Two years ago almost to the day, we returned from Madeira and came down almost immediately with Covid. It was not a pleasant experience and we were quite ill.
Last week we came back from Madeira, having meticulously observed all the local masking and testing rules, three jabs behind us, only for Tony to test COVID+Omicron BA.2 and spend his first week back in bed while I have tested Negative.
There can only be two places he caught it: on the flight from Madeira or in Heathrow. Take your pick; and this time round so very many of you, dear Friends, have come down with this version – albeit rather more mildly and perhaps less threateningly than the 2020 version.
But Friends, as Tony reached the sunny uplands of negativity I plunged into the dark valley of positivity – a full ten days afterwards!
Upshot – none of our plans to visit friends, to go to the theatre and generally segue back into the scene, came to fruition.
We only made Cabaret with its new cast of the excellent Fra Fee, Amy Lennox and Vivien Parry – Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley having walked off with all the Oliviers the night before – to carry on with this brilliant production. We allowed ourselves the full experience: the little tables crowding the small stage with their lights , their telephones, their gins and champagne cocktails; and of course the three course meal served in stainless steel tiffin boxes reminiscent of the lunchboxes of The Lunchbox.
The Playhouse Theatre has been completely turned upside down with a stage in the round where the proscenium used to be and tiered seating in what was once the wings and backstage. It’s very effective and the show itself so poignant, moving and, with what’s going on in the world today, the rise of fascism once again, the cruel evil of the war in the Ukraine, inflation, environmental crises, extremely relevant. It was worth the mortgage we took out to see it and the relationship developed between the five main characters, The Emcee, Sally Bowles, Fraulein Schneider, Herr Schultz and Clifford Bradshaw were all intensely well played, Vivien Parry and Elliot Levy as Schneider & Schultz particularly so.
Go, Friends, if you can.
Otherwise there is little to tell you. We are still in the season of vouchers. Untraveled plans to visit family & friends in South Africa not seen for years are being unrolled and we are now on a countdown to run the gauntlet tomorrow, to Cape Town, via strikes, pandemic-induced staff shortages, airport chaos, VeriFly Apps that sometimes don’t work and the usual stress of travel in these strange days.
The Ukraine hangs over us all. It beggars belief that Europe is once again plunged into a war so cruel, so unnecessary. We appear to have learned absolutely nothing from our history.
And the lies that are told. By our leaders.
This is a short rant! We all know who the liars are though we have yet to behold the consequences of their lies.
This is not a good time dear Friends. No it is not.
Take great care.