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.


Leisure, Sunday Photo

Monster buster match 3 game

I know how ridiculous it is. I know it is meaningless.  But I’ve been playing this game for more than three years now and every day I get my monster fix!

I have noticed that if I get stuck for days on one puzzle and then leave it a day or so then suddenly it gets easier- or I get a gift of unlimited lives for a few hours.








Food, Leisure, Sunday Photo

Badingham White Horse

We decided to go to the Badingham White Horse for lunch and guess what held us up? Yes – not one but 2 White horses!

We got past

and went on the have a truly delicious meal.

Check out the place HERE

The Mister wanted a proper Sunday roast, and he certainly cannot claim hunger after the several plates of food that came out for him. A massive dinner plate just with meat (several slices of tender, beautifully roasted  beef) a Yorkshire the size of his head and crispy roast potates. Then a dish of cauliflower cheese. Then a dish of green veg. Then a dish of florets. There was another one which escapes me. My appetite was not strong so I had the cold fish platter, billed as smoked salmon, peppered mackerel, prawns and salad. Instead of the mackerel they gave me crab that still smelled of Cromer and instead of prawns it was lobster.  Brown bread and butter was all that was needed, as well as the nicely cut lemon. No pictures of food, I am afraid as I was too busy chomping.

Nice interior though

They serve craft beers in barrels behind the bar, which we loved. We took our final drinks outside and found their garden is now a wood fired pizza kitchen!

It had lots of sunny tables, nicely presented and pleasantly occupied. Great fun people watching.

3 hours very well spent.

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.

Food, Leisure

The Assembly House, Norwich

I was in Norwich at the weekend with my daughter, and we stopped for tea and cake at the Assembly House. This is a remarkable building, purpose built for public entertainment back in 1754. In 1753 John Hobart, the Duke of Buckingham, granted a 500-year lease of Chapel Field House estate (as it was then known) to a number of aldermen of the city for the sum of £1,800 plus an annual rent of £5. The aldermen subsequently unveiled plans for its conversion into “public places of entertainment for the county and the city”, appointing architect Thomas Ivory, who also built the Octagon Chapel in the city, to oversee the works, assisted by Sir James Burrough. Ivory decided to demolish the central section of the building and designed a new house for the site, which became a ‘House of Assemblies’ where events were held for the gentry of Norwich. Just beside the Theatre Royal, and right next to Intu Chapelfields shopping centre, this little gem is worth a visit every time. We had tea and shared a cake (The Assembly House gateau)

from their extensive cake menu

None of the distracting noise and bustle of the nearby shopping centre national brand cafes here. just walking up the path to get into the building is a delight, and removes you from the crowd. The impressive entrance way, with corridors off to venue and meeting rooms, then the vestibule with the hostess greeting you with a smile and the politest of enquiries as to your comfort and needs, and you are no longer in 21st century Norwich.

Huge chandeliers light a room filled with club leather chairs arranged in easy conversation groups, exactly the right place for tea and cakes.

Staff were unerringly polite, the tea was lovely and hot (and served in a china pot), the cake was a delight and the bill less than you might imagine.

Afternoon tea, at about £20 a head, is as relaxed and as indulgent as you could wish.

And, if you really get the bug, the chef, Richard Hughes, runs classes.


The Assembly House, Theatre Street,Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1RQ.

01603 626402
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.



Leisure, Sunday Photo

Lady Bird

It is Mothers Day today and my daughter took me to see this lovely film. I made it almost to the end before bursting into tears.  It’s a lovely take about a girl growing up with a mum who did not have the best upbringing herself and who finds it hard to show her love.