Archive | March, 2012

A thought a day….Marmalade

27 Mar

It’s something that I have always wished I liked. I am envious of how tasty it looks, the brightest of orange with little golden strands of zest. It should be like having summer in your mouth, it should dance on your tongue like a thousand little fairies around a toadstool. I mean it’s Paddington Bear’s favourite food!

Instead it is the devils food. So vile do I find it I truly cannot understand how anyone can like it. Part of me feels that there is some sort of conspiracy going on.

My reasoning for this post is that today my mum brought home a little pot of home made marmalade which had been crafted lovingly by the hands of my nanna’s friend. This only adds to the guilt I feel for not liking it because it was made with the best of intentions, like any home-cooking.

I am a horrid person!

 

A thought a day…How to deal with celebrity spotting

21 Mar

Having had a few days away from the blog I can now say that I am cold free, with a spring in my step and a sunny disposition!

I promised that I would talk a little more about the events of Friday night in my last blog, and reading back through it I appeared to have left out what was perhaps the most exciting and unexpected part of the evening itself…the celebrity spot!

Each time I go to London, regardless of what I do be it for work, something cultural or a simple jaunt I will always come home to the same question. “So…who did you see?” It is then that I will begin to explain my day only to be interrupted with “No…who did you see that was famous?” Let’s get one thing straight I am by no means a celebrity magnet. I do not walk down the street and have a flock of well-known people suddenly appear behind me like that U2 video. However, I have like many others had quite a few excellent celeb spots in my time here, and Friday was somewhat the pinnacle of this when stood behind me in the queue for Singin’ in The Rain was the one and only Valentino! In the following moments I managed to witness a whole host of ways in which people deal with spotting celebrities.

Now, it was not I who was the first person to spot him it was my good friend and hairdresser Chad, who turned to my sister and said,

“Yves Saint Laurent is behind us!” to which my sister replied resolutely “Can’t be, he’s dead” followed rather cooly by “that’s Valentino.”

Andy, my other good friend and hairdresser* then got a bit flustered with excitement, started hyperventilating until he regained himself cooly turned around and shook his hand saying “Alright, Mate!”….to Valentino!

He then turned around giddy with emotion and started repeating over and over, telling everyone “I JUST SHOOK HANDS WITH BLOODY VALENTINO!” to the point where two women waiting to get in asked if he was high. Probably because along with this he kept proclaiming “I’m just so happy!”

In the meantime my mum had not cottoned on to what was happening, but as soon as she saw Andy get excited she to got a little worked up and in her ever so subtle manner started a slightly high pitched “WHO…WHO…WHO IS IT?” Which doesn’t really help someone trying to remain conspicuous in a public place. On a side note my mum once met the comedian Stephen K Amos on a street because she walked up to him thinking she knew him personally from somewhere. She was asking him how he was, and how his day was going only to then realise she didn’t know him but had seen him on GMTV that morning talking about his latest tour.

Back to the Valentino spot though, we had now made our way into the foyer and Valentino was waiting to get in. It was then my dad’s turn to contribute, he was clueless and asked if he was a designer at Debenhams and did he know John Rocha. Now the Steward must have been of this same group of thinking as my dad because when Valentino arrived at the door sans ticket he was promptly turned away with “No ticket…No getting in” and a little dejected Valentino slipped away.

But that was not the last of him that evening, in the second act he returned like the Phantom of the Opera.

Jolly from our gin and tonics and vodka and sodas  consumed during the interval we went back to our seats and BAM there he was above us in a box. I guess it was a close to an 18th Century theatre experience I was ever going to get when a celebrity came in. I tried to take a photo but his tan was so deep he disappeared when ever I took a frame! Spooky!

Sat there with he partner, Tamara Beckworth and her husband he seemed to really enjoy the second act. I couldn’t help but glance at him on a occasion to see what he was up to, and then the most wonderful thing happened I looked up to find him singing! One of the godfathers of fashion SINGING and CLAPPING along to Singin’ in the Rain! It was wonderful!

Never have I seen a man with so many facelifts look so elated!

So…here’s to celebrity spotting and all of the joy it provides us humble citizens of the world!

*Please note I’m not that much of a princess that I have two people work on my hair at the same time. Klute of Leigh-on-Sea is the most laid back and entertaining hairdressers I have ever known, so I don’t know who I’m going to get until I turn up…and even then it’s subject to change half way through!

 

A thought a day…Singin’ in the Rain

18 Mar

Today I dedicate my post to the new production of Singin’ in the Rain, currently being performed at the Palace Theatre London.

Unintentionally I took a week off  blogging this week, I must be careful not to do it again so that I don’t completely forget about doing it at some point! However, I suppose a few exciting things have happened this week and as such I haven’t had that much time to blog about it!

On Monday I made a decision, which could lead me to finally engaging some focus for this blog. I have decided that I am going to make more of singing.  I feel I may in due course be apologising to a lot of people for after i have induced headaches in the South East area, but for now that is what I am going to do. My reasoning for this decision came after a lovely chat with a new friend Monday evening, it wasn’t all Ethel Merman in Gypsy as you may imagine. It was more a gentle easing in, which is what I needed but afterwards I really felt I could at least give it a shot…And then I got a sore throat…which I am not taking as an omen!

But to Friday and the event of the year thus far!

I realise that I may say this many a time over the course of this blog but. If there is one thing you go and see, please make it Singin in the Rain! Even though I had read a few of the glowing reviews of the musical before I went I must admit I was still dubious. It is an iconic film which not only for the fact that it rains and Gene Kelly dances with a cold has many other scenes which are in my head owned completely by those who performed them. Donald O’Conner and Make ‘Em Laugh! Who else could sing or perform that in the way that he can? NO ONE! And I must admit that a small part of me felt that it should have never of been touched.

Then it started and I was transported back to a musical that has been a love of mine since I first watched it. The actors in those beloved roles whilst at times encapsulating that famous trio brought a new freshness and vitality to the show. AND IT RAINED! ON STAGE AND EVERYONE GOT WET!

So please if you do one thing book this show!!!

I realise this is short but I have a cold coming on! So I will blog again soon!

A thought a day….Nantastic food

11 Mar

Last night I had the joy of dining with my good friend Hannah, of Evening Echo and Hanskitchen fame! She had a taste test to complete, and as a lover of food I felt it was my duty to step up to the challenge!

After getting lost in the Garrison and driving up a couple of wrong roads we went to the Angel Inn in Shoeburyness, a quaint little inn on the outside with thatched roof and dog bowls in the beer garden. It was a place that I had driven past many a time when I was little on the way to the beach, I always liked the picture of an angel hanging on the inn sign and the thatched roof always reminded me of Snow White so I was quite excited to be going there. Inside it was just a cosy as the outside suggested it would be. Before Hannah and I had ordered we practically fell asleep in the comfiest cushioned dining chairs I had ever sat on! Luckily we made it through our meals without a nap, despite being nearly comatose before we left at the sheer amount of cream that had been used in both of our meals. 

I do not make the cream remark in an act of disgust, today we are told to shun all things creamy and on the whole I do try to. Moreover I admit that to have a three course meal at any other restaurant with that much cream would be too much but here there was something nostalgic about it…it was like being at your nan’s house!

And so the food as Hannah and I duly named it was “nantastic”. When I first became pescetarian (I realise how poncey that sounds) I went round to my nanna’s for dinner. She fretted over what to cook as though she had never seen a fish in her life, and so brought out her 1970’s Marks and Spencers cookbooks to compensate. She served Haddock with mustard sauce and a tonne of vegetables. It was delicious I admit, but as I browsed through the catalogues I noticed that many of the recipes included that one ingredient, cream, to saturate the flavoursome spices that we all seem to search for now. It was like people were scared of anything if it didn’t have cream! 

But I would say this wouldn’t put me off going to the angel inn again, it was so homely and charming that I cannot wait to go down there later in the summer with my dogs and sit in the beer garden with some pimms in my hand! 

Pictures, pictures everywhere

8 Mar

Just a few things that have made me smile today 🙂

20120308-210104.jpg

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

The worst drawing of The Beatles I have ever seen. How I’m spending my next 90 mins before bed :]

 

A thought a day….Romeo and Juliet

8 Mar

As I said yesterday, I took myself on a romantic sojourn last night. I have to say it was wonderful and I’m very much looking forward to doing it more often. I remember that as a child I would like to spend time in my own company. I have a vivid memory of being asked by a friend whilst at secondary school why they saw me shopping by myself one saturday afternoon in town? I think my answer went along the lines of because “I don’t like dilly-dallying around shops, I’d rather be at the park”….which in hindsight wasn’t the best way to gain an invitation into the a-list at The Eastwood School. However, spending time in the park did provide me with a small knowledge of birds and their habitats. Which again is not something that the average 13-25 year old is going to find remotely interesting but it did allow me to save my pocket money toward a mighty fine pair of bubblegum pink extreme bell-bottoms! 

But back to last night…

I left work and made my way to Covent Garden, I decided that in this moment of indulgence I would treat myself to tea and cake, which was found at Le Pain Quotidian and served to me by an extremely forthcoming and obliging waiter. Who seemed to love nothing more than dashing between the crowded tables, speaking in a multitude of languages to increase the comfort of each guest. From there I made my way to the Opera House, I spruced myself up, I’m not sure who for and made my way to the Paul Hamlyn bar that takes over the great middle section of the theatre. The magnificent glass walls and chrome bar make you feel as though you are in an extremely classy fish bowl. People watching here was fantastic because the audience members were so broad in type. There were the rich older generation who appeared as though they attended the opera house each week because they looked so comfortable in the space. There were those new to the whole ballet experience, be them bemused tourists taking photo of every centimetre in the building, or those young girls who stood at the bar in their finest heels and dresses drinking a fine glass of champagne, before regretting the heels as they took their standing places in the slips. There were the reluctant children, who ballet is being forced upon, I saw one boy of around 10 years old walk past me with his mother making angry, violent noises and then punching and kicking the air…Not in an act of defiance but rather he was pretending to be an action man in a room full of people who wished him to be a prince. He was having none of it. Then to those others who like me had come alone, we sat or stood trying to be inconspicuous behind books or programmes. I feel I was a little less conspicuous as I stood right in the middle of the bar intently watching those around me. 

I was one of the first people to get into the amphitheatre where my seat was located. To be alone in that huge space was breathtaking. It was then that I realised how happy I was to be alone for that moment because I could really take each nook and cranny in of that awe-inspiring building. This moment was accompianied by the sound of a solo violinist warming up for the performance. The the gathering hush came of people slowly taking their seats. Slowly each instrument entered, slowly building up the tapestry of sound until the hum became a hubbub only to be stifled by the entrance of the conductor demanding both the attention of us and the orchestra. Then the magic happened. 

The parts of Romeo and Juliet that night were danced by Johann Kobborg and Alina Cojacaru who outside of the Royal Ballet are engaged to be wed. Of course, any great dancer should be able to convey absolute emotion and totality in their role but unsurprisingly having partners dance the star cross’d lovers only seeks to set the floor alight!  What I loved most about Cojacaru’s interpretation of the role, was not only her discovery of loving a man, but also the discovery of herself (meaning Juliet) growing into a woman. There is a wonderfully touching pas des deux between the Nurse and Juliet in the first act in which at one moment she dances with a doll in her arms and the next she dances with her own body. She is girl and woman at once so that when Paris arrives she can show her girlish charms compared to the womanly passion she experiences whilst with her Romeo. Her Juliet is not naive but perfectly knowing of how love changes a girl into a lady, how it empowers her and ennobles her to make decisions. 

Image

Kobborg’s Romeo was equally enchanting, he was playful and caring and did not appear boyish at all. Watching them dance the heart-wrenching final act made you realise how in love this pair was with the dance and with one another. It was fulfilling, bedazzling and sensual even in the final throes. I had completely fallen for them and sat their beaming as they shed the usual formalities when taking their curtain calls to hold one another instead. Which only served to remind me that although the moments of calm and individuality are to be cherished, the moments we spend with those we love are the moments that we should seek to hold in our hearts forever.

A thought a day….a date with myself

7 Mar

I will confess I don’t love myself tha much. However, tonight I have found that I am taking myself out on a date….to the royal opera house….to see Romeo and Juliet, the most romantic ballet there possible is.

Perhaps you may think it lonely of me to be doing this. Yet I feel at the height of opulence and having this quiet moment to watch something of such beauty by myself I feel is a moment I will cherish.