A few moments after slagging off John Hegley for not replying to my letter , the phone rings and it's John asking us if we'd like tickets for his show at Chester's Gateway theatre in the evening. His ears must have been burning! It was very spooky but after some umming and errring we accepted his kind invitation and had to put up with Hazel worrying the rest of the day whether she could drive the 19 miles to Chester without the aid of satellite navigation!
I caught up with some mail and did some collaging for most of the day and around 5.30p.m. we set off to Chester armed with various AA route maps and step by step guides downloaded from the internet. The road from here to Chester is pretty much straight forward and we got there in 30 mins. but it took us anothert 30 mins. to find a car park around the confusing roundabout and one-way systems Chester ( a walled Roman city) has devised to reduce grown men to tears!
We eventually found a carpark close enough to the town and walked the mile or so to the theatre down the narrow cobbled streets. The centre of the town is really lovely with old half timbered shops and houses and a magnificent cathedral and an equally imposing victorian town hall. The Gateway theatre however was less than imposing and was round some grubby backstreet and looked like a bit of shopping mall they'd forgotten about. We got our tickets and made use of the conveniences and got some Filet of fish and fries at the Macdonalds that seemed to be the only place open . As much as I hate Macdonalds and all they stand for they really can be counted on to be there when you are desperate for something quick and unfussy to eat. We even had Filet of Fish and fries at the most northerly MacDonalds at the Arctic Circle in Finland a few years back when hunger drove us there out of a blizzard!
To cut a long story short. John was great and depsite not having any puppets or doing any tap-dancing ( as advertised) his show was full of humour, great songs, great poems and some audience inter-action. We had to write an acrostic from the name of the town we lived at and leave them on the stage during the interval. We did a pathetic combined effort and Archie did one which John read out and got some applause. I wish i could remember it. Anyway, he didnt win ( we'd already won the tickets) and the most applause went to some chap from Warrington which mentioned Ikea.
Hazel bought John's latest book in the interval as it seemed churlish not too and at the end he signed it after we'd waited in the queue for some minutes to thank him and say hello etc. He asked if we could stay for a drink but it was getting late and we were worried about finding the car and running the gauntlet of the drunks and rowdies that roamed the streets at chucking out time.
We managed to get home o.k. and it seemed a lot easier than going but then it always does.