We went to see the performance of Dracula at Whitby Abbey. We’d been last year as well and it was the same performance by the same actors but I don’t think the children really remembered it. The performance is three times a day Saturday and Sunday during high season so they must be very familiar with their lines. The performance is a little interactive and moves around the Abbey for different scenes. Three actors play all the parts and they have an inbuilt joke about the characters looking similar, asking the audience what Dracula looks like, etc.
The ending scene in the crypt (spoiler alert) is that Dracula jumps out of the basket that Toby had uwittingly sat right next too and he almost jumped out of his skin!
Seagulls are literally everywhere in Whitby. They like to sit on the chimney of our holiday home and talk to each other. When the kids have gone to bed and it’s quiet their squawks echo down the chimney, which is novel to us as ours at home is capped. Being heavily medicated on strong painkillers that are a bit trippy, I started to imagine what they might be saying to each other. Was it seagull or pigeon? Do seagulls ‘talk’ like parrots emulating human speech demanding fish and chips and stealing icecreams off toddlers? “Gissus a chip, gissus a chip” (Don’t Feed the Seagulls the signs in Whitby Harbour instruct. It turns them into ferocious thieving thugs).
Are the seagulls catching up on their day’s conquests up there on the chimney? Are they discussing the tide times and weather forecast and when and where there’s likely to be the most food stealing opportunities? (They start to gather like vultures on the cliffs around the beach around 11:50am). Maybe they brag about their day’s catches and steals. Perhaps they exaggerate, arguing about their conquests. “Right out of her hand!” “Nah I saw she’d dropped it on the ground!” “Cos I scared her flying up close!” “It was only a crumb.” “Aye but I sh*t on a bald head this afternoon. Bullseye.” I bet they find it hilarious.
After fossil, jet and rubbish hunting, we went to the pub for dinner. It’d been threatening to thunderstorm all day and as we set looking out to sea eating dinner, the skies turned black and downpoured. The kids absolutely refused to entertain to idea of walking back to the holiday home in thick rain so we called a taxi. The taxi driver was very friendly and joked that his taxi ride was better than the fairground rides (and about the same price). He talked to my eldest about fossils saying that the ‘common’ name for the piddock boreholed rocks was Pirate Fossils. He’d named them this since his grandson had taken interest in them and I expect he is attempting to establish it (or maybe has) as local folklore.
I took a call yesterday from an artist duo interested to work with me as a curator. It was an interesting chat and I hope it helped them in their project whether they work with me in the future or not. Whilst I’m mindful of ‘working for free’, I often work on the basis of giving a little generosity and time can be personally and collectively beneficial if you can afford that time, and conversations are never one way including the notion of benefit/reward/gift (see Chantal Mouffe’s Gift Economy).
In our conversation, I raised the idea of capturing audience opinion/engagement and different strategies they could employ depending on logistics. I told them dialogue was my focus at the moment and would be of critical interest. We had chats about physical construction, material specificity, funding and PR tactics and left it at they would see what the outcome of their current and imminent applications would be.
Interesting project and conversations around it.
Continuing on the gendered dialogue theme: at the beach today (yes, apologies, still on holiday) my children befriended some other children and built a dam in some rock pools at high/ebbing tide. They got on great and had a brilliant time. But I also overheard an innocent conversation between my 4yo and one of the other girls (about 5yo): “Are you a boy or girl?” Girl. “Why are you wearing boys clothes?” They’re my swimming costume “Oh OK”
They carried on playing.
I recognise these gender constructs are increasingly of interest at this age and clothes become gendered. I asked my 4yo about it.
Why do you think she was confused about your swimming costume?
She thought it was a boys costume because it was blue.
Hers was blue though?
That’s strange. Blue is a colour for everybody. Mummy wears blue. You wear blue. Blue is a nice colour. She likes blue as well?
We can all like and wear blue it’s just a colour.