Tuesday, January 11, 2011

9st January 2011

No - I'm not insane and that isn't a typo (at least not my typo) it will be explained in a bit. So, contrary to Shelley's statements at the end of the last blog that she wrote, here I am writing about our Cirque du Soleil adventure! Unlike most of our trips to London we were actually organised and ready with plenty of time! Which meant that when we got to the train station and saw buses; we didn't freak out! Thankfully though the buses were actually for another line and the train to London from Horsham was running. However, as we sat on the platform waiting for it (us being all so super organised we were early), we noticed that the screens which were showing the planned engineering works stated the date as being Sunday the 9st January, I found it so amusing that it just had to go in here!! (hence the title). ANYWAY, as Dan had never been to Patisserie Valerie (a delicious french cafe in London that does delicious cake) before, we actually went in early to eat cake before the show. We then discovered that we'd been so organised that we had a spare hour to kill before we needed to get to the Royal Albert Hall. The cafe wasn't far from Covent Garden so we wandered down to there and then around for a bit and then we saw a GIGANTIC Apple shop that was in a really pretty building, apparently we didn't take any photos of it so here are some from the internet:
They were perfectly ok with people wandering in and "trying out the merchandise" (ie, playing with the toys!). So we wasted a little time in there before continuing on our journey.

As per usual - Shelley's memory really amused me as we walked toward the venue and she reacted as if it was the first time she'd seen the Prince Albert Memorial even though we'd walked past the exact same place last year.

This year the Cirque du Soleil production we went to is a brand new one called Totem. So brand new that it's world premiere was only four days before we went to see it!!! Last year we saw Varekai which opened in 2002. Varekai was a fluid storytelling piece whereas Totem seemed much more disjointed but no less fantastic for being so. It was still an 'eyegasm' with fantastic costumes, breathtaking acts and heart-in-mouth feats of acrobatics! It also begged the question, if you had a stage which could move, expand, grow and evolve with your performance; what would you do? The stage in Totem seems to have a life of it's own. It was fluid and animal-like, with a curling tail, reaching hand and ever evolving video-scapes and at times was like an extra character. I have not the words to describe fully the experience of seeing such an amazing piece of theatre. All I can do is to say thank you to my wonderful wife for buying me the tickets and leave you with some photos from our night (some of which were taken illicitly inside the theatre, naughty us - copyright belongs to Cirque du Soleil and the intention is not to infringe on anyones rights!) The next post will be from Shelley as our next big adventure will be Chocolate Making in London which was bought by me for her for our anniversary!!! Photos:

Drinkies beforehand

The stage (the bit to the front is just a cloth covering over a fantastic climbing framie thing and the bit towards the back is the one which comes alive)

Ceiling tile thingies. . .

Looking across the hall to the other side. . .

Us in our seats

Poster on the outside of the hall

Monday, January 10, 2011

Working backwards in time. . .

So, me being the giantest child, the first thing that I wanted to do when we woke up (very early for us at 8.30ish) was check to see if Santa had been! However, we did have a houseful of people which meant that I had to wait and see what everyone else wanted to do. To explain the houseful of people: Pantomime is a HUGE thing in England over christmas-time (this is where you yell, Oh no it isn't and I yell, oh yes it is), from December through January every theatre in the land will put on one Panto or another. As Dan works in a theatre and is currently the only Sound Tech there he had to work every show of Panto which meant from the 10th of December till the 3rd of Jan he had two days off, Xmas day and New Years Day. So Dan's family decided that in order to see him they should come down and spend a couple of days with us. They bought their puppy-dog with them so for a couple of days there were 6 adults and two dogs in our tiny little English house.
Back to Christmas day - Even Miss Bah Humbug herself woke up excited and eager to get to the presents so she came and helped me wake up Dan (bounce up and down on his bed yelling it's christmas, it's christmas, it's christmas), before we headed downstairs to see if everyone else was up. Thankfully Dan's Mum was just as excited as us to get to the presents (and yes, Santa did visit - he had heard that Shelley had never had a Terry's Chocolate Orange so he made sure that there was one for everyone in the house) so we were able to persuade everyone that the opening of the presents should come before anything else! So pyjamas and present opening!!
(apparently Shelley had the camera so all of the photos are me and Dan)

Me opening presents
This one shows Dini helping me play santa (Shelley bought me an awesome Dr Suess Santa Hat so I HAD to play Santa!!)

Dan is quite a large geek and loves Star Wars so we bought him a dressing gown that is designed to look like a Jedi robe (you can also buy a black one that is a Sith robe which is the one I would have gone for but Dan wanted to be a Jedi. . .)
Dan's parent's dog, Woody, is a little odd and loves paper of all kinds which means that you can actually trust him to unwrap your presents for you if you want - he'll just eat the paper off it! Here is him and Dini unwrapping the Christmas presents that they were given (well, him unwrapping his and me unwrapping Dini's for him):

This is Woody with all of his loot (wrapping paper):

This is me with some of my loot:

And, because Woody is an older doggy, here are some cute photos of him all tuckered out after the excitement of the morning:

After the presents, there was much food (Roast Turkey), alcohol and TV watching (oh, and walking of the dog's of course). So, that was our Christmas :) Sorry it was out of order. . .Cirque du Soleil is tonight - camera will be going to London with us and photo and blog will follow!!!
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - one last photo, even though it's a little fuzzy - Dan and I finding our Cirque tickets on Xmas day (Shelley had hidden them inside other presents):

Sunday, January 09, 2011

And 4 days after Christmas.....

We have Amber's birthday. Which may not be associated with the 25th in anyway shape or form. On pain of death and sleeping on the couch. This year Amber woke up at the crack of dawn (sometime before 8) and then proceeded to go and wake up Dan by jumping up and down on his bed in order to wake him up. Then we went downstairs and opened presents. Then (thankfully) we went back to bed for a couple more hours sleep. Amber was pretty happy with her loot this year. That night we all went out for dinner in Guildford to Wagamama and the following day I took her to London for her birthday surprise.



We went to Hamleys. For those of you who don't know Hamleys is a GIGANTIC toy store. 6 stories of awesome. You kind of have to see it to believe it. So here.



video

So that was Hamleys. The next day Amber went to the spa (for her birthday present) while I made her birthday cake. I decided to do something different this year as when I asked her she said she didn't know what kind of cake she wanted. I made her a red velvet cake. As the cake mix includes 20mls of red food colouring the kitchen looked a little like something out of a horror scene, the cake mix being bright red. I had to make sure to clean it up properly before she came home as I wanted to surprise her when she cut into it.




So that was Amber's 27th birthday. Our next adventure will be tomorrow as we are all going to see Cirque du Soleil. I will poke Amber until she writes you all and tells you all about it.... Be prepared to wait for a while though as she is the Queen of Procrastination! Love to you all.

P.S apparently I also managed to miss christmas all together... So she said she would write about that also. But just in case don't hold your breath as she might not think it is such a great idea tomorrow.