before catching the train to the airport. Our flight was delayed on the runway for half-an-hour with no explanation, but we had enough time between flights that the only consequence was that I didn't have enough time to grab another Diet Coke. The airport guards in Frankfurt let you put your drinks through the xray machine without saying a word, then invite you to either chug them or throw them out afterward. I threw mine out.

We got home with no hitched other than that and userinfoGeolinguist's birthday present being stolen by customs. Stupid rules.

The power must have blinked while we were gone. All the clocks needed to be reset and the heat was off, so we went out to lunch at Snow City Cafe and I picked up my script for the Opera before we settled in for a quick nap. I planned to go to rehearsal, but I ended up sleeping until 7 and I am headed back to bed now. Good night, world,
ghost_light: (Le Tired)
Mornings kept getting earlier, but at least getting to Amsterdam was quick and painless. Good ol' Jet2.com had a fleet of people working at check-in, though, so there was no wait at all.
Our hotel wouldn't let us check-in until 2, but they would let us leave our bags so we could go adventure. The original plan was to go out, then take a nap around 3 and try to stay up as long as we could since we'd have to be up at 3:30 or so to head to the airport, but we never got around to the nap.

We started out to get a hop-on hop-off pass for the canal tours, or at least a tram pass, then decided to get breakfast at Barney's Uptown instead. Then I got the bright idea of trying one of the other places Boom Chicago suggested, but we didn't have the guide. That began the Epic Quest - Go Retrieve the Map to Find the Location of the Epic Breakfast!
Yeah, that didn't happen so much. We made it about halfway to Boom Chicago but the force was weak with us. We found a great little Dutch place to eat instead. LonelyDumptruck got an omelet that was served over slices of bread. I got eggs, bacon and cheese, which ended up being 3 fried eggs cooked so the bacon was fused in the whites laid over 3 slices of bread and covered in melted cheese. Best meal of the whole trip, hands down.

After breakfast we rolled down to the theatre to grab a guide and then over to the Heineken Experience. I just couldn't resist - I wanted to see all the dolls singing "It's a Good Beer After All" (You're welcome, Kornopolous). Seriously, it wasn't that bad, but it was great marketing fun. My parents used to take me on the Budweiser Brewery tour when I was a kid. The Heineken Experience included a 4-D tour where they had you stand on moving platforms so they could turn you into a Heineken and give you the experience of dropping into the tank, sprayed us with water and shook us down the bottling line. We also got to personalize bottles, so we got one for Jay and one for Lori-O.

We started heading back to the hotel after the tour, but I got distracted by a conveyor belt sushi place. I have always wanted to try that and it ended up being some nice little nibbles. They put the time on top of every container, plus we could see what the chef was making and nabbed the tuna as soon as he was done making it.

By the time we got back to the place with the hop-on hop-off canal tours there were only two boats left so it wasn't worth the price. We got a regular one hour tour instead and then rushed down to Boom Chicago to try to catch the show. Unfortunately, I either misread it or their own guide was wrong, there was no Monday night show. Instead we stopped at one of the cafes in the square for beers and bitter ballen. I had seen those on menus all over town, but had no idea what they were. They tasted like little fried balls of gravy. The waiter I asked told me that he couldn't explain what they were in English. LonelyDumptruck was told they were a ragout of veal with some kind of thickener. Dead on delicious.

From there we just wandered back to our hotel and enjoyed the night. We did a bunch of last-minute gift shopping and stopped off for a drink at a place where I was stopped by a woman wanting to entertain us by reading my fortune with numerology. Turns out my honesty is my weakness and I should think and listen before opening my mouth, Thoughts, anyone? We also sat outside at a bar in the Red Light District (our hotel was right nearby, which was very handy) just to see how many customers the girl in the window got in the time it took us to finish our drinks (One, and she waved him off).

We finished up the night getting shawarma that was everything the donner kebabs from Wednesday wishes they could have been and then napped for a couple hours before catching the train to the airport. Our flight was delayed on the runway for half-an-hour with no explanation, but we had enough time between flights that the only consequence was that I didn't have enough time to grab another Diet Coke. The airport guards in Frankfurt let you put your drinks through the xray machine without saying a word, then invite you to either chug them or throw them out afterward. I threw mine out.

We got home with no hitched other than that and userinfoGeolinguist's birthday present being stolen by customs. Stupid rules.

The power must have blinked while we were gone. All the clocks needed to be reset and the heat was off, so we went out to lunch at Snow City Cafe and I picked up my script for the Opera before we settled in for a quick nap. I planned to go to rehearsal, but I ended up sleeping until 7 and I am headed back to bed now. Good night, world,

10/1

Oct. 4th, 2011 11:43 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

Sunday morning came way to early, but it brought with it clouds, cooler weather and just a few raindrops.  We had to checkout of the hotel before the last event was scheduled to end, but the folks at the theatre graciously let us stash our bags there while LonelyDumptruck went off to explore the town one last time and I went to my final class.

The last event was a viewing of some rare items from the archives, things like the original script of Jeeves, caricatures of Sir Alan, the first editions of several scripts and a program from a production in Poland with pictures of Ken and Barbie doing things Matel would never condone.  No, we have no idea why.

Now, I knew this part of the weekend had been moved out of the theatre because the University has just acquired Sir Alan's archives, every scrap of draft, script, correspondence, you name it, and they didn't want us slopping wine all over the letters between Sir Alan and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber talking about reviving Jeeves, so I thought the viewing and the subsequent Q& A with Sir Alan was going to be at the University.

That was a really bad guess.  The University of York has the collection and, if I'd paid any attention, I could have figured out York was too far to go.  No, the viewing and Q& A turned out to be in the rehearsal room Sir Alan built next to his house.

We went to Sir Alan's house!!

He was terribly nice.  Every question got at least a 10 minute answer, even "How are you feeling, Alan?"  He answered that by telling us all about his creative process.  I think it says a lot about the group that someone asked that as the first question.

One of the items on display for us was the first US edition of Relatively Speaking which was rife with Americanisations like changing the line "I don't really care for this marmalade." to "Marmalade sucks."  or, as Sir Alan remembered it "This marmalade is a freak out!"  A great deal was made about that and one of the questions was about those changes and how much of a hand he had in it.  Simon offered the lady from California the next question, as a rebuttal to all the America bashing, but the guy next to me poached it.  I did get the next question, though, and I asked how it compared to working with a translator on an adaption like Dear Uncle.  The short answer was that Chevkov was lovely to work with, he didn't complain a bit.

We got a group picture with Sir Alan at the end.  He talked some about how much he enjoys helping out with/doing the sound design and how he plays all the off stage voices in his productions, so I told him about directing This Is Where We  Came In ("Oh! That's a fun one!") and casting my sound designer as Kevin on Keyboards, the robot who does all the sounds for the stories.  He thought that was very clever.

Part of the University of York acquiring the entire collection means this will be the last Unseen Ayckbourn Weekend.   Now anyone can go to the archives and see absolutely everything for themselves.  That means Simon will have to come up with a new theme for next year.

After I very reluctantly said goodbye to everyone,

 

LonelyDumptruck
and I hopped on the train to go explore York. 

It was a lovely little town that managed to feel both authentically historic and like a Jolly Olde England theme park.  We walked for a while, then stopped at a little pub with a menu like a TGIFridays and the football match on all the TVs (That's not football, that's soccer!)  After beer and curries we walked up the city wall to the Richard III museum.  I wasn't expecting much, but Richard is my favorite king, so I had to drag

 

LonelyDumptruck
up there.  It was pretty much what I expected, cheesy and practically homemade. 

We walked along the wall to Yorkminster.  There was a service going on, so we just walked around the entry and looked at the art there.  By then it was nearly 6:00 and they were starting to deploy the tumbleweeds.  We missed the Roman Bath museum (but caught the pub), walked through the Shambles, peeped in shop windows and generally wandered around until sunset, then we caught the train into Leeds.

It was train, bus and taxi to get to our hotel.  I wanted something very near the airport since we had a 7am flight back to Amsterdam, but the train station and the airport are on different sides of Leeds and hotel, though close to the airport, was so close to the middle of nowhere that...well, let me put it this way:  we passed a cow on our way there.

The hotel was really nice though.  It turns out I got a screaming deal.  It was part of a fairly fancy chain, the sort that had a lounge in the lobby filled with people obviously there for a convention.  It was strange to be around so many people after our little 10 room hotels everywhere else.  We got dinner in the lounge and then just went to the room to rest up for our next adventure in Amsterdam.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


10/1

Oct. 4th, 2011 11:43 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

Sunday morning came way to early, but it brought with it clouds, cooler weather and just a few raindrops.  We had to checkout of the hotel before the last event was scheduled to end, but the folks at the theatre graciously let us stash our bags there while LonelyDumptruck went off to explore the town one last time and I went to my final class.

The last event was a viewing of some rare items from the archives, things like the original script of Jeeves, caricatures of Sir Alan, the first editions of several scripts and a program from a production in Poland with pictures of Ken and Barbie doing things Matel would never condone.  No, we have no idea why.

Now, I knew this part of the weekend had been moved out of the theatre because the University has just acquired Sir Alan's archives, every scrap of draft, script, correspondence, you name it, and they didn't want us slopping wine all over the letters between Sir Alan and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber talking about reviving Jeeves, so I thought the viewing and the subsequent Q& A with Sir Alan was going to be at the University.

That was a really bad guess.  The University of York has the collection and, if I'd paid any attention, I could have figured out York was too far to go.  No, the viewing and Q& A turned out to be in the rehearsal room Sir Alan built next to his house.

We went to Sir Alan's house!!

He was terribly nice.  Every question got at least a 10 minute answer, even "How are you feeling, Alan?"  He answered that by telling us all about his creative process.  I think it says a lot about the group that someone asked that as the first question.

One of the items on display for us was the first US edition of Relatively Speaking which was rife with Americanisations like changing the line "I don't really care for this marmalade." to "Marmalade sucks."  or, as Sir Alan remembered it "This marmalade is a freak out!"  A great deal was made about that and one of the questions was about those changes and how much of a hand he had in it.  Simon offered the lady from California the next question, as a rebuttal to all the America bashing, but the guy next to me poached it.  I did get the next question, though, and I asked how it compared to working with a translator on an adaption like Dear Uncle.  The short answer was that Chevkov was lovely to work with, he didn't complain a bit.

We got a group picture with Sir Alan at the end.  He talked some about how much he enjoys helping out with/doing the sound design and how he plays all the off stage voices in his productions, so I told him about directing This Is Where We  Came In ("Oh! That's a fun one!") and casting my sound designer as Kevin on Keyboards, the robot who does all the sounds for the stories.  He thought that was very clever.

Part of the University of York acquiring the entire collection means this will be the last Unseen Ayckbourn Weekend.   Now anyone can go to the archives and see absolutely everything for themselves.  That means Simon will have to come up with a new theme for next year.

After I very reluctantly said goodbye to everyone,

 

LonelyDumptruck
and I hopped on the train to go explore York. 

It was a lovely little town that managed to feel both authentically historic and like a Jolly Olde England theme park.  We walked for a while, then stopped at a little pub with a menu like a TGIFridays and the football match on all the TVs (That's not football, that's soccer!)  After beer and curries we walked up the city wall to the Richard III museum.  I wasn't expecting much, but Richard is my favorite king, so I had to drag

 

LonelyDumptruck
up there.  It was pretty much what I expected, cheesy and practically homemade. 

We walked along the wall to Yorkminster.  There was a service going on, so we just walked around the entry and looked at the art there.  By then it was nearly 6:00 and they were starting to deploy the tumbleweeds.  We missed the Roman Bath museum (but caught the pub), walked through the Shambles, peeped in shop windows and generally wandered around until sunset, then we caught the train into Leeds.

It was train, bus and taxi to get to our hotel.  I wanted something very near the airport since we had a 7am flight back to Amsterdam, but the train station and the airport are on different sides of Leeds and hotel, though close to the airport, was so close to the middle of nowhere that...well, let me put it this way:  we passed a cow on our way there.

The hotel was really nice though.  It turns out I got a screaming deal.  It was part of a fairly fancy chain, the sort that had a lounge in the lobby filled with people obviously there for a convention.  It was strange to be around so many people after our little 10 room hotels everywhere else.  We got dinner in the lounge and then just went to the room to rest up for our next adventure in Amsterdam.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


9/30

Oct. 4th, 2011 06:02 am
ghost_light: (Techies Please)

I had no internet access in Scarborough, so you are getting all of these updates in one glorious lump.

 

Saturday morning I kissed

 

LonelyDumptruck
goodbye and he went off to  explore the city while I went into the theatre for my own  kind of fun.

 

We started off the day with the main lecture on Simon's pet topic: unseen Ayckbourn plays.  Simon is an absolute treasure, he really made each one of us feel important and welcome, plus he has an infectious passion about the plays. 

 

The lecture focused on 10 plays in 4 categories -
the Early plays (which included Seasons, a short script about time-travel that was probably written when he was 17, and a short skit about a Monopoly token that ends up off the board and in other games, like Cluedo and chess.  Elements of that come back in his family play The Boy Who Fell Into a Book.)

 

the  Gray plays (ones which were usually written for a specific purpose, have been performed and are , but not included in the official cannon.  The example we heard from these was Dracula, a one-act about the Count visiting a farmhouse where the daughter is a werewolf.  Simon jokes that with current media trends, this one is ripe for a revival.)

 

The Withdrawn plays (4 scripts that were produced at least once but are no longer available to perform and, no, you can't read them.) The main example of these is the original version of Jeeves.  Jeeves was a famous disaster.  To hear the tales the show ran 5 1/2 hours on opening night and the orchestra walked out after 4 1/2.) 

 

and the Lost Plays (which are not "lost".  The scripts exist and can be read in the archives, they have been produced, are acknowledged as cannon, but have not been published for various reasons.  These include Simon's least favorite play, which we swore not to reveal.  It sounded like a number of participants had seen in production there years ago and it could be a viable script if Sir Alan had time to do rewrites.  We also talked about one of his family plays which has become a lost play because he was between publishing contracts when it was written.  It brought the talk full circle because it was also about time travel and, as Simon very poignantly described it, asks us to face the questions 'if you could go back in time to prevent a tragedy, would you do it?  And then, if you had to go back again and let your loved one die all over again to prevent the apocalypse, could you do it?'  I need to get that script when it sees the light of day.

 

Simon brought in four members of Dick and Lottie, the only amature Ayckbourn troupe in the UK, to perform excerpts from each of the plays discussed.  From some of the banter, I would guess they have been coming for at least a year.  They made me want to start my own  group.  Something like the Alaskan Ayckbourn Reading  Circle.

 

They realized Friday night that they had forgotten to include a tour of the theater for us new folks, so we were given the option of cutting lunch short to go on a whirlwind tour.  All of the past participants kept telling me how ths Summer School included a tour and watching them change the set.

 

Last year the Unseen Ayckbourn participants got a real treat.  Back in 2006 someone discovered a legitimately lost Ayckbourn play up in a loft.  The weekend was scheduled to end Saturday, but at the Q& A someone asked, tongue in cheek, if they could come back the following day and give the play its world-premier reading.  Sir Alan agreed and a new tradition was born.

 

Of course, no one discovered any plays this year (though Simon says they went door to door asking to check peoples' lofts) so Simon dredged up Sir Alan's only teleplay, a short script that was produced for the BBC series Masquerade back in 1974.  It aired once and has never been seen again.  The BBC told Simon the tape had been destroyed, but after we read it we were told there was a nice surprise.  The BBC is doing a documentary on Sir Alan and they somehow dredged up the master tape so we got to see it.  It turned out Simon had me read the role Lady Ayckbourn played in the film.

 

We got a short break after that.  I met up with LonelyDumptruck.  Our room was so brutally hot that we went out for a pint before dinner.  Simon very graciously arranged for LonelyDumptruck to come to the dinner at the theater.  We started out with a shot of cold soup.  I got the blue cheese in fillo, LonelyDumptruck was supposed to get a smoked haddock cake but there was a bit of plate confusion and he ended up with the same thing.  His main course was local pork and potatoes.  I got the catch of the day which was two huge pieces of fish and vegetables.  We were both supposed to get the cheese plate, but there was more plate confusion and he ended up with the crepes.

 

After dinner was the show, Ayckbourn's 75th, Neighborhood Watch.  After the show came the chatting over wine and then the slow stroll home.  But on the way we passed a lovely little pub with a large group standing outside drinking, so we stopped off for a few.  I butted into an interesting conversation and, as we chatted more, it became obvious that they worked for the theater.  Ladies and gentleman,  I had found the techies!

 

One of them invited us along to the next spot, so we stayed up far, far too late talking and having a marvelous time.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

9/30

Oct. 4th, 2011 06:02 am
ghost_light: (Techies Please)

I had no internet access in Scarborough, so you are getting all of these updates in one glorious lump.

 

Saturday morning I kissed

 

LonelyDumptruck
goodbye and he went off to  explore the city while I went into the theatre for my own  kind of fun.

 

We started off the day with the main lecture on Simon's pet topic: unseen Ayckbourn plays.  Simon is an absolute treasure, he really made each one of us feel important and welcome, plus he has an infectious passion about the plays. 

 

The lecture focused on 10 plays in 4 categories -
the Early plays (which included Seasons, a short script about time-travel that was probably written when he was 17, and a short skit about a Monopoly token that ends up off the board and in other games, like Cluedo and chess.  Elements of that come back in his family play The Boy Who Fell Into a Book.)

 

the  Gray plays (ones which were usually written for a specific purpose, have been performed and are , but not included in the official cannon.  The example we heard from these was Dracula, a one-act about the Count visiting a farmhouse where the daughter is a werewolf.  Simon jokes that with current media trends, this one is ripe for a revival.)

 

The Withdrawn plays (4 scripts that were produced at least once but are no longer available to perform and, no, you can't read them.) The main example of these is the original version of Jeeves.  Jeeves was a famous disaster.  To hear the tales the show ran 5 1/2 hours on opening night and the orchestra walked out after 4 1/2.) 

 

and the Lost Plays (which are not "lost".  The scripts exist and can be read in the archives, they have been produced, are acknowledged as cannon, but have not been published for various reasons.  These include Simon's least favorite play, which we swore not to reveal.  It sounded like a number of participants had seen in production there years ago and it could be a viable script if Sir Alan had time to do rewrites.  We also talked about one of his family plays which has become a lost play because he was between publishing contracts when it was written.  It brought the talk full circle because it was also about time travel and, as Simon very poignantly described it, asks us to face the questions 'if you could go back in time to prevent a tragedy, would you do it?  And then, if you had to go back again and let your loved one die all over again to prevent the apocalypse, could you do it?'  I need to get that script when it sees the light of day.

 

Simon brought in four members of Dick and Lottie, the only amature Ayckbourn troupe in the UK, to perform excerpts from each of the plays discussed.  From some of the banter, I would guess they have been coming for at least a year.  They made me want to start my own  group.  Something like the Alaskan Ayckbourn Reading  Circle.

 

They realized Friday night that they had forgotten to include a tour of the theater for us new folks, so we were given the option of cutting lunch short to go on a whirlwind tour.  All of the past participants kept telling me how ths Summer School included a tour and watching them change the set.

 

Last year the Unseen Ayckbourn participants got a real treat.  Back in 2006 someone discovered a legitimately lost Ayckbourn play up in a loft.  The weekend was scheduled to end Saturday, but at the Q& A someone asked, tongue in cheek, if they could come back the following day and give the play its world-premier reading.  Sir Alan agreed and a new tradition was born.

 

Of course, no one discovered any plays this year (though Simon says they went door to door asking to check peoples' lofts) so Simon dredged up Sir Alan's only teleplay, a short script that was produced for the BBC series Masquerade back in 1974.  It aired once and has never been seen again.  The BBC told Simon the tape had been destroyed, but after we read it we were told there was a nice surprise.  The BBC is doing a documentary on Sir Alan and they somehow dredged up the master tape so we got to see it.  It turned out Simon had me read the role Lady Ayckbourn played in the film.

 

We got a short break after that.  I met up with LonelyDumptruck.  Our room was so brutally hot that we went out for a pint before dinner.  Simon very graciously arranged for LonelyDumptruck to come to the dinner at the theater.  We started out with a shot of cold soup.  I got the blue cheese in fillo, LonelyDumptruck was supposed to get a smoked haddock cake but there was a bit of plate confusion and he ended up with the same thing.  His main course was local pork and potatoes.  I got the catch of the day which was two huge pieces of fish and vegetables.  We were both supposed to get the cheese plate, but there was more plate confusion and he ended up with the crepes.

 

After dinner was the show, Ayckbourn's 75th, Neighborhood Watch.  After the show came the chatting over wine and then the slow stroll home.  But on the way we passed a lovely little pub with a large group standing outside drinking, so we stopped off for a few.  I butted into an interesting conversation and, as we chatted more, it became obvious that they worked for the theater.  Ladies and gentleman,  I had found the techies!

 

One of them invited us along to the next spot, so we stayed up far, far too late talking and having a marvelous time.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

9/29

Oct. 2nd, 2011 11:13 pm
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)


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 (

 

LonelyDumptruck
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?

 

 

LonelyDumptruck
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.

 

LonelyDumptruck 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.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

9/29

Oct. 2nd, 2011 11:13 pm
ghost_light: (Star Fuckers)


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 (

 

LonelyDumptruck
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?

 

 

LonelyDumptruck
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.

 

LonelyDumptruck 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.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

ghost_light: (Babo)

Babo had no internet access in Frankfurt, which was very distressing for him.

Luckily it was a short flight in steerage and pretty soon he was able to get to the serious business of chosing how to spend his day in Amsterdam.

With so many great things to pick from, you'd think Babo would have a hard time narrowing things down, but there was really only one thing on his mind...

If only he'd considered the stairs first.

Silly Babo.


Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

ghost_light: (Babo)

Babo had no internet access in Frankfurt, which was very distressing for him.

Luckily it was a short flight in steerage and pretty soon he was able to get to the serious business of chosing how to spend his day in Amsterdam.

With so many great things to pick from, you'd think Babo would have a hard time narrowing things down, but there was really only one thing on his mind...

If only he'd considered the stairs first.

Silly Babo.


Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

ghost_light: (Carpe Manana)

Greetings from Amsterdam! 


yay Amsterdam! )

ghost_light: (Carpe Manana)

Greetings from Amsterdam! 


yay Amsterdam! )

Amsterdam

Sep. 29th, 2011 09:34 am
ghost_light: (Vacation Duck)

Our flights were, by and large, uneventful.  Neither of us really slept and I spent most of the trip reading Mental Floss magazine (thanks userinfoGeolinguist!)  I love that magazine so much I read every word of it, even the ads.

 

The in-flight meals were okay.  Dinner was pasta with a pesto sauce and a terribly sad salad.  Breakfast was kind of German breakfast, cold cuts, cheese and breads, but with fruit instead of an egg.  I nearly squealed when I saw that.  I'd nearly forgotten about German breakfast!

 

When we were in Germany in '98 we stumbled into a little guesthouse in Stuttgart.   I nearly mean stumbled too.  We picked it out of the guidebook and LonelyDumptruck called for reservations (I speak NO German) but, when we got to Stuttgart, the cabbie had no idea how to get to the guesthouse.  I think it took three of them having a conference in the middle of the street to work out where to go.  Turns out the address is wrong in the book!

 

The guesthouse was run by an adorable couple, the Schneiders.  Mr. Schneider spoke some English and would come chat with LonelyDumptruck at meals.  Mrs. Schneider spoke about as much English as I spoke German but BOY did she like to feed us!  Every breakfast brought plates full of cold cuts I'd never tried before, like mortadella, fresh cheeses, a soft boiled egg and homemade bread.  If I ate all of anything on a plate, Mrs. Schneider brought out another full plate.  I thought I was going to have to kill her to avoid getting thirds one morning!

 

Anyway, we made  it to Frankfurt easily.  Our layover was a couple hours, but we decided to relax and have sausages and beer at the airport rather than rush into town and risk missing our connecting flight to Amsterdam.

 

I slept most of the flight to Amsterdam, which never happens.  We wandered a bit trying to find the hotel, but it was easier than getting around in '98 (yay internet directions!).  The hotel is tiny and kind of funky.  I booked us a "small double" and that is some truth in advertising!    The reviews  mentioned that the stairs were steep, but we didn't worry since that applies to pretty much everything we saw last time we were in Amsterdam....holy God, people, wait until you see the pictures of the stairs!!

 

After we got settled in and cleaned up a bit, we went out to look around for a while and get some beer and dinner.  There are a lot of places around the hotel (I wanted somewhere kind of central) but we ended up walking for two hours and got delightfully lost trying to find our way back.  It was a blast! 

 

Every other place is an Argentinian steak house, but we ended up getting donner kebabs from a takeaway and finished up the night having a beer at the open-air place next door.  Being so close to the bar that we could call our order down from the window means  it was pretty loud last night, but I slept like the dead.

 

More to come!

 

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Amsterdam

Sep. 29th, 2011 09:34 am
ghost_light: (Vacation Duck)

Our flights were, by and large, uneventful.  Neither of us really slept and I spent most of the trip reading Mental Floss magazine (thanks userinfoGeolinguist!)  I love that magazine so much I read every word of it, even the ads.

 

The in-flight meals were okay.  Dinner was pasta with a pesto sauce and a terribly sad salad.  Breakfast was kind of German breakfast, cold cuts, cheese and breads, but with fruit instead of an egg.  I nearly squealed when I saw that.  I'd nearly forgotten about German breakfast!

 

When we were in Germany in '98 we stumbled into a little guesthouse in Stuttgart.   I nearly mean stumbled too.  We picked it out of the guidebook and LonelyDumptruck called for reservations (I speak NO German) but, when we got to Stuttgart, the cabbie had no idea how to get to the guesthouse.  I think it took three of them having a conference in the middle of the street to work out where to go.  Turns out the address is wrong in the book!

 

The guesthouse was run by an adorable couple, the Schneiders.  Mr. Schneider spoke some English and would come chat with LonelyDumptruck at meals.  Mrs. Schneider spoke about as much English as I spoke German but BOY did she like to feed us!  Every breakfast brought plates full of cold cuts I'd never tried before, like mortadella, fresh cheeses, a soft boiled egg and homemade bread.  If I ate all of anything on a plate, Mrs. Schneider brought out another full plate.  I thought I was going to have to kill her to avoid getting thirds one morning!

 

Anyway, we made  it to Frankfurt easily.  Our layover was a couple hours, but we decided to relax and have sausages and beer at the airport rather than rush into town and risk missing our connecting flight to Amsterdam.

 

I slept most of the flight to Amsterdam, which never happens.  We wandered a bit trying to find the hotel, but it was easier than getting around in '98 (yay internet directions!).  The hotel is tiny and kind of funky.  I booked us a "small double" and that is some truth in advertising!    The reviews  mentioned that the stairs were steep, but we didn't worry since that applies to pretty much everything we saw last time we were in Amsterdam....holy God, people, wait until you see the pictures of the stairs!!

 

After we got settled in and cleaned up a bit, we went out to look around for a while and get some beer and dinner.  There are a lot of places around the hotel (I wanted somewhere kind of central) but we ended up walking for two hours and got delightfully lost trying to find our way back.  It was a blast! 

 

Every other place is an Argentinian steak house, but we ended up getting donner kebabs from a takeaway and finished up the night having a beer at the open-air place next door.  Being so close to the bar that we could call our order down from the window means  it was pretty loud last night, but I slept like the dead.

 

More to come!

 

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

@Whee!

Sep. 21st, 2011 10:51 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

Less than a week before the trip now!  I just got the hotel in Leeds
booked.  It looks like the trains run from Leeds to Scarborough pretty much all day, so we are just going to buy the tickets there.  That will also give us the option to stop in York either Friday on the way to Scarborough or Sunday on the way back.

 

Now it is down to smaller details.  I need to buy a voltage converter so we can charge our iPods and phones, check in for the flight to Leeds and then general things around the house and to get the show ready.  All small things, but sooo many!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

@Whee!

Sep. 21st, 2011 10:51 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

Less than a week before the trip now!  I just got the hotel in Leeds
booked.  It looks like the trains run from Leeds to Scarborough pretty much all day, so we are just going to buy the tickets there.  That will also give us the option to stop in York either Friday on the way to Scarborough or Sunday on the way back.

 

Now it is down to smaller details.  I need to buy a voltage converter so we can charge our iPods and phones, check in for the flight to Leeds and then general things around the house and to get the show ready.  All small things, but sooo many!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Trip Update

May. 9th, 2011 11:20 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

We got our plane tickets in and out of Amsterdam!  Turns out it is not only someplace we have wanted to visit again, but was one of the most economical options.  We might even be able to go to the Heinekien brewery for Lori-O and Eddie this time.

We are most likely going to fly from Amsterdam to Leeds and back, I am still pricing out those flights.   I'm still working out the best way to get from Scarborough  to Leeds.  If any of you UK or UK-savvy folks have suggestions I would love to hear them!

It is going to be pretty whirlwind.  We leave Anchorage Tuesday evening and get to Amsterdam Wednesday evening.  I have to be in Scarborough no  later than 6:00pm on Friday.  The last theatre event wraps up at 1:00 on Sunday officially, but I figure it will be another hour since it is the Q&A with Sir Alan.   The next set thing is flying from Amsterdam back home Tuesday morning. 

I am thinking we can catch a way-too-early flight to Leeds Friday morning and then either catch a train or rent a car to get to Scarborough.  There is a flight to Amsterdam Sunday evening if we can get back to Leeds in time, and one very early Monday morning if we can't.  The train might be the most economical option, but I don't know how close to on-schedule they are.  A rental car might alleviate that worry and would let LonelyDumptruck take a side trip or two while I am at lectures but will almost certainly cost more....heeelp?!?





Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Trip Update

May. 9th, 2011 11:20 am
ghost_light: (Sir Alan)

We got our plane tickets in and out of Amsterdam!  Turns out it is not only someplace we have wanted to visit again, but was one of the most economical options.  We might even be able to go to the Heinekien brewery for Lori-O and Eddie this time.

We are most likely going to fly from Amsterdam to Leeds and back, I am still pricing out those flights.   I'm still working out the best way to get from Scarborough  to Leeds.  If any of you UK or UK-savvy folks have suggestions I would love to hear them!

It is going to be pretty whirlwind.  We leave Anchorage Tuesday evening and get to Amsterdam Wednesday evening.  I have to be in Scarborough no  later than 6:00pm on Friday.  The last theatre event wraps up at 1:00 on Sunday officially, but I figure it will be another hour since it is the Q&A with Sir Alan.   The next set thing is flying from Amsterdam back home Tuesday morning. 

I am thinking we can catch a way-too-early flight to Leeds Friday morning and then either catch a train or rent a car to get to Scarborough.  There is a flight to Amsterdam Sunday evening if we can get back to Leeds in time, and one very early Monday morning if we can't.  The train might be the most economical option, but I don't know how close to on-schedule they are.  A rental car might alleviate that worry and would let LonelyDumptruck take a side trip or two while I am at lectures but will almost certainly cost more....heeelp?!?





Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

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