This week is a long blog by the looks of it so can I cheat and send you down to musings as I count theatre in amongst art. And if you didn't realise this blog is linked to my art website so why not have a gander and tell me what you think. Here's a few things I've done recently that aren't on the site yet.
Eden Brewery Cumbria Eden Gold 4.2%
Some of you may or not know but I brew beer at this very place. On occasion I review one of our beers in a frank and honest way with no bias attached to it at all. For people new to this part of my blog this is the first time I have reviewed one of our beers so close to the last and for this I apologise as I'm not here to sell it to you - although we do mail order ;-) Each week it is usually a different beer from a different brewery from around the world.
Eden Gold is actually not one of my favourites however it is the most popular beer we do both in bottles and cask. And if I'm honest I've only ever tasted it straight out of the fermenting vessel. For me the grapefruity citrus taste is not my favourite, but, I can see why it is one of the best sellers.
But it's a proud moment when Best of British send you an email that basically says ...”by the way we sent your Eden Gold to Selfridges and they loved it, we need stock of it to go in three of their stores by the end of October” Well THANK YOU Best of British for doing this and supporting us and other breweries across the country, you must be proud too!
My first day back after the bank holiday I will be in at silly o'clock to start a double brew of Gold. Generally it's a 5am start and a 8pm finish and no doubt in 9 days time another double brew – that is 2880 pints or it's 5760 500ml bottles. Looks like I'm going to be a busy bee.
Here's Giles blog on the very subject of Selfridges and Eden Gold.
I often look in on those leaflet stands that are dotted where the tourists frequent in the county I reside. These leaflet stands are great for those who have lived in the County (wherever you are) awhile but still haven't explored any of the wondrous things on offer. Well in this one stand and look moment I found a leaflet for Holehird Gardens near Windermere, so the next Sunday we were awake early and free to go exploring this was going to be the place.
Tucked away just off the main road from Windermere to Kirkstone Pass Inn you would be forgiven for driving past it. So watch for those signs hidden behind tree branches. It is however not the type of place you would want to take your over active children (or adult) that constantly wants to play football) It's more of a meander through the garden finding plants you may want to have in your own garden. It is also great for ideas. It is definitely a garden where you sit in the quiet having a picnic and watching nature do it's thing.
Holehird gardens is ran by the Lakeland Horticultural Society (leased from Holehird trust) and is a place where a set donation is recommend. And I whole heartily agree with this (not many people like to pay to go into any gardens these days). The people who run the place are volunteers from the society and the money taken at this site goes back into the site, unlike some places belonging to big organisations. For this I paid the £8 for two adults. Plus I ended up buying my Jethro Tull plant and three Alpine plants already potted up at very reasonable prices.
The hillside gardens span 17 acre. Which include a great variety of planting - specimen trees and shrubs, extensive rock and heather gardens, a walled garden, alpine houses and herbaceous borders. With plenty of benches dotted around to sit and catch your breath as the view over Lake Windermere appears.
We loved the gardens and will go back again, but, here's some more photos I took.
I never studied Shakespeare at school, at least I don't remember. What I do remember is finding my mums 'Works of Shakespeare' book with it's very thin paper and reading through bits that intrigued . I did at one point remember the famous Hamlet quote 'To be or not to be...' the first 15 lines, but now, I remember parts and put them together as my own. Shakespeare isn't for everyone and you wouldn't be wrong in saying – it's not for Linda (back in the day) and I know that some of my friends are surprised when I say 'I've actually seen.....
My mum bought me a ticket to see my first Shakespeare play when I turned 30 in 2003. Macbeth was playing at the Crucible in Sheffield. I had a seat in the gods and looked down on the stage with just one door plonked in the centre and only 4 actors!. Never has a play been more confusing for someone who was interested but only knew bits about it. The three actors played everyone (Lady Macbeth who was played by one Actor), they didn't change clothes and they reappeared through the door as a different character. Enough to confuse anyone. Yes that particular play did put me off of going to see any other Shakespeare play at the Theatre.
I admit my next dabble with Shakespeare was The Merchant of Venice as a film. You know the one with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. But wait hold on a cotton picking minute I didn't realise 1'0 things I hate about you' is actually Taming of the Shrew! Quite liked that film. Oh and My own Private Idaho (loosely based around Henry 4th & 5th) seems like I've seen more than I thought.
When I heard The Merchant of Venice was being screened at my local cinema (Rheged) as a live broadcast from the Royal Shakespeare company it was an opportunity not to be missed. Yes I was wary but it was the RSC and surely they had enough actors to play the parts and not confuse me. I am so glad I did get a ticket. Sitting still for sometime was going to be a challenge though. I was greeted with a programme with an outline of the story, which I was glad for. The short of it if you've not seen it is.
There's a pretty girl called Portia who's been left some Gold, Silver and Lead by her dead father, who says she will marry the suitor who chooses the box of goodies with her photo in. So men come from across the lands to gain her and the wealth. This one lad asks a friend to borrow money from a loan shark whom his friend has previously insulted regarding his high rates of interest just to go and woo Portia. And that's where it all goes t***s up or belly up.
The actors were fantastic and I loved how Launcelot started heckling from his seat in the audience. Markram J.Khoudry who played Shylock (loan shark) was fantastic and oddly I felt mixed emotions from pity, shame and a feeling of 'you stick to your guns' for Shylock. Whilst I may not understand the language of Shakespeare fully I did understand the whole play. This play restored my faith and off I went to book a ticket for Othello a play I didn't know anything about.
Othello gets a wow. It was fantastic. We get to see so much more when they do a live broadcast, we see the emotion of the other characters waiting for their part and a better view of the entire stage.
Othello is about a General (Othello) marrying Desdemona in secret and right royally pissing off (sorry) his left hand man Iago by promoting Cassio to lieutenant over him. Iago finds Roderigo a man who was hoping to be with Desdemona and plots his revenge against Othello. Hugh Quarshie (Casualty & Star Wars episode 1) was great, but, I have to say Lucian Msamati was amazing as Iago. One lady as the interval started comment 'That was exhausting' and when it finished a lady whom I was sat next to said that it was the best performance she had seen of Othello surpassing the one she liked with Peter O'Toole performing. And casting a black person in the role of Iago was just genius! I personally loved the rap off in the square just seconds before the brawl. Othello has become my favourite Shakespearian play. I was blown away! Here's what other people said about the play