D4D

There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing

The Joy of Tech

Yesterday, while doing a quick shop on the way to work, I suddenly realised I’d left my wallet at home. Bugger.

I was just about prepared to take everything back to its shelves/locations, when it occurred to me that actually I was still OK – I had my phone with me still. That meant I’d got the ability to make a contactless payment – and because I’d also added the details of my Monzo card/account to the phone, it meant I had everything I needed.

It’s pretty amazing, the way these things have now become so much more mainstream than they were ten years ago, or even five.  Since I got the Monzo card eighteen months ago (it’s the only one I have that also connects into my ApplePay account on the phone) I’ve stopped carrying cash except for specific occasions – for example, the car wash I use still only takes cash.

I still prefer to carry physical cards (hence usually having a wallet) but it was still interesting to realise that forgetting it is no longer the “Oh shit!” moment it used to be. (So long as I remember my phone, and that I can use it, anyway)

Ain’t progress grand?

Amphibian

As we’re heading into Spring, I assume that somewhere nearby, frogs are spawning.

Why do I assume this?  Because the bloody Bengal is having a field day, bringing frogs into the house.

Now, first things first, did you know that frogs scream? I didn’t, until a couple of years ago. It’s the weirdest thing/noise, and doesn’t half freak you out the first few times.

Also, I assume that they exude something on their skins that tastes really nasty – so most of the time, the Bengal brings the frog through the cat flap and just goes “Ptuh!” and spits it out in the kitchen. She then stands around licking her mouth/face, watching the frigging thing crawl and hop around.

Sometimes she then ‘plays’ with them, and I’ve come home a couple of times now to frog bodies with catastrophic damage, but that turn out to still be alive (or at least still with plenty of automatic twitch responses – I’ve not wanted to study too closely) and need to be removed from the house.

Cats. They are just such a joy to have around the house…

Fortnight

On D4D™ it’s been a bit of a quiet month so far.

That’s mainly because it hasn’t been a quiet month in reality, and updating here took a back seat. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

Thankfully, from here on things are getting a bit quieter for a while, so I’m hopeful that I’ll have the time and brainspace to update here more regularly again.

I’ve got some thoughts and been letting my brain chunter off on a few subjects. With luck that’ll lead to some more posts and so on as well.

It’s been a long old month, considering we’re only three-quarters of the way through it…

Dick Comparison

So far this year, I’ve been to London to see two versions of Shakespeare’s “Richard II” – first at the Almeida Theatre, and then last weekend at the Sam Wanamaker theatre at the Globe.  (I’m also seeing Richard III later in the year, as well as the Globe’s three-plays-in-a-day marathon slog of Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two, and Henry V – by the end of that, I may be somewhat kinged out!)

The Almeida’s production was a modern interpretation, and much-abridged – it had a run time of 1hr 40mins, which was pretty much the same as the first half at the Globe. By comparison, the Globe’s was more traditional in how it was staged and performed, but with a cast entirely of Women of Colour (WOC).

It’s been interesting to compare the two, so I thought I’d write a bit about it here.  Obviously all views are my own, and all that jazz.  It’s also worth pointing out that I had done my usual thing of going in with no real idea of the story, chronology or characters, which sometimes doesn’t help.

The Almeida

I found the Almeida’s production to be far harder to follow – and primarily that was because of how it was being staged.  The entire stage was made into a steel box, with no active exits (there had to be some, for getting on/off the stage at least, but they weren’t used during the actual production) which meant there could be no cleanups, no costume changes, and no scenery changes.  That meant it was hard to actually keep track of who was who – and even more so with a reduced cast.  As an example, one actor’s first character died off fairly early on, and they then played a different character (and possibly two) but still wearing the blood and costume of the first role – which meant it was pretty hard to follow.  Honestly, I’d almost rather have just had the actors wearing placards with names on, in order to explain who they were at any one time.

Additionally, the abridging of the text – and the speed with which it was performed – made it even more confusing, with seemingly more focus on people chucking gloves at each other than the actual plot and actions.

So all told, I didn’t like the production that much – I felt there was too much that got rushed, or that made no sense at all. It was interesting in many ways, but also fairly high on the infamous “Load of old bollocks” scale.

The Wanamaker / Globe version

The production at the Wanamaker was (for me) far preferable.  I’ve found I have very few issues with changing roles/stereotypes and doing things differently – particulary with Shakespeare, the story seems to take precedence over who’s doing what, so it doesn’t matter (to me) whether Richard is played by an older white man, or a coloured woman. I know it annoys purists and so on, but I truly don’t feel it matters.

I’d not been to the Wanamaker theatre before, but really liked it – the entire thing is lit by candles (with the exception of the windows ‘out’, which are lit changeably with LEDs, although it’s not intrusive) which makes for an interesting semi-authentic feel.  (It also means that there’s a person in the cast/creatives list whose title is “Candle Consultant”, which is pretty special)

The production itself made a lot more sense to me – the cast size is similar (I think there’s one more cast member in the Wanamaker version) but because they’re allowed off-stage to change costumes for the different roles, it was far easier to follow who’s who and so on.  Additionally, the extra run-time meant that it didn’t feel rushed, which also helped.

I’m glad I went to see both productions – but in this case I far preferred the more traditional version at the Wanamaker to the modern/short version at the Almeida.

 

Not Dead

It’s been a month since I did an update here – not for any really good reasons, just that I didn’t really feel like writing.

Some of it has been because February was a ridiculously busy month, which left me feeling generally knackered and not in the mood. I’ve done weekends in Newcastle and Manchester, plus day-trips to Somerset, Bristol and Birmingham, as well as several to London. There’ve also been smaller trips and day events that also resulted in not getting home ’til gone one in the morning, and those were all on work-days.

So that’s all not helped my energy levels, and nor has February tending to be just February, with the grey skies and so on that don’t improve my mood or give the sunlight that helps me through. Thankfully the days are getting longer though, and that’s now noticeable.

I’m aiming to get back to some semblance of normality though – although we’ll also see how things go. I’m working on other ideas and so on, and there’s only so many hours in the day (and only so many of those that one can dedicate to writing) Also, it’ll involve trying to find a balance between D4D™ Stuff and Other Stuff.

We’ll see how it all goes.  But for now well, at least I’m not dead.

Poorly Sick (part two)

Last week’s “Poorly Sick” has continued on for the last week – although also not helped by my own general idiocy.

On the Tuesday, while coughing my lungs out (mmm, tasty) I drove up to Manchester to see friends, and then go with them to see Massive Attack at the Manchester Arena. And then drove home afterwards, like a friggin’ lunatic. By the time I got back – Wednesday morning, 2:30am – I’d twatted my ribs with the coughing I’d done, and felt fairly rough.

Wednesday was spent at home feeling ropy (while also getting enough work done to keep people happy) and Thursday I was on-site down in Chesham.  I was feeling shitty enough there (and cold enough, the office being ridiculously cold) that I left at lunchtime and came home to thaw out.

Friday was also quiet, spent mainly at home.

Saturday was a trip to London to meet another friend and see “When we have sufficiently tortured each other” at the National Theatre (Spoiler : Don’t bother, it’s cobblers)

And then Sunday was another daft day-trip, this time down to the edge of Somerset to see other friends. And back home the same day, getting back at midnight on the dot.

So yeah, a week of being comprensively unwell while still being daft.

Hopefully things are back to a more even keel this week, but time will tell.

Poorly Sick

It’s that time of year again, where I pick up a cold/flu bug and feel like crap.  I think it’s just a cold, although last night I was shivering in bed while also being roastingly hot, so who the hell knows.

Of course, it’s also in a week where I’m stupidly busy and doing a bundle of driving. So that’ll be fun.

Anyway, we’ll see how it goes, and hopefully I’ll feel better before long.

In the meantime, bleurgh.

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