Bit of a bitty week, truth be told. Had a tooth out on Tuesday, so that was a day down the Swannee. Then on Weds a blissful day hiding away in the theatre watching Nicholas Nickleby. While agreeing with some of LG's quibbles I had a cracking time (Sam Marlowe's praise for the actors is not overdone) and shed a tear for poor old Smike, yet another ghost of the lost boy the author had been for a brief but incandescently formative time. Perhaps I'll just watch Dickens adaptations and nothing else for 2008. Christmas Carol finished its run last Saturday and that has left me in even more of a January mood. I was meant to make a weekend of it in Newcastle for the last perfs but an extraordinary thing - as I was leaving the door on the Friday morning to head for King's Cross, Spike erupted - he hadn't realised the show was going to end. He'd seen it the week before (twice), and fancied he could pop up and see it anytime - or at least any Christmastime - he liked. Now of course no one would be more pleased than me if the play was seen again, in Newcastle or elsewhere - Alfred Hickling's neat objections to festive repeats duly noted - but I couldn't guarantee it to the boy, there, on the spot. So on with his coat, family railcard pocketed, and away he came. And I'm so glad he did. It meant I couldn't stay for the last night carousing, though in truth I was not sorry to dodge the more melancholy moods that such occasions always bring in their wake. So here he is, in the boys' dressing room post-show, in the hat and wig that Michael wore to play Dickens at the top of the show before becoming Ebenezer Scrooge.