nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,
nineveh_uk
nineveh_uk

Down by the Valley Gardens

I am back from a long weekend in Harrogate with my sisters in celebration of the fact that I have a significant birthday approaching.* I am feeling surprisingly less tired than I might have expected, probably helped by the fact that despite the time of year the trains were civilised so the journeys weren't tiring, even if last minute ticket purchase when I decided that driving wasn't a good idea made them expensive. There is something to be said for enforced sitting down and reading. Middle Sister had donated her work-flights-earned Air Miles to the cause so we had a very nice hotel and I had a bath this morning just because it was there. There was some delicious food, entertaining theatre, and large amounts of nostalgia.

Yesterday involved a walk to Harlow Carr, which we didn't actually go into because this is not really the time of year for a rather expensive garden, but spent much time in its excellent bookshop. My sisters bought various Christmas presents, I bought some lavender-flavoured white chocolate. We took it in terms to comment on the qualities of various cornus in the absence of our mother. Alas, we didn't eat at Betty's because it isn't the time of year you can do that without booking or lots of time, but I had a sausage roll and curd tart, and purchased biscuits of gratitude for a couple of colleagues who have been particularly helpful with big stressful project.**

The main event of the weekend was West Yorkshire Playhouse's production of Strictly Ballroom, which had opened on Wednesday and was enormous fun. Bring on the sequins! On the way back to the station we observed that the long-awaited John Lewis has finally arrived. Honestly, we'd been promised the bloody thing for decades, and then it turns up after my parents leave. The building is genuinely impressive, though; we even admired the car park. It looks like origami done in stone, and yet is strangely in keeping with the buildings around it. Also noted on the way to and from the theatre was the extraordinary extent to which the people of Leeds have embraced the Christmas jumper.

*According to my student self by this point in life I am supposed to have re-read Ulysses and have published a novel. I have decided that the former was a whim, not an obligation, and the second delayed by circumstances beyond my control.

**Technically they were just doing their jobs, but with an unfailing good humour and helpfulness that meant that at least I didn't also have to stress about the photocopying because I could fling it in someone's direction with ten minutes to spare. Material acknowledgement feels warranted.

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Tags: musicals, real life, theatre
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