Sunday, 24 April 2016

Another busy week.........

Monday was the 7th birthday for O (doesn't time just fly by?). He'd had a big party at home on Saturday for friends and siblings, so today was visiting the grandparents to collect his present and for dinner, he had requested Japanese! So it was sushi plus other finger foods for a party buffet. Followed by cake of course. No time for a photo of him blowing out the candles as he was straight in desperate to eat it. Marshmallows on the outside as they are his favourite and the mini eggs on top should have been on the easter cake but I'd been unwell so this was a good time to use them. O was very happy.

Tuesday we popped out to the garden centre because we needed to fill a gap in the lounge. Last week we'd swapped satellite tv, broadband and phone to cable for all three, so while Hubby was prepping and tidying the wiring he declared the large hifi system redundant,  but as it was covering plugs, sockets and lots of wires we replaced it with the bookcase which now sits neatly by the chimney breast. 

But that left a large gap behind my sofa. I'd spent ages huffing and puffing and moving furniture around but nothing was better than where it all had been so it all went back and we bought this huge plant to fill the gap where the bookcase had been. 

Wednesday was an early start as the GP wanted to see me and made an 8:30am appointment for me that wasn't even at my local branch surgery it was at the main surgery in the centre of town. I did tell him retired people don't need to get up that early!  On the way back we stopped at Daughter's and had a quick cuppa then O came home with me while Hubby and Daughter hitched up her caravan to bring to ours so they can wash it. It really needed it. ...
The afternoon I was at the theatre seeing Invincible as already blogged. 
Then out again in the evening for dinner with friends in our usual pub in Felixstowe. 

Thursday started with a text from Daughter saying as the sun was shining she'd walk over with O to our house if someone could give them a lift home as it takes them about 50 mins to walk it so both ways is far too much for O's little legs. The evening I was with the art group, picking up friendDJ on the way (who was looking quite fragile). The road to his estate has had road works on it for months and tonight it was actually closed one way so I could get to him but we had a long detour to get back on the road to art. Afterwards together with friendM, friendDJ and I always head to Olive's Bar to meet friends and enjoy live music, however friendDJ asked to be taken home as he was so tired. This time the road to his was completely closed so a long detour in and out again getting to our friends about half hour later than usual. One of or favourite bands so that made up for it. 

Friday Hubby paid a visit to the surgery because he has a small patch on his back that has recently become itchy, one of our GPs is a dermatologist who happened to be in our branch surgery (very rare indeed) and he said it's BCC cancer which needs removal but isn't urgent so he's done a referral to the hospital. In the evening, like last year, one of my neighbours invited me to join them at the Mother's Union charity event to raise funds for AFIA (Away From It All) a project that helps people in dire need to have a holiday. It was a lovely sit down 2-course dinner and the speaker this evening told us he was the comedy writer for many famous people, his first ever public joke being told by Ronnie Barker on the Two Ronnie's Show. He managed to name drop throughout and read the jokes he had written for them.......only going to prove that the humour is definitely in the delivery of a professional comic not the writer as there were only polite giggles from this audience. I'm not going to mention his name as I actually didn't hear it when he was introduced so that will save him further embarrassment. When I got home R was here with Hubby as there was a little unrest at home that she wanted to escape and sleeping here makes it easier for us tomorrow. 

Saturday I was on duty to take R to drama at 10am and stay there and bring her home after plus we were supposed to be taking both granddaughters to meet their dad at Thurrock as Daughter had plans of her own, so we arranged to meet my nieceL for a coffee at Lakeside as it's near her and gave us the opportunity to meet her new boyfriend, however, a few days ago Daughter told us their dad couldn't have them this weekend as his car had broken down, not good when he had to do about 250 mile round trip to collect them and then to deliver them back on Sunday, so he cancelled. Couldn't cancel nieceL as I was so looking forward to seeing her so we rearranged location to midway between us. Before that I'd collected E and D and together with R they stayed at my house while Hubby and I popped out. Lovely meeting up with nieceL and her boyfriend, just a short chat over a couple of drinks because they were delayed arriving by a tragic jam and we had to get back to make dinner for our teenagers. They didn't want to sleep over so I took them home mid-evening. 

Add to this essential but minimal housework, laundry and some gardening over three different days, daily exercises for my very poorly knees which isn't helping  (physio next week) and lots of knitting and crafting as I've three babies due June, July and September that I'm making presents for!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Theatre: Invicible......

Presented by The Original Theatre Company and The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
By Torben Betts

With the recession biting hard, Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England.

One night they open their doors and invite next door neighbours, Dawn and Alan into their home. Over the course of a disastrous evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art; class and culture collide where the consequences are as tragic as they are hilarious.


Another performance my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed. The script was fast and the actors' timing was brilliant, cutting each other off before they could finish each sentence so an argument was more about what wasn't said rather than what was. Then came the clash of cultures, totally exaggerated of course,  so very comical conversations and silences too. But underneath it all little secrets and twists evoking empathy and sympathy for the four characters.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Theatre: The Government Inspector.......

Presented by Birmingham Repertory Theatre in association with Ramps On The Moon.
By Nikolai Gogol
In a version by David Harrower

“It’s not good, gentlemen. That’s why I’ve gathered you all here. An Inspector is coming… a Government Inspector!”

The Mayor is in a cold sweat. News has reached him of an imminent visit from a Government Inspector. His fear is well-founded as he has been somewhat lacking in his official duties. The hospital’s a health hazard, the school’s a war zone, the soldiers don’t have trousers to march in and he never quite got around to building that church!

Surely the only possible solution is bribery; it seems to have resolved many a sticky situation for the Mayor and his team in the past! But a simple case of mistaken identity leads matters to spiral hysterically out of control. Could it be that they have met their match in the complicated business of deception?

- - - - - - - - 

RAMPS ON THE MOON is a ground-breaking touring project that sets out to put more deaf and disabled people on our stages, in our audiences and our workforce. Bringing together seven major theatre companies, it will change the way theatre made by and for D/deaf and disabled people is seen. These companies are committed to putting D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences at the centre of their work and stimulating awareness of disability issues within arts and culture.
The Cast
With subtitles and signing throughout

This was totally bonkers!
And the cast are all obviously bonkers too to carry it off so well.

As it says above a very mixed cast of various disabilities who were all great actors, the girl that played the mayors daughter had the most amazing facial expressions that I couldn't stop watching her even when she wasn't the one talking! The script was so fast and funny that most of the time their disabilities were totally irrelevant then they would add something hilarious that could only happen because of their challenges, when one actor just couldn't understand another because she only signed so she gave a huge sigh and spun him round and pointed up at the subtitles to say "just read it for yourself". Also when the main con-man who was very very tall promised to marry the mayors daughter after flirting with the mayors wife, both ladies are very short dwarfs  which made for hilarious antics especially when the daughter just leapt about five foot up into his arms.

I'm sure I will keep giggling for some time as I remember other snippets.
We could all do with a bit more bonkers in our lives.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Theatre: Clybourne Park......

This razor-sharp satire lifts the lid on race and real estate in a fictional Chicago neighbourhood.

The swinging sixties are just around the corner as a black family move into a suburban white enclave, triggering all too predictable mutterings from the neighbours. Fifty years on, we return to the same house in 2009 as gentrification sets in and the roles are reversed.

One skilful ensemble of actors play two sets of characters in a play hailed as ‘shockingly entertaining’ and ‘appallingly funny’.

Bruce Norris’s hilarious satire Clybourne Park took the West End by storm following a sold out run at the Royal Court Theatre in London.


Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike since its debut on Broadway in 2009, Clybourne Park has been awarded Best Play at the Olivier Awards, the Evening Standard Best Play Award, the South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Best Play Award.


This was a brilliant play with an excellent cast of believable characters, who transformed after the interval into a new set of believable characters that all historically linked up with the first set.

I think it's a total testament to how we deal with diversity in 2016 that the commonplace prejudices of the time raised in this play seemed so shocking, dealing mostly with racism but also touching on mental health, deafness, class, bigotry, homosexuality, religion, slave trade and the stigma of suicide!

We certainly are not in an all inclusive tolerant society yet but well scripted and well performed plays like this promote conversation and show that at least we are moving in the right direction.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Time for tea.........

Thankfully no headache after pills at 4:30am and was feeling well enough for meeting family in London for something we had arranged weeks ago.

Afternoon tea was booked in a place near Charing Cross station for 1:30pm, however, afternoon tea takes a lot longer than you may think hahaha. I drove round to collect Daughter at 10:30am and she drove (to save my head) in my car  (to save miles on her car which does oh so many) to London (to save very expensive train fare). As usual we decided to park at Newbury Park (endish of the main A12 before hitting city traffic) and use the underground for the rest. As it was raining and because of the time we tried the station car park first (also expensive but convenient) but there were no spaces so we found a space in a nearby side road. Parking around there is a little complicated if you're not familiar with it as you can park on single yellow lines during the day but not between 11am and noon unless inside a marked white box. We parked but not in a white box,  just as another car parked in front of us, but it was 11:50am so we decided to sit in the car for 10mins in case a traffic warden was nearby and laughed as the people in the other car didn't get out either so we knew they were having the same conversation as us. When we all eventually got out we had a little chat as we'd obviously developed a parking bond lol.

Newbury Park station on the central line to Tottenham Court Road, changed to northern line for two stops to Charing Cross. We were actually about 30 mins early so even though it was raining a little we went for a walk and found some gardens and looked at the statues. No sign of any geocache nearby (Daughter always checks) but we found a tap dedicated to Henry Fawcett by all his grateful women (snigger/smirk/giggle)!

Daughter and I were the first to arrive at the pretty little tea shop (straight to the loo of course) very quickly joined by SisterS and sisterP and not long after that by nieceV who is beautifully pregnant at 32 weeks. 

Lots of non-stop lovely chat between us all and lots of yummy food as you can see

SisterP had to leave just before 4pm as she needed to get a bus then get her commuter coach back to Kent but we stayed chatting nearly another hour then all walked together a little way for different journeys home to Middlesex, Surrey and Suffolk (that's why meetups are rare and special).

So for us back on the northern line at Charing Cross changing to the central line at Tottenham Court Road (disappointing lack of buskers in any of these stations). By now the trains were sardine packed and after a few stops I was getting far too hot so off at Bank Station hoping to walk a bit to cool off but it was raining quite hard so we jumped on a bus (number 25 that I used school days and when I worked in the city in my former life) and got off at Mile End (where I lived from age 6 to 20) and there is now a large park built right across the main road which we decided to investigate as Daughter was convinced there'd be another geocache there but unfortunately not. 

Back underground for the tube Mile End to Gants Hill for a very quick visit to our favourite Biegel Bakery and loaded up with enough to eat fresh and more for the freezer, back down for one more stop to Newbury Park and to the car. 

I was finally home about 9:30pm needing another cup of tea and my bed :-)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

My Hubby my hero......

Thought it time for an update to the ongoing headache problem, still keeping fingers crossed as I'm not totally recovered but definitely getting there :-)

After the hospital and a couple of less painful days we thought the introduction of the extra blood pressure pill was doing the trick but the pains in my head became worse again over easter weekend and I had to spend most of it in bed, not managing to make my planned easter cake, cancelling Daughter and the children coming over Sunday, cancelling our garden egg hunt, cancelling our family roast dinner making me feel really sad.  Daughter came over and collected their easter eggs together with dinner ingredients to cook at home and returned after they'd eaten with cooked food for us :-)

Hubby, as always, was brilliant, up and down the stairs making sure I was ok and letting me know when I could take another dose of painkillers. He'd decided/calculated that as the hospital had said my problem was bp related and started early February it must be a direct response to my medication change at the end of January, so Tuesday morning he was out of bed early to get straight on the phone and get an emergency appointment for a GP. Before leaving home Hubby said don't take the pill I think is the problem, we'll see what the doctor says. My usual GP is on holiday so we saw one I'd not seen before, he looked at all my notes and immediately said "I think it's migraine so take these pills and I'll phone you in a week" when Hubby tried to tell him his theory he said "No I think the bp medication change is pure coincidence as high bp doesn't cause headaches, we only treat it now to prevent what it may cause in ten years time" So we left with migraine tablets!

When we got home Hubby said because of what the doctor said it was ok to take that pill, however because I was taking it later than usual if his theory was right then instead of the intense pain coming around midday as it had done then expect it around mid-afternoon! Our neighbours popped in to check up on me and have an afternoon cuppa and 3:30pm I could feel the pain returning, that man is amazing! I took the first of four migraine pills at two hourly intervals as prescribed but they did nothing so with the help of Hubby looking it up and Daughter checking with her qualified friends I took painkillers too and got a little sleep till the early hours.

Not sure how but Hubby was on the phone first thing Wednesday morning and got another GP appointment, no mean feat at our surgery these days. Different doctor again and he listened to Hubby's theory and agreed that we should give the offending pills a gap for one week while keeping a good record of bp readings, if it hadn't risen in a week we can discuss again what to do next. He said that he appreciated Hubby's research as headaches were not a common side effect of that drug so that was why it was probably missed, Hubby's instant response was "Well that's because my wife's not common!" gave us all a that man!

All this time I've had constant caring support from so many family and friends, all making regular contact and searching for answers and offering suggestions like see a dentist it may be a tooth or have I got a carbon monoxide alarm in the house, or coming over to give me hugs,

So another two days and although a background headache none of that dreadful pain and no need for pain relief, thankfully Hubby seems to have cured me and I was being eternally grateful until middle of the night Friday and again early hours of Sunday horrid pain needing paracetamol but actually not quite as bad as it had been so think we are getting there. Another tricky part of the same problem is the new glasses  collected just over a week ago are not quite right but until my head is sorted I  can't actually describe what's wrong so that needs sorting too! Really hope I'm pain free soon as I've a very busy diary for the week ahead and would hate to have to cancel any of it and I'm truly bored of talking about this.