I’m not total philistine; I have read some of the classic novels. However, Treasure Island is on the list of the many that I haven’t. So I was doubly excited to go to see Thornden’s Schools’ production of Treasure Island on Friday (10 February). Partly to top up my “blagger’s guide to the classics”, but mainly for the chance to see another of the school’s productions. [Read more…] about Review: Treasure Island by Thornden School
Quite often (I would go far as to say too often) when you go shopping – either physically or online – you are asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey: “Please rate our service on a scale of 1 to 5” [Read more…] about Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Last weekend the zip on my jacket got stuck and I spent several unsuccessful minutes trying to release it. Eventually, my partner grew frustrated at my display of ineptitude and took the garment from me – well, she is a mum, therefore well qualified and experienced at solving all clothing malfunctions and failures.
No, she couldn’t free the zip either. After a few minutes she gave up and went to do something more interesting and useful (and there are lots of things that are more interesting and useful than freeing a stuck zip). [Read more…] about How Do You Solve Problems?
“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas” – well, it certainly is for the 380 people who went to “A Swing-Along Christmas” concert presented by the Thornden Community Wind Band with their special guests The Spitfire Sisters on Friday evening. This was a wonderful concert and a fine introduction to the week before Christmas.
[Read more…] about Thornden Community Wind Band Christmas Concert
Last week’s autumn production for the Eastleigh Operatic & Musical Society gave us an Extravaganza of Musical Shows – a selection of both some of the better-known and lesser-known numbers from musical theatre.
There is a huge canon of musical shows to choose from, and the company had selected an eclectic programme to showcase the skills of the performers. [Read more…] about Review: Extravaganza of Musical Shows by Eastleigh Operatic and Musical Society
You may have noticed in the news media that there was a Presidential election in the USA last week. You may also be vaguely aware that not everyone was happy with the result. Well, here we see an important and valuable lesson about the democratic process:
You don’t always get the result that you want.
As expected, The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band “The Spitfires” gave an outstanding performance at their concert on 5th November. A varied programme included musicals, military marches, and classical pieces – even The Village People’s music got a look in.
The concert included two soloists. The first sang Nessun Dorma – a piece normally heard as a tenor voice, but no way diminished by the soprano (I think it was) at the concert. A wonderful voice, singing the high notes with as much precision and clarity as the lower ones. [Read more…] about Review: The Spitfires: Last Night of the Proms 2016 – the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band
Sometimes I write reviews of concerts and shows; sometimes I write about places to go for a day out. This post isn’t intended to be either of those, though it may look a bit like both.
Last week I fulfilled an ambition I’ve held for several years by going to see the stage version of The Railway Children. This was one of my most-loved books as a child (and that of my sister too), and the 1970 film is undoubtedly one of my all-time favourites. [Read more…] about Review: The Railway Children
On Saturday, 5th November 2016, The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band “The Spitfires” will be in concert at Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church.
The concert promises a wide range of music from the Village People to Puccini, and will end with the band’s rousing “Last Night of the Proms” finale including Pomp and Circumstance (aka Land of Hope and Glory), Auld Lang Syne, Rule Britannia and Sunset. [Read more…] about Spitfires in Concert – Last Night of the Proms – 5th November 2016
A new coffee shop has opened in Eastleigh town centre.
Now, your reaction to this might be “Bill Bryson was right; Eastleigh needs a new coffee shop like a fish needs a bicycle”.
In a previous post Coffee vs Discount in Eastleigh I pondered the reasons for the consumer demand for expensive coffee. [Read more…] about Too Many Coffee Shops in Eastleigh? Think Again.
It’s that time of year when new students are leaving for university. This post is for them.
University is the greatest opportunity you will ever get for meeting new people and taking up new hobbies and challenges. Make the most of that opportunity. [Read more…] about Leaving for University
A few weeks ago, faced with a small clutch of younglings (and two grandparents) to entertain, we visited two of our local county parks – Hampshire County Council’s Royal Victoria and Eastleigh Borough Council’s Itchen Valley.
These proved to be outstanding choices. I’ve visited both parks before, but being accompanied by such a range of ages helped me to appreciate what marvellous leisure assets these places are. [Read more…] about In Praise of Royal Victoria and Itchen Valley Country Parks
It was back to the 1920s at Thornden School last week.
I don’t mean that slates and the 3 R’s were reintroduced, or that poor performance in class was admonished with a cane across the hand.
No, I mean that this was the decade in which the school’s summer performance of “Singing in the Rain” is set. [Read more…] about Review: Thornden School – Singing in the Rain
The Thornden Community Wind Band presented their summer concert, “Round the World in 90 minutes” on Friday 17 June. This was a light-hearted programme of music loosely themed on a trip around the world. Light-hearted doesn’t mean low quality. This was a performance of very high calibre – and great entertainment.
The auditorium was metaphorically became an aeroplane for the concert. The audience were the passengers, the conductor was the pilot, and the band was the engine. We appreciated the range of instruments during the “engine testing” at the start of the concert when a representative from each section played one or two bars of their own choice. [Read more…] about Review: Thornden Community Wind Band Concert
What’s the secret of comedy?
Yes, but what else do you need for a play to be funny. A witty script – maybe with some running gags. Visual gags to complement the verbal ones; possibly a bit of intentional confusion caused by misunderstandings and/or mistaken identity – particularly when the audience are in on the joke and the characters aren’t; and slapstick, done well, will always amuse an audience. [Read more…] about Review: One Man, Two Guvnors by Thornden School
You may have noticed that Britain’s Got Talent is back on our screens.
I’ll admit to having an ambivalent attitude to the programme. It’s not something I go out of my way to watch but when I do I find it generally entertaining. [Read more…] about Not Britain’s Got Talent
The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (better known as The Spitfires) returned to Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church last weekend for a St George’s Day concert in aid of One Community.
As we have come to expect from a band of such high calibre, the concert showcased the musician’s skills and wide repertoire. We were also treated to a display by the band’s Corps of Drums, who had been busy with other scouting activities at the October concert.
[Read more…] about Review: The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band St. George’s Day Concert 2016
In the third and final reminiscence from the late 1980s, Chippy tells us his memories of transport and travel at the time.
Strange as it may seem, I think there was more traffic coming through Winchester Road / Bournemouth Road in those days. I often drive that way on a Friday now, and the queues are nothing like I remember. A lot of local traffic would use that route rather than the notorious A33. [Read more…] about Chandler’s Ford from the 1980s – Part 3
Chippy Minton moved to Chandler’s Ford in the late 1980s. In this second instalment of his memories from the time, he writes about some of the shops that were around Chandler’s Ford and Eastleigh at the time.
The Chestnut Avenue hypermarket had been there for some years. In those days it was still trading as Gateway (having recently changed from Carrefour – and many people still referred to it as Carrefour). Asda took over the store fairly soon after I moved to the area – though continued to sell Gateway branded goods for several weeks. The store closed over an Easter weekend and reopened as a fully Asda-ised store. [Read more…] about Chandler’s Ford from the 1980s – Part 2
I had an eye test appointment last week in Eastleigh. This was the only reason I needed to go to the town centre, but while I was there I visited one of the many coffee shops for refreshment.
As I sipped my Americano I wondered why. Why had I decided to spend over £2 on a coffee that I didn’t really need when I was only a five-minute walk from home where I could have one for nothing. Why is a coffee stop now regularly included in a routine shopping trip? Why do we need so many coffee shops? [Read more…] about Coffee vs Discount in Eastleigh