Blow The Man Down

We had some indecision about staying to see more of Northampton and going before the weather turned. I had renewed my passport online, in time I hope to collect it on a planned visit to Edinburgh, but needed to post the old one at a post office. Shane’s stock of fairtrade decaf coffee, which can be hard to find, was running low, so we had reason to hang around where we had access to town facilities.

We still had some museum and gallery options but they weren’t on offer on a Monday. Shane wondered if that one building was what constituted the “cultural quarter”. We wandered down the street even though the gallery was closed and saw there was a theatre. Showing this week was Moby Dick. Neither of us had read the book, but the chance of a boat themed theatre experience was too good to miss, if there were tickets available.

We were pleased to see that although the gallery was closed the church bistro was open and we had a very good lunch there. The staff were particularly friendly. The incense fragrance that I thought might impinge on my enjoyment, was no longer an issue by the timefood arrived. The nose is an accommodating organ.

We went back to the boat and Shane suggested a short cut over a crash barrier. He cracked his kneecap on the metal fence support. I was already taking care with my leading knee so managed less painfully than him. He hasn’t affected it badly and didn’t fall, but we have decided to greet or check on each other for the time being with “how’s your knee?” 

We were passing through the university and there were a couple of statues to see, which were a welcome distraction. They were ready for all weathers which is certainly what we are experiencing here.

Silhouette figures expecting occasional rain and a mirror person, and Shane contemplating a scooter again.

The next one was round the other side and featured a studious girl enjoying an outside seat on a warm day, but with a wrap at the ready should her shoulders get cold.

Bronze statue of girl doing some casual reading at the university

On getting back, Shane made a sprint to pick up coffee and I saw the boat next to us ready to go. I had a chat about the approaching windy weather and that I didn’t want to drive into locks in the wind. The man I was speaking to confessed to be a green crew member, who was pleased to have managed the locks in the wind, but he never took the helm, only one of them did that. I am guessing he doesn’t realise that the wind can impact the driver quite a bit even without sails. They were only going to a marina for a pumpout and were heading through the river lock, red flag or not. They came back safely later on.

Shane managed to purchase tickets on line for Moby Dick, after something of a palaver, and we had a quick tea and set off. We had got excellent seats in the centre and quite near the front in a well raked theatre. There was plenty legroom (handy if your knees are compromised) and we were both impressed by the theatre before it even started. We were very impressed with the skills of the cast, shifting the stage equipment around while singing sea shanties and playing instruments. One young woman was singing descants and played at least 5 different instruments. Captain Ahab was well advertised as having lost his leg before he appeared and I spent some time marvelling at the props and could not work out how he was hiding his own leg, flagrantly thrusting the peg leg forward, covering the stage built over different deck levels and climbing a ladder. I concluded he must actually be missing his lower leg, and so it turned out to be. What are the chances an actor discovers his missing limb is not a handicap but an actual asset in landing a leading stage role.

It had rained while we were in the theatre but had stopped when we got out. We have certainly struck it lucky. The theatre experience was very good, and educational about whales! It was also a reminder of how lucky we are to have an easy comfortable life and that our boat is not on the ocean in a storm.

Today was due to be the worst weather wise and it was certainly rainy in the morning so we waited until after lunch then took in the parts of the museum and gallery we had previously missed. There are collections over several centuries with flints, and items from Roman, Iron age, Celtic peoples, Anglo Saxons, Medieval era including a major fire in the 1600s, cannonballs and armour from the civil war and wartime last century. The weapons seemed to feature more highly than most, perhaps because they were made of strong materials.

There was a part of the gallery with artwork for sale. I rather liked the sea themed items, a series of lagoon pictures that looked like photos from the air.and a small glass sculpture

There was a glimpse of sunshine this afternoon and we made it back to the boat before wet diagonal rain began. Nice to watch from inside.Tomorrow is due to be fairer, in the morning at least.

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