Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sort Of A Holiday

Little is the time when I am officially not at work. The past three days have been such a time, though as seems normal, it doesn't quite go to plan. Can I do ... ? Yes, ok. It's almost inevitable.

This short break hasn't been in order to get away. It has partly been to do the things that one never seems to ever have the time for otherwise. Like getting a haircut. Or, given the season, to go and get a flu jab. Which is always an entertaining procedure. The waiting area is naturally full to bursting with old farmers and their families. It is a social gathering. Try hearing your name called above that noise. I personally attempt to shorten proceedings by only wearing a t-shirt. The old farmers have several layers. The simple act of the jab is made more complex because of the removal of these layers.

Anyway, having waited while they all trooped in (or were wheeled in) and then out, I still haven't been called. Everyone else has been dealt with? Er, and me? Oh, yes, the name has been added in pen to the computer-generated list. Thought you had been vaccinated, said the nurse. Why having been added in pen should have resulted in that conclusion I haven't the faintest idea.

The health service is, in my view, exceptionally good, but there are occasions when it can seem a touch hit and miss. This was such an occasion. I had almost reconciled myself to the fact that it would be even before turning up at the health centre. The appointment had been made over the phone some two and a half hours earlier. I had a sense of foreboding, and I was right to have had.

Still, all jabbed up, this allowed me to try and concentrate on my main "free-time" task. Have you ever tried writing a script for "Mary Poppins" that turns a twee story into something even vaguely funny or in something form of a panto-style? I imagine you have not. This, though, has been my lot.

The annual Nomads thing is in February. The last two - both of which I re-scripted - were comparatively easy in that the original stories ("Sound of Music" and "Oliver") have very strong storylines, dramatic development and characters. "Mary Poppins", I have discovered (knew in advance), does not. Yes, it won all sorts of accolades, but there are some stories which lend themselves to adaptation and there are others which do not.

Nevertheless, it's not far off being completed. And I'm reasonably satisfied that it has been turned into an entertainment. Fundamental principle, where I'm concerned, is that people pitch up in mid-February and want to be entertained. You can stage worthy productions, but you need to send the punters away with a smile and the knowledge of a good evening out. Whether all the ideas will get used will depend on others. Introducing House of Pain's "Jump Around" (a nod in the direction of "Mrs Doubtfire") might not make the cut. But I shall be lobbying for it.

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