Saturday, 27 April 2013

What a difference a bit of sunshine and a dose of culture makes!

I’m remembering exactly why I do like living around here and I’ve definitely got my happy vibe back! Not that the travelling idea has been shelved - far from it, but the desperation seems to have passed.

Rob Crouch as Oliver Reed: Wild Thing started the ball rolling on Thursday of last week with a fantastic one man show depicting the life of the famous actor. I had not seen any of Crouch’s work before so had no idea what to expect. Sometimes this is the best way to approach theatre –no expectations and allowing yourself to be blown away.

Green Room Productions upped the ante on Friday with The Wife, The Mistress, The Chair. A powerful drama in the tiny Little Theatre, the production and the venue complementing each other perfectly and I am sure there were moments where every single audience member was holding their breath from the suspense. I love Green Room Productions and hope to see them continue to grow over the next few years – although selfishly, not too much that I can’t get tickets!

A completely different prospect on Saturday afternoon was Sutton Theatre Company’s Return To The Forbidden Planet. My sister being in the cast, attendance bordered on compulsory(!), but STC do put on an good show – bright, slick, colourful and energetic – so it was worth the journey. Their sets and costuming are always great and this musical really suited them as there’s lots of big production numbers to show off their strong singing. Watching my little niece totally engrossed in the show was great fun too.

Sunday morning saw me up before the crack of lunch to be at Beanzz Coffee for my second storytelling workshop. You might remember the first workshop prompting my starting this blog? Fortunately, the second was not a similarly emotional affair! I wore the gorgeous red felt cloche hat I found in Austin for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, heard the story of Herne and Andred at Beltane and discovered that I am much better at choosing negative storylines than positive ones for little fish (you probably had to be there!).

To the cinema in Hailsham for Sunday evening and Cloud Atlas which I think is brilliant. I’m not totally convinced and want to see it again to be sure, but it’s certainly got stunning cinematography and I loved the interwoven stories.

A slight let-down on Monday evening, caused in part by high expectations which refers me back to the beginning of this post. The Agatha Christie Theatre Company’s Go Back For Murder was good but not gripping as previous shows. I think in a week where it was the only thing I went to see, the play would have fared better, but put up against Oliver Reed and especially The Wife, The Mistress, The Chair, it suffered by comparison.

Then two evenings in, thankfully because I was knackered, before we were back to enjoying ourselves on Thursday. A trip to London (well, Wimbledon is London to me) and the fabulous Matthew Bourne ballet Sleeping Beauty at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Nearly a disastrous day as the trains were all over the place due to ‘ a person being hit by a train in the Hassocks area’ but we made it with enough time to grab lunch and OMFG! I tweeted ‘Every superlative I know’ and that’s just how we both felt. So much talent, so much creativity, such wonderful ideas! And enough of a budget to bring it all to the stage with real panache. I felt so privileged to be able to have been there.

So now I'm a buzzing again. I've even been running twice, not very far, but enough to be reassured that the colds have finally gone. My blogging drive has returned has returned, no doubt inspired by the theatrical overdose and helped on its way by three art exhibitions this morning. Check out Theatrical Eastbourne over the next couple of weeks for posts about the art and a couple of new artists I discovered ...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Kat Miller's Coffee Morning in aid of the Alzheimer's Society

Look for the orange Be!
My friend, Kat Miller, she of the title, is organising a wonderful Coffee Morning which will take place on Saturday the 4th of May, 10am to 2pm, at the BeValued building on Moy Avenue in Eastbourne (BN22 8LD for sat navs). Although the venue is our works canteen, the event is open to the public and if you take a look through the fantastic list of raffle prizes below, you'll see why you need to turn up and buy a strip of tickets! The list was up to date when I wrote this post, but Kat's adding to it all the time so there'll be even more by the 4th! There will also be a bake sale and Kat's got volunteers lined up to create all sorts of delicious cakes, a tombola that has some great prizes, a book stall, a handmade jewellery stall and an Avon stall. Plus, we've just heard that Barclays Bank have agreed to match whatever Kat raises up to a maximum of £750 which is a wonderfully generous donation and it would be fantastic to hit that total. 

The whole event is part of BeValued's 20th Anniversary Year. The company is celebrating by trying to raise £20,000 for charity. (We're up to £7,500 at the moment and it's only April!). Kat's Coffee Morning is in aid of the Alzheimer's Society and you can read about why she has chosen this charity on her Just Giving page. If you're in town on the 4th, do take a few minutes out to come along. The BeValued building is in the Technology Business Park, the entrance on the left after Gosden's and before Courtlands Road. There's a big car park and you can also take the opportunity to discover the St Wilfrid's Hospice furniture shop while you're there! I believe Kat is planning to decorate the place with balloons so it will be obvious where you need to go, but unfortunately the canteen is upstairs so there's no wheelchair access - sorry about that.

Raffle Prizes as of 18th April:
5 day family pass to David Lloyd
X4 family passes to Eastbourne Sovereign Centre for swimming
Family pass to Knockhatch Adventure Park
Family pass to Herstmonceux Castle & Gardens
Family pass to Hastings Adventure Golf
Family pass to Blackstock farm
Family pass to Brighton Sealife Centre
X1 adult and x1 child to Paradise Park in Newhaven
Weeks free membership to gym energie fitness for women (women’s only gym)
X2 Tour edge drivers retailed at £100 each from Foremost
X4 Daiwa Polo shirts from Fosters
Meal for 2 valued at £30 at IMLI indian restaurant
Lunch for 2 and x2 glasses of wine at printers
Meal for 2 at the Long Room (old slaters bar)
Meal for 2 at the beach deck restaurant
£20 voucher for Simply Italian Restaurant at Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour
X2 free tickets to see Murder Weapon on Tuesday 4th of June at Devonshire Park Theatre
X2 complimentary tickets to the Curzon
X2 vouchers for wash and blow-dry at Hairdressers at station parade
X2 vouchers for cut at the Barbers at Station parade
£20 Voucher from La Vida Hairdressing
Men’s shave duo set from Ministry of Barbers
3 hours free dj/disco service from Wayne Haffenden
Voucher for nails to be done by Kim Coates
£10 voucher for Hudsons wine bar
Dessert & Coffee for x2 at Pasha Turkish bar/restaurant
Coffee and cake voucher for Chapter 12 wine bar in Hailsham
Bottle of wine voucher from Chapter 12 wine bar in Hailsham
£15 florist voucher from florist in Hailsham
Gift package from Lush
Gift package from Bodyshop
Several books from Waterstones (these will be in batches of 3 books)
Football from Sports Direct

See what I mean - amazing work Kat!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

We've got to get out of this place

Two weeks back from our amazing holiday in America and I haven't been well for any of it. I've managed to catch two colds, the second just as the first was clearing up, and this second one has really knocked me back. Haven't even managed a whole day out of bed for three days and I'm getting quite depressed.
Good start to a post this, isn't it?

Both Dave and I dislike the winter months in Britain and he is even more susceptible to SAD than I am, so we've been playing around with ideas of how not to be here for future winters! It's definitely more pipe dream than reality at the moment but there is a shred of conviction that we are clinging to and our grand solution is this:

spotted on Raymond James blog

OK, this might not be the exact model we end up with (I spotted it on another blog, Raymond James Caravans, and I can't read the watermark so have no idea who the manufacturer is) but you get the gist. We're going to buy a 'van' and sod off - for months - at least. Woo hoo! Right now, I could happily sod off forever, but Dave is a little more cautious, probably because it's his house we'd need to sell to finance 'forever'. We've loved going camping for up to three weeks at a stretch in the past, but being stuck in a confined space with me for months on end might just push him to far. (Solution = awning = less confined space!!)

So anyway, right now I'm looking at motor homes and caravans and starting a list of important questions that need answers before we could commit:

How do you drive/park a caravan? Should we go on a course?
Do they ALL have garish upholstery?
Can you get fitted sheets for beds-that-turn-into-sofas?
What's involved in renting out a house?
What do we do about mail?
What do you mean there's no wifi?

If any readers have helpful tips, please Comment below. I'm sure my question list will grow immensely and it would be fun to 'meet' other people in our situation or already ahead of us. I'm going to search out a few forums too ...