Sunday, 17 November 2013

A la recherche du temps perdu

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Just like Proust, I had an episode of "involuntary memory" last week. It wasn't the taste of a madeleine cake dipped in tea that brought memories flooding back - it was a song I heard while I was in Wilkos buying some finings to clear my plum wine.  I heard this song on the radio. It got into my head and I knew that I knew it from somewhere - but I couldn't think who it was. It took several days of it going round on my head before I googled it and tracked down exactly what it was.

It went "She comes in colours everywhere, she combs her hair, she's like a rainbow" The internet kept telling me that it was a Rolling Stones song - but I knew it from the 1990s as it was bringing back memories of working at the Leek Road Library of Staffordshire University around that time. Then, at last I tracked down the version I knew and loved back then - by World of Twist - via the Guardian who were reviewing the band's debut and only ever album Quality Street (from 1992) - which has now been extended and will be re-released on November 25th. How strange is that? I have it on pre-order now :-) How could I have forgotten how wonderful it was?

I remember sitting in the work room, just by the counter, at break times every Wednesday, avidly reading the NME and loving all the Madchester bands. I even got to see The Happy Mondays and The Fall. I was the Counter Supervisor and had around 13 staff to organise. it was a wonderful place to work and such a fun time :-)

Later, when I qualified as a Librarian I went to work at the Stafford Campus. It made me a little sad this week when I read that they may demolish the Nelson Library in 2015 and build a primary school in its place. I had such a lovely office in there, when I was Engineering Librarian - dual aspect, looking over the grounds. I loved going in early, in the summer - and seeing bunnies running around on the grass before the students got there. Seems they are going to move the library over to the Octagon. I guess it makes sense - seeing as so much information is now accessed via computers anyway. I liked the Nelson Library though - very roomy, lots of study spaces and a great place for a Christmas Party :-)

In more recent news - I've been to the Vue Cinema in Newcastle twice his week. The first time to see the new Thor film in 3D - which was pretty enjoyable. We have been watching all the Avengers films in order - so we are completely up-to-date now. The other occasion was the polar opposite. We went to the first ever live simulcast from the RSC in Stratford to cinemas round the world. It was Richard II starring David Tennant - which was a sold-out production so we had no chance of seeing it in the flesh. This was a pretty close second though - from the moment we got into the cinema we could see and hear the audience in Stratford. It made us feel like we were there. Of course we had the added advantage of close-ups during the action and interviews with the director and principal actors before it started and during the interval. It was fantastic!
Richard II

The three and a half hours flew by and at the interval we were even served with glasses of red wine with peel-off lids in the cinema :-)

I had LOVED Ben Wishaw's RII in BBC2's Hollow Crown series - but DT was equally as good, although very different (Cool hair extensions - he had longer hair than Thor!) . It is strange that I had never seen or even read Richard II before - and this year I've seen it twice. Love the poetry - it is becoming one of my favourite Shakespeare plays.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Magical Weekend!

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What a fun weekend it's been so far. On Friday night me and Laura and Nathan went into Newcastle for a Thai meal at the Art of Siam. That was very nice - they do coconut rice almost as well as the Blue Chilli. Then we went over to our favourite nightspot the Revolucion de Cuba - the rum bar, for teapots of rum cocktails! Half the place was cordoned off for a private party - and lots of people were in Halloween fancy dress. Wish we'd known - we'd have made the effort :-) There were some amazing outfits but the one I LOVED was this one:

Walt (aka Heisenberg) and Jesse from Breaking Bad
Nathan and I are currently watching the whole  series of Breaking Bad (I know - we are really up with the times - we start just as the whole thing finishes!) I couldn't believe how good these two looked - just like the two main characters Walt and Jesse.
I made N go over and ask if he could take a photo. They seemed very happy about that! I don't know who they were - but fantastic effort chaps!

N and his duck fans :-)
Saturday we were determined to go for a walk despite the wind and rain! We went over to Westport Lake and popped into the Visitors' Centre to purchase some duck food. We'd read on the website that bread isn't good for them so we wanted to keep them healthy! Armed with our two paper bags of pellets we walked all round -I kept my hood up all the way! Whenever we stopped at the edge we soon gained an army of duck fans eager to see what as in the rustling bags in our hands. Eventually they were swimming round the lake following us - to see where we stopped next.

Coots galore!
I have to say that Coots really are not nice to each other. There was so much fighting and pecking of eyes! Why can't they just share? One took so much time chasing all the other Coots away that he let the Mallards and Seagulls snaffle all the food. Silly Coot!

Nathan on stage
We were very excited about Saturday night - as we were going to see Morgan and West - those amazing time-travelling magicians we saw in August at the Edinburgh Festival. We were so happy they were calling in at Stafford on their Autumn Tour. I think it is their first tour  hopefully the first of many. I cannot stress enough how much you all need to see them!

They were fab in Edinburgh  and they did fool Penn and Teller on their Fool Us challenge. I wasn't sure if we'd see some of the same tricks - but no! It was all completely different stuff.

The place was pretty full with a good mixture of ages. Lots of children and some grandparents too. The announced that the show was interactive and if they liked the cut of our jib they may well ask us to come on stage to help out with the magic. Sounded intriguing!

N with Mr Morgan and Mr West after the show.

I have to say that Mr Morgan and Mr West are thoroughly nice chaps.
I was very impressed with their biscuit index - where they called people on stage and asked them to write down their favourite biscuits. They guessed them all right - even the ones not in the index. I have no idea how :)

 I won't spoil any of the show for you in case you get chance to see it for yourself sometime. Nathan was very pleased to be called on stage to help with one trick at the end of the show It was quite mind-boggling and he is STILL trying to puzzle out how they might have done it. No success so far though...

Check out their website to see where you can catch them yourself :-)

I'm back to work tomorrow - just one more treat before I go back. We are off to a new pub quiz tonight. It is at the Cricketers in May Bank - and thee are cash prizes. Wish us luck!!