Wednesday 24 September 2014

Some questions, some apples and a large honey drizzler

Some blogger friendships have grown the more I blog, comment and tweet. Others were friends before blogs were ever invented. This is the case with my good friend, Bridget Blair from Thinking of the Days. She's a fascinating lady. Please do visit her blog.

I met Bridget many decades ago at The Leicester Writers' Club. We were even joint presidents for one manic year. This involved having to organise celebrity visits and we had great fun organising ours. I seem to remember that it included supper out for the two of us plus our 'celebrity', an agent from London and, if I'm not mistaken, Bridget got an invite to his London office. *sigh* Those were good days.

Several weeks ago Bridget challenged me to answer some questions here on my blog. In my usual cavalier way I've selected just four of them. So here goes:

1. What was the first band I ever saw perform live?

That was during the 'twist and shout' days of the early sixties. My friends introduced me to live concerts at Leicester's De Montfort Hall and I'm still going to the very same venue. In fact, I saw Joe Brown there two weeks ago and he still sparkles just like he always did! My first concert was to see Billy J. Kramer and the Dekotas. I'd read that his favourite colour was brown so I wore a fake suede brown skirt and jacket and I screamed all the way through the performance. *sigh* Those were indeed good days.

2.  What was the worst meal I ever cooked?

Bad memory. It was the first meal for my ex-husband. It was supposed to be fried eggs on toast but no one told me that you have to use oil in the pan and that you don't heat the pan for ten minutes on full power first! That caused our first of many rows. *sigh* Not all the days were good.

3.  You can only afford two courses so do you have a starter and main, or main and pudding?

No brainer. Main and pudding. How can anyone forgo a pudding?

4.  What's my favourite word in the English language?

I blogged about this in February 2010. It's serendipity, and I just reread my blog post I Don't Believe in Co-incidences and had to smile at my example of a serendipitous event. That lady who noticed my first ever tweet will be coming to a Lapidus Therapeutic Writing meeting here next month and she is still a dear friend.

Thank you, Bridget, for throwing those questions my way. They were fun, but I can't complete a blog today without mentioning apple and honey. This evening at sunset it will be the start of the Jewish Year 5775. (I love palindromic dates!) As usual we will see it in with apple dipped in honey. It truly is a delicious snack but, more importantly, it represents our wishes for a fruitful and sweet new year ahead. So, whenever you celebrate your new year, you might like to try the apple and honey tradition tonight and help us all to pray that this be the start of a peaceful as well as a happy and healthy twelve months. We're all on this earth together. Let's enjoy our time here.

Our first apple from our new apple tree

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Leicester Through a Visitor's Eyes

It’s been yet another busy week but this time it wasn’t about work. My sister came to stay which is a rare treat as Sister is even more anxious than I am about travelling. This was our first proper visit together since our Mum died. Mum was greatly missed but it also meant that we had time to do some shopping and touristy things that we’ve not really done together since she left Leicester about 30 years ago.

Our Tourist Schedule:

Curve Theatre to see Barnum
Sister was surprised by the vast, bulging building that is our Curve theatre.  She reminisced about the days of The Haymarket Theatre. Sadly that theatre now stands empty. What a waste of a resource! Barnum was a bit slow in the first half, or maybe our expectations were too high, but we enjoyed our evening together and Sister went home with photographs to help her remember. (Like that children’s TV programme character, Mr Benn!)

Richard III

Leicester’s Medieval Area
Sister was amazed by all the preparations for Richard III’s reburial. Where there was once ordinary side street paving and a non-descript front to the Cathedral, the workmen are now creating tiled walkways between the Richard III Visitors’ Centre and the Cathedral and a landscaped garden complete with modern sculpture and statue of Richard III. The biggest change even shocked me. We went into the Cathedral for a quiet sit down only to find that the workmen have boarded off the Cathedral side chapels and the Choir while they excavate Richard’s final resting place. Sister went home with more photographs to help her remember.

Leicester’s High Cross Shopping Centre
Sister lives in a very small town on the South coast. It has only a few shops for ‘essentials only’. High Cross, therefore, provided a confusion as well as profusion of shops. Consequently, Sister went home with less money than she had when she arrived!

Singing and Chatting
We caterwauled our way through The Last Night of the Proms and it reminded me of when we were little. We used to make our Grandma and Great Aunts sit through ‘concerts’ every time we visited. They were very patient. And we chatted for hours about life and stuff. It’s good having a sister.

Down Side to the Visit
Many weeks ago, in order to make Sister’s journey a little easier, we said we would pick her up from Birmingham’s New Street Station. That wouldn't have been a problem if it hadn’t been for The Letter that we received only days before her arrival. The Letter was from the DVLA telling Mr A that they would not be renewing his driving licence due to eyesight issues. Before you ask, yes I can drive, but have you ever tried driving into Central Birmingham when you haven’t a clue where you’re going? It wasn’t a good experience… but I did it and, what’s more, I’m proud of myself!