Yesterday I had a very nice cup of coffee and wee bit of shortbread with a fellow blogger from that list over there on the right. I had a brilliant time and topics of conversation ranged from the best way of disposing of Katie Melua to whether one should take the mickey out of American tourists who have fallen for the £18.99 "kilt" from the Gold Brothers "Tat-a-torium" on the High Street. (For non-Edinburgh readers, there are a host of truly awful shops in the tourist areas of Edinburgh selling dreadful tartan souvenirs including polyester skirts masquerading as kilts. It's a real dilemma: whether you should break it to the poor tourist who has bought the tacky rip-off that in fact a real kilt takes a trained craftsman weeks to make and will cost you upwards of £100.)
The topic of appearing on stage came up (I am not going to steal my compatriot's thunder but I really wish he would blog the Wizard of Oz story he told me - it's priceless) and it reminded me of my own brief forays into amateur dramatics. When Iwas at school, in my 5th year, I wrote a pantomime version of Snow White along with one of my teachers. Auditions were duly held. Guess which part I got? Yep, the Wicked Queen (well I am hardly Snow White material, am I?)
I had an absolute whale of a time doing that show - got completely over-the-top make-up, a big swishy cloak and long fingernails and the opportunity to ham it up big time. We performed the show for the primary schools which were in our school's catchment area and then my teacher had the bright idea of taking a cut-down version of the show to the local nursery school (we removed the explicit references to having Snow White killed in the forest and I had to forego my favourite scene involving a wooden box and a pig's heart). So one afternoon we all trotted down to the village, in full costume and makeup, and did a performance for the kids. They seemed to love it - lots of shrieking and booing and laughing, and we left feeling very pleased with ourselves.
A couple of days later I was called down to see the headmaster. Apparently, despite having toned down the show, the performance (and mine in particular) had had quite an impact on some of the kids in the nursery. To the extent that some of them were now refusing to go back to the nursery building in case I was lurking in a cupboard somewhere waiting to jump out on them. We had to bring those children up to the school where they met me (in my full costume and make-up) and I spoke to them and reassured them that I was really quite nice in real life, honest, and almost never cut out the hearts of small children for fun. No dice, they still weren't convinced and looked like they were about to climb over their mothers to get away from me. I had to go and get a vat of cold cream and let them watch me remove my make-up, all the while keeping up a chirpy stream of chat about how nice I was really and how this was all make-believe and how I loved children really (a lie, actually - I really didn't like kids until shortly before I had my own). The nervous whimpering eventually died down (despite seeing me without make-up!) and the kids were all able to shake hands with me before they left. I gather they did all return safely to nursery school.
I do still like to wonder whether there is a small group of West Lothian adults (they will all be in their late twenties now - gulp) who have unexplained recurring nightmares involving a scary looking woman who threatens to cut out their hearts before cruelly and deliberately removing her make-up at them. I'd kind of like to think there are - it's the only lasting legacy my last stage performance is likely to have.
PS - I ran for 1 hour 3 minutes this morning. 7.8km!! I need to lie down for a few hours.......