Tag Archives: Humor

We Are A Grandmother

5 Dec

Glory Boy, proving that children have their uses: providing us with more children; the kind we can spoil, give back, and let get away with all the things we forbade their parents to do.

The post title: I think Margaret Thatcher was misunderstood in this instance. My bet is that in her excitement, she meant to say either, ‘We are grandparents’ or, ‘I am a grandmother’ but got the two muddled up and ended up using the Royal ‘We’.

Becoming a grandparent is rather like being royal, after all: someone else does the behind the scenes work; we just have to show up and be applauded.

Here’s my beautiful new grandson: now let the applause begin.

In The Last Week I Have

18 Nov
  • Photo by Pam RobinsonDisplaying FB_IMG_1479336801999.jpg
  • Given three short poetry readings
  • Hosted my firstborn child, Rarity Boy
  • Made the best fairy cakes I’ve ever baked
  • Made the worst fairy cakes I’ve ever baked
  • Baked!  Who’d have thunk it?
  • Chatted to the Mayor
  • Put a hole in my knee (and my favourite black leggings)
  • Proofread and/or critiqued at least five documents of one sort or another
  • Missed the Supermoon, as expected – Stockport doesn’t do celestial events, being under one continuous cloud blanket since I moved here in 1996
  • Made a roast dinner in a state of mild hysteria
  • Attended two meetings
  • Been unable to buy train tickets on a website because it’s just too hard!
  • Allowed my last born child to patronise me because he knows how to buy train tickets off the internet
  • Felt immense guilt that I haven’t replied to your comments or returned your visits
  • Not been paid for anything on this list
  • Wished I had a penny for every moment of guilt felt because then I could pay someone to reply to your comments and return your visits
  • Found the first photo of me I’ve actually liked since 2003 (banner photo notwithstanding, because that’s of the Hub and I, who I love soooooo much)
  • Considered replacing the Hub, who broke my Tree of War mug, even though he offered to give me his as a replacement; maybe I’ll replace him with his mug…or just bean him with it
  • Put off going in the shower by writing this when I should be getting ready to go out to another meeting

I apologise for the smell

Don’t Cry, America

9 Nov

There’s a song from The Book of Mormon called Turn it Off.  That’s the advice given to those facing disaster or who may have too many feelings.

It just so happens that Alex sang it with some of his fellow performers on Friday night, and I have the video to prove it.  I thought it might cheer up those of you in a state of shock right now.  Or at the least help you to contain your horror.

Enjoy!

 

I’m On The Telly (Sort Of)

4 Nov

In an advert.  My voice is, anyway: one of many, fortunately, otherwise Toys R Us shoppers would stay away in droves.

You remember I joined a community choir this year, run by the wonderfully talented Ollie Mills, who composed The Tree of War?  He was commissioned to do the arrangement for this year’s Toys R Us Christmas advert, and they needed a choir for the end.  It just so happened that Ollie had a choir on speed dial…

We recorded our bit in St  Nicholas’s Church, Burnage, where we practise (join us if you live/work in the area).  We had a sound recordist, fluffy mics, screens and everything.  It was great fun for ninety minutes but I wouldn’t want a career as a studio recording artist: the same lines repeated until Herr Diktator Mills was satisfied – he must have made us do each line at least three times.  I don’t know how singers cope with the tedium.

Kidding!  I had a blast; we all did; and Ollie is the most patient musical director I know (and I know at least three).

I’m now going to debunk a myth I have long believed: that the people who appear in adverts use their own voices (except for the obviously foreign adverts, overdubbed with British voices.  Hello?  Febreze?  On a sunny day?  I don’t think so…not in Britain, anyway; we don’t do sunshine).  The choir doesn’t appear in the advert; in fact, all of the singers are actors dubbed by real singers and me.  Go figure.

Talking of real singers…if you’re in the Sheffield area tonight, Alex is appearing in cabaret.  Colla Voce Theatre Company (for whom he appeared as The Last Five Years’ Jamie Wallerstein) is staging a one-night-only

[E]xciting evening of contemporary musical theatre, hosted by our very own emcee, Karam Deo. Accompanied by a live band, hear audience favourites with songs from musicals such as Book of Mormon, Hamilton, and hilarious comedy writers such as Joe Iconis whose work is rarely seen in the UK. Catch some classic Jason Robert Brown, and experience the up and coming talents of Bobby Cronin. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch a “remarkable” theatre company performing inspiring work.

Do make it if you can; there are still a few – a very few – tickets left.  Buy online here.

Oh no!  I went to add the link and the show’s sold out.  Hmm…maybe that should be, Oh yes!

And Finally…

Here’s some audio of Alex singing in concert with Matt Malone’s orchestra earlier this year.  It’s a song from the original stage version of Paint Your Wagon, which didn’t appear in the movie.  It’s a shame, because it’s a great tune with clever lyrics:

 

Tom Fleck & The Black Caravel

31 Oct

My friend Harry Nicholson asked me to review his new novel, The Black Caravel. I helped proofread his last one, Tom Fleck, but I’ve had no hand in this book.

So, first impression: I loved it!  It’s quite a short novel but packed with incident and likeable and interesting characters.

The Black Caravel is a sequel to Tom Fleck.  The latter is fully titled Tom Fleck: A novel of Cleveland and Flodden, and is set in 1513.  The novel tells the story of 18-year old Tom and his adventures, which climax at the Battle of Flodden.  You can read more about it here; as well as the first chapter.  I highly recommend it.

The Black Caravel is set twenty-three years later, in 1536, when Tom is a happily married family man.  From the blurb:

1536 is a year of rebellion against Henry VIII’s seizure of England’s abbeys. Barbary corsairs raid northwards.  Despite the turmoil, Tom Fleck must journey to London.

You don’t need to have read the first book to make sense of the second – Harry reminds us of pertinent details quite seamlessly – but, as I might have mentioned, I recommend that you do, just for the joy of reading good historical fiction.

I confess to loving Tom Fleck.   He is brave, principled and adventurous.  He’s what is popularly described as a book boyfriend: the man I would marry (after Jamie Fraser) if I could somehow dispose of the Hub without going to jail, assuming of course that I could bring a fictional character to life and he wouldn’t object to my complete lack of skills that would fit me to live in the 16th century (me being no Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser).

What I love about Harry’s books, however, handsome hero aside, are the fascinating details he weaves into his stories.  I now know how to prepare a rabbit for the pot, making sure to steep it in brine overnight; and that gulls dine on dead men’s eyes first (despite that nugget, let me assure you that the books are not gruesome, although they don’t shy away from the unpleasant realities of their setting).  I discovered from reading the books that Harry has a real love of nature which is not something that appeals to me, and yet it was engrossing to learn for example of the herbs that freshen your mouth or which heal in some way. 

Harry has a background in seafaring and his knowledge litters the pages of The Black Caravel without showing off in any way.  He writes what he knows, and the books are better for it.  

Perhaps more importantly, Harry has a way of getting to the nitty-gritty of his subject matter, leaving us to draw parallels to today:

Tom watched them depart and wondered at the brave poverty.  It was a topsy-turvy world.  Such a struggle to live.  Hard knocks and cold drownings, and all the while velvet-clad folk in London’s great halls dined on swan.

Dining on swan aside, I couldn’t help thinking of the modern world with its food banks; it’s rich/poor divide; its drowning, desperate refugees.  A struggle to live indeed.

So, I’ll say it again, even though I’ve said it twice before:

                                                Tom Fleck and The Black Caravel:

                                                                               highly recommended!

Tom Fleck by [Nicholson, Harry]

The books are available on Kindle or in paperback:

Tom Fleck: Amazon UK, Amazon US

The Black Caravel: Amazon UK, Amazon US In the UK, this book is currently available free with Kindle Unlimited, so why not buy the first one at its very reasonable price of £2.24?

Incidentally, Harry is a gifted enamellist (I think they’re called).  Check his blog for some wonderful work; including the two originals which are his books’ covers.

*

And finally…

From Wikipedia:

Muphry’s law is an adage that states: “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.”[1] The name is a deliberate misspelling of Murphy’s law.

Just so you know, although it wasn’t a criticism, when I wrote, I helped proofread his last one, Tom Fleck, I actually wrote: I helped proofread his last one., Tom Fleck.

There’s a reason Muphry has his own Law.

Freaked!

14 Oct

Image result for funny head

Image from http://www.dailyhaha.com/_pics/top-of-the-head.jpg

An email came to my inbox via my Kindle:

Wowchers for Linda: 3D Virtual Reality Heads

I’m not gonna lie, the thought of floating heads, real or not, freaked me out more than a little; but I had to check the email because I just couldn’t imagine how that would work.  And really, what would be the point of a virtual reality head?  Would you take it to work and say to your colleagues, ‘Look at the size of my pimple’? You’d have to pass it off as a pimple because who wants to work with a person with two heads?  Though it would come in handy during boring meetings, when the head could pay attention and you could doze off for an hour.  You’d have to ensure the head knew not to eat the biscuits, though…talk about messy.

I rather enjoyed meandering on the possibilities of my must-have future floating head.  It was a bit of a letdown, then, when I opened the email, to see that my Kindle had merely cut the title short.  What was really on offer were 3D Virtual Reality Headsets.

Sigh.

Reminds me of the Freecycle offer that once landed in my inbox.  I’ve mentioned this one before but it’s worth repeating:

Offered: One child.

Seems they’d pressed ‘enter’ too quickly because what they meant to offer was one child’s bicycle. 

I swear it’s a true story.

Talking of Freecycle, I can’t remember where  I read it but this story’s a little more apocryphal:

Saw advert on Freecycle this morning: “Wanted: hair dryer for my wife.”

Wonder how many emails he’ll get with, “Sounds like a fair exchange.”

 

Rogue’s Gallery

10 Oct

Happy birthday to the Hub!
IMG_3229

Such a cheerful man.  You can see why I’ve stayed married to him for so long, can’t you?

He was a good glass; a reliable glass...

Here's how I did react

A honeymoon pic.  He was twenty.

DSCN0832A barrel of laughs.

A silent Hub

A self-portrait he made which freaked the heck out of me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda pregnant 1996005When a man looks that good, here’s the inevitable result…

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Vivinfrance's Blog

mainly poetry, also quilts, pictures, life-writing and the occasional short story.

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