Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Amusements



  1. Slice of M&S luxury Xmas pud for breakfast, with thick creamy load.
  2. Fabulous soak in bath listening to the Archers and Desert Island Disks.
  3. MRI scan at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
  4. More gardening - potting sprouted seeds into larger pots.
  5. Lazy afternoon telly, with the Observer staying in my bag.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday's Amusement



  1. English cooked breakfast at Lemon Cafe.
  2. Read of the Gyardiun newspapr.
  3. Gardening in the afternoon.
  4. Brazilian meat and caipirinhas for dinner at the Fogo Vivo.
  5. Les Mis 25th anniversary DVD in the evening.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ways To Amuse

Hmmm. I need to think of ways to amuse myself.

Xfe is away working for the next 10 weeks. Apart from a brief interlude we will have in Paris next month and a few days snatched in London before he heads off to some glamorous island in the Indian Ocean, I won't see him again until after Easter. Before then he's off to the Med and then the far east

Boo hoo.

So, I need to think of suggestions as to keep myself amused during his absence...

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Week That Was

Oh, how I feel I survived the week at work.

I'm fairly busy, but on top of that we're being expected to take on board more and more - non-fee earning work (business development). But the board want to publish a league table of fee earner chargeable hours. Those of us posting the most chargeable hours will appear above those who are not. But wait a minute - at the same time we are being asked to commit to even more non-chargeable time.

Well, I just despair. I'll do what I can do....

Valentine's Day came and went. I never posted the pics I had.

Leisure wise we have been busy busy in the garden, and I will have pics to post for that.

Aside from that it's feet up for the weekend. Hoorah!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Frankenstein @ The National Theatre



Last night we saw Benedict Cumberbatch and Johny Lee Miller in Frankenstein at the National, directed by Danny Boyle.

We saw Cumberbatch as Victor and Miller as the creature (they alternate the roles at each performance, emphasising their duality).

This is a challenging production in many ways.

We arrived early and saw Danny Boyle come out of the auditorium. The house didn't open until less than 15 minutes before the performance started. I suspected they were trying to fix some things (it was only the 6th preview; the set is a masterpiece, though putting the bell in the audience quickly looses its novelty).

The production has a raw, visceral opening. The creature, vulnerable and struggling with the shock of life, like a newly born calf, spends the first 15 minutes flailing around on stage, totally naked. (I wonder if Cumberbatch will be as bold when he takes on the role).

It is a totally physical performance for those first 15 minutes. It was obvious, physically, that Miller was totally energised. A side effect of being so physically tuned in to being the creature newly created was a brief and (I'm fairly sure) unintentional display that he was also physically turned on.

It was a thrilling production, taking the audience by surprise on more than one occasion. Some very real gasps of shock escaped from the audience.

Cumberbatch is a brilliant detached but flawed Frankenstein, Miller a sympathetic reasoning creature whose disfigurement hides a beauty underneath.

Jonny Lee Miller - The Creature, Benedict Cumberbatch- Victor Frankenstein

Despite the leads the production wasn't perfect. There were some confusing casting decisions. M. Frankenstein, father of Victor and William, is played by black actor George Harris, distracting from the plot while I tried to work out if Victor and his brother were adopted. Was it a nature/nurture thing? Whatever it was, the actor's decision to use an Afro-Caribbean accent, so different from Victor and William's stood out confusingly like a sore thumb; and besides, the actor was just plain weak in the role.

The accents of Orcadian's Rab and Ewan were so not Orkney accents (which are very unique to the Islands).

There were a couple of set malfunctions, one of which spoiled the illusion when an actor ended up walking across the lake, to help the boat sail offstage.

Still, I'd want to see it again with the leads playing the alternate roles.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ungrateful?



This was a birthday gift from my 2-year old nephew and 6-month year old niece.

Alas, they seem to have inherited their father's aptitude for giving awful gifts.

I told my brother at Christmas that we didn't need any presents - just to send us some photos (they struggle to make ends meet). If my brother sends me a cheque for birthdays for a beer it goes uncashed.

One Christmas his presents went into the bin even before the wrapping (our Surrey Quays' Christmas).

A pen. I can see why. The thought is definitely there, but the execution...

One for the charity shop perhaps.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Today I Retire

Today, I will retire. That is to say today, some years hence, I'll be able to draw on my pension.

Oh, happy day. In the meantime...



We enjoyed a delicious meaty dinner at Hix,



which was full of City boys



and lawyers entertaining their clients.

We started with an aperitif. One dry gin martini, one wet one.

For my main, I chose the beef and oyster pie. Delicious. My starter was less thrilling - like mutton goujons.



Xfe dined out on soup and pollock. He had desert, I did not, and we both had a digestif.



Yum.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Five On The Fifth

This month its Reflections.

I took this picture in Jerusalem. I've cropped and tweaked the colours today so I have an excuse to use it here. I've always wondered what these people are reflecting upon, especially given the situation there.



A lot more straightforward next. This I took yesterday for this post. It's not clever or classic. Just fits the bill.



The river, of course, my favourite part of London.



A rainy day gives plenty to reflect upon.



As does the promise of a New Year.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Wasting My Time On Smoke And Noise #3

Quick into town to collect the get the watch chain fitted. I meet one of my (now) former partners on the way.

Mum and Dad picked me up about 11.30am. So much champagne yesterday.

Just as I did last night when 214 closed behind me, I never looked back when I left my perfect flat. Even though I had lived there for only 5/6 years, it had been part of my life since 1977 when Nana moved there.

No regrets.

The two cats (by arrangement with BA) flew for £10 each. Boy they had an adventure waiting them at the other side. Like Dick Whittington's before, they would soon be London cats.

And Simon is waiting for me. Happy days. The next part of our life together.

Here I am crying on the plane as I leave Aberdeen, my home.

Ironically I'm sitting next to Roy Roxburgh, a former tutor, and a partner at a lesser law firm who has no idea who I am - who I was.

As the tears stream down my face. The saddest goodbye to Mum & Dad. To Aberdeen. To success. Off to the unknown, but I have such confidence in myself, like what Maria had.

At Heathrow I collect the cats from special luggage. I take them on the tube, London cats now.

When we meet Simon, we are our new family. Happy days, great promise....

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Wasting My Time On Smoke And Noise #2

Only slightly late to work after over 12 hours of fine food and wine to match.

If I wasn't so excited about the new life around the corner I'd be tragically sad thinking about what I am giving up and leaving behind.

I've already tidied up. Today is all about goodbyes. Just before 11am one of my trainees emails to say he is sorry he can't come to my presentation because he had a meeting. I replied he shouldn't worry - and thanking him for telling me I was going to have one. (Of course I knew I would).

John Lewis vouchers. I can't even remember who spoke.

5.30pm was drinks in the boardroom with all my partners. I'd prepared a speech. Fantastic as usual. The pretence was I Googled my partner's names to show that you never really knew who you were getting into bed with.

From any small truths, huge untruths were built upon. Porn stars, tittie bar companions. Big laughs. What else could they expect from me?

My partners gave me my watch (I still wear it - I told you it was precious to me; a time piece that reminds me of them, always).

When the office doors closed behind me I resolved I'd never step through them again. Too many happy memories, and I'd never want to look back, with regret....

Mike, one of my closest partners, drove me home - I'd already given my car to my brother - we said goodbye and I've promised to keep him up to date with how it goes.

Home, for the last time, my lovely flat, fairly empty except for what I'm leaving behind for my tenants. An empty house

My last night here. Why not with my parents. They never asked, I never offered.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wasting My Time On Smoke And Noise #1

Out for lunch with Kathryn, my assistant and Lynda, my secretary.

A boozy lunch, lasting all afternoon. Chinese food.

Quickly home, phone my Dad to tell him I'm too pissed to take the two cats to the vet, to get them checked for flying on Saturday.

The vet says they don't really need a sedative to fly.

Quickly home (again), then to the Olive Tree where my property partners have booked the private dining suite, to say goodbye. Hoping I'm not too pissed to show my appreciation.

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