My daughter

Is brilliant. GCSEs time… Dance, acting, singing. Triple threat time.

Lazy, tardy, busy, not busy

It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog; I’m not sure if that means I’m a lousy blogger or I’m not cut out for it, but it most likely means I’m lazy and get sidetracked by Facebook etc. So, what’s happened?

Thing still the same on Mum front, she’s still hanging on, still in the home, getting worse on the maintenance and memory front (recently she was convinced I was really into football and would be out playing a match – me, football, ha!) I must admit that my visits have become rarer, the emotional stress and bravery required for a full on visit is too much for me any more. I phone, she answers, I feel awful. It’s a cruel disease, as any fule know.

Pip – has had a good year at school. Good results and reports, etc and now moves up to the “Upper School” and embarks on GCSEs. There was a bit of wrangling with the school with this, but it’s all now resolved. Her only slight twist is that the school have jumbled up classes and it seems at the moment left Pip in a class with no real friends, mostly just acquaintances and people she doesn’t really know (it’s a big school with 300 or so in a year) … she has emailed the school re this, don’t really know if this will do anything.

In dance/theatre Pip has had a great year, starting with Annie last December, where she played Pepper and took on a solo. Acquitted herself really well for her first stage show; it was a good production, too – Southwick Players at The Barn Theatre.

Easter was Oliver with the City Youth Theatre Company, at the Old Market – she was one of Fagin’s Gang. Excellent production all round again, and she did really well and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

She’s got the part of “French Mouse” in Alice in Wonderland, Southwick Players’ Pantomime for Jan 2013, rehearsals start soon… then auditions for “Cats” with the CYTC… all fingers crossed for that.

She also won (!) her category in her first singing competition (Sussex Festival of Dance and Song), singing “Taylor The Latte Boy” – a great surprise and very encouraging for her!

Great results in Ballroom and Latin this year as well so far – several first places and lots of other trophies!

She got “half colours” for sport at school, for 3 years of good work in dance, the first year colours have been given for dance.

Trying to do some decorating (P’s room) but tidying up/clearing/purging in order to get the room is an ongoing problem…

Been a difficult time with work; very little design stuff (and zero in the offing) and weather being so appalling that Apex has ground to a halt. Health, me: still feeling strange from pneumo. Can the effects last this long? and still seeing doc bi-monthly for checks. Mostly feel ok but some days so poorly and down. Never mind, mostly good.

Will try and hop on here more often.

Michael Jackson’s Big Butt

To Blatch for the annual Earwig show. The usual shenanigans, with little skits and performances – all very charming and fun. P was involved in one puppet-based interpretation of MJ’s “Thriller”, all very funny so far – except in the middle of the performance, for no apparent reason, the kids swung round revealing paper plates painted to resemble nude buttocks, the music cut to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby’s Got Back” and, in unison, they gyrated their “butts” at the audience. Suddenly, the music cut back to The King Of Pop, and all was once more well with the world as the puppets once more danced…
Curious, and slightly unsettling.

Earwigging

P’s at Earwig Theatre School again this week. Poor little thing’s a bit knackered at the moment, and the time ticks away until she starts at Secondary School. Time, as your parents probably told you, flies.

Medical; Xmas Gig; GladRags

A busy and depressing couple of weeks to start with, mum’s condition is precarious, with episodic vertigo and memory loss causing much upset, hospital visit and 3am phonecalls. It will resolve…

Last evening to the Forum for the consolidation of 2008’s Skinbat gigs. Imogen is properly integrated into the sound now, Piers more robust than ever, Nicky as special as ever, Carl a wayward sprite of sound and Mark very very good on the old guitar… and me. we debuted a new song “The Legend of Big Joe the Chicken Man” which was amazing – and long. Then, something I’ve wanted to do for years – a cover of John Cale’s cover of “Heartbreak Hotel” – it went, i have to say, amazingly. Then we did Camel Lights live for the first time, which went well. Onto Gutshot and Stop Trying So Hard, stage favourites, went superbly. Wow, we were good. Good feedback from a few publics and other bands. Heat From A Deadstar, Split record and Chop Chop; Bear Touch! completed the lineup; I drove back to Brighton at around 10mph due to ridiculous frost and ice between Crowborough and Lewes.

Yesterday, P did her annual play at Stagecoach; she was only due to perform in the afternoon performance, but stepped in as understudy for a tonsilitis victim in the morning. The play was a musical “Glad Rags” – the musical and its story was real crap, but the kids did a good job – especially P 🙂

Norfolk, Coasting, etc

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.

A week at the eastern edge of the UK was nice, I was even tempted into the sea once or twice, and made some mighty big splashes. We had a nice time, reading and walking, playing with horses, painting and whatnot, and even went to see the junkies, beggars, travellers and tramps, etc. in Norwich (a fine city). My iPhone became 3G during this time, so I jailbroke my old one and L now has it on her old pay as you go sim.

So much for holidays, which must end, as you know…

P went off to her annual Earwig theatre school week, and had a jolly old time, while I sat at home all miserable and alternately ruminated that “this must be the worst weather year ever” (justifying why my business is not a business) and sending stupid messages to and fro on teh internets (justifying why time is passing).
I had a website and an advert to do, so at least some money came in, I think.

My mother has broken her ankle and gone into a respite care home for a couple of weeks. This has resulted in much worries and scrabbling and such dis-equilibrium that the goodness of the holiday has – my goodness – departed, laughing, on its spindly little legs. She seems happy enough there, the ankle will heal and … yeah.

By the way, did I mention that “this must be the worst weather year ever” for paragliding?

Oh yes, we got a blu-ray player, fabulous. The upscaling feature actually works (I was a bit sceptical) – it’s better on some DVD prints than others but REALLY brings out a “cinematic” quality to movies which is absent on DVD. The blu-rays themselves are simply stunning, though I believe that it’s worth researching the quality of transfer before investing, as some are better than others. There are some good resources on the web for finding this out before parting with cold hard etc.

Next week, we hopefully finish the Skinbats album at the Granary, as long as it’s not like burned down or something in the last couple of weeks.

Violin | Nightmare | Dancing | Gogol Bordello

Packed post, busy few days.

Friday was P’s Grade 2 violin exam. A bit nerve-racking but I think she was fine. It was held in a ginormous swanky house that was so swanky that it had 2 – 2(!) grand pianos in it. Before the ordeal, I tried to relax the young ‘un with a visit to Pizza Express, who have wisely re-instated their “Piccolo” £5.50 menu. We await the results. Of the exam, obviously, not the meal.

Saturday to Crowborough for Skinbat rehearsal; the vocoder has found a place in a couple of songs, and by feeding the bass through it we are now going wildly psychedelic on UFOUK. It was a good rehearsal.

Sunday afternoon: Pip’s stagecoach production of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” went very well; Oogie Boogie’s vocals were put through a voicebox with hilarious effect. No-one fouled up and it was most impressive. Pip was beaming afterwards…

then, we raced into Brighton to the Pavilion theatre where Pip was dancing with the Hove dance troupe. Poor thing was cream crackered; she pulled it off though, they did a pretty complex and frenetic routine to “Dream Girls” – none of them put a foot wrong. Proud dad I was.

Last night to Gogol Bordello. This time sedately in the balcony at the Dome rather then “moshing” at the Concorde. Stunning show, but I’m a bit worried about Hutz – he’s a bit thin and must tire himself out, poor love. What a great band.

All 3 of us are tired now, as L’s mother problems continue with the hospital stay being extended due to low blood pressure and hallucinations (?)

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