I realise I may have mentioned this before, but I do love the Greek Islands. All of ’em. OK, I know, I haven’t been to all of them but there’s still time. (Apparently there are about 230 inhabited ones, so it may take a while, but I’m willing to give it a go, even if we’ve only managed 12 so far because we keep going back for repeat visits.)
So we we’re on Rhodes this week and it is a joy. Before going, I went for the obligatory waxing session, as I have neglected these things recently and suddenly find myself ready to audition as a yeti. As you might guess, it’s not a pleasurable experience and this week it wasn’t helped by the therapist chatting away about her mood swings and violent outbursts as a result of her newly discovered pregnancy. I got the feeling she was getting way too much satisfaction out of causing me pain. And then expecting me to pay for it. And as she ripped the few remaining whiskers from my chins, she murmured “There you are, smooth as a baby’s bum.” Now, strange as it seems, and I have no false modesty here, having my face compared to an arse, even a baby’s arse, was not reassuring, smooth or otherwise. I didn’t leave a tip…
As far as drawing is concerned, I finally plucked up courage to finish a tile that was sent as a travelling tangle tile, from Michele Wynne.
When I got it, it was so pretty, I didn’t want to touch it in case I ruined it. And then, I scanned and copied it and practised on the copies. I’m so glad I did these on scrap paper and not on the real thing. However, they did give me the ideas and I have taken my courage in both hands and started.
Anyway, this is the finished version and, quite frankly, I still like it better without my additions but it’s too late now. (I think I added too much colour.) I do rather like the trail of Pokeleaf…
So I’ve finished the bookmarks for the FB challenge (You can see one of them at the top of the page.)and sent them off today. All in all, I’m more pleased than not, so that’s better than usual.
And I was going to tell you about going to see Margaret Atwood, wasn’t I? Did you think you’d got away with it? No chance. We stayed at the White Swan in Stratford and it was lovely. The room wasn’t huge but it was well furnished, with free wifi and a connection so you could use Netflix if you wanted, and had a stunning bathroom with a huge Victorian style bath on legs and towelling dressing gowns and they turned your bed down and left a chocolate on the pillow – can you tell I’m not accustomed to the more luxurious side of travel?
And the breakfasts were super too, so we were very comfortable and well fed and so, instead of going to see a Shakespeare play at the RSC – because the loved one is not an enthusiast, he has an allergy to education, which is a bit sad, considering who the poor man is married to – I went to see Margaret Atwood in conversation about her new book and the loved one went for a happy, if solitary, walk along the river bank.
I had booked a deal where I got a theatre ticket to see the great woman and a copy of her new book, signed, of course. It said, quite explicitly, on the website that she would not be signing books on the day but that pre-signed copies would be available. Arriving, I asked how to get my book and was told that we would be collecting them after the show, so I made my way up to the circle, which was not terrifically well signed and marked by a singular lack of staff, and there I waited. Gradually, a small crowd gathered on the landing. Five minutes before it was due to begin, no-one had opened the door, although there were, by now, three members of staff looking amiably helpful but not actually doing anything. And then a chap in a suit flurried up with “Oh, haven’t you opened the doors yet? Everyone else is in…” there was a scramble for the key pad with a sub voce accompaniment of “No-one told us to open the door…” and in we went, with a fair amount of ante-, inter-, and post – menopausal huffing and puffing on our part.
Seats found and occupied, told in no uncertain terms to switch off phones and no cameras, (Too late; we had, almost without exception, already taken photos of the theatre and stage set.) the artistic director (I missed her name but it may have been Erica Whyman, I looked her up afterwards) and Ms Atwood came on stage. I think she would be a Ms, don’t you? One of the first things the artistic director did was ask who had read the book, which was VERY few of us, as we had bought them as part of the deal and not collected them yet – see above. She then said rather pointedly, “Well, well done you few who have…” She seemed due for a bit of a slap if she didn’t change her attitude… I mean, didn’t she know what the arrangement was? I mean, she worked there, didn’t she?
Anyway, things improved from there,as she asked some good, intelligent questions and Ms Atwood had some pertinent, humorous and detailed answers. The book is called Hag Seed and is based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. (You see, there he is again, bloody Shakespeare.) The more they discussed it, the more I wanted to read it, but I was determined to save it for the holiday, which I have. An hour and a half passed in seconds and it was time to say thank you, clap with well bread enthusiasm and head for the upper circle to get our books. All 200 of us. All queuing politely but tensely across the entire second floor, down three flights of stairs and across the bar area Which was closed, so we couldn’t even get a drink to dull the pain.
And there, at the end of the room, sat Margaret Atwood, signing books. It was going to take days. I was a little miffed and collared a member of staff. “I thought there were going to be pre-signed books and that Ms Atwood wasn’t going to sign on the day???” I said, possibly with a slight snap in my voice. “Well, we only just found out. I think there are pre-signed copies of you want one” “Where?” “Where? Oh, I’m not really sure. Shall I go and find out?” She saw my expression and took it for a yes and scuttled off. I didn’t really expect to see her again, so stayed in the queue. As I got to one of the places where we did a U turn, there she was and she said brightly, “Ah, yes, I have the pre-signed copies here for those who want them.” as if it was all her brilliant idea. Bless.
However, I had had a great time, so, on the whole, came away feeling pretty good about it. In the bits of quiet time I had there (Stratford) I did another bookmark for the swap. (Above right.)