Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Belated updates: Kate and Shakespeare and wonton wrappers

While in France, I had a recurring sore throat, but after the day at work and the night out at The Book of Mormon, life got too hard and my immune system gave way. I didn't get a single moments sleep that night as the pain in my throat was immense. I got up, got dressed, got the train to work, where I said to my boss "I haven't slept, I apologise if I'm very vague today." To which she simply responded, "Go home!" and so I did.

I had already bought tickets to see Kate Miller Heidke that night, so when I got home from work I crawled into bed and didn't leave it again until it was time to get ready for the concert. I wanted to see her on London soil as I had seen her so many times back home in Adelaide. At first, I was dreading having to socialise and be up and about with the pain in my head and my throat, but once I got moving my mood improved.

I met Charlotte at the Scala, an interesting rock/night club venue where Kate was to play. We grabbed some food and then joined the queue. This was Charlotte's first foray into Kate; my ninth (I think? It's somewhere around there). As usual, she was divine, with her soaring high notes and surprising quiet humour. The last few concerts of hers I've been to have been more new song oriented, and as I haven't followed her as closely of late, I don't know these songs so well. 

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent in bed. I was meant to go to Brighton with the folks but I made the decision, even though I had paid for the hostel, not to go. I was in no state. As sad as I was, this was the right decision. 

This is where things started to go a little haywire for me, emotions-wise. I was so sick - throat like razor blades,  to the point where I couldn't sleep from the pain, headaches to match - and the homesick hit. The proverbial "they" had said that "it's the hardest at the 3 month mark" and that was exactly where I was. I just wanted a hug. I felt terrible, both in body and in mind. I had to keep reminding myself of all the good things coming up, while I lay in bed, to exhausted to even go down to the kitchen to eat.

Sounds melodramatic, I know. I returned to work on the Monday and by the Tuesday I had a panic attack in the local Waitrose, an expensive supermarket. What triggered it? Wonton wrappers. Those fucking wonton wrappers. I simply could not find wonton wrappers anywhere. I was exhausted, forgetful, vague, sore, tired, homesick, sad and I melted down over wonton wrappers.

Wednesday felt a little better. Today, I looked up a Thai supermarket, rang them, and lo and behold, they had wonton wrappers. This improved my mood. I still desperately wanted a hug from someone, but things were going to be alright. I'm mentioning all of this because I want to remember it - it's been two weeks and I'm still struggling with the ups and downs - this is the first time I've felt down since coming to London (and the first time I've felt this down for maybe a year or two), and I have to remember all the amazing things that I have done already and the incredible adventures I have to come. I want to look back on this and think "Good on you, you're sticking it out. You're doing great. Keep going."

I bought my wonton wrappers, and life was looking up. (BTW, this is why I was looking for wonton wrappers.)

Thursday night I was booked in to see The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare's The Globe, and I was seriously excited. After work, I donned my standing shoes (because who doesn't want to watch a play like the peasants of old?), met Cory at a nearby pub, ate dinner and then made our way to The Globe. We positioned ourselves as close as possible to the stage, forming a crescent behind two extremely tall gentlemen. 

I had already seen The Comedy of Errors before (back in Adelaide with my lovely workmates), so I knew the story. It was wonderful to see it in costumes of old, the slapstick humour as funny today as it was in 1500's. Before the intermission, I found myself gently moving from foot to foot, trying to relieve the pressure and discomfort that was building from standing so long.

I loved the occasional drops of modern humour, which gave the performance an edge, and also found the scene changes fascinating as the actors would come forth and sing a bridging song. I also absolutely adored the fact that we were exposed to the elements - there being no roof on the Globe, and seeing the moon above. The weather that night could not have been more fantastic, utterly balmy with a gentle cool breeze - we were not at risk of being rained on.

I left with a big smile on my face, feeling on top of the world again. Culture, lovely night, good company - things were going to be alright. Besides, the next day is Friday, and what's not to like about that?

To my newfound friends that I have met since I've been here - if you need a chat or a hug (my old friends back home can attest to the fact that I give excellent hugs!) please do not hesitate to ask.

Much love,


The lovely Kate at Scala in London

Wonton wrappers are now going to be synonymous with melt downs. 

The Comedy of Errors in the open roof The Globe theatre