Friday 8 November 2013

Picture postcard

I was once lucky enough to sit next to Thomas Hetherwick at a dinner.  He, if you've forgotten, is the man that designed the Cauldron at the London Olympics last year.  He's a very clever yet understated man...immensely likeable.  I mentioned to him that I was a south coast resident and he whipped out a scrap of paper, and began drawing on it.  This was the sketch for a new beach cafe in Littlehampton.  In some ways it felt like a minor reflection of the legend that Sir Alec Issgnosis drew the original design for the Mini on a cigarette packet.

Littlehampton is typical of many an English seaside resort.  A bit down at heel and with many residents stuck in a 1950s time warp.  So it came as a bit of a surprise that Thomas Hetherwick's design for the cafe was accepted....even now there is much opposition in the town, but with inevitability of biological laws, I guess that will eventually die out.

I happened to be there earlier this week, so took some pictures of the cafe, and also the nearby bench sculpture.

Thursday 7 November 2013


I hope that anyone wanting to comment is now finding it a little easier...I altered some of the coding so that it should be better (my word that sounds impressive, but in truth I was just following an idiot's guide telling me what to do).  I will be reassured one way or the other when I either do or do not get a very long, punchy comment from Hippo unless of course he's had various bits amputated after his snake bite incident....

I'm concerned about Rol.  He claims to have become a father, and in celebration has posted up various Top Tens about fatherhood, being born, etc. They've made great listening. But I'm not convinced.  As everyone knows, the ONLY thing a new parent can talk about is poo and napppies, and neither have featured even in passing.

The Boy has been offered (yet) another ski job.  So far he's had two instructor offers, but this one is a little different it is for Children's Club Assistant for a very, very posh ski company.  He attended a group interview and was up against some very impressive competition...people with years of experience.  He won't be taking it, but in terms of boosting his confidence and making him feel comfortable that he has something to offer the world.

I was surprised to discover that Daniel Radcliffe (AKA Harry potter) appears in one of my favourite films...The Tailor of Panama.  I've watched it dozens of times and never noticed him...he doesn't add much, but then he's just the son of the tailor.  If you get the chance download the film of buy the DVD

One of my other favourite films is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin and Michael Caine.  Neither are my favourite performers, although I have enjoyed many a Michael Caine film.  One of the things that always crosses my mind when I watch it was that it was the perfect vehicle for David Niven...if only he had been alive.  For the American part I would probably have chosen Tony Curtis.  That would have been perfect.  It came as quite a surprise then that earlier this week I discovered that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is in fact a remake...and the original did indeed star David Niven, although alongside Marlon Brando.  It may not be a classic, but I decided to buy it just to satisfy my curiosity.

We've had a quiet week in this week, despite the lack of offspring.  That may, in part have been due to one of those stupid arguments that have left us skulking around the house....

Worryingly The Cat's Mother who is well versed in the theatrical arts has decided she enjoys the pretty awful Atlantis which the BBC is showing.  It feels American (and not in a good way) and has mangled every Greek legend possible.  I can't understand what she sees in it at all...normally if I don't like something I can at least understand the appeal, but with this one I've drawn a blank..although I have a sneaking suspicion Grandma in Cyprus might like it

In the meantime, The Boy has made us all jealous by posting this picture from his 'classroom' this morning

He says he's busy.  Right.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

50 and still going strong

Halloween night saw The Muffins and us at the ever-popular musical Wicked.  We met before hand at a local restaurant.  Naturally enough the small girls were in witch outfits, and equally, not surprisingly Mrs Muffin had painted her face a deep green.  In normal circumstances, the little Muffins should have been embarrassed, but they're used to eccentric behaviour.  The only person who was embarrassed was The Cat's Mother.  She had spotted a witch with straggly hair crossing the street towards the restaurant, pointed it out excitedly to the Muffins before realising the witch was coming into the restaurant.  It was me.

Arriving at the show, we were grabbed by a film crew, so no doubt our bumbling efforts have been sprayed all over the interweb somewhere.

It is a great show...I've seen it three times now...full of great tunes, and the story is a brilliant twist on the Wizard of Oz.

Friday night was a very special night indeed.  Some people may have been glued to the TV on Saturday to see the 50th Anniversary show from the National Theatre.  We were luckier, we saw it live.  Technically it was a rehearsal, in reality it was a first class performance by the biggest and best stars of the most notable productions in the National's half century of existence.  Never again, certainly within my lifetime will so many of the theatre greats be gathered in one place....who can I name drop?  Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Bennet, Adrian Lester, Rory Kinnear, Benedict Cumberbatch, Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Sion Russell Beale, and on it goes.  Unbelievable really.  Each, short performance perfect to make a perfect show.

Monday 4 November 2013

We'll meet again

Well of course I blubbed.  Seven o'clock on Saturday morning outside Heathrow terminal one I sat in the car and watched as my 'baby' walked into the airport, skis over one shoulder pulling along a bag full of clothing.  He was making a journey that, whilst in Europe, was not the easiest.  Two aeroplanes (with a 30 minute connection between them), then a bus, then a train, then another train and finally another bus.  Daunting even for experienced travellers.  It was pointed out by a friend that he is the most capable person she knows, more than able to lead a group of people through the wilderness if he so desires...but, but, but....

He's away for ten days up a glacier getting (I hope) his Austrian ski instructing qualification. He is sharing a room with a guy from Hamburg and they're in the curious position that The Boy is only speaking German and the German is only speaking English as they each try and improve their language skills for the season ahead.  I've had a surprising number of texts and e-mails.  He seems to be loving it...if not the cost of a coffee - €5 which has come as a shock to him: now he knows why I wince everytime we go skiing!

The Cat has also departed back to Exeter after a few days home.  Later this week she will put on a play that she wrote as part of a '24 hour' drama exercise...write, rehearse and performed all within that 24 hours.  A lot of fun, and the performances this week will give more people the chance to see it.  Here's the YouTube trailer she's created