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For those with an Aidan Turner-shaped hole in their life…

April 1, 2011

I know I’m not the only one missing the entirely edible Aidan Turner from my TV screen. No spoilers, but the last ten minutes of the last episode of Being Human had tears pouring down my cheeks. So for my own enjoyment, and that of anyone else with an AidanTurner-shaped hole in their life, here are some lovely images to gaze upon until either a) The Hobbit hits the big screen or b) the Being Human boxset arrives through the post.

Now, I know it’s been quiet around here while I’ve been off dealing with real life (don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with the details), but some things haven’t changed.

So, there is a price to pay for gazing upon the lovely Aidan. And that is me asking you to do something to make the world a better place.

It seems appropriate to team the fangtastic actor with The National Blood Service.

96% of us rely on the other 4% donating blood. That’s quite a shocking statistic. You don’t need me to tell you that lives are saved everyday by people giving a little time and a little blood. Can you help increase the number of blood donors? It would be an amazing thing if you can.

In England around 8,000 blood transfusions are carried out every day (according to NHS choices) – it’s no wonder the need for donations remains high.

Someone else’s life could be in your hands – especially if you’re O+ O- or a rare blood type (if I’ve remembered my biology correctly – please let me know if I’ve got that the wrong way round).

Why not sign up, lie back and think of Aidan (or load a picture onto your phone and gaze at it while you do your good deed)? It’s no understatement to say you’d be doing something life-changing.

Cross-dressing, 12 costume changes and digs at the Coalition – Key panto is another thriller!

December 10, 2010

Hurrah – it’s panto time again! (Oh, yes it is!) Last night I joined my daughter’s Rainbow group for the first night of Jack and the Beanstalk at Peterborough’s Key Theatre and had a fabulous time.

There are so many reasons to love the Key’s panto: Michael Cross’s skilled hand on the tiller, the lack of overpaid reality TV or soap stars, the subtle digs at Whittlesey, the sharper pokes of satire, the hot drummer (the joy of sitting in the front row!), the clever reworking of musical favourites and the brilliant dame Patric Kearns (not to mention  his incredible costumes and sarky asides to the audience).

Several stalwarts have returned this year, including Adam Patman camping it up as the stupendously dim-witted Simple Simon and acting as a perfect foil to Patric’s less than genteel Trudy Trott.

I don’t want to be unfair to the rest of the hard-working and talented cast, but Patric is the beating heart of the show and is worth the ticket price all on his own.

If you enjoyed his Lady Gaga last year, you’ll love this year’s tribute act (I won’t spoil it for you, come back and ask at the end of the run if you really want to know). Although I do hope the wardrobe mistress takes in the waist of Patric’s trousers before too long. There are some things small children shouldn’t see…

I wish them all well with this year’s run and I’m already looking forward to next year’s offering. Perhaps this is what Wizzard meant when they wished ‘it could be Christmas every day’!

Check out times and prices and get booking…

Go bananas for top-notch children’s theatre.

September 25, 2010

Andy and Mike's Big Box of Bananas poster.

I can still just about remember seeing Brian Cant in Flibberty and the Penguin (in Basildon apparently) as a tot. I’m hoping my daughter may one day look back on her brush with Mike James and Andy ‘CBeebies’ Day with equal fondness.

As someone who’s sat through numerous shouty, colourful kids’ productions, I can honestly say that Andy and Mike’s Big Box of Bananas is a cut above the rest. And that was before they stayed behind (having, no doubt, wiped their sweaty brows) to sign things and have their pictures taken with their young fans (and some very enthusiastic parents too!).

From Mike’s snarky mickey-taking of Andy’s day job (even the number raps – which personally I love, though not quite as much as this year’s excellent summer song) to their Ant and Dec impersonations there were plenty of jokes to keep the grown-ups genuinely smiling. The children were all ecstatic at the silly jokes, disco dancing, mad running around, water pistols and fart noises.

If you have a small child to entertain, I can highly recommend this show. Find out more on Andy and Mike’s website and get booking! They have plenty of dates throughout October – and promise more to come.

They’re also promising a new show – Andy and Mike’s Time Machine – I will definitely be getting tickets for that one too.

He who dies rich, dies shamed

September 15, 2010

I know that Julie Burchill isn’t to everyone’s tastes, and I disagree with her columns about as often as I embrace them wholeheartedly, but today’s piece in The Independent about hypocrisy is excellent. I feel shamed that only now do I know about philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, but resolve to remember his motto – He who dies rich, dies shamed – next time I’m worrying about how much to give to someone who needs the money more than I do.

We apologise for the disruption…

August 2, 2010

It’s annoying when blogs go quiet, I know. Apologies – sincerely – but real life is getting in the way of blogging at the moment. I hope that normal service will resume shortly.

Get your groove on and make a difference too

June 22, 2010

Fairsharemusic is a digital music download site with a small, but significant difference: every time a song or album is purchased from the site, it donates money to charity .

The site boasts a catalogue of more than 8.5 million tracks, with individual song prices starting from 79p. Half of the net profit from every MP3 downloaded is donated to charity, such as Amnesty, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the British Heart Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

You can also suggest the names of other charities you would like the service to support, and choose to donate either to a single cause, or split your donation across all partner charities.

Right, I’m off to top up my Glee levels and punt a few pennies to CentrePoint.

I wandered lonely as a cloud…

June 14, 2010

I know that ‘Magritte paintings expressed through the medium of modern dance’ sounds like a terribly pretentious sixth-form project – but the reality was a wonderful, delightful hour that had my five-year-old (not to mention me and my mum) completely enthralled.

If you get the chance to see Aracaladanza’s Nubes (Clouds)  – grab it with both hands. It’s suitable for anyone 4+ with a pulse and a soul. We particularly enjoyed the flipper dance (imagine six red imps dancing in diving flippers) and the men with detachable heads.

My Googling hasn’t turned up a schedule for their performances – only a trail of where the group has already been – but keep an eye out for this and snap up tickets if you get the chance. You really won’t regret it.

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