Well November turned out to be as busy as I expected it to be.
It started with going to the cinema to see the second Black Panther film Wakanda Forever. Overall, I did enjoy it, though it was too long. I have to say the tribute to Chadwick Boseman at the start did have me tearing up.
That week was also my Dad’s birthday and my parents anniversary so on the Sunday we collected Dad from his care home and took the pair of them out for lunch at a local pub. We had a lovely time and Dad thoroughly enjoyed himself. I asked him what to drink and he instantly asked for a large glass of Merlot so that is what he got! We were all absolutely stuffed afterwards so as my brother was with us too he pushed Dad back to the care home with Mum and Himself and I went for a long walk to burn off a few of the calories we had just eaten.
The next week I went to the theatre twice. The first time was at a little arts venue in Reading to see the comedian Matt Holness in his spoof character, the narcissistic horror writer Garth Marenghi (a tongue in cheek Stephen King/Shaun Hutson mash-up).
It’s 20 years since he first created the character and I know it best from the short but hilarious series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace which aired on Channel 4 in 2004, which I loved.
Himself and I sat and re-watched the whole series before we went, and thankfully it has held up well due to it being deliberately made to look cheap and clunky. We went on the first night of the tour and it started with Garth doing a reading from his new novel ‘Terrortome’ which had the whole place roaring with laughter. If you have ever read a horror novel from the late 70’s – 80’s they definitely had a certain style and it was a perfect parody. The second half of the show was very brave as Matt did a Q&A in character with a member of the audience picked out to come on stage with him and field the questions. This relied on members of the audience knowing his work as 'Garth' very well and also on them being prepared to play along and think up questions, you also risked the chance of getting someone not so great on stage with you. As it was a small sold-out venue packed with fans, and the fact Matt Holness is incredible at off the cuff quick repartee it did work on this occasion, but I suspect he may change the format as the tour progressed.
This was followed by a book signing of Terrortome, again as Garth (though Himself did bring along another book which Garth 'allowed' Matt to sign!) Our copy of Terrortome was dedicated with ‘May all your eggs be poached in soup’ which is a reference to one of my favourite scenes in Dark Place.
Interestingly the tour was at smaller sized venues around the UK and sold out completely within 48 hours of the tickets going on sale, so it has now been extended into next year with a whole new set of dates at large theatres.
The following day I went to see The Mousetrap at the New Theatre in Oxford with my friend Charlotte. It’s the 3rd time I’ve seen it now, though it has been many years since the last time. It was good, though this cast did play it too much for laughs for my liking, making it like a pantomime in a oh no he didn’t oh yes he did vein. The play has comic moments in it, but should also have a constant level of menace. It was sad to see the theatre was only about half full. I’m guessing a combination of covid and the cost of living having an effect.
That weekend I took myself out for a slightly muddier than I expected walk to test my new walking boots. Yes, I have new walking boots! There is a tale to tell as well.
At the start of the month my brother was going to have his covid booster at the football stadium in Oxford and decided to call in at one of those huge outdoor clothing/camping shops on the way, so I cadged a lift. I tried on several pairs of boots including the ones I finally bought, they were by far the most comfortable, so they were the ones I went for in the end. I also picked up a waterproof jacket as I have a lightweight and heavyweight jacket but nothing in between and it was reduced to £35. When we got to the till my brother paid because he gets a membership discount and also had another 15% off code. I put my two things down and the lad scanned them first so we could easily work out how much I owed my brother later. We were running late at this point, so my brother quickly paid, and we shot off though I did think at the time it seemed rather cheap even with the discounts. When we can to work the bill out later it showed that the walking boots had scanned through as 0.00 on the bill!
So I got a free pair of boots, my brother was livid though he did say he should take me shopping with him more often. Thankfully, the boots are extremely comfortable because it’s not like I can really take them back.
Talking of boosters I also got my flu jab and covid booster in November thankfully 2 weeks apart, I didn’t fancy having both at the same time. When I got my covid booster I bumped into someone I used to work with so we spent our 15 minute sit down afterwards having a good catch up.
On the 24th I went to see the Carole King musical Beautiful with Soo. We had tickets to go and see it with our friend Melissa during the first lockdown so had been waiting patiently for it to come round again. Sadly, Melissa was poorly on the night and we weren’t able to find anyone to take her ticket at such short notice, so it was just Soo and I. We went for a beer first because I had had ‘A Day’ at work and needed to decompress a bit and followed this with delicious pizza at Franca Manca. The musical was just as good as I remembered it but again sadly not a sold-out venue.
In terms of purchases this month. There may have been a couple of bags...
The tiger print dress I had fallen in love with and ordered to wear for our anniversary arrived sadly too late, but I love it on so it’s a keeper.
I also had a voucher so bought a couple of dresses from the label Finery. I have a few of their dresses now after falling in love with a blue star print dress a couple of years ago which has been a firm favourite every since. I can't show them as one is in the wash and one in the ironing mountain!
I also finally found a new camera with good reviews and a price tag that didn’t give me heart failure. Himself set it up and charged it but the handbook could be written in double Dutch for all the sense it makes so I need to look up and see if there is a video guide on YouTube or something! In fact this is why this blog post is late becuse I couldn't figure out how to take pictures to go with it. I'm such a technophobe!
Talking of new technology, I have been in complete denial all year that I am going to have to replace my trusted phone. As of next March, they are turning off the 3G network so it will no longer work. Sad times indeed.
I have finally accepted that research needs to be done and think I have identified a replacement. I will finally have to have a smart phone for my home life (I have one for work) SIGH. As I only make calls, send texts, take the odd picture here and there, oh and use whatsapp I have no need for an all singing and dancing phone. I also resent having to pay hundreds of pounds for something like a phone. Ridiculous.
So at some point I will have to do the deed and go to the phone store, if nothing else I need a new Sim card as mine is an old style one that no longer fits 'modern' phones.