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The Curse of the Pineapple continues to haunt me although in slightly less spectacular fashion. The stomach cramps have faded and I am even contemplating rather daringly eating a slice of dry toast. I may even sip some tepid water. If that experiment goes well, I plan to spend the rest of the day huddled on the sofa watching DVDs and looking pale and interesting. Exhausted by the exertion this involves, I fully expect to be back in bed by mid-afternoon.
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When I got in from rehearsal last night I sloshed down about half a carton pineapple juice that was in the fridge. About an hour later I woke up, cold and sweating with agonising stomach cramps and dashed to the loo where I threw up. This fun scenario repeated itself throughout the night at approximately hourly intervals.

At some point this morning I checked the carton of juice which - you guessed it - had a use-by date of 24 December. You will recall that I blamed my gastric challenges of earlier this week on unwisely sampling some smelly French cheese I had bought as a Christmas treat. I now realise the same carton of juice was to blame for that.

I have been asleep most of the day. I tentaitvely drank a glass of water a while ago and ominous roilings are making themselves known in the stomach department.

I feel very, very sorry for myself.
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Yesterday was lovely.

I was invited chez [ profile] etcher for Boxing Day lunch (lovely soup and a splendid slection of cheeses and mince pies) followed by an outing to The Old Vic to see Aladdin (yes - the one with Sir Ian McKellen). It was dead good - Himself was marvellous - a sort of cross between Les Dawson and Christopher Biggins - I shall never be able to take him seriously as Gandalf again!

Post-show we (Em's Mum, Dad and brother were there too) returned for a post show cold collation: turkey, sausages, bacon, pork pie, salad and - joy of joys - pickled walnuts (which only ever taste good at Christmas time).

Today I am going to see King Kong, and tomorrow to Suzanne's for another Christmas meal! Hurrah!
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Home. Jet lagged. Cat frenzy of joy to see me. Tired. Need to sleep. Drink tea. Arrghhhh. Jet lag. *mumble mumble*
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I seem to be in New York.

I have had a hissy fit with the hotel cos the room they gave me was vile and didn;t have internet access and now I have a junior suite. It's still a horrid room, but it is a bigger horrid room, with working internet and no dodgy looking stains on the carpet.

I must sleep now.

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Haven't posted for too long. Tsk. Bad me.

Lots has been happening, most of it good, if hard.

I've been doing stuff on Crime and Punishment. A couple of people have dropped out - including Nastasia, the maid. This was a bit of a blow, because the actress who was going to play her would have been fabby - but I've re-cast and am hopeful that the new actress will be good too - albeit in a different, more pointy way.

I've been trying to organise the first read through, which is shaping up for early December. By then I need to have finalised the rehearsal schedules so that everyone can start organising their lives. I'm not looking forward to sorting that schedule out - which is probably why I haven't got round to it yet - I suspect it is going to require n-dimensional thought and the skills of a school-timetabler *sigh*.

In other news: I like this cold weather: it feels Right.
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I am in Germany and I am feeling grumpy. The flight yesterday was delayed by three hours because of fog. Or possibly because pilots were dazzled by the brilliant sunshine streaming from a cloudless sky. Anyway.

The hotel is vile. A concrete monstrosity in a business district kept at a nice even temperature of around 85 degrees. Lovely.

Still I had salami for breakfast, so it's not all bad :-)
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Tomorrow is Audition Day and I am off to Germany for most of next week, so it occurs to me that I Have Much To Do today, including getting a haircut, washing and ironing clothes for trip, working out which audition pieces I want to use, working out what impro pieces to use, reading through all the stuff that I am supposed to have read for the trip next week, buying loads of cat food and tidying the house.

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On the train this morning the woman sitting next to me was using her mobile phone to call someone. It happened that she had it set to display H U G E numbers so I could see what she was dialling*. She was calling the number of my friend Tommy: nnn-2099. At least that was his number when I last saw him, which was about 32 years ago. How odd that I should still recognise his number....

*is it still called dialling, now that dials aren't really involved?
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I accidentally watched the evening news on ITV tonight.

There was a very comprehensive series of reports about the earthquake, a couple of reports I can't remember and then....then a report about that woman who was pictured after the 7th July London bombings with a burn gauze on her face being helped.

The story was about how she was making an appearance at some vile awards ceremony for the noble of heart.

What made me retch was - and I quote exactly, because I wrote it down at the time - that she was described (on a news programme, mind) thus: "her fair face framed by an elfin haircut".

Mother of god preserve us. One can only assume she is related to Mary Archer.

Edit: And another thing... ITV are running a series of adverts for Polaris World villas. Que? What next - Trident Caravans? Armageddon Cottages? Cruise Cruises?

I shall move to Tunbridge Wells and become grumpy.
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This is a curiously addictive page that shows you the last 40 images uploaded to Livejournal. It's a glimpse into a varied, and sometimes repellent*, world. Two things surprise me: the number of images is huge; a very high proposrtion are of cats.

*There are sometimes pictures of ugly people, naked people and naked, ugly people. You have been warned.
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Last night I had *my* dream. Since I stopped smoking I have started dreaming again and I have been looking forward to The Dream making an appearance and last night it did.

It's always roughly the same, although the setting and related details vary somewhat. I have had it many, many times - and I always thoroughly enjoy it.

The core of the dream is: I get into a lift - the lift sets off but instead of going either down or up it zooms crazily through a whole series of sideways / up / down manoeuvres, usually through dark and mysterious passages but generally ending up on a seafront.

Last night's dream was no exception. I took the lift at work down - there were three other people in it (two men and a woman, none of whom I knew) - the lift set off sideways, with suddenly see-through walls, rocketing around a series of bends, loops, and straights, zooming along for a long time. None of it was in the least frightening - it was very pleasurable and exciting.

It left us all in a vaguely Venetian square behind a breakwater. We exchanged pleasantries about how much we had enjoyed the lift. The three others knew each other and headed off to a nearby bar. I found myself tagging along with them - although I hadn't planned to. We went to the bar and drank wine together.

I woke up.

I recently read an article about the different types of dream that eating different cheeses provoke. Bizarrely, dreaming about "lifts that go sideways" was mentioned as being provoked by the consumption of Stilton. I ate no cheese last night - although my home-made cassoulet might be to blame.
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I was pondering this while I was doing the washing up this morning. It amused me, so here it is.

Here is what I have eaten since getting back from my Day Out in France:-

Supper last night:-

Saucisson sec
Crusty bread

Breakfast this morning:-

Coffee made in the newly purchased Melitta filter (that you can't buy in the UK)

Lunch today (planned) :-

Soupe de poissons

Dinner tonight:-

Saucisse de Toulouse
le Puy lentils

And here is the English alternative :-)


Ham sandwich
Cheese sandwich



Lunch today:-

Tomato soup

Dinner tonight:-


C&P "set"

Sep. 29th, 2005 04:00 pm
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C&P "set"
Originally uploaded by groan.
I have been dicking around making a model of the stage to scale and then trying to figure out how to portray a vast St Petersburg lodging house that needs two primary acting areas as well as a subsidiary area big enough for up to 20 people. Here is my first attempt.

Explanation )
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One of the pleasures of stopping smoking is that I can taste wine properly. I can also now afford to spend more on wine, since I'm not spending the hard earned on smoke. I had a very nice Haute Cotes de Beaune last night; so nice I accidentally drank it all which was a Bad Thing.

Tomorrow am off to French France for lunch to this place. I've not been there before but Michelin seem to think it is okay and - despite the lary website - it looks like a nice place. It has the benefit of being at the seaside which is a Good Thing. I like the coastline south of Calais - all those long empty beaches and sand dunes. It seems rather unfair that we got the chalk cliffs and the pebbles and the French got the sand and the dunes (as well as good food, fine wine, beautiful and varied countryside, interesting churches, chateuax, sweeping rivers, mountains, lakes and, of course, saucisson) but I try not to be bitter.

I have rather frittered this last week of my holiday doing not-very-much and quite enjoying it. I need to do some more work on Crime and Punishment today - auditions are only a couple of weeks away and I have yet to finish editing the script.


Sep. 25th, 2005 11:30 am
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Originally uploaded by groan.
I went to Dungeness yesterday. It is a delightfully desolate place, despite the enormous nuclear power station built on the shoreline.

I'm not quite sure what this structure is, but I rather liked the way the clouds seemed to be sunning themselves on the beach :-)

More pics from Dungeness )
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Chums from work over for dinner last night and very pleasant it was too.

I spent a large proportion of the day cooking and eventually served up:-

Melon, watercress, rocket and proscuitto salad. Paella (chorizo, chicken, prawns, squid, mussels - and rice obv.). Summer fruit and apple tart with homemade custard.

Fo some reason I don't cook paella very often and it was a little bit too wet. I should have been more aggressive with the heat in the final stages. Tsk.

Up hideously early this morning (given the hangover) to take the cat to the vet. He is a martyr to fleas - which is very unusual for him. The vet remarked smilingly that there is a major flea problem this year because it has been damp and warm the last few weeks. She was smiling because she charged me £26.00 for the magic anti-flea stuff.
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The nice people from Richer Sounds called me today and told me that they had managed to get a NAD cd player delivered sooner than expected. It sounds good and it doesn't hum. This is a Good Thing. I have been annoying the neighbours by listening to Beethoven rather more loudly than is wise.
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