I don't function so well staying up till 3ish two night in a row. Probably why its 8 o clock and I am sitting in my pjs eyeing up the bed already. Trouble is, I always think there will be plenty of time to sleep anon and when husband calls around 11 saying he has an old friend who came to see the show and howsabout they had back and we chinwag over gin and tonics and snacks the obvious answer is invariably a - slightly overexcited - yes! It was fun to watch the fella reminiscing about 80s New York City. Mullet days. High top, hip hop Samantha Fox video days. Yes you read right. Unfortunately, fun as it was, the next day was party night and mum was a little below par on the energy front. Nothing a little brunch with the ladies would not cure, especially when Linda Gray is sat at the table behind us. When the lady beside her leaned over to ask what our friend had ordered because it looked so wonderful I caught sight of Sue Ellen - which is who she was to me growing up in the good ole days of Dallas - I did a double take. Turns out she doesn't wear lip gloss during the day after all. Nor shoulder pads. Or a pout at JR neither. Fat, polished smile though, so that was nice. Ladies and I chinwagged of everything and nothing, me feeling a tinge of melancholy to have to watch them fly off into the new york distance in but a few days. Back we cruised to the pad, mum taking herself across the road to let go of her Groucho brows by an Iranian lady with a voice for late night radio. the kind of voice you would want to hear if you could not get to sleep. I almost fell into slumber whilst she was strapping off my Italianhood. Its saying something when waxing becomes a moment to relax. Rewax.
I left the boys swimming at the pool of the hotel round the corner where most of the crew are staying. I popped my head in to find boy surrounded by ladies all giving him direction on swimming technique. It might be the underestimation of the century to say he was basking in their attentions. Then he doggy paddled around the edges and splashes water in their faces as thanks. Dad meanwhile was befriending a couple from Yorkshire who are travelling through with their two tweenager sons. It was nice to hear that accent beside a pool in LA.
Quick about turn, few jetes in the kitchen and dinner was scoffed and family were ensconced in the car making their way to the theatre for party night. In English that means mum was carrying twice as many bags. Boy and I frolicked in the dressing room, enjoyed the company of everybody and during the bows twirled into our glad rags for the closing night shindig, a few days ahead of the actual closing. I think on sunday evening at curtain down the scene will resemble a nest of cockroaches on the floor of a new york apartment scurrying when as the lights are switched on. With bags. Many of them. Fedora'd boy, blushered ma, jacketed pa (!) off for the celebrations, with a brief moment to say a warm hello to all the friends that were in that evening including the lovely Rachel and her manager. He and Cory had a quick chat and appeared to enjoy each other. He won me over by engaging Sam in some serious conversations about hats, hat tricks, shows. A quick jaunt down the block and we arrived at the bar, boy's eyes drooping with imminent sleep. Inside, past the chandeliers, the mis matched wallpaper, the trendy antique meets chic vibe, boy and I sat our selves down and he was asleep before you could say Young Frankenstein. I had a few more sips of my cocktail - the young frankenstein - and then carried our boy to a booth on the half mezzanine level. John Mark from props helped me arrange the table and another chair so that he would not roll over onto the floor. I joked with him that he was on boy duty. He sat next to Sam for the whole party. When Cory went to tell him we were only joking he told him that Sam had moved his right arm three times but his left only once leading him to the assumption that he was indeed right handed and anyways parties weren't his thing and he was much happier up there with our sleeping boy. With him in view, out to the world, mum and dad were free to roam and chat with the troupe. Mum enjoyed more than one glass of champagne care of the producers then played a brief jazz duet with one of the chaps in the cast soon to be promoted to the role of the creature on the next leg. I always forget how much I miss our piano. In between the partygoers actors turned waiters offered mini delicacies described by one character in particular with fixed pout and steamy stare. His cheeks were sucked in so much that it took me three attempts to understand what he was describing. He might do well not to pull his long gelled hair back in a ponytail so tight next time. His surly style was more than compensated by his smilier, bouncier, eager to please colleague who rustled me up a cocktail by the time I had finished describing what I fancied. The troupe put the world to rights at the bar till the staff turfed us out and dad drove a couple of friends and a still sleeping boy and almost sleeping ma back to the ranch.
We slept in. Heaven. Slit eyed we shuffled into consciousness over coffee, all three looking a bit like the morning after the night before. Nothing a day by our friends pool would not cure. Back to the friend's house we had met up with earlier last week, boy picking up his friendship with the youngest girl where he left off. The two, under the coaching of her ma devoted unswerving focus to a quick session of billiards. Took me back to my sixteenth year where I played every single day atop my parent's table top version because I realised how much it impressed the boys. I am also not averse to winning. Cory will vouch for this and recount an episode in Arizona where he witnessed some McEnroe outbursts on my part because I had forgotten how to hit the ball during a quick round of tennis. That's what happens if you don't play something for a while right? Competitive and lazy. Can be a very ugly mixture.
We watched the children frolic in the water and later another family came to join in the fun. The father is the fella we met a few days ago after Cory's casting. Since then we have spent an evening with his whole clan in which the children wowed us with their care and interest in Sam as well as their musical prowess topped off by a duet with Andy on cello and his son on piano. Their home is laden with musical instruments. We sat round their enormous heavy wooden table and ate chicken and biscuits. The children put the world to rights at their kids table after an impromtu dip in their paddling pool. Sam undressed in record time then lasted five minutes before he was shivering like a street urchin out of a Dicken's novel. The the three musketeers dove into a warm bath, water babies snuggling in and out of each other splashing about. Whilst they scoffed ice cream and cup cakes after dinner mum got a quick cello introductory lesson. I am absolutely hooked. Hwne I woke in the night I could not get back to sleep for thinking about when might be the next time I get to play. I have wanted to learn that instrument for some time. I quite fancy myself as that cello-lady Watson did a good job of some years ago. Cory rolls his eyes, accustomed as he is to my whims that arrive with the gusto of a summer storm and fizzle out just as quickly. Usually I just move furniture when I get in one of those moods, probably why the constant moving on tour keeps me uncharacteristically calm. One of our favourite ladies in the dancing group (Sam's favourite babysitter) made a CD of everyone's favourite song as a goodbye present. Mine was Wind of Change. On the day she asked me anyway.
Admittedly when I decided I wanted to learn the trumpet I was (luckily) advised to purchase a mouth piece first by the music store owner rather than spending several hundred pounds on the instrument itself. I scoffed at his advice, but went for the £12 thing anyway to be polite. It lasted a week. Far too much effort. Plus it makes your lips feel like they are about to vibrate off your face. I returned to the piano. Tail ever so slightly between my legs. But the cello? What better instrument to carry around with us right? Cory has almost conceded to perhaps maybe agreeing to us investing in a small version. That way Sam could be tempted to join in. I just need me some more lessons. Both families have offered to take Sam of a day/evening so that Cory and I can go on a date or two. Good friends. Certainly makes this LA place seem much more friendly than I had envisaged.
It is with no surprise then that our chap was conked out in my arms at dinner just short of seven o clock. Day at Griffith Park planned for tomorrow with one of Sammy's favourite little girls in the world. He asked me whether I might mention it to her to wear her special birthday skirt like at the puppet show when he next sees her. I didn't know whether to launch into a tirade about women's right to wear trousers or whatever they choose according to mood and season. I'm wondering whether somehow we are nurturing the beginnings of the type of fella who will want supreme control over the way his partner presents themselves. I pull myself out of my head and in the end choose to just give him a smile with no comment either way. He'll learn soon enough.
And so to bed. There are more parties afoot and mama needs her beauty sleep. Especially when birthday week is on the near horizon. The birthday season in our clan kicks off with my dad at the end of July and leads through the month of august, every other day devoted to celebrating someone else in the family. Celebration time of year.
This time around for so many reasons.