The friendly couple at the table next to ours in the tapas restaurant had been to see Sunny Afternoon the previous day. We were in for a treat, they told us. In fact, they had enjoyed the show so much that they were already
contemplating booking up again. You can't have a better recommendation than that, now can you?
When first arriving at any restaurant and discovering how close together the tables are, first thoughts are often
that a little more space would be welcome. I have found, however, that close proximity to neighbouring tables often results in excellent conversation and an even more convivial atmosphere. Thus it was yesterday in the tapas restaurant, two doors along from
the Harold Pinter Theatre where seats K13 and 14 had been booked in our name.
I had planned our Day Out with military precision - unusually for one who generally just "goes with the flow." However, our theatre
trip with the Bowls Club to see Miss Saigon a few weeks ago, had involved a three hour coach journey each way through the London traffic and a slightly fraught search for somewhere to eat after the show. When Mr B declared that he had set his sights on another
theatre trip, I decided to think about all the steps I could take to ensure that this would be a more pleasurable overall experience.
I even mapped it all out in phases, if only in my head. You wouldn't have
seen me consulting a type-written itinerary - though I did have a yellow post-it note in my handbag detailing directions from Piccadilly Circus underground station to the theatre. In the event, I still had to consult a friendly policeman to point out which
road was Haymarket. Just as well I did, otherwise I might have dragged poor Mr B along completely the wrong road, looking for a Panton Street which just wouldn't materialise.
Mr B believes implicitly in the
Power of the Post-It Note. On his sixtieth birthday, I had a model made of him by a very talented local artist. In order to inform the Making of the Model, I had to supply the artist with various photographs of the subject (that is, Mr B) taken from all angles
and a list of notable items to be included. In the interests of a truly rounded characterisation, I sought the help of all four of our off-spring and the four grandchildren then alive. Every single consultee mentioned the post-it notes.
Mr B sticks post-it notes here, there and everywhere. There is almost always one stuck on his tobacco tin (or "Poor Man's Filofax" as Mr B terms it.) This particular note generally summarises what Mr B reckons we need to buy at the
shops that day and invariably starts with "newspaper." Yes, Mr B would lost without his newspaper. Even on foreign holidays, he must have the latest news from our Homeland. "Someone famous might die while we're away," he explains, "and we would never know
until the end of the year when they report on That Was the Year That Was."
He also likes to stick post-it notes on the banister where they can be seen as soon as anyone steps in the front door. "Photos for
Doreen", one might read, or, intriguingly: "Boiler." Heaven help the person who removes a post-it note in the belief that it has served its purpose. That'll be me, then.
I don't necessarily need a
post-it note to capture Life's Essential Memos. I write on whatever comes to hand when I burrow through my handbag. You will find cryptic messages written on the back of old receipts, on fliers I have picked up in the doctor's surgery while waiting for an
appointment, in the back of my (hardly ever used these days) cheque book, or in the little bit of white space at the top of the church weekly newsletter. Once consigned back into my handbag, these important memory joggers never see the light of day again.
Maybe, after all, the post-it note has much to offer. Stickability, for one thing.
Oh and, yes indeed, Sunny Afternoon, the story of The Kinks, was fabulous, especially if you remember the Sixties, the clothes
we used to wear, the music we used to dance to, the eternal optimism of being young and believing that every afternoon would be a sunny one.
When booking our seats, I could only trust to luck that we would
have a good view and that the tallest man in the theatre, or the woman with the bushiest hair-do wouldn't take the seats right in front of Mr B. I have to say that seats K13 and 14 are to be highly recommended. If you think you might want to see the show yourselves,
then you might want to jot down the seat numbers.
Preferably on a post-it note.