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SQ and BB

Post 1981

SashaQ - happysad

Wow - I'm impressed that your son can play the steel pan to concert standard smiley - applausesmiley - biggrin Glad you both enjoyed the session, even though you weren't able to sit as close as expected!

Glad you had a good outing with your daughter, too, although it is not the most pleasant being crammed into a vestibule, I know... Well done for sourcing dry resources - my parents had to do that for me and my sister in Blackpool when we went to see the Illuminations when I was about 7, so I can sympathise again! That is a rare thing to find an open HMV - I miss it as well...

"we must vote for it to win – I'm not sure I can ethically do that if I haven't been to the other nominated places to compare?" - that's a challenge indeed, but c'est la vie these days... Similar but different to the first Queen Convention I went to, where they judged the talent show by the volume of clapping for each act - one of the acts found where the microphone was and stationed their 'rentacrowd' there, so even though everyone else in the room liked the genuinely-talented Freddie impersonator, our clapping didn't register as loudly (the organisers changed the system the following year, thankfully).

That is good that there are instructions on how to bounce at trampoline parks and climb at climbing places, but that does make it extra strange that there are no hints on how to get started with skating as even just starting and stopping is tricky from what I've seen... Glad you managed to do something, anyway, and didn't hurt yourselves, which is the main thing.

Yay! Glad the parcel arrived smiley - biggrin You're very patient to wait until Christmas to open it, but it is a good idea as it will keep your children busy for a while, rummaging to find all the goodies that have been packed in around the smiley - giftsmiley - giftsmiley - gift - it's like a bran tub in there smiley - laugh

I hope you have a good lunch today smiley - biggrinsmiley - xmaspud

SQ and BB

Post 1982


The voting for being the best when I've not seen the others reminds me of the e-mails I get bombarded with from Amazon and other websites when I buy something, asking me to rate the item. Have you been watching 'Terms and Conditions Apply' in which Dave Gorman mocked the people who review items and include the words 'Not used this yet – 5 stars'? Well, I think it is because they've clicked on these e-mails that you receive the instant the thing arrives, not giving you a chance to use it. If they waited a month or two and then asked you to rate it, it'd make more sense.
(I enjoy the 'Terms and Conditions' show but think it would be much better if they didn't have the competitive element – I don't want to know who gets points for each round, that detracts from the unique Gormanness of the show and turns into a derivative episode of telly. Mind you, I do like what has been raised, such as the ridiculousness of second mentions – I always try to avoid falling into that trap and deliberately repeat words in dialogue because it sounds so more natural, even if in formal writing you wouldn't use the same word twice.)

Ah – the flaws in having a clapometer… When skating, stopping isn't in itself difficult, the difficulty is in doing so without either:
a.) Falling
b.) Crashing

How was your weekend? And indeed your team Christmas Dinner smiley - xmaspud? After the hectic week we had a nice and quiet one, with swampy parkrun conditions. I did some drawing and even survived drawing three camels. I suspect I'll soon have to draw a donkey…


SQ and BB

Post 1983

SashaQ - happysad

Ah, yes - I have been watching 'Terms and Conditions Apply' and saw that episode smiley - ok Yes, Amazon reviews are a mixed bag indeed, that they can sometimes be referring to the quality of service, sometimes to the quality of the product, and sometimes just be reacting to the e-mail, as you say smiley - ok

I agree with your thoughts about the show, too - it does contain some Goodish elements, and it is good that the panel of celebrities takes the pressure off Dave, but the point scoring thing does seem to have been shoehorned in...

Our Christmas Dinner was good - I did enjoy chatting with colleagues. The food wasn't as good as last year, because they cut costs, but as it was lunchtime I didn't mind only having one small slice of turkey with a few potatoes, vegetables and stuffing, and was able to have dessert (Almond Tart) so it was OK. We did a Quiz and I won thanks to the knowledge I have gained from summerbayexile's Christmas Singles Entries and your Song Lyrics Quizzes smiley - laughsmiley - ok

Glad you had a good weekend - congratulations on the camels, and good luck with the donkey smiley - goodluck I did a little bit of birdwatching, but swampy was the word, so I didn't add anything to my list. It was much drier in A87855880 so I enjoyed that, and then I got some jobs done, like writing and posting Christmas cards and putting up decorations smiley - ok

SQ and BB

Post 1984


Were I to review something, I think I'd never give it five stars simply for existing; one star maximum for that. I'd imagine if it did what I expected it to do then three stars, four stars if it was better than expected and five for outstanding, with two for not quite living up to expectations and one for being disappointing and regretting purchasing it.

Good to know that h2g2 and quizzes have come in handy out in the real worldsmiley - earth! Did the galley have a new exhibition at the moment, and lots of new things to see? As well as a selection of old favourites?

I don't think I'll get to the donkey for a few days, possibly not even until the weekend. Today I won't get much/any drawing done as I'm puppeting. I've drawn up to page 54 now; I only have 46 pages left in my notebook so Mary will have to get a move on and have the baby. Or at least get a donkey. I've successfully avoided the need to have a donkey so far by having Mary and Joseph travelling by boat but I have to concede their next journey is well and truly expected to involve a donkey.


SQ and BB

Post 1985

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, in terms of reviews, it is better not to review than to give 1 star when you haven't used it, because 1 star skews the averages for people who have reviewed it (but people have very subjective criteria in these things because of not being able to compare, as you say - on social media there is a review function, and someone gave h2g2 one star because smiley - earth orbits one star smiley - laugh)

I hope the puppeting went well last night. I went to book club, which was good - a discussion about Jules Verne smiley - ok

Yes, the gallery has a new Matisse exhibition at the moment, which was very interesting - he was a wheelchair user in his later years, and there was a photo of his fascinating 3-wheel wheelchair with the big wheels at the front! He didn't paint in those years, but made art by cutting shapes out of coloured paper and getting assistants to stick them on canvases for him smiley - ok Some were very abstract and challenging to look at, but some were visually appealing, especially the blue and white period smiley - ok

There is a good range of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the gallery, too - I look forward to seeing the Southampton exhibition and have identified the weekend of 24 January for that. I did contemplate trying to squeeze a visit in this coming weekend, but my sister is on holiday then, so it gives me time to do things like help mum with Christmas prep and get a haircut smiley - sheep and I'm sure your puppeting performance will go very well smiley - ok

"their next journey is well and truly expected to involve a donkey."

Yes indeed! Good luck with that smiley - ok

SQ and BB

Post 1986


Good point about giving reviews subjectively - I always say someone is an 'A list' celebrity if I say 'Eh?' and have no idea who they are, whereas someone famous is 'R', because I think 'Ah, I know who you are'. Dave Gorman would be C list because I did see him live. I still think Dave Gorman is one of the few men, other than Mother Teresa, who could write the Ten Commandments.

Was there a specific Jules Verne novelsmiley - book discussed, or general Jules Verne? And were there any pictures of smiley - apple or smiley - toffeeapple in the Matisse exhibition?
It makes you wonder, though; What are the advantages and disadvantages of having the big wheels front or back? How much smaller was the rear wheel? And where, if anywhere, is the dividing line between a wheelchair and a bath chair? If you put a rubber duck in a wheelchair, does it become a bath chair?

Since yesterday I've had two rehearsals. One was for the puppet show on Friday and Saturday – we rehearsed on the actual stage. Because of the differing heights of the puppeteers at the back half of the stage there is a line of benches for the puppeteer doing Scrooge to walk and forth along, then behind those there are a series of blocks for slightly taller people to stand on which doesn't leave much bare floor for me to be on. We still haven't seen how the Marley smiley - ghost scene is going to work, apparently it will involve a coat hanger and Lego, and the smiley - snowball machine is due to arrive on Friday morning, hopefully before Friday's performance…

And nammet time today we rehearsed tomorrow's afternoon performance at the work Christmas gathering – we're doing four songs including 'Step Into Christmas', which we've not really practiced the harmonies for. So that'll be fun.

Ah, I'll have to make a note of you being around that weekend – do you have plans in mind?


SQ and BB

Post 1987

SashaQ - happysad

I like your -list idea - very logical indeed smiley - oksmiley - laugh

Yes, the discussion was mainly about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Centre of the Earth were also discussed smiley - ok No smiley - apple in the Matisse exhibition, but there were quite a few pomegranates.

"If you put a rubber duck in a wheelchair, does it become a bath chair?" smiley - snorksmiley - ok

Matisse's wheelchair's rear wheel was very small, and it did look like an evolution of a Bath Chair, yes. Small wheels at the front have the advantage in relation to manoeuvrability because it maximises the amount of push force that can be applied to the large rear wheels, and the small wheels can be lifted up over small obstacles like broken paving slabs by tipping backwards slightly on the rear wheels smiley - ok

Well done for rehearsing with the stage layout - cleverly done to accommodate different puppeteers, but will involve concentration smiley - ok It was good to see your photo of Ray Sting on smiley - facepalmsmiley - booksmiley - ok

I hope your afternoon goes well, and you manage to find the harmonies without too much trouble smiley - whistlesmiley - musicalnote

The main plans for my next journey down south are to see the Exhibition and to meet you, and then I will fit in other things if possible, eg meeting my sisters in law, or mine and D's friend in Southampton smiley - ok

SQ and BB

Post 1988


Ah, the joys of scientific romance. I've not read '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' for years – possibly 30… I've seen the film more recently and went inside Nemo's Nautilus at EuroDisney last year. Talking of scientific romance, I still have to try and watch the 'The War of the Worlds' smiley - ufo that was on the telly lately. But between puppets and smiley - biro I've not watched much telly for a while, except when ironing when I can't concentrate on what I'm seeing.

I think the singing went well – I was stood behind a speaker so not everyone could see me smiley - evilgrin. I don't know if anyone filmed it – I've not seen any videos on smiley - facepalmsmiley - book as yet. Still it seemed to work out okay, I hope. Tonight we've got our final puppet rehearsal before our show tomorrow. I still have no idea how the Marley smiley - ghost sequence is going to work, so hopefully I'll see it in action tonight. I got the feeling that the Marley puppets will be put in babygrows to give them legs, which I wonder whether will look smiley - silly.

Will you be doing much for your birthday this year?


SQ and BB

Post 1989

SashaQ - happysad

"I've seen the film more recently and went inside Nemo's Nautilus at EuroDisney last year."

smiley - ok I must admit, I saw that War of the Worlds was on TV, but didn't fancy watching it, so it will be interesting to see what you think of it if you manage to see it.

"I think the singing went well – I was stood behind a speaker so not everyone could see me smiley - evilgrin ."

smiley - evilgrinsmiley - ok I saw the video of the steel drums on smiley - facepalmsmiley - book - I didn't see you or your son, but I was very impressed by the skills of all the players smiley - ok

Good luck with the rehearsal smiley - goodluck

I haven't got plans for my birthday yet, apart from a plan to ask my friends if they wouldn't mind sending me a card, as I would like more than 4 for the round number birthday if possible. I'm not really a party person, but maybe I will go out for family dinner rather than just a meal for two like I did in January 2019 - mum and I went out for a joint birthday meal as her birthday is just before mine, and that was very nice smiley - biggrin

Thinking of the round number birthday brings back thoughts of adult vs child again - on the one hand it feels strange to be nearly a round number because I'm still 15 (or 16 now I can use a petrol pump) but on the other hand I feel like I have emerged from the 1970s when Queen and Glam Rock were in their prime, and am not very familiar with the newfangled things of the 21st Century... smiley - weird

Do you have plans for how to celebrate your round number birthday yet?

SQ and BB

Post 1990


I do like a bit of HG Wells, you know, and have often read 'The War of the Worlds'. The disappointment to date is that most film adaptations, fun though the 1953 George Pal adaptation is, have been set in contemporary times. It isn't the same, which made the Jeff Wayne Musical Version the most faithful in many ways. I would enjoy seeing it, but the trouble is of course that I have a very limited amount of time per day to do things that involves anything other than child-friendly activities. The Tom Cruise film adaptation was dreadful.

I didn't see that there was a video of steel drums on smiley - facepalmsmiley - book - where did you spot that? As well as the steel pan concert that my son played for they have established steel pan bands that often play at local events, which my son hopes to audition to join in the new year.

I've still not settled for plans for my birthday yet – my actual birthday is the day of the parkrun Christmas party this year, which the children have enjoyed going to the silent disco for. But I'm not sure I want to celebrate my birthday at a Christmas party.


SQ and BB

Post 1991

SashaQ - happysad

"I do like a bit of HG Wells, you know" smiley - ok Ah, I hadn't realised that most adaptations set it in conntemporary times. So you would find the 2019 period adaptation interesting if you can get to see it smiley - ok

smiley - facepalmsmiley - book is more smiley - facepalm than smiley - book - it was your wife that found the video, so that is hilarious if you didn't see it! Yes, the tutor mentioned in the video that the younger pupils were trying out the steel pans and could audition for the formal group if they liked it, so I wish your son the best of luck with that smiley - ok

Ah, that is difficult about the timing of your birthday and the Christmas Party - as a Christmas Party it would be a party, but it wouldn't be personal, and it wouldn't be the best idea to try to make it more your birthday party than a Christmas party, either... Good luck deciding on plans.

Are you in work next week? I've decided to take two weeks' vacation so I can hopefully 'recharge my batteries' as well as possible, as they have been depleted since July, never mind November smiley - sleepy It has been a busy week this week, though, as it was bookclub on Monday, I managed to finish my Christmas prep on Wednesday (and enjoyed A87869371 while late-night shopping) and then tonight is another social, but it is good - a bit more festive than the office (it didn't get any decorations this year for some unknown reason smiley - laugh).

SQ and BB

Post 1992

SashaQ - happysad

Aha, I see your organisation is closed next week, so that solves the dilemma of Christmas Eve being on a Tuesday smiley - laugh

All the best for the performance smiley - magic

I probably see you around in h2g2 before next year - have a good Christmas smiley - magicsmiley - holly

SQ and BB

Post 1993


I had to work on Christmas Eve the first year I was at Southampton Solent University, but for the last few years we've had over a week off, which has been handy. Although I've spent rather more of the last week with the dreaded lurgy than I would have liked...

Ah, I meant the other meaning of 'contemporary', historical contemporary rather than literature contemporary. And I've not made any plans or decisions, or done an awful lot, really...

Sorry to hear about your lack of Christmas decorations at work. Perhaps your work hadn't decided on its corporate colour scheme this year?

Hope you've had a good Christmas and will have a good new year - bittersweet, I would imagine at the very least. Not really a normal Christmas at all.smiley - hug


SQ and BB

Post 1994

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, I had to work on Christmas Eve in my first year, but it was early finish, so that wasn’t too bad. A week off is much better, though. Sorry to hear about your lurgy - peril of the season... My allergy is going ok so far as I have been doing plenty of birdwatching in the fresh air, so hopefully that continues...

Yes, you’re probably right about the colour scheme!

Christmas was good - everyone was with us in spirit if not in person so it was the same lovely tradition, as everyone’s presence was felt. The family have been going to bed much earlier than in previous years but that does us all good. New Year is a bittersweet time, but it is made better that people are thinking of us smiley - hug I hope you had a good Christmas. Will you be doing anything particular for New Year or do your children prefer to have a usual evening and see the New Year in the morning?

Tell me more about ‘contemporary’ - I thought it meant ‘of the time’, so it would be ‘modern’ rather than 19th Century, but I don’t know the distinction between historical and literary...

Best wishes and best fishes smiley - schooloffish for 2020 smiley - magic

SQ and BB

Post 1995


We had an early finish that Christmas Eve too - 3pm, if I remember correctly, though it was fairly pointless us being there in the first place as no students came in. That was in the days I actually helped and spoke to students and academics, you see...

'Contemporary' does indeed mean 'of the time' but it can be used to mean either the time in which it was written or the time it was adapted. So a contemporary adaptation of 'The War of the Worlds' would either be set in Victorian times or today, depending on usage of 'contemporary', which can be confusing.smiley - headhurts

Christmas went well, I did our local parkrun which was extremely boggy and it has been cancelled the Saturday before and since, when I ran at Whiteley, but not very quickly.

My children have never stayed up 'til midnight before on New Year's Eve but today my son says he wants to. We've never really done anything to celebrate, in fact the last few years my wife just goes to bed normal time. I usually watch the fireworks on the telly. My only New Year tradition is the New Year parkrun double - the one day a year you can do two different parkruns in one day. I'm hoping to do a parkrun double tomorrow but my wife keeps saying she won't give me a lift if I'm 'not better'. Nothing makes you feel ill like being constantly told 'you're not well enough to go to the shop' or 'you're not well enough to visit relatives on New Year's Eve'.smiley - grr

So yes, best fishes for 2020 to you too. smiley - biggrin


SQ and BB

Post 1996

SashaQ - happysad

Yes, I can imagine it did feel a bit pointless for you to be in when no students were when you were in a student-facing role... I did find the time quite helpful for catching up with computer work, so it wasn't too tedious, but I was glad of the early finish.

Ah, yes I see 'of the time' does not clearly specify which time so can be confusing...

Well done for doing the boggy parkrun - not good that it had to be cancelled again, but glad you found an alternative on the other weeks.

I hope your New Year celebration went well. We did all go to bed nice and early, but I was woken up at about midnight by a surprisingly large number of fireworks going off round my parents' house for 30 minutes smiley - headhurts At least I was in the warmth behind double-glazing, anyway, so it wasn't as disturbing as it could have been. One of my sister's smiley - cat was disturbed by the noise, but they were OK the following day once their digestive system had settled down.

Yes, difficult having lurgy, that fresh air makes you feel better than staying indoors all day, but you need to be careful not to overexert yourself. I hope you managed to enjoy at least one parkrun. I enjoyed my New Year's Day birdwatching smiley - biggrin

I hope the New Year at work is treating you kindly so far smiley - goodluck - I have been busy so far this week, but in a good way smiley - ok

SQ and BB

Post 1997


On New Year's Day I did one of the two parkruns I wanted to – my wife said I was too ill to do both (though I think that was an excuse and she just wanted to spend longer in bed) smiley - wah There were definitely more fireworks in the local area at the inlaws then there usually are at home.

I've still had the lurgi, it still hasn't gone away yet so I've yet to have a day this year in which I'm able to breathe easily or indeed smell anything.

Work is still hectic as part of the Curriculum Review, which means I have to rewrite every course at the university's curriculum by September, and of course no-one has thought about transition arrangements and how this will affect the current students…

Are you getting ready for your journey down here? I think that that's the weekend of the model railway show. At the moment I believe my Dad's planning on meeting me that weekend at the model railway show, but I don't actually know which day as yet. It'll be in the morning as they don't like being away from their smiley - dog for too long and so leave in the early afternoon.


SQ and BB

Post 1998

SashaQ - happysad

Ah, that is a shame you weren't able to 'do the double' but it sounds like you were better off just doing one parkrun in one day, given that your lurgy is still lingering... I hope it eases soon smiley - stiffdrink

Good luck with your work - that is a challenge and a half... Transition arrangements do indeed tend to be an afterthought, which is not good at all...

Yes, I am vaguely trying to plan my weekend away... The Art Gallery visit needs to be on the Saturday (or possibly Friday), because the exhibition will be closed on the Sunday, but the Model Railway Show would be good fun again if it's possible for me to get there smiley - biggrin

SQ and BB

Post 1999


I suspect the lurgi is a sinal infection, which typically lasts a few weeks. Oh well, c'est la vie – it is just like having a very heavy cold, but with pain behind the eyes. At least this time I've not lost my hearing.

I'm hoping to finish off 'The Nativities are Restless' by my birthday, only the last dozen pages to draw now. Did you see how Queen lyrics got shoe-horned into the story with the subtlety of a brick?

The Model Railway Show should indeed be good fun – but it is awkward to get to. Though I do enjoy a ride on the free vintage bus provided by Southampton & District Transport Heritage Trust that goes from both Eastleigh and Southampton Airport Parkway stations, there's no guarantee that it'll be a wheelchair-friendly vintage smiley - bus – they've used different ones in different years and own buses ranging from 1949 to 2002, so the more modern ones would be wheelchair friendly. The website doesn't specify – you could potentially e-mail and ask? Half of me wonders whether they themselves would know before the actual day…


SQ and BB

Post 2000

SashaQ - happysad

Ah, c'est la vie indeed - that is positive that it hasn't affected your ears as well as your eyes, but do look after yourself...

Good luck with finishing 'The Nativities are Restless' smiley - ok I did see how you shoe-horned Bo Rhap in smiley - laugh I missed a few pages over Christmas, but it was straightforward for me to catch up this time, 4 by 4 smiley - ok

Thanks for the information about the smiley - bus - that would be fun if I could do that. The website says none of their smiley - bus are accessible but there might be something they could do to help, so it will be worth me asking smiley - ok

I had a good birthday - I got more than 4 cards smiley - boing and have printed your excellent postcard so I can put it on display as well smiley - biggrin I went out for a meal for two with my mum to the same place as last year, but sadly the food was not half as good as last year so it was more funny than enjoyable! It is an excellent place to do birdwatching from, though - I saw a Curlew, which was a lovely birthday treat smiley - biggrin I went out for afternoon tea at a friend's house, as well, so that was much better - good to catch up. More celebrations to come, as well, as I look forward to the holiday, and also the family meal will take place later in the month smiley - ok

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