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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

Waterstones Bookstore - Darlington



So . . . hot foot from the Civic Theatre we went into Waterstones Bookstore, High Row, Darlington, to sign copies of my book Beautiful Strangers and to get a cuppa and a muffin.

I was absolutely thrilled to bits when the bookseller recognized me and then informed me that my book was on the Staff Recommendation Shelf.

Yippeeeeee!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU WATERSTONES :-)

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 . . . . . .