09 Aug

Edfringe 2018 day 3

Final day, big sleep in.

Vanishing Man (very weak and confused)

The Greatest Play in the History of the World.. (excellent, Ann should do this!)

Nice haggis, neeps and mash at Makars that led to mad rush to catch train.. two minutes to spare.

19 Jul

DUSTY, the musical

Now I have a confession. I started to listen to Dusty Springfield when I had listened to death all of Duffy and needed to move on. My love of Soul made Dusty Springfield a great next step and over the last four years I have listened to all and every album she did. But I knew very little of her life.

So when I saw a musical was coming to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle I jumped at the chance.

Dusty

DUSTY

Well.. I was in tears by the end.

This is an excellent musical, if you like soulful music and a witty book written by a writer who’s cut his teeth on Coronation Street, as well as a stunning portrayal by Katherine Kingsley, and good supporting work by Rufus Hound, then go see this.

PS: I have since read up a little on Dusty and the musical applies creative licence as to her  girlfriend, who in the musical is ‘Lois’ but in real life was fellow singer Norma Tanega. [Dusty had several other girlfriends and one tempestuous marriage to an American actress Teda Bracci.] For whatever reason, and perhaps since Norma is still alive, they have applied artistic licence there. Norma seems to be more of a folksinger to my ears, and she’s there on Spotify as well.]

 

 

17 Jul

Heaton!! First Night, a totally impartial review (not)

Opening night! So, so proud of the magical, multimedia extravaganza that is Heaton! Written by Peter Dillon, performed by the People’s Theatre, and inspired by the Great Exhibition of the North, it is truly a-maz-ing! Catch a preview on BBC Look North; those out of region go here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bb2nd1

Book: https://www.peoplestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/heaton

 

The Parsons Family

Votes for Women! Florence Nightingale Harrison-Bell

“The evening was a rollercoaster of film, music, dance and superb acting … a huge round of applause to all those involved” – NE Lifestyle Magazine

M.C. George Stanley, theatrical entrepreneur, in association with Shoe Tree Arts proudly presents Heaton!

Heaton: where Charles Parsons developed the steam turbine, giving the world cheap electricity; where social reformer Florence Nightingale Harrison-Bell campaigned for women’s rights; the birthplace of Ove Arup who built Sydney Opera House; where suffragettes set fire to Heaton Park Bowling Green Pavilion; home of Colin Veitch, Newcastle Utd’s most successful captain, co-founder of the People’s Theatre, and where today the Freeman Hospital is at the cutting edge of medical technology.

Inspired by the Great Exhibition of the North, this feast of drama, music, dance and film celebrates the lives and achievements of these pioneers, all intertwined with the love affair between time-travelling fictional couple Freddie and Catherine.

 

14 Jul

UCU success, Lords of Waterdeep is great fun, had a good BBQ

UCU wins right to strike for migrant workers

After months of campaigning by UCU, including most recently the threat of legal action, the home secretary Sajid Javid has announced that he will be changing the immigration rules to ensure that migrant workers will now be able to play a full part in legal strike action without fearing the impact on their immigration status.
This is a big win for all trade unionists, not just those in UCU and it has come about as a direct result of our campaigning work. Thanks to everyone who wrote to MPs and in particular to members from overseas who took strike action despite these concerns.

Lords of Waterdeep is great fun

Paul, Andrew, Nigel, Alex and I had great fun playing Lords of Waterdeep on Friday night. It was really nice to boardgame, which is such a prep-free form of gaming opposed to rpgs. The game has just enough bells and whistles and ins and outs to be intriguing but with an essentially simple core engine.  I wanted to play it after I was rather delighted to hear that the new D&D adventure is Waterdeep:Dragon Heista guide to Waterdeep and a city heist adventure creation engine. I love city gaming, so it got me all fired up to explore Waterdeep in boardgame form.

A boardgame and a can of beer

Gaming and Lager

a boardgame

Lords of Waterdeep

BBQ

We had Conor, Kate, their sons Eugene and Tristan with Emmanuel, Catherine and their daughter Farai round for a BBQ. It was a very very hot and sunny day and the BBQ went well and Farai had a dip in the tub, and the boys really enjoyed Super Mario Smash Bros on the Wii. I got a bit faint and dizzy a few times, I need to keep an eye on that.

 

19 Dec

7th Aeon

Now I am not saying I agree with this message. Bits of it do seem somewhat accurate, albeit hardly novel. I am sure we can find Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Romans or Mayans who said the same. However, it’s nicely done in a lovely anime style and would make a great intro video to a dystopian tale or RPG.

7TH AEON // ANIMATED SHORT FILM from Mads Broni on Vimeo.

17 Dec

Lovely weekend

Had a lovely weekend.

We went to Duncan and Helen R’s annual ‘Cheese and Port’ party and ate a lot of cheese. We caught up with Neil and Crikey and Colleen and Nige.

On Sunday Ann took me to SIX, the restaurant on the 6th floor of the BALTIC art museum and we had Xmas afternoon tea which was scrummy.

Scrummy Xmas Afternoon Tea

Then in the evening Helen Rowlands took myself and Duncan to a BBC pre-screening of the Dr. Who Xmas Special at St.Nicholas’ Cathedral in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. It were brillig.

Tom at TARDIS

22nd November 1963, man in hat with scarf seen at police box

Then home, and hopefully some work to do this week.

27 May

Very useful YouTube videos for SPSS

Largely worked on dwell times in SPSS.

Ann has friends from Worcester for weekend so I am working in my Uni office!

In other news I went and saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Frickin’ Awesome! Then snuck into see Alien: Covenant but it was so lame and same old same old, that I left half way through.. sad.

Large Number of Value Labels – Fast Way – SPSS

Select Cases: Dates and Times – SPSS

Tired now, going to rest my eyes with a hot eye mask and then read the DMG for a bit.

15 Apr

Stats and a wall

The stats really came together yesterday, Good Friday, but hit a bit of a wall today. I need a crib sheet to understand the old material groups, and I get that until Tuesday, at the earliest. However tomorrow I can write up the process I have followed so far and that may take me all Sunday. Would be great and I need a break from numbers.

Then on Monday I can go back and input the traffic survey stats into spss and be ready for my next meeting with Shirley.

So good day Friday yesterday less good day Saturday. Think I shall watch “the man in the high Castle” season two tonight.

Ann is doing a tour of friends in South Yorkshire so as to allow the space to work. Silly thing is I miss her like crazy already.