To paint or to plant?

…..that is the question!

Today in the west of Scotland we have had a beautiful day….slightly windy but sunny. I know the garden needs worked-on, but what did I do…..? Instead of being out in the fresh air, I decided that the inside window-ledges needed varnishing….but you can’t  just do that….mastic had to be removed, water-marks cleaned, the accumulated dust from winter winds to be removed from the windowframes, and then all washed.

Luckily I had started on the smallest spare room, but even then preparation work had to be done, spare varnish removed and then all the frames washed. Whilst that was drying off, I thought I would clear out a built-in wardrobe and paint inside. So you can imagine by the time I had been to B & Q and got the work in hand, and eventually getting tea, I was slightly ‘knack…..d’.

The room is a mess, but first coat has now dried in the cupboard and killing the rather strong green (!!!)paint which was on before……so starting to get somewhere, but I am now on the treadmill… and the Young Lady of the House is constantly being told to put new jobs ‘on the list’. So if i am not blogging between now and the beginning of the year….you will know the number of jobs on the ‘list’ has never declined!

Anyway…it has been a gorgeous day….sun going down now but still bright…..and the garden will just have to wait!!….sorry Flighty!…..also Daffy, I imagine the Angel looks well today, if the weather is good.

‘I believe in Angels’

This is one of the lines from one of the last songs in ‘Mamma Mia’. The Lady of the House and I went to see it last night. We had been given the tickets by Son and Daughter as a wedding anniversary present at the end of last year, and last night was the booked performance.

We went early to the Scottish SECC, as we do not like to be arriving late. Within 10 mins of the starting time about one third of the seats were un-occupied, but it then rapidly filled-up, and there was a full-house.

An original story uses the musical works of the two male ABBA members, and has been so well constructed that it is difficult to believe that the play did not come first with the words following on.

The musical content is of course superb, and mostly passes the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ with flying colours. Some of the playing was VERY LOUD, so if you are of a nervous disposition, be prepared to be surprised by sudden noise! The choreography is exciting and keeps your attention, as there is always something going on at all corners of the stage.

The audience (even the groups of what-looked-like line-dancers) were well behaved but enjoyed it. The most astonishing thing was the age-range from relatively-young couples to grannies and grandpas. No cultural or musical divide here.

There was one small incident when someone taking a photo was escorted from the auditorium. Whilst I am sure it is not un-common, and there are warnings about use of cameras, can I make a suggestion. To many people the entry cost is quite high (and so is the programme at £6), and they might like to have a small momentum of the evening, via a photo. I appreciate the copyright problems, but surely it would be possible, during the final dance or curtain call, to allow the taking of a photo. If folk knew that the opportunity would arise to take one or two photos at the end it might stop the surruptitious attempts at flash-less photos.

Despite that, it was a wonderful evening with great music, well-played by the 7-piece orchestra.


I didn’t see an angel on Easter Sunday!

Lady of the House and I were at York over Easter weekend. We had not been there since the mid-eighties, when the Minster had been damaged by fire. This was a different visit as we did not have the children this time!

Snow and a biting wind did not stop us wandering through the narrow streets, and visiting the Castle Museum. We also found a wonderful country pub with excellent food.

Easter being an important Festival, a visit to the Minster was one of the reasons we went to York. The 10am service saw the largest congregation I have ever seen outwith Rome’s St Peter’s Square. We went to Sung Mattins. and then I went on a hunt for a photo of an angel. There were loads of Bishops, Apostles, cherubs, and wonderful Madonnas, but no angels, or Seraphims.

We even went to Beverley Minster, but again no angels! maybe some can explain why! 

I saw an angel on Good Friday!

Travelling south on Friday, on a miserably wet and snowy journey through Gateshead, on the way to York, Young Lady and I suddenly spotted through the gloom, the Angel of the North. I have given the Angel the benefit of capital initials as she is now very famous following 10 years of life on a wind-swept hill. On first glimpse, it looks a bit like a glider which has reversed in flight and landed with its tail embedded in the hillside, and nose pointing skyward!

We were not able to stop to have a closer look, as the inexorable traffic drove is on, and we could see no exit signs to let us go closer. I’ve read about it (on blogs and elsewhere)and seen the photos but was still not prepared for the size. I must be honest that on such a day I did not find it beautiful, but it is certainly startling, and perhaps the fact that it is not possible for a through-traveller to see it in detail is important. It is obviously very strong, but in some ways it is ephemoral, as it fades into the distance. The image of the outstretched arms was also not lost on me on Good Friday…was this intentional?

You can check it out on the gateshead website… …then follow the link, for a three-dimensional view. Maybe next time we will be able to get out and have a closer look.