Saturday, 22 September 2018

What I've been doing this summer instead of reading...

What I did in the summer of 2018

Inspired by my nephew writing all about his summer holiday at school I thought it would be interesting to keep a note of all the things I've been doing this summer instead of crazy theatre going and binge reading.

To be truthful there has been some theatre going, since May I've seen:

  • Two Noble Kinsmen (the Globe)
  • The Chalk Garden (Chichester Festival Theatre)
  • Othello (the Globe)
  • Me and My Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre)
  • Pressure (the Ambassadors Theatre)
  • Emilia (the Globe)
  • Love's Labour's Lost (the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)
When listed like this it seems a lot but in the same time frame last year I saw 13 plays (often in double bill days) so this is a reduction.

So apart from a lot of resting, and poppy sorting (more on this soon), what have I been up to?

Spending time with family has featured highly this summer and thanks to the lovely weather we've been able to get out and about a lot too. We've been to cricket matches, family meals and also Legoland but there are two huge highlights.

The GoGoHares trail here in Norfolk - family came to stay with us for this and we spent several days out and about in the city and county looking for the beautiful sculptures.

Then while the good weather lasted we returned the visit to family and spent a glorious Saturday in Ashford following the Snowdog trail.

These trails are wonderful, we spent hours out in the fresh air, walking miles and at the same time soaking up the happy feeling of both locations. In addition to this we were supporting two wonderful charities - Break and the Pilgrim's Hospice.

We've done lots of other things too but the joy we had discovering beautiful sculptures and new areas of both locations will be hard to beat - and the fun and laughter we shared was brilliant. Here's hoping that the auctioning of the sculptures later in the year raises loads of money for each charity. Huge thanks to everyone who has made these two events so great.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Wasted on children...

The Goth Girl Series by Chris Riddell

Just over a week ago I was lucky enough to be working an event with the former Children's Laureate - Chris Riddell.

I've long been a fan of his illustrations and political cartoons, and last summer I picked his Travels With My Sketchbook as a top read but for some reason I've not read any of the books solely written by him, despite recommending them to all and sundry based on the illustrations and blurbs!

I've rectified this now as I've raced through three of the four Goth Girl books in the past 10 days, I picked these ones on the back of Chris's comment at his talk where he talked about some painters of bucolic scenes calling themselves the twee-Raphelites  and something about this dreadful pun really spoke to me.

The Goth Girl books were a delight, and as an adult the fun came in the puns and jokes as much as the plots and I was giggling hysterically from the description of Ada Goth's father as being mad, bad and dangerous to gnomes at the start of the first book right up until the very sweet book in a book that slots into the fourth book and gives an alternative origins story to the Narnia books.

I am really surprised that these books haven't been recovered and rebadged for the adult satire market as they really do stand up against books like Bored of the Rings. I hope that the plots do mean that the books appeal to children as much they do to me!

In addition to this Chris is a great guy and spends time talking to, and listening to his fans of all ages, I'd hoped that would be the case as I'd hate to have had my illusions of such a library and reading advocate to have been not so nice in real life!

Be warned - everyone in the family is going to be getting books by Mr Riddell for birthdays and Christmas from now on...