Tea and Croquet for the Maids

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Monday, September 24th, 2007

No rest for the wicked. Penny and I were up early, and heading off to the CBC studios in downtown Ottawa to have a radio interview with Jian Ghomeshi for his arts programme, Q. He broadcasts out of Toronto, so we were in a studio, and he was in another studio miles away, but we had a good time and ended up yacking about the play for half an hour. It was good fun, actually.

Then whisked back to the Theatre by Laura Denker, our publicist here, for a 12:30 school matinee. There were the prerequisite boys sitting in the front row on the stage left side that were more interested in looking up our skirts than listening to the play, but generally, I think this is a great show for teenagers. It is so empowering for the young women in the audience, and that is what we held on to. So regardless of the sniggering in the love scenes, and the nervous responses to the rape, I think they took a lot away with them. One can hope, anyway. I know if it had been me when I was fifteen, I would have been thrilled, and talking about it for days to come.

So, I have to tell you a bit of a story. Just before I left the High Commissioners yesterday, some of the girls (who had wanted to go swimming in a lake, and had brought their bathing suits to that end) had been invited by Anthony and Claire to use their swimming pool. So they were taking a dip and having a great time. Well, after I left, apparently, they continued. Margaret, and the Cary’s and all the rest headed off to the NAC for Margaret’s interview with Laurie Brown. But Pauline, Derbhle, Pam, Kelly, Jade, and Jenny stayed to splash about in the pool. (I must stress that they were invited to stay!) I guess they had a fabulous time, and kept thinking that they should be out and on the road by the time the Cary’s returned from the Speaker’s Series. So they were dressed and heading out on the lawn, when Derbhle picked up a croquet mallet and popped one of the balls through the… I don’t know what they’re called… the little arch-y things. It was just at that point that the Cary’s car came pulling through the gates.

Now Anthony Cary is a huge croquet player, which is why he had set up the course in the first place, and seeing Derbhle striking out on his croquet pitch (I’m making all this terminology up now), leapt from the car (writer’s embellishment) and picked up a mallet. “Do stay and play a game,” he solicited, and so they did. Tea and biscuits were brought forth by Claire (or perhaps by the staff) and the Maids enjoyed the rest of the afternoon playing croquet with the High Commissioner. I’m sure it was more fun for the Cary’s than hanging with… well the Trade Attaché from Bulgaria, for instance (no disrespect intended).

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