screech owl

This journal

This LJ blog now contains mostly ramblings on life, the world and everything.  I aim to post five times a fortnight.

My fics can be found here The Small Hobbit on AO3 and currently major on Sherlock (BBC), Sherlock Holmes (ACD canon) and Lewis (TV).  My other popular fandoms include Spooks (MI5) and Robin Hood (BBC).

Writing - Month Nine

Firstly, I made 161,197 words last year, which means I am happy to aim for 150,000 again this year.  Also, for the sake of completeness, my Hoggywartyxmas fic was A Crafty Solution and my [community profile] yuletide fic was The Red House Mystery Murder at the Manor House.  I also posted all of A Further Twelve Days of Christmas, twelve ficlets which included Sanditon and The Red House Mystery amongst my more regular fandoms.

This month has seen some different works for [community profile] fan_flashworks The Case of the Cardboard Box (craft) and Finding A New Tea Set (a photostory).

[community profile] story_works ran a paranormal challenge, which was the perfect opportunity for me to write werewolf!Lucas A Complete Ridiculous Suggestion, my quartet of ACD Holmes ghosts in BBC Sherlock An Old-Fashioned Case of Haunting and a ghostly sequel to Hamlet, in which the afterlife isn't quite what Gertrude expects The Afterlife.  The ghosts returned in The Disarrayed Mannequins for [community profile] ficlet_zone 

[community profile] whatif_au challenge was Royalty, for which a wrote an alternative BBC Sherlock meeting: A Fairy Tale Meeting

I've also been hooked by the prompt tables from [community profile] inspiring_tables writing The Colours of My Mind (Spooks) for the colour table, To Everything There Is A Season (ACD Holmes Sussex retirement) for the seasons table and It's All In The Timing (Spooks - werewolf!Lucas again) for the moon table.  I'm currently writing for the 50 prompts table.

Otherwise, my [community profile] chocolateboxcomm ficlet is written and I have yet to start my [community profile] acdholmesfest fic.


Cyrano de Bergerac

I think James McAvoy is a great stage actor, and have done since I saw him in Three Days of Rain eleven years ago.  So I really wanted to see him in Cyrano, but the ticket prices were expensive, and I couldn't justify the cost once I'd added on the travel.  But then, when I knew I was coming up to see Uncle Vanya I decided if I was in London anyway I might as well get a ticket.  So £37.50 for a ticket in the Upper Circle with a restricted view.  However, for some reason I received an email saying I was being upgraded to a seat where I'd have a proper view, and I ended up in the Royal Circle (one tier down) in what I worked out was a £67.50 seat, so that was a plus.

This is a new version of Edmond Rostand's play, produced by Martin Crimp.  The language is very modern, as are many of the ideas, but there's still a lot of rhyming and poetry, although in a hiphop style.  The set is also very sparse, and although the action is in 1640 the characters wear modern clothing.  It works very well.  I didn't know the original play, but enjoyed what I saw - maybe if I'd known the plot I'd have been disappointed in the updated version, but as it was I generally enjoyed it.

But, although it is a play about words and the use of words, sometimes it felt too wordy and I don't think I was alone if the occasional creaky of seats from the audience around me was any judge.  I also felt the character of Roxane didn't entirely work, or maybe she was simply too self-absorbed for me to care about her.

In the end, it was James McAvoy's play, and he was brilliant - totally convincing, with a great range of emotions.  He was able to use his native Scottish accent as well, which was another plus, so I'm very glad I got to see him again.


Uncle Vanya

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that as soon as tickets went on sale for Uncle Vanya, in which Richard Armitage was to play Astrov, I was online booking one!

I went to a preview of the play, slightly cheaper seats, but otherwise no major difference from seeing it later in the run.  Reports had been good, although press night isn't until next week, when the formal reviews will be released, and it was sold out when I saw it.

I'm delighted to say I thought it was really good - and not just because I may be biased.  RA was excellent as Astrov, and worked well with Toby Jones, who was Vanya.  The whole cast was good, many of whom were actors with a long list of roles.  The only one I was slightly less taken with was the actress playing Sonya, but whether it was her or the part I'm not sure. 

This production brings out the humour in the play very well, and the cast bring out the humanity of the characters.  The set is excellent, and the only downside is that this is a Chekhov play, with very typical Chekhovian characters, who at times I feel like shaking.  It shows how good the actors were that I felt the characters could have had a better future if only they had done something.

It was lovely seeing RA on stage again - five and a half years since I saw him in The Crucible - and when I saw him on the stage as the curtain went up for the first act it was a great feeling.


New Activities - Month Nine

Firstly, I want to say how excited I am that [community profile] story_works is holding Take A Leap: A year long challenge of trying out new things.  I'm looking forward to taking part!

This month's challenge is Try Out Anything New and I'm using a couple of things here to complete that challenge.

The last couple of days I've been in London (play reviews will be coming!) but I also wanted to do some other things.  Yesterday I went to the Science Museum to go to two of their special exhibitions: Top Secret: From Cyphers to Cyber Security and The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter.  Top Secret was a bit disappointing - I found the bits about WWI interesting, and also reading about Bletchley Park and seeing an Enigma machine was worth doing, but could have done without being told how wonderful GCHQ were; I moved through the second part quite quickly.  The Art of Innovation had some interesting sections, but these were the ones in the earlier timeframe.  I find the Science Museum a bit too confident that we now know everything, and failing to learn from earlier centuries that this isn't always true.

However, I did have a very nice lunch in the museum café, and I've not eaten there before.

Then this morning I went on a backstage tour of the Barbican Theatre.  I'd been trying to find a suitable activity for Anything New, and when I read about these tours I booked a place.  It was very interesting - I do like seeing backstage.  I haven't been to the Barbican Theatre for over four years - they are the London base for the RSC, but we go to Stratford to see them.  I'd definitely recommend the tour.

And then, on my way back to the tube station, I found a small café to have my lunch, which also counts for Anything New!

screech owl

Brownies 2020

We started back at Brownies last week.  Doodles was ill, but Flamingo and I were able to cope since we'd decided we'd have a games evening.  We had lost five Brownies by the end of last term (one to Guides, one to Scouts, two moved house, and one moved to a smaller pack), so we had five new girls who were due to start.  Fortunately only two came and we were able to involve them quite easily. 

I also presented the UK Parliament Week badges which we had finally received.

This week Doodles was back and the other three new new girls started.  We began to work for the Stage 3 Explore badge, which will help towards the Brownies Have Adventures theme badge.  They began with learning how to protect themselves from the sun: slip, slap, slop plus: shade, slurp, slide.  After which they played a game based on the life cycle of a butterfly - which they enjoyed, particularly crawling around the floor pretending to be a caterpillar, saying 'chomp, chomp'.

Flamingo commented on how well the new girls were fitting into the pack, and how it was a good reflection on the pack as a whole, that they were able to bring them in so well.


Belated 2019 meme

 Stolen from [personal profile] shallowness because it seemed interesting.

Your main fandom(s) of the year: Without a doubt Sherlock Holmes, mostly ACD Holmes, with a smattering of BBC Sherlock.  (Nothing new there).

Best film you watched - renaming as play/musical/ballet: Can't decide - both Matthew Bourne's Romeo & Juliet and The Red Shoes are there, as well as Joseph & His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Mary Poppins.  I saw a few very good plays, but none which stand out as much.

Best book you read this year: Cheating, and copying over the five I selected for my book meme: The Red House Mystery (A A Milne); Proud (Juno Dawson); The Lie (Helen Dunmore); Going Postal (Terry Pratchett); Transcription (Kate Atkinson)

Favourite album or song: Um, Dance of the Knights from Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet

Favourite TV show of the year: Call The Midwife

Your biggest fandom disappointment: The ending of Sanditon

The biggest squee moment of the year: Learning Richard Armitage was going to be on stage again

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year: Seeing Richard Armitage on stage

Favourite couple of 2019: Um, Lucas North/Adam Carter

Favourite main character of 2019: DI Rowan Jackman from Joy Ellis Jackman & Evans series - Audible

Favourite other character: The Ferret!


12 Days of Christmas - Days Ten to Twelve plus a Present I Received

Day 10 was for Luthienberen who said: Holmes/Watson, ACD Canon (fluffy cats always welcome!)  And clearly there was going to be a TAIL : The Case of the Ginger Furred League

Day 11 was requested by moth2fic who simply asked for The Hobbit (knowing that there was bound to be a story featuring Mouselet - she was right): Formal Arrangements

And finally Day 12 was for bunn with the last request for Mouselet and her dear inspector and the prompt 'trains': Mouselet's Great Adventure
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