Author Archive

BALLET REVIEW: The Sleeping Beauty at the Royal Opera House

May 26 2023
sleeping beauty at royal opera house

The Sleeping Beauty ballet is back at the ROH on its 99th performance, and now accessible to all in a cinema near you.

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May 23 2023

‘Get off the ****ing road!’ I bellowed across 3 lanes of traffic in my most ferociously loud teacher voice, only ever used for breaking up playground punch-ups. I’m petite so there’s the element of surprise. I’ve stopped footie fisty-cuffs in the tube at Fulham Broadway and a roly-poly drunken brawl on Putney High Street ‘Ya not our mum.’ one brother growled. That’s all bringing out the bitch for show. But on Putney Bridge last week, I was feeling genuinely GBH-ish.

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Bell-ringing for beginners: or should I say Bell-swinging?

May 22 2023
madeleine practising bell ringing

Bell-ringing for beginners: or should I say Bell-swinging.

Did you know there’s a book listing every belfry (‘bell tower’) in the world with 3 or more swinging bells and 95% of them are in England? Swingers have the knobs on stalks (‘clappers’, as in, go like the ) inside that clang as the bell goes horizontal. There’s solo and twin bells, but they aren’t counted because all you can do with them is ding-dong or dong-ding. Not very exciting. You can’t make bell music ‘a method’ i.e.  a sequence of dongs in a prearranged mathematical order. And that’s what fires up the bell-ringers of the British Isles and certain outposts of the ex-Empire.

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Losing weight – motivation and safety rules

May 14 2023
Family weight loss

Losing weight is always a dilemma. We’d all like to shed a few, no doubt. But we don’t. The crisps, the biscuits, the chips, the icecream get bought, get eaten. You don’t seem to be able to stop yourself. It’s not an education thing, you know the facts, you know your food groups and what you should be eating and in what quantities. You just don’t have the will power to say no to yourself. You make excuses about time, fatigue, starting tomorrow. It’s comforting to eat. It’s not hurting anyone but me. It’s the least worst of the self-harms.  Hunger pangs don’t feel nice. It’s our evolutionary biology, to stuff while the going’s good. Except that we have access to plentiful supplies of food everyday nowadays.

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Learning to knit on your own: Part 2

May 13 2023
knittted gilet

After my first blog on how to knit, here’s part 2 instructions and a recount of my progress.

Pulling it together

Once I had a few fistfuls of granny squares, the game was to work out how many I really needed to cover my upper body. I found a crusty imperial tape measure that kept crinkling back up, and noted my measurements.

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