Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Theatre Review ~ Gypsy

Rating: 5/5

When my Mum said she wanted to go and see a West End show during her visit the last thing I wanted to see was Gypsy. I had done a production of it before, the music was a bit dated and the story a bit flawed. However, Mum was persistent and with the appeal of Imelda Staunton as the lead I agreed.

 Was I glad I did!

I have been to a lot of musicals in my time – even sat onstage to see a production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’- but this was by far the best production I have ever seen. Imelda Staunton is the reason why.  From the moment she walks onstage you are completely mesmerized. She blows you away with her power. Her voice is incredible, her characterisation untouchable. She made the show what it is.
TidyBoy hates musicals but I am planning to take him to this one. Yes there is scenes of partial nudity (which I have to add were hilarious) but this is a production every musical theatre lover has to see. It takes you back to when musicals were an art form without flashy ridiculous sets, pop music and common cultural appeal. It has a good plot, brilliant songs and great characters. 

It is beautifully staged, costumed and fantastically cast. There really is nothing amiss.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Book Review ~ The Orenda

Rating: 5/5

When I find a great Canadian author I literally leap for joy consume the novel and order every other book they have written. I did this with The Orenda! My poor Mum carted back a pile of his books from Canada as you could not buy them in the UK.

The story is told from three perspectives. A tribal leader, a young girl kidnapped by him and brought to live with his tribe and a Jesuit priest newly arrived from France. It follows them over a number of years as more rivalry between the aboriginal tribes grows and more and more priests come to convert the ‘savages’.

Boyden has this amazing talent of filling his book with factual knowledge without taking away from the fictional story. It was a history text book made interesting! I could not put this book down. I consumed page after page. There was no slow bits, no boring bits – it was just “GIVE ME MORE”.  It made me cry more than any book has ever done. My students are getting sick of me using examples from it! But, this book is just incredible. 

It is fat, yes. But you won’t regret investing time in reading it!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Aber - Do - Do - Do!

Easter was a time for escapism and escape we did! Tidyboy and myself drove up to the West coast of Wales to the seaside town of Aberystwyth where his parents have an apartment overlooking the harbour. We arrived on the Thursday night and decided to have a weekend without screens... well limited screen time. Choosing not to fill up the wifi dongle that we use at the Aber flat meant that it was 3G only which made us think twice about using the Internet. We also made the rule of no screens in the bedroom... and for my own sake no alarms! It was heaven!

Friday was drizzly and overcast, but it could not have been better. We stocked the fridge and settled in for a day of reading, scaletrix, board games, welsh lessons and showers! There is nothing like having a full size shower especially when the one you have at home requires you to kneel down! It was the perfect start. There was no escaping relaxation... quite literally. If you wanted to escape you had to brave the wind and rain! 

By the time Saturday rolled in with its blue sky and sunshine we were switched off to the world and ready for nature... quite literally. We hiked! Me... hiking... Oxymoron right! I loved every minute of it! Emyr got a red nose and I got a taste for the vast openness of the Welsh countryside. 

With limited screen-time there was a window to post pictures from the walk and document the mileage on strava before we continued the holiday with more reading... feet up and healing blisters and a game of Welsh Monopoly... which I won despite the Tidyboy cheating!

Easter Sunday was a treat and I don't just mean from the chocolate. The sun was out and the beaches were full. We drove the car out to Nant y Arian in the Valleys and did a mountain hike... my only annoyance was I didn't bring a t-shirt... to Wales... in April... ridiculous! The views were amazing. 

Then we drove back to the seaside for perhaps the most bizarre event of the holiday... we returned to go swimming! Yes me... in a swimsuit... in the Welsh sea... in April! Needless to say it was cold and followed closely by a hot hot hot hot shower!

The glad rags were donned for Sunday evening when my love treated me to a gorgeous meal at a very posh restaurant on the sea front. It has to be the best meal I have ever eaten in my life! Thank you Darling xx

As if it was mourning our departure Monday was dreary with a thick sea mist coating Aber. We drove nonetheless to Borth where my favourite TV drama ended last year (Hinterland) for me to see the marshes! It was kind of perfect having the sea mist as it really reflected the feel of the show which is a welsh Wallander for those who have not seen it!! 

As we drove up into the Breacon Beacons the mist broke and we were greeted by the sun once more which led us home to M&D in Cardiff... and a gorgeous homemade lasagna to end our amazing weekend. 

This weekend has had an amazing effect on us. We have not switched the TV on since we came home. We spend dinners talking to each other instead of sat blankly watching a screen. We also read. Man do we read! I haven't been able to really read a book since I finished my course and this weekend has really brought me back to the written word. I couldn't be happier! 

The moral off this story... SWITCH IT OFF. 
No matter where you are holiday or home take time away from the screens! 

... in fact I have been at this screen too long! So goodnight! xx