“Were you a gypsy?”
That question along with “was I adopted?” is a regular enquiry from my youngest. Could it be my wild dark wavy locks or my sultry mysterious eyes that made him think I might be of Romany blood? I remember asking my mother on more than one occasion if I was adopted so maybe my roots do indeed lie in the romance of the care-free traveller. However, it wasn’t my dark broody looks at all, seems I use the same expressions as his friend’s mum and she was a gyspy. I guess we read the same books/watched the same TV programmes/listened to the same radio station…
Anyway, notwithstanding my lack of adventurous heritage, my mum would be very impressed with me, it’s over 3 weeks since Christmas and the Poinsetta is still alive, in fact it has grown several new leaves and they’re red not green. Not sure why it’s survived, green-fingered I am not.
Anyway, going back to my gypsy story, I’m sorting through my ‘stuff’ you know the sort of thing – everyone has boxes or bags of stuff they’ve accumulated over the years until they downsize and find they have to get rid of their stuff. Long story short, we are moving house in a few weeks and there is no storage space so I’m having to get rid of several boxes of stuff I’ve been religiously carrying around for years and amongst the old birthday cards and signed theatre programmes (I have one from the Theatre Royal, Nottingham signed by Ian Ogilvy), is a set of handmade gypsy pegs still in their original black rubber band that surprisingly hasn’t perished.
I’ve had them for 30+ years. Never used them. I can remember when I ‘bought’ them; it was when we lived in Nottingham and I was at home alone when a haggard old gypsy came to the door selling her pegs from a basket. I’m not sure how much I paid for them but it certainly wouldn’t have been much more than 10p. I recall there was some mention of good luck heading my way.
Back at the Marine Theatre there was more work going on this week as we start to prepare for the National Theatre Live sound system install. The first screening for us is going to be on Valentine’s Day with Twelfth Night. We are planning a special treat for our audience, so watch this space.
Talking of a special treat, I very nearly had an ice cream this week. I know right, I had just hours before scraped an inch of ice off the car windscreen and narrowly missed landing on my backside as I negotiated the very steep walk down icy Hill Road. But the theatre office that faces the sea and is the envy of every single person who visits, is also south facing and the sun appears in the left window at around 9am and makes its way across the other two windows, finally setting at around 5pm in the right hand window. I can tell you, that makes for a very roasty toasty room and with the sound of the waves rolling into shore, the seagulls screeching overhead and people strolling along the path, what could be better than a delicious cooling ice cream.
Anyway, a quick visit down to the Tourist Information Centre to take extra tickets for our shows soon puts me right, with a strong north-easterly blowing I’m quickly reminded it is still the middle of winter and a warming cuppa is just the ticket.
As usual we had plenty of visitors. This is always interesting because anyone who comes to see us has to walk into the auditorium and because of the hard wooden floor, we hear them coming. It’s quite fun to try and work out if it’s a footstep I recognise; our director Gabby has a fast quite noisy step as she charges in from the school run whereas marketing John is slow but nevertheless quite noisy with his clunky boots with the dodgy sole. Technician Pete is swift of foot and when he wears his trainers rather than working shoes, it’s not always so easy to work out.
At other times, the moment I hear a footstep I open our office door so people know where to head and this week amongst our many visitors we had Geoff Baker, he of Guitars on the Beach and Lewis who is a walking encyclopaedia of all things ‘blues’. On the odd occasion I don’t open the door soon enough and the visitor keeps walking into the main auditorium, it’s quite fun to see their faces as they walk in awe into our beautiful theatre that is shrouded in a dull gentle dimmed light that spreads across the floor from the alcove windows, when I open the door and suddenly release a shaft of bright sunlight that pours out of our office driving a piercing rod of light into the darkness.
That also puts pay to the build up of warmth in the office – the auditorium is like a huge sink-hole that sucks the heat out in seconds. Meantime my youngest has decided to inherit my gypsy roots and start his own box of stuff but as he headed up to his room, pegs in hand, he missed his footing and fell up the stairs. Guess that 10 pence worth of good luck has long run out…