Sunday, November 30, 2008

See A Shakespearean Play At The RSC In Stratford

It has been nearly twenty four hours since I completed this task, yet the mesmerizing performance I witnessed still lies fresh in my mind.

It was a cold winter's day that brought us on a return trip to Stratford Upon Avon. We visited two years previously, then just having time to do the usual tourist stops. Since the visit, I promised myself that I would come back some day, to see Shakespeare performed at the RSC and this weekend I managed to do it.

For some reason, I never covered Shakespeare at school, or if we did, we must have covered it so fleetingly that I don't remember. It wasn't until I did English A level at night class, some years later, that I came into contact with Hamlet and instantly fell in love with the plays.

The hotel, that we stayed at was within walking distance of the Courtyard Theatre, so after a little shopping and a bite to eat, we arrived at the theatre to watch Romeo and Juliet.

The main theatre in Stratford is undergoing major renovation and the Courtyard theatre, which is just down the road from this, looked very much like a work in progress as well. However, once inside, the theatre was reminiscent of Shakespearean times, with the semi circle, tiered effect seating encapsulating the stage.

Our seats were at the front of the theatre, next to the stage and from there we watched the performance, as a scene reminiscent of 1920's gangster New York unfolded before us.

Everyone I guess, knows the story of the two star crossed lovers and their ill fated deaths, but what I didn't count on was the passion and emotion you felt from the actors, being so close to the stage. It felt a little dangerous at times, as flick knifes and glasses came exceedingly close to our seats, but the professionalism of the actors in their perfect timing, meant we were never in any danger.

The whole play lasted just over three hours. As well as the rival families being depicted as gangsters, we saw the infamous balcony scene being played with Juliet on a wrought iron bed and a very passionate Romeo, brimming with emotion in almost every scene. The actress who played Juliet was in her first season with the RSC and certainly with the performance she gave, I doubt it would be her last.

The lighting and emotive acting throughout the play was so amazing, it left me breathless and wanting more. The RSC has definitely recruited one more fan on the back of this performance and as I walked out of the theatre, I was already planning to return!

One of my favourite tasks so far that I've completed!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The One That Deserves A Whole Blog Post To Itself

I could tell you how gigantic this novel was to read. Or how my hand ached just holding the book, to complete all 1444 pages. I could say I actually enjoyed reading this book and to finish it, felt like the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis. I could tell you all of these things, but I doubt whether you would fully appreciate this book, until you actually read it yourself.

Forget Jane Austen, Tolstoy gives us an interpretation of society that far outweighs anything Austen can muster. His wonderful observations of aristocratic life leave you amused and entertained and his commentary on life in the trenches, portray the harrowing life soldiers endured.

It was by no means easy reading this book. The sheer volume of pages, I'm sure has put many people off trying and at two thirds through, the plot began to lose me. But it was the character of Pierre that drove me on, to find out if he survived and weathered society and then the conflict of war, of which thankfully he did.

If I could recommend one book to read, then this will be the one. It's by no means the best book I've read, but it would certainly rate in my top ten. Read this book, if only to drop into conversation that every book thereafter was a realtively simple read and believe me, I'm on The Shell Seekers now and it's like a walk in the woods!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Girls On Film

I know it's been a while since I last posted. I've been busy finishing my Christmas shopping (hurrah), finishing off a very long novel, that will be having a whole blog post totally dedicated to it shortly and starring in my company's next promotion advertisement. Yes, there I was, quite happily sat at my desk, when a random bloke came and asked if he could take my photo. Fool, that I am, I agreed and next minute a whole film crew descended on me and three of my colleagues were drafted in to assist. I would love to post the photo, none the less because it took about ten takes just to get my co-worker to point at the screen properly, but I fear that my company would be non too happy before they have used the image themselves. So as soon as it's released, then I will allow you the pleasure of laughter by posting it!
Things have been happening on my list, without me completing anything, if that makes sense. The New York trip (and yes it does appear that we are going to New York at this moment in time) is coming together, we just have to finalise our itinerary. My trip to the RSC is this weekend. My sock poppets are now all ready to star in their own You Tube video - I just have to direct it and I'm slowly but surely chipping away at the BBC Top 100 reads.
Now that Christmas is all but sorted, I'm going to make a concerted effort to do more stuff on my list and get a few more ticks this year, so watch this space!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Blues

So I've been busy buying Christmas presents, as most people are this time of year, crossing every purchase off a never ending list. I hate this period of running around like a headless chicken, thinking there will never be enough time to do everything before the big day, then of course there always is, yet I still seem to do the same every year.
I feel like I'm trying to juggle at the moment, with sorting everything out for Christmas and trying to complete another couple of tasks at least this year. I'm desperately trying to finish War and Peace, but the only time I seem to have spare is just before I go to bed and then I end up falling asleep after about 20 pages! I did finally finish off my props for my forthcoming You Tube extravaganza, so now all I have to do is film it. I'm going to have a go at doing this, this weekend coming, but I fear it may be harder than I first thought and I'm not the most patient person in the world, so I would imagine that will be fun!
The novel is coming along slow but sure. I'm still on course to complete most of it before the end of the year, which I'm really pleased about it and a trip to the RSC is booked for the end of the month, so cross fingers I should have another two tasks to tick off my list - only time will tell!
PS Next scheduled Radio appearance is on December 8th!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Will Survive

Well, you will be pleased to know that the radio interview went well and even though I bumbled a little, it still sounded quite good, even if I do say so myself, on the playback! Husband has recorded it for me, so as soon as we can figure out how to put it onto the blog, then we will load it up. Andy Whittaker, the Radio Nottingham radio presenter, is doing 50 things before he is 50, but only has 12 on his list so far, so he's asking listeners to give him ideas on what should go on his list. I've recommended driving a Ferrari, as he looked a little worried when I mentioned that I'd climbed Ben Nevis. I wish him luck anyway and it will be interesting to see the list progress!

The day after that, went in a bit of a blur. We had a big Children In Need campaign running through the day, which included someone getting their head shaved, men dressing in women's clothing(!?) and a big raffle, where I won lot number 140:-

Well with '40' in the number, it had to be mine, didn't it!

I also had my business cards come through from I thought they may be quite handy to have, as whenever anyone asks about my blog, I can at least give them some thing that will point them to my site

I've also discovered this website, which made me laugh until I cried yesterday - my particular favourites are the Bernie Clifton tribute act and the tampons one!

So, into the weekend now and my goals for this weekend are to read more of War and Peace (I'm on page 920!), write some more of my novel and start to put together the You Tube video. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, hope you have fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the Radio, I will be on the morning show for BBC Radio Nottingham tomorrow around 8am ish! I will be chatting to Andy Whittaker about why I started to write the blog and also what tasks I've got coming up. Hope I don't sound like I smoke sixty fags a day, as I've had a bad cold all week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mostly Miserable

The weather in Nottingham has been downright dreary the past couple of weeks. It's drizzled, had a few showers, been foggy and just added to the whole go to work and it's dark, drive home in the dark scenario.
Nottingham never ceases to amaze me as a city. On one hand it's this fabulous cosmopolitan city, full of shops, history and culture. It has this wonderful, working class mentality that is displayed throughout many of the films that portray this city as a location.
This week, the new Brian Clough statue was unveiled just off the Market Square in Nottingham, reminding us what a rich footballing history we have here. Not that I could forget of course, but the European cup winning teams, were there to remind us, just in case.
On the other hand, Nottingham has a darker ulter ego. Hubbie was driving home the other night, only to find that the police had blocked off one end of our estate. We later found out, it was due to yet another shooting, to add to the many already publicised in the city.
There is good and bad, where ever you live, but whatever happens in this city that I live in, it still inspires me on a daily basis and will continue to do so, whilst ever I will write. I hope when people read what I write, they will identify with this wonderful city and not with the press interpretation of what it's like to really live here.
I guess this is my cue to start writing my novel again.....

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've had about three jobs at work, that I keep putting off from doing. You know how it is, they get put to the bottom of the pile, you pretend that they will get done by themselves, etc, etc. So this week, I've tried to take the bull by the horns and get them completed. I haven't succeeded, but through no fault of my own.

There's usually a reason behind why I procrastinate, it's mainly because I don't like the job, or I don't know how to do it. I sometimes even put off a job, if I like it, to almost savour the moment when I complete it. Sad, I know!

So it may come as no surprise, if I tell you that I've hardly touched my book in the last two weeks. I've come to a pivotal point in the storyline, which equates to the last third of the book and if I'm honest, I'm a little wary of letting go and completing it. Writing your first book, is always going to be a very special moment and is something that I want to last. I will have to let go at some point of course, but for now, I'm quite happy to sit and wait, not too long though as I have a target of ten thousand words to complete this month as part of my target!

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's a very important date today....

Not only is it my BIRTHDAY!

It's now three years until my 40th birthday.

Which means three years for me to do thirty tasks.

Three years for me to complete my goal of doing forty things before I'm forty.

Three years until I have a helluva party!

I kinda have a thing for the number three, so I've a feeling the next three years are going to be kinda special.

I was born on the third.

I am one of three siblings

I have three cousins

I married my husband three years and three days after first meeting him

So you see, this whole day is special in it's own kinda way.

I've also had this idea festering for a little while in my brain.

I usually like ideas to fester and if they are worth pursuing, then the ideas tend to grow into something more meaningful.

So I'm writing to a few TV companies to see if they are interested in making a documentary on my list.

I have two in mind that have both done documentaries that I've enjoyed and are similar to what I want to do.

So, not sure if this will turn into anything, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. I'll let you know if I get any response!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remember, remember

Well October came and went so fast, if you blinked you would have missed it!
October's goals that I set for myself were nearly all completed! I hit 50,000 words on my novel, read Bleak House, tried to re book my balloon ride, but found I couldn't as the season had now ended, so that one's been diarised for Jan 09. The two New York goals, I've left for now, as I still don't know where I will be for New Year.
November's goals are:-
  • write 10,000 words on my novel
  • read War and Peace
  • See a play at the RSC in Stratford
  • Direct a video to go onto You Tube
  • Send a proposal to a TV company (more about that one later!)
  • Listen to the breakfast show on Radio Nottingham
  • Buy the Artists & Writers Yearbook

Quite a varied amount of things to undertake and I'm really looking forward to completing two tasks this month. I will or course, keep you informed of all the fun!

I will be a very happy bunny.....

if this guy becomes the next Doctor Who - Mr Sean Pertwee (and yes his Dad was Doctor number 3)