Friday, 24 October 2014

On Ayckbourn at FADS, Amazon Fire TV, Framlingham Hour Community And Not So Super Mario

I've been banging on about my novel and my various book giveaways on here this week and my readership has dwindled a little bit so I get the message and I'll get back to the retirement for today although you will have to forgive me if I write another blog pushing Give Me Your Tomorrow before the free offer runs out on Monday.

We got back from Rochester on Tuesday night after looking after our darling granddaughter for a couple of days and we can't wait to see her again on Monday when we head down to Kent again for another childcare stint.

The good folk of Rochester will be very scared on Halloween. Our granddaughter's hand made costume arrived from family in America on Wednesday and I can guarantee that there won't be a better two-year-old dinosaur trick or treating anywhere in Rochester (or the UK for that matter) this time next week. 

Marion has been busy with the garden and has done a fantastic job in digging up the perennial plants that she wasn't happy with, digging in new compost and planting shrubs as replacements. Although our landscapers did a fabulous job in designing the garden last year the planting scheme was done for instant colour and Marion wants something more long term that looks good all year round. Boxes keep arriving from Crocus and David Austin Roses and the results are starting to look impressive. 

I kept getting emails from Amazon telling me that I wasn't getting the most out of Amazon Prime. I use Prime for quick free delivery but it now includes their film and TV streaming service. Trouble is, although our Samsung TV in the kitchen has the Amazon ap, the Panasonic in the lounge doesn't and Panasonic don't seem to be in any hurry to resolve this. I don't want to be streaming films via the laptop (too much hassle) so when I saw that Amazon were introducing their own gadget to make their service available on the Panasonic  (or any tv) I thought it was worth gambling £79 on the Amazon Fire TV and giving it a try. It's  a tiny device and works perfectly (so far). Whether or not we'll watch the free films being offered is another question but at least we now can if we want to.

I supported Liverpool for most of my life and had a season ticket on the Kop for the best part of forty years. I lost interest during the Dalgleish and Hodgson years although I kept going out of loyalty but when we moved to Framlingham I had to give up the season tickets. Suddenly they started to play attractive football and came within a whisker of winning the Premiership (just my luck) so, this season, I've started watching again on TV. It seems that I missed out on the one glory season of the last decade as the last couple of performances (QPR and Real Madrid) have been absolutely dire. Much centres around signing Mario Balotelli and I find myself thinking what Bill Shankly  (yes I am old enough to have been watching when he was the boss) would have done with such a player. He's obviously a highly talented individual and anyone who has friends who set off fireworks in his bathroom and wears a "Why Always Me" t-shirt is okay with me but I reckon Bill would have given short shrift to that ginger mohican for starters. After that he would have told him to look as if he was interested. I'll never forget seeing Liverpool about three down with five minutes to go and Emlyn Hughes running around like a madman encouraging the team to keep going - Balotelli looks as if it's all a bit boring before the game's even started. Although Emlyn's exhortations didn't bring a result at least he got the crowd on his side and if Balotelli can get the crowd on board maybe he can start to make the impact that he is capable of. The day that he signed the cameras showed him leaving his seat before the half time whistle - if you are passionate about your team you don't leave until it's all over.

Last night we headed to the college to see the latest performance from FADS our local amateur dramatics society (apologies to the Framlingham website for pinching their photo). They performed Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings. It was a very entertaining show although the society struggles with a shortage of young male actors. The men who performed did their very best but seemed, in a couple of instances, simply too old for the characters they were portraying.With just five males in the play this did affect its credibility. On the other hand, the female casting was very strong and the actors playing Belinda, Pattie and Rachel all put in memorable performances. The set was, as always, excellent and the audience loved it. They did their best with the cast available but I'd love to see some younger blood in future shows.

Today I've been doing my bit for The Framlingham Hour Community and taken an elderly woman shopping. It's only an hour but it makes a big difference - without this service she would be virtually housebound and have to rely on others to shop for her. The Hour Community gets her out of the house and half of the trip to the Co-Op is spent pausing for her to say hello to people she knows (she knows everyone in Framlingham). Having the shopping delivered to her house would deprive her of this important social interaction.

And by the way, did I tell you, my book is free to download until Monday?