I’ve just realised that I never actually told you about Michael Morpurgo.
I assume you’ve heard of this particular writer? How about if I say “War Horse”? War Horse is just one of his many brilliant books. Michael writes very grown up books in a manner that makes them ideal for young readers. My 10 year old absolutely loves his work and has a somewhat impressive collection.
To say that Daniel is a little miffed that Spielberg’s War Horse has come out as a 12A has upset him, is a bit of an understatement.
Just before Christmas (yes it has taken me this long to write about it) we went to see a play.
Not a play – a reading.
On Angel Wings – if you haven’t read it – is a lovely little story, based on the birth of Christ. Essentially it’s written from one of the Shepherd’s viewpoints, or more accurately one of their children’s. It is a very ‘nice’ Christmas story.
The reading was at Britain’s ‘National Theatre’ on the Southbank in London, which is an impressive setting for a start. The story was read by Michael Morpurgo himself alongside Virginia McKenna, who, with an impressive long acting career, you might just about remember from Born Free. They would read snippets then sit as a four strong ‘A Capella’ group sang Carols.
It was really lovely.
Daniel was absolutely transfixed as his hero did his thing.
I was fairly miffed because the realisation of just how big the gap is between my own writing skills and an actual genuinely skilled author looks, when you actually open your eyes and read.
It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been so slow to get back into it this year. I certainly haven’t written any fiction for ages and I love writing fiction. I just haven’t got the blind confidence back yet which deludes me into thinking that I’m on a par with these people who write proper stories.
Michael really looked the part of a writer, from his loafers to his scraggy burgundy suit. He joked about at the end to the delight of his audience, and we all left happy and set up for Christmas.
Daniel will never ever forget that evening. I think Jamie may have forgotten it already…
As we walked from the theatre I pointed out that the reading was great but that the Alfresco singers went on a bit. I waited – nothing. So I said it again, this time noting the slightly bored raise of an eyebrow from my wife – so she HAD got it, but was just refusing to laugh for some reason. I tell you this, coming up with ‘Dad jokes’ is a tricky business, some you get right and some just completely fall into thin air.
After the show, we went for a curry before getting a train home. If I have done one thing right with my life it is that I’ve trained my sons to go Indian Restaurants. The Bangalore Express by London Waterloo train station is a fantastic place. It is designed to have a feel of being on a train in India which really makes it different. There are normal tables, but down one side – where we were sat – is a bunk bed style section. You have a table, but next to you is a ladder which goes up to another table above you. Waiters have to climb this ladder to serve the table on top. It’s a gimmick but it works. The feel of the place is vibrant and exotic while the food is beautiful. It certainly is not your standard Indian menu.
The Bangalore Express is certainly not set up as a ‘kids’ restaurant but none the less they were more than welcome and catered for.
It was the perfect end to a fantastic evening. I was so impressed with the show and how my children are the kind of kids who appreciate this kind of thing that I could have cried. I didn’t because I’m not a girl.
But I could have.
So now I have to get back to writing fiction again, simply because I enjoy it. Also I have to catch up with where I am because it’s nearly February and I’m still talking about Christmas.
Happy New Year.