After our memorable evening at The Globe – and my subsequent physical collapse – we faced the new day with some trepidation.

I’d mustered enough energy to climb over Rosemary early in the morning for the now inevitable early morning pee, but I was still in poor shape. We were booked in to the Van Gogh Experience at 11.00 am, so we did have some time to gauge whether or not I could make it – but I did, at least, feel slightly less shattered than I had coming back the previous night.

So – down to a magnificent buffet breakfast courtesy of the hotel. Which I did tolerable justice to. Despite my continuing gut issues. We packed up, checked out, got a taxi, and were delivered, with excellent care, to the door of the show. Having already visited the Dali Experience  we were more than hopeful that the Van Gogh show would be equally enjoyable.

It was.

The first section gave a potted history of Van Gogh’s life and work – a useful grounding for those unfamiliar with it. (I’d actually learned a lot about him during my time at Woodmansterne, when a deal with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam made it possible for us to publish a ‘slidebook’ about him illustrated with 48 superb photographs of his paintings.)

The second section focused on specific aspects, with a fascinating exhibit based on research suggesting he was colour-blind, and processing his paintings in such a way that you could see them as he might have done – far more muted than they appear to people with normal vision. Another display cycled through dozens of images of flowers in vases which he painted in the course of his lifetime. There was much more to see and read, but those displays, in particular, stand out.

One special display recreated Van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles, as shown in several of his paintings. We duly paid him a visit…

Our next stop was the VR experience – where we sat still wearing a full VR headset as the program literally walked us into and through a whole range of Van Gogh’s paintings, starting with a street in Arles, moving through the door into his bedroom, and then into a street scene outside the cafe. Wheatfields, the olive grove, the two starry night paintings, and more were enlivened with animation and rendered just as he had painted them. A memorable experience.

Finally – and I realised I’d almost missed it – we entered the Immersive Room, run on very similar lines to the one in the Dali Experience. The projected displays, on all four walls, explored both his sketches and his paintings, punctuated by both spoken and written quotes from his copious correspondence with his brother, Theo. Absorbing, engaging, fascinating, and so well worth it. (Just a pity about the hard seats arguing with my tumour…)

And then it was time to go home. And we’d arrived at the station before I belatedly realised that – yes – it was rail replacement bus time. Again…

And I’d pretty much used up my daily ration of energy at the show.

No matter. Needless to say, we made it home.

And me? Not good. I crashed completely, and – reluctantly – chose to stay at home rather than attend the Palm Sunday celebration at our church. I simply wasn’t up to it, though I was on the mend and my temperature, reassuringly, was consistently normal.

And – by the next day – I could feel a massive improvement. I was OK.

And the lesson?

As with ME – of which I have more experience than I want – pushing the limits is always possible. But one always pays for it. I don’t regret – at all – visiting the show in Stowmarket. But i know, now, what the price can be. So, for the moment, I’m not pushing myself at all.

I need to recover. Because demands will be made on me in Holy Week that I’m keen to meet. And after that, I need to be in shape. For our next adventure…