Friday, 2 December 2016

Advent better than chocolate.......


What a good idea.
See how many you can do.














Image looks unreadable to me, so here's the link
http://maketodayhappy.co.uk/act-of-kindness-24-kindness-advent-calendar/

Friday, 25 November 2016

Theatre: The Wizard of Oz........

Award winning Ipswich Operatic and Dramatic Society will take you
‘Over the Rainbow’ with this RSC Version of the MGM classic musical 
Little Dorothy Gale of Kansas, like so many girls her age, dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world.  Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy's imagination.  Experience the timeless songs Over The Rainbow, Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Only Had The Nerve, We're Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road), The Jitterbug, and The Merry Old Land of Oz and some new ones too!  This joyous musical is fun for the whole family and will have to singing as you ‘follow the yellow brick road home


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A fun evening spent with Daughter and children who all enjoyed this (with the inevitable criticisms)
We had especially gone as R's drama teacher was playing the Wicked Witch of the West, she was very good. Funnily enough seems the rest of the drama and art department staff from college were also in the audience, taking up the rest of our row hahaha
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Oakham short break........


For Hubby's birthday present I bought a Buyagift voucher for two nights hotel break with breakfast for two. His birthday is in February so I was thinking lovely spring walks. However, life gets busy and we booked somewhere just before the voucher expired, so November and cold wet weather meant long walks but Christmas shopping instead.

Looking through the list of hotels available to us we reduced the choice down to no more than two hours drive away, daft going too far when we are only away three days. Then of the ones left it was what's near to good shopping places, tricky for us as we both hate shopping. Then of the ones left it was who had a vacancy.

(Sorry for this) We found a room at the inn!
Whipper-In, Oakham, Rutland. A really old coaching inn, 1700s I think. The hotel was a bit shabby in places and very creaky everywhere but full of character and the staff were all really helpful and friendly.

Driving in horrid weather does have some great skies.

Monday's journey up there was paused at the Queensgate shopping mall in Peterborough. Had to be indoors as the rain was heavy. We also had dinner in our hotel to save us going out again, and it was really nice. Some people were eating in the bar but we asked to sit in the dining room (couldn't resist the crisp white table linen). We were the only ones in there and the waiter immediately put some music on the speakers for us. 

Tuesday we stayed local wandering in and out of all the little shops in Oakham. As with most town centres there were loads of pubs, cafes and restaurants and plenty of charity shops too, but we couldn't help notice the huge amount of hair dressers and barbers! The pretty town centre of Oakham was right on our doorstep and so were the church and private school which has been there since 1518.




An empty shop being refurbished had this little Chinese character in the window waving to passers by, made me smile.


In the afternoon we drove about 10 mins up the road to Gates Garden Centre which had been excitedly and enthusiastically recommended by at least four people. Maybe we were getting shopping weary but it wasn't as good as some we have near home. We also swung into a factory outlet shop having a closing down sale that we spotted.

Only got stopped at the level crossing once, but it was for ages!

Wednesday's shopping started with a wander round the market right outside our hotel (very small so didn't take long) then onto the huge retail outlet centre in Spaldington which had this attractive water feature.

Got home just before 5pm as we were both out again for the evening.
I would like to report that we have completed our Christmas shopping.....would like to but I can't, we barely got anything ticked off the list! Was a lovely interlude together though.
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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Guilty......


In general I seem to have fewer and fewer blog posts to read, I've had to have a check and yes for some I've lost the link and thankfully I'm still reading from a few regulars which I love, but maybe blogging is generally becoming less fashionable or are people just moving to other social media platforms?

Then I realised that actually I'm totally guilty myself and even my posts have longer gaps between them now!

So what's been happening? Lots of childcare lately as Daughter has had some paid work. O had a sleepover here.  Some crafting, finally finished knitting the second cushion cover that's been hanging around for ever (still not sewn yet though). Found another craft group on facebook and I'm wasting far too much time browsing the lovely things others have made. E has now gone from veggy to vegan so I've been researching and trying some recipes. Cleared the ironing more than once (flaming pile keeps coming back). We've been out to dinner with friends, had a lunch out with a neighbour and also met a very old friend for drinks as he was passing through Ipswich. There has also been a dental checkup this week too (all fine for me, even managed an xray as they have a new machine).

Hubby is really busy, he's been doing lots of big gardening, pruning trees and shrubs, shredding and bagging, leaf raking and bagging, filling our's and our neighbour's brown bins and still needing to do tip runs. He has also cleared up lots of leaves for our neighbour as she is in Papworth Hospital and he has to do the journey there and back every day which is about 1hr 15mins each way if there are no traffic problems and that's rare. Obviously the neighbour wasn't there when the heating engineer came to fix their heating, so Hubby was in there sorting that too.

We've had the water conditioning system serviced, that may have been the cause for reduced water pressure upstairs (takes an age to fill the bath) so Hubby called in Homecare as we have insurance with them. The first guy couldn't find a problem and left, so Hubby called them again and the next guy seemed more willing to try different things and he spent quite some time forcing water through the pipes but did tell us we would need to update tanks and stuff, he left. A couple of days later Hubby noticed a leaky toilet upstairs, bought and fitted replacement bits and it still leaked so bought something else which did the trick, then that evening we noticed the downstairs loo had come out in sympathy and developed a drip, bless him he sorted that too.

Yesterday we did the trip to Papworth to visit our neighbour but even that wasn't straightforward, we'd travelled about three miles when we noticed Hubby's car go past on a low loader (his had been insurance repaired and we were in a loan car), it was obviously being delivered back a day before arranged, so we turned around and followed it home, the delivery chap was very grateful that we had but we were now 20 mins later.....then a traffic jam added another 30 mins to that, so a much shorter visit than we'd hoped grrrr.

Today has also been an everything-at-once day. Daughter needed to take the girls to college but product tracking showed her new washing machine was being delivered early so she asked Hubby to come over at 8:30am as she wanted him to connect it up too. Meanwhile I got the call to say British Gas were coming for 9:30am to install Hive. Hubby came home so did Daughter and O to sort out the dried out clay stuff and get it in the kiln, we took in a parcel for next door, the loan car was inspected and collected, the gas man finished, we all had lunch, now Hubby and Daughter have left to play with the washing machine and O is deeply engrossed with Mario, so I've used this little time to blog hahaha.
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Friday, 4 November 2016

Theatre: Pride and Prejudice.......



For description I've copied the article from the East Anglia Daily Times review by Andrew Clarke

      Pride and Prejudice is one of the great classic novels, filled with comedy. drama and romance and a vast cast of memorable characters. The idea that this complex, passionate story could be told with just two actors seems ludicrous and yet it works brilliantly.
      Husband and wife team Joannah Tincey and Nick Underwood just sparkle as they lead the audience on a joyous romp through this much-loved Georgian classic.
      Not only do Tincey and Underwood transform themselves into all the characters with a subtle shift in body language or the addition of a hat or an unbuttoning of a coat but the beauty of Austen’s language has also been preserved. The characters not only speak their dialogue but provide a commentary on the action, a narration supplied by Austen via the novel.
      The abstract set resembles an exploded Georgian country house and provides a perfect backdrop for the fun, fast-paced nature of the show. Tincey and Underwood deliver a galaxy of strong, diverse characters, all of which have a twinkle in their eye and makes for a wonderful night at the theatre.


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Wow, this was amazing! And I really couldn't add to the review above without just repeating how clever the two actors are at putting across each slight difference for so many characters.

My only criticism is with The New Wolsey Theatre for not actually mentioning the actors by name in their brochure or on their website. I had to search and look at various websites including Two Bit Classics Productions which is the company name. That's how I came across the review above.

So just because they totally deserve further applause, "Well done Joanna Tincey and Nick Underwood, you did an amazing job, my friends and I were truly entertained".
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Friday, 28 October 2016

Another sad goodbye.......


This has taken me some time to write!

Sunday 16th October Hubby's only brother, my bilM, died aged just 66.

It all happened quite quickly. About four weeks before, he started to suffer dizzy spells and they discovered very low blood pressure and very low sodium levels and he was kept in hospital. Medication was struggling to restore his levels but the doctors didn't actually know why it had happened. Then he got a chest infection, (which may have already been brewing).

For the last week he took a turn for the worse and was moved into ITU and fully sedated with breathing apparatus, but stronger medication didn't help enough and his organs started to fail. Earlier on that last Sunday Hubby, with M's wife and his daughter together with the doctors discussed all options and made the very difficult decision to let him go in the most comfortable and dignified way.

Hubby's family have never been close in the way I think of as close but it suited them. It was only the brothers and their dad that even kept in touch and it didn't seem to bother any of them if contact ended up going weeks before someone did. They just knew if they were needed someone would pick up the phone.  Uncles, aunts and cousins never contacted them either so obviously just the way they all wanted it to be. Hubby's dad died in 2009 and now his brother so the only blood relations that Hubby even knows the whereabouts of are our own children!

Because of bilM's quite sudden death the coroner needed to complete a full investigation, so long delays, however today we finally heard from his wife that the funeral is booked for 9th November when we can finally say our goodbyes.
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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Theatre: Night Must Fall.......



An Original Theatre Company And Salisbury Playhouse Production
In Association With Eastbourne Theatres

When charming, smooth-talking Dan arrives unexpectedly at old Mrs Bramson’s remote woodland home he soon ingratiates his way into her life and that of her beautiful niece Olivia. But when a local woman goes missing and rumours in the press of a murder surface among the household, fingers begin to point. Has the past finally caught up with Dan and could he really be capable of murder? As the police close in, and with the press baying for blood, is anyone safe?

This psychological thriller from master playwright Emlyn Williams has all the tension, atmosphere and suspicion of the best British mysteries and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

A star cast includes Gwen Taylor (Barbara, Coronation Street and Heartbeat), Daragh O'Malley (Sharpe), Niamh McGrady (Holby City & The Fall) and Will Featherstone (Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare’s Globe, The History Boys for Sheffield Crucible and Channel 4’s Fresh Meat).


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It was a great set, and obviously with such an experienced cast it was acted so well. It was in places funny, tragic, scary and sad. My friends and I really enjoyed it but agreed it had a flat and predictable ending.
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