Thursday 2nd August 2012
A disappointing outing and return to the Red Lion
I DID not enjoy the following day’s excursion into the centre of the city, for my senses were constantly besieged by the noise of traffic, the sight of litter, the smell of fumes and the press of the throng.
Although there were several pleasing displays in the museums and galleries we visited, many were surrounded by chains or hidden behind glass, with uniformed serfs seated nearby to prevent anyone actually touching the items on view.
The theatre was fascinating, but frustrating.
I laughed and clapped with everyone else as the cheerful boys danced acrobatically and sang heartily about the glories of food, but when, shortly afterwards, it seemed that one of the urchins was to be taken away and sold, I felt sad and wanted the players to stop so that I could question them in detail about the tale they were presenting.
I was also feeling uncomfortable hot under the wig, frequently having to remind myself not to remove it.
When, therefore, the performance was interrupted to allow everyone to purchase refreshments, I asked Brendan if we could leave.
“Where would you like to go next then?”
“Back to Louise’s house in order to shower, please. And I wish to visit again the Red Lion.”
Which we did.
There was something Rhetan about the public house, with its fire of burning logs, cheerful voices, and the antics of beer-swilling revellers. Here was a harbour for the returning seafarer, where I could sit, unnoticed and unobtrusive, catching snatches of tales, of storms survived, of islands visited and of eerie encounters with fearful phantoms like Chief Eggs Eck, Ed of Sails, No Body from Eye-Tea, the Super Vizor and the Terrific Warden.
Here, it seemed, the serfs could do what they wished when they wished, away from the influence or interference of the ubiquitous giants. Unlike people passing by on the streets, those in the Red Lion were happy to catch your eye. And, when they did, they usually smiled.
It also had a pool table.