|St. Augustine's Abbey|
Last night, M and I went to St. Augustine's Abbey for a picnic and film screening of Casablanca under the stars. The film started at 9pm although doors opened at 8pm so people had a chance to eat, chat and look around before the film started. They were even giving out bags of popcorn! We grabbed a couple of chairs and put my scarf on the grass as a makeshift picnic blanket and ate our nibbles (potato salad and quinoa and vegtable salad, and some snacks from Graze, since you ask) and drank our tea (out of a flask, of course. It's traditional). I had a good old look at what other people had brought and it was amazing: some people had proper hampers and picnic baskets. Others had tartan picnic blankets littered with goodies. One group had proper crockery and a soup tureen and everything. It made me feel like buying a picnic blanket immediately (one of those ones that roll up small and are waterproof on one side because it is Britain after all) and maybe a basket as well. I think crockery might be a stretch, but I did bring a couple of spoons, if that counts.
Since it had been pretty warm during the day and there was cloud cover, I assumed that bringing an extra top, a hoodie and a big scarf (aka picnic blanket) would see me through. As usual, I ended up being inappropriately dressed. M had even worn shorts under his motorbike trousers (now known as 'the shorts of hope') but the weather started getting a bit chilly. Do not underestimate the night-time weather! Other people seemed to know this and had worn coats, scarves and blankets, while the people in front of us were wrapped in a duvet (and drinking champers - talk about style). I have made a note of this for next time. Oh yes. At least it didn't rain. Hooray.
|Of all the gin joints in all the world......|
Being outdoors was lovely. There was plenty of space, the sound echoed a bit off the stones of the Abbey at the back, you could see (and hear) some seagulls happily flying about for a bit of the film (and a few drunken shouts and cheers - it was a Saturday night, after all). The atmosphere was very friendly and jovial, there were quite a few people I recognised from around town. Casablanca itself is a gem of a film - intriguing, political, humourous and romantic. I love all the old school glamour - the men in suits and the ladies in dresses - and all the historical context, not just of the story but of the film itself. The acting is superb. And I'd forgotten the comic timing and the one-liners. Spot on. I was so happy that the Luna Cinema were showing it, especially in such a splendid setting.
All in all, we had a wonderful time. I hope to catch one of the other events that they are hosting and I can only hope that the film and the atmosphere (and the weather) are just as great. And next time, I'll be sure to have a few more layers on.