Archive for the ‘Theatre reviews’ Category

Benson home!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Ok, so on Saturday we drove to Edinburgh and brought Benson home from the vet hospital.  He is now a bit Poodle of Frankenstein.  That is he has various shaved bits, like a poodle, and a vicious looking scar, like Fr-yeah you get where I’m going huh?!  Unfortunately he also smells of the vets so his brother isn’t too welcoming, even after a seperation period where Benson got lots of cuddles to rub my scent on him!  Either that or George is scared of the cone helmet thing Benson has to wear to stop him licking his stitches.

Anyway he seems pleased to be home, is eating and peeing as he should do so fingers crossed he will heal up nicely and be much better now.  Please?  Here’s hoping for his sake, oh and our bank balance sake as we’ve used all the “credit” from our pet insurance now.  Yikes!

There is life other than that which revolves around Benson, pills and pees.  I did go to the theatre last week to see The Miser and wrote a review about it.

Also in one of our wedding anniversary cards my Aunt had included some photocopies of some old family photos, one of which is my Great Great Granmother wearing the brooch that was stolen from our house last month.  I love old photos so thought I would share them with you.  My Grandad is the gentleman with the donkey, I love and miss him tons.

Old family photos

End of year wrap up

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Happy New Year!  Hurrah, 2008 is over and done with, lets move quickly on!

Didn’t get round to blogging for the last month, got tied up in preparation for Christmas – which suddenly loomed large!  Think I’m prepared now though, what?  Its over?  Oh well, guess its too late now then!

Benson has been keeping me occupied and away from blogging or organising myself for Christmas.  Poor wee guy actually spent whole of Christmas in the vetinary hospital.  It’s now confirmed he has chronic cystitis which means he will be ill for the rest of his life.  His bladder has now blocked twice – both times meaning several days in the hospital with a catheter and lots of drugs.  He’s now on a special diet and we’re looking for other ways to help him so we’re now growing trays of grass for him to eat, we bought a covered litter tray to give him privacy, his Aunty Nicole has given him a water fountain so he has fresh moving water which he is more likely to drink.  Might have to let him out but will see how he’s getting on at his next check up.  Obviously changing food and stuff affects George too but he’s being quite good about it all, just gets jealous when Benson gets his “special hugs” three times a day.  He doesn’t quite understand that we are just giving Benson drugs and that its not something he should be jealous of so we have to wrap him in a blanket and turn him upside down too!  Anyway if you have pets learn from our mistakes – if you take out cheap pet insurance it is only likely to cover the first year of any condition – this is bad if your cat then gets a chronic condition.  Luckily he’s covered so far but we’re well on the way to the maximum payout – yikes!

So what else did I do in December?  Well I took part in a criminal justice experiment that Robert Gordon University was running.  Obviously if I told you what it involved I would have to kill you but it was quite interesting to be part of!

I had a night out with Donna and Lydia who I went to France with in the summer.  It was to be a girly Christmas night out but for various reasons we ended up with just four of us.  That was actually lovely as there was only one new person who’s name I needed to remember and we could all hear each other talk over the table!  We had a nice dinner in Saigon’s and then went to a couple of bars before calling it a night.  I treated myself to a new dress for it – now that I’m down to a size 12 I was looking for an excuse for a new frock and a night out – and a 30% off voucher for Monsoon – seemed to suit!

Donna’s Christmas night outMarianne, Donna, me and Lydia        New size 12 Monsoon dress!New dress!

I was lucky enough to get asked to review this year’s Panto so I was able to take Donna and the two of us returned to our youth screaming “he’s behind you” etc!  It was a fab show with fireworks and Peter flying over our head, I really enjoyed it.

Still trying to get in the mood for Christmas preparation I went to see Four Christmasses, again with Donna and Lydia.  It was really good – but I still wasn’t kicked into Christmas mood!  Next it was down to Edinburgh for the Scottish Law Librarians Group Christmas Networking Meeting with Jenny.  We got the train down and back in the same afternoon, managing to fit in time for a go on the carousel and dinner at TGI Fridays whilst we were down there.

Maria on the carouselGeorge the carousel horse!     Dinner with the Law Librarians in Edinburgh!Librarians can party too!

I was supposed to go to an enchanted forest thing with lights and music in Aboyne but that day Benson took ill again and I went to the vets instead of the forest.  We did make it to Ray and Nicole’s for Sunday lunch, possibly the last time I’d see them before the baby arrives – so exciting!  I spent the evening of the boy’s work night out with Nicole as well – and felt an elbow or knee moving in her belly – most surreal and amazing!  Still waiting for the baby to arrive, I’m at the stage of jumping whenever the phone goes – but then it is due TODAY!!  Exciting!

Ooh after the Sunday lunch at R&N’s we popped into Bryan’s Dad for a wee visit.  As it turned out brother Lee was also there with his family so we got to see them all which was lovely.  Bryan took some lovely photos of them as well so that was cool, we don’t see our nieces and nephews a lot so it was really great to spend some time with them.

One more night out before Christmas was with Gill and her friends James and Corrie.  We had dinner in our local pub and then a few other folk (including Gill’s poorly hubby) joined us for a drink.  We all had a good natter and a laugh.

Gill and Stuart Gill and Stuart – the couple we bought our house from – who’d have thought we’d end up as buddies?!

My work closes at 1pm on Christmas Eve and is shut until Monday 5th January so I’m having a lovely break.  We managed to see a few friends and family on 24th, Stephen and Lee popped by and then we went down to Reg’s.  Was nice to spend some time with him and Sasina, we chatted through Santa Clause 3 and ate chocs. 

Christmas Day was spent, just the two of us, as is our tradition.  It was a bit sad knowing that Benson was stuck in the hospital whilst we were all at home, George enjoyed all the attention though and loved being spoilt.  We put the tree up for the day so we could open our presents underneath it and George was quite bewitched by it.

George loves the pretty treeGeorge   

We got some lovely pressies between us as well – thanks to all contibutors!  This year’s lunch was to be goose, Bryan loves to do something different – and he did it very well!  There was lots of food and it was all gorgeous. 

Table laid readyTable laid out ready            Roast Goose and all the bits!Food all set out, roast goose

Boxing Day we left poor George all on his own and went to visit my parents for another lovely lunch – the traditional turkey this time!  It was lovely to see my parents – and to get more pressies obviously!

Dad, me on my rocking horse, and Mum  Spending Christmas with my parents and hubby  Dad, me on Firefly and Bryan

The next day we were able to collect Benson from the hospital and bring him home.  We’d had a problem after the first day because he smelt funny to his brother George and there was a lot of hissing and ignoring so this time we were careful to cuddle him lots in another room first so as to rub some of the hospital smell off.  It did take them a while to accept each other but it wasn’t as upsetting as last time.  We’d kept the wrapping paper for them to play with as they’d loved that last year but I think they are too old for such frolics now so they didn’t seem to enjoy it in the same way.

Benson comes home

The last day of the year was spent: at work (Bryan), out for lunch with Gill and the kids (me)!  I also got my last competition win of the year in the post – a Carling t-shirt.  I expect I entered to win a fridge full of beer or something exciting but still, Bryan can never have too many tops! 

As for Hogmanay, well we just enjoyed having our family back together.  Benson is on a lot of medication so he sleeps a lot at the moment but we had a game with Bryan’s new remote control General Lee and all had lots of cuddles.  Bryan cooked haggis with mash potato and roast butternut squash for our dinner and we watched some tv and nattered the night away. 

I’ve been trying out Twitter an online communication tool, and was messing about on that during the evening.  I ended up getting involved in a Tweeplay which was quite fun and has been recorded on my Twitter friend’s blog.  Different but entertaining none the less!  I also took the following piccie for infobunny but I won’t bother explaining why as you really needed to be there to get it!

George with some whisky

After midnight I went outside with a sparkler, inbetween trying to persuade the cats that the fireworks outside and on the tv wouldn’t hurt them.  We watched the fireworks and listened to the bells and bagpipes in Edinburgh.  Midnight on Hogmanay is the one time I miss our flat in Edinburgh – we used to be able to stand on our balcony and watch the fireworks whilst being able to see and hear the same fireworks close up on the tv – best way to do it – no crowds, no being jostled by foreigners, clean toilets, warmth and whatever food or drink you desire!

And so we’ve seen the back of 2008 – hurrah.  Here’s hoping that 2009 brings happy times for one and all.  Have a good ‘un!

First chipolata of the year

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Been quite a busy week.  Monday went to see McFly with Donna, they were absolutely awesome!  Avenue and Reemer were the support bands and I was keen to see them considering the first time I saw McFly, 5 years ago, they were “just the support” for the wonderful and amazing Busted!  Avenue were quite good and had us on our feet singing along but I actually went to the toilet during Reemer – yes I left the room when live music was on!  Shock!  Horror!  McFly put on a great show and were just lovely.  I know its wrong for a woman of my age to scream her head off at young boys but at least now they are nearer 21 than being non legal!!!!


Tuesday night I was working late as we had AGM and then an author event with Charlie Allan which was quite entertaining.  During the AGM I was thanked lots for various things which was nice but quite strange as I was taking the Minutes and it seemed wrong to keep mentioning thanks to myself!  Nice to get credit for doing my job though.

Wednesday night I met Gill for dinner and then we went to see a very, very scary play!  Was nice to have a night out with Gill, makes a change from sitting on her sofa with a bottle of wine – and the play was really good.

The next night I actually was at home – all evening.  Most bizarre!  Was quite a relief actually, especially as Benson is still quite unwell and needed love and attention.  He was at the vet on Friday and has more drugs to try and sort him out.  Poor fella.

The weekend has been mostly lovely and relaxing.  I met Jenny after work on Friday night and we went for a lovely Chinese dinner and a good natter.  Saturday night I actually went out with my husband (more Shock! Horror!).  We went for dinner and then to the cinema to see Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was very funny.  Today Bryan’s Dad came round to watch the football and Bryan made us all roast chicken with chipolatas (I’m not getting turkey at Christmas and may have made the occassional little complaint about this).  So here’s to Christmas, maybe I’ll start my shopping soon….

Catch up time

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

No, I’ve not posted for a while.  Yes, I’m a bad little blogger.  No, I’m not going to make excuses for my evilness (although did I mention that Benson has been ill so we’ve been in and out of the vets?).  Yes, I will try and make it up to you now.

First off, I just watched the final of Dirty Dancing, the time of your life.  Not usually one for that kind of show but I watched it one Sunday evening and have been hooked ever since!  I do of course love the movie and love watching good dancers so it does suit me rather well.  Am pleased to say that the guy I liked most the first week won, along with the Scottish lassie so hurrah for that!  Now just wondering how to persuade hubby that he wants to go on holiday here.

Since I last blogged Bryan and I had a week off work to do some decorating.  We hadn’t done any since we moved in and so it was “about time”.  If you want to see the “before” situation.  It was the hallway and the 3rd bedroom we decided to focus on and we did get them both done in the week.  Putting the cats in the cattery for the week was definately the way to go as that was one less thing to worry about and meant they didn’t have to put up with the paint smells, or get stuck to the walls!  We have both agreed that we are not fabulous painters, but at least its freshened up and we managed to sort a few issues at the same time so its certainly an improvement! 

I did take a night off to go to the theatre to review a play called Offshore, another night we went out for dinner and then to the cinema for Burn After Reading.  On the Friday night Bryan went to meet Ray and they had dinner and saw the new Bond movie, whilst I stayed home and cleaned the house ready for my friends Angela and Louise coming to visit the next day.  I took them to Haddo House for a Christmas Craft Fair, we had lunch in Ellon and then a walk on the beach at Newburgh before heading back to town for dinner and the Bond movie! 

 Louise and Angela with Bond’s car
The next day we did lunch and a few shops before they caught the train home.

Our newly decorated guest room was a bit better organised by its next inhabitants – my parents – came to visit.  I had an Italian evening arranged for work that I’d managed to persuade them, and Bryan, to attend.  Mum and Dad arrived in time for it and then stayed with us for 2 nights.  I took the following day off work so I could spend it with them and we went and had lunch with my Great Aunt Dorothy, her daughter Moira, and a family friend called Noreen. 

 Folks and Ladies

That evening Bryan cooked us dinner, after working all day bless him, and I got the whole evening to enjoy having my nearest and dearest under one roof.

We had Friday night last week in the pub with Hugh and Linda, which was my first time in our local, and I think I might be found in there again!  The Saturday night Nicole and Ray came for dinner and I was allowed to feel Bump Robertson kicking – which was totally amazing!  Not long now till we get to meet Master or Miss Bump either!  This weekend Bryan had Friday off and has been playing a horrid zombie killing game since I dropped him at Asda on my way to work!  Friday night was my work’s Annual Dinner so that was very stressful for me as organiser but it all seemed to go well and everyone I spoke to seemed to be having a good time.  Photos are on the website, bottom of the events page.  Not sure how I ended up in the photos, I’m supposed to stay the other side of the camera!!  Yesterday I had to get the silver candlesticks back to work from the venue.  I also met up with my friend Jo, and her family.  Amazing how quick the wee ones grow!  We went to a softplay thing which was a first time experience for me, I was just glad I didn’t drink at the dinner as I think those places could be torture with a hangover!!

I’ve finally got back into my Wii Fit exercise routine as well.  Have been enjoying loosing weight, especially when I realised that my size 14 clothes are too big!  Although I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe so have only bought a few size 12 things, am just going for the “baggy” look the rest of the time.  Amazing how much some of my trousers drag on the floor though!!!  Have entered a few competitions to win vouchers for clothes shops and have been watching out for mystery shopping opportunities in my favourite shops so I can get some free clothes that way!

So that brings us up to date, I’m sure there have been some random things I meant to blog but will add them in if I think of them.  Will try and get round to taking photos of our redecorated rooms at some point too.  Oh and I believe I’m supposed to shop for Christmas at some point.  Hmmmm, not got that far yet, although did update my Amazon wish list recently!  Bryan went through the Empire Top 500 and worked out which ones were missing from our collection.  I’ve seen 221 of them so got some watching to do, not that I really fancy all of them obviously! 

Right, now for Sunday evening washing up before an early night me thinks!  Have a good week y’all!

Highs and lows

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Feeling a bit down today.  There’s a lot of “bad stuff” goes on in the world and occassionally it gets to me.  Was struggling to write a review for a play I saw on Monday (I didn’t know before I got there it was for folk with learning difficulties and when you compared it to some of the other stuff I see it wasn’t that fab but you could see they were really trying).  Anyway it is online now after some tweaks by myself, Bryan and the guy that publishes them! 

This morning I got shown something that made me feel a lot better about myself though!  A review of my work’s website which I did a lot of the planning work for, and the map of cupboards was all my idea.  Just in case they don’t leave it online I will save it here too:

Review of some websites of local solicitors’ groups

by Iain Nisbet

Society of Advocates in Aberdeen

The Society of Advocates in Aberdeen have just launched their website, and very nice it is too. This is easily the most attractive and professional of the three websites reviewed this time round.

There is much useful information to be had on the site, but it is all so well organised and laid out that it is quick and easy to access. As you might expect for a website which has only recently been created, all the information is right up to date – but already shows signs of being kept up to date.

The CPD and events calendars seem to be full and varied, and for those of you who missed the hill walk to Glen Clova in September the photos will be posted online soon!

A definite bonus for this website is the ability to search the Society’s extensive library. The search facility returns not just the details of the book you were looking for, but also the bookcase in which it is kept (this information is usefully supplemented by the downloadable plan of the library, with bookcases clearly numbered).

The Society has apparently been on the go since the 15th century, but with this website – as the Press & Journal so eloquently reported on the site’s launch – it has well and truly “lurched into the 21st”.

Last week’s highlights

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Monday night – was at theatre to see An Ideal Husband and to meet the cast afterwards. Was gutted as Michael Praed didn’t stay very long and I’d been waiting for him to finish his beer before pouncing.  Chance missed!  Did however have a lovely chat with Tony Britton and also with Robert Duncan, who I love in Drop the Dead Donkey. 

Tuesday -phone call from Topman to say I’d won tickets for the Glasvegas concert on Saturday night.  Had quite fancied it but was supposed to be waitressing that night, and it sold out quick.  The waitressing got cancelled 2 hours before the phone call so it was obviously fate that I should go!!  Weird how the world works sometimes.

Wednesday – had lunch date with my friend Alison from Edinburgh, and lo and behold she brought with her the gorgeous grandson and his Mum.  So nice to see all three generations together!

Thursday – had a nice meal out with Raiya and Eilidh.

Friday – went to Gill’s for the evening and chatted endlessly, as we love to do!  Was really nice just to chill out and natter.

Saturday – Bryan’s brother Lee came to stay the night and have a few beers with Bryan whilst I was out the way.  Was good to see him before I headed out to the gig.  Gig was really rather good!  Had never heard of Friendly Fires before but am now quite a lover of such as they were ace!  Glasvegas were also fab although didn’t play as long as I’d have liked, but I guess a new band only have so much material.  And then Zane Lowe hit the decks!  Crickey, that man is a god, was awesome but we didn’t stay too long as it was getting late, and we aren’t young uns anymore.  Was fab night though, thanks MTV, Gonzo and Topman!  Photos and a video are on my bebo page, link to the right.

Radiohead does ballet

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Last night I went to see the Scottish Ballet Autumn Season 2008 production.  It included 3 different pieces: one to Radiohead music, one to sounds of trains and bees, and one to 1930s music such as Pennies from Heaven.  I don’t think you could get more different pieces but put together they made quite a breathtaking evening.

 Ride the Beast

Ride the beast was to Radiohead music and was a beautiful and perfectly choreographed piece.  I was just in awe of the way they could control their bodies and work together, never missing a beat or banging into each other at all.  You also have to question how anyone could hear Radiohead and think  – ballet!!   Whenever I’ve seen them in concert its more – beer!  Or – gosh what a lot of sweaty men.  Hmmm, there is a similarity after all!!  It was very modern ballet, my favourite bit being to the song Creep where a guy comes in as the creap and wants to be one of the beautiful people.  I do like lyrics I can understand.

I think this was my problem with the second piece, I wasn’t sure what was going on or what it was supposed to portray and I felt stupid for being that way.  It was called For MG: The Movie and was writen in the 70s, I knew that before it started but it was to a soundtrack of trains and bees and all the dancers were in outfits that made them look naked.  There was a lot of running about and moving slow – 1 man just stood there till the end.  Was certainly intreguing and made you think – and sit in awe of the self control over the dancers bodies again.

Finally we came to Pennies from Heaven, set in a bar in the 1930s with all the ladies in pretty dresses and all the men in suits.  This was more traditional dancing with the ladies finally wearing ballet shoes and going on points.  All the songs were ones you recognised and all the movements were just gorgeous.  With the occassional funny touch added for good flavour.  It was just magical and you hoped it wouldn’t end.

Asked at the end which piece I liked best I struggled to answer.  I knew it wasn’t the strange naked middle piece, I don’t like feeling stupid and out of the secret of what is going on.  I would have loved to answer Radiohead without hesitation as it was awesome, but at the end of the day I love pretty dresses and couples dancing easily so it would probably have to go to Pennies from Heaven.  Might need to see the Radiohead one again just to make sure though.. 

Roll on January when Scottish Ballet will be back with Sleeping Beauty!

God mother’s visit

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

So this weekend Aunty Jenny and Uncle Harry were in Aberdeen – hurrah!  Had a lovely time nattering to Jenny, my god mother, and had a giggle threatening Harry with cuddles – he’s not a touchy feely type!  Bryan took their visit as a perfect excuse to subscribe to Setanta so the lads could watch yesterday’s Man U game together.  In the meantime I showed Jenny how much fun the Wii is, think that’s another sale I’ve got them!  Today we went to the local carvery for Sunday lunch, am still lovely and stuffed now!  Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos so can’t share them.

Since I last blogged I went to the theatre to see Footloose which was absolutely amazing.  Lydia was my +1, poor thing – I told her we were going to see Flashdance, luckily she didn’t mind…or was that, she didn’t notice?!

I also got a new washing machine, which is wonderful. 

 Washing Machine

Have now caught up with the 2 weeks washing that built up since our last machine gave up working.  New machine has loads of settings and even has a timer so if you’re going to bed you can set the delay timer so it washes your clothes in time for you getting up, and its so quiet we can’t hear it upstairs, very exciting!!

Nice weekend!

Monday, September 29th, 2008

So this weekend I was out with Bryan and his workmates on Friday night.  I was designated driver so was sat watching 7 IT boys get drunk, was rather entertaining.

Then on Saturday morning my lovely chum arrived from Edinburgh and we chatted about much more girlie things, until she left late Sunday!  We also managed to fit in some walks on beaches, dunes, cliffs and streets of shops; various refreshment stops, including dinner with our “new pal” Jenny from London, now of Aberdeen; a dark and yet good play; and some ship watching by the lighthouse.  Various photos are on my Flickr, and indeed hers!

Then on Sunday night I was at the tail end of a reunion BBQ for the group of solicitors I went to France with.  I did get there in time for the glorious banoffi pie, and a group viewing of one of these Dancing with the stars shows.

Today our new washing machine arrived.  My dear friend Gill was the “doorman” and let the delivery chaps in and finally after 2 weeks I am washing pants again *cue huge sigh from all around us*!

Even more exciting is a whole week with no evening plans (other than laundry obviously!), will enjoy relaxing a bit.  Especially as running around sand dunes in the rain seems to have given me a horrid cold…


Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Oh dear, I just went to buy some booze for a work function and the lady at the till asked me for ID!!  She didn’t look totally convinced when I said I was 32.  I gave her my driving license to prove it and she did look a bit sheepish, was rather funny!

Was at the theatre again last night, this time with Jenny.  She moved up from London to be with her Aberdonian boyfriend.  Someone put her in touch with me as we’re both law librarians and I might have known about jobs for her.  Luckily she’s been able to carry on working for the London firm she worked for down there, just doing stuff remotely, that’s the wonder of the modern world!  Anyway we had a nice dinner and a natter and then went to see Le Grand Cirque which was totally amazing. 

Tonight its a quiet one as I have to work at a Society Quiz tomorrow night which can be a late night so must get some sleep tonight!!