Thursday, August 17, 2006

There, there, there and back again 

David and I have had a holiday at various spots around the UK.

First off, we went to Buxton in Derbyshire for the 13th annual Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. I liked the productions we saw but I wasn't too keen on the people. They reminded me quite heavily of some of the obsessive types you meet at science fiction conventions. Most were fine and lovely but others were a little odd.

It was refreshing to be able to HEAR the WORDS for a change. We saw a kids performance of The sorcerer which was excellent; the older 'children' (17-ish so hardly kids) were very good indeed and the boy playing John Wellington Wells (the sorcerer) was just inspired. Then we saw my third Ruddigore, which was a vast improvement on the other two I have seen this year. Finally we saw Patience which I loved as well although I sometimes didn't follow all that the lead (Patience) was singing but then I always do have trouble with sopranos.

After Buxton we drove on up to Elgin in Scotland to see my nephew and his wife. It was nice to be back in Scotland again and great to spend time with Rich and Jenna. I loved their cats as well although I discovered my cat allergy was a lot more severe than I had expected. On the first night there, I was lying in bed listening to my breathing and worrying about my eye (more of that in a minute). Allergies hadn't affected my breathing since I was a child and so, as an ex-asthmatic, I was more than a little concerned. Fortunately, an increased dose of antihistamines and fresh air made the cat situation bearable.

Why is it that I love cats and dogs yet react like crazy if I am near one?

Just before I went on holiday a blood vessel in my eye popped and made my eye red. Not just bloodshot but red like my eyeball was bleeding. It looked terrible but didn't hurt at all. I saw an optician who likened it to a drop of ink on a tabletop with a pane of glass placed on it. I've had this happen before and so I wasn't really concerned until I got to Scotland and discovered that it had happened again. That's right, twice in one week. Then I was worried.

Since I got back I saw my doctor who reassured me that this was just one of those things and that I didn't have high-blood pressure. That could be a cause, according to the optician, but only in septuagenarian according to the doctor. My BP was OK in any case.

While in Scotland, encouraged by Richard and Jenna's camera use, I took lots of photos and despite having a day at home yesterday I still haven't sorted through them.

We had a good time there and it was a lovely way to spend my birthday.

To break the trip back we stopped off in Glasgow. Our trip was a bit hurried although we saw lots of Charles Rennie Mackintosh related material. We're both fans of Art Nouveau and Art Deco so that was a bit of a treat.

We also saw my friend Paul rather hurriedly and had a drink in Glasgow's celebrated Polo Lounge. It was fairly empty when we were there but then it was early on a Monday evening and there were hardly any opportunities for me and Paul to be bitchy about the locals.

I can't say I'm overly enamored of driving in Glasgow. Driving in cities, especially unfamiliar ones, tends to bring out the worst in me. Doing circuits of George Square trying to find out whether the car park we had found was the one we were supposed to park in for a cheap rate from the hotel was taxing.

Anyhow, I enjoyed it and my recovery day yesterday. I was even smiling on my way to work. That's a first.

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