Red Coats And Wings. 21st June

Grand Junction Arms

A couple of days ago we had a visitor to Oleanna. I could hear this tapping rustling noise and at first couldn’t work out what it was. Looking round I spotted what I thought was a butterfly on the floor. It was spinning round and seemed unable to fly. I got a glass and postcard and carefully picked it up.

Strange Butterfly

On closer inspection I thought it couldn’t be a butterfly. It’s wings were bright despite them being folded up, they also seemed to be crumpled, not smooth like a butterfly. I carefully popped it outside on the grass away from our feline second mate, who wouldn’t have stopped to admire it’s beauty, before chomping away at it.

Very colourful

Today I’ve finally got round to looking it up. It turns out to be a Scarlet Tiger Moth. I’ve never seen one before, maybe because they tend to live further south than where I’ve spent much of my life. They are so pretty, I’ll be keeping an eye open for them in future.

Leaving the final lock today

After our day climbing up Marsworth with the Mikron team we had to show willing and go to see the show tonight. We were moored backstage anyway. So we spruced ourselves up and headed over. The stage was set up with it’s back to the towpath a natural bank opposite for the audience. On the Mikron website you get information about each venue. Most are outside and these tend to suggest bringing a chair and blanket as the outdoor heating tends not to be so good!

The white just to the right of the telegraph pole is the set.

On previous occasions we’ve not needed our chairs, last Sunday there were plenty to go round. Today we did, so it was a good job the boat was so close. A crowd had already gathered and eagerly awaited the show. Sunday we’d had tea and cake, this evening it was a large glass of wine.

Red Coats, by Nick Ahad is the story of Butlins. Aunty Lynn (a Red Coat) normally does a one woman show about the history of Butlins, but her last show after 50 years has been re-written and she will be joined by a vlogger, a techie and another Red Coat. She’s none too pleased at the prospect. We learnt how Butlins was first set up by Billy Butlin where anyone could have a weeks holiday for a weeks pay.

Theatre and a large glass of white.

This is a very different show to ‘All Hands On Deck’. A story within a story with very amusing scenes and songs. Quite silly in parts, we especially liked the swimming pool and the beauty contest scenes. Well worth seeing even if we were both wishing we’d taken more layers with us. the actors however didn’t get chance to get chilly as they were working very hard. No interval and a cuppa for them, they are on duty all the time.

The tour now takes them down the Grand Union through Berkhampsted, Hemel Hempstead, Greenford, then to the Thames, up the Oxford Canal, Grand Union to Lapworth, down Tardebigge to Worcester, Stourport, up the Shroppie, ending their boat tour at The Anchor in High Offley on the 1st September. They are then back in the van and touring the north of the country. Marianne did say that they’d love to have a second boat to be able to tour the northern canals by boat too. But for now the van will have to do.

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