Horror Sing-Along Show
Years ago, when
I was taking writing lessons from a LETS member, I showed her some
of the songs I’d written.
love to write a musical,” I said. “Like a rock opera.”
get started,” she said enthusiastically. “If you’re
going to write a rock opera, then you may as well go for the best.
Something like The Rocky Horror Show!”
Well, that was
all a bit too much for me at the time, so, needless to say, my rock
opera was never written. But I’ve always held on to that idea.
And always held The Rocky Horror Show as the image of excellence,
when it came to musical productions.
So when I stumbled
across a screening of the Rocky Horror Sing-Along Picture Show in
Leicester Square, I was determined to see it. And I did.
Of course, I got
there early, so I waited in the foyer while the cinema was being prepared.
Also in the foyer were many Rocky Horror followers, dressed as several
of the shows stars. They all seemed normal enough, apart from their
dress, though their ages were all much younger than mine.
There were audience
participation packs on each seat when we walked in. Cards to flash,
whistles to blow and words to say at all the appropriate moments.
host, dressed as Frankenfurter, gave us a crash-course on audience
participation, before the movie started. He was wearing make-up that
many a lady would die for and fishnet stockings going all the way
up his long legs. And he was taller than me, so he was 6 foot something.
I was there for the atmosphere rather than the participation, so I
chose not to do all the silly stuff. But it was great to see everyone
else doing it. OK, so I did some of the silly stuff too, but no-one
will ever know.
Although the absolutely
best part was singing along with the songs. It was like a giant Karaoke
session, with all the lyrics being flashed at the right time, and
even colour coded for the boy’s and girl’s lines.
And as I watched
I couldn’t help but admire the timelessness of the script and
the music. The Rocky Horror Show has been around for over 30 years,
and here it was, still drawing in packed houses for a generation which
wasn’t even born when it first appeared.
So all night I
just lapped it up, and hoped that some of its timeless magic would
wash over my writing too.
didn't like the fact that these weird concrete cows stole so much
attention from their city's other tourist attractions.
Cows and the Oware Game
along very well with Peter,” Mary Fee (from LETS Link UK) said,
referring to my Milton Keynes LETS host, Peter Hughes. “He’s
an Australian like you”.
So when Peter came to pick
me up from the railway station, I said, “So, you’re an
“No, I’m not,”
he said, in a perfect Aussie accent.
“But you lived in
Australia?” I asked.
“No, I’ve never
been there,” he said.
“So where are you
from?” I asked.
“I’m a kiwi,”
he said, finally making sense of it all.
New Zealanders are often
classed as pseudo-Australians by everyone except New Zealanders and
Australians. Much like Canadians are classed as pseudo-Americans by
everyone except Canadians and Americans. And they get really annoyed
by people making that sort of error with their nationality. But once
we clarified this, it was never an issue again.
Milton Keynes is only a
one hour train trip north of London and is the fastest growing area
in Europe. It’s predicted that the population will double in
the next 20-30 years. And interestingly enough, their greatest tourist
attraction is a small herd of black and white (Friesian) concrete
cows, permanently fixed on a green pasture beside the city’s
river. And this work of art has also made an impact on the Milton
Keynes LETS group, which has chosen to call their LETS currency, concrete
No sooner had I dropped
off my luggage at Peter’s place, than we were off to do the
groceries. Peter’s a single guy, so I wasn’t surprised
to see him using a shopping list. But I was surprised to see him buying
such large quantities of food. I know I’m a big eater, but 10
kilos of potatoes, 12 egg plants and 24 zucchinis, were a lot more
than I thought we’d need.
“What are we having
for dinner?” I asked.
that a bit much for the 2 of us?” I asked.
“The 2 of us?”
he exclaimed. “This isn’t just for you and me. It’s
for 35 of us! We’re having a LETS Christmas Dinner tonight,
and you’re the guest speaker”.
But that wasn’t all.
Once we got to the Wells Centre (at 2.00pm), where the event was taking
place, I realized that he was going to do the cooking himself. In
fact, he also asked me to do some cooking as well. But when it comes
to talking, I can be very persuasive with my arguments, and I managed
to convince Peter that if he wanted to ensure that all the food was
edible, he’d be wise to keep me away from the cooking. However,
I was happy to get involved with the food preparation, and handled
all of the peeling, slicing and dicing with artistic finesse.
I wasn’t able to give my full presentation to the LETS members
that evening, but I did manage to give them an entertaining 40 minute
segment from my standard 90-120 minute LETS presentation. So it was
still a good night for everyone there.
following day I visited the group’s SUSTI shop, a Global Centre
Project, which sells products made in 3rd World countries. They have
a tiny coffee shop at the back of the store, where people can come
and sit and chat at the solitary 6-seater table there. On this day
I met Mawuko, from Ghana. He had an Oware game in front of him and
was looking for someone to join him. So I obliged.
Ghana, sits in front of the 12-hollow Oware board.
The Oware game is made
of wood and has 12 hollowed cups (in 2 rows of 6) carved into it.
It’s a game for 2 players, each facing a row of 6 cups. Four
beads are placed into each cup at the start of each game. Mawuko had
lost one of these beads and had quickly substituted it with a scrunched
up piece of paper. To start, one player picks up all the beads from
whichever of the 12 cups he chooses, and drops them off one at a time
in each of the cups he passes, going in an anti-clockwise direction,
so that the cup he started from is now empty. Then the next player
does the same thing, starting from whichever cup he chooses. The object
of the game is to collect any sets of 4 beads which are created as
you drop off the beads, but only from the 6 cups on your side. When
you create a set of 4 beads on the opposite side, then these are collected
by your opponent, unless it’s a set of 4 created with the last
bead you drop on the opposite side. Then these 4 beads also go to
you. And so the game continues until there aren’t enough beads
to make any more sets of 4, and then the player with the most beads
I like games of
strategy and I found this game to be thoughtfully challenging. But
even though I improved with each game, I still couldn’t manage
to win any of them. So on that day, Mawuko remained the undefeated
article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey
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