Showing true ignorance of the French language I had no idea what this play was all about when I booked it - I just wanted to see David Hyde Pierce (he played Niles in the sitcom Frasier) and Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab) live on stage. I would like to try and make up for my ignorance of our closest neighbour's language and appear more sophisticated by adding Mark Rylance to the reasons for seeing La Bête but to be honest Mrs B had to tell me who he was. (He's only one of the UK’s finest Shakespearian actors - apparently my ignorance knows no bounds.)
The play is a comedy written in iambic pentameter - in layman’s terms a sort of rhyming couplet. Sounds terrible but it actually worked. Mark Rylance was brilliant, giving a 30 minute diatribe that was jaw-droppingly awesome as well as side-stitchingly funny. We all know that person who talks and talks to the point where they are holding up all sides of the conversation with no help from anyone. The only effort for them is running interference to ensure that no one manages to break into their exclusive world. Sadly, the person sat next to me in the audience did not appear to get it (she was probably the type of person that Mr Rylance was portraying in the play). I think she was waiting for the interval to make her escape - only there was no interval. It was a one act play. I can’t think of any other play that I have ever been to that does not have an interval. Isn’t that where they make the money to keep theatres going these days? Just as well we didn’t order interval drinks, as we so nearly did. How embarrassing would that have been? Since Le Bete lasted for over 2 hours we didn’t feel short changed.
David Hyde Pierce did a brilliant job as the person attempting to join in the conversation but not getting the chance, understated brilliance like someone tying to get into fast-flowing traffic, inching forward, inching forward but then quickly having to reverse back under an onslaught of juggernaut style vocabulary….
As for Joanna Lumley, well she was Joanna Lumley only in bare feet and wearing some pyjamary type clothing (no idea why)…
For those of you whose French is as poor as mine it turns out the play title might just become the perfect alter ego for The Beast…
Strada – restaurant
After the theatre we decided rather than wander around aimlessly for hours, trying to find a restaurant (which generally turns out to be the worst choice in 100 miles) we thought we would save all the trailing about and opted for the nearest place. I thought we had accidently walked into one of those eat in the dark restaurants, the lighting was so low even my 20/19 eyesight was tested to its limits. My next thought was that the restaurant was either trying to be green or attempting to save money but it turned out they were just trying to hide how average the food was……It’s good to know that we don’t have to search hi and low to find true mediocrity, it just comes naturally to us.
Our friend Lisa was discussing how, if you create an alternative personality for yourself, you can get away with murder.
Her alter ego is Scarlet and only makes an appearance when Lisa has had too much to drink (if that’s the case I’m not sure I have ever actually met Lisa). This allows Lisa to feel guilt free the following morning as she asks questions like
“So what exactly did Scarlet do last night?”
The only problem is that Lisa now gets some invites with strict instructions that Scarlet is not allowed and if she does turn up Lisa has to escort her home….
I think Mrs B may have a number of Alter ego’s including :-
Film Flop Fanny or should that be Nodding Nora? Mrs B is almost guaranteed to be drifting into lala land before the start credits have faded on most films. There are a few exceptions to this, including Julie and Julia and Meet Joe Black where Mrs B becomes transfixed to the point where conversation is not allowed. At this point she becomes Miss Do Not Disturb….
The Countessa – One thing about Mrs B is that she gets competitive, ultra competitive. Pity any children that end up playing a game with her, she will wipe the floor with them. This competitive streak can extend to arguments. As a couple this is probably our biggest weakness, Mrs B’s inability to admit when she is wrong. Now I’m not saying I’m never wrong, I’m frequently wrong and mostly happy to put my hand up when I am (it actually forms an integral part of my keep-fit regime), which leaves me with a dogged determination to make
The Grouch – Until Mrs B gets the first cup of tea in the morning it’s like dealing with a bear with a sore head.
The Editor - In this mode Mrs B has even been known to try and correct the grammar on my text messages. Occasionally the Editor gets crossed with the Grouch (A sort of Greditor or possibly Edouch) after I make late changes to the BlackLOG and send it out with out editorial approval...
Indeed Mrs B is infact an alter ego in her own right, so clearly I'm dealing with multi personalities here.....
I was just wondering if The Beast could adopt a similar approach to life…if he ever gets caught taking pictures where he shouldn’t he could simply claim to be La Bete (the Beast's French cousin) and claim ignorance of English law….One thing with having an Alter Ego or two, I suspect there is probably a very thin line between it and being diagnosed as a schizophrenic.
Anyone else out there want to admit to an alter ego?
Ferrari track day
Thanks to my friend Mark I got taken on Ferrari track day. He owns a 340 or is it a 430? If only Mark had been a dentist it would have been easy to work out which Ferrari he would have. Obviously it would be a 2:30….(apologies, some of you might have to lower your humour radar for this one). The only thing is I’m actually not a big fan of these phallic symbols of male lackingness. As I wandered around with The Beast (OK, OK, so I’m a fine one to talk about phallic cymbology, but I can assure you that The Beast and I are purely a working relationship) I may have hurt some macho feelings of some of these boys with their expensive toys, apparently comments such as:
“When are they going to bring out some decent cars to photograph……”
“These super cars are all very well but they are not like a proper car….”
"Do these come in Diesel?" - I'm sure I saw one guy turn away and wipe tears of pain from his eyes at that remark ,,,,,
In short the comments didn't go down that well, sending many of them scurrying back to their Ferrari Tosseroffers (or whatever the model they were driving) to put in some adrenalin-fuelled laps, in an attempt to get over the fact that someone was not salivating (I guess it helps with the polishing) all over their pride and joys….
For the record being driven around the track by Mark, who acts as an instructor on these Ferrari track days, was exhilarating - but it hasn’t changed my mind that they are still a huge waste of money….
I got a lot of grief from Mrs B after I wheezed my way off the trampoline at Mala’s birthday party (I’m way too much of a gentleman to mention her actual age but let’s just say she won’t see her 20’s again…..) . I was taunted by comments such as "Pathetic Mr B" and "McG is fitter than you".
It was a very much quieter Mrs B that flopped off after her go and sat stunned in a chair for a good 20 minutes as she fought to recover. Not sure why a trampoline takes it out of you so much, especially as it appears to be doing all the work. You certainly didn’t see the trampoline leaning against the fence and saying breathlessly “It’s OK, I’ll be alright in a minute….Cough, cough, wheeze….”
At a management meeting at work they had a sort of Dragons Den competition.
We were split into groups and given a topic and then had to come up with an idea and pitch it to a number of our Partners. As my group selected my idea to pitch, I was shuffled forward to do the presentation…..
Things did not go well as the person that pitched in front of me had taken about 75% of our ideas, so I spent most of the allotted time commenting about how it felt like being in a singing competition and finding the person before you had just sung your song….
Still the Dragons must have liked the other 25% of the pitch as they selected us as the winners. Either that or they took my threat to sing seriously (believe me you don’t want to hear that, even our shower has hreatened to take out a restraining order against me).
The prize: a meal out at a new London restaurant….sounds good only I can’t take Mrs B and our hosts for the evening will be the Dragons who want to spend the evening discussing the idea. So not the Ipad that I was hoping for then…..
Anyone for burnt toast……
Health food update
Over a week since the healthy option food was put out at work and still no one has touched it. In fact people seem to be giving it a wide birth. Even the cleaners and security guards who normally snaffle anything left out overnight aren’t interested…..Perhaps I’ve discovered the secret of everlasting food…..I’m going to leave it to see if it can make its own way out of the office….
This week's blog themed music selection - I'm afraid it's gone a bit heavy
The number of the beast - Iron Maiden
Jump - Van Halen