The men are here fitting the toilet today, so everything is chaos and I've floorboards taken up in the living room. It was supposed to be a two day job, but they think they can get it all done in a day, including the electrics. Of course, they've got here and decided to run the wiring under the floor and not via the cupboard, which means it didn't have to be touched. But, I'm not too bothered about that as it badly needed sorting out anyway. Plus, new toilet soon! It's going to make so much difference to James, and make his life so much easier.
Kynren was amazing. In fact, Saturday itself was amazing. It was also the Durham Miners Gala, or as it's known locally, Durham Big Meeting. We decided to stop off there on our way to Kynren, and as expected Durham was crammed. We had to park a ten minute walk away, and then the closer we got the more the crowds increased. But oh, what an atmosphere. At one point we were standing listening to a brass band play a version of Michael Jackson's Thriller, and it was so busy, people all around, but all cheerful, and the flags were flapping in the breeze, it was sunny and I just thought how much I'd missed experiences like that, but didn't actually realise that until I was reliving them again.
We had a quick walk along the river front after that, and then drove to Bishop Auckland, where we were still far too early for Kynren to start, so we had a walk around the shops, then checked out the castle gardens. Then finally it was Kynren time.
The show is set in a specially made area deep in the countryside. When you book tickets you're assigned a parking area and then either walk for about ten minutes, get a shuttle bus, or if you have mobility issues get assigned one of the closest car parks, where you can either walk the last bit if able, or if not, golf buggies would drive you down. James was using his wheelchair, so I just pushed him down.
Security was tight with armed police and bag checks, and once you were past those there were various food trucks set up around the tribune -- the area the performance takes part in. We would have eaten there but had bought stuff for a picnic earlier, so just sat in the sunshine and waited for the time we could take our seats.
Everything in the show is done by volunteers, the actors, people selling merch, showing you to your seats, everything. And every single one was so proud and excited about their show. It took us ages to walk the distance from one end of the food area to the other because every volunteer asked if we were looking forward to the show and talked about it.
Finally we could take our seats. The show started at 9:30, and we went in about an hour before. Because James was in his wheelchair we had a front row seat, but because of the strange set out where the wheelchairs users were positioned in-front of their companion, anyone who could transfer just sat on a seat, which is what James did so we were side by side.
We had such a good view. Only a few feet in front of us was the sandy track where the animals ran past. Including geese, cows, sheep, and the most exciting, horses and knights jousting. The show itself was about the history of the north east, with a young boy, Arthur, travelling through time and meeting loads of different people from different eras. There were fights between the Scots and English, complete with fiery arrows being shot and bagpipes with flames coming out of the pipes. A pit disaster, the Bishop of Durham, so much stuff that just went on and on complete with sets appearing out of the lake, and projected onto back lots, and fireworks and so many people fighting and dancing and doing all kinds of things. It was hard to know where to look as you'd look to one side and meanwhile more characters would appear from the other.
The only slight downside was due to it being a night show it got really cold. We'd taken Corey's thick warm cape he had made for a comic con, and shared that, but I was still cold. But even so, I'd go back in an instant.
The next one makes me laugh every time. Those sheep were so fast we got nothing but blurs.
Flaming bagpipes! I promise, they are there.
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