Monday, 30 May 2016

And in other news........

Lots has been going on and I've not had much time to blog so here's another condensed catch up.

Our beautiful granddaughters R and E have had another birthday, they are now 14. How did those years fly by so fast?
This is my favourite photo and favourite memory ever
And we tried to recreate it but R ran away hahaha

Out for a lovely lunch together then back for desserts with candles

I was out with my usual Wednesday friends in our usual pub. Normally I would bring friendDJ but he'd had a fall the night before and although unhurt was still feeling wobbly. He text me Friday to say he was in hospital. He'd survived prostate cancer and over a year ago he was told his lung cancer was terminal, they've now discovered a tumour on his brain and can not offer any treatment! So very sad. I've been visiting him in hospital as often as I can. 

Met up with friendAN for lunch. She lives way up in Norfolk so we each drove for an hour to meet half way in Framlingham. We haven't had a proper catch up for about two years so lots and lots to chat about. Time whizzed by and I had to leave as it was the same day I took R to theatre in Woodbridge so lots of driving. 

FriendsL&K suggested we visit Kentwell Hall for their Multiperiod event. It was great weather and so lovely walking around the beautiful estate talking to people from stone age to Victorians to WW1 soldiers, to punk rockers and all eras in between. It was odd Daughter and children not being there as Tudors (they are on holiday) but I was told to introduce myself to "Terry in the 70's" as he knows daughter well when he has a different name and Tudor persona. When I found him he gave me a huge hug and congratulated me on giving birth to Daughter who he said is wonderful but totally mad! Lots of photos here!

There's also been lots of gardening at every chance as the weather had been quite good. Takes a lot to keep on top of it! Unfortunately my clever strawberry planter wasn't so clever as we came home yesterday to find it had fallen over, rescued all the pots and the plants all look ok but I'll have to rethink the stacking. 
On a positive idea I'd planted a few tomato slices (a tomato had gone a bit soft and I couldn't use it quick enough) and today I need to prick out these lovely new plants

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Theatre: Noises Off.......

Winner of the Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best Comedy, this celebrated play serves up a riotous double bill – a play within a play.

Hurtling along at breakneck speed it follows the backstage antics of a touring theatre company as they stumble their way through rehearsals to a shambolic first night and a final disastrous performance.


This was theatre trip 2of3 from R's Christmas prezzie from me.
We went to the lovely theatre inside the private Woodbridge School.

I've seen this fast farse before and it's hilarious. It actually concentrates on doors and sardines! This one was done by amateurs and unfortunately it wasn't as sharp as it could be but still very funny. R said she really enjoyed it even though she'd felt under the weather all day, so I think an evening giggle or two was just the thing to make her feel a little better.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Ladies That Rock......

My lovely friendJ (from way back childhood) told me early last year that so disappointed with her local social/educational groups like WI or U3A etc not being what she wanted she decided with another friend of hers to start up their own group. They've called it Ladies That Rock.  It is for ladies of a certain age (whatever that is), there will be no regular meetings so no need for a venue, so no need for a subscription! There will be no rules and no form filling! However there will be lots of opportunities to meet up and do all sorts of things together, basically if you have a good idea for something to do then friendJ will email all members and if there is sufficient interest then go ahead and organise it.

FriendJ so wants me to be a part of this group and I so want to be a part of this group, however they all live in the same village or very near by and I live an hours drive away! So I've said to include me on all the emails and when I can I will.

It has been a great success with about 60 members now.
So far...
They've been on lots of walks followed by lots of lunches.
Had a tour up inside Big Ben and round the House of Commons
Running a book club
Had a table at the village hall quiz night
Meal out then cinema
....either dates have clashed with my diary or events not suitable while my knees are bad    :-(

Last night was Pot Luck get together, hosted by friendJ with everyone taking food. Yaay my first opportunity to join in. It was really lovely, attended by about 20 ladies providing enough food for 100 hahaha. We actually sat out in the garden for most of the evening, all adding our jumpers and scarves etc as the night got cooler. Lots of chatting and mixing anyway but there was a prepared game to help with the mingling, it was a secret murder game so as each person arrived we were embellished with our own name sticker and asked to select a folded piece of paper from the bowl, on it was written a name at the top and a random word at the bottom, your mission was to find that named person and engage them in conversation hopefully steering then round to saying that random word and if the did they were dead. Any unfulfilled challenge that dead person still has they pass on to their killer. The person that murdered me managed a total of five notches on her weapon handle by the end of the night (apparently she's played this many times before). Another lady created a sort of pass-the-parcel type game which didn't involve unwrapping layers but passing it around guided by her poem, for instance now pass it to the youngest or the person that has travelled the furthest (that was me) which meant lots of conversations asking each other if it's them, tallest and shortest were obvious ones of course. Lots of laughter for both games.  A really lovely evening with really friendly welcoming people. Shame about the long drive home.

Future events coming up there is. ..
A wine tasting at a vineyard
Cinema trip
Possibly a day trip to France (if they can get a good price)
Visit to the Geffry Museum in London
More walls and more lunches no doubt.
.......hopefully I'll get to join them again for a few of these.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Theatre: The Birthday Party.......

Presented by London Classic Theatre
By Harold Pinter

     “There’s a gentleman living here. He’s got a birthday today, and he’s forgotten all about it. So we’re going to remind him. We’re going to give him a party.”
     A shabby boarding house in a small English seaside town. An elderly couple take care of a solitary guest, who rarely ventures out. The arrival of two enigmatic strangers seems to offer a welcome distraction from their mundane existence. But when an impromptu, seemingly innocent birthday party abruptly turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse, there are horrifying repercussions.
      By turns, cryptic thriller and macabre comedy, The Birthday Party was Harold Pinter’s first major work and is among the most unusual and absorbing of his plays. London Classic Theatre presents the first significant touring revival of the twenty-first century, promising to bring this ground-breaking classic to fresh and exhilarating life.


"The most unusual" is an understatement. The friends I went with hated it. Almost everyone as they left the theatre were mumbling and chatting with comments like "well what was all that about?" or similar. For me I was confused by a script lacking in any cohesive story and dialogue of apparently totally random words. So many red herring remarks leading us in yet another wrong assumption. My first thought was that Pinter had been on drugs, but chatting to Daughter who saw the play the night before me, we came to the conclusion that he just aimed to shock and encourage strong reactions, which this performance certainly did. Daughter and I both agreed that the actor who played Stanley portrayed his mental health issues so believably. Really glad I had Daughter to chat it through with as my theatre friends just labelled it rubbish and said they'd never book another Pinter play.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Warm and sunny...... we made the most of it :-)
Daughter was out the front getting her camper ready for action.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Theatre: Stones In His Pockets.........

A quiet Irish village is turned upside down with the arrival of a Hollywood film crew looking for the ‘real’ Ireland for their schmaltzy blockbuster. A pair of extras watch with envy and delight as cultures clash, divas strop, and everyone fights over the last portion of pie!
Two actors play eccentric and lovable characters in this universally loved comic theatre sensation. Written with poignancy, and performed at breakneck pace, this play has made deep connections with audiences worldwide.

Director’s Note
Stones in His Pockets is the most theatrical of theatre experiences – not because it’s showy and glitzy, but because it has at its heart the alchemy of the actor’s performance. Two actors embody two whole communities of people – a rural Irish village, and a Hollywood film crew – in all of their vivid, eccentric glory. Before our eyes without so much as a costume change, the actors transform from character to character – the stage feels crowded with people. It is a magic trick full of delight and discovery, endless hilarity and astonishing skill. Stones in His Pockets has become an internationally renowned and deeply loved play because of both the simple delight of its playful form, and the deep poignant heart and feel for a disappearing rural world that lies beneath.
John Terry, Director


This theatre trip wasn't with my usual theatre friends it was just R and I as last Christmas as part of our present to R she had a voucher for three theatre trips with Grandma and three curry nights with Granddad and this was 1of 3 with me.

We both really enjoyed this. Just two actors, not only masses of dialogue to learn but swapping characters all the time. Director's note above says it all really. What impressed me most was that once we had met a character we then recognised them immediately by just body language or facial expression!

R (reluctant to critique) said "It was good. End was a bit weird."

Totally separate to my usual theatre reviews I have to mention another main talking point of our evening out together. As every family member or close friend knows I have absolutely no sense of direction. Son used to say "mum you get lost coming out of the bathroom". The Mercury Theatre in Colchester is about 35 mins drive away from home and I've been there many many times, mostly with someone else driving or someone directing me when I've driven.......this time I set up my satnav. We got there so easy and I recognised it all that I didn't bother setting up the satnav for the journey home BIG MISTAKE!  Thank goodness R can read road signs and had some idea of where we were and where we needed to be or I'd probably still be driving around now!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Fruits of my labour........

This weekend I've made a multi-story strawberry planter 😆

Friday, 6 May 2016

Theatre: Lotty's War........

Presented by Lotty's War Ltd.
Written By Giuliano Crispini
Adapted By Clare Slater
Starring Ian Reddington (Robin Hood, Eastenders, RSC)

A mesmerising story of passion, courage and sacrifice, Lotty's War is a thriller set in the WWII enemy occupied Channel Islands. Based on a true story, this critically acclaimed play is ‘a must see show!’

With the last boat to England gone, Lotty is housed in close quarters with the enemy. As loyalties waver amidst the temptations of forbidden love and the politics of war, does Lotty dare to tread a passionate and dangerous path to save a friend?

A powerful performance by just three actors (not the ones on the poster) covering a whole heap of emotions and changing relationships between them over what must have been harrowing times in real life. They showed how the German General was cold and ruthless but totally justified it to himself that he was doing whatever he did for the right reasons.

Monday, 2 May 2016


Our three family Tudors have gone to Kentwell for the four day May event so R is staying with us again. Hubby is meeting up with old friends all day Saturday and at a Blood Runners event all day Sunday.

R needs to go to bed at a reasonable time Friday night to get up, ready and out by 10am Saturday.    TICK
I need to take her to drama and wait till she's done (while knitting)  TICK
R needs to be reminded to extra extra brush her teeth ready for the orthodontist next Tuesday.  TICK
R needs to be encouraged to do physical stuff as she has joint problems if sitting too long.  TICK
I need to do my physio exercises, she'll do them with me.  TICK (I did them 4 days, R did them 1)  TICK
R needs to repot her gooseberry bush that we look after for her  TICK (granddad did most of it)
R wants to make a tricky dessert worthy of a French patisserie  TICK
We need to shop for the ingredients.  TICK

She needed baking rings I don't have, so we had soup for lunch and I made rings from the cans.
Blurred baking as she's moving fast (not, cause I'm laughing as she makes another indecision).
Beautiful and delicious Peach Clafoutis.
Shame about using so many pans and bowls hahaha.

Neighbours/friendsP&A were entertaining a large group (22ish) for Sunday lunch some of which were visitors from Romania (they go over annually to do charity work with them). They were all meeting at church then coming back straight after the service and P&A asked if I could cook some food to be ready for when they get back. early morning three prepared lasagnes arrived, thankfully they were ready, not burnt, in time!  TICK

Monday morning up and sort the kitchen for our usual coffee morning and a very full house as bank holiday for those that are normally at work  TICK

SisterS and bilK want to holiday with us again, this time September as sisterS is retiring in July so no longer restricted by term time. I came up with some choices and we decided on the driving through France option. So I suggested a route and a time-line which they agreed on and I now need to book three hotels (main destination for six nights plus overnight stop on the way down and back), and book the Eurostar train return tickets.  TICK for two hotels, so hard going through and checking details and booking what we hope they will like. One more hotel and train still to book.

Yet again Daughter had problems with her car on the way there Friday and she has ignored it all weekend as it didn't need to move. So this afternoon instead of driving here, collecting R, then all going home for dinner, she stayed at Kentwell and called out the RAC, Hubby also drove there to bring E and O home so they could be home and fed instead of hanging around for hours, meanwhile R and I had dinner here. She was being towed to our local garage and has just text Hubby to meet get there, she'll then being him home, collect R and keep my car until her's is fixed! Parents always on hand TICK