Shopping and Kinging

“How are you getting from the supermarket to my house?” asks my new elderly friend. She needs more shopping. “I tried to use Waitrose online but the queue is days. I wanted some heavier things… Like wine.”

This is something I understand.

“Send me what you need. I’ll get a zipcar.”

There are no parking restrictions anywhere in London. I kind of wish I had a car of my own. I much prefer life with a car. But cars cost money. Even the zipcar ended up costing me about £20 as I had to add an extra half hour for over nine quid because of the queue at Waitrose and the amount of stuff she had ordered. Still, as I said to the woman at checkout when I bought the bags in a separate run : “When I get old I just hope someone does this shit for me. It must be hell, being old.” It cost me about £25 all told, but I think of it as charity plus learning.

Alongside the comestibles, she wants ten bottles of wine. She’s gearing in for the long haul. I buy one of each of her bottles for myself. She’s got a lifetime again on me. She’ll know her wine.

Her shopping is generally excellent in terms of food vs price and these are cheap old world wines from Waitrose I’m buying, that I’ve always looked past. Between five and six quid each. In Tesco I usually end up with nothing but highly traveled chemicaljuice at that price so it’s a useful learn. I’ve been taking notes. She cooks her own food. She’s careful. And she’s frugal. But she likes the finer things. Frugal finer things. That’s worth learning.

I dropped her shopping off just in time to start rehearsing.

Two runs back to back with discussion in between and I’m still floored by the diverse creativity in this mad group. It’s not Shakespeare for purists, oh no, oh goodness no, TC would be apoplectic. But it’s an exploration of form, and there are friends of mine in Texas and in Georgia and God knows where else who have thrown a spot of dollar our way to be with us as we experiment. It feels responsive to the situation. It feels like the weird and wonderful Tempest with zombies that we did last summer when we could all move from place to place. When I could be in a room with four other rehearsing actors lifting each other and breathing close to each other and then I could rush into a crowded tube from Brixton to Paddington and get a rush hour train so groups of twenty people could gather closely around me in my willow tree before we all went back to a big room and danced a touching ceilidh.

Creation Theatre and Big Telly. Both great names. Both wonderful focused creative practices. I feel so lifted knowing I can collaborate with both. At THIS time, where major players are still just rolling out their greatest hits on video, these maniacs are trying to make something that is deliberately live and NOW and giving employment not residuals.

God I wish I could see and touch and be. But this is at least a connection of sorts. With our shared history and our technology use it is very easy to forget that we are not in the same room with one another when it’s running. We are in fact very very distant but we feel together. We are performing from all over the place… It’s an astonishing hymn to creative use of tech in adversity. I just hope it works in the watching. 🙂




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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