Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In which Husband sets off on an adventure

'I'm going to the bank - and I'm going to go on the bus!' Husband announced this morning.

He's had a bus pass for four years and hasn't used it - except in Derby where it shouldn't have been used but the driver didn't notice - so this is an adventure for him.

But so that it's not too scary he just spent twenty minutes checking all the bus routes and times.

* * * * * * * *
I had my own mini adventure last night: I went to the theatre on my own. Okay, not really an adventure and not something I haven't done before but it was scheduled to end at 11.00 pm so that was quite late for me to be out on my own. Plus I almost didn't make it into the theatre.

Swansea Council has taken to introducing in their car parks pay machines that require your registration number. No, I knew it; I've been caught out like that before. That wasn't the problem. No, the problem was the keyboard. Low down and poorly lit  and me without my glasses. It was only thanks to a man queuing behind me who put the numbers in for me that I was able to use it.

So anyway, I was at Swansea's Grand Theatre for the final three-hour stint in the 36 hour Dylathon. As it says, over 36 hours, with 15 minute breaks every so often, loads of famous and not famous people read poems, letters, articles and stories by Dylan Thomas as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Artistes taking part in the finale included: Sir Ian McKellen, Katherine Jenkins, Sian Phillips, Matthew Rhys,  Gillian Clarke (National Poet), the Wales Theatre Company and the Morriston Orpheus Choir. We also had Prince Charles (recorded), Carwyn James (Wales First Minister), the President of Ireland, and Ryan Jones (Wales and ex-Ospreys rugby player and all-round lovely boyo). And others you won't have heard of.

I'm afraid I have to admit I don't get Dylan's poetry but it's nothing personal: I don't get poetry full stop. But I thoroughly enjoyed his letters, Under Milk Wood excerpts and the short stories. Di Botcher, who is I think famous on the local arts scene, read The Outing and she brought the house down. She was really excellent. It was just a shame she wasn't reading A Child's Christmas in Wales. The man reading it seemed to think it was a race to get to the end - and, in fact, we were out of the theatre by 10.50 pm, partly I'm sure thanks to his speed-reading. I wanted someone - the producer/anyone - to stand up and say, 'Slow down!!!'

The talent of Sir Ian McKellen speaks for itself and even me, not getting poetry, couldn't help but me moved by his rendition of Do Not Go Gentle. But I still preferred his reading of Dylan's last letter to Caitlin, his wife.

Morriston Orpheus Choir rounded off the evening with the Reverend Eli Jenkins' Prayer from Under Milk Wood. This is Dunvant Male Voice Choir's rendition. And I've just noticed it's my Uncle Woodie on the right end of the second row.

Every morning when I wake,
Dear Lord, a little prayer I make,
O please to keep Thy lovely eye
On all poor creatures born to die.

And every evening at sun-down
I ask a blessing on the town,
For whether we last the night or no
I'm sure is always touch-and-go.

We are not wholly bad or good
Who live our lives under Milk Wood,
And Thou, I know, wilt be the first
To see our best side, not our worst.

O let us see another day!
Bless us all this night, I pray,
And to the sun we all will bow
And say, good-bye - but just for now!

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