Tuesday, 19 May 2015

April 2015 - still smiling

I just reread the March Clavering to see where I left you and came away with the distinct feeling that it rightly felt depressed with a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel which is precisely what it was.  I was so miserable and couldn't wait to be home.

Way past the end of April and I am still smiling.  I just love being back.  For all its crumby, unpredictable, mixed weather and a world full of small spaces - tiny, bendy streets, too many people, small houses and its wretched customer service it is wonderful to be home.  It is decidedly where my heart is.

So, to April.....  The very first day of the month we were out sorting out new specs for each of us and decided to just stop by one of my favourite local eateries - Stones - for anyone in this area.  English food at last - joy.

Easter arrived on the 4th along with my daughter and her husband, what a lovely combination the only chocolate holiday of the year and my lovely girl.  We had a great four days together and I loved being able to cook an Easter lunch for us all on the Sunday.  The weather was kind(ish) and we managed a bit of a walk to the Burrs country park (just down the road from us).  It was my daughter's 'playground' in her youth and brought back memories for her (and me).  It is a place we don't use enough.  That said she and I were bemoaning how it had all been 'civilised' and turned into a proper country park whereas in 'our day' it was just the remnants of an old mill and stream - truly I do think that was nicer in all kinds of ways; this includes the fact that it would not have had a ton of people there as it did on Bank Holiday Monday, all using up 'our place'.

one of the sensory boxes and mowed grass

On the 9th Ken and I took off for the Lowry theatre to see Rebecca.  This was a book I first read when I was probably about twelve - I tended to read my six-year-older sister's and mother's books from my very early days.  Possibly because of that early introduction this is a book which has stayed with me in a way most books haven't.  The impact of that reading was also overlayed with a wonderful 1940 movie that was impeccably cast -

Laurence Olivier...
Joan Fontaine...
George Sanders...
Judith Anderson...

Heaven knows when I saw that for the first time, I commend it to you even now.

I did wonder with all that under my belt how they would ever be able to convey a story that constantly switched between house and beach on the stage.  I really needed to wonder about whether there would be songs in it and boards announcing 'six weeks later' and a comedy duo of butler and boy servant (who was actually a girl!)

This was a Kneehigh production and sadly I didn't know what that meant.  

Kneehigh are a UK based theatre company with a local, national and international profile. For over 30 years we have created vigorous, popular and challenging theatre and perform with the joyful anarchy that audiences have come to expect from this ground-breaking company.

Clearly I am now out of the theatre-going loop.  The reviews are generally outstanding so I am marching to a different drum.  We left at the interval.

Pre-show lunch was very good.

Did you spot we now 'do' matinees like true old folk.

The first couple of weeks of April I was frenetically busy selling off all my 1/48th purchases for half price - I daren't tell you the money I had already spent on them.  

Within a space of a year, I had sold off everything to do with 1/12ths even down to tools!  I kissed goodbye to a small fortune and a lot of treasured items.  Blithely I shopped and shopped for quarter scale while I had the chance at the various American shows and again spent another bomb.  I arrived back in the UK all ready to crack on with the new hobby and ......  eventually, I  had to give in and admit it just wasn't for me and I craved 1/12ths.  So there I was again selling off this lot and having to re-buy stuff I had previously let go of.

I wish I could say it was a lesson learned but I suspect in my case it probably isn't.

Dalton House
This is the new project (Dalton House)

On the 18th we tootled off to Leeds to one of my favourite dolls house shows - Pudsey, so another good day for me.

On an entirely other note I also managed to find a gardener this month who seems to be the ticket.  The previous two were not.  Number one didn't know a weed from a plant and progressively almost emptied the garden of not only plants but half the soil.  Number two got 'bored' with weeding and so lobbed my two-foot box hedge with gi-enormous electric hedging shears which chewed it up beautifully (looks to be recovering) and 'hard-pruned' my climbing roses in mid-August (don't look to be recovering) and more heartbreakingly and I mean that literally she 'pruned' my young Amalanchier (June Berry) tree which was just beginning to find its feet at about twelve feet high.  I now have a lollipop on a stick instead of a tree.

the shrunken tree

23rd and I was off to the only Langworthian reunion I manage out of the three held each year.  A bunch of retired teachers from Langworthy Road meet up for a meal and a natter.  As my best friend is one of them and chooses the location it is always a nice meal and a good natter.

29th and we were off to the Lowry again (with trepidation) to see Woman in Black - please God don't let someone turn this into a musical and comedy act.  They didn't.  It was an excellent production (slow start) and decidedly scary.  Well worth the trip.  Even better it was free courtesy of my little friend who volunteers at the theatre.  Such joy all round.  Huge thanks D.

The next day (30th) and out to lunch with The Seven (only we were six - one was poorly).  This is a core group of Ken's diving/skiing chums who have now become my friends too and it is always nice to get back together and reminisce.

So, we finished the month as I pretty much intend to go on with the rest of my life - eating and nattering to friends.....