Saturday, April 29, 2006

A blog from my lunch break on open day

On reflection, last night may have been something of an error. Urrrrrrrrg.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How to make Chorus more amusing

5.15 - go for dinner at Pizza Express. Eat yummy food and drink wine.
6.30 - search for car in West Orchards car park. Try floors 2, 5 and 4 before discovering it on 3.
6.55 - purchase glass of highly overpriced Arts Centre wine.
6.59 - swallow last few mouthfuls of wine. Blink rapidly.
7pm - go to Chorus.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Baking with Gustav

I like to think that I have more knowledge of what people generally call "classical" music than the average person. My parents brought me up on a diet of Radio 3, choral music, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Elgar, and I've always loved everything from Tallis to Tippett. However, mum and dad were never that keen on large-scale symphonies so I've never really got to know some of the major works that other people think of as their favourites. I've therefore decided to give myself a musical education, starting with the biggest symphonies of all. For a bargainous £20 I've bought a box set of all nine Mahler symphonies (Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Sir Georg Solti) with the aim of discovering what all the fuss is about. I've only ever heard his first symphony when it was on tv a few years ago as part of the Proms, and I have to admit I thought it was tedious. A recent live performance I saw did nothing to change my opinion, so I was a little sceptical about listening to his other works. However, this evening while baking brownies for the office (Charlotte's been pestering me for them for weeks!) I brought my CD player into the kitchen, put the second symphony on...and discovered exactly why everyone loves Mahler. The piece is wonderful! I now can't wait to listen to the rest of the set, although I'll need a lot of time for each one - I managed to bake two batches of brownies with washing up between each one and still had time to sit and listen to about 20 minutes at the end of the last movement today. They really are epics!

After I've finished Mahler I intend to move onto Sibelius, Rachmaninov, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Beethoven and Tchiakovsky. If anyone has more symphonic suggestions then do let me know. After all of that I might even dip my toe into the waters of opera for the first time! Scary stuff.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Feeling odd

I've been feeling slightly odd for the past couple of days and I can't really put my finger on why. I guess it's something to do with having a quiet weekend - I was so grateful to not be packing a suitcase for once, but after two days of quiet I got that Sunday afternoon feeling and it's kind of lingered. It wasn't as if I had nothing to do either: the usual food shopping, clothes washing etc happened, and I also went to church, walked to Sainsbury's and back (which is pretty far from where I live) and walked to Blockbuster to return my DVDs. Of course I also met the lovely Lucy for a rather fab girly gossip in Rhubarb, followed by some ambling round Leam town centre in the sunshine, which was an excellent way of spending Saturday afternoon and cheered me up no end, but afterwards I was on a happy high and then had nothing to do except sit in my living room and watch a quite stunningly bad chick flick. I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I wouldn't want to be living with anyone else, and generally have no time to be considering a "significant other" (horrible term) there are the odd occasions when it would be nice to have someone to mindlessly chat to or look forward to seeing. This is a generally strange feeling which will hopefully go away when I'm manically busy again. Methinks girly nights must be planned - giggling and cocktails are definitely an excellent substitute for men and far more fun and less stress!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I went to the cinema today

Sarah also recommends Hugh Grant. YUM.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sarah recommends...

...watching girly films, drinking wine, eating Finest pizza and chocolate shortbread and painting your toenails.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I just felt the need to record the events of my Easter lunch. I feel it illustrates why I like visiting my family so much. After the g&t and the first glass of champagne we had a discussion of why John's gospel may well have been written much earlier than the generally accepted date of 95AD. After the 2 bottles of champagne had been finished and we'd started on the port, mum, Simon and I had a conversation about buggery, which culminated in my mum opining that it can't be very enjoyable doing it with a cow because the hole's probably too big. Legendary.

Happy Easter one and all!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Peaceful joy

I just spent the most perfect hour doing something very few people do - appreciating the town in which I live. I walked round Jephson Gardens in the glorious sunshine, exploring every single path. It was genuinely warm for the first day this year, and there were hundreds of people out enjoying the beautiful day, sitting on the grass, playing football or walking like me. I get the most amazing feeling of total contentment just being out in nature in the sunshine, and I'm now feeling full of the joys of life. For a person as irritatingly optimistic as me to be feeling even happier than usual is quite something! I shall stop inflicting it on you all now.


Pictures are now up on my space of Italy and the wedding. There are still a few wedding ones to come but they're stuck in my camera at the moment. The colours are not great and they're a bit grainy, but the actual prints themselves are good, which I suppose is not much use to you people! Oh well. One of these days I will get myself a decent digital camera, honestly.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tonight I have drunk

2 glasses of red wine
1 Archers and lemonade (homemade)
1 chocolate orange cocktail
2 butterscotch and Baileys shooters
1 cherry cocktail
1 White Russian

I didn't think I was that drunk until I got home and sat down - but as you will all have observed, I'm spelling everything right so far which is definitely a good sign.

It's a bank holiday weekend! Yaaaay. Tomorrow is cleaning and shopping day, then on Saturday I'm going to my parents' for the weekend. My dad informed me on the phone that he has instructed my mum to buy 2 bottles of champagne for Sunday as the four of us are home and one just wouldn't do (my parents are legends). Monday is pizza and film evening with my brother who is the coolest person ever - we have fat evenings once a term where muchos food is consumed and terrible cheesy films are watched. I also have the delights of driving up here with our finely honed singalong CD to look forward to....alltogether now, "I predict a riot...". Then Tuesday is a lazy day before it's back to work on Wednesday. I love university shutdown - 3 free days off is just too good to be true.

Right, I'm going to bed now as none of you people are up to burble incoherently to on Messenger, shame on you. Just waiting for my CD to finish - Josh Rouse is seriously a legend.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The perfect concert

As I was busily constructing a lasagne this evening and waving my arms about to Grieg's Piano Concerto, I got to thinking about what my perfect concert would be, assuming the classic format of Overture - Concerto - Interval - Symphony. Off the top of my head and without really considering it properly I came up with:

Shostakovich - Festive Overture (or Funky Overture as Alicia calls it)
Grieg - Piano Concerto
Sibelius - Symphony No. 2

So, leaving aside the fact that there's probably actually no such thing as a perfect concert, what would yours be? (Of course, if we're going for any format at all then an evening listening to the Verdi Requiem would be up there too!) Answers on a postcard... (or in the comments box)

Friday, April 07, 2006

And then there were two

This is my first ever blog from work! We're moving offices to a shiny new building, and 2 of us have been left behind this afternoon to man the phones. I've been left because it's open day tomorrow and I have to set up, but being the organised person that I am that's all done, and now Mike and I are sitting in a big empty space with the filthiest carpet you've ever seen, answering the occasional call from idiots who can't read the information they've been sent, playing pinball and generally messing about.

So far today we've had an office lunch in Pizza Hut which means I'm really really stuffed now, and feeling slightly ill from the smell of the box of leftovers that we nicked. We've also opened the really old bottle of Lambrini which has been in the fridge since goodness knows when (months? years?) which was one of the most disgusting things I've ever drunk. It definitely tasted of £1.99. There should be more work days like this one! I'm feeling really happy and content with the world. Plus, it's Friday! Yay!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend in Ely

I've just got back from a rather fabulous weekend in Ely with the lovely Jo and Mike. Lucy drove us there very well and I navigated us there very badly, which I think was an excellent arrangement. After singing along to the best of Bon Jovi, Disney and The Beatles, eating lunch at Pizza Hut Express (who knew?!) and getting only slightly lost, we arrived and then set out on a sight seeing adventure. I ate three scoops of yummy icecream from the chocolate shop, and we went to the cathedral where a very good choir was singing. We then went to Tesco to stock up on yumminess for the evening.

The evening...was fantastic! Jo and Mike cooked a gorgeous beef noodle stirfry with lots of lime juice, coriander, ginger and red chilli, and we drank 2 bottles of wine between the four of us while we ate. After our huge portions of yum, Jo then mixed her world famous Blue Lagoons and the real merriment began! We watched In Her Shoes and spent the whole film being confused and not understanding what was going on, although this may have had something to do with the random phone conversation with Stu in the middle of it (cue much drunken shrieking) and the general vast quantities of cocktail being produced by Mike who got up to make more every time the glasses emptied, which was quite often. We consumed 2 bags of Doritos and generally got very plastered. After the first film, the South Park movie came out and there was much singing and fiddling with subtitles. Some time during this I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to either throw up or pass out, so I went for the second option and randomly left the room, following which I keeled over on the spare bed and knew no more.

This morning my first thought on waking up was, "Why I am I still wearing yesterday's clothes?". I then saw that the Juicy one was asleep on the camp bed next to me, which meant that the bed must have been constructed while I was asleep - I have no memory of this at all. Juicy then woke up and informed me that not only had they built the bed in a very noisy fashion, they had also obtained a pillow for her by pulling one of mine out from under my head which hadn't disturbed me at all. As I hadn't been breathing heavily and wasn't responding to poking she also had to check my chest was going up and down to ensure that I was in fact still living, which kind of reciprocates for the Dorito I licked off her chest earlier in the evening...oh dear. Despite all this I wasn't actually feeling as rough as I have sometimes, although I did have interestingly horizontal hair. I was however quite embarrassed to find out that Juicy had preserved the moment for posterity by taking a phone picture of me in my passed out state, with my stomach hanging out and my mouth wide open. I'm such a classy bird.

After all that the gorgeous strawberry smoothies for breakfast were very much appreciated! We then headed back into town so that Mike could go to audition to be an extra in an Elizabethan film that's being shot in Ely soon - Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Clive Owen are starring so I hope he gets picked. After some mooching in Smiths, we headed over to The Bridge which was a lovely and very busy pub, where we stayed for 3 hours waiting for a table and then eating yet more yummy food. My fish and chips were good, but the pudding was the real highlight - summer fruit crumble with real vanilla icecream. Absolutely delicious but sooo filling!

All that remained then was the journey home, complete with Moulin Rouge and 90s cheese performed quite tastefully by Miss Young and I. A most excellent weekend and another night of comedy drunkenness to add to my collection. One of these days I might learn.