You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2009.

This is the view, as at 11.00 o’clock this morning, of Muncaster Main Gate, from my bedroom window:


This, however, was yesterday at Muncaster Chase:

Spot the tent with the free wine and strawberries

Cake cutting - 3 Mayors, Deb and Judith

A relaxed Thanksgiving

Children's Corner

Six hours of unbroken sunshine, around 300 people in total, and a net profit (or – more properly – surplus) of about £3,500.

Thank you, Universe.

(Full report to follow in due course …)

We’ve all become weather bores here.  We obsess over the Met Office’s latest interpretations of the chicken entrails and then keen in distress like grieving widows …

Dear Universe,

We aren’t asking for sunshine on Saturday. We’d settle for an absence of gale force winds and torrential rain.

Yrs trly


PS:  Sun WOULD be nice, though …

I’m spending my Saturday afternoon working on the postering, signage and information boards for the 22nd.

I’ve either found religion or I’m panicking.

And I know which it is …

A large field backs onto my house.  I walk across it to get to work.  It currently has about 400 sheep in it.  (I counted the legs and divided by 4.)

Yesterday, I was walking home in the evening and I realized I had a sore throat.  I remembered that I had a bag of pineapple cubes in my pocket.  So, I got the bag out, opened it up and took out a sweet.

When I looked up, 400 sheep were streaming towards me  … :shock:

… is a lovely man.

He’s not only signed a DVD  for us as a raffle prize for August 22nd (the RSC’s Nicholas Nickleby, in case you were wondering …), he’s also sent me a beautiful “little trophy” as he calls it, as an additional prize.

Edward is an artist as well as an actor, and he’s collected together some of his artwork and had it printed on high quality card as an A4 folder.  He’s sent me a signed copy and it’s a truly gorgeous thing –



The other three pages of it can be viewed on the Centre’s website HERE.

The raffle is open to everyone – so if you’d like a chance to win this or any of the other really spiffy prizes on offer, including a DVD signed by The One Who Got Away from the disastrous West End musical  “Too Close to the Sun”  (for a truly hilarious t-shirt version CLICK HERE) – get thee hence!


… is a warm lava lamp.

It came in a delivery of jumble this morning.  It’s taken two hours to warm up … but now it’s in full, wondrous flight.

Fluorescent pink plastic with obscene red gloop.

How can ANYONE, in all seriousness say that the 70s were the decade that taste forgot?

O-o-o-h …. me lost youth …

… that I DO have a life beyond the Centre – but it’s just as bizarre as my life here – get over to Vulpes Libris to read my School Report on “My Talk to the Romantic Novelists’ Association“.

Every word is true.

(Well,  except maybe the shimmery bit …)

I have – I am aware – a reputation amongst those who know me only  slightly as a formidable manager/organizer and English language maven.

It’s a good job they weren’t eavesdropping the other day.

There I was beavering away diligently at my desk when Gretchen shouted through to me:

“Where are we with that paperwork in support of the funding applications?  We sort of need it sometime soon …”

“Oh, okay”, I replied, “I’ll move it from the No Rush file to the Sometime Soon file …”

There was a moment of slightly stunned silence before the disembodied voice from next door requested a clarification.  I repeated my previous answer.

She appeared in the office with the sort of expression on her face that plainly says, “You made that up, right?”

Well … no.

I have a sectional file in which I prioritize my work.  The  sections are labelled:


What can I say?

It works for me …

(* Let the B*ggers Wait …)

Sorry to post two entries in one day (and spare me your jokes about buses, thank you …), but this simply won’t wait.  It has virtually nothing to do with the Centre, except in so far as it tells you quite a lot about me, in a sad, Billy-No-Mates sort of way.

I’ve been watching – with more than a little schadenfreude, it has to be said – the tragi-comic history of the new West End musical about the final  days of Ernest Hemingway’s life, “Too Close to the Sun” – culminating in him blowing his brains out with a shotgun.

Oh yes.  It had “Feelgood Summer Mega-Hit” written all over it.

After some of the worst critical notices in West End history (and that’s saying something) “Too Close to the Sun” (otherwise known as “Ernie Get Your Gun”)  is closing at the end of this week – with the deluded souls who put up the money for it out of pocket to the tune of half a million or more.  Serves them right.  Hands up everyone who can think of a better way of spending half a million pounds …

Anyway, in an attempt to recoup at least SOME of the money lost (drops in oceans anyone?) they’re selling the props on eBay.

What I want to know is – why do the props for sale include a garden gnome called Eric?


Just run that thought through your brain a few times … Ernest Hemingway – Garden Gnome – Ernest Hemingway – Garden Gnome – Ernest Hemingway –  Garden Gnome …

Doesn’t work, does it?

I was tucked up in bed, fast asleep,  on Saturday night (or – to be more accurate – the early hours of Sunday morning) when the gable end of the house was hit by what sounded – to my sleep-fuddled brain – like a steam train.  There were voices – loud voices – and car lights outside the window and I soon worked out that home-going revellers were relieving themselves at the side of the bridleway that runs past the back of the house.  One wit even exclaimed,

“It weren’t raining until you started …”


They duly naffed off and come the morning light, we discovered that they’d lobbed a traffic cone and a large white china plate (bearing traces of chocolate cake) at the side of the house.  I suspect that, in their tiny drink-fuddled brains,  they were aiming at my open window – but since a traffic cone has all the aero-dynamic qualities of a grand piano, the closest they got was the gable end – which now bears some sticky cake crumbs and a grey smudge.

What’s the betting they have zero memory of ever doing any such thing?



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