Friday, 30 May 2014

Ironing is boring.....

So I'll just post a photo of our Christmas cactus that has finally decided to flower.

And very rarely we got to pick ripe cherries before the birds got to them.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Friends, more friends and the birthday treat.....

...and corrections. I was told the cruise photos hadn't worked (thanks Michelle) so I've been back and hopefully sorted those out, so please go back and enjoy them and make all my efforts worthwhile hahaha.

Last weekend was our first opportunity to catch up with friendsL&K, so they came to us for an overnighter. So lovely to see them but I did feel bad when they insisted on hearing all about the cruise and seeing all the photos when they should have been there with us, like rubbing salt etc. Lovely meal in the George at Hintlesham, even though we spent some of the time keeping an eye on a huge wasp that had flown in, thankfully someone managed to wave it out the open door. Phew! Late night, lazy morning,  leisurely breakfast then they went home.

Monday friendsN&T stopped here en-route home in their campervan (they had been at a horsey thing in Norfolk). Very funny when she text me a week ago to ask if we'd be home on the 29th as they were passing, well my new phone had obviously lost her contact details as it just came up with the number, so I replied saying as such and tell me who you are before I decide if I'm in or not, to which the reply was "it's me of course" yeah yeah very funny, got there eventually and they got here and stayed for lunch. Really lovely sunny warm day so lunch outside for the first time this year for me. We will be holidaying with them on the south coast in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday night was the usual crowd at the usual pub and Thursday night was art group followed by (rubbish) live music at the truck stop.

Thursday during the day was different though, as that was our only opportunity to celebrate R & E's 12th birthday. Three days early but they have a long weekend at their dad's. So with very limited time I suggested the Arcade at Felixstowe which is a very rare treat and they loved it, as did Hubby, O and M. Daughter and I just about tolerated it. Then a quick dash to Prezzo for a special birthday lunch. Sadly Daughter and E had to leave before dessert for E's percussion lesson. But overall I think they enjoyed it.

They were far too busy feeding the machines with coins to pose for a photo! 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Theatre : Vicar of Dibley...

Yawn! Sorry to say I didn't enjoy this at all and my two theatre friends said much the same. The acting was poor with no real depth of the characters they were portraying and there were a few times when it seemed lines were not properly learnt. Too many bitty scenes and too long on the scene changes. Too many film clips which if they had been shown to distract from the stage hands moving stuff would have served a purpose but were not used like that more to just fill up time. Add to that the seats in this theatre actually make my feet go numb and FriendT's back hurt (can't blame that on the actors of course) then it all adds up to a bit of a letdown.

My two friends were almost tempted to leave at the interval but I really hate doing that in case it does get better and I've missed it and also feel it's quite demoralising for the cast to play to freshly vacated gaps in the audience.....and I was driving so we stayed ;-)

This is the review I found in the Ipswich24 Magazine and the reviewer was being quite kind I think....

When it comes to a stage production of a well-loved TV classic such as The Vicar of Dibley any company are instantly on dodgy ground as comparisons are drawn with the original, this is not so with the Two Rivers Theatre Company adaptation.
Drawing on three episodes from the award-winning series, producer Kay Friars has succeeded in a production that stands alone, even for those not familiar with the original tv version.
The three stories are, The Arrival (when the new vicar arrives), The Window and the Weather and the end-piece a hilarious almost slapstick Easter Bunny.
A stage production does not benefit from the luxury of tv in being able to flit from scene to scene easily.
The setting for the stories in this piece are, Dibley Village Hall, The Vicarage and the home of David Horton, the stage is divided into three parts for the various settings and scene changes are simply conveyed by the shifting of the lighting. The speed of the scene changes is the only criticism in the entire production as some are somewhat over slow and maybe more could have made of the film pieces to ease this transition.
This is quiet a large cast and it is probably unfair to single out individuals, however Val Eldridge turns in a very good portrayal of Rev Geraldine Granger which is very close to Dawn French’s original without being an imitation of Dawn.
Another who shines is Bex Nicholls as Alice Tinker, Bex excels in comedy roles and is ideally cast as the dizzy Alice.
That said all the actors turn in excellent performances and are a credit to the company.
This reviewer sees a lot of productions both professional and amateur and Two Rivers stands out as one of the more proficient companies where you are always guaranteed of a professionally executed and enjoyable evening.
– Mark Keable, Ipswich24 –

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Theatre: Saturday night and Sunday morning.....

A brilliant performance from the perfectly cast actors bringing to life the very gritty emotions of this oh so common story line. The set design was very clever too looking very minimal but cold and industrial and hardened to life like the characters, but able to open up and show the light beyond.

At the Mercury Theatre in Colchester.
We all enjoyed it a lot.


It’s Saturday night, the factory whistle’s gone, and Arthur Seaton, the original ‘angry young man’, is out on the town and determined to have a good time, whatever it costs.
Hard-drinking, double-dealing, womanising, Arthur thinks he’s got it made, but he’s playing with fire, because now he’s got two women on the go at the same time and they’re both married.
What’s more, everything could be about to change for Arthur and the women in his life following a bombshell revelation one night on the boardwalk.
Alan Sillitoe’s ground-breaking picture of 1950s Britain was immortalised in the award-winning 1960 film starring Albert Finney. Now Mercury favourite Tony Casement brings the tale raging back to life in a fast-moving new stage adaptation by critically acclaimed writer Amanda Whittington ( Be My BabyThe Thrill Of Love).
Iconic 50’s drama blended with high-energy action and a thumping soundtrack makes this funny, sexy, heart-rending show a must see.

Friday, 9 May 2014

An "F"ing week....

...that's full of food, family, friends, fun and featre (ok that is stretching it too far).

Monday started with coffee morning here and as it's a bank holiday we have some that are normally working coming but some that are away for the weekend not coming, but still a full dining room which is lovely. In the evening FriendL and I went for a meal and catch-up gossip.

Tuesday night I drove 60+ miles to go out to dinner with two of my nieces. We couldn't believe it that we were the only customers there all evening and at first it felt a bit spooky but then we started getting a bit louder and really appreciated having the place to ourselves. Two of us ordered the mixed grill each and after munching our way almost  through the huge mounds of meat the chef came out and told us he was surprised we had ordered one each as they are normally for two to share, hahaha, it didn't say that on the menu and when we asked the waiter why he hadn't warned us he said he always eats a whole one to himself in his break and laughed. We still found a little space for desserts. We had excellent service as we were the only ones and I used my 50% off discount card, so a perfect evening apart from having 60+ miles to drive home very full and tired.

FriendM loves to cook and as a holiday gift I bought her a book of Spanish Tapas, so Wednesday night she invited us all round for a tapas dinner party and it was delicious.

Thursday started with the dentist, just check-ups for Daughter, grandchildren and me (easier to go all together). I was advised to see their hygienist so I've made an appointment for next week and as she's not NHS I had to pay £53, hope she's worth it!
Daughter and children all played here all day, with Daughter in and out for percussion lesson for E then taking the car for insurance photos as she had had someone run into her last week. Bil-K arrived in the afternoon as he is sleeping over. Hubby was on-call and got a call-out early evening so took bil-K with him, I was out anyway at my art group then onto the truck stop for some great live music.

This morning our men drove off (hubby, bil-k and FriendA from next door).....this is the annual walking weekend where about 40 blokes meet at a hostel on the Friday, do a long walk on the Saturday and a shorter walk Sunday morning then drive home. This year it's up on the Scottish border and they are walking along Hadrian's Wall. This is the first time bil-K has gone with them and Hubby has a bad foot, so fingers crossed all goes well.

I'm out tonight at the theatre but have nothing else planned   :o)))

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Ne'er cast a clout till may be out.....

...well it is, both the may flower and the month, but I'm still chilly so no casting of clouts for me just yet!

Well it's been quite busy since the holiday, in fact we walked through our front door with our suitcases about 5pm and I'd unpacked and changed and was out the door again at 7:30pm for dinner out with friends.

Obviously the next few days was taken up with processing laundry, getting it washed when the sun was out (making the most of solar panels) and using all my clothes horses to get it dry indoors as it kept raining.

Daughter and children have been over lots, I miss them so much when I'm away!
We've also fitted in a birthday party evening for a friend's 40th, Hubby did a fund raising event for SERV, dinner out with FriendL, baking bread, an online shop and a supermarket shop, dinner at the pub with the usual Wednesday gang (and the lovely manageress gave us her staff 50% off voucher), a hospital visit for a very odd test,  a visit from Hubby's brother, made a start on the mountain of ironing, trying to do more for hubby and nagging him to do less as he has injured his foot, garage preparation for a floor repair happening next week, a lovely dinner out with neighbours at a large charity dinner, transporting M and R around all this morning (Daughter and other three children are at Kentwell this weekend), and shopping for a new phone for me.

I should try to explain my hospital test in a bit more detail as it was odd but interesting too. Following on from the full hearing test which gave good results and MRI scan which also came back clear (phew!) I was then sent an appointment for a VNG test, this stands for videonystagmography and is the electronic recording of eye movements. They collect the result by recording on cameras that are worn in big eye goggles. After all the lights in the treatment room were turned off I was asked to closely follow a red dot with my eyes while it danced about a long bar and after that while lying down I had to stare up at the ceiling (although I couldn't see the ceiling as he'd put the shutter down on the goggles) while he first blew hot air for 45 seconds into each ear and then cold air, apparently this warming and cooling of the ear drum makes the fluids run in different directions and apparently creates dizzyness which shows in eye movements. The guy doing the test (senior audiologist) told me when I was very dizzy but as I wasn't moving my head and was deprived of sight I couldn't actually feel any dizzy sensation,  amazing eh?
Well the result he gave me there and then is a definite weakness on the left, however I have to wait for the follow up appointment with the consultant to find out what that means and what happens next.

And looking through my diary I think May isn't going to be much quieter!