Saturday, November 30, 2013


Posted by PicasaSon G ( top) sipping tea in his staff room...I'm wondering if the tache will have gone by tomorrow.....

Friday, November 01, 2013

" From Here...To Eternity..! "

Posted by PicasaOK, the quip in my title IS rather naff...but I couldn't resist!!

The churchyard, just above the beach,  is at St Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron, Lleyn, North Wales.
More Blog about Aberdaron later. 

A Fine Fortnight Of Festival..."

Chester Literature Festival ran for 2 weeks ( )
And I was lucky enough to go to lots of events....
 I'd love to have time to write about EVERYTHING...BUT will gallop through the gigs I saw at breakneck speed.....

SUFFICE TO SAY, 2013 was a superlative Festival, catering for the most varied of tastes as yet.....most in the immaculate setting of Chester's Victorian Town Hall.

Here come the evening gigs..... Lunchtime ones will follow...

** Sir Derek Jarman, so dignified, so delightful, appeared with bubbly Ruthie Culver and the seriously talented UtterJazz Quartet. A Wonderful mix: music/ poetry/Britten/Auden.

** Mark Lawson discussed his new novel: " The Deaths" ( and one could say he discussed lots more!) I could have listened much could most of the audience. A great session.

.**Effervescent Kate Mosse introduced her1st book of short stories:" The Mistletoe Bride And Other Haunting Tales" . Highly apt as Hallowe'en was about to creep in...( absolutely)

**Dan Morden enthralled us with his story did the delicious music of The Devil's Violin ( violin, cello, accordion)

**Margaret Drabble visited Chester the same week her new novel" The Pure Gold Baby" was published. This was her 1st for several years .And we felt most privileged to meet this strong and lovely lady who writes novels we've enjoyed over many years...

** AND Tim Vine? WHAT can I say?
What wit we heard.....what repartee....what startlingly stunningly brilliant " daftness"..
.AND all of it littered with jokes and quips and off-the-cuff word play.......The woman next to me had tears COURSING down her cheeks....AND I too was well on the way to following suit....
.And I felt,  as we drove home, that I'd just been on an invigorating holiday.........

"Lovely Laid Back Lleyn Penin..."

Posted by PicasaWe've loved the Lleyn for years....
As a child, I had family holidays a whitewashed shepherd's cottage at Llithfaen.......high up on the moor above a deserted village...then later with our own children at cottages in Chwilog and Aberdaron........
SO it's always a treat to go back......revel in the past.....make new memories too...

We returned this week to the hotel on the beach at Aberdaron...the Ty Newydd....where we stayed about 10 years ago. And yes, a lovely time was had by us both....

The snaps ( from top of this posting) are: A Room With A View ( ours!)......the beach in front of the Ty Newydd......the Ty Coch Inn at Porthdillaen......inside the Ty Coch.......the beach outside......walking towards Morfa Nefyn, another sunny view from our romm...AND last but not least, The Rivals, seen across the bay.
And nestling on The Rivals is that little whitewashed cottage of old....

"LitFest At Lunchtimes...."

 I spent 3 very varied lunchtimes in the TownHall  during Chester LitFest...but my sandwiches had to wait....while  I gobbled juicy info about Queen Victoria.......savoured the work of husband and wife poets......and devoured the fascinating verse drama of a highy amenable, eminently likable Cheshire Poet Laureate.

Matthew Dennison talked about the complicated life of Queen us a glimpse of her life as Sovereign, Wife and many contrasts, so many views of a complex woman brimming with contradictions....which neatly leads me to his book: " Queen Victoria: A Life Of Contradictions"

Martin Figura and his wife Helen Ivory ( perfect name for a poet, don't you think?!) ) read and performed poems from their books.
Martin's " Whistle" was much enjoyed at 2012 festival this year, we had another helping...and then Helen introduced her 4th collection " Waiting for Bluebeard" .

AND ALSO: Joy Winkler, Cheshire Laureate several years ago, gave us a truly wonderful hour performing her verse drama..... " Town" ( see pictures on left).....  telling the tale of Rosie's quest to discover her birth mother.

Andrew Rudd ( also a Laureate) composed and played intriguing accompanying music..... and art work by Carl longmare, Karen Rossart and Ian Coppack was a joy. Kevin Dyer ably directed.

THIS was one of the loveliest gigs of the FEstival.

" Chester Mysteries At Liverpool Cathedral"

In July, Cestrians enjoyed the Chester Mystery Plays in the glorious setting of Chester Cathedral...
THEN in October, there was "A Second Coming", so to speak, at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. 

For 2 nights, many of the original cast starred in a slightly abridged version of the summer production....much to the delight of a new audience of Liverpudlians...and many who wanted to taste a second helping.

Grandson G took part a jockey again and a Noah's Arc crocodile ..but this time, he was also jauntily perched atop the Tree of Life.....where he caught the apple tossed over to him by the gasps from a riveted audience... 

Once again we thrilled to this breathtaking production...and look forward to 2018's offering with relish! Posted by Picasa

"Mesmerized By Maisie..."

This film heralded ( trumpeted!) an amazing new star.....

Oneta Aprie played Maisie.....a perceptive, gorgeous child, caught in midst of her parents dire custody battles......and Oneta's handling of this intricate role was exceptional. 

The film is a superb rework of Henry James novel " What Maisie knew"....and it's set in New York, with Julianne Moore as the rock star mum and Steve Coogan ( everywhere at present!) as the successful art dealer dad.

Both parents are utterly absorbed in themselves. Moore, playing a brilliant, edgy Mum, is said to have studied rock star mums for clues to her portrayal....and this pays off.
This, to me, was her best role ever.

ALL IN ALL.....a superlative film indeedy.....Posted by Picasa

" Accrington Pals..... At Ashton Hayes"

We'd never visited Ashton Hayes Theatre Club.....

BUT after enjoying their Autumn production: Peter Whelan's " The Accrington Pals"....directed by Robert Meadows.....I imagine we'll be "regulars".............hmm.... IS there a word for theatre club "groupies"...of a certain age???

Ashton Hayes is a long established club in a Cheshire village....2 productions annually...and if the printed programme is anything to go by, it's a close-knit and happy company....
In "Pals", there are certainly new additions to the cast........but there are clearly faithful  longtime members. 
AND Like Chester Theatre Club, this mix is always A Good Thing...

The script of "Pals" is nothing short of BEAUTIFUL.......while watching, I kept thinking: " Say that bit again, please!".....and the play, with some fine acting from a confident cast....told about the battalion gathered together in 1914 at the start of World War 1. 
It's about in its explicit horror.......584 Pals died at the Battle of the Somme...out of a total of 720. 
But in all this, the play tells much about Love....and the cast revealed this generously.

" The Super Social Plover...."

A trip to TipTop Productions at the Forum Studio, ....

This time to see the talented Mark Newman and Dhugal Fulton ( directed by Marian Newman, with her customary flair)  in Tim Withnall's play" The Sociable Plover", which was first produced in London in 2005.

This was a short but intricate play...where every second was made to count by this skillful and imaginative cast...with Mark enthralling us as the weird   birdwatcher Roy Chester Tunt...and Dhugal as the mysterious visitor who just drops by.
Not a second loss in our concentration as we were immersed in this gripping play.....AND the twist in the plot, when it came ,was executed beautifully.

A jewel of an evening where Tiptop deserves accolades for this fine performance.

Next play at TipTop is " Bouncers", running from November 14th until 23rd.