Monday, 23 February 2009

Indulgence set free

Saturday was the eagerly awaited trip to Stratford - and fortunately A was feeling up to it after his nasty dental work on Friday.

It was a beautiful day - like spring is coming - and perfect for the drive down. We had time for a mooch around the shops before heading to the theatre - (I love the courtyard theatre - the stage is perfect - it doesn't feel like a temporary building to me anymore)

After all the reviews, I was completely hyped about the production - and it didn't disappoint!

Yes - it was very African. Magnificently so. The puppety and song and dance conjuring the spirit of the continent. I was struck by details - like Ariel playing a harp identical to the one B tried out in the SLavery Muuseum earlier in the week.

Anthony Sher was perfect - it's been a long time since I last saw him on stage ( as Cyrano at the Playhouse sometime in the mid nineties - I can't track down the date) - and he was fautless. I could listen to him speak verse all day.

And yet, it was Atandwa Kani as Ariel and John Kani as Caliban who lifted this into something so special. I cried as Ariel was released from his servitude, and as Prospero left the island, and Caliban threw down his crutches and stood upright I was lost.

A production to treasure.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Tempest Countdown

It's probably not the done thing to read a review of a play in the Guardian whilst sitting in BeOffee in Widnes (yes - it is probably the worst named coffee shop in the world - but it does do the second best latte in town) and then nearly bounce off the sofa in excitement. At least M understands.... not so sure about the rest of the customers!

Roll on Saturday!

From the Telegraph : 'This is as moving and beautiful a production of Shakespeare's great last play as you are likely to encounter, continually inventive, bursting with spectacle and deep emotion, and proving, yet again, that Shakespeare is our contemporary.'

Full review here:

From the Guardian: '...we have grown used to seeing The Tempest as a metaphor for colonialism. Janice Honeyman's brilliant production from Cape Town's Baxter Theatre Centre not only pursues the idea with remorseless logic, it also combines racial politics with visual playfulness in a way that liberates this all-too-familiar play.'

Full review here:

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


A practically perfect afternoon trip to see Mary Poppins at the Palace in Manchester....
....which was just fantastic, better than the film!
 M and B were both entranced, though B was scared during the song Temper, Temper
(and to be honest I found it rather unsettling).
It was just rahter disappointing to realise that our seats at the back of the stalls meant that we couldn't see Mary fly off at the end.
So thanks to Gma and Gpa for the tickets - :)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Liverpool Day Trip

Due to the unfortunate demise of A's car (the turbo blew and scattered itself within the engine - hence it needs a new engine and is therefore effectively scrap)he has my car this week. Meaning a return to the good old days when the school holidays meant lots of outings by train and bus.

M's choice was a trip to Liverpool - with the perfect combination of the Disney Store and the Albert Dock.

Having studied slavery at school for the past term, she wanted to go to the International Slavery Museum...

.... which proved to be full of interesting stories and displays for me and M....

...and also had enough hands on artifacts to keep B out of trouble.

He was also facinated by the model of a plantation, with interactive video screens... in fact when it was time to go and M had flagged, he had to be dragged away!

But goodness - the wind off the river was cold - especially when you have put your foot in this fabulous fountain!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

SIgns of Spring

Today there may be snow in some parts of the UK, and torrential rain and flooding in others.

But here the sun is out - and the snowdrops in my mother's garden are out....

... welsh snowdrops from Pen-y-Greig...

...transplanted to Widnes...

...and the crocuses are making an appearance too!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Trying not to cough.....

....during this afternoon's Taste of the Classics concert this afternoon nearly finished me off. Still, M enjoyed the programme which included The Sorcerers Apprentice, Dance Macabre and Rhapsody in Blue.
As always thanks to Auntie S for the tickets.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Teeny Weeny Snowmen

Made by my class on Thursday morning! Cutest things ever!
Somedays I really love my job...


This morning's entertainment - seeing Bolt 3D at the cinema.

What a flim! It's exciting, very funny, and will make you cry. Bolt is cute - and Rhino the hamster even cuter. The 3D works really welll. The story is simple and effective. See it!

Monday, 2 February 2009


Not a lot of snow - but the first flakes we have had this winter.

M was hopeful that school might be closed - but no such luck...

...still, we had fun on the walk in!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Miracle Worker?

A minor miracle! Following a visit by the poet David Horner (not usually my favourite person following the unfortunate toilet incident with my friend S a couple of years ago and reports of his less than pleasant attitude dealing with another freind and a school booking) - B wrote this poem. Obviously he had a lot of help with the spelling - but the ideas were all his. And he wrote it all out. And drew a picture. And read it out during assembly. Not a lot for your average Year 3 child, but for B this is a big deal.

Meet My Alien
My alien is all the colours of the rainbow.
It is as clever as my teacher.
My alien lives in a black hole.
It is as funy as his Dad when he welks in to a wall.
My alien eats sprots with fish and chips.
It is as wonderful as going to disney land.
It is as strange as a classroom on the ceiling.

His teachers were stunned. I was stunned. Perhaps this chap does know what he is doing after all?

One month down...

January has been busy....

* a new fridge freeezer has been bought - argued about with Dixons - canceled and reordered from Currys. It finally arrived yesterday.

It is rather fantastic - though ours has a lot more milk bottles in in. And no fish!

*every Wednesday we have been going to the Extended Schools program at Wade Deacon.

M has been doing exciting science experiments in the science labs ....

...including making flubber...

...while B has been designing and making neat stuff in the DT rooms ....

This is a major improvement over the hideous woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing lessons that I endured when I was at school there.

* the worship leaders took the parade service at FMC for Epiphany - and produced a dramatic version of the story of the 4th wise man. It was a great success - though preparations for the serivce involved an awful lot of glitter paint - and 3 weeks on I am still finding evidence of it in my kitchen!

The story is an old one - I have vivid memories of E teling it at a parade when I was a child - if you are interested there is a good retelling of it here

* A and I had a great evening at St Philips church in Warrington enjoying a performance of

From Music Hall Variety to Chapel Pew Propriety

Lots of singing of old Moody and Sankey hymn - rousing choruses all round!

* B and the beavers are working towards their creative challenge - and Ifor one reason and another I seem to have been there to help out for most sessions - junk modelling, animal mask making, song learning, instrument making and performing... it's had it all

*M has been to a birthday sleepover at J's house and spent a day doing health and fitness activities with cubs, whilst B spent the morning at the Halton Stadium doing fitness training with the Vikings

I think that's most of it!

And finally - the beautiful blue hyacinths in a bowl on the sideboard - the best £2 you can spend at ASDA