Monday, 29 August 2005

Butterfly Display Team

There was a butterfly display team practising in our back garden earlier today.

A squadron of one-dozen brightly coloured butterflies swooping low over the lawn; climbing into the sky in a formation that resembled a large moth. They split into to wings and red, white and blue smoke poured from their abdomens as they scudded towards each other, only to peel off at the last moment.

The display lasted a good 10-15 minutes and was breath-takingly good. I recommend you see them whenever you can this summer - I'm sure they'll be coming to a garden festival near you sometime.

Their name?

The Red Admirals.

Wednesday, 24 August 2005

War-Monger George Dubya

It looks as though that lovely Mr Bush is determined to invade yet another middle-eastern country.

Doesn't this sound spookily similar to Bush's claims, prior to the most recent invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was building "weapons of mass destruction"? The UN couldn't find WMDs before 'we' invaded Iraq, and no-one's been able to find any since, either. It was all just a huge, fictional lie, to justify a totally superfluous "war on terror".

Yes, Saddam was evil, he killed lots of his own people and he subjugated the Kurds, but I am sure that, if he wanted to, Dubya could have had Saddam assassinated, or something. There's more than one way to skin a cat. And there's never been any proof that Saddam was bank-rolling Al Quaeda, or any other terrorists.

Bush's cohorts in the arms industry are getting depressed because the Iraq war is fizzling out (albeit with huge loss of US troops), so it's time to invade someone else. Shit - I'm glad I'm not American, knowing that 50% of my country-mates voted for that imbecile.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Don't run him over...

Fuckwits who drive while on the phone are trying to murder my friend Delmonti and it's not right. If you're going to murder someone, you should use a knife, or strangle them, or use guns, like the Met Police...

Sunday, 21 August 2005


I am now considerably hung-over as The Wife and I had our wedding celebration party last night.

God knows how many pints of Bombardier I drunk, but I was sober enough to take a few pictures for my moblog.

Thursday, 18 August 2005


The newsreaders gender-war is hotting up. First came Michael Buerk's assertion that men would soon be redundant. Then Anna Ford (rhyming slang for "bored") said that he was "bonkers". Now more newsreaders have joined the fray:

Huw Edwards said that girls are silly and they smell. He then punched Natasha Kaplinksy on the arm and ran off with her satchel.

Angela Rippon riposted with the accusation that boys were stupid. She added that you shouldn't kiss one in case you catch fleas.

Sir Trevor McDonald has been thrown out of the boy-newsreaders gang after he was caught snogging Sue Lawley behind the bike-sheds.


Getting married is great.

For one thing, if you're of the female persuasion, you get to change your name. Fantastic! I know lots of ladies don't hold with such old-fashioned matters nowadays, but I think it's great. I'm a bloke and if I wanted to change my name it would be a pain in the arse.

"From now on my name is Mr Eastwood," I would say. "Piss off!" would, I imagine, be the reply. But women can become Mrs. Eastwood at any time they like, simply by marrying a Mr Eastwood. It's so unfair!

The other thing that makes getting married great is getting presents. Or, in our case, getting money, because we don't need more "stuff" but we do need dosh so we can buy a modest house somewhere.

Personally, I feel a little guilty about asking for money, although not too much as it's done more and more nowadays, and why shouldn't people be encouraged to give a gift that would be really useful. But I also have a twinge of guilt because this is the 2nd time that I have received wedding gifts from people. Although, when I mention this guilt I am told not to be such a twat, so perhaps I'm just torturing myself over nothing. And at least I'm not a complete greedy guts like Elizabeth Taylor or Mickey Rooney. Selfish bastards!

So, thank you to the following people who have all contributed to our wedding house-deposit fund. You will truly find your reward in heaven. Or you may get a brick with your name on it. Cheers!

Bill & Gill Gresham
Everyone at work
Paul & Theresa Bungard
David Dawson
Bev & Les Lindfield
Kate & Ian
Becky & Kevin
Dave & Sue Bundock
Matt & Kathy Foster
Graham & Carol Botterill
Auntie Lillian
Julia and Kevin
Julie Jonklaas
Danny & David Sparkes
Brenda Midwinter
Julian Rolls
Nick Blake
Pam & Malcolm

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Never enough time...

Once more I find myself doing more things than I seem to have time for.

At work I'm working on at least 3 things simultaneously (can't complain though as some of my colleagues seem to be doing dozens).

But it's the extra-curricular activities that take up more and more time. My present 'To Do' list includes:
  • Ensuring that everything is ready for our wedding celebration party on Saturday.
  • Preparing the latest Ottershaw Players newsletter.
  • Printing off photos of past productions for people.
  • Updating the OP website (a never-ending job).
  • Thinking about preparing to direct The Dumb Waiter.
  • Trying to come up with something for this blog (especially Thursday Book Clubs and Friday FIlm Clubs).
  • Watching several hundred hours of Sky+ and DVD.
  • Reading at least 3 books.
  • Writing to our pension people so they know that The Wife and I are now married.
  • Writing to the healthcare plan people for the same reason.
I'm sure there's a lot more on top of that.

It would be a lot easier if we won the lottery - I'd have plenty of time then. So, if anyone has any idea what next week's numbers might be, it would be nice to know...

Monday, 15 August 2005

Consider Yourself At Home

I returned from the NODA summer school yesterday. It was a marvellous week, working with a group of 15 people on directing for theatre. Very hard work mentally, but also tiring because it seems that I'm unable to stay out of the bar! Trouble is, I've now been 3 years running, so every time I go back there are more people to catch up with. Anyway, a superb week working on Hay Fever and Under Milk Wood, as well as many other texts and I can't wait to get my teeth into another production.

Monday evening brings the monthly Ottershaw Players committee meeting. And it's probably going to be, erm, full of incident. More on that later.

Saturday, 13 August 2005

The Results Are In.

I can announce (finally!) that the voting is complete for the next play for me to direct.

THE DUMB WAITER wins with 50% of the popular vote. That's more popular than Tony Blair!

Friday, 5 August 2005


I've just realised that, because I'm going to the NODA Summer School in Loughborough on Saturday, for a week, I won't be in a position to judge the Great Play Vote. So the ballots will be open for another seven days!

And I guess I'd better learn how to start Moblogging so I can post from Loogerberooga.

Wednesday, 3 August 2005


Sometimes things bite you in the arse when you least expect it.

I directed a play, which was performed a couple of months ago. I've been proud of the fact that most people enjoyed it, disappointed that it made a loss and happy that I got through my first major directorial job without pissing anyone off in a big way.

Then, we had the post-production meeting. And one of the actors told me that I'd completely pissed him off and he had been on the verge of walking out.

I had no idea. Apparently I'd been told that I needed to modify certain aspects of the way I held rehearsals. But, obviously, the message didn't get through. He spent most of the production thinking I was deliberately ignoring the advice, or that I had something against his performance, when, in fact, I simply didn't realize that there was a problem.

It would appear that, in future, I need to think more carefully about what I say to the cast, and I have to be especially careful when making criticisms. That I can accept and it's fair comment.

But I feel that someone could have said something to me much earlier so it would have allowed people to have enjoyed themselves. I'm not the only one to whom it came as a bit of a shock. Which makes me think that maybe any dissatisfaction could have been wiped out with some careful diplomacy.

Two lessons for us all then.

1. Try not to hurt peoples' feelings.
2. If someone you have to work with is hurting your feelings by thoughtless behaviour - tell them!

Now, how the hell do I go about putting no. 2 into practice. I so hate confrontation!

Monday, 1 August 2005

Anyone There?

You know, I don't have the foggiest idea if anyone reads this blog. Well, to be honest, I know one person who does, but he's someone I actually know so that doesn't count. So, I propose a wee experiment to find out.

[Actually, I propose a small experiment to find out. I didn't mean to imply that it was possible to discover the size of my readership simply by analyzing a sample of urine.]

I'm thinking of directing a one-act play for Ottershaw Players. Your task, dear reader, is to read the summaries of the 3 one-act plays below and vote for the one you think I should direct.

A: NOT BOBBY (Nick Warburton): A mother and adult son discover that their pet rabbit can read and write; but when it goes to school, it causes friction with the local education department...

B: THE DUMB WAITER (Harold Pinter): Two men sit in a room waiting for orders from their mysterious boss. Food orders start to arrive in the dumb waiter, which they thought was out of order. Is it a mistake, or is something far more sinister going on?

C: EVERGREENS (David Campton): An elderly man and woman, in a retirement home, rekindle an old
friendship. After a bad start, they decide to have a 'date', which does not go to plan. They wonder how things may have worked out if they had made it work first time around, before accepting that their lives have moved on.

As a way of extracting even more excitement from the process, I should tell you that I have read only two of these plays before. The third one was picked out of a list of that author's work as looking quite interesting. So if you pick that one for me, I have no idea whether it's a play I will like, or not. Nevertheless, I shall stick with the results of the vote.

[Update: Okay - only 2 votes in one week. So I'm extending the voting period by another week and re-posting this item.]

Please vote A, B or C using the voting button below to leave your answer. It would be good if anyone who reads this would vote. You have another week to register your opinion, starting from... NOW. Thanks for your help.

[Voting is now complete. See here for the result.]