Beaten – did the pub quiz with Adele and Ray. Lots of fun and as ever a really good time with them. We didn’t win – but it doesn’t matter.
Busy – village magazine to finish and get to printers.
Blonde – dyed my hair. I’m happier blonde. Took quite well I think. I like it.
Business – very hectic at work. Had a trip down to the Midlands to visit our big 2 day Conference venue – that I found and booked – and it went well. 300 delegates will attend 2 nights and 2 days in the Autumn with en-suite accommodation, workshops, seminars, master classes, dinner, quiz, keynotes, speakers and multi trade stands. Its a real feat of organisation and I LOVE doing it.
Boggy – weather damp and mild. Not much by the way of a walk with Rosie. Hope for fine weekend weather and some nice mini expeditions.
Birthday – Clare’s birthday this week and she and Jane both came to visit me at the office. Glad to show them where I work and to give Clare her pressie.
Best – We went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was delicious!!!! The perfect feel good film. I want to be Judy Dench sitting side saddle on a little scooter nipping around Jaipur streets my arm around a diffident Bill Nighy.
Sunday: Lovely clear and still Autumn day so I dragged Hector out for some air and supposedly for a walk up to Aira Force (waterfall beside Ullswater) but the lake itself was so beautiful and so calm and heavenly that I got immersed (not literally) in it. My heart was full of simple joy just to be there.
Saturday: Nice weather. Good mood. Hector was at a meeting with others with our local MP to start a process to get good enough broadband in Cumbria. Don’t know how they can hope to achieve it for the entire county with a £10M budget, some communities will have to be left out?
As soon as he got home we had to dash out to go and see the miraculous-voiced Elkie Brooks concert. WHAT a woman! She has been in the business for 50 years and deserves every accolade. She is now 65, looks 45 (or less) and has a voice that could rip leather. Utterly stunning. Blues, jazz, rock. A band so tight they could snap a ships’ anchor chain. I was grinning like a fool when she did a cover of Familys’ “Burlesque” from the early 1970’s. Her voice and musical abilities knock sideways the whole X-Factor fame-seeking hype (when WILL people wake up to this garbage?)
Elkie did all the songs we’d expect of her “Pearls a Singer”, “Lilac Wine” et al. All with the power and voice precision that I wasn’t really expecting if I am honest. Her band did backing vocals too and were great.
This film is from 30 years ago…
Poems, laughter, welly dancing, hot and humid, PunkyFolk, storms and charcoal sausages.
We had a LOVELY day at the Dent Festival Nestling in a large field under the glorious fells and landscape of the Cumbrian Dales near Sedbergh. Its just a little festival, informal and family friendly. It was very hot and damply muggy but the 5 hours in the main marquee flew by.
First we saw one of our favourite festival treats, the jolly, hysterically funny and charming Keith Donnelly and Les Barker. Then there was Black Umfolosi – 5 guys from Zimbabwe with acapella voices like molten honey and dancing in their poetic, expressive way and later, in wellies!
Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds were the highlight of the day for us. They were utterly brilliant. Ade is still the comic, but he is a darn good musician too and his band made up of some of the best folk musicians in the UK. It was all punk, old punk, punk from the heyday of punk, but all played as folk. It works superbly. Even small children were pogoing! Since the gig Ade himself has emailed me to ask if he can use some pictures for ther website and for a new promo poster. What a THRILL!
Before the thunder storm rolled in we got a bite to eat and a wander in the field before joining Heather and Alex to slosh about in sodden grass in the big beer tent and watch the torrential rain and lightning. As the evening session began the weather cleared and left just clouds of midges and a stunning sunset. We saw Tarras (an old fave of mine) and a little bit of Transglobalunderground (who I’m not that keen on) before heading home through a beautiful dusk.
At last! Our annual little May holiday. Hector arranges it all and I LOVE IT! This year it was Gower (Wales), Reynoldston to be precise – and a really nice guest house.
Day one – Sunday. It took 7+ hours to get there, but the drive was nice and lunch near Tewkesbury a good break. Neither of us had been to the Gower before and it felt a little like a different country – well I suppose it is; being Wales and all, but you know what I mean 😉
We spent our first evening at the King Arthur hotel and ate well, outside….even though it was flippin’ freezin’. The folks on the table next to us were having a birthday celebration and enjoyed theemselves as the sun set over the roofs beside them.
Day two – bank holiday Monday. Our hope of lovely weather turned out to be a tad of wishful thinking. It was cold and grey and, whats more, really breezy. A hearty breakfast… We set off unsure where to head, but found ourselves heading over the top of the peninsula and into Llanelli to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve there. I loved it (H wasn’t too enamoured) – some glorious birds and even some flamingos. Then a try out of the waterfront and braving the windy conditions. After a snooze back at the guest house we ate at the Greyhound Inn. Very nice food! We had a wander on the beach…. the decor of the prom is nice but I couldn’t resist fiddling with the image.
Day three – Tuesday. The weather was still not too good, but it wasn’t raining so we headed only a few miles today. First to Port Eynon and a wander along the beach; sticking to the thin strip of firm sand where the sharp jagged rocks begin. It got windier and windier but we wanted to get as far as the ruined old Salt House on the shore. An interesting ruin and one which highlights the lengths previous generations have had to go to to utilise such a basic commodity. After that we drove along some of the narrowest, steepest, most wooded little roads we’ve ever seen to take a look at Oxwich and then parked up at Parkmill to walk up through wild garlic carpeted woodland sprinkled with bluebells and scented like what heaven must smell like. The deciduous woodland was a dreamy, heady-scented, place. After that we found another footpath that took us into Three Cliffs Bay under Pennard Castle high above us. A walk back to the car and a sight of a very old, abandoned in a garage, Humber car, which very aptly for Wales had the registration plate of HUW. I still want to know who owns it and why its so neglected. Before heading back to the guest house we parked up on the cliffs and while He read a paper I walked the paths on the Gorse covered clifftop and looked out over the dark sea, heavy clouds and rolling surf. Dinner tonight is the King Arthur again… I had prawns AGAIN! Love ’em
Day Four – Wednesday. A little bit of humour failure has sneaked in due to the pretty crummy weather, and He is very gallant and agrees to go with me to see the Welsh Botanical Gardens near Caermarthen. Its a super place, acres of stunning gardens and features. The tropical house and double walled garden are lovely. The huge bio-dome houses a wonderful array of Mediterranean plants and flowers and the bee garden is hypnotic to watch. The real highlight though is the little movie theatre – it encloses you entirely and the film on plants surrounds you on all walls. Stunning. Dinner was The Greyhound again, and yep – I had prawns…..
Day Five – Thursday. Sunshine. AT LAST! Its still windy, but the skies are clear and blue and it dispels all humour-failure! AT LAST a trip to the beach. Rhossilli and a couple of rugs and a long, long, long walk out to meet the surf. Our only company, some distant surfers and a smattering of gulls. When the cloud rolled in we left the beach and took a little detour back to visit Woebly Castle – not really a castle, just a grand 1500’s manor house that is in ruins on a farm on the cliffs above the bay opposite Llanelli. A really nice last treat for our stay on Gower. Dinner was back at King Arthurs. Prawns? Oh yes……
Day Six – Friday. Time to head home. We set off at 9.30 and at first intended to wend a dawdly path back via the Golden Valley and parts of Herefordshire and Shropshire before joining the M6, but cold windy weather made it seem more sensible and tempting to pay a quick visit to Ross on Wye. What a pretty and friendly market town. Lovely.
Bearing in mind that watching TV is a large part of my life and takes up a lot of my free time I am surprised I haven’t used these pages to talk about it.
For me the BEST TV of the last year:
To quote one of the wonderful characters…. ‘My one true weakness’. Set in the small hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town, Candleford, at the end of the 19th Century, the series chronicles the daily lives of farm workers, craftsmen and gentry, observing characters in loving, boisterous and competing communities of families, rivals, friends and neighbours. Lark Rise to Candleford is a love letter to a vanished corner of rural England and a heart-warming drama series teeming with wit, wisdom and romance.
Ladies of Letters ITV3
Fantastic offering from ITV with genius performances by Maureen Lipman and Anne Reid. Artful direction and production. Two widows who become pen pals after a chance meeting at a wedding. Their correspondence begins as a friendly exchange between two lonely souls, but soon takes on a more acid flavour as both women act out the sort of passive-aggressive sniping they probably used to inflict on their dearly departed husbands.
A Swedish detective with his own problems. Morse-meets-Wire in the Blood-meets-Monk. Kenneth Brannagh is superb as the scratchy, not-so-perfect, all-too-human detective.
Opening scene first episode: Wallander has waded up to his shoulders into a field of rape. He watches in horror as a teenage girl pours petrol over herself, flicks on her cigarette lighter and disappears in a fireball. He is middle-aged, puffy faced and unshaven. His hair is unkempt and his clothes scruffy; his eyes are red and he seems permanently on the point of tears. Say hello to Inspector Kurt Wallander, the new detective on the TV block.
What can I say? Clever comedic scripts disguised as a soap opera.
Off shoot of Morse and a really lovely way to spend two hours in front of the TV. I heard it had been dropped from production with ITV feeling the credit crunch. A tad short-sighted I feel when garbage TV is still so plentiful! Even the music is as delightful as the Morse series.
photos:flm:more Fi | 05 Aug 2008
Last month I started a project of a photo a day for a year and displayed on Flickr. The photos must be taken on the day they are assigned, though thats my own rule. See the full set here….
photos:flm:more Fi | 09 Mar 2008
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Gregory is one of my favourite books so I was keen to see the new film. It was pretty true to the atmosphere of the book and well played by the cast, the sense of betrayal and deceit at court were tangible. The filming, scenery and direction were wonderful though I found it almost embarrassing by the end after seeing SO many characters sweeping purposefully and be-costumed down stone corridors.
A belated joint 50th birthday treat for Sally and I and a GORGEOUS day with spectacular weather and open top car (1st time with lid down and wrapped up like two Grannies) to the world famous, exquisitely luxurious, Sharrow Bay Hotel for afternoon tea. BLISS!
We got the time wrong and were one hour early so took LOADS of photos while we waited. (The picture of the hotel seen from the lake was not taken by us….)
See them, here on FLICKR
What a view it was!
Sharrow is as a delicious place – perfect setting, fantastic décor and food that can only be described as bliss. Afternoon tea is a massive undertaking – you need a very empty tummy. The hotel more than deserves its worldwide accolades and we are very lucky to live close by.
We started with dry sherry in the lounge and had perfect sandwiches, toasted teacakes, scones with cream and jam, shortbread, cream cakes and lemon cake and more! And the tea was perfect – in delightful china.
photos:flm:more Fi | 12 Dec 2007
I’ve badly burned two fingers. A Fi-Pas of the old style. I took a skillet from the oven, put it on the hob, forgot it was straight from the oven and grabbed the handle! I stuck to it!! Apparently a STREAM of words emitted from me – none of which are repeatable! Am now suitably bandaged and finding being without the full use of my left hand a bit awkward!
……3 weeks later and I’m still bandaged up and sore.
photos:flm:more Fi | 24 Oct 2007
I dropped He off at Sheffield station to spend the week in London at IBM, but first we took a look at the water pools and sliding water fountains outside the station. Its a lovely area to be. Genius design. This is us reflected in the long, sheer, smooth-as-smooth, Sheffield steel water feature.
HeandFi Cascade Mirror.
photos:flm:more Fi | 16 Aug 2007
While manipulating a photo of a flower to use at work I decided I liked the photo-shopped and cropped result so much I would put it here. I’ve created a gallery page with some more manipulated images.
…and this is the original photo
photos:flm:more Fi | 14 Aug 2007
A fabby pic that my good friend Sally took on her porch. Gorgeous tulips and curious cute pheasant. And a pic I took of the tulips in full blousey blossom.
Sally is an animal portrait artist. Click here to see her website. Great pictures of pets and people!