I had a wonderful day off work yesterday (Wednesday). I met my mum off the bus from Glasgow and we had a wee day to ourselves, and as it turned out, one to remember.
After a morning coffee we took a trip out to the Dean Gallery and spent an hour and a half browsing the art on display. The lower floor has a large collection of Dada and Surrealist art, some of which was more appealing than others. I quite the surrealist stuff, but it has to give me a connection somewhere, not just exist.
The featured artwork was split between Edinburgh-born artist Eduardo Paolozzi, with installations of his mechanical sculptures in the gardens as well as inside, and four Scottish painters: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, John Bellany, Alan Davie and Anne Redpath. The collection included “works of expressionism and abstraction with influences ranging from natural forms to Zen Buddhism to jazz music”. Again, some of it was lovely and others we just didn’t see it.
Fog had smothered Edinburgh by the time we left, so we jumped into a cab and headed off to get some lunch near our next event at the Kings Theatre. We settled in a small bar/restaurant just along from the theatre and enjoyed some carrot and coriander soup with toasted ciabatta, followed by a wee coffee to keep us going.
Into the theatre then, and the main event of the day. I had managed to get fifth row centre seats for what has been billed as the stage highlight of the year: Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot with Sir Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart as Vladimir and Estragon, and Simon Callow and Ronald Pickup as Pozzo and Lucky.
I doubt I could do justice to the performances of those involved, by attempting to describe the amazing quality of acting, and the utterly enjoyable two and a half hours we spent in the theatre. It was quite simply the best time I have spent in a theatre in my life, and Ian McKellen in particular, well, it was top notch stuff of the highest order, and both my mother and I felt honoured to have been there.
Afterwards, a quick drink in a nearby pub with much discussion about the play, and we took a walk from Tollcross around Edinburgh Castle, down the Royal Mile to Hunter Square and Le Sept, my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh. Or at least it used to be until it moved, and this was the first time I had been to its new premises.
We took our seats in the more open and less intimate dining area, and took nearly three hours to enjoy our meal – and I mean enjoy because the cooking has not deteriorated one iota. We both had the Grilled Goats Cheese with leaves, croutons, olive oil, garlic, and basil. It was delicious, not too filling either. Then we both tucked into the Aberdeen Angus 8oz Rump Steak served with fries, my mother having it with the Mixed Berries & Port Sauce, and myself with the Garlic & Parsley Butter. All of this deliciously prepared food was washed down with a bottle of French Julienas wine.
I think the meal must have finished around half seven or eight o’clock, because we talked for a long while afterwards over the rest of the wine and more coffee, before I walked my mum back to the bus station in St. Andrews and waved her off to Glasgow.
It was a fabulous day of which I can say there was no single highlight, though perhaps the exception of that may have been Ian McKellen’s acting skills. It was a day of culture, of talking, of fine wine and dining, and of just being with my mum – I can’t really ask for much better than that. I don’t spend enough time with my mother, and I probably don’t talk as much to my parents as I should, but today was memorable, and I know we’ll do it again soon.
The extra bonus to the day was the top-up my Creative Well received through the enjoyable morning spent in the Dean Gallery, but more so in the Kings Theatre in the company of some of Britain’s top Shakespearean actors performing one of the most important and stimulating plays of the 20th Century.
Cheap and free e-books:
- Selektion – FREE!
- Brick by Brick – FREE!
- Silly Poems for Wee People Vol.1 – FREE!
- Fringe Fantastic – £3 (£5 OFF!!!)
- Poolside Poetry – £3 (£2 OFF!!!)