Scottish Life

Anybody who is anybody should go to Glasgow!!  WHAT FUN!  Thought there really isn’t that much to rave about in terms of  being a grand city of the world, and the weather is rather average, the people and the feel of Glasgow suited me down to the ground.  The first thing I noticed was the warmth of the people.   Little things like saying hello and being casual enough to engage in conversation when you interacted with them.  The best thing about Glasgow was the Hula Café.  It was directly across the road from the theatre and run by some very funky young guys who had a very casual way of running a café and didn’t pander to any multi-national corporation business ideas and running style.  The large semi warehouse space has a rustic feel that reminded me very much of my days at Henley On Sea.  Big chunky wooden tables and window bench seats with big cushions all over it, an old piano on the sideboard, and big Chesterfields with a coffee table for the truly indulgent.  The food was DELCIOUS, described as a Moroccon menu with this lamb stew which was stunning, almost caramel with cinnamon sticks, and the fabulous Spanish Stew of chickpeas and chorizo.  They had a nice selection of wines and teas and tho I did try the coffee (and it wasn’t great) I wasn’t drinking coffee anyway so I forgave them that mercy.  Very generous of the coffee nazi I know.  But living in the theatre meant that we were there nearly every day, and with extra rehearsals and calls meaning we only had half an hour for dinner before a show, Café Hula became the best thing about Glasgow.  On the last night we were even able to go in and buy some wine off them for a pizza at the motel after the show.  Beautiful people and beautiful café.  Loved it.

The performances have been interesting, already I have learnt yet another role as we have had so many injuries recently.  I was asked to learn a medium track, different to the one I did last year, to cover a broken toe, sprained ankle and a strained anterior tibialis.  And these are all the under 25yo!!!!  GO figure!  I guess the good thing is that I have resolved my goal to try and learn all the roles of the show, and now having gone on for 3 shows as a medium 7, I think I have a good handle on it.  The first show was a lesson in humility.  I got the first sequence wrong, screwed up the spacing on the second, got the next sequence right as it is a unison section and I do it as a big swan anyway, then crashed into another swan on the jump sequence and by the time it got to the Blue Lagoon I was shaking so much from nervous tension that it didn't matter if I got it right or not.  I was humbled.  OK, so I am not Superman.  I did have 3 hrs to learn the role and I was on, but as my fellow dance captain said to me "cut yourself some slack...oh hang on, that just wouldn't be you would it!"

The other thing about Glasgy (as we came to love it) was my landlady.   I was staying in this fantastic Victorian property (mansion) with a huge front room and massive bed, jazuzzi and basically the run of the house.  The kitchen even has one of those boards that has all the rooms listed and a lamp underneath it which you can push and it lights up for when you want tea or something!!!! Heheheh.  It just felt grand.  My landlady was a woman who has been in film for 20 years and she was very passionate about theatre and art and all things performance, so we had many great brief chats around the kitchen table.  She came and saw the show and was so taken with the performance that she started showering me with gifts and calling me a demi-god!!!!!  Really enjoyed her company though and will probably stay in touch.  Makes the whole thing worth it just to experience the feel of somewhere like that and to be able to say that I have been there!  And to have gone shopping there; oh the shopping was FANTASTIC.  Glasgow seems to be the shopping capital of Scotland so it was easy to be one of the throng and be picking up clothing that was lovely and wonderful.   Love touring allowance.

The times for me have been most busy of late.  I am starting to notice that I do indeed have a very full plate of work cut out for me this year.  As always, the management role is causing the most headache.  How to manage 25 male dancers and make them all feel happy and at ease in a very tough working environment is a difficult task.  But it is as much a challenge as anything else, and so I am learning to apply myself to the task whilst also expecting to find that not all the guys have the same application to the show that I may have. 

SO here we are in Stoke.  Stoke on Trent, which really doesn’t have much to recommend itself by, either that or I have just not been able to stick my head out enough yet to explore it.  It doesn’t have the feel of Glasgow and that was bound to happen.  Glasgy was too special.  I am staying in a house with some language students but it is great as I have a HUGE room with a TV, my own big desk and enough space to do yoga in the mornings on the floor.  Something which, since moving to London has been a missed luxury that has been difficult to main

tain in normal London sized rooms.  I retreat to my room even when the house is empty and I have the run of it all to myself.  I love the space.   The best thing to recommend it is that the house has the same plates and dinner set as my beloved tea set back in London.  The one that I have been on search for to add to ever since finding the first pieces in a Tooting Charity Shop.  So yes Mitchell, I may be a (cough) loser, but I quickly confiscated the plate, mug and bowl and whisked it up to my bedroom on the tea tray provided!!!  But lo and behold, what else does Stoke offer up; but a shop that actually sells the missing parts of my tea set!!!!!!!!  JOY OF JOYS.  Unfortunately it does not have all 6 saucers that I desire but it has 3 so that is enough for me to be happy and provide myself with my own little breakfast tea tray, and perhaps space for one other!!!!!  Maybe in France!  So thus far Stoke is really a good find for me, and seeing as I haven’t had enough time to really concentrate on doing any sightseeing or anything a spot of 2nd hand tea set discovering is fine with me.  Small pleasures.


AuthorPeter Furness