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Friday, 1 May 2009

27 - 30 April 2009 (It's all about kings and tits)

Monday. – Well here it is my first week back to normality (if my life can ever be thought of as normal) after my ten days in the beautiful Abruzzo region of central Italy. It’s a damp, dreary day and one where my O.C.D. has risen with me, first it was a chore to choose a shirt, trying on three or four before making a decision, then just about to leave the house something inside me says it’s the wrong one and I have to change it again. I plug my iPod into the car and set off to the office, The Scars play ‘All About You’ and the track bounces along nicely as I drive to the petrol station. I fill up with petrol, nothing unusual there until I come to pay for it. I’ve taken a £20 note out of my wallet in readiness, I’m just about to hand it to the cashier when a little voice inside tells me if I give her this one it’ll be bad luck, so at the last minute I open my wallet and give her another one. I drive away as Sophie Ellis Bextor sings ‘Final Move’. I’m driving along when I suddenly decide for no reason to change lanes, as I do a woman in a blue Renault; chatting on her mobile, swerves into the space I’ve just vacated, thus giving credence to my O.C.D. Tuesday. – It’s raining and I have to drive to a Shropshire school today to help facilitate Shakespeare workshops. The rain doesn’t bother me as I drive along the lanes with music playing to keep me company, Sinead O’Connor sings ‘Three Babies’ and I sing along. I come around a bend and am met by a tractor towing a trailer full of hay bales, I trundle along slowly as the tops of the bales hit branches overhanging the road, and showers of dried grass hit my windscreen. I arrive at the school and look at the front of my car, which has so much hay stuck to the wet body it looks almost as if it has been made of wool. My colleague Gloria takes one look at the knitted Berlingo and bursts out laughing. The school has had a recent performance of Titanic in their studio theatre and the stage has been transformed into the ship. I joke with some girls that I’d love to climb on board and do a Kate Winslett, a tall blonde girl urges me to do it, so she takes a photo as I stand arms outstretched shouting, ‘I’m king of the world.’ The morning workshops go well, the group we had were the top sets, and some had too much attitude. The school provide lunch and then the afternoon sessions are for the lower ability students, always my favourite group as they are less reticent about joining in. One group of boys are developing a scene from Romeo and Juliet, they ask me what the Nurse says in the scene, I tell them she’s telling Lady Capulet that she knows how old Juliet is because it’s eleven years since she was weaned. The resulting scene by the boys went like this. Boy 1: Walks on tells us he is Juliet and sits down. Boy 2: Walks on and tells us he’s Lady Capulet and stands next to Juliet. Boy 3: Walks on and tells us he is the Nurse and stands looking at Juliet, then says: "Eleven years Juliet since you’ve been on this tit and now look at the state of you.” Rapturous applause erupts and I find myself laughing like a drain, job done we pack up and leave, I drive home with ‘No Pressure’ by Lemar playing, loudly.
Wednesday. – Was pretty uneventful really, the most exciting thing was seeing a five car shunt on the way to work, this shunt held up the traffic, but to be honest I didn’t care, well how can you when the sun is shining and Luciano Pavarotti is belting out ‘E Lucevan le Stelle’?
Thursday. – Was a day of stress, dealing with actors that seem unable to self manage themselves out in the field, honestly for adults some of them need hand holding from the moment their contract starts to its finish. I make a mental note to relax this evening with a couple of gin and tonics. The office iPod shuffles through an eclectic mix of genres, punk swaps with disco, and rock trades places with R&B. The working day closes with Placebo and the anthemic ‘Pure Morning’. I’ve been back in the UK now for 8 days and given the opportunity would jump back on an aeroplane and head back to Abruzzo, it’s like I leave part of me behind every time I leave Italy. I can’t wait until I’m living there lock, stock and proverbial barrel.

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