Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Streetcar Named Desire

The cottage last night had a more than passing resemblance to Streetcar , what with Chris doing his best Stanley Kowalski impersonation over a piss stained duvet . 
It was hot and humid strangely enough I could be forgiven for having a late night bath after the drama was all over, in order to " sooth my nerves" 
( last night's blog will explain all)
Today's blog.....thank a mini review!


 To me, the real sadness of A Streetcar Named Desire stems from Blanche DuBois'  loneliness rather than from any of the domestic violence, brutality, rape and madness that spirals away after three damaged souls are cooped up in a grubby two roomed Southern state apartment. Her inability to cope as a single entity is perfectly judged by Gillian Anderson in the New Vic's latest production and her most powerful scenes are not the iconic and histrionic " lying and faded Southern Belle" monologues everyone remembers but the soft and painful sharing of loneliness between Blanche and  Mitch when both cling to each other from their own dark places of isolation


Anderson is wonderful as Blanche and the hulking Ben Foster is equally impressive ( in more ways than one) as Stanley  but for me , it is Vanessa Kirby performance as Stella that lingers long in the mind.
Her Stella, is a sexy, bright  survivor with  more than enough love for Her husband, sister and her baby in equal measures. The play's sex scenes between her and Stanley, ground the whole narrative and explain exactly why she stays in the life she has chosen. 
Her performance captures quite beautifully the unquestioning sense of loyalty she has for her family.


There , were, however aspects of the play that didn't work as well as the performances . The modern day setting, the revolving stage ( designed to give the audience an ever changing view of the claustrophobic setting) and the incredibly loud bursts of music , I felt intruded on the play that stands alone without gimmicks 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014


The play was mighty fine
But everything went tits up
The night finished on a low point after Chris found that Winnie had opened her
Considerable bladder right in the centre of our bed's duvet.
Hey ho

Boring Your Tits Off

The kitchen window

I have just written a blog entry which on reflection could have bored the tits off Barbara Windsor
I have deleted it in favour if this one....which is, on reflection, just as bad.
Will return later with a review of A Streetcar Named Desire ....we are off to see the live broadcast staring Gillian Anderson later.
I will leave you with the kitchen window flowers in way of a blog testcard
Hey ho

Monday, 15 September 2014


Just a thank you post
I am so tired....... No sleep after night shift.......
I feel sick

But I need to thank
Joanne for the " towels" she sent me
And to Pat ( the animal helper.) for the Scandinavian gifts
I love the fish trivitt


Cayuga Val and Cayuga Pete.

Some animals are natural comics.
It's just part of their make up.
I always think it's a product of confidence and security.
For nervous animals cannot ever be funny!
Mind you overly nervous humans never make me laugh much either

The council workman who was cutting the grass in the old graveyard ,brought the American Cayuga ducks back  to the field this morning. They'd slipped under the gap in the gate and had taken themselves off to watch what he was doing 
" funny buggers" he said as they waddled back over with their heads help high " they have been following me up and down , talking at me all morning" 
They had clearly amused him.
Since they arrived, the Cayugas have proved themselves to be delightfully robust and curious duo .Less flighty than the hysterical runners, they seem to actively seek out anything new that is going on and will walk towards it with keen  amused little eyes, and with their heads cocked to one side 
The grass cutter was right when he said they were chatting to him, as everything they do seems to be punctuated with a low level muttering .
They almost sound as though they are giving a running commentary to everything witnessed.
Happy and chatty!

They remind me of a couple from the village who seem to find amusement and pleasure in most things that they experience
I have therefore named the Cayugas Val and Peter

Peter and Val

Incidentally when I got home after night duty this morning I received an email from val.
It made me smile somewhat, as the Cayugas make me smile.
It said..

Hi John
I hoped to catch you round the village to apologise for zooming past you in the car the other day. We were chatting when we saw you and totally failed to realise that you were at the bus stop when we merrily sailed past. We always forget about that stop as we rarely see anyone there. As always, there were cars behind us so we couldn't back up when we realised half a mile down the road. Peter said sh*t, I should have stopped, I agreed, he couldn't stop, and then we had a minor domestic going into Gwaenysgor....

We will be more vigilant in future!

Val and Peter x

Hey ho

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Back In The Habit

Old friend Nia ( with son George) on her last visit to Wales

I don't really believe in old phrase " out of sight out of mind" especially when it comes to old friends who live away, but I do have to concede when you have important people who live away with busy lives to contend with, things do have a habit of slipping somewhat.
Straight male friends are especially bad at keeping in's a bloke thing!
I miss my close friends from years ago.
Of  course I have new friends here, and I am certainly friendly with a lot more people than ever I was with in Yorkshire, but there is something missing, just a little.
Put simply old friends have history with me, especially as they were my " urban family".
A fairly new concept, coined in the 1990s for single, city living Bridget Jones' types.
The other morning, more by luck than design, I sorted out Skype on the old iPad and suddenly was transported to a Sydney suburb , where  old friend Nia was sipping a Crisp white on a damp Australian evening.
We had a lovely chat  and seeing her made all the difference .
The years just melted away.
It made my day.

Fired up, I have now organised a Yorkshire visit in Oct. An old friend ( the Zara wearing Bel Ami- a man with more swish than a pair of net curtains) will be appearing as a Camp Nazi in a local production of allo allo, ( like you do) and so I shall pop over to see the production, then will hopefully catch up with another friend Mike and then Jane the day after.
I'll get them all to agree to Skype finalise details
There's something so vital in " seeing" a friendly face
I think that they remind you, so much, of what you are missing
Don't you think?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Radio 4 Dramas

I love the BBC
Specifically I love Radio 4 dramas
I am sure they are the best in the world.
All week, as I have been cooking, I have listened to the remarkable
Police drama " Craven , Family Man"
Starring Maxine Peake as DCI Sue Craven
Dovetailed for just 15 minutes at the end of Women's Hour 
This story of a seemingly normal family man killing his three children
in a North Lancashire town has been as compelling as any Hollywood film I have seen in a long time.
Radio 4 's 15 minute ( a day) drama Craven
Today I have been listening to a re run of a 1959 production
Of Paul Temple and The Conrad Case as I have completed a load of baking as
chris has recouped on the couch after a heavy week .
The adventures of  Temple and his sherry drinking sidekick wife Steve 
have been a remarkably entertaining listen 

Thank goodness for iplayer.
If you can listen to these two dramas do so
You won't be disappointed
Hats off to the BBC

Friday, 12 September 2014 it art?

One day I would love to have a large formal garden
With herbaceous borders and neat lawns
And in it I would love a piece of art
Just the one.
I adore this living piece of art
It's The Whirling Dervish at Shambelie House 
In New Abby, Scotland.
It's strangely mystic, beautiful and totally adorable
It's just one thing on my fantasy wish list

The others?
Well....I want
An Outbuilding.....a house with a set of out buildings
An Airedale terrier
An aga ( and lessons to use it)
A jersey cow with gentle eyes ,
To be an extra in an important film,
I would like to go to the opening ceremony of an Olympic Games