Review: Rapunzel, summer panto

July 19th, 2018

Joseph Purdy Productions has been touring the land with their Summer Panto of Rapunzel, and finally it has come to Aberdeen – The Tivoli Theatre to be exact.  Starring George Sampson of Britain’s Got Talent fame (won 10 years ago!) it introduces Charlotte Dacia as Rapunzel.

Rapunzel - buy tickets now!

A large draw of the productions has to be admitted as the young local talent though.  In our case its the dancing troupe from Aberdeen Academy of Performing Arts, 61 kids split into 2 casts, some doing Thursday and Friday shows and some doing Saturday and Sunday shows.  Yes, it’s on all week, there’s still time to get tickets!  I must admit, my son is in the weekend performances so I may be accused of having a conflict of interest…however this review is based on the other cast’s show on opening night.  Owen asked to go see the other cast so he could see the full show, a concept that hadn’t occurred to me but as there were free tickets on offer I decided he was onto a winner!  (Now we just need to keep from giving Daddy and Grandda spoilers as they are going with me to see him in the last performance!)

T-shirt night! Buy tickets quick, he's in it Saturday and Sunday!

So, I’ll just address the elephant in the room.  Yes, pantomimes are usually done at Christmas, and this is summer time.  Owen was very proud to tell me this is our fair city’s first summer panto.  However, who doesn’t love the formula of a panto – risque jokes (which hopefully go over the kids’ heads – although thanks, my son queried what a virgin is…!), a man dressed as a woman, a jester/comedy character you are allowed to laugh At, someone to boo and hiss at, some adventures (“he’s behind you!”) and lots of singing and dancing.

I particularly loved the evil Horabella played by Gemma Gibbions, she had a strong stage presence and amazing voice – although the echo-y sound effects made it hard to make out some of her lines.  George Sampson actually did That dance…you know, the Singing in the Rain, and oh my goodness that boy can move!  Have seen the footage several times, especially since Owen passed his audition, so it was cool to see it live…I think the lady next to me near passed out with the excitement though, that boy certainly has some dedicated fans!  Another high point was a song from the Greatest Showman – I’m sure it wasn’t just Owen and I who were belting out every word!  My favourite section involved five loo rolls, but that’s all I’ll say for fear of spoiling it for anyone.

One of the most amazing things is that the producer Joe Purdy is only 26. He’s suffered from Crohn’s disease and so any fundraising they manage at their performances go to help others with this terrible illness. I have a cousin who suffers from it and it really sounds awful so full respect to him for this – and for having been in remission for a year!

It wasn’t a perfect performance, there were a few fumbled lines, a few kids who had to copy others, one bit where the entire grown up cast seemed to be laughing – but it was FUN.  A panto should be fun, and engage it’s audience, and leave you with a smile on your face.  Rapunzel did all of these things – and had light up wands to please the wee ones – and we all want to please our kids.  So, please take them along, have a laugh, boo and cheer.  Life is just too short to be serious all the time – and Rapunzel the summer panto is just the hilarious remedy for this!

 

PS  if you can’t make it this weekend Joseph Purdy Productions are coming back in October with the Wizard of Oz, then at Christmas there will be the Snow Queen so you can get booking tickets ready and give yourself something to look forward to!

 

Review: Doune the Rabbit Hole 2018

July 18th, 2018

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Sunday of Doune The Rabbit Hole #dtrhFest.  Basically one of my gig photographer chums needed a taxi, but the festival kindly gave me entrance and a press pass so I could always find Sid if I needed to!  Oh the power of being able to get backstage!!  Proud to say I only used/abused it right at the end of the night…but more of that later!

So the bands I saw were, in order: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Harry and the Hendersons, Sketchy Beats (Jam Tent), The Mouse Outfit, Dizraeli, Frankie Cosmos, Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert, Big Country, Atari Teenage Riot, the Psychegaelic Ceilidh with AWRY, Levellers.

There’s an album with photos and videos of my day here:

We were Promised Jetpacks

It was my first time at Doune the Rabbit Hole and I was amazed at how small it was compared to others, plus full of dogs and kids – glorious company!  Most people seemed to camp for the weekend, we were just there for the day, but I enjoyed seeing all the glorious VW campervans in the car park on the way in.  There wasn’t a 2 mile trek to get in, or a massive queue, or any security staff to get past with sniffer dogs – as I’m used to when I work at Enjoy Music!

The whole place had a lovely relaxed vibe with hammocks dotted around and deck chairs in most of the tents.  A large proportion of the attendees could be described as hippies, and many were bare foot or dressed up in wacky outfits.  Basically it was fun!  There was a kids area where you could hug an alpaca, build stuff with logs, go to a library, play pinball or get your face painted.  I wanted to do several but hadn’t taken my kid along as camouflage…  There was a dance tent with lessons on how to DJ with 3 sets of decks set up for practicing on, there was a jam tent with a few musicians always playing and happy to be joined by anyone who wanted to.  I was there when a guy called Frank gave an ode to Buckfast (video in the above album).  There were cafes, and bars, and a big screen so you didn’t miss Wimbledon, or the World Cup final!  There were shops and stalls as with any festival – funky coloured jumpers or tie dye t-shirts.

Music wise there was a wide variety: I enjoyed ceilidh, rappers, crazy electro..stuff, folky songs and indie/rock.  Don’t forget I was only there for one day out of the three day festival!  Missed loads of amazing stuff!  The timings were well spaced, two of the stages almost took it in turns.  I did have one clash when I wanted to be in two places at once, but was pleased with my choice of seeing Aiden Moffat and RM Hubbert – although I’m sure Man of Moon would be ace too.

Highlights for me were We Were Promised Jetpacks – I’ve seen them before…somewhere, sometime…and loved them and they were ace on a festival stage.  Mouse Outfit were unexpected but enjoyable, Big Country took me back to the 80s.  Best of all though, and my third time of seeing them, was the Levellers.  OMG are they ace!  I was bouncing along down at the barrier.  Another great thing of this festival was that you could pretty much chose where you watched anyone from, if you wanted to be at the barrier it usually seemed possible, or you could choose a spot further out.  Anyway, Levellers were amazing as always, so many good tunes that you just can’t help singing along too.

I mentioned abusing my access all areas pass…well right at the end I was gutted watching the Levellers leaving the stage, especially after their fabulous violinist winked at me…so I shoved my pass round my neck and dived back stage.  Was lucky enough to catch Mark, the lead singer, as he was heading out the back and waffled on to him that during the day I had checked Facebook memories, and 4 years ago to that day I had gone to see the Levellers at the Lemon Tree with my cousin Nicole!  We’d gone for pizza before the gig – as had half the band!  Although we didn’t like to bother them, just admired from afar!  Quite spooky, but fab – as was the fact that Mark agreed to pose for a piccie with me.  Special memories which will last forever!

Mark from Levellers, photo by Sid Scott

 

 

My only negative about the whole thing – lots of people (including a musician on stage and one of the crew working the sound/lights) were smoking a certain substance, which unfortunately I am allergic to (believe it or not!).  Driving home my eyes were stinging and streaming, not to mention I could feel my lungs curling in on themselves!  Such is the way of the true authentic music festival though I guess!  Oh, and there was that moment that I realised I may be getting old, as I walked out of a tent thinking “urgh that was just Noise”.  Won’t name them though as I’m sure they were very good…if you like that sort of thing…

Gaelic Teachers needed

June 25th, 2018

Owen’s favourite teacher left before the Easter holidays, he used to teach the P4-7 Gaelic class at Gilcomstoun Primary School.  Recently the P1-3 Gaelic teacher announced she’s leaving too.  So we need new Gaelic Medium Education teachers, and we need them fast!  Unfortunately there’s a shortage of such wonderous beasts, and a rumour they are not keen on coming to Aberdeen.

Time to “pimp my son” – for his own good obviously….

I got retweeted by amazing people like Julie Fowlis, Catriona Lexy-Campbell and our local newspaper even ran the story.

Fingers crossed this, and the 8k incentive, work and we get new teachers in place soon.

Review: Holywood Vampires at the Hydro, Glasgow. Tuesday 19th June 2018.

June 25th, 2018

This could be classed as a rock chick’s dream line up of an evening: The Damned, The Darkness and Hollywood Vampires. A plethora of musically genius gentlemen.

Finding out just how close to the front our seats were, in the vastness of the Hydro, was the first delight. The stress of Ticketmaster ticket release morning was worthwhile. The stage looked awesome with “The Damned” up on the back sheet and the stage full of equipment – and the crazy gents of the band. Three very distinct characters – Dave Vanian, the singer all in black, including shades; Captain Sensible the lead guitarist in quirky read and white fashion statement items; then the keyboard player (and groovy dancer!) in bold skull prints top and trousers. They played Eloise, among others, so all was good.

The Damned at the Hydro

The Darkness took over in a burst of long hair and bright clothing. Justin wasn’t in his trademark lycra jumpsuit – maturity perhaps – but he did take his jacket off part way through revealing a chest full of tattoos including a cassette tape. Someone asked for “The Christmas Song” and received dogs abuse from the stage – hilarious, after all it was June! They did close with A Thing Called Love so we could all singalong, most happily!

The Darkness, Hydro

Finally, it was the turn of the headliners. Out came Joe Perry of Aerosmith, then Johnny Depp and finally Alice Cooper made an entrance with a cane held high. All interspersed with the accompanying musicians – all very talented although obviously not “the names” of the main three. They played some classics from the deceased Hollywood stars they play tribute to, mixed with some of their own songs. One was pretty much “they were my friends, they are dead”. Faces came up on the screen of fallen greats such as Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Keith Moon, and even Prince. River Pheonix hit me hard, I still remember the moment I heard of his passing – reportedly in Johnny Depp’s Viper Rooms. All such tragic losses but at least their music lives on, in recordings and tributes such as this. Johnny Depp sang a cover of David Bowie’s Heroes which seemed even more touching and poignant than the rest of the evening, perhaps just due to a deep respect for both men’s talents.

The encore was School’s out and the place erupted – who doesn’t know and love that song?! An epic evening of epic musical talent.

Hollywood Vampires, Hydro

Further information: http://www.hollywoodvampires.com/tour

On a personal note – oh my goodness I was in the same room as Johnny Depp! At the end I went up to the barrier and he was on the corner of the stage and that is the closest I could ever imagine being to the chap I have worshipped from afar since 1990 when I saw him in Edward Scissorhands.  I now have photos of him, that I took, myself, of him.  Unfortunately I couldn’t afford the £1,000 meet and greet package – and funnily enough when that was on offer he wasn’t loitering around outside…but I saw him with my own eyes and heard him with my own ears, and that is enough for me.  Although a selfie with him would have been awesome, especially as I was wearing my “Mrs Johnny Depp” t-shirt….  And if you worried about what my poor husband thought of all this swooning, well I didn’t meet him till much later so he’s put up with it all through our relationship – bless him, he even bought me my concert ticket for my birthday!

Hollywood Vampires, Hydro

Winner!

March 20th, 2018

Yes, I do seem to be lucky…but I think that the fact I enter lots of competitions also helps when it comes to winning them. So many people complain they “never win anything” so you ask how many competitions they tend to enter in a week and they look at you blankly. Come on people, you have to be “in it to win it” – that’s just logic!

Recently I have done very well though. Thanks to our Disney Florida holiday booked through Kate Milton, our Travel Counsellor Bryan and I were lucky enough to get a trip to Rome last August. 3 nights in a five star hotel with tickets to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Oh my, what a time we had! Hubby even enjoyed himself so much he suggested a selfie! Did you know the Coliseum is Really Big?!

Wednesday in Rome

Then we bought a replacement car for my 12 year old Suzuki in the January Sales. Arnold Clark were doing a #newcarfeeling competition where you had to post a selfie with your new wheels.

#NewCarFeeling

The week after we got Bumblebee the main prize was a VW Campervan tent. I’ve always wanted a VW Campervan so this seemed like the next best thing – and yes, we won! Happy Owen, although so far he’s only slept in it inside as its been quite a cold and snowy start to the year so not quite camping weather!

There's a campervan in my upstairs lounge!!

My father in law messaged me about a Twitter competition to win a Manchester United top, so I entered that – and won it too. Not arrived yet but Bryan thought I should get one for me as he and Owen already have a few, so looking forward to getting that and being able to fit in when they watch matches!

Last week Joe Bonamassa was to play the AECC, they ran a competition to win tickets on their Facebook page and I said I’d love to take Owen as he’s just started guitar lessons and I thought that the amazing Blues guitarist would be quite an inspiration. So I picked Owen up from school on Monday afternoon, after being away for a long weekend with his Dad and not having seen him since dropping him there on Friday morning. We went home, had dinner and chatted about our weekends and then I suggested he did his guitar practice as his lessons are on Tuesdays and he’d not practised all weekend. We went through to listen for a change and whilst we were there I got a notification, on my phone, from AECC. Yeap, we’d won! I’d not told him about the competition so he wasn’t disappointed if we didn’t win so it was exciting news to him, especially as the concert was the next night and would mean staying up late on a school night! It was a fabulous night and just brilliant to see his chin on his knees as he sat in awe of JB. The next morning I asked Owen what his review would be and he said thoughtfully “loud…but good”, and here’s one of the photos he took…

Owen's photos of Joe Bonamassa at AECC

To add to the magic, not only did one of my photographer friends give Owen a set list, but then… I recognised the man in front of us as being in a local band Full Fat so was speaking away to him – we’d all won our seats! After a minute or two he asked Owen if he was the wee boy who had danced in front of them at a music festival…and yes he was, at Celebrate Aberdeen a few years ago!

Full Fat at Celebrate Aberdeen festival

Christmas 2017

February 5th, 2018

We had a lovely time off work over the Christmas period, mostly spent with family which of course made it more special. Christmas Day Bryan cooked for 7 of us as Owen had both sets of Grandparents. Boxing Day we swapped Sasina (who needed to go sale shopping!) with Lee, Leanne and Ash and Bryan cooked for 9. Hogmanay was spent with Ray, Nicole, Lucas and Maya so just 7 to cook for (and a smash cake!).
Hogmanay 2017 at our house

Lots of games were played, Christmas board game gifts included King of Toyko and Destination Scotland. Owen got a tablet from his Grandda so that was in his hand a lot too! Owen did a LOT of reading too, he got a Manchester United annual from Granny and Grandad and a Liz Pichon novel from Santa…he also got book vouchers which were quickly turned into another 6 Liz Pichon books. All were read before returning to school!
Christmas book vouchers spent

Unfortunately, we only had a bit of snow before Christmas and Owen had a bad cough at that point so we didn’t actually get to go playing in it…unlike my recently retired parents who sent us photos of their snow man one day and then each of them in a snow car the next! One way to clear the drive ways at Creagan!
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stupidgirl_no1/24694790967

Bryan and I got each other tickets for Country 2 Country music festival in Glasgow in March again so we need to wait for our presents but at least now we’ve been twice we know its worth waiting for! And we have some nice lunches booked for whilst we’re down there for the long weekend!

I hit the January sales to replace our 12 year old Suzuki so am now the proud owner of a wee 2016 plate Fiat 500 – exciting!
#NewCarFeeling
You may remember I like a wee competition, well we bought the car from Arnold Clark and they are running a #NewCarFeeling thing that I entered with the pic of Owen and I with the new car (that’s not our number plate by the way, previous owner messed up keeping her personalised plate so will reclaim in due course, actual number plate starts SG – fitting for @StupidGirl_no1). Anyway, we won a VW Campervan tent! Not arrived yet but I’ve always wanted a campervan so I’m rather excited! Bryan is convinced it’s a play tent rather than something you can actually camp in but if it’s the one I googled, its full size and sleeps 4! Time will tell.

2017 as seen by the Robertsons

December 20th, 2017

Where did that year go?! It can’t be December again already?! Well I hope 2017 has been good to you, it’s not been bad here!

Posted by Maria Robertson on Mittwoch, 23. August 2017

I’m pretty sure Bryan and I’s highlight was our trip to Rome. I won 3 nights in the amazing 5 star Hotel Eden, with flights, transfers and tickets to the Sistine Chapel included through our fabulous Travel Counsellor, Kate Milton. Obviously we felt bad as it didn’t include Owen but we went the week the school’s went back after the summer holidays so he had maths and Grandda to keep him happy in our absence! Rome was amazing, Bryan still occasionally mentions how massive the Colosseum is. It was super hot but luckily we were there the week after their heat wave, I was definitely walking on the shady side of the streets! The hotel spoilt us rotten, after tweeting about missing Owen we came back that evening to find a framed photo of him on the dressing table! We also spoilt ourselves by going to the Michelin Star restaurant D’Imago one night for a most amazing experience. We thought as the holiday was free we could afford a treat and it was just outstanding. The Vatican was totally breath-taking and I got quite emotional in the Sistine chapel, most overwhelming!

Owen did get a wee holiday with us too, my parents gave us tickets for Belladrum Music Festival last Christmas so we went to that in August and it was Owen’s first time camping. We saw various bands and other entertainment – and found a mobile library with a Gaelic speaking Librarian, think Owen was back in there each day! Luckily we found his school chums setting up their camp and were able to get tips from them as they go every year, we also managed to catch up with my cousin Claire and her family.

Belladrum 2017 - library book in the tent

Work is going well for both of us, busy but good. Unfortunately Bryan’s had more trips to Manchester than previously, so Owen’s had to survive my cooking/reheating! I’ve done 43 external hires at the library including ITV filming a bit of The Investigator series two, which should be on in the New Year! There was also a scene shot for a zombie movie by a local company so I’m looking forward to that DVD in the summer – Dark Within.

Talking of filming, Owen is now used to being followed round by a camera as Midas Media produced a program called “Gaelic in Aberdeen” in May which he was in several times at school, Feis and Sradagan.

My son on TV, with his own subtitles!

They are now making a documentary of a year in the life of kids in Gaelic Medium Education so we look forward to seeing that! We didn’t need to question if we could film their Christmas Concert this year as the camera team were there and some of it should be televised! He’s doing great at school, still loves his maths and literacy – in both languages. This year he also performed a poem recital in the Inverness Mod.

Ben Portsmouth aka Elvis at AECC

As you can see above we met Elvis this year…well Ben Portsmouth anyway! Seeing him in concert is probably the nearest we could ever get to seeing the King, and it was certainly a special night. I’d managed to get us front row seats so when he was giving away a scarf from round his neck at the end of a song I was able to pounce on it – and when he sang Teddy Bear and gave out toy teddies Owen managed to get a wee monkey. He is now called Elvis and goes everywhere with him! We also had a weekend in Glasgow to see Ed Sheeran, went to a gig in my library with the Fair Mothers and Rick Redbeard, and Owen and I went to Glasgow to see The Shires and then took Daddy to Fyvie Live a month later to see them again! Bryan and I went to Country2Country music festival in Glasgow again this March and our Christmas present to each other again is tickets for next year! Such a lovely weekend going for nice lunches and then seeing fantastic musicians all evening! I’ve also been on my own, or with chums, to see Busted (twice!), X Factor, Kathryn Joseph, Lewis Capaldi, The Shires, Natives, Enjoy Music (worked at this festival), Emile Sande, Newton Faulkner, Skippinish and my beloved Kasabian. I also went to the theatre for Funny Girl, Lady Boys, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and took Owen to see Wonderland, all with free tickets through my work. I got review passes for an author event with Liz Pichon at the Tivoli which Owen thoroughly enjoyed, the band from the books played and Liz taught us to do her style of doodling. I’m supposed to be reviewing for a new events newspaper, the first issue came out in August with 5 pieces by me but not been another one yet, so fingers crossed for the new year! I was at the press night for the panto which was fab, and we’re going as a family, with Ray’s family on Friday night. Bryan and I went to a comedy night with Fred Macaulay, and I managed to get a photo with him!

Breakneck Comedy night at Bettridge Centre, Newtonhill

Owen’s birthday treat/present was a trip to Manchester to watch Manchester United Legends versus Barcelona Legends. We took his Grandda too as the three Robertson chaps are dedicated Man U fans, and it was a fab day out! Instead of a party he had a couple of sleepovers – one with Lucas and Maya, the other with 4 chums from school, they certainly had fun but not so sure about how much sleep occurred!

Man U v Barcelona Legends at Old Trafford

His football obsession continues, he’s been to a few matches this year – including his first Scotland match as they actually played at our local stadium. He loves FIFA and physically playing football, his after school club now has a football club on a Monday which he enjoys.

Posted by Bryan Robertson on Samstag, 22. Juli 2017

This picture was from a charity event that Owen won a competition to name a “cocktail” for the little girl it was in aid of. His prize was to help AC Eventbars mix some mocktails and to get a rickshaw ride around Stonehaven. It was a lovely afternoon, he got spoilt rotten, and as usual his Dad got some fabulous photos.

All year we’ve been “saving up” to replace the wee Suzuki I’ve had for 10 years, obviously we keep spending our money on having far too much fun instead – but life is short and not a rehearsal so I doubt that will change anytime soon! My wee car limped through its MOT, then the alternator went one cold morning as we got to school, so the pressure is on to be sensible for a while and get that replaced!

As for my parents, they accepted an offer on Creagan in August, retired in October…and are still waiting for the sale to complete. Fingers crossed they can move closer to us in the New Year!

Hope 2017 has been kind to you, and wishing us all a fabulous festive period and wonderful 2018.

Review: Aladdin at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

December 12th, 2017

The pantomime is a Christmas essential, and in Aberdeen and the Shire we have a good choice in various venues. This year His Majesty’s Theatre is running Aladdin starring Jimmy Osmond, as the “baddie” Abanazar! This was quite a change from Elaine C Smith who has starred in our local panto for some years, so traditionalists would be relieved to hear she’s not completely gone…

The costumes and staging are well done and impressive, as are the numerous special effects including pyrotechnics (trying to resist spoilers!). The cast are all talented from the very happy children from Aberdeen Academy of Dance, to the fabulous choreography of the dancers, to our local gem of Widow Twankey (Alan McHugh, who was also the writer) and Aladdin himself (Jordan Young). Princess Jasmine (Lisa-Anne Wood) is just the right level of poise and prettiness, with an amazing voice.

Jimmy Osmond gets the chance to sing a couple of his well-known hits (and it was rude not to sing along!) in between the carefully reworked panto appropriate songs. Obviously playing the baddie we booed and hissed every time he appeared, but it did feel rather rude to “welcome” the Long Haired Lover from Liverpool to our city in such a way!

The usual ingredients are all there too – the local references, the corny jokes, the “oh yes you will” / “on no we won’t”, the singalong, the innuendo that makes the parents giggle and leave the kids blissfully unaware, and of course, the lasting feeling that it’s Christmas!!

Further information 
Thank you to Aberdeen Performing Arts for the tickets, and Richard Frew for the photography.

HMT. Aladdin Panto.

Review: GATES BRILLIANT BANDS AND DOODLE LIVE TOUR

December 12th, 2017

…with Liz Pichon at Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen. Sunday 15th October 2017.

Quite an unusual way to spend a Sunday afternoon, in a theatre with an author and a band based on the fictional band she made up for her books. Liz Pichon has written, and illustrated/doodled, a series of books based on a character called Tom Gates who is a school boy. Tom Gates is in a band called DogZombies and his favourite band is DUDE3, who are joining us for the afternoon apparently.

Along I went, with my 7 year old avid reader who had managed to get through Top Of The Class in 48 hours after hearing we were going. Really not sure what to expect we were excited to find that Liz herself was walking round the theatre making sure everyone had paper and a pencil ready to learn how to do her style of doodles. She even stopped for a photo with my son.

The show itself was an hour long, during which we were introduced to Liz Pichon, DUDE3, and the other characters in the book. It included a book reading from Family Friends and Furry Creatures – with the pages projected on the screen so we could read along, and see the relevant doodles. There was live music, although the musicians didn’t look quite like their doodled counterparts they were rather talented and so enjoyable to listen to. We were treated to a doodle lesson, with Liz being live streamed onto the projector screen as she doodled on a flipchart at the front of the stage. This method was also used so we could design a monster with various audience members making demands for imaginative things like “pizza feet” and “spaghetti arms”. We were also allowed to ask questions – brave in a room full of children – but they asked some sensible questions like who she read as a child – Roald Dahl, and how she got into writing books.

Afterwards we were invited row by row to show Liz our doodles and get our copies of books, which were on sale at the front of the theatre, signed. My son was happy sitting doodling for some of our 75 minute wait but declared she was well worth it! On the way home he changed the lyrics of the School Dinner Blues song from “we want chips” to “we want books, and they have to be Liz Pichon”. Think that says it all really, tour is ongoing and well recommended.

Further information

Christmas 2016

February 1st, 2017

Our Christmas break was lovely, we were all off for a week and a half and spent lots of quality family time together. Bryan cooked for many different groups of people, friends and family, and I just about kept up with all the dishes! Owen played table football, mostly, with anyone who would! This was his main present from Santa, he’d asked for it and a Super Hero colouring book so was lucky enough to get all he had requested and a little more!

Hogmanay 2016

We all did well in presents, especially with things to look forward to during the year: Bryan and I got each other tickets to the Country 2 Country music festival in Glasgow in March, my parents got us tickets to the very family friendly Belladrum music festival in August, Bryan’s Dad got Owen tickets to an Aberdeen football match and me a voucher for a massage (which has already been much enjoyed!).

This Christmas we decided to support one of the smaller, more local, pantomimes and went to the Tivoli theatre which is a lovely wee place which has recently been renovated and reopened after years of neglect. The show was Aladdin, which was fitting after our trip to Disney World last year and it was good fun. Although we’d only booked in November we got seats in the second row which was ace too!

Epcot at Disney World
Pantomime at Tivoli Theatre

Other local fun we got up to was photographing Owen with wooden sculptures that appeared around the city of the 12 Days Of Christmas. They were quite lovely, and it was fun trying to find them all!

12 Days of Christmas sculptures

This year the Gaelic school Mums had our Christmas night out in a casino, which was quite an experience. I enjoyed the lesson on how to play roulette and another game but was quite out of my depth when put out on the floor with a fiver’s worth of chips! The dinner and band were good though – and the company was fabulous! Even managed to get my photo taken with the band!

Gaelic Mum's Night oot

I hope you had a lovely festive period too and that 2017 treats you well.