Category Archives: Out and about

Some Enchanted Evening

I took my mum to see South Pacific at The Barbican last night and I have to say it was really rather fabulous. Sam Womack was surprisingly good (you always worry about a soap star on the stage which is probably a bit unfair), frankly anyone over 30 who appears on stage in a swimming costume surrounded by a largely 20-something cast gets a thumb up from me.

I’d forgotten that I did actually know most of the songs (my Grandma was something of a show tunes fanatic so I think they just went in by osmosis before I started school) as did most of the audience (although luckily no one was actually singing along, more like hum hum bounce bounce of the head). And the racism message was a complete surprise (for 1940s American piece of popular culture, it was quite brave, can’t imagine it was a big hit in the southern States when it was released).

All in all very enjoyable and I LOVE that I can get from Barbican to my house in less than half an hour.


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3BT – 31st July

Possibly more than three

1. Went to see Carlos Acosta at The Coliseum. Was somewhat nervous by the reviews and, although it could have done with “more dancing”, I really enjoyed it. Although agreed with the critic (sorry can’t find the link) who said it could/should have been staged at the Tate Modern.

2. Hated what I was wearing yesterday. You know when you just put something on and it grows progressively more grim as the day goes on? Well, I felt so lucky that I could just pop to Hennes, buy a £12 top and feel instantly more human. Also bought a pair of shoes which weren’t entirely on the agenda but are lovely and I have bought a pair of lovely shoes until last October which is actually QUITE A LONG TIME  (well for me).

3. British athletes being fab, especially the beautiful Jessica Ennis and the passionate Mo Farrar.

4. Eating delicious food hand delivered from my parents garden (even though it’s nearly 100 miles away). And transforming courgettes (which are normally watery and a bit bleurgh) thanks to a recipe from the lovely Ruth and Rose – page 155 of The River Cafe Blue Book.

5. Sondheim at the Proms. There are few words apart from Judi Dench rocks.

6. The power of Twitter and this week’s story about Clare Balding.

7. Newly clean curtains and windows (although they need to drop about an inch – the curtains not the windows).

8. A spurt of ridiculously early morning energy counterbalanced by an afternoon nap.

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Cultural stuff

I’ve been rather out and about this week (coupled with one of the worst bouts of insomnia known to mankind, it did lead to a rather teary disintegration at one point but hey ho!). Highlights included a talk by Tracey Emin launching her book of drawings. Now I must confess I am not the biggest ‘modern art’ fan, I don’t get a lot of it (the couple of times I’ve visited The Tate Modern I’ve had to leave because I felt sick and dizzy, I tend to get on much better with Tate Britain), and don’t really know Tracey Emin’s work. However, I really really enjoyed the evening. She was so interesting and the way she speaks about things is really powerful. She said if she could only work in one medium, she would write and I certainly found her words more powerful than the art bit. So that was very enligtening.

The other highlight was going to see Rigoletto last night at The  ENO. I’ve seen this production before and loved it and second time around it had lost none of its charm. Unfortunately I was sat next to the fidgetiest woman in the world and was filled with horror as several people decided to hum and la along to La Donna e Mobile – argh! Despite this, it’s a marvellous production (made even better for me as we only paid £3 a ticket – hurrah!).

Not quite in the same cultural league but taking up rather a lot of my attention is True Blood. Only on series one in the UK and it took a few episodes to get going but now I seem to be caught up in a rollercoaster of sex, weirdness, sex, blood and oh did I mention the sex?! It’s fabulous Friday night fodder (although inevitably end up having to record it because it clashes with something else – Peep Show at the moment).

And finally…I read 1984 this week. It’s me on my ‘List of Books I Ought to Read’ for ages which always fills me with slight trepidation because Books I Ought to Read and Books I Want to Read do not necessarily marry up. However I LOVED it. Not entirely sure why I loved it so much, I obviously just hit it at the right time in the right mood. Found it totally scary and gripping. Wondered why on earth I haven’t read it before.

Apparently the next stop on this cultural adventure is Zombieland…well I’m nothing if not ecelctic!

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Porcine problems

In a professional capacity I have had it up to here (somewhere about 6 feet over my head) with swine flu. I am quite convinced that people are being unnecessarily panicky bonkers about it all (obviously this does not apply to people who are properly sick – a very tiny percentage, rather the vast majority who look accusingly if you happen to sneeze on the bus and believe the newspaper scare-mongering). Anyway, due to clients, I seem to spend almost all of my days at the moment thinking about it, talking about it and writing about it.

In an attempt to provide some lightness and diversion, I have been trying to get out and about more so on Saturday I saw my lovely friends who moved to Hong Kong in January and are back for a quick visit. Rather excitingly, I’m planning to go and see them in oriental climes in the New Year.

On Sunday I went to see Chun Yi at The Coliseum. I’d read some pretty dreadful reviews and it was all a bit ‘light as a feather’ but do you know sometimes, you need some light as a feather and small Chinese boys bouncing off their foreheads to make you smile.

And last night I tried my very first margarita ever. This was actually a bit of a shock to me too but I seem to remember deciding quite a long time ago that I didn’t like tequila so I’ve never had one. Turns out I was missing something quite tasty and delightful although I expect the rarified atmosphere of the Artesian bar helped (complete with lovely nibbly bits and a conversation with one of the most passionate cocktail makers in London). Obviously I may have to do some more market research before committing to margaritas properly in the future…

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Bank holiday weekends

I do like a bank holiday weekend and I’ve just managed to have a really good one.

I went to this hotel and enjoyed Champagne in my dressing gown on the garden terrace. I also had one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time: juicy scallops packed full of tastiness and then scrummy guinea fowl. Mmmmmm…Unfortunately I decided to wash this all down with a tad too much wine which meant yesterday morning was a bit of a struggle. This was not helped by the large dose of very loud cars I encountered at the A1GP. Despite the tender bonce and vrooomy-ness of the day, it was all jolly good fun.

And then today I have decided on domestic bliss (well ironing and cleaning the bathroom are not exactly domestic bliss-like chores but at least they’re done and that makes me happy). The highlight of this domestic bliss-itude has been this recipe. I’ve never made any type of bread before but it’s turned out very well (although I suspect it might have a rather detrimental effect on my waistline).

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3BT – 27th April

1. I spent the weekend with my family in our family home, all together there for the first time in years. Even though my claim to my bedroom was usurped by my sister and she beat me at Scrabble, it was a lovely weekend.

2. My sister had some news which involved a ring and her boyfriend. This was very exciting as I’ve spent much of the past couple of weeks speculating to myself about how lovely this would be.

3. Ordering a Cornish crab at this restaurant and being astounded at its size (the crab, not the restaurant). Unfortunately they only had one (three of us wanted them for lunch) which was a little irritating, but the beast was so huge there was plenty to share.

4. The London Marathon. I love watching it and being totally over-emotional by the stories and the achievements behind the effort and on the day. However, I am never inspired to actually do it myself. I know my limitations.

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3BT – 1st March

Beautiful things from my weekend in Glasgow…

1. Successful shopping. I am a bit rubbish at shopping in London – too crowded, too spread out and generally a bit blah, so I like going to other cities where the shops are far more sensibly arranged. In Glasgow I managed to shop and bought these (how gorgeous?!) and bought books. I haven’t bought books in a shop for so long (Amazon being my best book friend), I’d forgotten how lovely it is, looking at covers, seeing new covers for old books, fulfiling the joyful “3 for 2”. I may have to slow down on the reading front though, I read “The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas” yesterday (they you are having a nice read and “wham” that ending hits you) and “The Reader” today (extraordinarily thought-provoking) – yes a slight theme I know. But, at this rate, my entire suitcase will be full of books with no room for clothes when I go on holiday (in just 13 days – hurrah!).

2. Extraordinarly cheesy night clubs. Such fun, but…when and where did I learn all the lyrics to “I Think We’re Alone Now“? Now obviously I have no credibility AT ALL. I don’t even remember EVER even liking the song! I do have a theory though; if I could rid my head of all the useless lyrics in my head, I could probably use the brain power to come up with something really useful like world peace…

As an aside, top tip for boys on night club etiquette…if there is a group of girls (especially those of us of a certain age) dancing in a circle on a dance floor, do NOT (under any circumstances) try to get into the circle, try to break the circle, or try to come on to one of the girls. If we’re feeling brave, you will be ejected, otherwise we’ll just regroup and you will look very very silly. Obviously we’re all gorgeous, attractive and having lots of fun which is why you want to dance with us, but we’re being gorgeous on our own terms thank you very much!

3. Seeing an old friend. When you’ve been really good friends with someone and then lost touch, you sort of don’t know how it’s going to be when you see each other again but I just love it when, within 5 minutes, you’re totally back to where you were 10 years ago (admittedly with a few more wrinkly, saggy bits but who was looking at those?!).  Also, she’s been through a really tough time and is  now super-happy which is wonderful.

All in all an absolutely great weekend (although possibly could do with another weekend to get over it – up at 5am yesterday for my flight and 6am this morning thanks to the stompy gremlins in my head)!

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