Luckily, during my rehearsals, my husband was able to come visit a few weekends.  We went to Brighton and checked out a few restaurants in Lewes.  And he got to watch some of our rehearsals and get to know my colleagues.  He had already met Jurowsky at my audition in London, so it was great for him to now see the Maestro at work.  He loved the show, even if I was getting groped by most of the men on stage…  !

While in Brighton on a bright, beautiful Sunday, we lunched on the wharf and then had a lovely walk down to the pier.  As the weather’s been cold, Spring flowers are still in bloom all over the place.  Beautiful!  And about 10 minutes from my house!  (with a car!)

We finished off our day at Bill’s in Lewes, eating wonderful food in a lovely setting.  It was nice to have a car and explore a bit, as I had only been going back and forth to rehearsals (either by taxi or by bike), and crashing every night when I got home.

Since my house didn’t have internet (yet), I stayed on late after rehearsals and used the wifi at the theater to get correspondence and skype-ing done.  So I usually left the house at 9:45 for a 10am rehearsal (earlier if I went by bike) and was there until almost 10-11pm some nights!

I’m staying at a cottage in Ringmer.  The owners are a lovely couple who live in the main house nearby.  However, the cottage only came up at the last minute, as their long-time inhabitants left.  The owners thought everything must be just fine in the old cottage, since the other renters hadn’t said anything.  HOWEVER, despite people having inhabited the house for a few years until a month of my arrival, the house was pretty much inhabited by spiders and their webs.  I guess the old renters didn’t mind them?  I’m all for “live and let live” but this was a bit exaggerated…   This lovely specimen was about as big as the palm of my hand – and had set up shop right above my bed.  Maybe not such a great idea.

Then, the plumbing.  Ah, England…  The hot water slowed down to a trickle – so much that I could no longer shower.  And the drain in the kitchen wouldn’t drain, so I had to wash dishes in the tub (in cold water, at this point…) A bath was out of the question, anyhow, as it’d take 5 years to get a full tub going!  I was left “washing off the important parts” in the cold and hoping not to catch pneumonia!

So when I turned on a burner in the kitchen only to have it short out the entire house, I thought maybe it was time to talk to the homeowners and see if they could do something.  Since my husband was in town that weekend and he COOKS (and needs his morning coffee!), I knew I needed a cooktop.  So the owners loaned me their camping cooker.  It turns out the oven/burners had to be trashed as hazardous, so I used the camping cooker until they could get me a little on-the-counter stove/burner – until they could get the replacement stove in place (about a week and a half.)  By this point, I left town for San Francisco.  When I returned, not only did I have a shiny new oven/cooktop, but they had put in a separate hot water heater in the bathroom just for the shower (instant hot water!) and had the drain fixed in the kitchen.  Glyndebourne had set up broadband for the house, and my router had arrived in the mail while I was gone.  I had INTERNET at home!!


I got to work on the cobwebs, and washed the curtains, which had (oh, did I mention them?) major infestation of moths.  Yes, the moths that eat your very expensive cashmere sweaters…  I wonder if they’re living in the carpet (which could be wool?) or what.  But that’s another story…

Everyone has told me how BEAUTIFUL East Sussex is in the summer, but even Spring has not sprung here (barring about four isolated days total when you could go outside without wool socks and a coat).  It seems this is the coldest summer in memorable history here.  Really.  When I’m here. :-\