Because we live in London, visitors often say things like “I suppose you go to the theatres all the time.” Well, actually, no. For one thing, London theatre tickets tend to be very expensive and for another, well, frankly, there’s a lot of other things to do as well.
I mentioned that we spent Christmas in Margate, holed up in a modest hotel next to the station and in sight of the sea. Tigger organized it all, including food, which is difficult to obtain over the Christmas period when shops and restaurants tend to close. So I thought she deserved a show of appreciation and I offered her a slap-up dinner or anything else of her choice. What Tigger chose was to go to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to see “Pinter’s People”, thirteen sketches characterized by Pinter’s black humour. I bought gallery tickets but on the night the gallery was closed and the box office “upgraded” our tickets to seats in the Orchestra Stalls.
The outing was not without stress. Tigger had insisted on going for the matinée performance at 5 pm. As she leaves work at 4 pm it was always going to be a problem getting across London in time. Half-way there we realized we weren’t going to make it in time if we remained on the bus so we jumped off and looked for a taxi. It had been raining and the pavement was greasy. I slipped on the kerb and went down with a bang. I was very touched at the way half a dozen passers-by came to my aid and asked if I was OK. I of course said yes though I didn’t know whether I was or not. Tigger hauled me to my feet (she’s a strong lass) and nothing seemed broken. Apart from some dirt on my clothes and a painful elbow and knee, I have come out of it remarkably well. I didn’t even chip my nail varnish.
We finally got a cab by cornering one at the lights before he could escape. Tigger asked if he could get us to Haymarket by 5 pm (it was now 4:45 pm). Being a true London cabby, he made a reply that included a lot of muttering and shoulder shrugging but contained no useful information. We got in anyway. Mutterer he might be, but the cabby knew his London and got us to the theatre with 5 minutes to spare.
We enjoyed the performance. During the interval we ate bananas and I lashed out and bought ice creams. Afterwards, we went round the corner to a cheap restaurant that Tigger knows for a pasta supper. It doesn’t get classier than that.