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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!