Well, that day turned into a bit of a triumph after all.
Good things do come to those who moan.
Firstly, after putting up a struggle and having to be poked out from under the bed with a broom, Derek succumbed to the V E T’ S tender ministrations. She is hale and hearty and full of va va voom.
Unlike other cats I have known, Derek doesn’t go mental as soon as she gets into the surgery, tearing around like a re-enactment of the furry wall of death, skidding and sliding and yowling. No. She goes all boneless chicken. She flattens herself to the table and goes as limp as possible, before trying to slide onto the floor and under the crack in the door should she get so far.
She never does get so far because she does this all at super slow speeds, in the hope that nobody will see her.
This is brilliant, because it gives the V E T plenty of time to scoop her up in huge, looping armfuls, and give her a good poke and prod before Derek can put up any resistance. Derek just lies limply in her arms, sagging at the seams like Bagpuss and looking affronted. This is the best possible scenario frankly. Any cat who takes it on the chin, knows when they are beaten and tries not to rip your face off when you give them a worming tablet is A1 in my eyes.
After we had released her into the wild, and she had sat on the table in the garden with her back to us to register her displeasure at our betrayal of cat kind, Jason broke the news that he has booked a surprise holiday for us.
When I say ‘us’ I mean just me and him.
This in itself is mega exciting and worth a jolly good squee on its own.
Then he told me that he was taking me to Copenhagen. In three weeks time.
I exploded with the squee. Absolutely exploded.
I am so excited my lovely, lovely people. I have not stopped thinking about all the cake and coffee I will be able to shove into my pie hole. And Mrs. Jones, my wonderful friend, has already blazed a trail there earlier in the year, and has been giving me lots of helpful advice and brilliant suggestions of things to do, which is making me more excitable. Especially when she said; ‘Royal Copenhagen China’. Which I had forgotten about, but is now, along with cake, very much in the forefront of my mind.
I have three weeks to pack all my most voluminous clothes, and practice shouting ‘TAK’ at random strangers.
Granny is going to move in for a few days and look after the children. This is terribly exciting for the children, and slightly makes up for the fact that they’re not coming too. Plus, I promised to buy cake.
Then, after cooking a triumphant tea (Anjum Anand’s Indian Shepherd’s Pie, which is a thing of beauty and a joy forever), I sloped off to the Phoenix Arts Cinema down the road to see the NTLive/New Vic collaboration, of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson. I took Tilly, and we met Andrea there, who managed to make it this time, despite naughty calves and traffic.
It was amazing. Truly amazing. I am so lucky that I have managed to see some fabulous women actors playing brilliant roles on stage recently. I’d be hard pushed to decide between Gillian and Helen McCrory as my favourite performance of the year to date.
I hated the staging of Streetcar. I think I’m biased to be honest as I’ve never been keen on the New Vic as a space. The seats are crippling for a start. This play was set in the round, and the set revolved. I thought it was clever that it started to revolve as Gillian as Blanche DuBois really got into the heavy drinking, but the persistent twirliness of it got on my nerves after a bit. As did the screaming ‘rawk’ sound track between scenes, which presumably covered up the noise of the actors tidying round.
Having said that, Anderson’s performance was impeccable, and immersive and exhaustingly brilliant, and the rest of the cast were great in their respective roles.
When we got outside I asked Tilly what she thought. She said: ‘I didn’t ‘like’ it, but it was amazingly powerful wasn’t it?’ which is exactly what I’d hoped for.