Today’s entry will be short and sweet, as I didn’t do anything! The day was very definitely one during which I was in limbo.
I wake on my final morning in The Salem Inn and start to pack my cases. I have strewn my belongings across the room and I have to try and get them back into some semblance of order. At 8 I go to breakfast and meet up with Kevin from New York.
After breakfast and having said my farewells I walked out into the streets of Salem, specifically to Chestnut Street which people had told me was one of the most elegant and impressive streets in the town. They were not wrong.
A broad, straight avenue lined by trees (um, Chestnut trees, funnily enough), the houses are substantial and superbly preserved. Each bears it’s little plaque with the name and date of the original owner, which is quite fascinating.
My walk takes only about 30 minutes and back at the hotel I just crash on the bed. This is very much my floppy day.
I check out at 11 0’clock and retrieve my car which has been sitting in a parking lot, improving the profits of Budget Car Rental, without incurring any wear and tear as I have walked everywhere during my stay here.
I have an hours drive to Newton, just outside Boston, where I am able to check in early to the Crowne Plaza Hotel. I empty my laundry bags and decide what I am going to need for the next few days and get a load ready to be taken to the front desk.
In the afternoon I really do just flop on the bed. I had downloaded ‘The Invisible Woman’ (the film based on Charles Dickens’s relationship with Ellen Ternan, starring and directed by Lord Voldermort) onto my phone and lay on the bed watching it.
It is very well made and beautifully shot and I was very impressed by Ralph Feinnes’s performance as Charles Dickens.
After a brief snooze I do a little work on The Signalman to bring it back to the forefront of my mind, ready for two outings in Missouri later in the week and then do some work on the computer.
I have booked The Unicorn Theatre in my home town of Abingdon to perform A Christmas Carol on December 20th and I need to get the artwork for the posters created as soon as possible, so I spend some time on that.
There are also some emails to be answered relating to the DVD of Doctor Marigold which was recorded and released earlier in the year. The exciting thing is that now we have a version that is compatible with America DVD players and are ready to sell copies on this side of the Atlantic.
So: commercial time! To those of you have already requested copies, I will be in touch to arrange shipping etc shortly. To those of you who would like to order copies and to witness this beautiful little story for yourselves, simply email me via my website http://www.geralddickens.com and I will arrange everything.
After my admin hour I have a lovely hot, lazy bath, an early dinner and an early night.
On to tomorrow and I want you to do some homework for me. I will be visiting the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown and it promises to be a remarkable day.
For suggested reading I refer you to ‘Chapter the Third, Volume One’ of American Notes, which chronicles in great detail Charles Dickens’s visit to the school in 1842 and his account of meeting Laura Bridgeman, a blind, deaf and dumb student. His incredibly moving observations later inspired the Keller family to send Helen to the school.