In Ballet They Don't Call It Skipping

Last weekend we celebrated our twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. We decided long ago that the main stay of our celebratory presents for such events would not be surprises.

You might see this as a lack of romance but I am pretty sure the Mrs M was being pragmatic when she suggested we should adopt such a position. After all why risk valuable gift money being wasted on items that you might not want. In truth I have been known to buy things that seemed sensible to me but didn't fit with a female perspective on gift buying (we won't mention the sowing box of 1988).

For this year's anniversary my bride hinted well in advance that we had never been to see a ballet. She started this process well in advance during our trip to see Strictly Come Dancing. What started out as a reasonable wish to watch a tango from close up turned into a desire to spend a couple of hours viewing pirouettes.

With this said we set off for Sheffield to watch the Northern Ballet's rendition of Wuthering Heights.

The Lyceum theatre was superb and the cast were clearly were world class; it wasn't long before the whole audience were spellbound, including myself.

Mrs M lapped up every minute of the performance and during the interval she seemed eager to find out what I made of this dancing feast.

I pointed out that, although I appreciated the skill of both the performers and the orchestra, I wasn't fully sure what was happening in the story.

My bride tried to help by enquiring what was going through my mind as I watched; I think she felt that this might show that I understood at some deeper level.

'Well' I said, trying to be honest, 'most of the time I was thinking how much all of the male dancers looked like 'Alistair McGowen'.

She looked slightly disappointed as if hoping that somewhere inside this eighteen stone ex - rugby player was a cultured heart.

'In addition' I continued 'I was counting how many times they skipped'.

Apparently this wasn't the answer she wanted and she tried to tell me that in the ballet it isn't called skipping.

On the plus side I bought ice creams for us both; it seems that I didn't choose well and so I had to eat the one that Mrs M rejected and then go back for another of the one I had chosen for myself. Result!

We settled down to watch the second half and I tried to view it through enlightened eyes. At the end my bride again asked for my opinion. 'It would have been better if they had ended with the Kate Bush song' I offered.