Monday, October 31, 2011

"400 Years Ago..."

In 1611 the King James Bible was published.
And for 400 years, its words have had a massive impact on our English language and in fact, on all of us....often without us realising just HOW much......

WE UTTER those words, those phrases, so casually, so flippantly....phrases like: " That's off the top of m'head!"..... OR " By gum, there's nothing new under the sun!...." OR " What a fly in the ointment that was!"..... OR " She's the salt of the Earth!"..... OR ( damningly!) " HE'S the leopard who can't change his spots!"

AND Essar Oil Chester LitFest organised a mammoth celebration for this 400th Birthday. Over 2 weeks, 0ver 250 folk volunteered to read a fraction of the Bible, mainly in St Anselm's Chapel ( Chester Cathedral) but also in Stanley Palace. AND THUS: IN OVER 80 HOURS, ALL THE BIBLE WAS READ.

On Friday I was " understudying" ( ie listening to others read chapters... and being available to step in if there was a "no show") .....I must admit that I expected a gentle morning merely "listening"....but one reader failed to I read the wonderful Mathew 26....and can frankly say that reading those words ALOUD ( and in Stanley Palace: black/white/Tudor/ beautiful)...... it was a pretty magical experience....

Essar Oil Chester Lit Fest worked hard to direct /produce this undertaking and I was pleased to be part of it...
MORE re LitFest but am off to have another squint at my lovely new granddaughter....

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" Yarns In The Afternoon...."

Essar Oil Chester Literature Festival, in partnership with Upton History Society, held an entertaining afternoon indulging in the telling of YARNS!

AND what wonderful yarns they were!!

Here's the "panel", along with Lynne, Chair of LitFest Friends ( on far left) : m'self, who had a jolly time chairing ( betwixt coughing!) plus 6 lovely very dignified, very elderly folk, all well over 80, and 3 in fact galloping along ( very proudly!) in their venerable 90's!

They were: Arthur Cooper, Frank Whaley, Gladys Wooton, June Williams ( daughter of George Mottershead, who founded Chester Zoo) Vera McCleod and Joyce Cook.

It'd be true to say I went home royally entertained....but also very moved by the stories and the characters who told them.... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2011

James Corden: One Man, Two Guvnors, BIG STAR!"

We took a trip to Salford, M/Chester, on Thursday evening to see the much acclaimed " One Man, Two Guvnors" at The Lowry. This was written by Richard Bean and based on " The servant of Two Masters" by Carlo Goldoni.

AS fans of James Corden and his comedy, we knew we were in f0r a treat.... BUT our expectations were surpassed..... Corden (along with talented others making up National Theatre On Tour) gave us a superb evening... acting, singing ( some voice!) dancing, doing gymnastics, ad libbing, cavorting, gavotting....well, slight exagerration, but he could, I'm sure!......
Corden also cracks jokes totally and very swiftly off the cuff.....portrays characters, both hilariously AND tenderly... PLUS.... ( BEWARE if you're planning to go!) he pulls out unsuspecting audience members onto the stage.......BUT in the nicest way possible, I hasten to add....
AND YES....great to write again about yet another standing ovation....see my post re the Pitmen Painters, also National Theatre.... but Thursday's was also very well deserved.......

This remarkable play showcasing this guy's burgeoning and remarkable talent is at the Adelphi, London's West End, from November 8th.
Catch Mr Corden If You Can!

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Thursday, October 06, 2011

" Shoes! Glorious Shoes.....!!."

Andy Warhol painted these shoes. Are they the shoes of his muse, Edie Sedgwick??

I love comfy shoes. But I also love fabulous
colourful ones, even occassionally HIGH HEELED SPINDLY ones...BUT my favourites are my 4 prs of El Natura Lista clogs...bought over 4 years, I hasten to add .....all different colours..all extra good friends to my feet.

ALSO there's my ancient 12 year old Moshulu boots, bought in St Ives one windy autumn...I hope they'll last forever.....and there's a pair of red lace-ups from a shop in Aix en Provence....where there was also a green pair, which I've always regretted not buying too!....and I've a pair of black shoes made by an Israeli company called Naot .. tiny delicate/clompy heels...contradictory, but if you saw them you'd know what I mean...they've got straps with little bows...sound naffff... BUT they're REALLY gorgeous....bought from a classic oldeworlde shoeshop in Llandudno...always visited on every trip we make there because it's full of surprises!

AND to continue: I've a green pair of heels from Next....brighter than those in the picture Mr Warhol cat has been seen purrrring at them ....honestly!.....BUT I ALSO have a pair of red/browny Italian wedgies........ spotted in a Sale in lovely shop in Ilkley.....they're hard to walk in, but great to look at (!) and they make me taller ( NB: NOT "tall", just "taller" by three welcome inches...

BUT ENOUGH: The point of this post was to mention a writing workshop I attended last celebration of National Poetry Day. The workshop ( taking SHOES as topic) was led by Gill McEvoy and Judy Ugonna, two spirited and talented poets who set up Poem Catchers" ( based Chester/Wirral areas) . They lead workshops and will mentor/support other writers, among other things. See for full details.
AND I think it's fair to say we came home viewing our shoes in a different light and full of creative ideas.....

Sunday, October 02, 2011

" Fine Men Who Were Fine Painters"

Yesterday afternoon ( hottest October day for ages) we watched a fabulous play at Theatr Clwyd. We fanned ourselves with our programmes and sipped our Volvic thirstily. In the interval, we gorged icecream. And at the end of the play, there was great applause and a standing ovation for a Company that excelled.

This was Live Theatre Newcastle/National Theatre's co-production of "The Pitmen Painters". The play was written by Lee Hall, inspired by a book by William Feaver, telling the inspiring true story of The Ashington Group, a gang of North Eastern miners... who discovered within themselves a wonderful passion for painting and a creativity they never knew existed.

This play was both moving and enthralling. There was politics and social history, lessons in art appreciation and there was lots of comedy......including swift oneliners which had the audience in stitches.

BUT most of all, we loved the characters: their differences, their strengths, their weaknesses, their pains and their delights. And of course their fantastic story: how they worked in the pits by day, painted by night...and ultimately achieved recognition and the applause of the greats.

As a friend of mine said today, THIS is a play that should tour for ever...!

PS: Happy Birthday BLOG! Six years old yesterday...!