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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

National Theatre London

We are crazy about theatre and I love the National. 

What's not to love? It's affordable, wide ranging, innovative and varied, their program has something for everyone. I even love Denis Lasdun's modernist building which so many others love to hate. Yes, you can line up for day tickets but why not buy some of the fifteen pound Travelux tickets in advance, or the online Friday rush tickets. They even have availability for sold out shows on the cheapie Friday rush. This season the showstopper was a fantastic production of Man and Superman with Ralph Feinnes. Often Shaw is ponderous and a little draggy but this production was the best I've seen sharp, witty and engrossing.  It was a wonderful ensemble production and Feinnes was fabulous as the conflicted Jack Tanner. Even the rather lengthy third act which is often cut, was performed well and helped the whole thing to hang together.
So, If you go to London and tend towards the West End, why not give the National a shot next time, after all these are the people who brought you lots of award winners including War Horse, The History Boys, One Man and Two Guvnors, The Madness of King George and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime.
Tip: If you have an American Express card you qualify to buy tickets a little earlier than the general public, though after members of the theatre. There are some seats reserved for Amex customers too. And as part of their sponsorship deal they also offer free Behind the Scenes tours to Amex cardholders. We loved the backstage tour and were amazed to see the size of the building. As the play works in repertory, they have space for several complete sets behind each stage, it's an amazing place and quite different in scale from any other stage I've seen. Highly recommended for interested theatre goers.