‘Good things get better, bad get worse. Wait, I think I meant that in reverse.’ – Company

Things can go backwards, yes? Some of my favourite things are backwards – Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along – where the story is told in reverse chronological order and the opening episode of Series 3 of Red Dwarf set on a version of Earth where everything is reversed.

So this is the week I start a backwards blog project.

You see, I’ve just been up to the Lakes with the Family; the first time we’ve been up there in the true winter months. I thought it would be fun to blog whilst there, having taken with me no less than three cameras, a laptop, a iPod Touch and a mobile with the WordPress app installed.

I thought I could easily keep up with postaweek2011 this way. But understandably, I spent more time up the mountains than writing about them. My ideas of a daily blog became nothing more than scribbled (what is the digital equivalent of ‘scribbled’? ‘tapped’? ‘prodded’?) notes:

Sunday. Tried to get to Giants Hands. Daughter of Mine – bad ankle. Portinscale gift shop. Bought postcards. Photography by lake – Nicol End. Husband and Son of Mine went on to find geocache. Daughter of Mine rescued in car. Keswick Festival of Light in evening. Chips, curry sauce and pint of Jennings in front of The Sound of Music.

You get the gist. Not hugely entertaining. And not even accompanied by one of the 800+ photos I had taken as I had managed to forget the leads to connect the better of my two cameras to the laptop, and the ones shot on my phone were only really suitable for a quick Facebook update.

So here’s one for starters. Family of Mine atop High Rigg with views to Skiddaw and Blencathra.

So there may be blog entries to follow. Backwards. Memories of things that were.

Or are they things that might be?


Improvised musicals

I start this post with an apology.

To the group of 40 or so students from the University of Virginia who contacted me last year about a new project they were working on – an online musical on YouTube, that would be developed weekly with help from viewers’ comments and suggestions.

Sorry that I didn’t watch it when I was supposed to. In September.

My only defence is that I was still recovering from the after-effects of my involvement in last September’s 24-hour musical (which incidentally, turned out to be Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin), oh, and that they contacted me on what happened to be the eve of my birthday, so I’m sure there was something incredibly exciting going on. Not.

Anyway, only six months late, I tuned in. Of course, the whole audience participation thing is over, so I have no way of knowing whether any of my suggestions would have influenced the final piece.

Episode One of The Online Musical made me smile. In a good way, so I will be watching Episode 2, hopefully sooner than Christmas. I’m not going to get into a long review here, frankly I should have done this in September for it to count, but for the record, I enjoyed what I saw – a bunch of enthusiastic people (all noticeably younger than me) making a musical out of the idea that life really is a musical. Which is what I and many of my musical theatre friends actually believe should happen anyway.

Coming soon is the group’s next project, The Mini Musicals, a series of 10-15 minute musicals based on topics suggested by their audience – that could be you and me! Anyway, I will try to follow in a timely manner this Spring, and I wish them luck as the project unfolds…

… incidentally, I’m seeing Showstopper! The Improvised Musical at the lovely Theatre by the Lake in Keswick at the weekend, so maybe I’ll pick up some ideas?!

I’m on a seesaw…

I’ve been meaning to sign up for the postaweek2011 challenge. Not postaday2011 – that would be too much, not least because of the connection problems I am still having with WordPress through my computer. But hey, it’s February, and I haven’t yet managed to tip the balance of my life back to a creative one.

But tonight, I was responding to a Facebook comment from Pete Mulford, an NLP practitioner based in Liskeard, Cornwall and distant relative of mine. Pete and I have been ‘Facebook friends’ since last September (although, of course, we have been distant relatives for considerably longer), and it was then I had the opportunity to remind him of a childhood memory I have of him teaching me how to saw wood! I could only have been 5 or 6 as we moved away from the area after that, so it’s pretty much the only memory I have of him – yet he doesn’t remember it!  Memories are funny things; to him, sawing wood was probably something he’d done countless times before, and therefore didn’t rate big on the ‘memories-I-must-store-for-posterity’ scale.  I am sure that, for me, it sticks in my mind because it was such a grown-up thing to be allowed to do!

Anyway after posting my comment, which was to do with his use of (not .com, I have now discovered) for his practice’s blog at, I clicked over to WordPress to start contemplating a new post – and my eyes were drawn to this entry on today’s Freshly Pressed:

How To: Teach Sawing to a Young Student | woodshopcowboy.

So thanks, Mr. Patrick, for helping me find the inspiration for today’s post, and thanks too, Pete, for teaching me something you’ve forgotten you helped me with.

As Mr. Patrick says, “The only thing between a student and a cut-off finger is an attentive and knowledgeable teacher.”

My end of the seesaw is back in the air again…

“I’m on a seesaw…” – lyrics from The Mitford Girls

‘Seesaw: The Musical’

Defecting? No, defective…

Random thoughts have surfaced in the last few blogless months about defecting to another blog hosting platform. This has mainly been because I have been frustrated by the slowness of the WordPress interface – I often get no further than my dashboard before the page ‘freezes’ and I run out of time to even begin a post, let alone say anything meaningful.

So today, I decided I would migrate my blog to another platform, which I did, successfully, within just a few minutes. Hoorah! I could now unlease a new burst of creativity onto the world at large. But no, it wasn’t to be. No sooner had I viewed my neatly imported WordPress-created blog posts, the whole new interface crashed, leaving me with ‘connection error’ messages in pop-up boxes all over my screen.

Ooh, the irony of it! Switching tabs back to WordPress showed it working perfectly for the first time all day. Perhaps it was meant to be? At last, a few words have been posted – who knows, there may be more to follow…