Friday, 17 July 2015

39 Years And Still Going Strong

It was 39 years ago when this photo was taken in the grounds of Chatham Registry Office after our short but sweet wedding ceremony and, I'm delighted that we are still together today. So much has happened in those thirty-nine years and it all seems to have passed in a flash. I suppose that's a consequence of living such a busy life - with little time to draw breath.


This week was no exception and on Tuesday, after the long drive back from Wales on Monday, we had some stuff to do in Ipswich so took advantage of an overcast day to go to the tiny Screen 2 at the wonderful IFFT to see Les Combatants. It's a little know film about two young people, Arnaud and Madeleine at the beginning of their working lives. Arnaud has recently lost his father and is helping his brother working in the family carpentry business but thinking about joining the army. Tough Madeleine is also planning a career in the army and the couple meet during a wrestling contest on the local beach where Arnaud has to resort to dirty tricks to save being humiliatingly beaten in front of his friends by a girl. It's a very simple and charming film about two young characters trying to find their way. Is there a softer edge to Madeleine (who blends whole raw mackerel to make herself an energy drink and has a powerful head butt waiting for those who upset her)? And is Arnaud cut out for an army career or simply destined for a life in his home town and family firm? We both loved this film and the IFFT's screening, with no adverts or trailers, made the experience a real pleasure.

Yesterday we went down to London in the afternoon. Our friend Amanda recently broke an ankle and was unable to use her tickets to see Neil Diamond at the O2. Marion has always been a big Diamond fan so Amanda's misfortune was a lucky break for us and we were delighted to buy the tickets from her.

After a look around the Greenwich Peninsular site (which I believe is still being developed and not due for completion until 2040) we headed to Craft which is just opposite the O2. It was opened earlier this year and is a little different to the scores of chain restaurants in the area. (Picture from Daily Telegraph website)

We sat outside for a drink before going downstairs to the restaurant. The restaurant specialises in crafting its food (hence the name) and has vegetable gardens, bee hives and a smoke house on site where they prepare as much of the food as possible. I had smoked eel with a bbq style topping, a fabulous lamb dish and a barley and strawberry dessert. Marion had a pea salad, chicken in broth and a lovely chocolate pud. It's probably about double what you would pay in the Nandos, Pizza Express or Harvester on the site but it's money well spent to be able to relax in comfortable surroundings and enjoy delicious food and excellent service.

There's certainly plenty of fascinating architecture on view on the site such as this building which has a Costa Coffee beneath it.

As for the concert. This was the view from my seat as the woman in front insisted in standing up all the way through. 

When I stood I had a very good view. I was happy to stand for the lively numbers but why some (not many) had to stand throughout beats me. Neil Diamond has an amazing back catalogue of songs and sang all the old favourites and a few new ones. The audience was, in the main, ancient (I half expected a zimmer frame parking area) and if anyone had set up a concession selling cocoa and Horlicks they would have done a roaring trade. It was an entertaining evening although I think many there would have been happy to have heard him sing Sweet Caroline all night. We left just as he started his final encore and managed to get out of the car park and back to Framlingham by 12.30. Had we waited until the very end we could have added an hour to the return journey.

At least when confronted by the woman in front of me's backside, I had a good view of the big screen.

I'll finish now to head into Celebrity Central (i.e. Framlingham - Ed Sheeran, Nicole Scherzinger and Mackenzie Crook have all been here this week) to get some provisions for a 39th wedding anniversary celebration dinner.