I took myself off to the theatre again on Saturday. I wasn’t sure if I would do anything much as I still wasn’t well, and walking in the cold air was doing nothing for my cough. However come Saturday morning I decided I was up to a train trip into London with minimal walking!
I went to see a matinee performance of ‘Journey’s End’ a play written by a veteran of World War I, based on his experiences. It was set in the two days leading up to a major offensive by the Germans and the only set was a bunker where a group of English soldiers were living only fifty metres from the front line. It was quite a powerful performance. Of course, they allowed us to get to know the characters, and sympathise with them, then… well I won’t give away the ending! However the most remarkable thing was the sound effects used at the final scene. They completely darkened the set and audience, and assaulted us with bomb blasts to the point where the floor vibrated. For the first time I was able to glimpse what it might have been like to have been a soldier on the front. It left me quite shaken…
On Sunday afternoon I went for my first drive out in the countryside. Yes people, I finally escaped the confines of Basildon by car! And it wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I had feared! A bit like driving in the Adelaide Hills! I am getting used to the English love affair with roundabouts (honestly can’t remember a single intersection with traffic lights…). I aimed for the medieval town of Saffron Walden. I didn’t spend much time there as it was getting late and I was anxious about getting home before dark, but intend going back to have a good look around and take some photos. I also drove through a tiny village called Thaxted. The houses were extraordinary – terraces all different shapes and sizes squashed together and in lolly pastel colours! All crooked doors and leaning walls! I will make sure I return to take photos here too!
This weekend I am off to St Albans to visit an old uni friend and her family. I am really looking forward to spending time with some Australians, and once again being a tourist!