Archive for May, 2008

Girls Aloud

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Ok so last night was the Girls Aloud concert at the AECC.  There were 3 support bands of varying “talent”, apparently The Saturdays think they will be the next Girls Aloud – 5 girls, bright coloured costumes, poppy tunes – could you be any more alike them?

The Girls themselves put on an excellent show though, lots of fireworks, costume changes, fit lads – the works.  They did murder Salt n Peppa’s Push It at one point, to follow up an awful song called Fling of their own.  But when they kept to the pop it was good pop!!

 Our seats were in the furthest back spot but I did manage to get some photos for my male friends, as requested:

 Grand EntranceGirls at our end of the stageGolden girlsEncore outfits

Videos on my Bebo page, link to right hand side!

Squeeze one in

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Ok so I have time, and “material”, for a wee blog before tonight’s cheesy pop extravaganza!

Sunday – went to some tiny village to see my pal Jo, Randy and their 2 kids as they were visiting the grandparents.  Poor wee Emma had the chicken pox so we had to meet there rather than the children’s adventure play ground we had arranged, much to my disappointment!  We had a nice time though, was good to see them all as I’ve only seen Jo once since I left Edinburgh.  Amazing how quickly Emma is growing though, last time I saw her she was a babe in arms and now she’s running around and “talking”!

Last night I was at the theatre to see Joseph, which was absolutely brilliant.  I’m not sure if my huge love for the whole performance was a follow up to the fact that we did it at school when I was very small.  I certainly seemed able to sing along to many of the songs (tried to do it quietly though!).  There were some great twists and surprises in it – like Elvis – but I’ll say no more on that in case you’re going to see it!!  The costumes and sets were fantastic, so colourful and clever.

I didn’t get the big fuss over the guy playing Joseph, Craig Chalmers, but then I don’t watch these kind of programmes that he was in.  He was quite good but I loved the narrator more, Tara Bethan, she was really good.  As was Chris Dilley, one of the brothers.  He was just full of life and obviously enjoying himself so it was impossible not to enjoy watching him!

My official review is available on What’s On Stage.  I was there on their behalf “auditioning” to be a reviewer for them and – whoohoo – they liked my work!!  So hopefully will get to go to the theatre more – and for free, excellent!!  Plus 1s, line up here please as I get to take a guest!

Anyway over and out, might blog tomorrow if the gals are any good tonight!

Avoiding Eurovision

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Ok, so I can’t handle that much cheese in a one-er so I was watching anything rather than BBC1 tonight, even gave Pushing Daisies a second chance but still don’t like it!  Anyway found a program that was really cool and it has various clips on its website so if you like comedy and missed The Comedy Map of Britain, you can still check it out.  Seems to be something for everyone, if you like to laugh – and who doesn’t?!

Other news, today we test drove a Suzuki Swift and decided that we do want one.  Our lovely big Jag is just not economical.  When we bought it we hardly drove so wanted something that was a nice treat when we did.  Then Bryan got a job that involved driving from client to client and our mileage shot up.  Of course with the fuel prices increasing as well its just stupid, and bad for the environment obviously.  So we’re being sensible and down sizing from a 3 litre to a 1.3 or 1.5.  *sigh*.  It’s boring being sensible!  Just need to find a nice one with reasonable mileage that we can afford now..and sell the Jag.

Right well I should probably go sleeps now, fell asleep in front of the tv about 9.30 last night and slept through till 8 this morning, think I’m too old for 2 nights out in a row!  Lucky I have a nice quiet weekend to recover.

Will warn you now, next blog will probably be about seeing Girls Aloud live (insert lots of screaming 8 year old girls here).  I’m going with Gill, who we bought our house from, and her daughter Victoria.  It’s Victoria’s first proper concert so I think we’re all looking forward to it.  Should be quite a good show – those girls do good pop!  Bit different from my usual choice of band but diversity is a good thing.

Missing the sofa, or am I?!

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Ok so it might have been “school nights” but I’ve been out the last two nights – shock! horror!

Wednesday night I went to a drinks reception in Edinburgh at the Signet Library.  It was a good excuse to do some networking, and catch up with some fellow Law Librarians.  Oh, and there was free flowing pink champagne!  Bit mad to do 5 hours on a train for a 2 hour drinks do but I still think it was worth it, I do miss folk down there.

Last night I was at Her Majesty’s Theatre to see the Scottish Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet.  It ws wonderfully done, and made more interesting by a pre show talk by one of the guys behind the choreography.  Have never been to a pre show talk before but it made you feel more part of the performance somehow, was really great.

I love ballet and this performance was really rather magical and fab!  The costumes were gorgeous and the cast very well picked, mostly.  Juliet was this delicate little creature, although Romeo wasn’t quite as strikingly handsome as I expected somehow.  I would have gone for one of the other guys, one from Juliet’s side probably!  They had these fab black outfits with knee high boots, all most kinky and fab!!

Mum and Juliet

Anyway if you get the chance to see it on it’s tour you really should as its marvellous.  I just found it really hard not to dance down Union Street to the bus stop!!

Friendly Frolics!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Ok so I don’t miss Edinburgh, except for my job and my friends.  So I went down for a weekend to catch up with some of the friends.  Two pals have bought new flats since I was last there so it was time to check them out – and test the guest rooms of course!  Friday night I jumped on a train after work and zoomed down to meet Jennie.  We went back to hers and I had the grand tour before Lorna arrived with some vino.  The evening then progressed with a mixure of fizzing candy..

Fizzing candy kills!

attempts to use the Wii Fit (hoola hoop game is brill fun but watch out for shouting things like “stay up there for cryng out loud, come on, get it up!”)…

Wii controller in one hand, fizzing pop in the other!

Note the fizzy sweets in one hand and wii remote in the other, not sure if this is a recommended duo!  Evening also featured a very exciting “fashion show” where I got into some size 10 jeans, and age 15 jeans!  Woohoo!!!  Even went totally crazy and tried on one of her bikinis!  Unfortunately that was just as some of her other friends, including a man, arrived so only Lorna saw that – but she wasn’t sick so that’s promising!

Was a fun night and Jennie and I ended up chatting till 3, once the others left, which was lovely as I haven’t seen her for a while.

Next morning I was due in Musselburgh to meet Angela and Louise, we met over cake which I approved of totally!  Then we went down to Haddington for the day, had a gorgeous lunch in the Victoria Inn and went round lots of lovely little shops, so nice to see independent shops.

Then it was home for a really lovely dinner with David and Becki.  Think we all spent a lot of time gazing out the window enjoying the views:

View from a windowMen searching for mussels

Although looking wasn’t good enough when it came to me and those wonderful digger things in the children’s playground!

Stupidgirl gets diggy with it!

The weekend was finished off with a trip into town for lunch at TGIs.  Angela, Louise, David and Jennie got together for that which was a nice tying up of the weekend!  Also seemed a good excuse for a couple of cocktails!!  And I think they made the train journey easier, at least helped me have a wee nap.

No win for Benson

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Ok so I maybe hadn’t mentioned this on my blog but I got an email saying that Benson had been longlisted for the Felix Factor competition I had entered him for.   They wanted permission to use his photo in the papers and stuff, which obviously I gave gladly!  Anyway have just realised that the winners are now up on The Sun website.  Ah its on the main site too.

Well here’s his entry anyway just for you:

Benson’s Felix Factor photo

Dusty Rhodes…

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Me and half the band!

I should probably explain this photo of me and some wondrously hairy men.  Or maybe it’s more fun not to explain it!  Maybe I just like gathering groups of beardies and hugging them.  Hmmm, now there’s a thought!

Ok, so I was asked to be the Street Team for Dusty Rhodes and the River Band when they supported Dirty Pretty Things.  I must admit to not really having been aware of Dusty but having tried to get tickets for the DPT too late and being upset.  So I accepted happily.  Anyway I had a great night and spent most of the concert outside getting email addresses for the mailing list and talking to random passers by and the bouncers, then I moved to the merchandise stall and bothered the lovely young guy there (Hi Hughsy!  – if that’s how you spell it and if you ever happen to see this!).  The band came up and I got to chat to them and loads of folk who had really enjoyed their performance which was cool.  They were really lovely guys (and a girl but I didn’t get to speak to her much!) and obviously love what they do, which comes through in the music.  They very kindly gave me a free CD and some of them signed it.  Was a random but thoroughly enjoyable night, all in all!  I do love that feeling of being “with the band” as several people seemed to think I was *smug grin*.

Growth

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Today’s blog has two different main news items.  The first is to report my visit’s to this year’s Word Festival (intellectual growth) and the second is about my recent gardening exploits (plant growth).

So, Friday night I went to see two events:

Stuart MacBride Book Launch
Sponsored byWaterstone’s Bookshop
4.15pm, Elphinstone Hall, King’s College £5 (£3)
Stuart MacBride is the latest tartan noir sensation. His series of crime novels featuring Aberdeen detective Logan Mcrae began with Cold Granite, and here he launches the fourth in the series, Flesh House.

Irish & Scottish Poetry – Michael Longley, Robert Crawford and Sinead Morrissey
In Association with the AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies
7.30pm, King’s College Centre, King’s College £5 (£3)
Michael Longley has won the Whitbread Poetry Award, the TS Eliot Prize and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His Collected Poems stand as a towering achievement. Robert Crawford is Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at St Andrews. He has published seven collections of his own work (four of which have been Poetry Book Society Recommendations) and a Selected PoemsSinead Morrissey is part of an exciting younger generation of Irish poets who came of age in the 1990s. She has won the TS Eliot Prize.  She is Lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast, and her latest collection is The State of the Prisons.

Stuart did a session recently in our library so I had heard some of his chat before but it was still really interesting and good!  I’d chosen a seat in the third row but the first two rows were reserved for “Friends of Word” and as only one turned up I was in effect in the front row!  Stuart spotted me and threatened to “name and shame” and I got all embarrassed.  Not sure what I’d done that was shameful, other than maybe being his main Librarian Stalker – surely something that some authors can only dream of having?!

The poetry session was good, especially one called Genetics which Sinead did.  I went to this session with Eilidh Scobbie who is the Library Conveyer at my work.  She is a Friend of Word so got me cheap tickets for all the events, which was rather super!  So I have to admit to only choosing to see Stuart, all the others were her choice.  However this is a good way to broaden your horizons and learn of new wonderous things, and she does have rather good taste!!

Saturday’s program of events was as follows for the two of us:

The Beast is Beautiful
11am, King’s College Centre, King’s College FREE OF CHARGE
One of the University of Aberdeen’s greatest treasures is the Bestiary, a richly illuminated medieval manuscript – beautiful, yet intriguingly incomplete. Chaired by Sunday Herald editor Alan Taylor, a distinguished panel including Dr Jane Geddes will discuss this collection of moralising stories about animals – its meaning and source and the mystery of its creation.

Alasdair Gray
12 noon, King’s College Centre, King’s College £5 (£3)
One of Scotland’s best-loved and most truly original novelists makes a long overdue return to Word and will read from his latest novel Old Men In Love, of whichWill Self writes “Only Gray can be fecklessly sexy as well as insidiously sagacious… He’s the very best Alasdair Gray we have, and we should cherish his work accordingly.”

Peter Davidson & Andrew Greig
2pm, King’s College Centre, King’s College £5 (£3)
Peter Davidson is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Aberdeen and is also an accomplished poet. His investigation into The Idea of North has been hailed as amajor work. His new poetry collection is The Universal Baroque. Andrew Greig is a prize-winning poet and novelist who has also written a bestseller on golf! His poetry books include Men On Ice, and a selected poems, This Life, This Life. Non-fiction includes Preferred Lies. Novels include In Another Light (winner of the Saltire Prize) and the recently published Romanno Bridge.

The Bestiary was definately my favourite session of the weekend as it really is beautiful, and has so many lovely stories attached to it.  The two ladies telling us about it were very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to.  They also demonstrated the version that is going online soon where you can actually turn each page and look at the book as if you were being allowed to touch the glorious thing!  There is a website about it at the moment but it will be even better once the new version is online, very exciting!

Mr Gray didn’t actually read from the book the description told us he would but he did act out some bits of a new play he’s writing, with the aid of a young man with a lovely voice!  He seemed to be a lovely old man, and certainly someone you wouldn’t mind being locked in a room with for a period of time as he was very entertaining.

The last session was half disappointing (Peter) and half really wonderful (Andrew Greig).  I’ve already added some of the latter’s books to my Amazon wishlist for the next time I win vouchers!  He read some lovely poetry as well, one of which is available on the website for the Scottish Poetry Library.  He had one of those voices you could listen to for ages, and obviously loves what’s he’s written, you can hear it in the way he reads it aloud.  Anyway there’s my new literary love from the weekend, and my own personal growth!

Meanwhile, back at home, our garden is doing quite well.  I have included some photos to demonstrate this.  I love our cherry blossum tree, so pretty – even though it is pink!  The birds seem to love it to and are eating me out of house and home!  I got mixed seed the other week but they have eaten the whole bag already so I need to buy more!  At least they have peanuts to keep them going in the meantime.

Lively gardenThe garden in May

I got hugely excited on my way to Word when I noticed that one of the bulbs I had planted had managed to grow into a bit of a plant.  Then got even more excited when I realised it wasn’t just one!  There are 7 wee sprouts in my front border, although one is much bigger than the others.  I’ve never grown anything “from scratch” before so this is all very exciting.  Now if I can just keep the neighbours’ cats off the border so that they can all grow I should get a wonderful spread of dark red and black gladioli, or is it gladiolis?!

Bulbs!

Just at the side of that photo you can see a bit of the Clematis we got for Christmas from Aunt Kathleen and Uncle John.  It’s not looking terribly happy at the moment but it has had flowers on it and it did seem to cheer up once I cut it back a bit so hopefully I’ll keep it growing.  It was a lovely coincidence that they choose a clematis for us as I had been meaning to get one.  I’m not really into plants and flowers (well unless it’s lovely red roses from my hubby!) but I always loved this big pretty climbing thing that my Grandad had outside his house and then his flat.  When I got a garden I’d asked Mum what it was and declared I wanted one.  So now I have one and its next to my front door so I see it whenever I come home and have a constant reminder of Grandad.

They’ve done it again as well.  For my birthday they sent a Pieris Japonica Passion.  Now the link there could be seen as the fact that the roses at our wedding were all “passion” but further to that is the fact that when I was a tiny baby my parents bought a house called Japonica, and it had a Japonica by the front door!  Unfortunately I can’t copy that totally as the Clematis has already claimed that spot here but I have planted it in the back garden.  Most of our garden at the front and back is lawn so we don’t have a huge area for planting things but there’s a big bush beside the fence to the side so I have put it next to that. 

 New plant

Now I just need to concentrate on getting the lawn to only have grass in it and we’ll have a perfectly lovely garden!  Although we did have some friends round last night who told me that it’s about time I trimmed my bush.  There was a bit of giggling which accompanied this statement but they do have a point – will have to send Bryan out with the hedge trimmers soon.  Not now though, there’s football on and I’ve been told to “shh”.  Luckily blogging keeps me quiet!

Well this is quite a long blog so I really should close now but I just have to share one more photo of one of my gorgeous but mad beasties.  We’re not sure what they are doing when they do this but it looks like they are trying to clean the glass in the lounge door.  Mad beasties indeed!

Mad cat

Excitement galore!

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

So, we were in Edinburgh for the weekend.  Lyndsay is back from Australia so we were meeting her for lunch with Iain and Laura and their wee daughter Rose.  Then we were staying the night with the Young family.  So that was exciting, we haven’t seen Lyndsay since she went off to Oz and this is only the second time we’ve met Rose.

It was nice to all be together again, although it was a shame Kieron couldn’t be with us too.  However he had sent a diamond for us to look at.  That’s right, he and Lyndsay are engaged at last!!  Woohoo!!!  They are moving back to the UK, which is very exciting.  Wedding will be September next year hopefully so I can start dress shopping now I guess!

Maria, Lyndsay and Laura together again!

We had a really nice meal, and a wee bit of wine I think..  Bryan turned out to be a good Uncle and managed to keep Rose happy for a wee while, whilst making my womb skip everal beats!!!

Uncle Bryan with ickle Rose

After lunch we all went back to Iain and Laura’s and played with Rose and had a good natter.  Lyndsay and I were quite taken with Rose’s bouncey thing but apparently its only for little people.  Life is rather unfair sometimes but we managed to make do with just watching her in it.

Laura, Iain and Rose

Meanwhile I was quite concerned about their poor pet fish who seems to think its sensible to sleep upside down.  Perhaps he’s just attention seeking as their attention is taken up elsewhere.

Sick little fishy

Anyway it was a nice weekend and good to catch up with everyone.  Plus I learnt a new game called “Shoot, Marry or Sh*g”.  Someone gives you 3 famous people and you have to choose which one you would do each thing to.  It’s really hard when they give you 3 people you really like as you have to shoot one of them!

Right, now to stick to the sofa for the evening and chill!

Phew

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Got tickets to see Alanis Morissette on Monday 18th August in Carling Academy Glasgow!!  Woohoo!!! Got 2 in case anyone wants to chum me?!  So lovely of her to come back to Scotland, and so lovely of her to do it when I have the whole week booked off work anyway!!