Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

Although Daughter of Mine was actually very focused – concentrating hard whilst sewing badges onto her Guide camp blanket…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Evy: (Holds glass up) “Alright, I’m through,  I’m through. (Raises glass to lips and finishes it) There! Alright?

Here is the theatre pictured the morning after the last night of The Gingerbread Lady – we were well and truly ‘through’, with the props and furniture cleared, the set ready to take down and cast and crew ready to move back to their real lives.

In fact, the character of Evy, in Neil Simon’s The Gingerbread Lady, wasn’t ‘through’ with her drinking at all; this was merely the first glass of alcohol to pass her lips since coming out of rehab and the one that marked her return to the booze.

It was certainly a challenge and a privilege to play the part of Evy, and it was wonderful to work again with such an intuitive director. The last time we worked together was for the play The Memory of Water, which I found so creatively stimulating that it led me to start this blog as an outlet for my own memories and experiences.

The Gingerbread Lady has been different in many ways (including taking up so much time with line learning and rehearsing that I had little left over to do any blogging!), but ultimately still an amazing experience to work with another fabulous team of people, both on stage and backstage.

As Evy would say, “Glasses up, everyone!”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

Seen in Father-in-Law of Mine’s small vegetable patch at the side of his house (not thankfully, on his prize-winning allotment).

Yet he probably has no regrets about the sorry state of this lone tomato – he can’t stand them…

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

'Just' plastic bricks, but through your eyes they could be anything...

Son of Mine. His hopes. His dreams.

Today –  that maybe Mum will make time to construct a little more of Darth Maul’s Sith Infiltrator (“Mum, it amuses me, watching you struggle…”). And a very much looked-forward-to piano lesson.

Tomorrow – a visit to a friend’s house and his weekly football training with his local club.

This month – a fun half-term holiday, perhaps a visit to the cinema? That his request for his favourite dish of moules marinières isn’t ignored for much longer.

The future? Relayed to us at last night’s parents’ evening, overheard by his teacher: Son of Mine and his two best friends discussing university tuition fees, agreeing a house-share and mapping out future careers playing to their collectively agreed strengths – one in history, one in English and his own ‘specialist subject’ – maths.

Fly that kite as high as you want...

Daughter of Mine. Her hopes. Her dreams.

Today – that she manages to get her fruit smoothie, made in Food Tech, home without spilling it.

Tomorrow – to end the week without too much more homework, allowing some respite over the weekend to play in the promised snowfall.

This month – that she gets some time in half-term to hang, metaphorically speaking, sloth-like from the comfort of her bed, emerging only to have breakfast perhaps 30 minutes before the rest of the Family have lunch.

The future? Endless possibilities – secondary school is bringing out new favourites alongside the primary school years’ answers to ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Now, a 9-year old’s dream of being a scientist, electrical engineer or contemporary dancer have been thrown aside in favour of a soon-to-be-12-year old’s world of possibilities. A textile artist. A history teacher. Or something to do with music – she has recently found ‘her‘ instrument: the saxophone. Possibly languages, which at the moment, both excite and enthuse her.

My hopes for Children of Mine?

That they continue to enjoy learning at every stage of their life. That they stay healthy, happy and fulfilled in whatever path they choose to take. And like every other parent today, that they don’t rack up massive debt on the way to get to where they want to be; then realise they didn’t want to be there in the first place…

Oh, and that they’ll visit their grumpy old mum and dad when they’re settled in a little cottage in the Lake District.  Husband of Mine will be strumming his ukulele and mandolin in the pubs for beer money.  I will be avidly blogging, blipping, tweeting and Flickring (or their future equivalents) about my adventures on the fells.

For real.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Simple

“Fresh, warm bread. What is there like fresh, warm bread?

So say the villagers in Stephen Schwartz’s musical The Baker’s Wife, a lovely show which I was involved with in 2006. With Charming On-Stage (Ex)-Lover, over at Better Offer? funnily enough.

The line, “Plain and simple. Simple and plain. Water, salt and flour”, sung by the Baker when describing the delights of a freshly baked loaf to his new wife, was the first thing that came to mind when I saw this week’s challenge.  Shame the song – featured on the Original London Cast recording –  was cut from subsequent productions of the show due to its similarity with another song sung by the Baker – Merci Madame.

This loaf (alas, not baked by me) could have been described using many of the superlatives uttered in the show to describe freshly baked bread – “And that crust is really / pure temptation / perfect shape / perfect size / thrills the nose / fills the eyes / stomach juicing / drool inducing / flawless / wondrous…”

Especially when served for lunch with a variety of cheeses and caramelised onion chutney – yummy…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch

Happened to drive past Shoreham’s new lifeboat station today; thankfully I had my camera with me, so was able to stop and complete this week’s challenge!

The lifeboat has only been launched once so far this year – on New Year’s Day – when fortunately, the paddle boarder reported to be in distress was found to be safe and well and paddled into shore under his own steam.

The last call-out of 2011 didn’t have quite such a happy ending – sadly this fisherman’s severed hand could not be located and was presumed washed overboard.

Here’s a few more photographs taken around Shoreham’s lifeboat station, which conducts daily visits for anyone wanting to find out more about this vital service.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

What this photo tells you about me…

  • That I’ve attempted a cheesy self-portrait in my bedroom mirror whilst pretending I am a real photographer
  • That I haven’t learned enough about Photoshop to clone out the headboard or reverse the Sony wording on my camera
  • I have a red wall in my bedroom
  • I am married (or like to wear rings to look as if I am married)
  • I need to do something about the bag under my eye. Just the one. The other eye is fine.

What this photo doesn’t tell you about me…

  • I had to redo my self-portrait photo shoot when I realised, after downloading the photos, how much dust was on my mirror
  • The last time I took photos in my bedroom mirror I was probably singing into a hairbrush and pretending to be a West End star
  • I have learned enough about Photoshop to successfully crop out all the clutter that you would have been able to see beside me
  • I really like the top I was wearing
  • I actually really hate having photos of me – the ‘real’ me – taken, posted, shared, shown or generally just on display. I much prefer those of the characters I pretend to be, like these shots, interspersed with a few shots of the Lake District, which I use as my Twitter background: