Two Sizes Smaller Than Small. 5th July

To Huddersfield and London

Mental note, the back bedroom needs the curtains lining or a blackout blind! However today it didn’t matter too much as I was awake extra early and Mick got up soon after me.

Today we were heading in different directions. I was off to work in Huddersfield and Mick was returning to London, Oleanna and Tilly. Her magic food bowl would have opened its second compartment last night and all the yellow biscuits will have been picked out leaving only the boring ones!

It felt this early!

I dropped a key through the front door of the theatre for our next lodger Vicky who was arriving later in the day and hopped onto the 07:34 to Leeds. Mick had a few things to finish off in the house before he would be on a train two hours later.

Only one narrowboat at the Museum Gardens today

I’d booked my train so that I would arrive at the rehearsal space in Huddersfield before the actors so I could get myself set up and ready to do costume fittings. But this simply wasn’t to be. Due to multiple track circuit failures along with a points failure my train pulled into Leeds half an hour late, my connecting train cancelled! The next service I tried was also cancelled, so by the time I reached Huddersfield I was an hour late and everyone had arrived.

Dark Horse’s studio

All the way through the pandemic Dark Horse has continued to work with their ensemble and students. For much of the last year their work has happened online, The Garden being one project they produced. Since the restrictions eased they have been back in the studio, the ensemble of nine actors, now split into two bubbles working on different days to help maintain social distancing.

Today I had five actors to fit into their overalls. Everyone would need sleeves and legs shortening. Several would need darts putting in the front and back. Two would require a couple of inches taking out from the body and arms. Then there was Rebekah, her overalls would need major work, they actually needed to be two sizes smaller than the small I had purchased for her. I’d been expecting to wear a visor and mask whilst working, but early on it was discovered that quite a few of the actors lip read, nobody had realised this until instructions were being ignored. So my day was spent behind a plastic visor with a big bottle of hand sanitiser.

Serious alterations

I ran out of safety pins quite quickly trying to shrink everyone’s costumes. Then I set to tacking Rebekah’s so that I could try it on her again before she left for the day. All seemed good thank goodness.

Meanwhile Mick managed to get his train to York, there was congestion due to the problems in Leeds, but he was only delayed by 15 minutes. Tilly was pleased to see him. Well there were no yellow biscuits left!

With all the fittings done I decided to retire to my hotel room to neaten and tack all the alterations as I’d have more room there.

The same boats on the permanent moorings

When booking my hotel I’d looked at both the Travelodge and Premier Inn. Travelodge came in £2 cheaper, it sits by the Huddersfield Broad Canal and is a bit of a walk away from town. So I’d booked into the Premier Inn at Apsley Basin where the Narrow Canal meets the Broad, its closer to where I was working with a handy Sainsburys in between and filled with boats rather than rubbish!

Aspley Basin

The first overall was tacked during an episode of Midsummer Murders, then I headed to Sainsburys for supplies, one of which was a bottle of House Pinot Grigio which I cooled in the bathroom sink.

Wine cooler

All the alterations took time in fact I didn’t finish until gone midnight. I was very glad of that wine.

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 trains both late, 5 actors fitted, 1 overall to be rebuilt, 10 legs, 10 arms, 1 hit and run, 1 wine cooler sink.