Waddesdon Manor - Christmas

A very welcome return visit to Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury in Bucks. Unlike two years ago the weather is much better today. So much so that we snub the courtesy bus and walk the inclined footpath to the House.

It's a relief to see blue skies and sunshine after the rain and mist of the previous visit. Judging by the number of visitors swarming in it is going to be very busy today. Entry to the House was already sold out when I booked the tickets some time back. At least the 'Christmas Fair' with close to 100 traders in their wooden chalets, selling all sorts of crafts, food, drink and decorations fully open. 

Entry to the House itself would have been nice but will keep for another time. Plenty so see and do particularly when the weather is decent.
I've written about the history of Waddesdon Manor in a previous entry so won't repeat it all over again. I'm sure if anyone is interested enough they will track it down.

It's good fun checking out all the trad…

Dave Gorman Review - Royal and Derngate Northampton

There aren't many comedians these days that are able to tempt me out on a cold and misty Sunday evening in mid November. However Dave Gorman is definitely one of them.
I was always a big fan of his TV series 'Modern Life is Goodish'. A show that ran for five series between 2013 and 2017.The premise being Dave Gorman presenting hilarious Powerpoint presentations to persuade that life is neither good nor bad , but goodish.Each episode features a recurring section called the "Found Poem", in which he reads out a selection of bizarre comments left on news websites, all covering a particular story.

Support is in the form of 'Nick Doody', long time friend and writing partner. Dave comes on first and  does a quick routine before introducing 'Doody'. The first set lasts only 40 minutes before we break for the interval.

The second half is an hour and a half of Gorman telling us about his wife;s extreme spending on hair products. His stint as a celebrit…

'The Accused' Orlingbury Drama Goup

Time to tread the boards again! Been a while now since playing 'Alderman Boris Fitzwarren' in Panto at Holcot.
I was a reluctant participant if truth be told. Resisting the opportunity of playing Solicitor 'Andrew Jarvis' in this tense courtroom drama.

Written by Jeffrey Archer and set in the Central Criminal Court of the Old Bailey it is a drama with a difference. The audience is the jury and decide if 'The Accused' is innocent or guilty?

All the audience has to do is decide...

Did Dr Sherwood murder his wife?
Was Jennifer Mitchell his mistress?
Which of his alibis should you believe?

No pressure there then !

Once all the evidence is heard the audience are invited to give their verdict. But that isn't the end of the play , oh no no no.

Of course there has to be two different endings depending upon the verdict. It is only then that we actually discover the full truth, and the twists come thick and fast.

I only came in at the eleventh hour at the personal …

Marillion With Friends from the Orchestra - Bath Forum and Oxford New Theatre

Back to back Marillion shows, Bath and Oxford life can hardly get any better surely. After the disappointment  of the rugby ( see previous post) we made our way across town to The Forum in Bath , a new venue for me. We were late booking as originally the plan was just to go to Oxford, however it then turned into a long weekend with the Saints fixture.

Originally an Art Deco Cinema The Forum was built in 1934 and is a designated Grade II Listed building.

The building closed as a cinema in 1969, and has subsequently been used as a dancing school, a Bingo Hall and a Church. Its main auditorium has 1,600 seats.

Because of the late booking we found ourselves 'Up in the Gods'. I've been in steeper theaters but not many and the  stage was a good distance away. From what I can see it looks pretty full anyway.
Before Marillion we have local boy 'Harry Pane'. By local I mean from Northamptonshire , Brackley in fact. A singer songwriter and guitarist he takes  the stage al…

Bath - Saints and Sights

Nothing better than a weekend away in Bath. Always plenty to do but this time with two additional bonuses. Firstly The Saints playing Bath at the Rec on Saturday afternoon. Then going to see Marillion at the Forum in the evening. The Marillion review will be covered in a separate blog.

Took a bit of a chance staying at our first ever 'Air B & B'. No need to worry though, the accommodation was perfectly located in Great Pulteney Street, a beautiful Bath stone Georgian property. Everything we could have wanted was provided, including a partial view of the rugby ground! You could literally kick a rugby ball from the room into the ground. Well maybe if your name is Owen Farrell.

A quick unpack and it was off to see what Bath could offer the on a chilly Friday November evening?

We were promised rain , and plenty of it for the large part of Saturday. The weather Gods certainly didn't disappoint unfortunately. A brief walk into town saw us taking shelter inside the indoor ma…

Walking The Ridgeway - Lammydown Circular Route

A bleak start on this early November Autumn morning. The forecast was hopeful at least that it might brighten up a little later ?

Our starting point was 'Lammydown' on the edge of Swindon. Unfortunately visibility  was awful with the low cloud, mist and drizzle.  Which was a shame really as we passed close by the site of Liddington Castle or Liddington Fort another Bronze Age Hill Fort. One of the earliest hill forts in Britain, with first occupation dating to the seventh century BC.This is the highest point in the Swindon area.

The walk sees us cross the M4 twice and as usual it is very busy. The rain gets heavier and I have to resort to the old 'Mac in a Sack'. That makes it 6 layers in total so i'm nice and
warm at least.

Thankfully the shower is shortlived and I can tack the mac off again . 
I love this time of year with the leaves changing colour and the rich array of berries in the hedgerow. It's fantastic and theire is peace and solitude with that sens…