Other people’s junk

They’ve moved to the country, these two friends of mine. Away to the seaside where there is sand and salt and the wind makes your nose run. You can’t get to their home by tube any longer. Still – it’s only about 2 hours door to door. I spent the weekend. We rehearsed and drank wine.

I drove to Margate in the van, and we loaded it up first with boxes of ancient costumes from a damp garage in Bethnal Green. There’s a lot of crap in there, but also some gold. I have no idea what I might have hauled, but I caught a glimpse of some of it. Lots of weaponry, chainmail, breastplates and so forth. Elizabethan style boots, and piles full of doublets and hose. Hundreds of hats. Old fashioned speakers and amps and keyboards. Foley. Things that make noises. All the kit from Fitzrovia Radio Hour was sleeping in there. Bangy doors and locky locks and walky floors and knocky knocks. All you could want for a spoof 1940’s radio show full of drama and suspense.

It’s all very well to be moving all these lovely things but we had to get it either up three flights of stairs, the third one being essentially a ladder, or we had to get it down into a basement, past a sleeping mother and child. All these clangy items…

Back when Sprite was running I’d ask if I could be given a line of parts that involved lots of running around every summer. Getting fit while working is so much easier and more rewarding that banging away on a treadmill. Often if it’s for work I don’t notice it. But I noticed it today. I was buggered by the end of the morning. My legs were wobbly. It probably didn’t help that I had skipped breakfast. But blimey, it was a sweatfest. And as luck would have it, his boiler packed up just before I arrived, so showering wasn’t an option.

Anyway, it’s all there finally now, and Jon will likely have a similar week to the one I’ve got coming up, where he has to make sense of what he’s got, and try to be ruthless with what he keeps and what he jettisons. At some point some of it will probably find its way back to mine, to be pressed into service as costume for the weird and wonderful dinnertime entertainment stuff I frequently find myself being trotted out to do.

I’m home at last in my unusually tidy flat, and I’m so tired I’m worried I’ll crash out before the bath has finished running. Some friends won Olivier awards tonight, which is always heartening. It’s an exciting time for theatre right now. I’m going to try to allocate some monthly budget into tickets going forward, as I miss a lot of interesting things if I only go to the shows I can watch for less than twenty quid.

Bath has enough water in it. I’m doing this. See you next week…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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