Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Downsizing the MIL (2)

Easter weekend was spent in Scotland helping May move into sheltered accommodation. The removal men arrived Good Friday at about 10:30, packed up the contents of the living room and main bedroom, and drove round the block to May's new home which is literally less than 200 yards by the direct walking route. Mary and sister Sandra unpacked while I flattened boxes and wrapping paper although with three of them unwrapping it was hard to keep up. By 6 o'clock the place was habitable.

Then Saturday and Sunday my other contribution was DIY: turning the fridge and freezer doors, installing a self-assembly bathroom cabinet plus accoutrements, changing a light fitting, sealing round the kitchen work surface and banging in a large number of picture hooks. Meanwhile Mary was sorting out everything else: more unpacking, arranging the contents of the cupboards, deciding what should go to the dump and generally organising. Between her and Sandra, May didn't stand a chance!

Sunday afternoon our work there was done so it was back to Sandra and George's to babysit while they went to see Pink at the S.E.C. Then home the next day for a quiet evening to relax.

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Ceylon Tavern, and Artisan and Vine

Although I don't normally use it, I just had to put the "Oxford comma" in the title; it would not have scanned aright otherwise.

As I am home alone this weekend Mary thought we should go out for a meal on our last evening together even though she is only away two nights! Who am I to argue with going out for a nice meal. And so it turned out to be.

A short bus ride took us to The Ceylon Tavern where we had an *excellent* Sri Lankan meal. Just that little bit different from your standard Indian; coconut and seafood both feature heavily in the list of ingredients.

At the end of the meal we felt like another glass of wine so we hopped back on the bus a couple of stops to the Artisan and Vine (http://www.artisanandvine.com/). Very pleasant with live jazz and some interesting wines to try. We had a bit of chat with Kathryn O'Mara, founder of the wine bar, and wine blogger Denise Medrano (http://www.thewinesleuth.co.uk/). In fact we chatted so long we had to have a third glass of red wine. Next morning I was not so sure number three had been a good idea but they were very tasty wines.

PS Toptable have introduced a new feature (or I have never noticed it befoe) where you can read other reviews written by a reviewer so here are all Mary's toptable reviews.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Seventeen not-so-random musical things about me

More shameless recycling of FB memes...

1) What is the first song you ever remember hearing? How old were you?
One of many that were played on Children's Hour on the BBC home service but the one that springs to mind is "Trains" http://mikes.railhistory.railfan.net/sounds.html by Reginald Gardener http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Gardiner as we had a single (45 rpm). My friend Mike from college had the same record on 78 rpm.

2) What was the first album you ever bought on your own? What format?
Donovan's Greatest Hits on vinyl of course: LP 33 1/3 rpm.
The second was "My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows" by Tyrannosaurus Rex.

3) What was the first CD you ever bought?
"Beggar on a Beach of Gold" by Mike and the Mechanics. I had to as it was not available as an LP. I was a "Late Majority" adopter regards CDs.

4) What was the latest album you've purchased?
"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" by Rick Wakeman. I am going to see him perform live at Hampton Court Place on 01 April 2009.

5) What song takes you straight back to grade school?
See 1) Something from Children's Hour. Possibly "The Ugly Duckling" or "Tubby the Tuba" by Danny Kaye or "Little White Bull" by Tommy Steele.

6) What was the theme song of your high school prom?
N/A. The UK doesn't have High School Proms.

7) What was your first real concert?
No idea. Classical would be something featuring my school chum Catherine Bott (soprano) in the late '60s / early 70's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Bott. Pop would be Tyrannosaurus Rex either Birmingham Town Hall - Saturday, February 15th 1969.or "Castle Rock" - Saturday, June 5th 1970.

8) What was your latest real concert?
Tina Turner at The O2.

9) Best concert?
Van Morrison at Portsmouth Town Hall on my birthday about five years ago.

10) What was your song with your first girl-/boyfriend?
We didn't have an "our song" that I recall.

11) What was your favorite band in high school?
Tyrannosaurus Rex

12) What albums were the soundtrack of your senior year?
"Unicorn" by, you guessed it, Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Also "Disraeli Gears" by Cream.

13) What was your first musical discovery at college?
Let's keep it simple and say Roxy Music but there were many other including Balinese Gamelan.

14) What song(s) did you/do you want played at your wedding?
We had:
"Music from the Royal Fireworks" by Handel
"Morning has broken "(Mary wouldn't let me have "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem")
"Love Divine, all loves excelling"
"Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Bach
"Crown imperial by Walton

15) Do you have a favorite band now? If so, who?
No one band to single out.

16) What's the last thing you listened to?
"Language of the Heart" by Sanne http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanne_Salomonsen

17) What do you want played at your funeral?
"Cosmic Dancer" by T.Rex or maybe "Ride a White Swan" or, if it is a cremation, how about "Hot Love" :-)