Friday, 12 December 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
I'd heard that Merly Streep was very good in this film, and Pierce Brosnan less so. So I wasn't horrified to find that the men weren't as strong as the women in the film, having been over-prepared on that front. If you enjoy Abba, nice landscapes, good acting, a touch of Bollywood here and there, then you'll love this. If you don't know how the story pans out, you'll enjoy it more. I didn't know what happens (despite various attempts over the years to get friends to go to see Mamma Mia! in the theatre with me), so I particularly enjoyed the twist on 'I could dance with you baby' and other touches. 'The winner takes it all' scene could have benefitted from being less stationary. For me the best part was undoubtedly 'Slipping through my fingers'. It brought tears to the eyes of a childless woman mourning the time she hasn't spent with her child yet. Generally, a big thumbs up. Buy the DVD when it comes out and watch it with your daughter or mother.
Secondly: The Sound of Music; a musical we have all seen, I'm sure, and can't even remember the first time we saw the film.
What's its secret? Listeners to Elaine Paige on Sundays on Radio 2 will know how often her guests cite 'The Book' as the most crucial element in their essential musicals. And there's no doubting that the book behind this show is fantastic, all the more so because it's true. If you haven't read the story of the Van Trapp family after they made it over the mountains, get a copy of it now.
The success of the film cannot be doubted, even by those who are unaware of the phenomenon that is Sing-along-a-Sound-of-Music. It was quite an eye-opener for me when I went to this event some ten years ago in Newcastle upon Tyne. All those men dressed as nuns. I went as a brown paper package tied up with string, a dress my then boyfriend made for me. Sadly a more conservative Maria won the best costume competition.
The Sound of Music has got a new audience through the BBC1 programme 'How do you solve a problem like Maria?' And it was this take on the reality TV show that caused a friend of mine to be quite so desperate to see the show at the theatre. So this August we finally went to see the show at the London Palladium.
What did I think? Let me review the show itself before I discuss the whole experience package. Captain Von Trapp aside, who, for me and my companion lacked any stage presence whatsoever, the show was good. The Mother Superior had a truly superior set of pipes. The scene between Liesl and Rolf was neatly choreographed and original. And the stage management was on another level - you have to check out the rotating hill.
But, overall, I didn't enjoy it. Why? The audience. I paid £35 for the pleasure of being up towards the gods and, guess what? I got to sit behind a women who decided a modern take on the beehive was a good idea for a theatre hairdo. When you're struggling to make 5' 2'' this is not good news. The end result was that I spent the whole show fully aware of the audience.
My general advice? Stick to the film. It can't be beaten.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
- an organiser who is the only person who knows where the trailer is etc. etc. to turn up at least half an hour late
- several of the trailerage crew to not show, and a bare minimum to show at all
- to increase the number of trips needed between the boat house and trailer by as many times as possible by forgetting trestles, boat ties etc. etc.
- to not notice until you come to tie the boat onto the trailer that you have less than half the necessary number of ties, and so need to send out to the shops
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Monday, 3 November 2008
- forgetting a map (which might have increased the petrol usage)
- getting a puncture on the M42
- having to pay for the replacement tyre (a rare and expensive one, bien sur)
- forgetting to buy a map for the return half of the journey
In terms of stress levels, it was a bad deal for hubby.
Nevertheless it was nice to go home and see everyone for 3.5 seconds and do the 'being a family together' thing which in my parents house these days equates to taking the dog a short walk, watching the TV and torturing each other with the cryptic crossword in the Radio Times. In addition, the dog had dressed up for Halloween and was doing an impression of 'Frankinmut' (he had rather large stiches protruding from his muzzle where he'd had a biopsy a few days before); I got to see the 'all new' Shirley Baptist Church (gone are the pews, the marble and the traditional layout - this jury is still out); and I also visited my brother's flat in the 'Hemisphere' development opposite Edgbaston Cricket Club (what used to be the Tally Ho Tennis and Bowls Club).
Quotes of the weekend:
(Milly, 4 year old niece): You're the bestest girl in the whole world ever.
(Joe, 12 year old nephew): You've got nanny hands.
You've got to take the good with the bad.
Friday, 31 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
On the other hand if this week's criteria for success were consumption of chocolate and catching up on episodes of the The Archers and Strictly Come Dancing etc., I'd probably be in with a chance of scoring a medal. Ca plus change.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
- a little bit of rowing (in division 1)
- quite a lot of coxing (divisions 3 and 4)
Monday, 13 October 2008
This trip to London would have seen some much needed Channel swimming too, but my swimming buddy forgot their costume.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Sunday, 5 October 2008
- Waiting outside in windy and/or wet weather
- Fire engines
Sadly I did not see the fire engine on Saturday, although I'm told that one was called and resolved the incident. Location: the Cam. Incident: horse in river holding up sculling event for over an hour. Lots of fun trying to stay still in windy weather.
I did see the fire engine today though, for about four seconds. Location: Parkside Pool. Incident: who knows, a false alarm one can only presume. Best bit: standing outside in swimming costume in very cheap space blanket without glasses and feeling like an extra for a very poorly budgeted episode of Dr. Who from the earliest of early days. Needless to say this didn't do much to help me cross the Channel...
Friday, 3 October 2008
The first week went quite well. The challenge requires an average of 118 lengths per week and I did 180. But then I didn't go at all for almost two weeks until yesterday. Let me tell you it hurts when you haven't been for two weeks.
As per usual with me, I sign up for a challenge thinking 'this will force me to do exercise' and mostly don't train and then have to pull a ragged performance out of the hat on the day. Can't do this with this challenge though, not unless I want to try and swim 19 miles in one day (which I don't and couldn't).
There was also an equipment failure. Another pair of goggles bit the dust, or rather got eaten by the chlorine. Swimming with one eye shut is harder than you'd think, so I should probably buy (yet another) new pair. They just don't seem to last very long at all, even with my infrequent pool schedule.
Clearly I ought to be in the pool today, but am on 'awaiting DHL delivery duty'. Although some might say that's just looking for an excuse...