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Five things make the last ten days - News from Nowhere [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Five things make the last ten days [Jun. 9th, 2016|10:31 pm]
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  • The morning after our return from London, with no food in the house and D. arriving that evening, we went to Tesco's. I didn't mean to buy any wine: this was supposed to be an in and out, quick and efficient, kind of shopping. But the French wines are right at the end of the aisle, I wondered what they had from the south-west, and there on the top shelf was a display of Terreforts de Madiran 2003 at £3.25 a bottle. (That's $4.70 at today's rate, and the article I've linked to quotes a price of £11.99 last November.) Madiran ages well, but 2003 is a fair age: perhaps it was past its best? We bought a single bottle, and opened it that evening. At first I thought: agreeable, distinctive Madiran tannins, but fading, worth that ridiculously low price but not as intense as it should be. But as we emptied the bottle it began to fill out, and the last drop of the last glassful was a delight. The next day we went back and bought all they had left, which was only six bottles. We opened another one on Sunday, a bit earlier this time, to let it breathe, and it was wonderful, all liquorice, leather and black fruits, bramble and plum. I wonder if it will last long enough to try on helenraven alongside those Uruguayan tannats?

  • We are approaching completion of this stage of the building and decorating: unfortunately we are approaching it as Achilles approaches the tortoise. The spare bedroom is painted and almost papered, but the paper ran out with one tiny strip (maybe three inches wide, between the wardrobe and the corner) still to do, so we have been waiting for more paper to arrive. Due tomorrow morning (and the carpet is due tomorrow afternoon, so I hope there'll be no delay). When the decorator arrives, we're assuming he will also put a second coat of paint in the kitchen, and bring a long brush to paint behind the radiator. We had a nasty moment when the fridge was pulled out of its corner and revealed an unpleasant damp patch, but that has now been sealed and replastered. The new paint is very red. I thought I was choosing the shade closest to the existing terra cotta, and was puzzled that it was called 'Red Barn', but oh, yes, very red. I am rethinking which pictures go where.

  • Ushaw College is a former Catholic seminary, now busy reinventing itself as a welcoming events venue. This is disconcerting. But it has some fabulous architecture, and if it wants to fill that space with folk music, that's fine by me. We couldn't make all of the folk festival last weekend, but we were there on Saturday evening for Alistair Anderson's new band, Northlands. So new that their only web presence is on Alistair Anderson's news page: for the record, then, singer and flute player Sarah Hayes, Sophy Ball on fiddle and Ian Stephenson on guitar. Great fun, a mixture of solo spots and ensemble pieces, maybe not entirely settled in as a band but giving every sign of enjoying playing together. Long may they do so. The concert was in the Exhibition Hall, a chapel letting its hair down observed by bishops and other clergy in the roof beams:


  • Quotation of the week - but which week? We were watching the extended version of Have I Got News for You on the iPlayer. Paul Merton, intervening before Gyles Brandreth could lure Ian Hislop into a grammatical debate, announced "The gerund is a three-wheeled vehicle which was very popular before the invention of the horse."

  • Last night our dear friend F. celebrated a dignificant birthday by inviting a group of friends to an Elizabethan banquet at Lumley Castle. Don't be misled by the description, this is not about authentic re-enactment and historic recipes, this is the banquet as pantomime. It was extremely well done, and we even managed a certain amount of conversation in between the entertainment.

[User Picture]From: durham_rambler
2016-06-10 08:55 am (UTC)

Banquet as pantomime

Indeed, I'm fairly sure I spotted Paul Hartley, who played Wishee Washee in the Aladdin we saw at the Gala Theatre with weegoddess and J, in the supporting role here.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2016-06-10 10:03 am (UTC)

Re: Banquet as pantomime

I'm not finding any identifications for the performers, and I can think of all sorts of reasons why that may be, but for that reason I wouldn't go beyond saying that the style of the performance is pure panto.
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