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Saturday, 31 May 2014

I will sell my soul for...

just one ticket for...
'An Audience with Alan Bennett'
on next Sunday at 2pm
in Leeds.

Can you help?





Thursday, 29 May 2014

Have frock will...

travel...


Glyndebourne...
miscellany of moments.

Yesterday...

polished, plucked and perfumed
I set off on my great adventure.

Evening dress is the norm at Glyndebourne. 
From way, way back in the cupboard, 
this was the final choice for my particular interpretation
of evening dress.
I need not of worried, because people-watching there was
absolutely blooming bliss.
Velvet  in every hue... stoles, floor-length capes crumpled and moth-eaten.
Manky mink, crappy coney, sequins-a-go-go, kilts, with and without drawers,
hand-tied dickies, dicky bows on elastic, straining silk waistcoats on bulging bellies,
looking for all the world like pigs head brawn.

The upper classes at play...
don't you just love 'em!

Foot fetishists would have had a field day.
Wellies clarted up with horse-muck,
strappy sandals, sensible grown up Clarks type shoes.
Bobby socks, pop socks, stockings and tights.

Flute in hand I clocked them all.

As I'm sure they did me!

At my feet a woman fell.  I was going down the concrete stairs;
she was coming up.  The crash was deafening: her glass of champagne
spilt. As I bent to pick her up, enquiring all the while if she was okay,
she replied...

'I'm fine, I was just admiring your pashmina,
the only hurt is my pride!'



Sitting in the stalls I nearly fainted away when joined by
Adonis, throat wrapped in cashmere scarf.
During the first act, he applauded and called
'Bravo!' 
many times in a deep, deep treacly tone. 

I was in heaven.

Short interval...
another flute of bubbles...
when in Rome!

I watched with fascination a lady handing out these



pastilles to her family.
I was instantly transported back to my childhood.
My lovely mum used to buy them for me whenever I had
a sore throat.  The funny thing was driving there,
 I had been thinking about her. 

Strolling over to me she said

'Were you here last week, you look awfully like a lady
I was talking to?'

I took that opportunity to ask about the sweets.
Offering me one, she said she had bought them from the shop.

I was warming,
the glow not entirely champagne-fuelled. 
The cast and production were superb.
Eugene Onegin...
The opera I had vowed I would see
one day live at Glyndebourne...
 I was there, savouring every moment.

Long interval...
I had taken everyone's advice and decided
to join a sharing table.
All my fears were unfounded.  Alright, yes Robert and
his partner did know a lot about opera.  They were
there from Munich for two days at Glyndebourne for his birthday. 
At no time did they make me feel uncomfortable at my total lack of
operatic knowledge.

  As I left the table, they went to shake my hand, to which I replied

'Sorry, no can do!'

Oh dear, she probably has a thing about gay men,
perhaps they thought.

 I indicated they were required, nay expected to
be clasped to my breast-plate.
All terribly Brunhilde, don't you know!
I turned to go, then with a thought turned back and said

'Robert, have you a programme?'

'No I haven't!'

'Happy birthday!'
I said as I proudly gave him mine.

Back for the final act, I got chatting to the handsome young
man.  He informed me that he was in fact an opera singer.
I was curious to know about when he discovered
he could sing.  He said late for him, and anytime have a go.
I laughed and said I've just been singing in the rehearsals for
 'Oh What a Lovely War' 
and my fog-horn voice didn't sit well with the sopranos.

He was there to support the cast, many of whom he had worked with.
Didn't I just know It!

'What a way to earn a living!'

Modestly he agreed.

At the end of the night, a few steps ahead of me up the stairs,
he turned and wished me well in our production, 
and not to forget to give it some welly!

Driving home through the Sussex and Kent countryside 
on so many levels I was one happy contralto.







  

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Saturday, 10 May 2014

'Read all about it!' Glyndebourne... The latest...

'Oh Gawd I've started something here!'

Those of you who are kind enough to follow my blog
will know of my yen...
no don't beat about the bush LL...
DESIRE 
to go to Glyndebourne to see
Eugene Onegin.

As soon as I saw the advertisement, I decided to check it out.
Falling in a faint at the prices, I came to, determined by hell or high water
to go.  Beg, borrow or steal coming to mind as the way forward.
Beg seemed the obvious answer...
I'm not proud.

In answer to my begging blog post 
Yorkshire Pudding 
found a lady on Gum Tree with four tickets to sell.
I asked if she would sell me one, but quite understandably
she wanted to keep them as a four or two twos.

I wracked my brains as to who I knew that would be interested in going, in order to use the Gum Tree cheaper seats.
Ted wasn't in the frame, he doesn't like opera and more to the point, why spend good money on something you don't enjoy, even with the added bonus of keeping the missus smiling, happy, on-side... call it what you will!

With a sudden flash of inspiration I had the prey in my sights.
'What about **** they I'm sure would be interested, we could all go...
I'd make a stunning picnic!'
Desperation creeping in, can't you tell.

'We'll ask them when we see them today!'

'Best check in your diary Lin'

I didn't really need to, hadn't I checked a thousand times already.
I humoured him, I do sometimes.

There nestling in the pages was a slip of paper...
an e-ticket for one...
for me...
in the stalls!


not a very clear photo... I'm shaking with excitement... already

'I was going to wait until the letter arrived, but you were so
determined, I thought I'd better stop your in your tracks now!'

'How much?'

Cinders is going to the ball!

Now here's the rub...
I am more than happy to go anywhere on my own,
I think it's my only child independence streak.
So that isn't the problem.
What to wear... it's evening dress
that isn't a problem...
I'll get the flowing flamenco dress
I wore to a ball at the palace
(another story, another day)
out of the suitcase.  Well, that is if the moths haven't got there first!

The problem is, do I make myself a solo picnic or add to
the mortgage inducing ticket price and pay for dinner?
Now there is another option, you can share a table with
other solo diners, which I ought to say did appeal.
Hold tight... I can foresee a prob.,
they will all be opera buffs and I'm not too keen to 
expose my total lack of musicality.

Lamely saying this is the only opera that moves me, and I've always wanted to see it live,
will in a sentence, mark me down as the very thing I've strived to avoid
all these years.

That old adage...

It's better to be thought a fool, 
than to open ones mouth and prove it

might well be targeted at me.


Friday, 9 May 2014

My all-time favourite squeeze is

80 today...
Happy Birthday
Alan Bennett.

Why you haven't been knighted I'll never know.
I have a sneaky feeling that
being anti-establishment,
you've sent them packing?
I do hope so.


“We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn't obey the rules.” 
― Alan BennettGetting On

A patchwork of my days...

with love in every stitch and step.

made by Viv - got yesterday, if you don't know her work... 
best you trip along and feast your eyes

Having a fit with my leg in the air...
like you do, I suggested to Ted we take advantage of
the two for one offer of tickets for
Grand Designs Live.

Wednesday found us clutching our old dears
rail card, brown luggage label attached to our left lapels
we like intrepid explorers set off.
With wonderment at our intrepidness we negotiated our
way off the train at London Bridge.
Feeling this called for a celebration we made our way to 
the Mug House 



a pub nestling cheek by jowl along the Thames and under London Bridge.

Borough Market next for the most amazing selection of Street Food.
We were certainly getting in the groove.

We chose the Ethopian food which was absolutely blooming delicious.
Change out of a tenner for two large portions of chicken, rice and two
choices of veg or pulses.

Having eaten up and supped up, I could cheerfully have gone home then.
Pity we didn't really, because even going on the Docklands
Light Railway for the very first time, didn't come close to sweetening the pill
of how dire I thought the
exhibition was...
Think the Ideal Home Exhibition on speed, then you get the feel.
The first stand we visited was a stand selling mitts for arthritic
hands... says it all really!
Ten minutes with my hands in the mitts, the salesman
proceeded to highlight the benefits.
I was sold, however the price made me think again.
The classic get-out...
'We've only just got here, so we'll wander around and think about it!'
"Oh dear, that's a pity because we've only got
six pairs left!'
A likely story thought cynic Lin.
(That actually was the truth, because today we have tried
to get a pair sent and they've sold out until next week.
That'll teach me... clever sod!)

Walking away I said
 'I can't bring myself to let YOU spend that amount of money!'
Work that one out?

After a quick flash round I wanted to go home
'I don't like it here!'
What a spoilt lump.
'Would you like to wander along the South Bank?'
Bottom lip quivering...
'No, I just want to go home!'

I wouldn't mind but we got to the station too early to
get the Evening Standard.
WSD knows when she comes on a Friday night
her entrance fee is the ES mag...
otherwise...
'No room at the Inn!'
issues out of Wicked Stepmother's (WSM)
pursed lips.

Chapter Two
(the following morning)
I woke up to a pain-free hand
imagine that!

Getting out of bed, kicking myself as I did,
(not an easy manoeuvre  in itself) I thought 
'What a clot, what price pain-free?'

In my defence I did have a 10 am
appointment with a doctor for acupuncture.

Asking his advice, even he said two appointments
with me would buy the mitts.

I then set off to the Decorative Living Fair
at Eridge to see my best chum Viv.
One of the few fairs she now goes to, 
luckily for me.

On arrival home I showed Ted this...



'How much?'

Men!



'





Sunday, 4 May 2014

I know I don't stand...

a fart in a thunderstorm's
chance of this actually happening
however...
I'm game to try.

Has anyone got a spare ticket going begging
for Eugene Onegin
at Glyndebourne?




I would promise not to muscle in on your picnic.
I would retire oh so gracefully to eat
my sulphurous egg sandwiches
wrapped in a waxed Warburton's wrapper.
I would surreptitiously eat my pickled egg out of a
salt and vinegar crisp packet, in order not to offend.
My can of Special Brew I would quaff behind a tree.
I'd even go so far as to take 
Lin and Ted
off the windscreen of my Smart car.
That is the length I would go to 
in order to get my hands on a ticket.

Any chance?


P.S.  I am prepared to pay in Green Shield stamps, Luncheon Vouchers... coins of the realm... at a push!



Friday, 2 May 2014

'Let's go to the Arctic...

before it melts!' 
I glibly said,
in answer to Ted's
'Where do you want to go for your special birthday?

That was a good few years ago now.
A lot has changed in the intervening years, 
not least our savings!

When we got together, we decided fairly early on
we would travel, while our health and investments allowed, 
and we did!

As we sat on the Shearings coach this year,
I thought back to the last coach trip we took...


to our boat sat waiting for us at Longyearbyen.
The start of my very special birthday trip,
sailing around the Svalbard Archipelago.

The scientists on board were full of
global warming and the effects it was having on
this most pristine of regions.
Even then it was hard to imagine, the ice melting;
the grandeur of the glaciers just slipping away.

It hurts me now to think of it.
You can imagine how I felt when I read this article
in Wednesday's Independent.


For sale: Norway's pristine Arctic wilderness - the coal-rich Svalbard Island

the article you can read on-line

I did try and copy and paste... it didn't quite work!


the majesty of the Arctic

our photo's


the colours


the remains of a whaling outpost.
What state will it be in, when man has raped and pillaged in
the never-ending quest for coal and the world's
natural resources?





Thursday, 1 May 2014

Quote of the day...

'I once got 0% in an exam
at university!'

Early morning call from my much loved 
nearly 90 (in September) friend.

We were talking about my fear of taking pills
of any description and the reasons
(see Doris blog)
Preludin and the effects in the days of my early years
(not taken by me... by my mother Doris)

'Oh yes, I've tried them all!'
 Rose said.

I nearly fell off the dfs in shock.

'In one exam, off my head on amphetamines,
I wrote a limerick
sixteen times and then walked out!'

'Wot!'
I sputtered into my mug of
builders brew.

I knew from first sight I liked her...
an old lady, hard to imagine her young.
From day one we just got on; even today in class
we giggled like naughty school children.
Her going to university all those years ago, 
impressed me.  Her being off her face, in some obscure
way did as well, don't ask me why?
Rich coming from one who ran away from being
breathed on by a lad smoking dope.
I'm obviously not as wild as I'd have you believe!