Sunday, 23 April 2017

Yin and yang.......


Don't know why I'm not getting here much just now, unless it's a theatre trip which I tend to do straight away. Good if I'm busy and not fitting blogging in but bad if I don't feel there's anything worth blogging about.

We bought a new mattress, we really needed it! I hate shopping and researching and choosing, then my friend happened to say they'd bought a new mattress, really good price and it had very good reviews, so I said to send me the link and I bought the same. It's thicker so higher than the last one so I have to do a bit of a Fosbury Flop to get onto it and when new it did smell a bit but that soon went.......and it's really comfortable. We got new pillows too and because I must be sleeping differently I'm guessing that's why I'm dreaming more than I ever did, which is neither a good or bad.

While knitting the end came off a fairly new circular needle, so I contacted the seller and asked for a replacement. Not knowing how long it would take and wanting emergency spares I also did a next day delivery for a really cheap set of bamboo circular needles. The bamboo ones arrived and they were sooooo smelly I didn't want to use them like that, so I washed them in perfumed liquid soap and hung them to dry over a towel to catch the drips......then I couldn't unplug the sink! Had to stay like that all day till Hubby got home. Hubby fixed the sink but by which time the whole bathroom smelt like the cords on the bamboo needles, so they got thrown onto the garden table to be left outside for a couple of days. Now two weeks later they have finally lost most of the pong! Actually the metal replacement came only a day later so knitting commenced.

In January we ordered a four piece leather suite (more horrid choosing and decision making) and in April they were ready to be delivered. Daughter now has two pieces of our original suite, but only after Hubby and Daughter manhandled (womanhandled) them out of ours into a borrowed van and into hers (needing to remove and replace porch patio doors), then took her discarded sofa and arm chair out to go to the tip, although halfway there he remembered that our tip now stays closed on a Wednesday so that became Thursdays job before the van had to go back. And while our lounge was relatively empty it was carpet cleaning time. We sat like newlyweds on the one remaining two seater sofa for the following week. The new suite (what is it with very smelly new stuff?) is brown so most of the old blue cushions looked wrong, so with my trusty sewing machine, an upcycled knitted jacket and a piece of material which had been in my stash for years we have new cushions (for free)


Yesterday was a fun celebration for an old friend's 80th birthday. We were honored to be included with mostly family and a few very close friends!
Tomorrow is the funeral for a very old friend. At the crematorium we are honored to be included with mostly family and a few very close friends!
.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Theatre: Tommy........


The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich in co-production with Ramps on the Moon.

Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon

Based on the iconic 1969 concept album, The Who's TOMMY is the multi-award winning epic rock musical written by Pete Townshend.

With a cast of 22 performers and musicians, this is the story of the pinball-playing boy which has entertained and intrigued audiences for more than 40 years. A one-of-a-kind theatrical event!

Tommy will feature a creative use of audio description, captioning and British Sign Language interpretation which will enhance the experience for everyone. It is the second touring production made in association with Ramps on the Moon – a consortium of theatres across the UK that are committed to driving change in their organisations. For more information, visit www.rampsonthemoon.co.uk



===============================================================

Wow the music was constant rock-n-roll and loud and so was the story. Great musicians and some wonderful voices. Tragic and thought provoking story enough at times to make me cry a little. This was written in my era and I can't believe I've not seen it before.

This performance had the most amazing cast of mostly disabled actors and for Tommy to be played by a deaf actor made the story of the "deaf, dumb and blind kid" all the more poignant.

I thought it was amazing, although I have to say the two friends I went with almost left at the interval because it was such a barrage on all your senses but they were glad they stayed till the end.
.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Theatre: Silver Lining.........


An English Touring Theatre and Rose Theatre Kingston co-production
     On one dark and stormy night in the upper day room of the Silver Retirement Home, five elderly ladies are trading stories of their remarkable lives. With the storm floods rising and no rescue team in sight, the ladies are faced with the sudden realisation that in order to survive they are going to have to do what they have done for their entire lives – do it themselves!
     Silver Lining is the hilarious new comedy by writer, actor, presenter and political activist Sandi Toksvig. Starring Sheila Reid, Joanna Monro, Amanda Walker, Rachel Davies and Maggie McCarthy. It tells the tale of five extraordinary yet forgotten women, who come together one treacherous night to recreate The Great Escape – senior citizen style!

=================================================

This was hilariously brilliant. The script was brilliant because it rang true of cantankerous old people (scary as I head towards it), the cast as you can see are all much loved very talented actresses we've all seen on tv. My only criticism is I found the young actress who arrived as a carer was very shouty but I'm sure she will improve by working alongside such seasoned performers. Totally recommend this if it comes your way. 
.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Theatre: Bang Bang......



A Made in Colchester production
     “You know, some husbands pretend to love hunting, but when they leave home they set their sights on other prey.”
     In a brand new adaption by John Cleese, Georges Feydeau’s hysterical farce Bang Bang erupts onto the stage in our first Made in Colchester production of 2017.
     Leontine, a respectable lady of high society, is in danger of being hoodwinked by her husband Duchotel. When Duchotel goes hunting, his prey is not four-legged animals!
     While he is away (“bang bang!”), back at home his lifelong friend comes calling – and he’s on the hunt too. Will Leontine get caught in his sights, or instead set a trap of her own?
      Saucy secrets unravel as the devilish Duchotel finds himself snared in a door-slamming, trouser-dropping, lover-hiding, balcony-climbing night of chaos set in the stylish apartments of Paris.

     John Cleese collaborates with the Mercury Theatre Colchester to bring this rarely performed comedy classic to the stage, directed by veteran of theatre, television and radio, Nicky Henson.
     Banish the winter blues and join us for a sizzling summer evening in France!
Based on a translation of Georges Feydeau’s Monsieur Chasse!


======================================================

What a lovely surprise visit to the theatre. Daughter phoned to say she had theatre tickets she'd only got today for today and she was taking R and had a spare ticket, was I free, and I was yaay!

I do like farce if it's done well and mostly this was done well. It was well cast apart from the doctor who got a bit shouty a few times. Loved the maid but didn't like her little stint as a policeman. The costumes were all lovely. The funny snappy typical hiding running around farce bits were really good but actually the script was far too wordy and slowed the action down so some of it took too long to get to the funny snappy bits you knew were coming.

Guess I'm being over critical as I've seen so many great farce, but overall we did all enjoy it and all the more for a sudden extra night at the theatre.
.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Another mixed bag......


More delay in adding to this, probably as each thing isn't newsy enough for its own post and not many photos to pad things out, but actually when I think back quite a bit has been going on.

Eventually cleared all the washing from before and during our holiday, haven't done much of the ironing though as I'm very good at finding alternative employment, even to the point of completely defrosting the freezer rather than plug the iron in, did need it though, and Daughter, O and R arrived just as I'd started that job so understandably it took longer as I kept stopping to chat.

My niece and her new man had an engagement party which was noisy disco fun with lots of dancing. Hubby and I took Daughter and O so just the one car. Unfortunately many family members couldn't make it but it was lovely seeing the ones that could. My brother took this opportunity to tell me that he was now separated from his wife, he said that they have now settled into an amicable friendship. The next day I messaged them both with my support.

Hubby has had lots of SERV (blood runners) charity meetings. He has also bought both a new car and a new bike

Well he is getting his pension now so guess it's another late mid-life crisis hahaha. 
After picking up the car we had a lovely run out to Southwold for some lunch. 



I've had another craft day at Acorn Village. Each time we attend we add just £2 each to the kitty tin and this time we saw what to donate it to as the recent Storm Doris had done some irreparable damage to the cover of their polytunnel, hopefully our donation will get them a little nearer replacing it. 

We've had all our usual social stuff, eating out with friends, hubby ten pin bowling and I'm filling up the diary with future meet ups with friends too. At this rate we will never catch up with all the tv we've recorded! 
.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Breakfast.......


Woke this morning to the birds outside making a right racket, sounded mostly like gulls.

Came down to see a sparrowhawk eating breakfast.


Actually Hubby got a much better photo

Friday, 24 February 2017

2017 Feb - Florida holiday - week 2.......


Tuesday 14
Hubby's birthday!
We started the day with Hubby opening his cards (mine L&K's and those early arrivals I'd brought with). The weather was cooler and windier so we decided not to bother with the trolly tour again and had breakfast (I tested out the hotel waffle iron gadget which was more fun than delicious) then checked out of the hotel. Hubby set the sat nav then between him and K navigated totally against most of her directions, some of the time she sounded quite cross. We took the coastal road which was quite scenic and headed to Daytona and just like our trip there in 2012 we couldn't get onto the beach, so as compensation we made an early lunch stop at the nearest ihop. While Hubby did all the driving we kept him going with regular bursts of singing Happy Birthday, he was thrilled of course hahaha. In the evening friendsL&K had planned which restaurant we should have his birthday meal, but they couldn't book and of course valentine's day is very popular for eating out so we couldn't get in.....back in the car heading for one of the country clubs but when there we found it to be a special 3 course menu which none of us wanted........back in the car and to an Italian restaurant called Meza Luna. Yummy and such a shame I couldn't eat more than about half of my chicken carbonara as it was huge. Of course being the US the waiter immediately asked if I'd like it boxed but I declined. Back home early so Hubby could have a beer or two as he'd been driving. Think it was a successful birthday/valentine day.

Wednesday 15
Well it was our usual lazy relaxed start to the day for Hubby and I, friendsL&K had been to their early pilates class and back mid-morning. Hubby and K had a little job to do putting some lights back up around the lanai then we had a sandwich lunch while going through the villages daily papers to decide what we should do with our day. Then it started raining. And then an alarm sounded on L's mobile phone with a weather warning, so the tv went on
Of course that looks a lot worse than it actually was. We had very loud thunder, some lighting and very heavy rain for about an hour or so then stopped completely. So the plan changed to late afternoon cinema then straight to a restaurant and maybe dancing in the square afterwards. The men were happy as we saw Star Wars Rouge 1 (don't think L or I would give it a glowing review so I'll say no more lol). The streets,  restaurants and square were really quiet, guess the thought of more rain had kept people home. We ate in the Bavarian Brewhaus, and it was lovely. We've not been having desserts at all as meals have been so filling but on our way out I noticed some cheesecake in their cabinet and said yum, so L then promptly ushered us down the street to Too Jays and we bought a whole New York cheesecake to take home. Cuppa's all round and half the cheesecake eaten and it ended up a quiet evening of laptops/sudoku/crosswords etc stuffed and content.

Thursday 16
General sort of lazy day apart from three of us going out grocery shopping while L did a bit of housework (she kicked us out lol). I don't actually do supermarkets at home Hubby does it all, so here it's not only a novelty but fun to look at all the products we don't have. All dressed up for an evening out, to The Eisenhower recreation centre for The Collierite's Valentine's Party. (L&K live in the Village of Collier). Great bbq buffet, lovely people, Blake Guyre was the lead of our three piece entertainment and they were really good, so dancing all night too. Wonderful evening



Friday 17
It was a Shuffleboard morning and friendsL&K beat me and Hubby 2 sets to 1

Lunch at home was added to by last night's leftovers, so much food at the Valentine's party that couldn't go to waste, so we enjoyed cold beef and baby potatoes along with salad etc and then we finished off the New York cheesecake yummy. Late afternoon we headed out in the golf cart into Brownwood for a little bit of shopping then a brief stop at the square to watch Scooter entertain the crowd then to Too Jays deli restaurant and meeting up with more friends of theirs, a couple that live opposite them. Six of us eventually had a lovely dinner, took nearly an hour for our meals to arrive, but gave us all something to laugh about. After dinner we all came back and had a really fun evening playing Mexican Train
I actually won three rounds and came second overall, must have been that half glass of prosecco I had hahaha

Saturday 18
FriendsL&K had been invited to a surprise 80th birthday party and when they said they had friends staying the birthday boy's children who were hosting the party insisted that we came too. So a lazy morning, a quick lunch and we arrived for 2pm as instructed. Hubby and I were made so welcome and we'd met some of these friends previously at the British-American night so we had some lovely conversations. A big shout of "surprise" when our octogenarian arrived and he was definitely surprised, after our introductions I then got to meet his wife who happens to have the same Christian name and surname I had before I got married and friendL had already told each of us all about the other. There was a lot of really yummy food. So when we left there was no need for dinner so we decided to have a night in with Netflix.

Sunday 19
The men had a golf game booked starting around lunchtime so instead of having breakfast then an early lunch we decided to go out for brunch but couldn't go out until K got a help-desk call back on a techy problem even Hubby couldn't solve. 10am and the call came as booked, lasted about 20 mins and K was told he'd get an email with instructions within 24 hours and it would then be valid for only three hours! So a yummy brunch then home in the cart, check emails, then because we can't have four people and two lots of golf clubs in the cart at once we all went in the hire car for the men to drop us girls in Sumter then back to check emails and swap car for cart and out again for golf. We shopped and there was a great craft market that seemed never ending. We both bought stuff and briefly stopped for a cuppa then shopped a bit more

We'd arranged to meet the men at 4pm under the clock and they both popped back to the cart to stow our shopping, then we watched a bit of a jazz band on stage and met up with friends making us a group seven. It's always good fun on the squares people watching, happily dancing or getting very possessive with the chairs. They all had a drink as it was happy hour then we went to eat at Thai Ruby. We got back a bit early for bed so put a film on, "Woman in Gold" starring Helen Mirren. Brilliantly done and made me cry. All to bed but still no email!

Monday 20
Today we made plans to have the day out but first we'd been invited over the road by their lovely neighbour friends for breakfast, so K having checked his email and still nothing we went over. They had gone to so much trouble, first offered coffee but as Hubby and I prefer tea K had brought over the tea bags and had to make it as they don't know how. We had home made pancakes some stuffed with cheese and others with fruit preserve (even our hostess isn't keen on US jelly) they'd made a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad and toasted muffins and it was all delicious and we stayed quite some time chatting. Back home and finally the email had arrived so K could sort his problem before we left again. About 30 mins by car and we were in Silver Springs State Park where three of us took the glass bottom boat tour with Captain Oscar


If you can zoom in on this last picture you may be able to spot three turtles a cormorant and a baby gaitor. Meanwhile L was on shore eating a huge icecream so when we came ashore we had to queue for icecreams too. Just the four of us out to dinner tonight and back for another film, this time L chose it as she'd read the book Before I Go To Sleep which was a psychological thriller with Nicole Kidman playing the lead. I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday 21
All too soon our two weeks have ended so up, packing, stripping the bed and ready to leave after lunch. Big goodbyes, we love L&K and they are brilliant hosts. Journey home was all pretty much as it should be apart from a fair bit of turbulence during the flight. Actually worth noting I used the toilet on the plane and that is a first for me hahaha. Hubby had a short nap but I didn't. And somewhere over the Atlantic the day changed.

Wednesday 22
Landed on time and nicely through the automated passport control but our cases were the very last to hit the carousel. We now have "hive" on our heating so it was great for Hubby to switch on the heating at home before we'd left Gatwick. Walked through our front door just after 10:30am. Made tea before anything else (Daughter had previously bought fresh milk and bread) then I unpacked so I could sort out the gifts as Daughter was coming 1pm-ish and we saw O and a bit later R as well. Thankfully neither of us seem to suffer jetlag so we kept to our usual Wednesday night activities although when friendH offered to drive I gratefully accepted, wouldn't want to fall asleep driving home at midnight.

Thank you friendsL&K xx