Hello and welcome to this weeks blog post. This week I will be discussing the Olympics, No Man’s Land, time off and things you leave at a train station. So let’s get started
It has been a busy week with lots of things happening and changing and I suppose I am just taking everything in. I have had a couple of days of annual leave this week which has been lovely as it is a rare thing for me to do at the moment but has been beneficial. Taking time off also allows me to stop and catch my breath and take in things that have been happening and look around at where I am at this point. I could be in a worse place but I am also not where I thought I would be so need to get myself back on track. It like when you are at the beach and the tide comes in and surrounds you then goes out and you get a bit disoriented well that is me at the moment.
What I did on my time off was that I treated myself to a night away and went to the theatre to see ‘No Man’s Land’ by Harold Pinter. I have to admit the reason I went to see the play was because of the cast. The two main actors were Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The play also starred Owen Teale and Damien Molony. The opportunity to see Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen on stage together was too good to miss and it was a privilege to spend 2 hours watching them perform. Judi Dench once said “If you want to be a good a good actor then go and watch as much theatre as you can”. I have probably paraphrased but this advice stuck with me. It is the best way to learn acting skills and this performance was masterclass in theatre. The play was quite heavy going and unusual as it is didn’t have a beginning a middle and an end but that’s Pinter for you. It is difficult to say exactly what is what about but I suppose it is about friendship/dependency and reality/dreaming and where our lives feature in all of this. I told you it was difficult to get your head around.
After the play I debated whether I should go to the stage door to see the cast. I don’t usually do this (the only other time was when I saw Mojo in London). However it was too good an opportunity not to and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. Sir Ian McKellen is a massive role model for me. Not only as an actor but because of the work he has done for the LGBT community. To meet him would be a huge honour on top of that as self-confessed geek he is Magneto and Gandalf add Sir Patrick Stewart in who is also Professor Xavier and Captain Pickard in Star Trek you are talking Geek royalty. So I decided to queue and see if I could get an autograph and a chance to speak to them. I joined the queue and then someone I’m guessing from the production crew came out and announced in a very theatrical voice “Patrick Stewart does not do Selfies” he went on to say that “he also won’t sign anything Star Wars related”. At this point all of us waiting politely but firmly replied “It’s Star Trek not Star Wars”. The response we got was basically he doesn’t sign anything unless it is connected with the show. This is fair enough as we were at theatre and not a Sci Fi convention. Owen Teale came out first and was posing for photo and signing autographs. I had the page of the programme all ready for him to sign when I realised that Patrick Stewart was swiftly moving his way down the queue and was in front of me about to sign my programme but he then said “You have the wrong page open I fear the moment is passed”. Owen Teal also looked at me wondering if I wanted him to sign. I had a split second to decided who I wanted and I chose Patrick Stewart. I quickly fumbled and upturned the page and Patrick very kindly signed it. The moment had not passed phew.
Now I was just waiting for Sir Ian McKellen. He was happy to pose for photos (he would look up when asked is what we got told) and sign autographs. When he got to me he signed my programme and I plucked up the courage to speak to him. I had already thought about what I would say to him as I didn’t just want to fanboy him and say “you’re amazing”. So I thanked him for all the work he has done for the LGBT community. He stopped and looked and said “bless you thank for saying that” he then said what he had been speaking to the Terrence Higgins Trust that afternoon and had I heard of them. I replied yes and he then moved on to the next fan and my moment was over. It was quite simply an honour to meet him and speak to him and some how I managed not to make a fool of myself in front of him. I am pleased I took the opportunity to meet him and to thank you to him for everything he has done. It is certainly a huge highlight of my life. Afterwards I walked back to my hotel with probably the biggest grin on my face possible clutching my signed programme.
I had decided to stay over in Newcastle as bit of treat to myself. It is a bit indulgent I suppose but it meant a night away from home and that was a huge treat. Home is ok but living at home still with parents is tough at the moment not for any particular reason it’s just well complicated I suppose. Anyway a night away was just what I needed and id me a lot of good I think. I certainly slept well. I know it might be a bit odd for some people to understand why I wanted time on my own. It could even look quite selfish but in truth I needed to do it and also it reflects where I am and feel at the moment.
The next day I had a look around Newcastle and then headed up on the train. The train was on time and all was well. The train stopped at Durham and people got on and then departed. Next thing a woman comes running down the carriage banging on the driver’s door shouting spend the good my baby is on the platform. Now OK she is distraught I get that but I would rather she dint try to force her way in to the drivers carriage when the train is motion thank you. She was trying to force the door open and then she spotted some train staff in the next carriage and went running to them. Me and other passengers looked around at each other with the look on our faces ‘Has she really just left her baby on the platform?’. The train then stops and the driver opens his door and enters the carriage to see what is happening and goes to see the passenger. Me and the other passengers once again look at each other intrigued but also a little nervous as well. A woman near me who got on at Durham said she saw the woman with a baby and small children and another person at the station but she now couldn’t see the baby or the other person. The train driver then comes back with an exasperated look and apologies saying there isn’t anything to worry about but we are going to reverse back to Durham station. This happens and from then I think it is all resolved but not sure whether the woman did bet back on train or not. How does this happen though? How do you leave a baby at a station? I haven’t left anything at a station although I have left the odd hat and umbrella on the train before. I am quite baffled at how she managed this though. Hopefully all is well. It got me wondering what have you ever left at a train station or on a train before? Do let me know in the comments or tweet me.
The Olympics have continued all this week and with the Closing Ceremony this evening (Sunday) I am sad to see it end but I know in four years time I will be obsessed with it once again. I have enjoyed watching all the different sports and seeing how athletes celebrate success and deal with defeat. On this note I want to mention how gutted I was for Tom Daley not making the final of the 10m Diving competition. He had done amazing the preliminary scoring the a personal best and one of the highest ever preliminary scores for diving but the next day he had a bad day in the semi final and was out. My heart went out to him as it was clear how upset he was but still had to face the world with a brave face. I couldn’t have done it. What I didn’t like was the huge amount of abuse he was getting online. It wasn’t justified and he still has a bronze medal from these Olympics and after all we all have a bad day at work sometimes its just that for Tom Daley his bad day watched by millions of people. He is 22 years old and has 2 Olympic Bronze medals, he was won gold twice in the World Championships and one bronze and he is the current Commonwealth, European and British Diving champion. that is amazing especially when you remember he is just 22 years old. At 22 I had passed my degree but was working in a supermarket I wonder what many of his haters were doing at that age. What struck me the most though was that Tom Daley went and watched the final. He didn’t need to but he did and that must have been tough. If that had been me I would have wanted to be as far away from the pool as possible crying my keys out. I’m sure he did do that at some point but he went and watched the final and that says a lot about the type of person he really is. Yes he does media and publicity but he does it because he needs the funding to compete and this also brings funding to the sport so other divers such as Daniel Goodfellow, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher were able to get the best support and training possible. So Tom focus on Tokyo in four years time and I’m sure success is yours then.
Well now the Olympics are drawing to close it means TV gets back to normal and with shows such as Great British Bake Off, Poldark and Strictly starting I have lots of good shows to watch. It also means September is nearly here and with it autumn. It is my favourite time of the year and a chance to start getting myself sorted and looking after my general health and more importantly my mental wellbeing which hasn’t been that good this year.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you are wondering where this months book blog post is it will be with you in the next few days.
Top Programme of the Week – The Olympics
Top Song of the Week – Pet Shop Boys – Winner
Books I Am Currently Reading – The Reader on the 6:27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent