Tweets this Week (2011-02-27)

  • Going to see True Grit with the boys from the Free Press #
  • Spent an indulgent night at Greg and Brian's, eating French cheese and sipping Madeira. #
  • Oh dear, vacherin burps. Cheesy. #
  • Commuting cyclists – measuring nitrogen dioxide exposure http://bit.ly/h6S6Hr #
  • The film version of The Lovely Bones is great, I preferred some of the detail of the plot of the film over the book http://bit.ly/hcI9AV #
  • Bad Science – You’re ooonly cheating yourself – Bad Science http://bit.ly/fwHtt2 #
  • Enjoying mum's Christmas cake – only two months too late #
  • Having lunch (and a Woodfordes Wherry) at the Bell in Wendens Ambo. Cycled 28km from home. #
  • Lunch at The Bell is one of my favourite treats. http://bit.ly/enm71O #
  • Getting the train back from Audley End station. It's really chilly and drizzling  #
  • Got so much sorted out this evening with a mega planning session, following on from similar at work on Thursday and Friday. I feel sorted! #

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Lunch at The Bell, Wendens Ambo

Cycled out to Wendens Ambo for lunch in The Bell, a lovely small pub close to Audley End train station.

We stopped at the Sanger Centre in Hinxton for a look around the campus, which is impressive, particularly on a  sunny Sunday.  The cycle out to the pub was 28km,  and took an hour and three quarters, which was  good distance for a lunch route. There are a couple of  hills on the way: one large enough to feel like a struggle, but still only 100m ascent! It looks more dramatic on the altitude graph than it deserves.

Lovely roast lunches: with hot, home-made apple sauce for the pork (which came with a great stuffing) and the beef was good too. Followed by steamed puddings: whisky and fruit, and ginger and orange. Yum!

Crisis Art Installation

MIchael and I went to view a new art exhibition called  Crisis, with two installations  by Robert Good and Patsy Rathbone for an annual art competition. Our friend Vittal was the technical steampunk for Robert’s installation, which was a nifty office arrangement of scattered furniture, books and games on the theme of crisis: an old Epson FX100 printer was connected to Google Live Feed, checking for ‘crisis’. Every few minutes a phone on the desk would ring (rather raucously) and then the printer would spit out the latest search results onto fanfold paper. The results were a mixture of trivia (bad hair days) and some of the real crisis on the moment in Christchurch and Libya. Sadly, the 3G data dongle had run out of credit when I went to see the exhibition this afternoon so I had to rely on Patsy and Michael’s description from the opening night. Robert’s piece was called ‘Crisis’.

Patsy’s installation was impressive: three floor-to ceiling strips of toile de jouy wallpaper in turquoise that she had made herself, showing some scenes of crisis: from dried mud around a lake, to police siting on cars in a flood, to a hurricane devastation in a city – all very familiar scenes, rendered in a great reminiscence of the toile de jouy style. On the wall was hung a basic, well-used, steel sink and drainer with a broken cup on it, and on the floor some newspapers with ‘crisis’ in the headlines. I loved the wallpaper and the sense of someone at the sink perhaps not seeing all the in front of them, isolated in their own home. Patsy added that the broken cup could be a more immediate crisis at home than the international events happening all around. I wish I’d taken a photo, but it didn’t really seem appropriatel!. Patsy’s piece was called “Most of what happens to people is happening behind closed doors”. There is a scan of her leaflet below.

Patsy made us a cup of tea, and we were alone in the gallery to enjoy the pieces, which was a good was to enjoy them.

The exhibition is on until tomorrow.

Tweets this Week (2011-02-20)

  • Frustrating! Can't get into the lovely marmalade sent from NZ by a friend. I need a jar opener designed for OAPs http://flic.kr/p/9ikffX #
  • Noises Off tonight at the ADC. #
  • MeeGo, another good looking netbook linux installation http://bit.ly/aBBOK3 #
  • Blog: Noises Off http://bit.ly/gN0PqK #
  • Pharyngula – Blasphemy's easy: everyone must get naked! http://bit.ly/i8RLdy #
  • Its dreich outside and the garden's all dark and wet: but the Kilmarnock Williow has lovely spring catkins on it which cheered me up. #
  • Michael set up the old mac mini as a media server connected to the amp and TV: apple remote on iPhone is fab! #
  • Had a nice afternoon visit to Oliver & Luca, for tea and cake. Oliver donated his spirits collection to us, so fun days ahead! #
  • As the beneficiary of some Smirnoff Black Label, I'm indulging in a vodka martini: easy come… #
  • I checked-in Château Tayac Margaux cru bourgeois 2000 Margaux Cabernet Sauvignon, http://socialgrapes.com/events/10042 #
  • Minced Wool Sausages http://bit.ly/gzxKsP #
  • I still can't listen to 'washing machine' by Kate Bush, without biting my tongue to suppress a giggle! #
  • Off to London for a late lunch at Drummond Street and then see High Society at the Wellcome Collection http://bit.ly/fyKHer #
  • I just became champion of Chutney's, Euston: http://qy.pe/8Fm #

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The Warren Cup

Michael got me this booklet for Valentine’s day. It’s a small study on the beautiful roman goblet that was bought by Ned Warren in 1911. Ned Warren was a major benefactor of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and an important collector of antiquities. After his death, the cup couldn’t be sold anywhere for years because of the scenes of gay sex, and the British Museum only finally purchased it in 1999 (after passing on it at least once) for £1.8 Million. The scenes aren’t unique, and these are are other glass and pottery cups with very similar designs. Given the subject matter and the it’s age (5-15 AD) the cup has done well to survive being melted down for scrap. The figures on the cup are greek, possibly designed to be more exotic for the romans that would have used it. The Warren Cup on Wikipedia.

As I write, Michael’s taking his Mum to the British Museum  to see the Book of the Dead exhibition.

Noises Off

Michael and I went to see a good farce last night from CUADC, with a great performance from Charlotte Reid as the incredibly stupid Brooke, bravely half-naked on stage throughout. Jason Forbes was great as Gary, never quite knowing what he was going to say and with some impressive comedy falls off stage and down stairs that looked very real.

The plot of Noises Off was quite simple: opening scene is the technical rehearsal of a play early in the morning that it opens, and watching a awful cast being dragged through their lines by their director, (well played by Ben Kavanagh) who was sat in amongst the audience (us). This is the strongest scene in the production and sets everything up well for later: Scene two was an impressive back-stage view and we see the production a month in, failing dismally as the characters fight and squabble behind stage. The farce is laid on pretty thick here. When the curtain finally falls on the ‘matinée’ performance, I thought that was the end of the show, and I would have been happy to have gone home very happy. But there was a third scene that sadly dragged for me. The stage was swung round again, and we are the audience once more for the play that has now completely degenerated. Jason Forbes’ comic falls and  Ella Writer’s (Belinda) disheveled hair were highlights.

We were slightly inconvenienced by Prince Edward visiting for the night. We had to keep seated while he came in and out. His is the patron of the theatre and his security was actually pretty low key, so I can only really complain that I wasn’t invited for the champagne  and nibbles at the interval.

Review from The TAB

From the ADC web site:

CUADC presents, Noises Off, by Michael Frayn.

This February CUADC brings a two-week run of Michael Frayn’s classic farce to the ADC stage. Billed ‘the funniest farce ever written’ by the New York Post, this production boasts a stellar cast and crew who will ensure that you are in stitches from start to finish. Guaranteed to be one of the funniest nights you’ll ever spend at the theatre, make sure you book early to avoid disappointment!

Noises Off is an hilarious comedy following the loveable cast and crew of Nothing On as they attempt to take their show from final rehearsal to final performance. The pandemonium that goes on behind the scenes, the disasters that occur in front of the audience and the incestuous relationships that breed in between are laid bare in riotous detail to the audience.

Will Lloyd, the director, be able to balance two relationships with members of the company at once? Can practically deaf old Selsdon be kept off the bottle long enough to make his entrance? How will Frederick cope in a fight when the mention of violence gives him a nosebleed?

Come along and find the answers to all of these questions and more. With seven slamming doors, six breaking windows, three near-fatal falls, and an onslaught of mistaken entrances, cues and prop malfunctions, what could possibly go wrong?

Ben Kavanagh, Noises Off
Ben Kavanagh, Noises Off

Tweets this Week (2011-02-13)

  • Teddy Bear Blood Bag http://bit.ly/gTdny7 #
  • Listening to a fantastic recording of Oxygene 2, from Jarre in China. #
  • I've gone from Jolicloud to Ubuntu Unity: preferred Jolicloud but can't face going back! That's the move to unix done. Last iPhone and music #
  • Late night musical at the ADC: tonight's cocktail is The Turbulence, in honour of 'Jet Set Go'. http://flic.kr/p/9hqMzX #
  • S&CA Winter Warmer lunch. (I'm at Galleria Restaurant) http://qy.pe/8nG #
  • Sunday afternoon drinking while most of the others are punting (Jo in pink marigolds!) (I'm at Castle Inn) http://qy.pe/8o4 #

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Jet Set Go!

Great fun, late night musical at the ADC last night. The pace was romping and the comic timing was excellent. The theatre was packed and a-buzz with the Friday night crowd, crowing with delight at the camp comedy. Great casting for this show: best casting goes to Captain Jim (Michael Cotton) who was great as the seen-it-all, done-it-all skeptic, but with a twinkling hint of naughtiness underneath, and well complimented by Julia, who played the stern Puerto Rican stewardess with great flourish. Rosie Brown (as the Welsh Hayley ) had a beautiful voice and her song about all the loves in her life was hilarious and very well delivered. Great lyric, and the fun humour was perfect for the 11pm slot. All the cast were great – list on Camdram. Review by Jeff Carpenter in The TAB agrees.

From the ADC web site:

CUMTS presents, Jet Set Go!, music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger
The sky is the limit as CUMTS presents Jet Set Go! The Cabin Crew Musical. The love lives of a transatlantic cabin crew soar to the stage in this high-flying new British musical comedy.
This is the first flight for new girl Melanie, who has trouble finding her feet in the air. Attracting the attention of loveable co-pilot Paul, she causes turbulence among a crew of larger than life characters. Cheeky, charming and full of touching moments and catchy tunes, this show “should become a cult must see”. (What’s On Stage)
So make sure your seatbelts are fastened, your tray table is stowed and your arm rest is down because this show promises to be a hoot from take-off to landing.

After CUMTS’s 2010 sell-out productions of Rent and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, check-in early to avoid queues at the ticket desk. (Fares do not include hold baggage).

Tweets this Week (2011-02-06)

  • Spring Awakening at the ADC: a musical for a change. Our wine came in pint glasses (not to the line) which looks dreadful! #
  • Made less-dry martinis tonight, and had mine dirty. Yum! No cooking this evening—HK Fusion. I might have a second martini though. 🙂 #
  • Lovely food! (I'm at HK Fusion) http://qy.pe/82E #
  • Unexpected competition. http://flic.kr/p/9fM15N #
  • Biutiful http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1164999/ (I'm at Cambridge Arts Picture House Booking Line) http://qy.pe/862 #
  • Lunch with our friend Craig from NZ: the menu looks great. Fried cockle salad, yum! (I'm at The St. John's Chop House) http://qy.pe/87J #

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