The weekend is over. Long live the weekend.
It may come as a bit of a shock to some, but when I was young, I was a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. I have been emotionally invested in this show since 1984, when an exotic, piranha-like bird of paradise named Linda Martin, swept in like a velociraptor, and captured the nation’s heart.
The following year, Ireland was represented by a singer called Maria Christian who came in sixth position in the contest with the drippy ballad ‘Wait until the weekend comes’. This is a feeling I can strongly relate to – particularly between the time period of Sunday at bedtime and Friday afternoon.
How was my weekend anyway?
Friday was an evening of class, style and grace, as the reprobates who made up the cast and crew of my play ‘An unexpected party’ went for a celebratory dinner with the money we made on the show. The venue was Marco-Pierre White’s Steakhouse and Grill on Dawson Street.
I have no idea who the actual chef in this restaurant is (most certainly it is not the gentleman it is named after) but the reputation of the place is ominous. Marco Pierre White is an early example of a celebrity chef. He trained Gordon Ramsay to be a reality TV star. He himself has had a TV career; with cookery shows, cookbooks, Hello! Magazine wedding cover stories. He now puts his name to a series of steakhouses . Nothing excessively fancy, but seeing that he was the first chef to gain three Michelin stars, you still get the vibe that the food will be ornate, tiny in portion and served on plates the size of satellite dishes.
So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that this was not the case. The plates were of average size and the food – while not excessively plentiful – was perfectly adequate in size. For starters I had the roasted peach, in a feta salad with parma ham. For the main course I had sea trout, baby potatoes and spinach with some kind of sauce. For dessert I had the rhubarb and custard tart. All told a very tasty, pleasant (and reasonably priced) meal, in a decent restaurant with attentive staff.
As we headed to the Duke Bar afterwards for a digestif, the woman who played the character of Karen in my play discovered how to use Facebook Live. We gave a live broadcast (playing the characters of Ken and Deirdre Barlow) en route to the pub.
Saturday evening was meant to be an evening of theatre. Unfortunately as the venue is small, I was unable to get a ticket, when I had attempted to, several days earlier. Never mind. After deciding that a quiet night in lay ahead of me, a text appeared inviting me out. I accepted. I met a friend in Oscars in Christchurch. The people who had been at the theatre arrived after the performance. It was a dignified evening – particularly at about 2am in the Front Lounge as one of my thespian buddies and I, acted out the story to ‘Total eclipse of the heart’ by Bonnie Tyler. Through the medium of modern dance.
The glamour actually oozed from us.
Sunday was a day of rest, spent largely on the balcony, drinking copious amounts of tea. And falling in love again with Thomas Cromwell – the 16th century lawyer and statesman, who engineered the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Katharine of Aragon and his subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn of the Temporary Head.
A few years ago I read the book ‘Bring up the bodies’ by Hilary Mantel. It told the tale of Cromwell and his efforts to rid King Henry, of Anne Boleyn after her failure to provide a male heir. It was the sequel to ‘Wolf Hall’, which I started yesterday. This book is about Cromwell’s attempts to rid the king of his first wife Katharine (who kept her head – having the King of Spain as her dad, meant she was spared) after her failure to provide a male heir.
These are both brilliant books. The fact that I am reading the books in the wrong sequence is largely irrelevant. I know the story of these characters already. Nevertheless the intrigue, backstabbing and tension of the book and its main character Cromwell, is addictive.
Expect to see a blog post about this book at some unspecified future date.