Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

An appropriate time for a blog resurrection

It being Easter, after all. Happy Easter to everyone! My apologies for such a long absence. I had nothing to say and have been rather busy. But now, I am still busy but have some "chat", to coin a Rossism.

First item of interest was the circus! Lydia (the computer manager at the ICC for non-locals) kindly gave KK and myself two tickets for "Le Grande Cirque" at Newcastle's Theatre Royal last week, since she was unable to attend. So, we got some excellent tickets (in the Grand Circle no less!) for an absolutely MINDBLOWING show. According to KK, they are an offshoot of Cirque de Soleil and it showed. They worked wonders in the relatively small space of the theatre's stage, and we were treated to feats of strength, balance, acrobatics and - to keep the chaps happy during set alterations - some rather tasty ladies dancing in their smalls. If you get the chance to go sometime, don't hesitate. It's a real rollercoaster, non-stop assault on the senses. Thanks again, Lydia.

On Friday, we were joined by KK's mum and went for dinner at Hide (how original). Stotty will be amused to learn which waiter we got: yes, the annoying twerp who loves telling you about his life. Anyway, that's not the story - when we got home, I had a voicemail on my mobile from my brother-in-law. He and my sister were at a somewhat surreal gig: one of the b-in-l's friends had arranged for Ian McNabb (of The Icicle Works fame: link) to play at his house! Apparently this is something McNabb does; you provide £500, a bed and a crate of beers, and he turns up, jams and has a laugh. So, I called back and was promptly handed to Ian (we're best buddies now) and after some banter he asked if I wanted to put in a request. So, I asked for "Hollow Horse" (have a listen to the original here, hope Ian doesn't mind), and was duly treated to an acoustic performance down the dog and bone.

Yesterday we played the role of what KK and I affectionately call "North-Face-Jacket-Wearing-Middle-Class-National-Trust-Lovies", and went to Raby Castle. We've been wanting to go for a while, having driven past enough times, but it's not normally open on a weekend - apparently through lack of interest! I have no idea why, as it's a great day out. The castle and grounds are pretty spectacular, and inside is just as impressive, a real mix of mediaeval fortress and 18th century stately home. The gem is perhaps the Barons' Hall, supposedly the longest room in the country (or something like that) and the birth place of the plotted "Rising of the North" in 1569. The best bit though, is that they have cannons!

and even a cannonade (I think it's too small to be a carronade)...

I'm sure you can imagine the Master & Commander related fun I had once I'd seen them.


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