East Coast of Great Britain – Dracula, Hadrians Wall and all.

26 09 2013
Phil in front of the babe lair of Lindisfarne castle

Phil in front of the babe lair of Lindisfarne castle

I must just write this down, as you may have noticed I’m not really a writer so this is written always in a rush, just wanting to keep a record.

So  –  after Edinburgh where it was all work except for a quick trip to the Highlands –  we went as tourists down the east coast of Scotland and England.

Saw some wonderful sights and ruins.

Tue 28th We stopped at Lindisfarne – a beautiful castle – as Phil said ‘a great babe lair’ with a fab garden over the fields developed early 20th century by a girlfriend of the architect who restored it. She is well known – Gertrude Jekyll !

Wed 29th we went to Bamburgh Castle, another wild windswept site (didn’t go inside this time as they all charge like wounded bulls!)……..

then we drove to just near Newcastle to see the Angel of the North – wow – the scale, the shape, the materials used  -all fantastic……really awesome in the true sense of the word.

The Angel of the North

Then we drove to Hadrians wall – stopped at various places to consider when and where it was built. By Hadrian, the roman Emperor, circa 117  -138 AD to keep out the marauding Scots up North….. he was on a tour of his furthest fringes of the Roman Empire, saw what the problem and said ‘ build a wall’ – beautifully built along the ridge running roughly east to west, only 10 ft high but had garrisons every mile of line of sight from each other.

Thur 30th – we drove to Durham Cathedral – wow again – such grandeur! The monks of Lindisfarne actually carried the body of St Cuthbert around for 6 years and finally laid him to rest there.

Then we went to Dracula’s Lair – Whitby Abbey…cool…..moody, foreboding, deliciously so! Whitby itself was classic small coastal town where James Cook grew up apparently!

Dracula's Lair

Finally arrived at our friend Kate’s place at Castle Acre, near Norwich in Norfolk. Little village, so cute, with its own abbey and everything but all small scale!

Thanks Kate and Pearce for planning this amazing journey for us, thanks Kate for taking us in her car!

Fri 31st August – we headed to Marrakech – which sounds exciting and exotic but ……


Nureyev book

7 02 2009

Have just finished reading a biography of Nureyev, called ‘Rudolph Nureyev, The Life’ by Julie Kavanagh.

Its actually been a profound experience reading it. I saw him dance in London in 1970 with Margot Fonteyn when i was a young dancer at the Royal Ballet School. I remember being more impressed when I caught a glimpse of them rehearsing at the school one day.

Then I saw him again dancing Giselle with Carla Fracci in 1981 in NY. Was with other Limbs dancers – he was pretty awful by then I remember – dropping his back terribly after landing in a jump – that ‘s what goes in male ballet dancers – their backs, from all the lifting. I remember Douglas walked out – but we stayed cos Carla Fracci was so amazing.

And then I saw him again in 1989 in Auckland. It was a solo show and he was performing contemporary dance solos. It was awful. The only thing I was really impressed by was the bows/curtain calls -they were amazing!

I wish I had known that he was sick with AIDS then – I would have been more sympathetic – I just percieved it as an awful cynical performance, terrible lighting like for a school hall, basic cyclostyled printed programme. I was very disgusted and left early, making my mother come with me….i’d paid for our tickets $100 each, and just felt used.

But this book has changed my perspective radically. A vivid wonderful record of an amazing artist – thank you jennifer (shennan) for suggesting I buy and read it!

So now that I’ve read this book i have a much better appreciation of him as an artist, as a dancer, as a terrible angel and devil.

Would love to try to go to his grave in Paris.