Interests, Leisure, Sunday Photo

Felixstowe – lovely Sunday morning

We love Felixstowe.  It’s a jewel on the Suffolk coast, one of Britain’s biggest container ports and the beaches you fond at the end of the A14.

We had wanted to move here but recent events have curtailed our plans.

It’s an excellent mix of high street, pubs, restaurants, beaches, kiss me quick and penny arcades.

And if you want a flat 4 mile paved walk the promenade this is the place

I can sit and watch the sea for hours on end. The tide is noticeable and sometimes spectacular. People watching is rewarding. Sand is clean and beach huts trim and well kept. Sometimes the horizon is packed with ships of all sizes and when the very largest are due the crowds pack in.

I love it here.

 

Interests, Leisure

Streetcar Named Desire

This wonderfully well known play by Tennessee Williams, beautifully directed by Chelsea Walker and imaginatively designed by Georgia Lowe is being toured by the English Touring Theatre and is one of the best shows I have seen this year. The characters are all quite young (not as old as I remember the film cast being!) and offer extra-ordinary depth. Blanche Dubois is the epitome of the fallen woman, the ostracised, excluded, oppressed and abused southern belle whose descent into madness is as predictable and it would be avoidable if women were treated in any other way.

Photo Credit: The Other Richard

The first act was a dreaded hour and a half but it honestly sped by. The audience (with a notable number of school and college students in it) were rightly captivated and drawn into the characters, their stories, their relationships and their poverty. The New Wolsey in Ipswich is a delightful theatre with an atmosphere that pulls the cast and audience close. As it becomes clear that Blanche has not had the sort of life she wishes she had, that her standing has been fatally flawed by her experiences and her tragic first marriage, we start to see our cultural echoes coming back at us. How women are blamed for their own downfall, how we are expected to hold up no matter what, how we are to compensate the men for their own shortcomings and how we are expected to love the fist that hurts us.

At the post-show talk, Kelly Gough (Blanche) surprised us all with her soft, lilting Irish accent – miles removed from her Southern drawl during the performance. She told us that she was the only person in the troupe that had not seen the film, and so was the only girl on the casting call not to mimic Vivien Leigh. Which got her the part, and which contributed hugely to what was a commanding performance.

 

It is touring until the end of June, so book HERE for tickets,  and do yourself a favour!

Friendship, Interests, Leisure

Aurore / I got life (film)

  • I went to see this at the Ipswich Film Theatre tonight and was utterly charmed. This is how you do older women!

I prefer the French title, Aurore, but then I would as it means Dawn! It is in French with English subtitles which did not detract at all from the experience (as long as you are  or sitting behind someone with a huge head).

The central character is a mum separated from her husband (happily) who gives up her waitressing job when her new boss wants her to have a new sexier name (Samantha)  and to work the bar because she is older.

Early on she finds out her daughter is pregnant. Her other daughter loves a a rather unsuitable type who goes to Spain to be a DJ. Her best mate is thinking about botox and has a wicked sense of humour.

We are introduced to a commune of older women pooling their pensions to increase purchasing power and evade loneliness.  Now they are funny.

The whole cinema had Laugh out Loud moments, affectionate and empathetic. The menopause is almost a separate character in the film.

I loved it and left smiling. Do yourself a favour and enjoy it.

Interests, Leisure, Sponsored Posts

Guilty Pleasures

We all have them. Guilty pleasures and secret indulgences. Sometimes though they just get to be  a habit. I have some online games I think I am addicted to (match three games) and I have found myself wishing that I had run out of lives! (You can’t stop playing until you have run out of lives, you just can’t!)

So now I think I need to change my ways, choose new things to spend time doing. And that is so hard, don’t you find? You can spend literally hours thinking about something, registering with a game or a site, trying out the demo models, wondering if the game is just too hard or too easy, will you get a decent return for your time investment?

Or will it always be just not quite winnable enough. I like not to win all the time but I do like to win sometimes! I do think a few games I have tried have been written by schoolboys in their bedrooms in an attempt to show other schoolboys how clever they are (“What? You couldn’t get  past level 4456? You must be really thick!”)

I am also not such a fan of massively strategic games. I think that even clever alga-rhythms are really just a set of do this go there flow charts. I remember doing The Hobbit on a Commodore 64 and realising that playing the game was not how to win it. Getting to think like the game’s author was the way to win it. Unless you made the chosen decisions that the games writer made you get nowhere. Granted, they are all much more sophisticated now, but still. those cheat sites you can get to help you through some games (The Mister had one he used to get through Tomb Raider) are really a way of getting you through the writer’s flow chart. If you don’t do the things in the right order you just cannot win.

So I look for games that involve a bit of skill, a bit of chance and a bit of making-me-feel-good when I win. Have you played that Bejewelled game? With the sound on it is like you have your bestest cheerleader in the room with you! I do like also the sounds made by Cookie Jam Blast. The little characters give whoops of delight.

I like card games played for fun and for the bit of chat that goes with them (not all of it, some of them need to find another room!) but I need to find a set of games that don’t burden your laptop with cookies, popups and in-your-face adverts for gaming sites.

So I welcome help finding out about things before I go to the bother of registering, which is why review sites are a blessing. I quite fancy trying Bingo, but as it is the most popular game in England I need help. I found a review of these bingo sites, so I will have a look here.

So. Join me?

 

Interests, Leisure

This Must Be The Place (Maggie O’Farrell)

This was our Book Group choice this week, a really easy read (9 hours at my pace so should have seemed more work than it did). Maggie O’Farrel is a lovely author, taking the reader through situations, relationships and consequences in a chaotic, just-about-making-sense way that I find utterly engaging. the main character, Daniel, is definitely flawed. Mostly we like him, sometimes not. The leading Lady, Claudette, is engaging but completely mad. We see them together at the beginning and find out their back stories in the chapters that follow. O’Farrel doesn’t pull punches and allows the minuscule to appear mountainous while making the tragic everyday.  Every relationship is different and every decision has consequences. In Group we were asking if he really would just disappear because of “that” and not tell his wife, allowing her to think something awful. But actually people do, don’t they? Make imperfect decisions. Imperfect choices.

Mostly characters, even minor ones, are well described. some notable exceptions (like the first wife, his sisters) but then, it was a 9 hour book!

 

I’ve read another of hers and now want the whole list. Give yourself a treat and try her out.

 

 

Friendship, Interests, Leisure

Book Group

I joined a book group about six years ago. There are about a dozen women in it at any one time, and we each host every month (except august, when the group go to the Theatre in the Forest to wach the Red Rose Chain do some Shakespeare, and December, our Xmas meal.

 

We have tried various ways to choose a book:

Each host chooses their own

All picked from one Mann Booker list

Pick a genre out of a hat and choose from that

All picked from shortlisted prizewinners of literary prizes

All picked from a selection of lists, winners only

 

Generally we found it just better to let our Book Club Leader (a very organised lady called Sarah) make up a huge list from a mixture of the above and we pick from a hat – throwing back immediately any that we veto.

Whoever is hosting provides nibbles (cold cuts, cheese, breads etc) and drinks, and we spend about an hour discussing the book, led by questions from our host. We are not exclusively female, just no man has yet asked to join.

It is a great group, meeting every month and always open to having authors visit us (Ruth dugdall has already done so)

We were even featured in our local press:

Link to East Anglia Daily Times

 

book group

Interests

Welcome!

Hi and thanks for visiting.

I am Dawn, a fifty-plus ex-civil servant looking to enjoy every choice I make. I have started this blog to share choices I make and to tell you how much I enjoyed (or learned from!) those choices.  I decided quite some time ago not to make bad choices – no point is there? If something is not as good as I hoped it would be then at least I can learn from it.

So far some of the choices I have made have been about:

Books – I am in a book group and this has opened me up to lots of new authors, new ideas and some pretty cool discussions. So much so that I have actually started writing and will be published soon. Books are brilliant, and I will share with you some good choices to make.

Theatre – I am involved in local amdram and we do at least one, usually two productions a year. I love going to the theatre – from west end shows to local village hall events. I also love NT Live performances, and go to as many as I can make.

Cooking – I try and bake a bit (some pretty chaotic disasters!)

Eating out – a favourite, definitely.

Clothes and beauty – Making these choices can be super difficult, and as an older woman I need to be careful.

Being a mature woman in today’s world is all about making choices – lets hope the ones I make are those that make me happy.

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