Thursday, 1 December 2011
A grand night out
I saw a notice that Henning Wehn, German comedy ambassador ("not an easy job") was playing at the Spa Centre, which is within walking distance. I don't generally keep an eye on the listings, because the venue usually hosts acts such as 'Brass Band plays Mantovani' or 'Gerald Williams, Hypnotist to the Stars'. The tickets were very reasonably priced, as Herr Wehn is pretty well known on radio but has not yet made it to the big time on TV.
Friday was the big day, and I'd already decided to make it a dry run for any future occasion when I'd be called upon to dress up, like a Christmas do or an evening soiree. I now had the Lady Shoes With Heels, the ancient historical and hand-me-down dresses from Lola II's friend, and I'd bought tights. The technology of tights has come on a long way since the last time I bought any, which would easily have been 15 years ago. That's probably all I'm going to say, other than both fit and performance are vastly improved.
Most of Friday was a struggle. Mr A had a bit of difficulty at work, making him very stressed, which means that he spent quite a lot of time de-stressing by sitting on the sofa in my workroom and telling me things that I had negligible capacity to influence. So I listened carefully and offered whatever support I could muster. Lola II was also having a bad day, and she called me to unload some of the stories and ask for suggestions, which I was happy to give, even though by this time I was in town, sheltering from the rain in one of my favourite charity shops (where I successfully bought a pair of jeans that fit, for less than a fiver. Lola II will potentially benefit on the 'one in, two out' clothing exchange system that I am still running, if she wants the pairs of jeans and chinos that are now too big for me). Then mum had a bit of difficulty with an online order for printer supplies, so I helped out with that as well.
So it was nice to leave all that behind, get all dressed up and go next door for a pre-show drink before tottering across town to the gig. Mr A had decided he might as well dress up too, given that his usual scruffy attire might look odd next to my attempts at Dressed Up. The distance is about doubled with the Lady Shoes, and Mr A kept getting half a step ahead and having to wait for me to catch up, but I made it in the end. It was a very good gig, focussed mainly on contrasting aspects of German and British behaviour, interspersed with audience participation in German carols - O Tannenbaum, Kling Glöckchen Klingelingeling, Stille Nacht, and another one I didn't know.
So I am now confident in my ability to present a well-turned out figure to society for at least half a mile on foot and three hours. Perhaps this might constitute my first step back towards the constraints of grown-up society after my detour into the very comfortable world of student life. I'd rather be wearing trainers, jeans and an old sweatshirt, though.