Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I Had Grown My Beard Again...

And I planned to get rid of it by Friday but when I was shopping on Saturday someone said that it suited me, I'm still not sure but it does look better the longer that I let it grow so as it has at least twelve days of growth but I took another look yesterday and I decided that it had to go.

Not much to report over the last few days. I planned to go for my flu jab in the morning but switched to last night and walked into my Dr's surgery, there was no queue and I was out within five minutes, then I caught a bus and purchased  my special bus ticket that lasts approx for a week and allows unlimited rides across the whole of my county. I really only need it for tomorrow and next Saturday but as I can spend at least £16($25.87)on those two journeys alone  for another £9.50($15.36)I can do so much more, I may as well. If I make one more return journey it's paid for itself. I do dislike parting with the money but it does mean that is working out  approx £3.60($5.82)per day. So it is value.

If I reach the age of 62 I am entitled to a free bus pass, the bad news is that if this same Government gets into power they plan to scrap or put the entitlement for one further back, so I would not be eligible for many years to come. Many will be affected and those who need them most because they are without transport and on a low income/pension so it perhaps them getting to see more than the four walls at home or gets them a trip to the shops or see a friend, some social contact.

Last night it was the concert with Joe Brown(who's version of "I'll See You In My Dreams!" was played at Mum's funeral)It seems very special to him to and to have boosted his career to some extent.

Next Saturday it's Stacey Kent.

I guess if you choose certain songs they are played often, others such as Joe's song become a surprise hit, today it was one Mum liked really whoever sang it, this time it was "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" played as part of a tribute to Andy Williams who passed away earlier in the week and minutes ago Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera"" was on the radio. It is a little difficult but I did manage to listen.

I have altered this post but only slightly. So the original date of the post is incorrect but I am unable to change that and if I delete the post ,and repost I lose comments that have been left.

I will review the concert soon...

So this post is dated 2nd October 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So Soft...

I had another of my little shopping trips and discovered that another shop was selling my gloves cheaper than what I paid so I could have saved £3($4.87) but now I cannot be troubled to try and change them and attempt a refund.

However, I found some scarves for as little as £2($3.25)but they were not particularly soft, so not that warm for winter but for £5($8.12)I found one that is so soft(feels a bit like angora)but I have found that it is acrylic. Until recently I have not realised just how soft and warm that material is.

It has thin tassel's at either end but it is reversible. One side is wide stripes in black, white and grey. The other side has narrower stripes in black, white, grey and blue. It has to be hand washed and cannot be tumble dried. But it will probably be a long, long time before it will need washing.

I can't tell you the last time I have worn or purchased a scarf but I may as well have all the gear, what I buy now will probably last me the rest of my life.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Bruce And Norman At The London Palladium...

posted just because it's funny and a classic...no other reason...Happy Times. Chances are I saw this when it was broadcast as just about everyone watched Sunday Night At The London Palladium which seemed to get all the top stars of the time and that often meant visiting or international stars brought over for this weekly to top the bill.

If that looks old, I am watching a Christmas Day programme from commercial TV transmitted in 1972. I don't remember it but I probably did watch it. You know the type if you were around then...a studio made to look like a lounge in someones home, decorated with a Christmas Tree and decorations. An odd guest visiting to do a few jokes with the presenter or sing a song and lots of short sketches based on popular sitcoms of the day with a Christmas feel.

It looks as though it is taken directly from a master tape from the TV company as there is a digital clock ticking over all the time and when a commercial break takes place we see the equivalent of a film clapper board and you hear some of the banter between presenter and the audience which would not have been heard by the viewing public.

The presenter Jimmy Tarbuck is not on tv much these days but is still held the public's affection and he is appearing in 14 days in a theatre approx 30 miles away but there are very few seats left, I would need to change buses three times and it will take approx 3-4 hours travel time and I probably would have to stay over at a hotel for the night so that pushes the cost up considerably so I will have to decline this time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Messed Up My Blog Settings...

and could not fathom out how to fix the problem(my knowledge of computer HTML is virtually nil) the worry was that if I messed about I may lose the whole blog and all that I had written so far some of it is very personal especially what I have written about Mum...

However, except for two very small errors(one gave access to others to my template and a way into my settings)that has been removed so one problem has been fixed that may have existed for ages. The other one is the button that says IPower Blogger. I think when you clicked on that button you were taken somewhere...for now you stay put! It doesn't work.

However I have added for anyone wishing to use it(If English is not your main language)or you'd perhaps just like to see my blog in another language, a button on the right that you can click and search out another language, choose it, click on it and the text will change into that language but I have no idea how accurate this on line translator is...it looks ok though, though sometimes paragraphs run into one are big blocks of text, where at least in English I do try to break things up a little.

I must admit that my blog looks quite something in Japanese.

More Of The Same...

I'm getting my calories and hopefully all the vitamins/minerals that I should but eating less and still not hungry(If I was I would eat believe me)

Mainly using up what I have in the house and trying to avoid spending in the Supermarket at present.

So tonight I have had...
A bacon and fried egg muffin but I added some sliced tomato, a slice of Gouda cheese and spread something like Marmite(SM's own version)

I may have a cup a soup soon(Chicken and Veg)

And through the night perhaps some cereal, fruit and milk.

I've some catching up to do TV wise, mainly old TV rather than the programmes being aired now.

I did sleep quite well when I did decide to but though it was probably only minutes one dream was a bit of a nightmare and involved snakes(which I detest)though they are a wonder of nature. And another was more to do with repairs to the house(the roof)but I think if analysed that one will relate to worries about my home and how the future will turn out.

But generally I don't feel too bad all things considered.

Herbert Lom...

Another of those that I grew up with and seem to have been there all my life has passed away. This year seems to have been worse than some and hardly a day passes where the news does not mention someone. It seems more a case of guessing who will be next.

I suppose he will be remembered for the character he played in the series of comedy films The Pink Panther alongside Peter Sellers and I would argue like many character actors they don't get the recognition that they deserve but often are as important, often more so than the star whose name is in large letters on the posters and in the publicity, as they help make the star look good. Playing second banana may even mean that their careers last longer and they find more regular work.

I will remember him for another of my favourite films The Lady Killers and I have vague memories of a TV series he did in the 1960's called The Human Jungle Amazingly, so many of the cast are known to me but there is an early appearance of Susan George. The story could have been set in today's world and shows that things haven't changed that much...It's such a pity that so few programmes from TV's early days exist and what is seemingly is archived and not seen. It is not unusual for some not to be shown just because they are in black and white. Sometimes it comes down to a rights issue.

I came across a clip of Terry Thomas guesting on a Liberace show that was produced in England and I remember it airing on Sunday nights and was very popular but as someone said on You Tube it has never ever been repeated. I wonder what other gems have suffered the same fate.

Rest In Peace Herbert Lom

A Career In Cinema

Interview With Herbert Lom(available for a limited time)I finally found it with the help of one of my favourite radio presenters who e-mailed me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Look After Yourself...

I kind of know this already but I thought the feature was quite informed. I don't believe always having a healthy diet and lifestyle will mean that you never will become ill nor get a life threatening condition. I have looked after myself as Mum did and both of us have been hit by ill health but it does no harm trying to do what you can to stop/reverse ill health, as it happens, luckily I happen to like most of the foods that are mentioned here so it's no trouble following a diet that these items are included.

Eat Right For Healthy Eyes

Andy Williams...

What can I say another great passes away. We loved his music, loved his TV shows which I watched when I was child. Sadly, we see this happening more because it will and there are not many of who I see as the greats remaining anyhow.

Unfortunately older tv shows and music is not shown or heard as it should be in the UK so we are fortunate that there are some sites like You Tube even though sometimes you can only watch clips. And of course I have to mention the bear that always wanted a cookie and was told..."Not now, Not ever, Never!"

RIP Andy...

May Each Day and Moon River

Well, The Weather Has Been Bad...

most in the UK have seen it on tv or experienced it first hand. Floods/gale force...homes evacuated etc...

I was going to go out just to avoid getting stir crazy but then I thought, I have plenty of food and the basics so thought better of it and if I go out chances are I'll spend money.

It's been another cold day and even under the continental quilt or is that duvet I've been cold. My feet were like blocks of ice and with cold feet, the rest of you is...so as I have all these different things to help keep me warm even if the house isn't I took some tips from friends I talk to on the net and already one has worked so with some further twisting I may get even warmer...

This time I put a fleece blanket under a bed sheet on the mattress and I already feel quite toasty but as I have a mattress protector over it, I probably can get away without having to wash it very often if at all. It was a little shorter than I hoped but that area is under the pillow so it doesn't matter.

If it gets really cold I have other options like(and this another suggestion...)putting a summer quilt on the mattress and a winter one over me. Then I have brushed cotton PJ's and bed socks...not forgetting the old faithful Hot Water Bottle or electric blanket. So that should keep the central heating bill down a bit. I hope...

After a few days of eating well and trying to take an interest I only bothered with a cheese and tomato sandwich and some toasted buttered teacake with cheese but hope to have more later today.

I have spent the night watching TV and eating sweets and chocolate. Even had a couple of Mr Kipling Viennese Whirls(Perfectly OK)but they had a best before date for June.

I'd like to say something exciting had happened but things are just ticking over at present(I'll probably regret saying that)but that's better than having a nasty shock or a big worry to sort out.

I suspect that I am in the lull before the storm.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Is This A Bargain?

I spent approx £33 today...If I'd dropped one item I could have brought that down to under £20. I managed to get some more thermal socks(£5)actually cheaper than the last pair I purchased, if I can   find a missing sock that means I can rotate two pairs and have a spare pair. A pair of gloves(with fingers, dark grey)and a pair(without fingers, light grey)Again, if I can find a missing glove, that will mean I have two pairs that I can use and a spare to fall back on.

Both thermal and £4.50 each. A trouser belt £4.50 and finally and this is what I was undecided about but it wasn't badly priced, it looks OK and I think it will keep me warm. A Gilet in black(£15)Quilted fabric.

If it never gets used I haven't spent much but it could be handy on those days where there is a chill in the air.

I was debating whether a fleece one would be better and what colour to go for but it looks fine. If I can avoid going out and having to use taxi's/buses money I might have spent on travelling you could say has been spent on something tangible.

I may not be out much but it's good to have all the right gear and look reasonably smart(even if indoors you slouch around in casual clothes)that have seen better days but keep you as warm as you can be even if you have to leave the heating off.

Update:It's nearly 10.30 at night and it's b***** cold. The weather is horrible, winter has come early. So tomorrow I may start using a hot water bottle, get back into my PJ's and get the old thermal socks on...if it stays as cold as it was when I went out today, I'm going to start wearing my gloves. During the day switch to jumpers and cardigans or keep the PJ's on plus a dressing gown, I have some slippers too. I may start wearing my fingerless gloves too. I can also wear thermal underwear.

I could consider a thicker continental quilt or using an electric blanket on the bed so there are a few options I can play around with, Some people have talked about an old standby I had forgotten about...flannelet sheets.

I plan to watch a bit of TV on the laptop through the night to catch up on(Last night I watched four hours of old Jack Benny Shows)and I have a meal cooking in the slow cooker, I've thrown just a bunch of ingredients in there, it will work or fail...fried bacon pieces and sliced onions, potatoes, celery, sliced mushrooms, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and gravy.

On The Wages...

most are being paid, many are looking for work, struggling to pay bills, getting hammered if you have to take help from the State, by seeing the amount reduced, withdrawn, refused by changes coming in, the Government have now come up with the following idea.

I'll just link to the story. Click on this link...

Many people are unsure that they will have a decent pension when they retire whether they have saved privately or not. No one knows what their savings will be like never mind a pension. Many continue to help their children(if they have family)all through their lives whatever their age, they always have...financially or in kind. It's an idea for now.

Another idea is being introduced this week. If you work you will be automatically enrolled into a scheme where a certain percentage will be taken from your wage each week and supposedly given back to you when you retire as part of your pension but if the wages are already low and you are having difficulty living on the wage you receive to see it reduced still further must be a worry. Perhaps it could  mean that you will have to apply for help from the State to make up the income lost now.

How much more do they think the ordinary person in the street has?

Savings and property for a long time has had to go towards the care of those whose needs for care increases as their health deteriorates and care may be needed either in your home or you perhaps are put into a Nursing Home so spare cash to help your family is not guaranteed unless you try to diverse yourself of capital over the years because the days have gone where your assets were passed onto family at your demise. And as more people live longer this will happen even more and of course many have no families and are single so lots of money does go back to the State.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

There Was A Discussion On The Radio...

yesterday and it was about the loss of someone and the over all opinion of those affected and the experts is that there is no right or wrong way to cope with grief nor a right amount of time to grieve.

However, the suggestion was that it can take as long as five years to come to terms with such a traumatic event. And that you may think it's all going well but that the second year can be harder than the first.

Funnily enough when I attended Mum's remembrance service afterwards I talked to someone who lost his wife and thought he was doing well and in the second year went down with serious depression and needed to seek help from his Doctor, so maybe I am following the same path.

So far I think that I am doing quite well all things considered.

Lodger Or No Lodger...

Some specials at Aldi's today were tempting and good value for the future. I need two new mattresses even if I don't buy a new bed for the lodger and myself but then again there are new continental quilts, mattress toppers etc...that have that memory trait buy everything I would be spending approx £200 but for now I'd rather save/avoid spending at present. Possibly that's false economy.

Anyhow, I have found that a shop on town have some nice Men's jumpers starting at £10($16.23) but haven't decided if I should. I see the same store is selling a selection of gilets which I have been considering but when I was window shopping today there were no prices next to them. I'll look tomorrow but they had two things that I will buy. They are thermal gloves, the annoying thing is I have a pair but cannot find one of them but if it turns up I'll have a spare pair. Also for the first time ever I am buying some fingerless gloves too.

Not doing much today but have eaten more...I'm missing some of that out but in the early hours of the morning I was eating belly pork, casserole vegetables and potatoes.

Today, I have had some toasted teacake and cheese and later I am having an omelet with bacon pieces, onion and some sliced potatoes(the last ingredient leftover from the previous meal)

So if I have that I'm doing ok. And I'm still not worrying about necessarily sticking to use by/best before dates.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Little Bit Thoughtful, Little Bit Worried...

Thinking of the future again. The idea of getting a lodger in is going through my mind. It's either a daft idea or the best way forward.

If I was older(retired/pensioner)things would stay much as it is now...

But more information coming my way makes me wonder if I am at my most thrifty/frugal I can absorb the extra money I need to stay put. Not helped by the fact that small properties are few so many have to stay put and have no choice.

From what I gather the problem is that I might be able to manage a slight increase in the Council Tax, the new Bedroom Tax, slight increase in Rent, the utility bills(if I use less)It will be difficult but possible. But a lot of people forget that there is also water rates to pay. I reckon that means even putting the cost of food and the internet/phone line rental out of the equation that is quite a lot of extra money to find weekly.

But the killer will be if my benefit that helps towards my health problems was to stop and no one knows what will happen on that score until it happens. The other problem being that what I receive is being being scrapped and if you can still qualify the replacement is 20% less so that combined with the other changes would reduce my income even further.

So the lodger idea if allowed may be my only option. I have two small bedrooms which if acceptable the lodger could choose from and I would be willing to give access to most of my home, phone and access to the internet, use of the kitchen. Probably share my food and use my kitchen gadgets. Put a TV, microwave and kettle in the lodger's room. A chest of draws(there is already a kind of built in wardrobe with enough room for clothes and some personal possessions)

I have a single bed that I can put in the room. It just requires a new mattress.

Just have to find the right amount to charge(assuming someone likes the room/house/me)

It has been suggested in an article that I read to try and consider getting a lodger that works away from home during the week and goes home at weekends so you still have some control/privacy over your home/life.

I think I could accept a lodger but sleeping with a stranger in the same house will be what will take most getting used to.

But again still too much remains unknown.

Even if I could downsize unless you can find a one bedroom property, there is little difference shifting for one bedroom and if I was across town the money it would cost to travel around could be as much as paying all the extra cost staying put...

There are going to be many affected by what is happening but it has not really hit home yet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thinking Of Eating More Today...

Chicken casserole prepared in the slow cooker(Vegetables/gravy and potatoes)I think and so easy to prepare.

When I have Breakfast(when)possibly cereal, fruit and milk(for an extra 10p I am now buying small one litre cartons(more likely to use that size)and not waste it but depending on which I purchase they both have a different variety of added vitamins so seems a good buy to me...also though fresh it has a longer sell by date on them.

I have some lovely yogurts in the house(I am fairly new to yogurt)so may have one of those later in the day. Limited editions on most I have in the fridge but they were all on special offer(half price)or to buy four it was £1.75 but for another 25p I could have eight!

I would like to reorganise my fridge/freezer soon and ave everything neat and tidy and in food storage boxes or freezer bags with dates on them and if everything is stored in uniform containers, I should be able to get more in the fridge/freezer, it will be easier to move around and see what I have.

Well the other day it was a book by Nicholas Parsons that arrived, now I am waiting for my ear plugs...good job it is a one off payment and I had some money to afford them. They look good(they are said to be the best)and are being sold by the RNID(Royal National Institute For the Deaf)

They have a new name now apparently but the same organisation. Not being many places where there is loud noise I haven't considered them before so if I have any hearing loss already I am unaware but now that I have been to a few theatre shows and in particular I will now be at some where I will be only a couple of feet away from the stage and they are big bands and pop groups I think this is a good idea.

If they are only used for these few shows and never again, they've served their purpose and if I do manage to get to more shows in the coming years I am prepared...

Ear Plugs

First show that they'll be put to most use stars Stacey Kent(US artist)on a big tour at present all over the place, Brazil, Turkey, UK etc...and when I see her she will have been the UK only a few days and after my concert jets out to some exotic country again so though Neil Sedaka is just a few miles away and had I known I might have gone there, it should be a good night and I hope plenty of people turn up. She is still one of today's top international artists.

I'll have to let quite a lot of shows go sadly. I see the venue where Neil is appearing has Mary Chapin Carpenter and Don Maclean coming soon too...and I bet it is sold out but the John Wilson Orchestra is appearing there too. It's too difficult to get there using buses. The tickets aren't badly priced. I'm in the wrong part of the county I guess.

Monday, September 17, 2012

As Good As His Word...

A knock at the door...a postman waiting...with package!

My signed autobiography from Nicholas Parsons has arrived.

For anyone who does not know him, click on the link and you can see a quick video of him working with a beloved comedian from 50 years ago, Arthur Haynes(I guess he was approx 36 years old then)and he also crops up talking about the comedian as he is now approx 88 years old.

I don't know how long this will be available but his most famous radio show was put on TV years ago by a commercial TV station and they thought it was a failure but earlier this year the BBC had another go and it did well. I couldn't see it as it was shown at the time Mum was very ill and then in the Nursing home for approx a month but I have discovered some of them are on You Tube so I am going to give them a look in the next day or two...so are split into two halves but this one is complete.

Just A Minute

Considering That I Have Been Watching...

the local theatre websites somehow I missed the chance to see a concert starring Neil Sedaka, it's sold out and I have no idea how I missed this concert. Unless it was slipped in to the schedule at short notice.

The really big venues that now attract the international artists are approx 31 miles away but thankfully some still play the smaller theatres within roughly a 7-12 mile radius...

I wish the transport was better to the Sage in Gateshead...I have to either use taxis(too expensive)or use two buses by going to Durham and then switch to a different bus company and travel for another fifty minutes. Trains are difficult and do not go directly to Gateshead, you'd have to go to Newcastle and then double back to Gateshead. And should provincial theatre close we will lose out culturally.

I'll still enjoy who I am seeing on the same night, Stacy Kent and a big band but I could have travelled an extra 13 miles or so and seen a really big international music icon...oh well! The venue is fantastic and ticket prices not bad, its down to the cost of getting there and difficulty.

Pity it's a musical rather than a concert but unless it is cancelled or I am ill at the time,who would have thought that next year our local little theatre would have three of the Osmonds appearing?

My worry is that the musical shows that I will see in Durham I have a great view but I am so close my hearing may suffer so I may have to stuff my ears full of cotton wool to avoid damaging it. I may see if I can get some ear plugs of some kind...I had no idea I was so close when the seats were booked, fine for speech shows but pop groups and big bands perhaps not.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Sixties Gold Tour...

 launched on September 14th so this was day two...Chip Hawkes had to cancel his appearance and it would appear that he is seriously ill and they said tonight that he needs a  lot of treatment. His replacement was...Chris Farlowe and he was seemingly doing tonight as a favour but he is appearing on his own European tour and is appearing at another theatre in the area later in the week...the same one that I saw Nicholas Parsons, so in a roundabout way this was an extra surprise. Though, it is sad about Chip and I wish him well...

Chris sounded great but it was commented on and noticed by many how hunchbacked he was and I did hear sometime ago that he too had been seriously ill. He's on a European tour at present but as I said I know he is appearing locally in a few days...

PJ Proby was larger than life and still played his persona.

The Animals were great(and that was with only two original members of the group)They were the keyboard player and drummer.

Gerry Marsden was billed as being with his Pacemakers but really it was just him and the band was pretty much the same one that had been on stage most of the night.

The controversy came at the end of the night when he finished with a song always associated with him and the football club  from his home town "You'll Never Walk Alone!" It was because of the story that has been in and out of the news for approx 20 years and has been  proven to have been a cover up by the Police and the "Establishment"

 I may have link to the story later for readers outside of the country.

Gerry could have left it simply by saying this is is a tribute and in memory of those who lost their lives and even said "We Won!" but he went into a tirade(I can understand his language and why he used certain words)but after what was meant to be a night of entertainment and fun, he perhaps went a little to far. He still could have made his point.  And I did catch a few people's comments as they walked out of the theatre and they thought he had gone just that little bit too far. I quite understand the anger and hurt but on a night that was supposed to be uplifting and fun, as the rest of the night was and it cost a fair bit, I know that I generally go out to try and get a couple of hours away from my troubles in life and I am sure the rest of the audience felt that way.

But yes a good night and the audience was very responsive.

Hillsborough Disaster

The groups featured are playing across the country together and yet looking at the itinerary they keep splitting off and appearing singularly sometimes in large venues and other times in quite an initimate setting.

Can you believe the other day I found Matthews Southern Comfort are even touring the UK...It's amazing just who is.fainting smileyI only know one song of theirs...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Perhaps It's The Music...That Wins You Over Before Everything Else...

Last night I saw The Rat Pack...

A recreation...well, a facsimile of the kind of concert given by Sinatra, Martin and Davis Jr and we had songs and a bit of patter. We had a four piece band(Saxophones, trombone and trumpet)Drums, Double Bass/Guitar, Keyboard and Synthesiser.

Amongst the musicians one of them used to be the musical Director for Joe Longthorne and another wrote arrangements for and played with Buddy Greco...

The main performers were reasonable at taking off the "The Rat Pack" but did some songs better than others and I think they were better at the slower numbers than perhaps the more upbeat songs.

Perhaps it's just me but I actually preferred the music accompaniment without the synthesiser, it was supposed to give the impression of strings...it didn't and the sound was rich enough without it.

Now, I don't know how they felt having played the whole show, having been on stage all night and the show overrun by thirty minutes but unbeknown to the audience there was a special guest, not mentioned on any of the flyers promoting the production, we did not even know there was a guest!

He did a little stand up comic routine and sang five songs and the audience response was loudest for him and there were shouts of "More" He got the best reaction of the night.

Who I hear you cry?

An all round entertainer of the 60's I suppose and often on tv for most of my childhood. I think I last saw him on stage in summer season in Bournemouth perhaps 32 years ago and it was one if the happiest shows I ever saw with my parents and he was on the bill with someone who he seemed to appear with a lot, the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck.

Not him...but Kenny Lynch. I looked him up on the internet and he is now seventy four. These are all performers who  have learnt their craft and put their time in...most of those who appear today have never real worked a crowd by coming up through the clubs and theatres. Venues that are intimate. Some seem to go straight into the music business/tv but most of those are soon forgotten and their careers short lived.

They play large venues built like aircraft hangers and use large tv screens and all the latest effects.
These shows are more straight forward and simple. They can still hold and work a crowd. It is obvious from the reaction that he is still held in great affection in the British publics hearts even if they are of a certain age.

All in all a great show and though I thought I had missed my last bus home and might have to get a taxi...I wasn't leaving until it ended. And though I had to hang around for approx thirty minutes at a bus stop in the centre of town there was one last bus to get me home.

Tonight I am not going to worry about trying to hurry after the show. I'll take my time...I have a break for a 16 days and then there a few more lined up, a couple in September and a couple in October and then nothing until January.

Next year one production I have booked now(in case money is tight...I know it will be)has three members of The Osmonds in the cast. Including "Little" Jimmy Osmond. And it's years since I went to a drama, celebrating 60 years of being on the West End Stage, London there is a touring version with an unannounced star cast of the Agatha Christie novel "The Mousetrap" that happens in June!

So tonight, it's a blast from the past with the 60's pop group Gerry and the Pacemakers, PJ Proby and though billed as the Animals(I think only two original members still exist)and there is the lead singer of another 60's band The Tremeloes, Chip Hawkes who no doubt will sing songs associated with his former band.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two For The Price Of One...

Well, it is obviously that in many ways provisional theatre is suffering as once again there were quite a number of empty seats.

This was a production recreating a kind of concert by Buddy Holly and the Crickets plus a guest spot by a 60's pop idol(I don't think he was ever as popular as the likes of Marty Wilde/Billy Fury)but he's still performing and has branched out into acting as well as singing Jess Conrad.

Now I like a bit of Rock n Roll and many years ago I did see a production of the life story of Buddy Holly that had originally been produced in London's West End when it too up a Summer Season in Bournemouth. That was fantastic.

The last half was a recreation of the last concert Buddy gave before the plane crash that took his life and they had performers also playing the parts of the others in that concert.

I have to say that the guy playing the part of Buddy last night was a pretty good likeness, he did have personality and he could play the guitar, sing like Buddy and had all of his mannerisms. They went through probably all of Buddy's repertoire as far as I know(certainly all of his well known material)

They even stuck in a couple of extras associated with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.

Jess Conrad did a fair few songs of the era(I thought he might of sung some his songs from the 60's)but he avoided them. He also did a bit of a stand up routine too.

And yet...I can not explain why. I did not really enjoy the show. I found my mind wondering and switching off. It did not hold my interest as the other shows have managed to and whereas I have thought about the other shows I have seen afterwards and they still make me smile, this one did not manage to do that.

To be honest few in the area of the theatre I was seated seemed to be moving to the music much at all. Though one female really did let go and was moving for the whole time the show was on. So someone enjoyed it! I would say there was polite applause.

Rick Wakeman the previous night I can tell you this was class...A wonderful musician, good quality sound so you could hear him and he wasn't swamped by a loud backing track that was very basey and he also had personality too...in between the music he was able to tell his anecdotal stories which were funny but also thoughtful.

Hard to believe that we were seeing a rock musician who can fill some of the largest venues around the world appearing with some of the greatest orchestras and effects etc...and yet he can take time out to keep it simple by just performing with a piano and come to a small theatre. You can tell that he was originally classically trained. I have to admit that I knew very little about his music. I know of bands h has appeared with over the years such as The Strawbs and Yes. I also know that he used to be a session musician and sometimes this means that you don't get a credit. Two songs could not be more different that featured him...Grandad by Clive Dunn and Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens. His fee for that song was...£9.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Amazingly, the day that happened Mum and myself decided to go to the neighbouring town to do some shopping I think the idea was I was looking for a new coat.

We came home around teatime and I put the tv on to watch a kind of tv word quiz that is quite popular and instead the horrible events we all know of were being played out and it did take a while for us to realise what we were watching. What a lot has happened since then worldwide and personally in all our lives. Amazing that eleven years have passed by...

Last night, well the early part of this morning I did something I haven't really done before I set up four glass globes with tea light candles in them and they looked so pretty. You could not read by them but they really were quite beautiful. I now realise that they were burning on the anniversary of 9/11 so I like to think that I was lighting a candle in memory of all who lost their lives during this horrible event.

I Decided I Must Use My Bus Ticket...

Pity to waste it. Be nice to have somewhere nice to go but there is isn't much that has a regular bus service. Unless you are mainly going to main destinations so that usually means large towns/city centres and that means shops and most towns have the same outlets and...you need money to spend...

Bus fares aren't cheap, I have been told that our main bus company has increased their fares and in the next breath towards the end of the year another service is being withdrawn. One does cut a swathe through the county and manages to run every 30 minutes between Durham and Darlington and long may it continue...a more local service after 5.30pm seems to drop back to an hourly service. And seeing how few use it I can see why then again perhaps the fact it is only available hourly might be the reason people don't use it.

I have this ticket that allows me to use the bus this week as often as I wish across the whole of the county and it's worked out at approx £3.50 a day and the other night I managed to go to Durham and back(total of approx 24 miles)and yet some guy got a single journey from a town approx 3 miles from here and he had to pay £2.40 so I was already in pocket by comparison.

I think a single journey of approx 7 miles is around £5 so a return or special ticket is a good idea but I can see why many people don't go out much...the only good thing is that it is less expensive than a taxi.

My journey to Durham and back by taxi would have cost me approx £36 more...

The disadvantage is the attempted walk at either end and having to hang around in a bus station or at a bus stop for quite a long time and perhaps not feeling safe if it is late.

Well, I had no reason really to use the ticket yesterday but I felt that I was wasting it if I didn't so i did go to a neighbouring town and did a little shop(and it was a little shop)but I was fortunate to get some fresh fish that had been reduced and some other bits and pieces which at a normal price of a bus ride or taxi would not have been worth doing as you have been spending it on the fare but as I had already paid it was worth it but because of the lack of buses I had to fill in time waiting for a bus to get me home so that stuck a couple of hours onto the trip. So I didn't get home until 9pm and by then it was raining heavily.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Had Another Dream Again...

Could be another anxiety dream and also part of the grieving process...

Don't remember much and some really is not important but both Mum and Dad were in it.

However the bedroom tax played its part(I suppose worrying about finances in general)but basically I was saying "We've nothing to worry about!" As "You are both alive!" "and "If anything happens to one you, we're still OK!" "As we have enough to pay for one room even if money is tight."

Then I woke up and for a split second I forgot that my parents have passed away, that I am alone and all these changes coming in(Not just for me, before I get criticised)

I can't remember another time when I have dreamt about finances in a dream.

I know that not all dreams are nice but when you are asleep(and don't dream)or you have a dream where everything is nice, it's a great place to escape to...but then you still have to come back to reality...

Before I saw Nicholas Parsons last night, three youngish lads were doing no harm and obviously hadn't a care in the world. There were riding their bikes. They stopped by the theatre just to use the public toilets and then hopped back on their bikes and then somone shouted something about "I know where to go...The Snooker Hall!" and they dashed off at great speed laughing and joking.

I wonder if they realise what life has in store for them? I don't suppose that they do. I assume they are still at home with parents but once they have to start looking for work, thinking about the future and the responsibilities it brings, looking for work, trying to claim any benefits they are entitled, finding relationships, losing loved ones, illness, getting older etc...no wonder many of us lose the "Joy" of living and the older we the pleasures reduce or become simpler and the chance to do something that's fun decrease.

It's not always so but really our childhoods are the best years of our lives and too much of it is spent worrying about the future and knowing what we are all heading towards.

Some of us may be living longer but are we really benefiting by doing so perhaps it was better having a shorter life but being healthier and not ending up with medical conditions that perhaps can be controlled but restrict what we can do and the thought of ending up in a home terrifies me.

Nicholas Parsons...

Another show to review..

Well, it was an intimate one man show...Great night, lots of interesting stories about his life and career in "Show business" It was a wonderful night and I could've listened to him for ages.

Met him and decided to buy his book(autographed of course)but when it was my turn, he'd run out of them.

However, he has my name and address and he was thankful I offered to pay the postage and when he gets home...he's mailing a copy to me.

Again, I cannot say otherwise, lots of empty seats but he still went on and gave us our money's worth nearly 2 hours. Not having been to that theatre before it was interesting finding out where it was and how far from the Bus Station.

Thankfully I had allowed plenty of time and was able to sit in the market place for around an hour and have a rest. Also I was a little better coming home compared to Friday but I done very little over the weekend and I took some painkillers before I went out this afternoon.

I found a fish and chip shop selling lovely food and would have liked to have had both but I settled on a portion of chips and if they are open again when I am next in Durham I shall call again.

I had a great seat, practically centre stage and no one in front of me. But I now know that when the music shows come such as Syd Lawrence Big Band, Stacy Kent, Clare Teal and The Searchers, the views will be great but they will be so loud because of where I am situated. I will have to save my hearing by investing in some ear plugs or stick lots of cotton wool in my ears...

The Joe Longthorne concert a few days ago was pretty loud and I was up in the circle...

It's approx 28 years since I last visited the city centre and...there are lovely places in County Durham and much to be proud of and Durham has the Cathedral and Castle going for it. Must have a look at them again sometime soon but I am sorry much as I found when I last visited another town I used to work and visit most of life(Darlington)they are both dumps and unless I have a very good reason for going out of town, I'd rather not bother visiting either.

And most of the shops are similar. Then again, if you haven't the money or are having to watch what you spend there isn't much point going around the shops but you know that's what most of our days out thes days consist of...shopping.

Nostalgically, I did pass a kind of an alleyway and though time has passed I recognised it and it brought back memories of when a penfriend visited here 28 years ago and I had a photo of her standing where this entrance to a street takes you to the Cathedral and Castle. So much time has passed and such a lot has happened.

I am well fed now having just had a small can of spaghetti hoops, some pork meatballs and some toast. So I'll watch a little tv on the laptop before turning in...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why Do I Have A Re-occurring Dream?

It changes ever so slightly and sometimes though it feels like I have been dreaming for ages and often it is only minutes.

I had it this morning, can't quite remember where I was but I think I was with Mum and suddenly thought "My pet rabbit Sandlewood!" I have forgotten to feed/water her and it's been over a week...That is always the central theme of this dream.

This time I spent the dream trying to get back home to her but was on foot and really struggling and so slow(Briefly I don't know why I saw my Grandma and Aunt Jessie)as tried to get home which eventually I did. And though my rabbit was very small and obviously affected by not being fed she was alive and I did get to her in time.

I do seem to have this dream or something similar quite often...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Off My Food Again...

Well, I say that I am...I have seen some lovely images of some meals I would love to be eating now and I can almost taste them but it is having to prepare it myself and making the effort, if someone said here's a meal all cooked or come and join us and it was just to be eaten that would be lovely.

I think that I could make myself do more even if I was cooking for two...

It's a bit misleading saying I am off food, its just that I am not as hungry but some might say that is the same thing.

Tomorrow I may try to cook a kind Sunday lunch with potatoes or mashed potatoes, vegetables, gravy and some meat(I may cheat and use up my Quorn Chicken Pieces)in fact I could do most of this in the slow cooker so I have no excuse that it won't be easy.

For now I'll have a cup a soup...

Right, update...

I have some pork meatballs to use up so I am going to use some of them, some kind of gravy, they are past their date but seem ok so I'm going to slice up some leeks, put some potatoes in their too, may add some frozen veg too, stick it in the slow cooker and see what comes out...couldn't be an easier meal really, no effort to speak of.

If I set it away mid morning tomorrow, I can have a decent meal before I go to the theatre tomorrow night.

I may just go for something simple seeing it is evening now and have some cereal, fruit and milk...

Joe Longthorne...

How nice to be able to forget my troubles and worries for a couple of hours and I know that I was smiling. It has to be some thing like 25 years since "We" saw Joe when he was in summer season in Bournemouth, we were not disappointed then and I was not disappointed last night.

I don't know what went wrong but for the first 75 minutes there were to be honest quite a few empty seats in my area of the theatre and then most of those seats filled up and the ushers were bringing people in. I don't know how that worked because the Box Office would be closed by then so whether they were late or there was another reason for what happened I don't know.

But where I was sat I had a good view anyhow but three seats remained empty so my view could not have been better.

Joe's website is pretty good and has lots of information and  quite a lot of music and worth a look if you don't know him.

Joe Longthorne

The show started promptly at 7.30pm with a female stand up comic who eventually won the audience over but was more in the stamp of the kind of act you probably associate with the old club land especially around the North. She was ok but I would have preferred a shorter show and lost her. I still never caught her name and it was not on any pf the posters around the theatre. She did approx 30 minutes and we went into a 20 minute interval.

At 8.20pm Joe came on stage and entertained for 90 minutes, dressed reasonably informally in a suit, open necked short and a pair of trainers.

He did impressions of various tv personalities and did some patter. He did some impressions of singers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Des O'Connor, Engelbert Humperdink, Julio Ingleias, Neil Diamond.

But plenty of songs as himself too and really his choice was varied but all sure winners, all standards whether from the past or reasonably up to date. My memory is not what it was and try as I may I cannot remember as many of the songs he sang but the selection included Mandy, Till, I Left My Heart In San Francisco, The Wind Beneath My Wings, When You Walk In The Room, To All The Girls I've Loved Before, September In The Rain, Something, Love Is All, The Impossible Dream...

Someone in the audience must have been visiting family and had come along to see the show arranged by relatives and he mentioned this but next month he appears and tours in...Australia.

In fact he is touring in a variety of places up to and after Christmas so he has quite a long few months ahead. In fact performers like Joe and others really put the time in and do many dates. 50+ dates seems the norm for most of them.

Rick Wakeman who I see on Wednesday is part of a show with many comics this Sunday in London celebrating "The Golden Years Of Variety" that I would have loved to have seen and the ticket prices for a London show are quite reasonable. But it is said he  does not do many shows so if you catch one you are lucky.

I needed to rest upon coming home so will take it easy over the next day or so and then  it all starts again...different type of show on Sunday, the veteran straight man, actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons has a one man show no doubt full of anecdotes about his life and working with some of the UK's best known comedians etc...

I'll Review My Theatre Show Soon...

I managed to use the buses for a change and doing so I saved £17 of taxi fares and luckily it worked like clockwork...So that means I have a little extra in my pocket or perhaps can see an extra show if something comes up.

Left my town 18.05. Arrived at the town where the theatre is approx 18.30. That bus was near the next stop  that runs to outside the theatre so I was there for approx 18.45. It came out around 21.45 and a bus arrived over the road at 21.54 back to the town centre and the bus to bring me home arrived at 22.20 and I was back in my town around 22.35 and home by 23.05. But I was shattered walking from the bus stop to home and had to go straight to bed and lay down taking pain killers. I need  to allow plenty of time.

That was the worst part of the night but I have to say I did not feel frightened or vulnerable being in amongst people on a busy Friday night at a variety of pubs etc...when I got back to my own town I was alone and did not see anyone all the way home.

Update:Not a good night of sleep I'm afraid, I could not get comfortable, I was in pain(and the painkillers did not help much)it took until near 6am to finally manage to drift off...

I hear the theatre is approx 10 minutes from the bus station where I am tomorrow so I may use the bus to go there but this time get a taxi home for my comfort and safety. We'll see...

Friday, September 07, 2012

Gas And Electric...

Well, there is always the worry that if my income drops this will be too expensive but the energy company say that my electric use is very low and they have set my monthly Direct Debit at £42(which remember includes standing charges)so really if it wasn't for the SC's that bill would be even less and or it could mean that I could use more electric.

Also, they have set the monthly gas bill at £10 of which approx £3-£4 is standing charges now that may have to be increased but again I have stopped using the CH and just keep the water warm so if I can keep costs down by being thrifty we're talking of approx £55 a month.

Now, if I don't lose all my benefits in the future and I can watch what I spend on food, the extra saved on the utility bills can be redirected to helping me to absorb the extra costs regarding the new Bedroom Tax, and changes to the Council tax and rent. They always go up whether you rent privately or from a council/Housing Association.

Then I may be able to stay put and be alone or the idea of a lodger may be very attractive.  For now though I am going to still think that my utility bills are £100 a month and keep so spare just in case...

Hope The Weather Improves For My Theatre Trip...

but may have to opt for warmer clothes as there is quite a wind blowing but at least it isn't raining.

I had one good meal yesterday and won't come to any harm. I know they say be careful about food with a use by date but if something looks ok and is going to be well cooked and piping hot I am sometimes prepared to take the risk.

So as I had had two mackerel fillets on Tuesday(the day after the use by date)I had the other two in the fridge so rather than throw them out I had them with a salad and two soft buttered bread buns and they were fine...so they are working out around 70p a fillet and you could probably get away with using one at a time.

Well, I'll have to decide whether to eat something mid afternoon later today or have a supper when I come in(I could do some bacon baps) for my supper, that could be nice. I thought about popping something into the Slow Cooker whilst I am out but I'll keep it simple.

May have a late Breakfast that will keep my energy up, a nice big bowl of cereal, milk and fruit. I can't do toast having no bread. A cup of coffee perhaps.

Update:7th September 2012:I have some milk that had to be used by the 6th September but as it is in a decent fridge and its that fresh milk that lasts longer than a few days when opened, I have looked at it, smelt it and it has not gone sour so again I am not wasting food. Where again, I might have thrown it out. Bit of common sense again...

The weather has improved again so hopefully it will stay that way tonight. I am getting a little excited about my trip, it seemed ages away but it soon comes around.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

If Money Was No Object...

And if it encourages the population to eat well companies like Wiltshire Foods are B***** good value. I mean the choice and range offered is great and they are delivered to your door so you have to take that into consideration and for the older people in our community how great that all you do is choose what you fancy, it arrives prepared, put it in the freezer and when you are ready, into the oven or microwave.

I would happily use such a service but I'm afraid many of these lovely meals are still more expensive than what I can buy in the local supermarket or order on line or do myself. So to some extent it is a luxury.

But good luck to them, it's a great idea but as food prices rise it will interesting to see how their prices are affected and whether buying contents in bulk how much they can keep prices at an attractive level so they make a profit and the customer base remains intact or increases.

The truth is that we should be eating high quality food and they often say "Cheap" food is coming to an end so the price probably reflects what we should be paying but I have to try and feed myself across the whole day for £2 and less.

So this post is not criticising, rather the reverse...the thruth is more that the cost of living is too high and wages/benefits too low...

No doubt it will be shown around the world but many in the UK are looking forward to a new series on tv showing what life was like on a farm during WWII. The book of the series has been released already and is doing very well...

Guess what it's called "Wartime Farm"

It might turn up on PBS in the states...we now have PBS in the UK but it's not on the platform I have at present but I do listen to and download some podcasts from NPR...

I am a great believer in comfort food and it can be so tasty and inexpensive and not difficult to prepare/cook.

I'll Try And Tidy Myself Up For Tomorrow...

Just smart casual...for the theatre...trousers(naturally)Shirt, might look for a tie but a lot of the shirts that  I wear are not seen with ties, I have light jerkin type jacket I think I can get away with rather than a heavy coat for outside. This is for the theatre of course...

I'm leaving getting shaved until tomorrow too, think I'll buy a day saver ticket then I can use to travel to the neighbouring town, catch a bus down to the theatre and do it in reverse when I come out.

Did a little shopping, money doesn't go far does it? I purchased some potatoes(originally there were some new potatoes on offer for £1 and two packets of potatoes that you could do small jacket potatoes for £1 but I had already put off buying my Roosters potatoes because they were £2.19 so I decided to put those back and get my original choice as they were only costing my an extra 19p...and then I saw a virtually similar type of potato variety called Desiree and they were only £2 but had extra in the packet 2.5Kg not just 2Kg so I went for them. It all helps.

I wanted salad items the only good thing was they did have some little extras going on...

Eight tomatoes for £1 instead of six, one bunch of spring onions 90p or two bunches for £1, Celery Hearts for £1 but I had a voucher that reduced the price to 65p, I cannot eat a full lettuce and some of the packets soon go off when opened but for £1.25 there was a twin packet of shredded Ice Berg Lettuce with enough for me. But just for those there's £6 but if you want to eat healthily what can you do?

I also purchased a twin pack of broccoli and cauliflower for £1(a proper full head is probably better value but if you can't eat it all...)I also bought a packet of Curly Kale that was £1. So we're already up to £8. My only concession is a fortnightly magazine whilst I can afford it that works out around at £2. That's £10.

Now as I tend to have a light breakfast and am always looking for bargains I found the full range of Belvita Breakfast Biscuits by Nabisco had been reduced to half price so if I make them last and eat either the recommended 4 biscuits with some fruit or a small yogurt and a cup of tea or coffee that is all the calories I need and a slow release of energy or may get away with just two biscuits.Smiley eating 14.gif

And though that cost me approx £7 in another way I have saved £7 and I might not have considered them at the original price and they have a good long date on them and it's working out approx 17p per day per portion. Coffee may work out around 10p or a small drink of milk perhaps 20p and the yogurt drinks I purchased today are normally £2.25 for four so I would have voided them but an offer was on and I was able to buy eight for £2.25 so that brought the price down to approx 31p per drink and a couple of strawberries perhaps so my Breakfast will cost around 80p, don't think I can get it down much further.

The new Kellogg's range which I nearly considered were double that price and was slightly less in weight and they only had three flavours. Though they did look nice. Another time perhaps...

Anyhow that's coming at around £19 so far. I purchased some mackerel again and some milk that's about £5.25 and some strawberries and blackberries and for my food store some tinned ham and corned beef.

So that came in at around £30! I couldn't spend that amount weekly but once purchased you can make items last and avoid some shopping trips and I avoided taxi fares. And I'll get a few meals/sandwiches out of the potatoes, salad and vegetables...just have to watch the dates so it is eaten and not thrown out.

I reckon I am spending at most £3.50 a day on food but I know as I eat less and portion it out it could be feeding that I will be feeding myself into other weeks and that will come down to nearer 90p-£1.50 daily.

And yet I forgot the one thing that was the reason for going out in the first place...BREAD! I was on my way home when I remembered but there was no way I was going back  for one item so I'll either do without, use up some bread buns or I bake make my own...

I may just wait now until the weekend...

But as time goes on such a shop will probably have to be reduced still further, that's why its handy having a food store and all your cupboards full and perhaps is not such a daft idea...

Gout Update...

It's come on leaps and bounds and as suggested I believe it was mainly caused by the diuretics I was taking and I have cut down on them and I think I have benefited by doing so. But it has left me with a bit of an itch at the base of my big toe but that is more preferable.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

As I Sat Watching Dallas...

I was thinking nearly every ad break they were selling things or making me aware of products I don't need, items I don't buy, items I cannot afford or as I look at what I have purchased gadget or food wise these products are not advertised(so I assume that they are doing well without needing to)or what I have are mainly generic or shop brands...

I reckon probably half or three quarters of what is sold in a supermarket though it gives you choice are un-necessary. And I surfed around the satellite channels and before Anon says something about having satellite tv it is free and not subscription. Nothing terrifically exciting, most seem to be ethnic or religious in content not forgetting the shopping channels, again don't think I'll be a regular user. It was good to see that some new channels have been added and I now have access to quite a few news channels. But what a lot show programmes time shifted by an hour.

I thought I had defrosted some bacon and was going to treat myself to some bacon butties at teatime and I still thought that was what I had got of the freezer but it turned out to be strips of pork. That you can stir fry or put in a casserole or a slow cooker but as I often cook my bacon in the microwave that's where I did it. I gave it 5 minutes...

When I discovered the mistake I thought should I throw it out as I think I read you cannot do in a microwave but though not quite as moist as cooked in the Slow Cooker, it was ok, cooked and I can report I am still here and it has not had any negative affects so I can't say I won't do it again and as it was cooked within 5 minutes this proves that I can cook meat in a very short time and avoid using a lot of energy and save on electric...

Something else that I have learnt. I am still eating quite a lot of salad, I need to up my fruit and vegetable intake again...I have let that slip a little.

My gardener came back and finished his work. It cost me a little more this time but only because it had got out of hand with all the wet weather we've had but then again as he has not been for quite a few weeks it just seemed to cost more than usual because the wok had built up but soon as Autumn sets in nothing will need doing until next year and if I keep putting a little aside I'll have it saved ready.

I have booked another couple of shows one happens in October and the other next year. So that again gives me time to pay them off and something to look forward to...Another I wanted to see had sold out and I was told it did so within an hour of them going on sale! It must have been an extra show that had been added.

For my friend abroad(Jan)I don't know your age but if you did grow up in the 60's or listen to 60's music as you know I am seeing Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Animals and PJ Proby quite soon and now I hope to see The Searchers in October. This is fortunate in that they were appearing at another theatre and getting there was more expensive and more difficult to get to but their show was clashing with a show I was already booked to see so this extra performance means I can see them. A few years ago I missed the chance to see quite a big show of 60's stars including Bobby Vee. Time is running out to see those I have listened to for all these years...

If The Households...

where single people are struggling on benefits/low wages/pensions to feed(have I missed anyone?)stay warm and keep a roof over their heads you know you are in trouble when families are having to use food banks or go without to feed, clothe or stay warm and they are doing all the they can by being as thrifty as possible and following all the tips they can find and looking back and learning from all those that have gone before.

We're not talking about families that put designer clothes or the latest I-phone ahead of everything else. So for the first time ever the charity Save The Children has launched a campaign to help children in this country.

That's not to say that every household where they are doing ok should not try and avoid wasting money on un-necessary goods and not spend beyond their means and to some extent poverty is relevant to the economy of the country that you live and who you are comparing your lifestyle to and I would say the media carries a lot of that burden.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Easy Pray...

It is not as easy for me to use a bus rather than a taxi because you have to get near to a bus route, when I come out of the theatre on Friday or Sunday(different places)I may still be able to get a bus home, the problem is that I am slow at walking so will I reach the bus in time but will I be vulnerable in the middle of a big town/big city? Walking with a stick. I'd feel happier to be surrounded by people at such a late hour.

So even  if I go to the theatre by bus I am debating should I be sure that I am safe and use a taxi home? I think the last bus home is approx 22.40 from one place and 22.55 from the other place. So that would get me home 23.05 and 23.40 respectively. That's late to be on your own walking home. At least a taxi gets you to your door.

It might be better to decide on the day and take a look at the location. I tried using google maps but it really wasn't much help to be honest, pity it's the back end of the year when it is dark quite early...

All those I am seeing are older than me or about the same age and I suspect it will be my only time that I may see them, Joe Longthorne used to be popular on TV and commanded a big audience in the days when there were Summer seasons at holiday resorts.

I suspect I saw him over 20 years ago in Bournemouth. I have seen Ken Dodd I think at least twice before and when he appears in a few weeks time it may the last time for him(He was on the radio today)talking about another person that deserves a tribute and he says was an influence on his choice of going into comedy and that is Stan Laurel. Anyhow, Ken  is 85 years old(or is that young)and still performing across the UK and seems to have quite a big tour.

He may not be on tv much but he's still packing them in...

Then again I was looking at Gerry Marsden And the Pacemakers tour and as I write this he's already been touring but now is on a 56 date tour all over the place, so they really do continue to put a lot of time into the business...and according to the internet he's 69.

I Found Two Containers Of Small Change...

Too much hassle to take to the bank and have them work out what I had so I used the machine at the local supermarket but in doing so I was charged £7 so that was a bit annoying. Then as it is a nice sunny day I thought I'd try and walk to the place where my trousers are altered but I couldn't do it...so slow and I was in pain. So that meant I lost approx £6 in taxi fares but my comfort is more important. Then of course there was the charge for the alteration so I have gained by having money I did not know I had. But am down down by £20 and feel I haven't really got anything for it.

I had to use a public phone and the minimum charge for calling  a taxi was 60p. I was only on seconds, not that long ago. When did that happen? The last time I used a public telephone it only cost me 20p.

Oh well, I won't have to go there for a long time again to have anything altered and now if it's repairing a hole or sewing a button onto something I'll try and do it myself. And if it's not important I may try fabric glue or that stuff that welds fabric together when heat is applied.

At least it was "Extra" money and in a way what I have remaining means I have got the money back that I paid my gardener to his work. And there's still a little left over...not a lot but I'm not complaining. That may help pay towards travelling to the theatre when the shows start from this Friday.

According To The Radio...

The experiment to open longer and especially on Sundays during the Olympics did not result in extra  business in retailing because surprise,surprise people were watching the Olympics and there is only the same amount of money available to shop and it just was diluted and spread across the week so shops actually mainly suffered because of the increased the costs of staying open and paying staff and in general running costs.

And so there does not appear to be the enthusiasm for opening for longer on Sundays for the foreseeable future...and business on the internet fared no better and saw a dip or business much the same as usual.

Anyone remember the days when many shops used to close for half a day in the middle of the week usually on a Wednesday? The only problem  with was it usually meant the shop worker really only had one and half days off weekly rather than two days as most other workers do...when I worked in  retail I was lucky that I nearly always managed to get Mondays off so with Sunday it was bit like having the weekend off.

Which was also handy when coming back from  a holiday as you had two days to recover before going into work or you could have a couple of extra days holiday.

Sadly, I think retail will suffer like other businesses, perhaps it will become worse, I know the money I have goes mainly to charity shops and supermarkets/discount food stores. A big retailer on the radio has just said there is less money and where people might have purchased a few items they'll perhaps buy one and make it last. There is even a suggestion that we have too many shops altogether.And another problem is where many are located especially if you don't have access to your own transport and depend on buses and taxis.


I have been so used to not wearing a watch for ages that I keep forgetting that I am wearing one again so often find myself wondering what time it is and I only have to look at my wristSmiley puzzled 21.png

I guess some things such as keeping appointments mean that you need to know what time it is but I tend to go by weather it's light or dark outside and I know what time it is by what's on the radio...but I eat/sleep when I want to and don't worry about set times or throwing my body clock out of kilter.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Latest Estimation...

For the amount of people requiring to use food banks in the new year is 200,000 and of course this does not show those who are depending on friends, families and other charities for help and places such as churches etc...possibly using soup kitchens or where perhaps some organisation puts on some kind of meal for those who need help. But not everyone is on benefits...many are on low wages or have health problems...

This is at a time where we hear there is going to a round of musical chairs in the Government and we'll have a reshuffle...what difference does it make when you still have the same faces and personalities mainly moving sideways. It's not as if a new MP moved into a different post is going to change the policy of that post/department. It's mainly done to avoid the hatred of the population
towards a particular minister. To try and fool us. I doubt that those in charge of housing, employment, disabled and benefits will be very popular.

In fact someone on the radio has just asked some guests in the studio, if policies are not changing what's the point of moving the ministers around and no could actually give an answer. I have a feeling there are at least four unpopular MP's who will remain in their posts and that will mean at least two have nothing to fear. So even I wonder "What's the point!" It is reported in the press that a disgraced MP who disappeared virtually as soon as the coalition came to power is being brought back into the fold, they're very good at that kind of thing.

Many in the community away from the "Westminster Village" though they are supposed to be given a second chance often struggle to get such support but in politics that generally does not mean much.

And as many think they started the problems we are now facing(and we know some policies have been continued by the present Government)why should we feel optimistic if things stay the same or there is a change after the next election whenever it happens.

I may add more to this post later or react to the comments that are likely to appear, I haven't really decided. I'm not sure much needs to be added...except many are hurting and will in the future as this term of Parliament continues...But I am not just attacking our present Government, I cannot see anything to make me believe the opposition could do any better.

And as for the Lib Dems, well their only hope is that they can hop into bed with a main party and do another coaliton as they will never get another chance so we really are back to the two main parties again, they had their chance and blew it!
That is probably the only reason the coalition is still surviving. But of course many politicians can just walk away after making a mess and use contacts they've made to walk into another well paid job so why should they care.

For all that I would quite like to see an election as soon as possible and to see some worried faces. As to who I would vote for I have absolutely no idea.

But it's a fair bet the present Government have alienated the unemployed, the ill and disabled and probably quite a few of the under 25's so that's not a bad amount of people to have upset already and more will be joining that queue...I hate to say it but I think we may end up even more like Italy, Portugal, Ireland and yes Greece and we're not even in Euro...I think it is worse than we are being told and that even they aren't sure what to do but they want to hold on to their jobs and they don't want to be remembered as a Government that failed. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012


I have an anon saying my punctuation is out. I have looked at the last seven or eight posts and they look ok to me but if there is a problem, sorry! Of course anyone who says that will have to be sure they don't make any Grammar errors and are perfect themselves always a danger when criticising others. Wonder how many posts on blogs, forums and e-mails are perfect?

It's decades since I was at school so I would not be surprised to find it possible to find errors in my writings...well, it's not obligatory to read, if it's that difficult and peppered with mistakes...That Anon will be happy to see that he/she has her own post but again...no names in the comment box...Now, we've had Span, Carol, Jan, Tim and Ceridwen wonder why the rest can't do that out of decency.

After all no one is going to know if it's your real name but if it appears regularly we'll now which anon you are...I guess you ain't going to play ball...and I'm going to give up asking/suggesting that it happens...

Sorry if I am insulting one of the Anons that is generally decent and normally leaves their name...The problem is being on the defensive somewhat where I may have a laugh at a comment and lighten up a little, I find myself wondering if I am reading it correctly.

The BBC Proms...

Of course they are a great showcase for Classical Music but  in recent years I have looked forward to the concerts conducted by John Wilson and the music of Hollywood musicals or as in this year's concert Music from Broadway but many still have connections to the musicals...

Well I waited to hear it for months and what did I do? Forgot about it! Thank heavens I caught it on the catch up service...still have to listen to it, I saved it for later.

So they broadcast it on tv yesterday and I planned to watch it on the laptop...what happened? I forgot again...but I'm watching it now. Such beautiful music. Thank heavens I am getting my interests back...oh how Mum would've enjoyed this...these songs have lasted for so many years and still sound good but of course you have an orchestra of note and the best singers possible. As I write I have just heard "Ole Man River"

John has a concert in Birmingham on New Year's Eve with Clare Teal but too difficult to get to and expensive and I suspect it will be sold out anyhow. I'll be watching out to see if he ever comes anywhere near here...that really would be a treat.

Well, it's all over...two hours of absolutely wonderful entertainment, one of the best concerts I have ever seen.

Tonight could be special as they aredoing a Proms celebrating 70 years of the BBC programme Desert Island Discs. I hope I don't forget this concert.

Now, next week will be a test as it's the final night at the Proms which Mum always watched even last September and she always sung at the top of voice and so strongly Jerusalem and Land of Hope nad Glory. I so want to watch it but wonder how I will react.

Well That Was Interesting...

I have only had one meal today and used up something I only tried after Mum passed away never tried it before...

Quorn! I don't know much about it to be perfectly honest except it seems to be some kind of fungi so I assume is related in some way to mushrooms, they say it's meat free and high in fibre and protein.

Well, I have to admit I could not tell that there was no meat in it...what do I know. There was mashed potato and gravy but they were a bit stingy on the vegetables you need a microscope to see the peas, carrots and onion. Calorific value...334kcal for 500g

I think the Quorn chicken pieces is a better buy in every way for the amount of Quorn in the box and price wise...

I've been avoiding some foods if they need to be done in a main oven(thinking of the energy used)but whilst writing this I think I may be able to get away with doing them in the combi microwave or on the mini George Forman grill I have...will have to think about that.

Not me but quite a few people noticing that prices are creeping up so a little extra food store is not as daft as you may think. And what I have not only has good dates on them they do allow me some variety in my diet and canned/dried goods do last longer or are not wasted as much as sometimes chilled items do when all the dates start to seemingly clash.

I forget where I read it. A discount supermarket that sell items cheaper than the main four or five supermarkets are having difficulty keeping their prices low. If they are not careful they'll catch the others up, or will still be cheaper but only because they'll all put their prices up,  so the discount store will still be priced lower but we may have to buy less because our income remains static or reduced.

I'm Not Rushing My Decision...

as I have a few options to choose from...I may be able to stay put but it will be tight. I will see what else is available but I talked to a few people who say there's not much to choose from as I have said but though it will take some getting used to and may still affect me financially(and I'd rather not)but needs must, another option may be to...take in a lodger.

It's just a faint possibility for now...it may never happen or may be the answer.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Slept Reasonably Well Last Night...

There's not much on TV that interests me I am a Radio person but I did watch QI with Stephen Fry, I have started watching some of The Egg Heads quizes which Mum used to like, wasn't sure I could but I have so it proves I that I able...

And though there are some aspects of it I don't like, I watched Mrs Brown's Boys but I do think Brendan O'Carroll  is very good at playing the main character and I believe he writes it too and he keeps it in the family so to speak as the actress Jennifer Gibney who plays his eldest daughter is in real life his wife...his daughter Fiona O'Carroll plays his daughter in law, his sister Eilish O'Caroll plays his neighbour and friend, his son Danny O'Carroll and his wife Amanda Woods have small parts in the series too.

When talking about Mrs Brown it get a bit difficult when the character is a man playing a female as you don't know whether to use the term he/she. What I do like is that it has a kind of feeling of comedies of the past and if a mistake is made they usually keep it in the show and have fun with it, they also often show the audience so you can never forget it isn't real, also the main character looks and talks to the camera/audience and reacts, a little like Laurel and hardy used to do in their films.

I have not see the film but lots of clips and images of Mrs Doubtfire with Robin Williams and I always seem to see simularities between how the two seem to be. Except that in Mrs Doubtfire it was made clear she that wasn't a real woman and was a man(same in Tootsie with Dustin Hoffman)whereas in Mrs Browns Boys the character is meant to be real tough we know otherwise.

Now this morning I managed to get a lie in and looking at the weather there was no reason to go out...but I had a bit of a strange feeling in the tummy(those butterflies)so that probably is connected to the loss of Mum, I'm trying to accept that as being normal now...and most of the day I have felt quite good

However, I don't remember much about it and I suspect I only dozed off for perhaps 10 minutes but I think that I had a dream and both Mum and Dad in it and as I remember them and I think that I heard their voices too. I don't usually remember dreams but there was a documentary on the radio about Blackpool Illuminations celebrating their 100th Anniversary and I am sure that my dream was set in...Blackpool...

It's a still a bit of an effort to use a bus and I have to get to the bus route but I think I found a cheaper way  of getting to the theatre(at least one way)I don't there is a bus to get me home(too late)whilst I have it I may be able to use it for a few rides over the week so get to see a little more the area(still too expensive to do regularly(but cheaper than a taxi)

I don't need any shopping at present(and have to watch the money)but it would make it possibly worth considering in the future when I need to shop again and visit a neighbouring town...But put it this way the ticket would pay approx a week of the Bedroom Tax that'were s coming so again I'd rather pay that. It just gets an idea of comparisons...

In recent weeks more people I and Mum enjoyed and grew up on have passed away(of course they will because of their ages)Today it was Max Bygraves,we used to watch his tv shows and I think we saw him on stage a couple of times, a week or so ago it was the comedienne Phyllis Diller who was only seen occasionally on tv in the UK but I do remember seeing a film in a local cinema of the US comedy The Munsters and the second film starred Phyllis, Scott McKenzie who sang the song always associated with the 1960's  San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)but again he probably did so much more such as composing songs but you lose track of what else some people do in their lives and of course last weekend the first man to walk on the moon in 1969 Neil Armtrong R.I.P.

I am a mixed up about the event. I do remember watching the Lunar Module leaving the Command Rocket and going down to the surface of the Moon and I have seen and heard the footage of Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon so often that clouds my memory but I have a feeling that Armstrong getting out of the LM happened quite a few hours after it had landed so it would be the middle of the night in the UK. So perhaps we had gone to bed by then but I don't know.

I do remember walking past a tv shop the next day and they always used to have the tv's on in the window and they were all tuned into them walking on the moon. But I don't know if that was live or a replay.

Another great has been lost since writing the above, The lyricist Hal David who wrote many popular songs with Burt Bacharach.