Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Fountains and Pirates

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

The last day of 2012 got off to a bad start: there was a bit of a clunk as I flushed the toilet for Duncan but it was only whilst washing his hands that I noticed the fountain of water coming out of the toilet cistern! As I couldn’t immediately see what the problem was so I raced downstairs to turn off the water only to be greeted by the sight of water pouring through the kitchen ceiling. After 30 seconds of scrabbling around under the kitchen sink to no effect (I was turning off the outside tap!) I ran back upstairs and lifted the ballcock in the cistern to cut off the water. It then became apparent what had happened. The outlet on the valve had come off leaving the mains pressure water free to spout upwards. The cistern is boxed in so the top corner is cut away to allow access. The water was therefore shooting up and then, hitting the lid of the box, coming back down again outside the cistern. Thankfully the water didn’t have to travel far from there before it found the hole for the kitchen light fitting (and the lights were off)!

A bit of shouting finally roused Christine and I could tie off the ballcock whilst I found the correct tap for the mains. After a bit of fishing around in the cistern I could finally replace the outlet (tying it in place this time as obviously the normal scheme wasn’t sufficient) which just left the clean up operation downstairs.

There was plenty of water to be found outside as well in the shape of rain so it was good that, in the afternoon, we were off to see Treasure Island at the Nuffield Theatre. It was very well done. Doctor Livesey kept protesting that it was not a pantomime and that it was a traditional family Christmas entertainment but he wasn’t fooling anyone. There was certainly plenty to laugh at for both adults and children with the occasional bit of audience participation thrown in for good measure. Despite Emma’s reply in the interval that the best part so far was the ice cream she was tucking in to, she certainly enjoyed the production. Hard to say what Duncan made of it all – he was certainly transfixed through to the end though! The run continues until 13 January so well worth a ticket if you’re in the area.

Sculpture season starts

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

750Christine’s parents and my brother are down for the weekend and yesterday we decided to head out to Hillier Gardens. We enjoyed a picnic lunch outside in the sun before heading in to the gardens, making the use of some of the 6 free guest passes that come with our joint membership. We’d managed to time our visit for another first: the first day of this year’s Art in the Garden season (the 10th year it has run). This provided additional entertainment for children and photographers alike! Sadly, when Michael and I popped over the road to look at the rhodies (whilst the others checked out the tree house again), we discovered that most were already past their best. Anyway, a selection of my photos are on Flickr.

Autumnal sunshine

Monday, October 13th, 2008

676As the Sunday morning mist burnt off to reveal a beautiful sunny day we decided to make the most of our Hillier Gardens membership that Christine renewed a few weeks back. We certainly weren’t the only ones to think so as the car park was heaving. Fortunately the gardens are big enough to absorb the numbers. Once again Emma went to sleep on the way there which meant we could just sit and read for 45 minutes until she woke. We then just wound our way around the garden taking in the autumnal colours and inspecting the sculptures that make up the annual Art in the Park exhibition. Emma sadly still has to learn the maxim “look but don’t touch”. Let’s hope no lasting damage was done!

Oslo Tourism

Friday, August 8th, 2008

655With some of my vacation still to go we decided to be tourists in Oslo for 24 hours by purchasing an Oslo Pass. This entitles you to free entry to a whole raft of local attractions. Many we have already visited on previous visits to Oslo so the following is not a definitive list of Oslo’s greatest attractions.

Norwegian cinema

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I decided to make the most of being temporarily childless and headed out to the cinema last night to see Om forlatelse. My Norwegian not having progressed in leaps and bounds, it is fortunate that only the title of the film (Atonement) had been translated. As with most imported TV programmes (except those aimed at children), subtitles are used in preference to dubbing. I found it pretty easy to ignore the subtitles and only came a little unstuck during the scenes in French where they had removed any English subtitles there may once have been. My French, fortunately, is marginally better than my Norwegian so I could still just about keep up with the plot. Cinema-going would appear to be a popular pastime here with most of the screens sold out. It’s good to see that the programme also contained a healthy mix of Norwegian films but you can still see why English is spoken so well here. Oh, and the film? Excellent. Must make the effort to go more often.

Deathly silence

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Apologies for the lack of posts at the moment but any spare time is currently being consumed by Harry Potter! It wasn’t entirely coincidental that we found ourselves in our local ASDA on Sunday afternoon, picking up one of the last of their 5000 £5 copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Christine tends to be a faster reader so I agreed she could go first. I hadn’t, however, bargained on her reading it out aloud to Emma as I went in and out of the room. So, now we’re all reading it together which, as you might imagine, is a little slower going…

Hillier Sculptures

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

345We were back at Hillier Gardens today and, although the rhodies are on their way out, there is a new diversion. The sculptures for the annual Art in the Garden exhibition, which begins next weekend, are starting to appear throughout the grounds. As far as I remember, there are lots more small sculptures than last year (although also fewer large ones, at least so far) and some great photo opportunities. Also nice to see the new shelter by the pond finished.

Wilde night out at the Nuffield

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Went to the preview night of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at the Nuffield Theatre yesterday. It’s 100 years since this play, based on story of King Herod’s step daughter and John the Baptist, was first performed in Britain. Although originally written in French, the play was intended to debue in London but was banned due to its portrayal of biblical characters. According to the programme, although performed widely abroad, it is 20 years since it was last seen in Britain.