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We are very fortunate to have an excellent theatre in the City and we try to go to most productions there.  Earlier this year we saw ‘The Hounding of David Oluwale’ about the death of a Nigerian immigrant in Leeds in 1969, and then last month saw Lenny Henry as Othello, both very powerful and moving plays.  Last week however, it was something much lighter and very funny.  ‘When we are Married’ was written by J B Priestley in the 1930’s but set in 1908.  It is in the fictional West Yorkshire town of Clecklywyke and features 3 happily married couples on the day of their 25th wedding anniversary.  It soon becomes apparent that perhaps they may not be married after all.  The cast portrayed very strong Yorkshire characters, fine upstanding men – ‘big in the Chapel’ and strong willful women. However, there were moments when a couple of the women were more Les Dawson than meaningful characters though I suppose it is likely that Les Dawson drew on the play for ‘Sissy and Ada’.  Nevertheless it was a good and very enjoyable performance and well worth the visit.

We landed at Nice Airport and travelled down the coast to Le Dramont just north of St Raphael by train.  It’s a small and relatively underdeveloped place with about half a dozen hotels, a pharmacy and a spar shop.  As you walk under the tunnel at the station you arrive in a square with what looks like and is in fact a World War II landing craft.  On investigation it seems the 36th Texas Infantry landed on the beach here on the 15 August 1944 to begin the movement North from the Med against the occupying German forces.  I had no idea that there had been a southern push into France but they are obviously very proud of their role and the local bar at the harbour has lots of photos taken at the time.

US landing craft in Eisenhower square Le Dramont

US landing craft in Eisenhower square Le Dramont

The harbour is small and there is a small island off shore with what looks to be a folly built on it.  It is supposedly the basis for the island in ‘Tintin and the Black island’  The original book art work  –

250px-tintinblackisland

And the island itself just off the harbour.

harbour-and-island

As you can probably see the weather was fabulous.  Although it was only early April, it was warm and sunny and we did spend one day on the beach – though Stephen didn’t really do the whole sunbathing thing!

Stephen sunbathing

This is just a short post – we’re busy getting ready for France.  We fly out on Saturday morning from Leeds Bradford Airport to Nice.  We’re catching the train to Agay down the coast from Cannes. We’ll be there for three days walking in the  Esterel region which is by the coast.  Then on the Tuesday we’re heading back to Nice to catch the Chemin de Fer du Provence which is a narrow gauge railway up to Digne Les Bains.  There we’re picking up a hire car and driving down to Castellane – for the rest of the week.  We’re going to do some walking down, in and around the Gorge Du Verdon which is the biggest canyon in Europe.  I’m really looking forward to a good break and some interesting walking.  I don’t think it will be much warmer than here and some of it is quite high so we’re taking lots of warm clothes.

On a separate note, the first Conference Post is on Inclusive Learning.  We have a twitter stream and hash-tag for the event – #jiscrscnw09.

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