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Thursday 29 November 2007

Ann Summers party.

Last night I went to a Ann Summers fund raiser party for Breast Cancer Care with my friends Libby and Fiona. What a fun night it was . . . as you can imagine there were plenty of toys with batteries. There were rampant rabbits in all colours even a 'rainbow' one (what a speed they went, in my opinion these are excellent for anybody with arthritis) and sexy lingerie. You'll never guess who modeled the sexy Santa outfit . . . you got it, it was mwah! And didn't I look good ;-)

But it wasn't all batteries and bra's - but hang on . . . perhaps it was.

We played games . . . a lady from each table had to collect specific items i.e. a gold earring, a stiletto, a chocolate willy, and a bra. Libby represented our table and when it came to the bra she whipped hers off quicker than Hyacinth could (from under her top of course). And then she ate the chocolate willy!

Then it was Ruby Diamond's spot - an absolutely fantastic drag comedienne.
Ruby's songs were raunchy, original and performed with great panache - as always. The audience were in total awe and the applause was tremendous.
If you ever get the chance to see Ruby's show, don't miss it.

But on a serious note, the night was well attended and I understand raised a substantial amount of money for the breast cancer charity. And I mustn't forget to mention the tasty supper we enjoyed.

Sunday 18 November 2007

The Cat's Away

It's been a week of drama for Sat Nav and I. First the Magic of the Musicals, and then Masham Players (our local amateur dramatic society) were performing their autumn production of 'The Cat's Away' on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This was directed by our good friend and fellow myspacer Brian, who described the play as 'a comedy of a misconstrued situation, misplaced intentions, an over-bearing mother-in-law, and broken garden ornaments!'

The first few rehearsals didn't go well at all, and we thought the play was jinxed. It certainly was a case of the cast pulling everything together at the eleventh hour. In amateur dramatics time is a huge commitment with everybody giving up their valuable time. One of the cast ended up on antibiotics two days before the opening night, another had a sore throat, but carried on valiantly. And the lines . . . well they just refused to be learnt :-) So much so that we thought we were going to have to send Brian for therapy lol!

Ticket sales for Friday and Saturday were very poor because Friday clashed with children in need and Saturday clashed with a musical event happening in the church, so in line with that Sat Nav (business manager) didn't bother to order any extra ice creams for Saturday night . . . big mistake as it turned out. But she is blaming Fiona for that because she talked it over with her and their decision was unanimous lol!

Thursday night we had almost a full house. I was usherette and sold ice cream with Sat Nav and Fiona. My, don't I live the high life. On Thursday nights the cast and crew prepare and serve the audience with an after show supper. You have to be quick on your feet and get out of the way of the stampede down to the supper room at the end of the show.

Friday night I am happy to report we had almost a full house too, I am happy to say that word had got around just what a great production it was. The cast and crew all signed a programme, and so did the writer Ian Hornby who had traveled quite a way to attend. Brian auctioned the programme for children in need and raised £30 which Sat Nav will be banking for them tomorrow. Ice cream sales went well, but going on past performances Sat Nav and Fiona still decided there should be enough. Wrong!

Saturday night sales started very slowly and then whoosh . . . almost a full house again and guess what? They ran out of ice creams. Sat Nav was mortified.

So congratulations to the director Brian who pulled it off in the end and to the cast and crew.

It makes me realize how much I miss treading the boards. Maybe next time. Whoops! I can feel a song coming on.

Masham Players Spring 2008 Production dates 13th, 14th, 15th March.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

The Magic of the Musicals

Last night Sat Nav and I were excited.
We were braving the traffic and heading up the A1 again, in the dark ugh, en route for Darlington to see The Magic of the Musicals Show at the Civic Theatre.
For once the traffic was a breeze so we arrived early but, when we got to the theatre, it was under siege. This was obviously a very popular show.

Settled in our seats in the front row of the dress circle - and coincidentally I was sitting next to a fellow author - we waited expectantly for the show to start. Wish the seats were a bit more comfortable though, and, we could have done with more leg room.
At 7.30pm the curtain went up and the theatre became alive with The Sound of Music (and so did Darlington), then together we Climbed Every Mountain, loitered High on a Hill with a Lonely Goatherd, and rode along in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Bliss.

Next up were two of my favourite Abba songs, Waterloo and Mamma Mia. Well . . . I had to sing along, didn't I? (Don't worry, I'd already asked the people around us not to throw their Malteasers at me when I sang!)

Along the way we had some Summer Loving from Grease and lingered for a while on The Street Where You Live (Sat Nav's favourite).

This was one hell of a show. Melanie Stace was the female lead vocalist, and gave a cracking performance. Dr. Hyacinth would have loved her glittery purple dress.
Robert Meadmore was the male lead vocalist. He kindly encouraged the audience to sing along with him - which we did with gusto!
The charismatic Wayne Sleep surprised us all with his vocal talents and his brilliant dancing. He is just so clever . . . his funky version of Swan Lake was brilliant.

We had the absolute joy of live music from The Magic of the Musicals Orchestra (Sat Nav is now seriously considering finding time to go for those Sax lessons she has been talking about for ages . . . I've ordered cotton wool for myself and the dogs to protect our ears!).
Then there were the singers and dancers who were very much a part of this show. What can I say about them except that the girls were as sweet as a Spoonful of Sugar . . . lol!
And my God they must all be really fit to sing and dance at the pace they do.

So, Sat Nav and I applaud them. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and if you can get tickets to see the show . . . GO.
There aren't many performances left as the show finishes its UK run on 19th November at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.
BUT, it is in London at the Palladium for one show only on 18th November at 4pm. Don't know what the state of play is with tickets but you might be lucky.
Flying Music presented the show so you might like to check out dates and venues on their website Flyingmusic

Got to go now . . . I need to be On My Own for a little while . . . Sat Nav is going out so I will be Master of the House till she gets back . . . lol!
Wait a minute . . . I forgot to tell you what their finale was . . . very appropriately the entire cast performed I Am What I Am . . . and the entire audience joined in. Terrific stuff.

Monday 12 November 2007

Guest on Bishopfm Radio Show

I feel like road runner up and down the A1 . . . but I'm not complaining, I'm having a great time. In fact I'm beginning to wonder if this the life of a celebrity - if it is then I need a chauffeur! ;-)

This morning Sat Nav and I were up with the larks - no, we were actually up before them - so that I could guest on the Bishop fm Anita Atkinson Show which is 'up North' from us. Believe me, Monday morning traffic on the A1 is not for the faint hearted . . . and the price difference in petrol from one county to another! Well, don't get me started is all I can say except that natives in County Durham get a much better deal than us here in North Yorkshire! What I want to know is how can that be?????

Anyway . . . Anita had been to a party in Birmingham over the weekend and this morning her fingers were misbehaving - they kept pressing the wrong buttons!
Things are never straight forward in my life and this morning was no exception. There we were on air doing our bit when an e-mail arrived to say that I could not be heard! It seems the microphone I thought I was using was 'silent'. Anita's dyslexic fingers I expect . . .
Sat Nav had been looking forward to being part of the interview - or at least being in the studio to listen - but Bishopfm were without a receptionist so she ended up manning their telephones. Is she an angel or what? So a 'Big Hello' from Sat Nav to Linda in Florida who got up at 5am to ring and tell Anita how much she enjoyed her show. Sat Nav passed on your message.
I would like to thank everyone else who sent in e-mails and messages, some of you must have been up all night. I hope you all enjoyed the show.

My friend Beryl's Book Launch

Last night Sat Nav and I were invited to our friend Beryl Hankin's book launch at the Kings Head Hotel in Darlington, County Durham. The book is called 'That Darlington Way' and if you want to know all about Darlington and its famous High Row then this is a very good buy.

Pic above is myself and Beryl, and to the right is Sat Nav and Beryl.

The book is on sale in Guru Boutique, Darlington, or from their website Guru Darlington

It was a cold night and we had to walk for what seemed like miles to the hotel from the car park but what a warm welcome awaited inside.

The event started at 6pm. Beryl was there to greet us, but anxious to know where Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson was. I told her I had left her at home in the closet lol! (after all, it would be like taking Rod Hull bringing Emu!)
We were offered a glass of wine, or for those who didn't drink alcohol there was orange juice. Later in the evening a buffet was served.

The evening got off to a great start with writers who had contributed to Beryl's book reading out loud some of their contributions. Some had story's to tell of days gone by - others read cleverly worded poems. That was followed by entertainment from Beryl's favourite Rock 'N' Roll band lead by Mike Sanchez. I had my dancing shoes on as usual and I persuaded Libby and her sister Carolyn to get up and dance. Not that they took much persuading.

Thank you for a terrific night Beryl, and thank you for acknowledging me in your book - I'm flattered.

Saturday 10 November 2007


I keep a dream diary and have done for the last few years . . . as my dreams tend to come true (pre-cognitive), and when they do I am able to match the dream up with my diary entry. They also say we visit places in our sleep - astral travel.

Well . . . last night after receiving a very encouraging e-mail about my movie production, I dreamt I went to London and stayed at the Dorchester Hotel (no, Hyacinth wasn't there) and then I was on a plane flying to New York. And I must have been . . . 'cos today I feel as though I have jet lag, a bit wishy washy. Wish I felt better, I hate feeling yuk!
Could be something to do with the excitement of it all, I suppose! ;-) Maybe if I listened to some music it would help.

Friday 9 November 2007

I'm in the news today!

I am thrilled to report that the Darlington& Stockton Times newspaper Darlington & Stockton Times has included an article about my attendance at YLAF, but not only that, they have talked about Hyacinth having her own myspace page.

For those of you who haven't read my novel, Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson is one of the leading ladies in Beautiful Strangers. She has grown into such a force that she has her own fan club and it's great fun to blog about her mischief making! And now she is in the newspapers. Well, there'll be no holding her back lol!

Check her out on Myspace

Thursday 8 November 2007

The Electrical Wizard of the North

So we live in the country - out in the sticks actually - but on Tuesday night The North Country Theatre Company brought their traveling production of 'The Electrical Wizard of the North' devised and superbly directed by Nobby Dimon to our village hall.

We are heavily involved in this happening ;-) We are the box office and afternoon catering team for the company and we also look after them throughout the performance. We know from personal experience just how welcome that cup of tea or cold drink is at the interval. I think Sat Nav's warm mince pies will go down in history they even got a mention in the 'thank yous' at the end of the performance ;-)

We have seen three productions by North Country Theatre now, and had two of them actually performed in our village hall. We like having them here and they like coming. They are a great bunch of actors, terrifically talented and this times production had some brilliant tricks that had us all wondering 'how on earth did they do that?' Of course they weren't telling. But how did Mystic Marie levitate? We all want to know!

The Electrical Wizard of the North was billed as an hilarious ripping yarn from the heyday of the Edwardian Music Hall. It included Hypnotism - Telepathy - Electricity - Mental Suggestion - Magnetic Touch - Clairvoyance. Wow! It was brilliant. I even took part . . . whey! Simon Kirk, who played Dr. Walford Bodie, involved me in one of the telepathy tricks and how he did it I do not know!

They are still touring with this production until December 15th and if you go to their website North Country Theatre you will find out if they are performing near you.
In 2008 they will be presenting an adaptation of 'The Prisoner of Zenda'. I can't wait to see what Nobby will do with this!

Monday 5 November 2007

Radio Show

Today is my friend Anita's birthday so I decided to surprise her by dropping in with her pressie while she was on air doing her local radio show this morning.

Sat Nav and I braved the traffic to head north up the A1 arriving with plenty of time before Anita was due to go on air. We snook in and crept up the stairs to the studio, but were spotted by her two daughters, Ruth and Gemma, who had to put their hands over their mouths to stop them from screaming with delight. Needless to say Anita was absolutely thrilled when she saw us peeping around the top of the staircase.

We sang happy birthday on air to Anita and, as Ruth was a guest on the show, we stayed and contributed our bit and enjoyed every second.

Ruth talked about her film 'The Women of Windlestone' which she made in 2005 . . . and very interesting it is too. We know that for a fact because we were at the Premier . . . Ruth uncovered a government secret that has been kept hidden for 60 years and her film tells you all about it.

In her professional life, Ruth is a script supervisor. At the moment she is working on 'Silent Witness' and then going on to 'Wire in the Blood'. She has worked on many films and tv dramas. She researched 'The Women of Windlestone' herself and funded it herself too!

Copies can be obtained from The Weardale Gazette Office, Stanhope, County Durham, UK.
All proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support and the Children of Chernobyl Charities.

Gemma had to go to work to build up her bank balance. She plans to go traveling around the world (and that won't be cheap) before going to Uni next year to study Forensic Psychology.

Next Monday 12th November between 10am -12.30pm I will be guesting on the Anita Atkinson Show to talk about book publishing . . . and boy am I looking forward to it.

Please feel free to send me a question.

Happy Birthday Anita . . . don't set the field on fire tonight lol!

Check out the photos Sat Nav took, she's getting handy with a camera!

Sunday 28 October 2007

YLAF 2007

A great start to YLAF on Friday night. Sat Nav and I attended the welcome reception at the Holiday Inn, York. Thank you Crin Claxton and your team for such a warm welcome.

We met some of the other authors and artists appearing at the biggest lesbian literary event in the UK. It was good to catch up with Val Lee and Jenny Roberts again, and to finally meet Tricia Walker.
And what happened on the way home? Yes . . . you've guessed it, we got lost!
We were so busy singing along to my friend Loraine's music, that we totally missed our turning and inadvertently ended up in York city centre at 10.30pm - not the best time to be driving through York!

Saturday morning we were up at 6am! Of course there isn't only the two of us to get ready, we had to leave food prepared for the animals - you would think we had five thousand! Don't worry, our lovely friends and neighbours were seeing to them, we didn't expect the animals to have to help themselves buffet service fashion. Do you know if I could only teach the Labrador to open tins himself I could make millions, but I don't know if I could trust him to share though!

We arrived at York Racecourse for the event at about 9.30am so Sat Nav was right on course with directions. Time for a cup of tea, and to meet up with my facilitators in the green room.

My first panel of the day was to discuss 'Characters' with Marianne K. Martin and Jane Fletcher which was expertly chaired by Val Lee. Of course I had to talk about Dr. Hyacinth Dickinson who I'm sure was sitting somewhere in the audience. It was lovely to meet and chat with Marianne and Jane, but Marianne I would ditch the cola đŸ˜‚

Early afternoon brought the YLAF Players to the stage with their version of True Pride & Prejudice. This was a brilliant performance and went down a storm. Well done to Crin Claxton for penning this and congrats to Stella Duffy for her marvelously inventive ad libbing. You cracked it girl!

My second panel participation was later in the day when Publishing was our topic. I joined Tricia Walker for this panel which was led by Kelly Smith of Bywater Books. We had a small attendance at this one, but everyone was so wanting to be there that the time just flew and we ran well over. Special thanks to Kelly Smith for hanging in there especially when she had a terrible cold and was not feeling well. Hope you're feeling better today Kelly.

Congratulations Tricia on your book Benedict's Brother sales . . . more books had to be sourced as the stock was sold out. Fantastic.

It was also a pleasure to meet up with and chat to Sarah Waters and Stella Duffy - two very talented women whose writing I admire.

Crin - I see that Sat Nav bought your vampire book . . . looking forward to reading that if I can prize it off her!

To all of the people who attended my panels I would like to say a big thank you and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

And finally to Crin again, and this has to be said . . . what an organizer!
You did an excellent job of organizing the whole event and I hope you will continue to do this. The entire team were brilliant, it appeared to run like clockwork. Great stuff.

The photos are Character Panel left to right...Jane Fletcher, VG Lee, Marianne K. Martin and Ellen Dean. The players on stage are Stella Duffy, Semsem Kuherhi and Crin Claxton. And the Publishing panel, Kelly Smith, Tricia Walker and Ellen Dean. And, Marianne chatting with me Ellen Dean.

Wednesday 10 October 2007


Last Saturday night Sat Nav and I, along with our friend Brian, went to see U2 UK and what a performance they gave. It was the first dance night I'd had in ages and my feet were screaming for mercy at the end of it . . . in fact they are still screaming, which means I had a good night ;-)

The audience was with this band all of the way and if you get a chance to see them . . . GO! They have a terrific sound and are not to be missed.

It was great to catch up with our friends Andy and Shaun - thanks Andy for taking the pics . . . you're getting better ;-) I hope the ones I took on your camera came out well, fingers crossed eh!

Thursday 4 October 2007


Can skipping be classed as a sport?

'Cos if it can then I've had a very sporty day today.

And why have I been skipping?

You've got it . . . it's so that I can still have my 'oats' for breakfast! lol!!! ;-)

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Breakfast Cereal...

Good afternoon.

Yes, I should be saying good morning when I'm going to talk about breakfast cereal, but I'm not because it's afternoon here in the UK ;-)

Some of you might remember my search for Quaker Oat Crisps and some of you even told me where to get my hands on them both here and in the USA. And I did manage to some . . . in fact I got six boxes lol!

But now I have a dilemma . . . I'm sure that many of you out there will eat Oat Crisps and I have a delicate question to ask you so I'll whisper it . . . 'Has anyone had cause to think that these tasty little morsels could be the possible cause of a little weight gain?' I said it was delicate - didn't I?

I've eaten them with semi-skimmed milk. I thought the milk might be causing the weight gain so I tried eating them with fruit (no milk) but still the problem persists. Now I only eat them every other day and am actually cutting that back which is a shame because they are so tasty, and good for keeping your cholesterol levels down, and like I said I've still got four boxes left! (Do you think I can auction them on e-bay? lol!)

I welcome your opinions/comments.

Friday 28 September 2007

Animals do the funniest things!

I was sat typing on my computer today but I will just mention that the weather is no better today than yesterday. Sigh . . .
Sat Nav was out in the field pottering about filling in rabbit holes and cursing the little blighters (she loves them really).

I was concentrating hard actually but something bizarre happened. You know when you get the feeling that someone is watching you? Well, that's what happened to me.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end causing me to feel very uneasy when a huge shadow loomed across the window . . . no, it wasn't an eclipse and it wasn't Sat Nav 'cos she's not that big.

I turned cautiously to look out of the window mentally preparing myself for the worst and got the shock of my life.

I was being watched alright!

For there, gazing intently through the window was a big grey face with unruly hair.
Thankfully I didn't scream . . . for it was our horse, Katie.
Her expression was priceless. Horses do smile 'cos I swear she was smiling at me and curling her lip while she watched me. She didn't look the least bit guilty about the carrot leaves that were dangling from her mouth lol!

Sat Nav had left the gate open between the garden and the paddock, and Katie, being an inquisitive soul, obviously decided I was in need of a visit . . . and Sat Nav's organic carrot patch needed thinning.

Of course I couldn't do anything for laughing. And Sat Nav enticed Katie back into the field with more carrots. Spoiled rotten that horse.

We thought you'd like to see her when she is looking totally angelic.

Thursday 20 September 2007

Terms of Endearment

Went to see the matinée performance of 'Terms of Endearment' today at Darlington Civic Theatre. We had what we would consider to be the best seats - front row dress circle. I was surprised that it wasn't a full house, although I think the stalls were pretty full - I don't like to look over the edge due to my dislike of heights - but there were empty seats behind us. I asked one lady if she had any idea why it was so quite when there was such a brilliant star cast about to perform. She answered me in all seriousness saying, 'Why pet . . . they'll all be at the bingo . . . it's the Snowball (big money!) this afternoon.' There was no answer to that.

Then the announcement came just before curtain up requesting all members of the audience to switch off their mobile phones. We almost burst out laughing as nearly every elderly female reached into her hand bag, got out her mobile phone and switched it off ;-)
(We switched ours off before we went in, aren't we the little goody two shoes lol)

It was an amazing play with superb performances by Linda Gray as Aurora Greenway, Suranne Jones as her daughter Emma and John Bowe as Garret the astronaut and cad of a neighbour. They portrayed a perfect blend of humour that had us laughing out loud, and heartbreaking tragedy. Suranne's final scene had us weeping into our hankies en masse.

I have to mention how convincingly well John Bowe burst onto the stage portraying a drunk - he was hilarious and his infectious laugh instantly had the audience giggling along with him.

What can I say about Linda Gray? She's a very beautiful woman, and a fine actress. Understatement . . . It was a pleasure and a privilege to watch her performance today and I am so pleased that she has come to the UK. I know I speak for all of her fans here. And I am lucky to have had the opportunity to meet Linda again today.

I'm not going to tell you anymore about the play . . . except to say . . . GO AND SEE IT!

Tuesday 18 September 2007

Met up with Linda Gray and Suranne Jones

We set off for Darlington to meet Linda Gray and Suranne Jones in Pepe's Bar at the Civic Theatre. There was some unusual traffic on the A1 last night . . . I overtook a train!!!! Ok . . . it was on a low loader but that's the last thing you would expect to see on the A1.

'Terms of Endearment' was performed to a full house. Rapturous applause coming from inside the theatre told us the play had finished and about twenty minutes later the star cast came into the bar.

It was great to meet Linda Gray of Dallas fame (she was way too good for JR lol!) and the lovely and charming Suranne Jones. Suranne and I had quite a long chat.

I hope both of you ladies enjoy your time in Darlington . . . and now you have something - shall we say different - to read during the the rest of the tour. Enjoy!

Sat Nav (Gloria) and I are really looking forward to seeing the play on Thursday afternoon. I will be sure to let you all know about it in a blog.

Check out the photos . . . Sat Nav's getting very good with the camera.

Oh yes! We didn't get home until 1.00am . . . and I'm really not very good with late nights and early mornings, especially after the seven hour drive home from Scotland on Sunday in the most atrocious weather you can imagine.

I'll report back after the play on Thursday.

Thursday 13 September 2007

Scotland September 2007

Tuesday 9th September.

Couldn't quite decide what to do today, the weather was dull and overcast, but not cold. So we thought we would check out the Whisky Trail for our American friend, Cyn Chadwick. It seemed only right as we are in Malt Whisky Country and it's her fave.

Tomintoul was our first stop - The Whisky Castle - go in here at your own risk! The whisky fumes welcome you as you step over the threshold; and the owner, who obligingly posed for a photo especially for you Cyn, dispenses samples of his outstanding selection of Malts with generosity, and charm. Needless to say he had a crowd of tipsy customers around him.

From there it was on to Balmoral, calling at Ballater to check out the shops. After great deliberation and much time wasting, Sat Nav (Gloria) bought a new fleece. It was the pattern that caused her dilemma. She couldn't decide between the Green Wolf or Chestnut Horses . . . the Horses won!

Then it was along to Balmoral and onwards to Loch Muick. The location is beautiful but windy, and I was attacked by a gang of midges . . . and boy are they fierce! So, after a quick photo shoot we left them to feed off someone else. I'm sure they have teeth!

We headed back over the mountains to Aviemore. We were tailed nearly all the way by a black Audi 3 - were my eyes deceiving me or was I losing the plot 'cos I could have sworn it was Hyacinth Dickinson driving and she wasn't alone . . . no don't blame the Malt because I don't drink! It will be interesting to read Hyacinth's blog when I get home and see if it was her!
Bye for now . . .

Wednesday dawned wet and windy and we were due to visit Ballandalloch Castle today. Happily the sun came out for that.

Ballandalloch Castle is absolutly gorgeous and I was really looking forward to a nice baked potato with cheese on the side - I had good memories of this delight from a previous visit.
My baked potato request was not greeted warmly and, alas, it was not to be. The attitude of the cook was bordering on aggressive as she insisted they'd never done baked potatoes in the 5 years she'd been there . . .  but I know they had - hell I had actually eaten one two years ago!
Of course, I smiled sweetly and ordered soup and choc cake, not in the same dish I might add lol! I can recommend the cake, but the carrot and lentil soup was thin and served with only half a slice of bread.

The young waitress was charming and pleasant, but the cook . . . . . . !

From there we went to The Glenlivet Distillery and we can recommend a visit here. It's set amongst spectacular scenery. The tours are free, and the shop is definitely worth a visit . . . oh and most importantly . . . the restaurant is good!

Photographs are taken at an extremely windy Loch Muick and you can tell we are losing the light. And Ballandalloch Castle in the walled garden.
That's all for now . . . will try and post again soon.

Monday 3 September 2007

Supermarket Shop

Well . . . neither of us like shopping - food shopping that is. You know what I mean . . . that totally boring but essential thing that takes up so much time when we could be doing other more exciting things!

Today was no exception 'cos we had to shop for dog food and because we aim to do this only once in a blue moon we buy a mountain of canned dog food when this need arises. Don't worry . . . our precious pooches don't starve! Today we had to stock up their cupboard out of necessity as we are off on the Whisky Trail in Scotland soon and our house-sitters are coming to stay.

So there we were all set ready to wander round like the Stepford Wives . . . boring. But, first, we needed a trolly and I made my selection carefully, or so I thought. Of course I got the only damn one that wouldn't drive forward but kept waltzing to the left . . . it did drive backwards beautifully . . . in a straight line too . . . how bloody useless is that? And it totally beat Sat Nav!

Of course, we managed to find a couple of bargains for us as we drifted through the aisles and fell on a 2 for 1 offer on shredless marmalade . . . too good to miss we agreed and felt almost excited!

At the checkout we joined the queue and Sat Nav counted the tins of Chappie in our trolley ready for the cashier. We know that it is much easier to count them and pass one across to be scanned although they always look bemused at the quantity. Today we had a selection of other dog food too.

The young cashier said, obviously trying to be friendly, 'Your dogs are eating better than you!'

'Oh no,' I replied (I couldn't help myself ha ha), 'we're making curry.'

'Oh that's nice,' came a very solemn reply . . . and then she froze and stared at me.

Of course I was laughing, 'Only joking.' I said.

'I can't believe I fell for that one.' She laughed, no she actually beamed, and it was good to know that we'd brightened her day.

In fact she laughed all of the time she was scanning the rest of our shopping through.

And then just as we were walking away, Sat Nav, being a sometimes sociable woman smiled sweetly and invited her round for a curry when she'd finished work . . . . . .

Friday 24 August 2007

Manchester Pride 2007

Wednesday 22nd August Sat Nav and I had an early start. We took the dogs to kennels and then set off for Manchester. I was booked to appear at the Taurus Bar, Canal Street, to do an event; a reading from my book Beautiful Strangers followed by a Q & A session. I was looking forward to meeting fellow author Jenny Roberts again; we were appearing together at this event which was scheduled to start at 7pm that night. So it was fingers crossed for no traffic hiccups.

It was dull and damp traveling down the A1 but, by the time we got onto the M62 the sun was shining. And I'm happy to say we had two days of "sunshine all the way" in every respect.

It was a relatively uneventful journey traffic-wise, except that our car was nearly hit by a bouncing boulder that leapt from a passing wagon. Luckily, my quick reaction saved the car from any damage. They really should ensure loads are safe!

Sat Nav was on top form as usual and I'm pleased to report that the dreaded Going South Syndrome didn't strike - except that she has gone to great pains to tell me that we were in fact going West - such a perfectionist.

We stayed at the Marriott Victoria and Albert and would recommend it to anyone. It's a lovely comfortable, welcoming place and nothing is a trouble to the friendly and cheerful staff. I can recommend the cooked breakfast and Sat Nav recommends the
G & T's . . . but not for breakfast!

Both days we had lunch in the hotel. Sat Nav was attacked by the air con on Tuesday and we had to move seats . . . but on Wednesday it was so hot she couldn't wait to sit under it. Me, I just go with the flow . . . it's her hormones lol! Ouch!

Because we had time to spare on Tuesday we enjoyed a stroll around The Basin and I took some great photos of the architecture. We didn't expect Manchester to be so beautiful and could have spent hours just looking at the buildings.

My friend the handsome and debonair Nick Gleeson chauffeured us in absolute style in his luxurious Caddy Escalade to the Taurus Bar. If you want a stylish vehicle for a special occasion then Nick is definitely your man. See pics.

The event was great. My thanks to Jinnine and Michele from Manchester Pride and to Jenny for helping me to feel comfortable - I should point out that in this respect I was a virgin and this was my first official public reading. Phew! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope that Jenny and I appear together again. I can't believe I came away without a copy of her book Needlepoint . . . next time Jenny, eh?

Huge thanks to our lovely audience for taking the time to come along and not being frightened to talk to us and ask questions. You made it a great event and we were actually running out of time - to me that's a huge measure of a successful evening.
To the girl whose partner who had just finished writing her book that day, here's wishing her 'Good Luck' from me.

Then Nick took us to see the sights and 'lights of Manchester'.
Thanks Nick. The tour was great and I have the pics to prove it.
You looked after us extremely well and we hope that everyone books your car.

Then it was back to the hotel for G & T's.

Wednesday was a gloriously hot day. After enjoying a tasty full English breakfast I headed off to Waterstones on Deansgate to sign copies of my book. Imagine my surprise when they could not find them . . . although they knew the books had to be somewhere in the store because they were registered on their computer system. The manager thought they might be placed aside on order for customers to collect.
But, they have ordered more copies now, and although they won't be signed copies they will be in the main window display . . . so go check it out for me please, and mail me when you see them. Cheers.

Sat Nav and I called into the Science Museum for a brief visit. We were told we could see into the Coronation Street set from the top floor . . . so camera in hand there we were, only to be disappointed 'cos we couldn't see a thing!

So, it was back to the Marriott for lunch - under the air con!

After lunch we headed off to Borders Bookstore at Cheatham Hill. Donna, Marriott Receptionist . . . thanks . . . you're directions were spot-on!

David Massey met us at Borders. A great guy who made us very welcome. I signed ten copies of Beautiful Strangers for him, available in-store now.

Naturally, we had to undergo some retail therapy here, although we would have loved to have spent more time in the city centre shopping as the shops are to die for, and then it was back to Borders and Starbucks for tea and blueberry muffins . . . oh, how we've missed those blueberry muffins . . . lol!

You'll not believe this...but while we were sat minding our own business a strangely familiar car (a silver Mercedes SLK) pulled up outside . . . yes, you've got it in one - it was Hyacinth Dickinson at the wheel.
Of course, we tried to hide behind our magazines, so I don't think she saw us. But it was difficult because she came in with Penny (Lady Corday) and they sat directly opposite us! Well, I ask you?

I wonder if she was at the Taurus Bar? Or doing the rounds in Canal Street? And where did she stay? Not The Marriott . . .  although I did think I caught a glimpse of her on Wednesday morning, but told myself not to be so silly!

Maybe she'll put a blog out . . . and then we'll know for sure, eh?

Our drive home was good, except that the traffic was heavy and there was some congestion getting on to the M62, but we did leave Manchester at 5pm . . . yes, we can hear you laughing . . . not the best time to leave a city, we know . . .

All-in-all we enjoyed two great days in Manchester. The people are ever so friendly, and we can't wait to go again.

Laters . . . . . .

Tuesday 7 August 2007

Spoof Red Carpet Event 3rd August 2007

Well, the clue is in the title . . .

Believe it or not this is the first chance I've had to write this blog because a hectic time and recovery from the Red Carpet Event has slowed this epistle down. And trying to join up to all of these internet sites/service is driving me crazy. A personal thanks here to Steve Weber for his help . . . and patience! Thank goodness I bought his book, now all I need is for him to move in lol!!!

Have you seen Helles Belles?
Well shame on you . . . go and watch it now on Myspace and then come back and read the rest of this blog. Otherwise you won't have a clue what I'm talking about.

Now to the Red Carpet Event.
Well, we do like to do things different here, and this was no exception. As the crowd of adoring fans waited outside of the venue (our village hall) the cast assembled in the local pub (the only pub in the village actually) in some trepidation as our Director had mentioned that a Limo would be collecting us. Limo's and twisty, narrow dales roads do not go hand-in-hand so you can imagine there was some concern boosted by our Director's quirky sense of humour. After a slight delay the Limo did indeed arrive and the cast were carried in splendor to the venue. Did I say splendor? Ooops . . . I should have said converted Ambulance.

The red carpet was rolled out ready, the champagne was on ice to be served to arriving celebrities and the bouncer was working hard on crowd control trying to maintain calmness while they awaited my arrival.

Suddenly I was there and was deafened by the screams of excited fans clamoring for my autograph; the bouncer worked hard to keep them in check behind the barrier. I signed as many autographs as possible, hating to disappoint, then he guided me safely through the melee to the waiting press reporter and tv interviewer.

After answering many questions from the press I had to insist they let me go. Someone else was waiting to arrive. Relieved and somewhat exhausted I gratefully joined the rest of the cast inside needing more ice cold champagne to ease my throat whilst waiting for our final actress to join us. We knew she'd arrived by the screams of the crowd and Sienna (ok it's a pseudonym, it was really Sat Nav) and her stuffed dog Yip Yap (who stood in for her treasured Yorkshire Terrier) stepped out of the Ambulance, oh no sorry, Limo.

Miss Ruby Diamond was our brilliant Hostess for the evening and presented the Oscars . . . oh no damn, it was certificates wasn't it?! I was just getting a bit carried away there but they are as precious to us as Oscars lol! As with all Oscar ceremonies, some of our cast could not be there - holidays and personal appearances interfering - but in true Hollywood style we linked to them via satellite. Yes, you can tell this was an evening of pure style. Just to show how glam we all looked - that's me and Sat Nav of course - I have posted a couple of photos. We know that you don't want to see the others!

There will, of course, eventually be a film appearing of the night. When I have time to edit it, that is. I've no idea when that will be as I have to finish writing my sequel. But control yourselves - it will be worth waiting for and something for you all to look forward to!

In conclusion I would just like to thank my wonderful partner, my amazing family, my beautiful dogs, my darling friends, my long suffering therapist, my female gynaecologist, my bank manager, my car . . . oh everyone really . . . thank you . . . without you all I could not have done it . . . lol!

Sunday 29 July 2007

Blogs and blogging

I have been working on my computer all day . . . yes, yes, I know it's Sunday but I'm not a computer wizard so it takes me ages to upload things like widgets because I didn't even know what one was (I'm still not a 100% sure but have my fingers crossed that it's worked). Then I had to put my blog through a feedburner and the like. Well I ask you, isn't it about time that somebody brought out a dictionary of computer speak or am I so far behind I've missed that too? I'm wrung out!

And to top it all our little chicken Favour died at lunchtime. We rescued her from a chicken concentration camp a couple of years ago so she's been living a very free life, until today. Yesterday she didn't come down from the roost at all, but Sat Nav gave her food and water aplenty and we weren't concerned. In fact, we thought she was rather clever deciding to stay on the roost in the stable while the village was crawling with visitors especially arrived for our village sports day. She waddled along this morning for a late breakfast, fell over and that was just about it. She will be a big miss.

Monday 23 July 2007

Lincolnshire Pride 21st July 2007

The day began at 5am - it seemed like the middle of the night - it's a long time since I've seen 5am I can tell you!

The weather was dreadful. We were not flooded, were conscious that most of the country was and we didn't have a clue if we needed a car or a boat to get to Lincoln. But we always look on the bright side and although there was lots of rain and standing water we arrived without incident. Sat nav was on top form, bless her. The going South syndrome didn't strike. Maybe that was because we were going South then turning East lol!

We arrived at 9.30am. Of course it was still raining and it continued to rain all day which was sad as it affected the attendance. After unloading the car, ably assisted by four angels (don't know your names but thanks girls), I took the car to park and what happened next was a near disaster . . . my hair got wet!!! I had left the brolly in the car as the rain had stopped briefly only to come down again big time as I headed back to the building.

I have to say the organization could have been better. There was nothing directing people to the venue for the authors readings, nor was a time given for this. In fact helpers seemed to know little about it. It was a pleasure to meet Val Lee and Paul Burston and Val's friend Mary, who had traveled from early morning to be there and then had a long train journey home. It was very frustrating for them to find there was nothing set up; no tables, no refreshments not even water and no time/venue announcements.

This was my first Pride event and with hindsight perhaps I should have taken posters for the organizers to display. But to be honest I thought they would have done this automatically. Certainly a learning curve for everyone. As a result it was a small audience for us authors which is sad, everything considered. It meant a lot of people lost out on the opportunity of meeting us and buying a signed copy of our books. Although I did manage to sell a few downstairs in the 'market place' while I was drumming up interest, as well as at the reading.

You'll notice that we set off early. Well, this was because Sat Nav (my love) was exhibiting her beautiful paintings. It was very disappointing as she was placed upstairs on the walkway to a bar that was closed and out of the way of everything. I know it was the first time for an artist to attend but it was an insult that she wasn't listed on the brochure/flyers. So nobody knew she was there until we authors did our bit in the bar area. Again there were no signs directing people to her display. She had done work especially for the exhibition. Needless to say all of her beautiful paintings came home, and boy, did you all miss a treat. So go to Gloria's Gallery and take a look in a day or so.

We set off for home at 4.30pm (thanks again angels for helping us out) both thankful that we weren't going back on the Sunday, and that the river beside the University hadn't burst it's banks.

We don't want to put a downer on Lincoln Pride Organization, I know it's only their second year, but when authors/artists are specifically invited and give up their precious time to attend people need to know they are there.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Dentist - Renewel of Filling

8.30am I set off to the dentist for a filling. I was not particularly looking forward to this but at the same time I wasn't scared either. I trust my dentist.

It was a sunny morning - and would you believe the sun is still shining - and to take my mind off my impending trial I sang out loud and long to the radio on my half hour journey no doubt frightening the wildlife to death . . . lol!!!

As dentists go mine is one of the best, and a real friendly place to visit. They play Radio 2 (is it to deaden the screams lol!!!) even the nurse sang along this morning. I won't mention whether it was in tune or not, but she was happy and that's what singing is all about. She did manage to vacuum my tongue a few times during the treatment but it's still in one piece and not bruised lol!!!

Louise, my dentist, is a laugh a minute and certainly puts you at ease. She decided I was just the right guinea pig to try out a new tool. And then she clamped my tooth - something I had never had done before. I said, 'I don't think I like that.' And she said, 'That's probably why I've never done it before.'
Mmmmm, that's something for me to remember for the future.
She calls the heavy drill Shake Rattle and Roll which says it all really - it just happens to loosen your ear wax too. So, if you need your ears syringing, and a filling, just visit the dentist and you get them both done at once lol!

Anyway, my mouth wasn't as solidly frozen as it would normally be after this visit and Sarah (nurse) explained why that was. No, don't ask me to explain, it's far too technical for me. It meant as soon as I got home I could drink a cup of tea without slurping and dribbling all over the place . . . yippeee!!! Still haven't had a kit kat yet though lol!!!

Forgot to mention the installation of the new air con in the treatment room - I am now suffering from the effects of wind chill........

Monday 16 July 2007

Swansea Surf Camp and Borders Book Signing

Friday the 13th we set off for Swansea at 8am and finally arrived at 5.30pm. What took you so long you might ask . . . well . . . I know it was black Friday, but the 13th is usually lucky for us and I guess it was as we were nearly, but not quite, involved in what would have been a nasty accident. The weather was NOT kind, neither was the traffic congestion 'down South' and the roadworks . . . oh dear! My sat nav (Glo as you know already) behaved beautifully . . . as always. She forced me to say this . . . ouch!

After a miserable drive, we arrived tired and a bit forlorn, but imagine our surprise when we walked into our room to be greeted by the most beautiful display of fresh flowers from our good friends Lorraine and Colin. Thanks a million you two - your kind gift certainly lifted our spirits. And while we're on the subject of thanks, a HUGE THANK YOU to both Tina and Lorraine for giving up their time and becoming our personal tour guides to Swansea. It's a nice place folks, you should visit.

Friday night our good friend and Welsh songbird Lorraine braved the weather with us (in her dainty clogs and pretty pale pink cords!) as we headed to Gower Peninsular to the Lesbian Surf Camp. The camp site was actually flooded in parts and the ground totally sodden and muddy. We found Alex and Julia who made us very welcome, and all we wanted to do was take everyone back to the hotel and dry them out. But no - these girls were enjoying it. Believe me in these conditions Camping is not for the faint hearted, but these girls were dedicated. We did a quick tour and met some lovely ladies then left them to it and went back to the warmth of our hotel. We had lost Lorraine along the way - she was busy distributing my leaflets and what a good job she did wrapped in her waterproof jacket, with it's hood up we didn't recognize her. Dee who we had originally arranged to meet, had her tent flooded and needed to go home to dry out. Oh the joys of camping.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny. Glo was poorly so was confined to barracks, while Lorraine and I went to sign copies of my book in Waterstones and have a look around the shops. Then we went to the marina and I'm happy to say that Glo was able to join us about 3pm. We thought we saw Hyacinth lurking around trying not to be conspicuous. I think she was looking to buy a new pleasure cruiser, and as we know Hyacinth's life is all about pleasure . . . lol!!!

On Saturday night we headed back to the Surf Camp as I'd promised to take some copies of Beautiful Strangers and sign them for the Surf Camp ladies. Our other good friend, Tina, another Welsh songbird, accompanied us this time. Most of the ladies were enjoying dinner and we were tantalized with delicious aromas - thanks for the excellent hospitality girls. We were sorry that we'd already eaten and Glo was even sorrier that she had to refuse several glasses of wine!
It was lovely to meet everybody...but I know that I didn't actually manage to meet everybody there so my apologies to those who I missed. Perhaps next year when hopefully I will be able to come along again and bring copies of the sequel.
It was nice to finally meet Dee and Mary.
If anyone would like a signed copy of Beautiful Strangers then please contact me via my website and I will be very happy to send one to you, along with a personal message of your choice.

After Surf Camp we spent a couple of hours at Mummbles - beautiful place - and then Tina and I had a cuppa in the Castellamre Restaurant, sadly even this was beyond Gloria.

Sunday 15th saw us heading to Borders Bookstore and another wet day. What a busy retail park this is on, but what good shopping!!!
Both Lorraine and Tina called in to see us as did David Bevan, in between managing his wedding cars. It was great to meet him at last, and we really appreciated his taking time out to make the visit.

Tina led us out to the main road...would we ever have found it without her? even 'Sat Nav' is doubtful about!!

Home again and into disgusting weather, but at least the ride home only took 6 hours.....

Many thanks to all the ladies who bought copies of my book at Surf Camp - enjoy!

The photos are Jude and Ruth top (thanks girls) Ellen and Tina middle and Ellen and Lorraine bottom (pole dancing).

Lincoln Pride next Saturday...

Saturday 7 July 2007

Leeds City Centre - Borders Bookstore and Shopping

Everybody warned us that getting into Leeds City Centre would be a nightmare and because we hadn't been for twelve years we were inclined to believe them. Imagine our surprise when we sailed in without any problems whatsoever. My sat nav (Gloria) was on top form so I'm not going to get a newer model lol!!! :) And guess what...the sun was shining all the way and all day for that matter.

We were in Borders Bookstore for 11am for a book signing and the hospitality was absolutely excellent. We were treated to tea and muffins (choc).
Special thanks to Sandra and David for making us so welcome and looking after us.

I enjoyed an interesting chat with a budding author and this very kind gentleman returned later with a small gift of hand made chocolates. I didn't get his name . . . but if you are reading this thank you so much.

I called at Waterstones later in the day to sign their copies of Beautiful Strangers but guess what? They had sold out . . . yippeee . . . sadly the new stock had not arrived. So if you want signed copies go to Borders as I signed extra copies there.

We enjoyed some great retail therapy and we both agree that Leeds is for us in the shopping stakes. And...for the people who can't find there way in or out . . . why not? It's easy lol!!!

Having said that, on the way in we spotted an ASDA store and as some of you know I have been on the lookout for Quaker Oat Crisps and thought aha I will call in there on the way out. Sadly, this was not to be as the way out isn't the same as the way in arrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh. So still without cereal, so Debbie I will try and get to ASDA in Harrogate soon. And their petrol was only 93.9p a litre so missed out there too.

Swansea next weekend - I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday 2 July 2007

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival

We had a lovely drive 'over the tops' to Hebden Bridge and arrived early afternoon in glorious sunshine. Our destination was the Northlights Studio to meet wildlife artist Hannah Lawson. Eventually we found our way there and met not only Hannah but many other artists who work out of this Studio too. It's a great set-up they have there.

After spending a lovely time we ventured out into the . . . yes, you've guessed it..torrential rain, to find the Heart Gallery. I'd discovered that very morning it was managed by a distant relative.

The rain was so bad that we headed for the car; the only sensible thing to do, as we had left the brolly in the boot yet again - when will we ever learn not to trust this bloody weather! Undeterred, and despite the wipers having difficulty coping with the deluge, I drove around and found the Heart Gallery so we were able to go in and say hello to Alison and her daughter Becky.

We headed for home on the main roads this time, again under a heavy sky, when we got a call to say that Gloria had won a raffle prize, however, we were too far along the road to return to Northlights studio to pick it up. Happily we can collect this on our next visit.

If you are ever in Hebden Bridge, do go to Northlights Studio and the Heart Gallery . . . remember to take your cheque books because I can guarantee you will be tempted by the beautiful things on offer.

We drove home through 'weather'......Gloria took this pic of the fabulous rainbow through the car window.

ELO Experience at Masham Town Hall

Due to the earlier book signing we missed the first half of the ELO Experience at Masham Town Hall, but what we did see was very good.

There was a great crowd in who obviously enjoyed and appreciated this band's performance. I had a few dances after borrowing my friend's husband - thanks Mandy you know he's safe with me lol!!! It was good to catch up with Shaun and Andy, albeit briefly.

Book Signing in Borders Bookstore York

After a week of thunder storms and downpours we set off for York complete with wellingtons and umbrella but wondering if we would need a canoe!

Luckily we didn't but we did have trouble finding our way in . . . so much for clear internet directions hah! But Tom, the manager of Borders bookstore, came to our rescue and talked us in. Gloria makes a very good sat nav! Although I think she needs updating lol!!!

We were a little late and left the brolly in the car . . . big mistake as it was absolutely degging it down when we came out of the store. Of course we got lost on the way out. How anybody can find their way around without being a native is a mystery to me and many other drivers who were looking as bemused as I was.

After saying all of that we had a terrific afternoon with the Borders staff. My books were beautifully set out ready for me and the hospitality was excellent. Tea and a muffin courtesy of the store were greatly appreciated, and I'm an authority on muffins now.

So sincere thanks to Tom (extra big thanks from Gloria who swears she would have navigated us into the Ouse if it hadn't been for you), Peter, Adam and Lorraine. You brought sunshine into a rainy day.

Saturday 23 June 2007

Book Signing in Borders Bookstore at Silverlink, Newcastle.

We've had a week of intermittent rain and thunder storms and today was no exception. I was just loading the car ready to go to Newcastle when the heavens opened. Of course I'd just done my hair, hadn't I, and within a millisecond resembled a drowned rat! After a quick tong and brush up I was finally ready to leave - again.

Five minutes along the road the rain stopped. Fifteen minutes later it started again and continued all the way there. Luckily Colin helped me unload the car and Gloria held the brolly so I didn't get wet.

There were two authors at Silverlink today, myself and Janet MacLeod Trotter who I was looking forward to meeting. Naturally we had a lot in common and enjoyed a cup of tea after the signings. The staff were pleasant and very friendly - thanks for the hospitality guys.

We left Newcastle under black skies and driving rain but half way home the weather smiled on us and turned into blue skies and sunshine, and would you believe I had to wear my shades!

Colin, Jason and Juliette, you were marvelous!

Ellen x

Sunday 3 June 2007

Book Signing in Borders Bookstore Team Valley, Gateshead.

We set off on a very warm and sunny morning our destination being Borders Bookstore, Team Valley Retail Park, Gateshead. The drive from our dale was lovely until we met civilization on the A1 where the world and his wife were all heading North - of course we were heading North too!

The roadworks which always seem to go on in the warm sunny weather didn't let us down, and slowed us to snail pace. Well done roadworks!

We could have got really uptight worrying about being late but we didn't, we started to sing instead and our rendition of Ruby in the Sky with Diamonds could be released later this year on cd . . . if you're really lucky.

Putting ourselves in the hands of the universe we arrived with 15mins to spare and a parking space empty for us right by the door. Thank you universe.

We met Ann who made us very welcome and took us to Starbucks upstairs for much needed refreshments - we can recommend the muffins!

What great hospitality, and organization, from all of the Borders staff; they were so pleasant, welcoming and attentive; nothing was a trouble to them. This is a happy store, you can feel it in the atmosphere.

My special thanks go to Ron, the store manager, Helen who set up the event for me, and Ann. (Don't Ron and Helen take a great photograph?)

I'm more than happy to take up their invitation of doing another event with them whenever they want me to.

It's a pity we missed Stewart who was on holiday . . . going to Greece (lucky him) . . . maybe next time Stewart, but I did personalize a copy of my book for you.

So thanks again guys . . . you are a terrific crowd.

Ellen x

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Scotland - Book Signings

Ellen Dean meets the staff at Waterstones bookstores in Aviemore and Elgin and signs copies of her novel Beautiful Strangers.

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Manchester Pride Launch Party

My partner and I were happy to attend the Manchester Pride Launch Party at the Radisson Edwardian hotel in Manchester City Centre. It was well attended and it was good to meet Jackie Crozier and the other event organizers, plus the Radisson hospitality was excellent.

However, the journey to Manchester was another matter! We allowed plenty of time thank goodness because the minute we got onto the A1 we had wall to wall traffic all the way there. And it was a where was everybody going we wanted to know? We arrived in Manchester City Centre at 5pm, big mistake - even more slow moving traffic. And when we tried to grab peoples attention to get directions they were either on their mobiles or had iPods attached to their ears!!! We got there eventually with 10mins to spare.

Did I mention the that's another story!!!

The journey back home was great, no traffic therefore no problems.

Ellen x

Tuesday 10 April 2007

Time Out With Friends

Spent a relaxing few days down South with friends I haven't seen for what seems like ages. It was great just to chill and catch up. One had to work, but as she says being on stage is fun and not like working at all, but on the other hand I know it is hard work because I go on stage myself. Gloria had to stay at home, mores the pity...there's always next time though, hopefully in the not too distant future when my friends tour up North and we can all catch up again.

Take care everyone
Ellen xxx

Thursday 5 April 2007

Intothebleach live at Glusburn

Saturday 31st March. Venue Glusburn, Yorkshire.

Sam and her band rocked Glusburn, they went down a storm with the audience, and it was so good to see her again. Dig the orange suit.

After we all danced the night away, thanks to their cracking performance (you really must go and see them visit for details) we took time out behind the scenes to catch up on news and gossip. Girl power = Sam, Gloria and Ellen.

Check out their video on

I saw an empty champagne bottle - wonder if Hyacinth was there? Did any of you see her? If you did then please let me know.

Tuesday 3 April 2007

The Man Who Would Be King

Went to see 'The Man Who Would Be King' performed by The North Theatre Company. Absolutely fab. Looking forward to seeing their next production in the autumn.

Monday 26 March 2007

Masham Players Spring Production 22nd March 2007

If you missed the Masham Players Spring Production of The Farndale Avenue Hosuing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery, a comedy by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jnr. then you missed a treat. This brilliant production had the audience intrigued and enthralled from start to finish, with full audience participation included!! I understand that Susan Rouse returned to the Masham stage to act alonside her mother, Marjorie Tate, and what a treat it was.
The action of the play took place in the drawing-room of Checkmate Manor, Lady Doreen Bishop's ancestral home, an isolated house near the sea. The entire cast had terrific stage presence and each gave outstanding performances. Thunderous applause nearly brought the house down when Jonathan Tremnholme took centre stage as a 'Townswoman of the future' in a short pink sparkly frock. The play was expertly directed and cast by Julie Prescott and the incredible lighting and sound effects were superbly managed by Fiona Lofthouse.
The action was fast and pacy with never a dull moment and Julie's debut as a director was an outstanding success. They should all be proud; this play deserves to be seen by bigger audiences.

The cast:
Gordon............Jonathon Trenholm
Felicity............Jackie Jones
Audrey............Marjorie Tate
Mrs. Reece......Pam Grimsditch
Thelma............Susan Rouse

Signing off for now but make a note in your diaries that The Players autumn production dates are 15th, 16th & 17th November 2007. See you there.

Ellen x