buckets by Adam Barnard, Orange Tree Theatre, 30 May 2015

An interesting short play, this one, lots of tiny vignettes not really connected other than a general theme around bucket lists.

The title actually is “buckets” with a small “b”. Not sure if that is significant or just modern “mess with capitalisation” stuff.

There’s real “what was that all about” weirdness about this play – I’m pretty sure Janie said that as we left – but still we enjoyed some of the scenes and performances. We had plenty to talk about afterwards.

It reminded me, actually, of the sort of experimental stuff Sam Walters used to do above the pub back in the “original Orange Tree” days.

Excellent on-line resource with all the details, in the modern Orange Tree way – click here. Lots of review quotes in there but tellingly the one from the Guardian is excluded. In his gentle, pro-Orange Tree style I think Michael Billington sums it up very well – click here.

Yes, we went for Spanish food at Don Fernando afterwards, That’s normally what we do.

 

Youth Club Alumni Dinner at Bill’s in Covent Garden, 28 May 2015

Around this time the previous year, my old youth club (Streatham BBYO) gang gathered at Bill’s in Covent Garden. We had done nothing of the sort for well over thirty years, but was a great success.

Linda had taken the lead organising the 2014 gathering and then asked me to finalise the details at the end. This is how she kicked off negotiations, in March 2015:

Hi Everyone,
Thought it would be good to meet again as its been a year in May!
Last year we met on a Thursday in the school holidays so thought we could try that again, what do people think?
The date would be 28th May, if that is not good for the majority any suggestions are welcome!
Then Ian I can pass it to you if it becomes complicated 😀
Linda xx

Strangely, it proved incredibly easy to organise. Everyone was comfy with the date and everyone agreed that the company was more important than scratching around for a different venue, so Bill’s got the nod again.

Natalie had to drop out at the last minute this time, sadly, but still we had me, Linda, Sandra, Mark, Andrea, Jacey, Liza, Wendy, Martin and even a visitation from Ivor.

The atmosphere was partly tinged with sadness that evening, as news of Jeffrey Spector’s passing was only a few days old that night. Still, Jeffrey wouldn’t have wanted us to mope and nor did we.

Ivor told us all about his Hollywood movie prospects while Martin showed us the photographs he took at our infamous “fashion show” back in 1979 (I didn’t realise colour photography had been invented back then). Details of both of those interludes shall remain under wraps for the time being.

Again it was lovely to see everybody and again it seemed impossible that so many years had passed and that most of us had felt disinclined to meet up like this for such a long time.

After two such gatherings, it seemed inevitable that there would be more get togethers…as indeed there have been.

Anyone For Real Tennis?, England v New Zealand Lord’s Test Day 4, King Cricket Match Report, 24 May 2015

Janie and I (or should I say Ged and Daisy) went to the Sunday of the Lord’s test against New Zealand in 2015.

My King Cricket match report linked here, describing our day, was published on King Cricket in October 2015.

I-Cant-Get-My-Head-Round-These-Rules

This piece is, in a way, the second part of a trilogy.  It is linked to a couple of other pieces about Ged and Daisy encountering Mr Johnny Friendly, an MCC member, friend of the family and real tennis enthusiast. In reverse order:

The irony that I myself have subsequently taken up real tennis with gusto is not wasted on me.

To understand my King Cricket match reports you need to know that:

  • Ged and Daisy are nicknames/noms de plume for me and Janie. Friends are all referred to pseudonymously;
  • King Cricket match reports have strict rules: “If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.”

If you do want to know about the cricket itself, you might want to have a look at the on-line scorecard – here. We were there the day Stokes scored a scintillating, fastest ever test hundred at Lord’s. Stokes had only just started at tea, when we ran into Mr Johnny Friendly. Of course the King Cricket report is silent on such details.

 

Cocktails For Two, England v New Zealand Lord’s Test Day 2, King Cricket Match Report, 22 May 2015

King Cricket published the match report for this day in September 2015 – click here to read it.

Not much to add or explain.  I started a running gag about Charley “The Gent” Malloy’s bottle of wine in this earlier piece.  But apart from that, nothing fancy or obscure.

King Cricket match reports have strict rules: “If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.”

If you do want to know about the cricket itself, you might want to have a look at the on-line scorecard – here. New Zealand were making hay that day and it looked like one of those Lord’s tests that could only end up a draw unless England messed-up the third innings – how wrong we were. Of course the King Cricket report is silent on such details.

Ireland With Dumbo – 7 May to 19 May 2015 – Post Script

You are welcome to read about this trip to Ireland in reverse order, blog-stylee, but you might prefer to start with this preamble and work forwards.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

 

 

Ireland With Dumbo Day Twelve – 18 May 2015 and home the next day

Rose early and enjoyed the wonderful benefits of suite and view for the last time.  We both breakfasted on hake before preparing to leave.  While settling the bill, met an American couple whose TomTom experience re directions to “daft Aghadoe” had been similar to ours.

I drove the first leg, just over 100 miles, then we swapped over.  Checked in at Clontarf, then learnt that we need to catch an earlier ferry.

My type of casino, this.
My type of casino, this.

Still, back out to check out the Casino at Moreno – almost impossible to find but inexpensive by casinos standards.  Stopped off at Clontarf CC on the way home for a look around and even saw a little cricket, worthy of a King Cricket match report. 

Then fiddled with heating – possible room change – decided against.  Scrubbed up and had a lovely pub style supper of beef and guineas pie with Daisy–approved mash, washed down with an Oz Shiraz-cabernet.  Daisy also had an Irish coffee.

An early night.

19 May 2015 – Rose early to catch cruise ferry, as our catamaran had been cancelled due to inclement weather yesterday afternoon.  Still, benefited from the club class – indeed perhaps more so on the bigger boat and longer trip.  Event free drive back to London – Daisy did the longer leg.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Eleven – 17 May 2015

Daisy tries fish of the day, hake, for breakfast, while I tried kippers today.  Efforts to get up and out a bit earlier came to nought, so we again set off around 11:30, not that it matters.

We plug for a longer walk today, the circular around Tomies Wood along the south west side of Loch Leane, a very beautiful walk, mostly straightforward track.  Again very few other people.  One of the few remaining ancient Irish forests in all Ireland.

Walking In Tomies Wood
Walking In Tomies Wood

We considered a second short walk after returning to the car but decided against that idea in favour of the wonderful spa. There we enjoyed the several thermal whatnots – eucalyptus steam, sauna, laconium (very light steam – warm not hot) and the wonderful hammam. 

Then dinner again in the informal bar/lounge area.  The pianist really irritated Daisy this evening, although I think it was the same plonker as the first night.  Daisy had a club sandwich with chips while I had hake in a very tasty sauce with bland mash and nice veg.  We shared an apple and pear crumble desert.  Nice bottle of Californian chardonnay.  Very nice evening.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Ten – 16 May 2015

Fish of the day is Cod again today, so I try a “Full Irish” while Daisy tries smoked salmon and scrambled egg.

Weather much better today, so we plan a couple of walks.  First up – Muckross Abbey and Monks Wood –at lovely circular walk.  We stopped at a small car park near the Abbey where a sweet jaunting car fella tries to convince us that his services might help us, as we’ll be walking all over 3 miles if we do the round trip I describe.  We explained that it is our purpose and he wishes as well on our way.

Super circular walk taking in the Abbey, a small wood and then the Muckross House gardens.  We resisted the temptation of the cafe and press on to Derrycunnihy  church, where we do the first three stations have a wonderful mountain track route and then returned to the car having done a further 3 miles or so.  Took some superb pictures are up there too.

This isn't one of the superb pictures
This isn’t one of the superb pictures – this is Daisy trying her hand at map reading

Then return for a quick spa – it is very busy this evening and then informal meal in the bar, where we share tempura prawns, share a giant burger and share the cheese plate.  Quite substantial all in.  Lovely evening.  We don’t hear a squeak from the penthouse party above.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Nine – 15 May 2015

This place also has a fish of the day breakfast – hurrah!  Cod today and we both try it – served with tomato shallots and herb dressing.

Gloomy looking day with a poor weather forecast, so we decided to drive out to Dingle today.  Indeed it starts raining or more or less as soon as we set off and is a very wet on the road to Dingle –still we see nice scenery on that peninsula.

We take some pictures in the Harbour and then drive back to the town proper, parking in Dykesgate just below a quirky music/toy/cake shop, where we hear the dulcet tones of a Tipperary man who has migrated to Dingle via an English prep school, following a conspiracy between his parents and grandmother.  We buy a toy for Penny but failed to procure ukulele strings.

Dingle Town
Dingle Town

We walked the town looking at art and craft shops and try with difficulty to find good walking socks to help relieve Ged’s blisters.  We stop at a rather sad pub with an old arthritic and unfortunate looking landlady.  We also failed to buy Daisy a hat.

People all incredibly helpful and full of kindly advice – all avenues points to the Mountain Man’s shop for those socks.  When we get there he’s closed until 15:00 so we take refuge in the tourist office where we pick up some useful information for Angela.  Then back to Mountain Man just as he is opening up, but with a multitude of “fecks” he tells us that he is the supplier/delivery people have let him down re his impending order of men’s socks.

So now all avenues point towards Tralee.  We travel home via Tralee stopping at the recommended Landers’ (nice lady in McKenna’s referred us) where we both bought Bridgedale socks at okay prices.

Then back to Aghadoe Heights, and satnav coming into its own by helping us avoid some nasty traffic and a blocked road resulting from an accident.  Although we again ended up going via “Aghadoe Heights” side street in town.  Ged soon learnt how to scrub a daft reference from a my places on the satnav.

On return, we went for a swim, a Jacuzzi and then to the spa trying a variety of hammam, laconium and eucalyptus steam thingies.  Met an English/German combo from London who are due to party in the penthouse tomorrow night – seems we were not invited.

Dinner in the formal restaurant.  Shared a tiny crab starter, then Daisy had coquilet dish, I had a duck dish –all a bit “hotel standard fare”, but worth a try – Daisy found the mash bland.  Then a cheesecake to share afterwards, very nice.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Eight – 14 May 2015

Fish of the day at breakfast today was hake, which came a close third to seabass (winner) and monk fish (silver medal in my book).

We reluctantly said goodbye to Inchydoney and headed off  in the direction of Killarney via Siobhan’s family home near Glenfisk.  A roadwork detour combined with some confusion over the directions we had been given got us a bit lost for a while.

But by around 14:00 we arrived at the O’Donoghue/Ross home.  What a strange place- sculptures throughout the enormous garden, pictures and other art works everywhere.  Mum (Elisabeth) and sister (Deana) made us very welcome.  Tighue, as expected, nowhere to be seen.  We liked sculptures and artefacts best, some of which (glasswork, Deana and chess pieces Eoin) seem to be more down to the kids, but hey, it’s a family business.

I recognise the King Crimson 21st-century Schizoid Man in one picture and Deana coolly showed a different variant of him in another.  Nice coffee and cake and chat with the ladies before heading off to Aghadoe Heights.

The View From Aghadoe Heights
The View From Aghadoe Heights

Satnav fancied a side street in Kilarney itself but that was soon corrected.  Beautiful suite and lovely staff awaited us.  Lovely Helen gave Daisy lots of extra bits and pieces (goodies) for the room but refused a tip.  We took supper in the lounge – informal dining –wonderful seafood with chips and salad.  Too full for pud!  Very enjoyable.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.