Non plussed

Well, actually I’m very much plussed. Google+ that is.

After managing to get myself in just 6 days after it’s launch, and while it’s still in restricted numbers I have spent much of the day playing it, and I really like it.

I like the way when you publish something, it doesn’t just go off willy nilly to all and sundry it goes off to whichever group of people or ‘circle’ you want to see it.

It looks to me like a great alternative to Facebook, especially as there are none of the worries over privacy with Google+

I’m certainly looking forward to adding a few more people and playing with it some more. I can see many happy hours of procrastination ahead.

Black Flowers


‚ÄúThis isn‚Äôt a story about a little girl who disappears, it‚Äôs a story about a girl who comes back‚ÄĚ

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up my kindle and flicked it round to the prologue, but what I got I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s been some time since I was gripped by a book to the extent that the action of having to put it down to do something else, (like drive home from work) is an almost physical impossibility, but that’s how I felt over the course of the two days it took me to read it.

Written as a novel within a novel, the story unfolds like someone carefully unwrapping the layers of tissue in a box of crystal glasses. Slowly, deliberately, it coaxes you along with the promise of delights deeper within, a promise which is undoubtedly delivered.

To call it a rollercoaster of a ride, would just be wrong, but if you like theme park analogies it’s more like a flume ride. It carries you carefully along the calm waters before rushing you down a few small slopes, wetting you, and your appetite, for the thrill that’s just around the corner, building your tension as you climb the final ramp, and holding you nervously at the top for a second before hurling you down into the swirling waters below.

Go. Buy it. Now. You know you want too. ūüėČ

“Let’s Go, Jo!”

In another attempt to get some practice in with the new camera I headed out for a trip to the zoo, thinking I could probably get some great shots of the animals.  However, the company of an over enthusiastic toddler, with his own little camera to play with meant more pictures of him, and less of the animals than I would have liked. 

It also meant that because he ‚Äėliked reading maps,‚Äô he decided to take charge in directing us round the zoo.¬†

Subsequently I now have ridiculously aching legs, especially since his most repeated phrases of the day were, ‚ÄėLet‚Äôs Go, Jo!‚Äô, ‚ÄėCome on, Jo‚Äô and ‚ÄėMarch!‚Äô

I think I shall have to refrain from going out for a while…

A Tempestuous Night

When I was younger¬†I was a fan of science fiction B movies.¬† One of my favourites starred Robbie the Robot¬†along with that¬†dark¬†haired serious ‘actor’ that was Leslie Nielson.¬† That film was the 1956 movie The Forbidden Planet.¬† I loved the theory of alien technology bringing to life the monsters of the id, in order to frighten off the visiting ship.

I loved the idea of space travel, and was fascinated by the ideas of colonisation of abandoned alien worlds. I thought the direction was stylish, and the plot simple to follow and understand. But you know what? I was wrong.

As a teen, I discovered the stage show ‘Return To The Forbidden Planet’ and I watched it as many times as I could when it was on nearby, being thankful for student discounts on already reduced tickets, if there were any available 15 minutes before the show began.

I shrieked the songs out at the top of my lungs with everyone else. I enjoyed the audience participation. It was almost like a Rocky Horror, only without the dressing up. Unless off course you counted the faded, fan tour t-shirts of fans that turned up in their hundreds.

It was at the same time that I discovered that both the film and the stage show were based on the Shakespeare play The Tempest.¬† In an effort to learn more, and thanks to a parental unit with good friends at the Royal Shakespeare Company, I managed to go see the play performed in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford.¬† Typical of such a company it was a huge, well oiled production with the great names of theatre at the time (not that I remember any of them).¬†¬†

The¬†strange thing is, it wasn’t¬†until two days ago, when I watched a different production of The Tempest, that I *understood* everything.¬† The film, the musical and the stage show play.¬† You may find this strange, you may not, but as I sat transfixed and watched, I felt a wry grin spread across my face, and the¬†rusted cogs¬†of my cognitive¬†synapses¬†begin to¬†grind against each other slowly as I drip fed them with fresh oil.¬†

Two days ago I went to the Everyman Studio (part of the Everyman Theatre) in Cheltenham.

The Everyman Studio is brilliant, because it is just that, a studio. It’s tiny.¬† There are three raked rows, each of 14 seats,¬† lined up against the length of one wall, and that’s it. ¬†The rest of the floor space is the stage.

I went to see the Dreamshed Theatre Company’s¬†adaptation, and as I said I was transfixed.¬† The enclosed performance area, made you feel like you were watching live theatre in you living room, gave the whole show an almost personal feel.

I am sadly¬†at the moment lacking the lyrical dexterity with which to purvey the amazing job done by each and every one of those actors, that night, but suffice is to say, that I haven’t as yet shut up about telling people how fab it was.


*Apparently, it appears, ¬†Forbidden Planet is in development for¬†a remake to air in 2013. I shall await, although knowing how much I despise cover versions and remakes I shall leave the eagerness in check until I know more…