Thursday, 22 September 2011

Beyond The Garden Gate progress

Just a quick update with a photo of the piece that I'm currently working on. This one is called Beyond the Garden Gate, and I'm just over a month into it now... I started almost as soon as I pulled the tiger off my frame.

Looking pretty cute I reckon, I'm hoping to have it done by the end of October. Scarily, it's the Twisted Thread show in a couple of weeks, where I will have to try not to buy oodles of new stash to stitch!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Jersey Boys @Prince Edward Theatre

Having seen the adverts for this plastered all over the tube stations, buses and from walking past the theatre itself, I finally bit the bullet and booked myself a ticket. I'd been putting it off because I couldn't find anyone that wanted to come with me, but since I'm not working, I'm getting more used to just going to do the things I want to on my own.

So, middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday, me and quite a lot of coaches of OAPs sat in the theatre and watched the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I didn't know the story at all, and it is staged with each of the characters telling part of the story from their viewpoint, with a whole heap of fantastic songs thrown into the mix - Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You managed to draw cheers and clapping from the first line! With other songs like Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man and December 1963 (Oh What A Night) also in there, it made for a great afternoon of entertainment, and I can see why it's had such a long run here in London. One thing I will say was that even though there were a few empty seats in the auditorium, the crowd more than made up for it - even the actors looked surprised at the reception they got from an afternoon crowd at points, and a good atmosphere really makes all the difference.

Ryan Molloy did an amazing job as Frankie Valli, hitting those high notes quite easily, or so it seemed. The other actors playing the Four Seasons were excellent too, the accents were pretty good, the swearing was plentiful (there is a warning about this on the ticket booking site), but it never felt out of place within the story. The funny and sweet little dance routines were a reminder of the era of 50s and 60s music. Clearly a very talented cast and brilliant staging, and I left the theatre uplifted, with the songs in my head and a warm fuzzy feeling for the rest of the night.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Bluetones @O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Last week, my husband, whilst in a pub trying to explain who these guys were, said that they were like the 3rd Britpop act after Oasis and Blur. I laughed and told him not to be ridiculous.

Having said that, as the gig on Friday night started, and they burst onto the stage on their farewell tour, I thought, well, maybe if I'd paid them more attention at the time, I'd have thought they were the 3rd Britpop act as well. There was something about them, it was easy to tell that this was an excellent touring band who clearly still has a pretty big following.

I have grown used to being at gigs where I'm one of the oldest there. Since The Bluetones is more one of Rob's favourites than mine, and because they are a band who were probably most famous in the 1990s, the crowd was very much different. For starters, when we were a few minutes late after the doors, we walked into a nearly empty venue. We could have stood at the barrier if we had wanted. Instead we chose a nice high viewpoint next to the bar and had the perfect view for the whole evening.

Clearly though, many of the crowd had followed the band since university days and were treating it as a step back in time. There were moments of now fully grown men jumping around like young boys, which was quite frankly hilarious to watch. Although they played a few songs that I didn't really know, they also played a lot that I did. Whether that was down to hubby playing them in the house, or I had actually paid more attention than I remember whilst I was at university, I was glad that I probably knew more than half of the set, and during the old favourites, the audience were all too happy to sing along and get right into the spirit of things.

Personally, I'm not all that keen on Mark Morriss' voice, although it is hugely distinctive, but during the instrumental parts, it occurred to me that the sound is quite rock and roll, which I am a huge fan of - and you can't really argue with the fact that they have been playing shows for 17 years. That's pretty good going. Apart from anything else, there was a lot of humour and plenty of energy in the show, which meant that I did actually enjoy it all very much. And it was nice to be at the farewell tour, knowing that they aren't going to be playing again as a group, the atmosphere was a little bit special. 8/10.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

11th September

As big news events go, this was probably the biggest I've seen in my lifetime. It's funny how you always remember where you were when things completely stop you in your tracks.

10 years ago today, I had spent exactly a year in my new job at at a media company. When the plane struck the first tower of the World Trade Centre, I had no idea what I was seeing. I think I and the rest of the people in my office spent the rest of the day reading the news streams and looking at the photographs as a very bizarre spacey emotion took me through the day and we watched the toll rising. It was one of the strangest days of my life.

So today, I just wanted to say that I'm thinking of those people who were there and who got through this day, those who lost their lives, and especially of those who lost someone they cared about. I won't be watching the news or reading the stories, but I will remember and I will be thinking of you.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Time Flies

Phew, it can't be September already can it?

But since the leaves started falling off the trees and the massive horse chestnuts seem to be bursting out of their cases and falling onto the ground, I guess it is. Which should mean that summer is almost over and we are heading into Autumn, right? Wrong. It got warmer. I'm not talking heatwave, but warm enough to be in my flat in shorts with the doors open. Better than it was for a lot of the days in August. I actually quite like September. Any nice weather days you get are a bit of a happy bonus. Hopefully all the evil wasps have died, or at least aren't able to fly in the way that makes them look evil - more that they are all slow and can't be bothered and you can get away from them without much effort really.

The fact that it's September also means that I'm just into my 3rd month since leaving work. I feel like things have slowed down a little in terms of the personal goals I have, but really, I think it's just that I've joined the local gym now and this is taking up a couple of hours a day for a few days of the week. Since I think that was on my list, or should have been if I missed it off, as long as I see some improvement in my fitness, then I'll be happy.

I've also decided that along with the gym, I'm going to try and move back to the wheat/yeast/sugar free diet for a little while where possible. This worked very well for me a couple of years ago, and apart from feeling like I'm hungry ALL the time, I felt tons better for it and noticed that my general health was heaps better and I had plenty of energy. I could do with that again, so it'll be back to rye toast, eggs, tomatoes, oats, tacos, nachos, organic meat and loads of vegetables. This book was my saviour the first time round, so I'm looking forward to delving into it again. On the plus side, I can whip up the most amazing home made guacamole now without really thinking about it, which is great and made quite frequently in our household.

Well, back to the stitching, I'll have an update for you soon on my latest stitchy project.