I don't know WHAT I was thinking of on Friday evening; strolling round the garden, swigging wine and listening to Summer Breeze at full volume. I quickly came to my senses after casually glancing at Ed's show time itinerary for the coming week.
9 JULY, FULL DRESS REHEARSAL. Shit. Frantically scrambling through a dozen or so sheets of Italia Conti headed paper pinned haphazardly to the noticeboard I boggled at the schedule on the back of page 3 for Saturday morning. CALL TIME AT THE WIMBLEDON THEATRE 9AM! I snatched a list of Things To Remember off Brian.
'REMEMBER, Call Time is the time you are required on stage, fully warmed up and in costume. You should arrive at the Theatre at least 35 minutes prior to Call Time.' So, working backwards, with the Piccadilly, Victoria, District and Circle Lines all out of action due to engineering works over the weekend, that means getting up at... what? 6am. Make it 5 -
'REMEMBER, it will be a long day and the children will need a packed lunch, mid-morning and tea-time snack and plenty of liquid refreshment.' Cross referencing with page 4, Ed's timetable Saturday 6-9pm - his final number finishes at 9. Back to the TTR list.
'REMEMBER, children will only be released at the stage door to a parent bringing a valid ID. No children will be permitted to travel home unaccompanied.' That's Saturday taken care of then.
While I was at it I skimmed through the rest of the week. It looked just as hectic.
'A Monumental Week of Spectacular Performance' except for Wednesday that is. I definitely remember reading somewhere that all children will have the day off on Wednesday. Signed Mr Vote, Headmaster. Found it! Here, in black and white. Good. I have booked tickets for A Midsummer Nights Dream on Wednesday evening, performed in Abney Park, the huge overgrown Victorian cemetery in Stoke Newington. I realise that I'm probably asking for trouble getting seats for Joe and Phoebe to watch Ed's performance on Tuesday followed by Shakespeare the very next night but it's the only time they can make it what with WOMAD coming up. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to it. Hang on.... what's this piece of paper?
'Wednesday, London Cast 3 to be at the theatre from 5.30 for the evening performance.'
'ED! What's London Cast 3? Is that you??
Ed. 'Yep... and make sure you bring the car when you pick me up tomorrow. I'm not getting the tube.'
On Saturday evening at about 7pm, after placing a snipe bid on an eBay item due to end later that night, Brian and I had an early supper with no wine and headed to the car ready for the trek to Wimbledon. It couldn't be in a more far-flung corner of town and involves a ghastly drive through every All-Bar-One and Pitcher and Piano lined high-street in London. We got a hundred yards down the road when there's a text from Ed.
'Finishing early.Pick me up 7.30.'
'ED!! we wont make it. Wait inside till we get there.'
'Dont worry. I'll come home with a friend.'
'Are you allowed? I thought a parent had to pick you up?'
'No, it's fine.'
Brian does a U turn and we go home. Dogs greet us as if we've been gone a week. I pour a drink. There's another text from Ed.
'Finishing at 9 now. Pick me up.'
We run to the car. The phone bleeps.
'It's OK I'm getting a lift.'
We stroll home. Dogs go bonkers. Ed texts.
'Pick me up London Bridge. Leave now :)'
We drive to London Bridge. It's desolate and I need a wee. No word from Ed. After 20 minutes of looking for a ladies we go to the Barrow Boy and Banker pub on the bridge. DO NOT go there. The toilets at the nearby London Dungeon would be a lot less scary. Ed eventually shows up and we get home at 11 and go to bed.
He is at the theatre again today. Pick up time 9pm. I have taken the car in to have the smashed wing mirror fixed and made the garage promise it will be ready by the end of the day so I can do the Wimbledon run. I've cancelled my Pilates class because the man with a van is delivering the eBay item that we 'won' at 8.30 this evening and B needs to be here to help him unload it while I go and get Ed. All sorted. I've got ready meals in as I'm anticipating the round trip to take 3 hours. Hang on - let me get the door.
'Yeah, we finished early.'