Friday, June 9, 2017

Sands UK Tour, Day Two: Carlisle

Ten years ago this month, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS UK) sent my solo performance I Hate This (a play without the baby) on a seven date tour of Great Britain.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Otters in The Lanes
Sitting by the window in our hotel room at the Crown and Mitre, overlooking Greenmarket Square, praying two children take their naps sometime soon. There is a community band playing in the gazebo.

These kids are cracking each other up, each in their own beds. There is also a carousel knocked up in the square, which several family members have indulgently taken them on four times each - and at £2 a pop, too. No wonder they can't get to sleep.

We had an extremely indulgent birthday dinner here at the hotel for my sister-in-law last night, each of us at different intervals struggling to keep our sanity and our lunch as we struggled to fight off jet lag. The wine didn't help in this regard, but it was an excellent meal.

I thought the girl did particularly well, she had convinced herself that she had had a full night's sleep the night before because she slept until the sun came up. But her behavior at dinner, at bit fractious at the beginning, was merely as loopy as the rest of ours by dessert.

The boy did what he usually does, which is eat everything in sight. Especially soup. He really, really loves soup.

My family was in bed by ten. We woke twelve hours later when our company manager came knocking at the door. So much for the complementary breakfast. It was swiftly decided that the wife would join the rest of the women to catch a bus to see Hadrian's Wall, and that the kids and I would skulk about Carlisle.

Hadrian's Wall was the outer edge of the Roman Empire, a great barrier to keep those marauding Scots out. The greatest empire history had ever known, nearing its end, running out of ideas, decided to put up a big old wall.*

I had no idea what to expect from central Carlisle, but we couldn't have picked a better day to spend time out in it. It's warm and sunny, and the place is just crowded, there's lots of shops, and as I mentioned, plenty of outdoor entertainments. There are several arcades and one featured this lovely not-fountain with bronze otters playing in it.

Last night we met our contact for the performance at St. Cuthbert's Church, where we will be performing tonight. The crowd is expected to be small, so we will be in a room roughly the size of the fellowship hall I was in last year in Wandsworth.

As always, I am concerned about tech. There's no screen for the projector, so we will be setting up something like an easel to cast the slides onto. Also, we haven't had to work with an integrated computer system since the music was incorporated into the PowerPoint presentation, so it will be a mystery as to how acceptable the sound will be coming from the projector. But it is, as I said, a small room.

Original blog post: June 9, 2007

*No, seriously. I made this observation ten years ago. - 6/9/2017

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