28 July 2007

If I didn't have proof....

I'd never believe my eyes... Phil, ironing his shirts for work. You can tell that his mum is away and I've only just come back from a mammoth journey to Liverpool....

25 July 2007

A Poll

For all you arty dramaery people out there:
Would you rather see Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet or "something by Oscar Wilde" on stage in June?
Answers on a postcard please - or just comments in the usual place!

Little Green Bag

I can resist anything but temptation
- Oscar Wilde

When I read this post by Welshcakes, it reminded me of the bag I didn't buy today. Why am I telling you about a bag I haven't bought? So you can tell me that I did the right thing by not spending money on another handbag which was entirely the wrong colour for my purposes.

Let's recap. I am going to a wedding on Friday, and am recreating my Henley outfit from a few weeks ago. There were two drawbacks to this outfit - the bag and the shoes. The shoes are gorgeous, but I spent all day digging my feet out of the mud, which became very painful. The bag is equally pretty, and bought for me by Mr & Mrs Phil for my birthday. But it's quite small. It was ok for Henley, because Phil had his camera, and held onto most of my stuff when I needed him to...But I'm going on my own to the wedding, well without Phil, so he can't keep things in his suit jacket for me.

I have bought some new flat white shoes, very practical, but not so pretty. The solution would be to wear the pretty shoes and then change them when my feet started to hurt. But where should I keep the shoes in the mean time? I can't keep them in the bag that's too small!!

Anyway, back to the pretty bag. I decided to try to get a bigger white or blue bag. I failed, but there was a beautiful green bag in M&S. It was £15, and bright green, leather. Oh it was lovely. But green, not blue or white. I didn't buy it, but it is playing on my mind....

(can you tell that I have work to do that I don't want to do?)

24 July 2007

Now here's something depressing

Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
The Hebrews learn it backwards which is absolutely frightening.
Use proper English, you're regarded as a freak.
Why can't the English learn to speak?
Professor Henry Higgins - My Fair Lady

I found this article via a Facebook group called "If you can't differentiate between there, their and they're you deserve to die". A little harsh, perhaps, but as a grammar Nazi and a fan of apostrophe graffiti, this article depressed me rather a lot...

21 July 2007

Race for Life (& Harry Potter!)

I resisted temptation and did not go and buy Harry Potter at midnight. I seriously considered it - as this is the last one and all - but common sense prevailed and I slept instead.

Kate, Lisa and I managed the Race for Life this year - Kate's third, Lisa's first and my fifth. I ran about 3.5k of the 5, Lisa ran 3 ish and Kate ran "just less than 5". What really matters is that we raised £470 between us (not including Gift Aid). There are still some people left to sponsor us (ahem, Phil), so hopefully we'll break the £500 mark, which would be amazing. Thank you to EVERYONE who sponsored us!! It did show me that I really have to do some training for the one in September though, so that will give me something to do that isn't my dissertation for the coming months!

I sucumbed (how many c's?) and bought HP at Waterloo Station. So far just as readable as the others and already 2 characters are dead - devastating! I won't say anymore...I'm off to climb into my cupboard under the stairs and read some more!
PS: Liz, I hope you're not too flooded??

20 July 2007

Funeral Blues

Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.
Yogi Berra

Too true, too true. I will not get maudlin and depressing on you, but the funeral was yesterday. Not as awful as I thought it would be, with the family politics involved (not mine, I hasten to add), but sad none the less. Weirdly I kept looking for Molly, I expected to see her there. But there were two things she would have loved. First of all it took me, mum and Patrick three attempts to find the wake - and we used to live in Teddington. The Groome sense of direction is ever present, and would have made her smile. The second is that the vicar was still wearing his bicycle clips... Which would have made her laugh out loud. It was those things that made it bearable.

This is the poem which was read out by Molly's daughter; I liked it , so I thought I'd post it here:

I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
"She is gone."

Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight -m that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone",
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes"
- and that is dying. An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further.
Bishop Brent

18 July 2007


"It's that wet rain, soaks you through" - so says Peter Kay. It might actually be "It's that fine rain" but anyway. The heavens have just opened, so its a good excuse to get on with my project work, and I am. Or I was. But then I watched Neighbours, and there were two classic lines that just had to be shared:

Frazer to Rosie: "I might be writing cheques my body can't cash..."
and then
Frazer to Rosie (again): I didn't think I could have a relationship and concentrate on my recovery at the same time. Trouble is, I wasn't counting on how hard it would be to resist you...

Mills and Boon eat your heart out!

And now, back to the work. I really can't watch Doctors as well!

17 July 2007

Tagged Again

Pete has tagged me...So here is the list of facts and habits - some of this you may already know!

1. Fact: I used to be small enough to be passed through the nextdoor neighbour's trellis when crying

2. Habit: I fiddle with my jewellery when nervous - hence always taking it off before doing a presentation or play

3. Fact: I am born on the same day as Judy Garland. Shame I can't sing like her.

4. Habit: I read in the bath, and have rarely ruined a book doing so...

5. Fact: My first pet was a tortoise called Betty. It turned out Betty was a boy and she "ran away" when I was 6. In hindsight, I think the foxes got her.

6. Habit: I tidy up before I go to bed. I will even go as far as making the bed, just before I get into it.

7. Fact: I want to do a PhD about Autism - but can't get any funding.

8. Habit: I always look into the driveways of people I know when driving past, for no real reason, just habit...

Now I tag: Liz, Hannah, Becky...and anyone else who wants to, who hasn't already been tagged by Pete!

16 July 2007

And relax....

After the excitement of "Oh What a Lovely War" this weekend (and the After-Show party that finished at 5am - though Phil and I left at 3.30...) I dragged Phil to see the fifth Harry Potter film. Actually, that's unfair. He said he wanted to see it, but he probably wasn't quite as enthusiastic as I was...

Anyway, I really enjoyed it. The films are getting better as they get on, and I have stopped getting annoyed about it when they miss bits. In the 4th one they missed a huge and very important chunk which irritated me intensely, but in this one there are bits missing, but they are not important. I think I've realised that its easier to consider the films as "stand-alones" to the books - they are based on them, but don't tell exactly the same story. The special effects are amazing, the acting from the kids is getting better, though I wish they wouldn't bother doing the saccharine speech at the end - it makes the whole thing seems excessively cheesey.

Something that is puzzling me though - why is the film based on "His Dark Materials" called "The Golden Compass" and not "Northern Lights"?? Do they think that people won't realise its the same book, or is it like calling Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" in the US?

11 July 2007


I'm eating an orange and lemon muffin at my desk at work. Not only am I eating BAD food, but there's orangey stickiness in the middle of the muffin, and now on my fingers, and my keyboard...


What a load of rubbish! But still, I was bored....

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Stuff and nonsense

Well that was a bit heavy, wasn't it...Had to be done though! Thanks to Chris for being my first sponsor...

Dress rehearsal last night, and I didn't really lose my temper once - impressive! Now everyone is wearing their costumes it's looking better and better. If we can get all the sound cues in the right place, and all the lighting cues in the right place (and get the actors not to stand in the darkness, numpties!) it will be a great show.

I'm trying to read a lot of Shakespeare to get some inspiration for a play....Does anyone know how you find out what is on the school syllabuses (syllabi?) for English Lit? I like Shakespeare, it's so clever.

Having a bit of a quandry about two lots of dramaery stuff happening on the same night. But I will think on and work something out....

This is a really random post, sorry!

10 July 2007

ME and me

with MS, it is better to concentrate on what you are able to achieve with
relative ease and leave to others those things that will only make matters worse


I have put the quote from Shirl above because, although its about MS, it is also very applicable to ME.

Probably most of you know that I have ME. Probably most of you don't know what ME actually is. Please forgive me if I seem to be patronising, but nine times out of ten people think that ME is "just being tired".

When you're ill t's like having the worst flu of your life. Every single cell of your body (no joke) feels like its on fire. If you stand up you're dizzy. If you lie down you feel sick. Your body aches with fatigue, your brain is made of cotton wool. If you can get to sleep you're lucky - and if you do you won't feel any better for it. There is only one thing to do, and that's wait for it to pass.

I am one of the lucky ones. I can study full time, I can work full time (ish), I have an active and (possibly too) busy social life. I have friends and relations who look after me, and almost understand what's going on when I say "sorry, I can't come out, I'm too tired". Because being too tired on a normal day means being dizzy and feeling sick. Being too tired on a bad day means retreating to bed and trying not to think. I often have "brain fog" - not being able to string a sentence together, or getting halfway through a sentence and having to leave it because I can't remember what I was saying. This makes me come across as very stupid, which is incredibly frustrating.

You may be wondering why I'm telling you all this. In September I am running 5k for Action for ME, the national ME charity. I would dearly like to raise a lot of money for this wonderful charity who make life worth living for people who are severly affected by ME. This is another cheeky request for sponsorship. You can sponsor me here:

I will be incredibly grateful for the smallest amount to help me reach my target.

Thank you xx

09 July 2007

Two wonderful books

Whilst on holiday with Phil I managed to read three novels. He managed one, and a bit of another. Maybe I don't read thoroughly enough!

Anyway, two of them I'll recommend, the other you can take or leave, I didn't really enjoy it.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a gorgeous book. It starts with the birth of twins on a snowy night. The son is born healthy, but the daughter is born with Down's Syndrome. The father (also the doctor delivering the babies) makes a snap decision and hands the Down's baby to the nurse. The book is about what happens to both these babies and the consequences of the father's actions.

The second book I read was "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox". In the 1930s a young girl is sent to an institution for being unpredictable and rebellious in society. In the present day, a woman called Iris gets a call- her Great Aunt Esme is to be released into society as the home is closing, and she is her nearest surviving relative. Who is this woman, who Iris has never heard of, and what must she have done to be locked away for 60 years? Another great read with lots of twists and turns...

The third one was "Double Fault" by Lionel Shriver, and has the most irritating lead character ever written in my opinion!

Opinions please

What is the general consensus about the new look of the blog? I like the picture at the top, but really wanted it along the top of the page and not in the left hand corner...And I'm not sure about the fonts. Or the colours. Its all pink, which is nice, but is it reader friendly??

Can you tell I don't want to do any work today?

Mixed feelings

It's been a funny weekend.

Saturday I was at Henley Royal Regatta with Phil. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous, and the Pimms was flowing freely. We sat in deckchairs and watched a token amount of rowing, and general went "Rah rah rah" and pretended to be posh.

My feet were killing me by the end of the day, so I might try to find some flat shoes for when I recreate the same outfit for a wedding in a few weeks time - I really do have to get my money's worth from it!!

There was an early disaster however. At Twyford train station I spotted not one, but TWO girls in the same dress. Phil didn't quite understand the enormity of this situation. Anyway, when I bumped into one of the women later on, we were very mature (no cat fights in the mud, you'll be pleased to hear) and just smiled and said "Nice dress!". A good time was had by all.


Two good things in tennis this weekend - our first British champion for 20 years, and Roger Federer's 5th win. He really deserves it, I'm very pleased for him. He plays gorgeous tennis. And, well if a Murray had to win Wimbledon, I'm glad it was Jamie, not Andy Murray! A much nicer chap all round, though I was annoyed on his behalf that his brother only "just" managed to make it to the match. Hmm. Family solidarity etc etc...


And finally. We found out yesterday that an old family friend died on Saturday. Molly was my next door neighbour when I was born, so I have literally known her all my life. When I was a baby and screamed the house down, mum (or dad in those days) would pass me through the trellis to Molly or her husband Reg and they would look after me to give my parents a break. The trellis is still standing, and it was always mentioned whenever I went to see Molly, which wasn't often enough.

Molly remembered every birthday, every Christmas, every Easter, and always wrote to say how proud she was of me for my various achievements at uni, or in Guides. Molly fell out with one of her daughters some time ago, and one of the last times I saw her she told me that she considered me and Patrick to be her grandchildren as well. I was honored to be thought of that way, and she's always been considered special to me and Patrick.

I didn't see her enough, I didn't ring her enough, I didn't write enough. I'll always regret that and I'll miss her very much.

06 July 2007


Another thought, whilst I'm here.

A guy at rehearsals the other night was asked if he was a vicar. He replied that he wasn't and that he was insulted that people thought he was (or rather thought he looked like the sort of person who would be a vicar) as he's not a Christian.

Is it insulting to be told you look like a vicar, religious or not? And what does a "vicar" look like anyway?? I would think it would be better to be thought to look like a vicar than what people were saying about him in the pub...not a man you'd want to leave with small children...

***DISCLAIMER: I am not saying that this man is a danger to small children, I am merely repeating what was said in the pub...***

Coming up at the Rhoda McGaw...

Here is what I've been rehearsing lately. Come and see it, it should be a really good show - we've worked really hard!

Older but not wiser

Bad dog! Stole a biscuit! -
dog: who are you to judge me? you people you have war and genocide and i stole a biscuit?
Good.... point here have another one
Eddie Izzard on Evil Animals
Young Grace, the puppy, turned 1 this week. Yes, a year ago on Tuesday she was borned in our living room, along with her sister, Emily. We all hoped that this coming of age would mean a cleverer, less daft, and less naughty dog.
This morning mum went downstairs to find that Grace had eaten her rosta from work, and the instructions for her new camera...
Older, but certainly not wiser or less mischevous!

05 July 2007

HP- 15 days

Liz has just reminded me that the 7th (and final) Harry Potter book is published this month. I am in two minds about this "momentous" occasion.

Part of me wants to read it as soon as it comes out, to find out what happens to all the characters I have invested so much time in over the past few years. The other part of me is happy to leave it as "to be continued", because then there's always the chance that it will all end happily ever after. And I'll always have something to look forward to. But then the chances are someone will spoil it for me anyway. Sigh. It's tough being me sometimes...

And Liz - yes, its exactly how I felt about the West Wing finishing too...Bereft!

However, there is still the films to come out - so that's something to look forward to...

I can't stand the rain...

...against my window pane...

This time last week it was 30 degrees, and I was lying by a pool.

Two things...I hope that Wimbledon doesn't go into a third week, because then I would love to be able to go and I can't. I also hope that it stops raining enough for me to have a sunny day at Henley Royal Regatta on Sunday. I have a hat and everything...

I'm back...

I have been thoroughly told off for not being a good blogger, so here I am... There really isn't much going on of interest in my life at the moment - all I seem to do is work, rehearse, sleep, work, rehearse, sleep. Mainly I'm rehearsing though... I am thoroughly sick of many of the songs in "Oh What a Lovely War" now - not only have I rehearsed every night this week (just about on top of the whole stage managing thing now) but I also find my self singing them at work. Not really appropriate to be singing songs such as "Gassed last night, gassed the night before..." but then better than singing the Nazi anthem "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" which was thoroughly stuck in my head when I was doing Cabaret. Or indeed "Springtime for Hitler" which I sang for weeks after seeing "The Producers". Why are all the songs I sing a) inappropriate and b) related to either World War?

I must say that I have found the research about WW1 really interesting in a completely disgusted and horrified way. The sheer loss of life was just phenomenal. I studied really useless periods of history at school (The American West - fun but really, cowboys and indians?; The Irish Troubles - really really interesting and relevant at the time; Medicine through Time - half interesting, but not terribly useful; and Castles - BORING! But I do know a lot about arrow slits and crenellations now), so my knowledge about either World Wars is limited to what I've picked up from watching Blackadder, mainly.

I started this post to talk about something completely different. Hmm, perhaps I shouldn't type it, as I keep forgetting that this is in the public domain. I'll have a think about it and come back I think...And I really need to post about Tunisia, though that might end up being one of my listy type entries...

04 July 2007

Checking in...

I've been very neglectful lately. Not a lot has happened since the excitment of getting a job for next year, except me and Phil going to Tunisia for 10 days, but that really deserves a blog of its own...
It's really annoying, I wrote at least two blog entries in my head when I was away, and now I can't remember what they were about...

But, I am still here, (thanks for your concern, Han!) and I will get back to it when I have something exciting to say....