Sunday, July 24, 2016

two days in luton…

Moira and I have just returned home after spending a couple of very enjoyable days staying with our lovely Christine and Nick in Luton. We’ve been friends for nearly forty years (blimey!)(ironically, that’s about the time of Lorraine Chase’s Luton Airport/Campari advert… and, if you don’t know what I’m on about, then you’re too young!) – since our days when we lived just down the road from each other in Percy Street, Oxford.
They’ve fairly recently moved to Luton (where Nick is vicar in a parish which includes Luton Airport, a Vauxhall  Motors’ plant, thousands of houses - built mainly in the 1960s, two villages and large expanses of rather lovely open countryside – where there are plans to build hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new homes!).
Well, we had a lovely time catching up on our respective family news, future plans and reminiscing about our time living in East Oxford. We also enjoyed some beautiful countryside (within walking distance of the vicarage) and a village pub lunch… and we even found time for some culture (and more countryside and more food!) when we went to see Bernard Shaw’s play “You Never Can Tell” (first performed in 1899) in the grounds of “Shaw’s Corner” (his home for some 44 years and now a National Trust property). We took chairs, blankets and a picnic (and managed to arrive in time to grab a place in the front row!) and enjoyed a very pleasant, warm, theatrical evening* – with only occasional dialogue drowned out by passing aircraft! 
A lovely couple of days with very lovely friends.
Photos: picnicking in the front row; Shaw’s Corner; and random photo from our woodland walk.
Note*: we were all agreed that Shaw’s play was hardly inspiring stuff (but very enjoyable nonetheless)… it felt a little like the Emperor’s new clothes: although Shaw was an acclaimed playwright (amongst other things), we all found the plot somewhat tedious and the acting/characterisation somewhat exaggerated and overdone. My brother Alan sent me this link to a Monty Python sketch featuring Shaw, Whistler and Oscar Wilde (some 3mins in)… and, yes, it DID feel a little like it!!

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