Archive | February, 2012

A thought a day….Music and Pet loving

28 Feb

Thinking about it I realise that once again my blog has taken a meandering route with no particular focus coming into sight. I hope that I will be able to rectify this soon, but I suspect that what this really shows is my absolute inability to make a decision about anything, particularly my own creativity. So please stick with me about this.

In the mean time I will give you my thought(s) for today.

I love music. Over the last year I realised that to be honest I have a tendency to lean more towards listening to classical FM than I do uber-hip playlists. To me Skrillex sounds like a super villain from the plant Zarpfof, and I do not wish to think of them otherwise. It is not that I am a music snob, at least I don’t think I am because I really do love music and I’m willing to give anything a go but I just can’t handle most things. Customers will often come into my place of work to find me staring into the middle distance not in a coffee induced haze but because I am listening to something from after 1995. However, once again I must clarify that my music taste between the 1970’s and 1995 does not consist of the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Cure and Siouxsie and The Banshees. Although I have come to love these bands. No, I can unashamedly say that it consists of Baccara, Rick Astley, Barbra Streisand, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue (who will be my sister and best friend soon, she just doesn’t know it yet). This was confirmed by my previous post where I admitted to my knowledge of all the lyrics to Craig David’s ‘7 days’ but was further confirmed today on my way to a meeting. Where in the midst of all the modern music I had on my ipod I came across one of my favourite ever songs and I believe the finest songs ever written….The Main Event by Barbra Streisand.

I think I could pull off that bubble perm and I am determined to have this played at my wedding. Saying that has probably diminished my chances of successful matrimony forever…But you’re going to have to take me or leave me on that one.

So perhaps music critic isn’t the route on which this blog should take. Unless you all want to hear about Kylie Minogue’s back catalogue.

The other thought that I was having today is why I find putting inanimate objects on my cat. Now looking into this I have seen many a blog where this is there sole focus. For example…

Food on my dog

This really is only the tip of the iceberg but it made me think that I often find myself, somewhat unconsciously, placing objects on my cat for entertainment. Perhaps its my way of getting him back for all the times he has mistaken my feet for mice or small voles under my duvet in the middle of the night. Or perhaps he just looks too darned cute when close to being smothered underneath a pile of meccano, pens and letters. Today it was the turn of the humble sock. He was asleep and looked far too comfortable so I saw my opportunity and seized it. The result is below

Personally I think it has transformed him into a judge of sorts, which is something to add to his repertoire of ‘ickle pickle’ and down-right tart.

Again this won’t be the focus but at times may be a digression.

Before I get back to my tuesday night viewing schedule I have one last thing to add…How disgusting is the new KFC advert? I have seen it twice in a matter of minutes and its vile. Probably the vegetarian speaking but seriously just because I am a woman does not mean that I want to be condescended to and have my food only grilled!

Back to the grindstone I go!

Toodlepip

A (stolen) thought a day

25 Feb

My thought today comes from the legendary actor Christopher Plummer. He is a man who I swear I was going to have as an honorary grandparent after The Sound of Music came into my life.

Today he features in The Times on Saturday supplement and he has come out with some right corners in his interview but here is my favourite.

Shakespeare is really very simple . I say that with full sincerity. If you obey the rhythms of the language, it totally is. All the great written moments in Shakespeare are simply written. How much more simple can you get than “The rest is silence”?

A thought a day…Basildon take 2

23 Feb

After a busy day of rushing around London, getting lost in Finsbury Park and interviewing the very nice director of Watch Listen Tell I had the pleasure of attending the press night of David Eldridge’s new play ‘In Basildon’. Of course I’m not actually part of the press, my friend Hannah is but I can assure you I had so much fun pretending that I was.

But of course we had to get to the Royal Court, or as it likes to name itself “the coolest theatre in London” which it is, but I always resent things when they know how good they are! Hannah and I had planned to eat in the cafe bar at the theatre, but due to getting on a train that resembled Percy from Thomas the Tank Engine we were horrendously late for our table and by the time we got there we had lost it, probably to super uber hip actor. Instead we sat on a couch and ate some extremely tomato-y quiche. Which I thought was delish but Hannah’s least favourite veggiefruit is a tomato and her slice seemed to have more tomato than pastry so I doubt she liked it as much as I did. But what this seat did afford us was some prime actor/critic spotting.

I’m not normally one to get star struck by people. I like to think I handled my spotting of Sir Ian McKellen and Richard Wilson at Sadlers Wells with great dignity…in that I just stood quivering from afar admiring Richard Wilson’s orange nike trainers/tweed jacket combo and slightly squeaking whenever I mentioned McKellen’s name. The problem was I was standing a little close to them and so I think they were aware that I was doing this thus making my predicament worse. But to relate to last night and I must admit that when I saw Tamsin Greig descend the stairs I did shriek a little, likewise Hannah did when she saw Michael Billington and as we both when we saw the playwright himseld during the interval.

Despite all of that excitement we did still have the play to watch but I can safely say it is a must see event for this month! In my earlier post yesterday I wondered about how one could write an entire play about Basildon that wasn’t derogative. I am aware of the jokes made about the area, and even I wrote some into the post, but still I was a little worried as to how it would pan out in a 2 1/2 hour play. However, what Eldridge created was a fantastic cross section of both his love for where he grew up but also his disenchantment with the place. His slick language created characters of great vivacity and depth that were able to switch between their many personality attribute quickly. I suppose the success of this came when the play had the audience laughing within the first minute of performance. This simplicity of the language followed straight through and allowed the great acting talent to shine.

In the end the fact that the play was “in Basildon” was irreverent, as I suppose was the point. The play made light of all of the common grievances felt by many towards their home town, particuarly one that is situated so close to the capital. The feeling that there is something better not over the fence, but just outside the door exasperates this frustration throughout the play and is the cause for great entertainment.

I know this isn’t a very concise review, but is only supposed to be just a thought.So for now here is a video about Basildon 1970’s style! Complete with an old school BBC voiceover.

Basildon – Our Town, 1974

A thought a day…..Basildon

22 Feb

Basildon….it seems to be the butt of all jokes in English geography. Synonymous with the “Vicky Pollards” of society. It’s a town that I live relatively close to and often visit to go to the multiplex cinema because Southend’s cinema has an apparent to refusal to show anything that doesn’t include Adam Sandler and at least one inappropriate joke about the lower appendages of the human anatomy.

There you go I’ve joined the mass of individuals who joke about it as well. But I assure you there is still a part of me that has hope for the town. I’m not completely down about it and I hope that it will see a change around soon. Perhaps David Eldridge is hoping this as well seeing as he has made “Bas-vegas” the location for his newest playIn Basildon.

Anyway I’m going to see it tonight so I’ll report back on it tomorrow.

 

The Sunday/Monday post with Sushi and Johnny Ball

20 Feb

So my initial plan to produce a post from my magicians’ hat every Sunday has gone somewhat awry. However, rest assured it is because I am panicking about what I am going to write and in what format. Prepare to be dazzled!

So I never did get around to talking about The Red Shoes, which officially owned Casablanca last Tuesday! I hadn’t seen the film since I was about 8 years old and so I was very aware that I was going to be experiencing a very different film from the one I fell in love 15 years ago. What was so wonderful about watching te film anew was that I was now aware of the absolute legends of dance and film that Powell and Pressburger used for the film. Most notably Leonide Massine, a dancer whose work I have studied closely over the last year, as my dissertation and writing focused upon the work of Vaslav Nijinsky and The Ballet Russes, of whom Massine was a member. Here is a picture of Massine with Matisse. Rather dashing isn’t he?

The ballet sequence of the film is truly magical and a must see for anyone who loves either medium. It is a complete homage to the beauty of both dance and cinematography and being able to witness Massine dance was such an uplifting and emotional experience for me personally. Sully seemed a little overawed by it too.

Later on in the week, not satisfied with one session of nostalgia Hannah, Sully and myself went to see the much hyped The Artist. Of course its not technically a nostalgia fest because its a new film and of course none of us were born in the 1920s. But I have a feeling that like most who have seen it are of the same conviction that they wished they had been born then. I’m not going to say my favourite parts of the film because there are so many and no one likes a spoiler. So all I will do is urge you to see it, preferably with a dog and some tap shoes because you will have the urge to own both after you see it! Also get a taxi to the cinema, for so in love with the film will you fall you will need to have a stiff drink afterwards! Mine consisted of a cocktail of a lot of port and not much else. It was truly delicious!

Coming to saturday I come to the piece de resistence of my week because it involved good company, sushi and prosecco. After work, armed with some tofu and a pepper I made my way to Hannah’s house picking up Serena en route (who was equipped with some shelled prawns and a tuna steak) to begin our evening of becoming sushi experts. I must say that from our efforts, if all goes to pot we could at least be managers of a Yo Sushi outlet. Yes, the future looks bright for us!

Although, as any Yo Sushi aficionado knows the only accompaniment to sushi is a gin/prosecco based cocktail. But little did we know that our bottle of prosecco would be a tough cookie to get into. We tried all manner of ways to break in…pulling and twisting, shouting at it, at one point I think there were tears. I even silently considered using my teeth, but realised pretty swiftly that that would involve a hospital visit sans teeth, and teeth are useful. Eventually we decided that outside forces wiuld have to be used and so Serena and I went next door to administer the efforts of Hannah’s neighbours.*

I assure you i’m not a complete nosey parker but Hannah’s neighbours have a lovely house, which I think holds magical powers. For as the gentleman took the bottle away into a different room, I heard no pop of cork, and so I can only imagine that the man looked at the bottle sternly and it obeyed his wishes.

Anyway, off we trotted back into the warmth and congratulated ourselves and below are the results of our efforts!

The beautiful Sushi

The Beautiful Ladies

I call this the "Lonely desperate single woman on holiday" look

And now briefly to Sunday, where once again I come to the Jazz Club at the Mayflower. This week we were once again treated to the beautiful musical stylings of Two for Tea. Honestly they’re fantastic and a real treat to listen to every saturday night,  Hannah and I agreed they are truly inspirational! After this we were lucky to see the legendary Digby Fairweather play his his trio We Three. I was perplexed by Fairweather for although he played the cornet fantastically he reminded me of someone and I could not stop racking my brain for who it was, when like a lightning flash it came, JOHNNY BALL! At any moment I though he was going to set me a mathematics equation, thus proving my inability with numbers to a large group of people! Luckily I was spared, and instead we were all given an absolutely splendiforous surprise when Hannah got up to sing TWICE! It was beautiful and was made even more wonderful by the presence of her super swish Ma, who is on a trip here from Kenya. Look at her in all of her glory! Well done lovely!

Have a wonderful week!

*At that present moment Hannah was suddenly predisposed to the rice. It had reached a critical moment of ricing and needed to be watched like a hawk! This obviously paid off as it was the loveliest sushi rice I had eaten. Although I have a feeling that this was pure coincidence with the fact that Hannah wished not to make a tit of herself in front of someone she has to see on a daily basis.

A thought a day…Raw chocolate pies and meeting the tweets

18 Feb

I have just had a revelatory experience in the form of a raw chocolate pie. Which I admit sounds a little disgusting but believe me it was the complete antithesis!

Made from cacao nibs it assured me it was sugar free, dairy free an guilt free. Of course I can never eat a cake without it being completely guilt free but I’m pretty sure if I work at it I can get over this defect! In my excitement I lost the wrapper, I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat it but who knows! Anyway I’ll find a picture and you can go a searching!

I also had the pleasure of meeting someone new today. Now meeting people from the Internet is not something I’m sure I condone until Richard Curtis makes a frothy film about such an escapade. I realise ‘u’ve got mail!’ is of the same ether but I’ve never trusted Meg Ryan and so I am still in waiting!

Anyway, this morning a lovely chap by the name of James popped into my place of work. Serendipitously we follow one another via the macrocosm of twitter and live relatively near to one another, so he popped in to say hello and that he liked my blog. So one thing I suggest to all of you is to say hello to someone you follow. It’s always lovely to put a face to the tweet so take the plunge a do it within a sphere that won’t land to with a restraining order!

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The pie in all of it’s glory!

A thought a day…cinema

17 Feb

Beyond looking forward to seeing the artist tonight with the lovely Miss Marsh and alright Mr Sully….I think you’ll agree it’s quite a lovely way to spend the evening!

I’ll write about sushi tomorrow 🙂