One Night Last Summer.
One Night Last Summer
Bertie: “Wot! Amateur dramatics? You must be bleedin’ joking!”
Bobby: “Now look, Bertie. We are a team. Tim and Tracey together with Oakley (Technical Director, Artistic Director and Guide Dog) have kindly invited us to their daughter Debbi’s new musical with the Hinchley Manor Operatic Society. “One Night Last Summer”. They are coming down all the way by train from their canal boat in Birmingham. And we are going.”
Later. Much later…
Bertie: “Well, I must admit, we really enjoyed the show. Musically directed by Debbi, it was the first play written by George Lester. Young student love and worried parents all musically held together by Debbi and her drummer friend… Nice bit of snogging. If they were acting, they were very good! (Ooh err, missus).
I could see Bobby was really enjoying himself watching “One Night Last Summer”, much as he had done with his Bangers and Mash pub lunch. But then, that was all he did right all afternoon. Distracted by Tim’s whacking great big 5D (camera), he seemed intent on fun and forgot to take any decent pictures at all. When you consider that his only other responsibility was to drive us all from Wimbledon to Thames Ditton and get lost on the way to Portsmouth I was a bit embarrassed. Especially when saved by Tim’s SatNav – honed to perfection at 2mph on a canal boat on Britain’s Inland Waterways.
So this week I am handing over to proud dad Tim to save the story and give the poor old sod a rest. Over to you Tim.”
Tim: Well thanks, Bertie, for ruining my contribution to “I Don’t Believe It”! I was going to cover that car journey. As you say, it was a simple task. In fact, the only thing that Bobby had to do. But, as you know, if there was an Olympic sport of “Incessant Rabbiting”, then Bobby would win hands down. So busy was he, jabbering away and bragging how he didn’t need a SatNav, he got carried away on the A3. It was when I saw the signs for the M25 I started getting worried. I then realised we had been in the car a lot longer than I thought we should have been. I’d just put that down to the background noise making the journey seem longer than it actually was. Ahahahaha! I think Bobby was suitably embarrassed – after all, we were on HIS Manor!
The only reason we were relying on Bobby’s taxi was the fact that South Western Railway were on strike, and there were no trains to Thames Ditton. Otherwise, we could have got the train to within two minutes walk of the theatre. On the bright side, though, we arrived at the pub before Debbi and her husband Ryan – and still in plenty of time for the show.
It was with some trepidation that we entered the theatre. Quite what people would make of us bringing a grown man cuddling a teddy bear into the auditorium we weren’t sure. However, true to form, Bobby charmed the ladies in his own inimitable style, and “Bertie Business Cards” started flying out of his pockets. Normally when we go places it is Oakley who is the star of the show. However, it was definitely you, Bertie, that took on this all important role on this occasion.
We settled ourselves down in the second row, with a clear view of the stage. Perfect for taking photographs as there was no-one in front of us. So, as we cannot bring you the show itself, please enjoy some of the photographs of “One Night Last Summer” in the gallery below:”
Bertie: “So there you have it. The highbrow Mindfully Bertie Office Outing! I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would – especially when I was invited for a photo shoot with the stars. And, if you are ever in that manor, keep an eye out for their next show. If you fancy a pantomime this year, then Debbi is playing in Sleeping Beauty at the Questors Theatre, Ealing.”
“One Night Last Summer” was held in the Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton. This is a lovely little venue. Built in 1887, it was originally the Village Hall. In the 1980s it was threatened with demolition. However, local fundraising saved the day. A gentleman by the name of Harry Fletcher made a substantial donation in memory of his wife Vera, which is where the hall gets its name today. Petula Clark opened the restored hall, and it has been graced with the presence of the English National Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company. See this link for more information.
And now, to one final photograph from the show. Photographers will be aware of the phenomenon called “red eye”, which makes people’s eyes look a demonic red when using a flash. There is a similar phenomenon when you use flash taking photographs of dogs – but this is “green eye”. Just be warned before you look at the shot below. Hahahaha!
Lighting a Candle to Diddley.
The day after the show we went to the All Souls service in our local church St Mary Magdalen. A service to remember those we have loved and in some way lost. During the service, the names are read out one at a time and, if you choose to, you walk to the front of the church to light a candle. Bobby found it quite emotional.
We sat next to a much younger, more recently bereaved, gentleman. There was a common bond and we chatted openly about feelings and how we had coped. So far. Both of us had been asked to brighten people’s day at the funeral by using cardboard coffins decorated as our loved ones had wished. His wife had wanted the flowers and butterflies of her beloved countryside. Diddley had wanted all her grandchildren to paint pictures all over the coffin. In her case, she also got bluebirds and many adults joined in too. The pictures were given to the undertaker who provided a design to be printed on the coffin. It’s not to everybody’s taste but, for these two ladies, it was a perfect memorial. If you haven’t seen the pictures of the final design just ask.
Here’s a Prayer
Almighty God, we bring You our thanks for those who have shared our lives. We thank You for the happy times we had together, and we commit to You the sorrowful times or the times we regret. We pray that You would bring the comfort of Your presence to those who grieve for loved ones missed because of death, to those who suffer through estrangement and to those whose loved ones live far away. Amen