Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Sugar Shoulders

It's all Friend's fault ... as I perched precariously on a high stool with a microphone almost poked up my left nostril, she said  "Go, Beyonce !"  ... and off we went.

It's now Culture Capital 2018 for Leeuwarden and, as the poster of us all carrying the Frisian lily pad in the station reminds us, we're all supposed to do our bit. 

Well , Friend had translated the Historisch Center's guided tour app's voiceover script into flawless English and now I was going to be the 'voice'. Three students from the Friesland College's Sound Design faculty were to do the recording as part of their coursework. 

There were two scripts, one for children and another for adults ; a total of 29 pages.  Three hours had been allowed to record both the English and German voiceovers.

We started off in great style ... the children's one read easily, being zippier , with shorter sentences. It was helped by the fact that I've been reading to various children all my life, starting with an endless, increasing multitude of smaller cousins.

After that we had a break , while someone else recorded the German children's section . Then it was my turn again... the adult's bit.  By this time I'd read the script far too many times and I successfully mangled whole chunks of it but the students were endlessly patient and we kept on going. Until the penultimate paragraph describing what you can see in the Grocer's Shop and its displays ."Old fashioned sweets , like Syrup Soldiers and ullevelen ..."

And that's where it all went wrong....  At least ten attempts were made  and  every time I said Sugar Shoulders . On take eleven I finally managed syrup shoulders ... and after recording the last paragraph , we gave up. I hope the German lady zipped faultlessly through her final section and the apps will be downloadable before it's someone else's turn to be Culture Capital of Europe ... it's Coventry, I think, in 2019.  

Monday, 12 February 2018

I'd Better Buy A Yoga Mat ...

I was given a Netflix voucher by YD who thought it would be fun ... and unfortunately it is. The first weekend I watched all 30 episodes of Fargo and started to talk with a Montana accent.
Then it was Grimm , Ainsley Harriot eating street food and The Good Place.

 I'm becoming housebound. If it weren't for the fact that you have to place a minimum order of 50 Euros to get the supermarket to deliver your order , I might have stopped leaving the flat at all.

 I'm still going to Keep Fit but now the physiotherapist and I are exchanging recommendations ( we share an enjoyment of modern American detective fiction) and I fear it's only a matter of time for her , too.

To be on the safe side, I'd better buy a Yoga mat so that I can at least pretend to keep active at the same time.

This position might be good ... called Anantasana ( the Sanskrit for sofa holding , according to my Dutch handy handbook ) it looks achievable and not incompatable with bingeing through a few more series.

All suggestions wecome.

Friday, 26 January 2018

"Have you plugged it in ?"

Female solidarity ... I'm not sure the young woman on the cable company help desk is familiar with the concept. When I told her that my television kept on telling me that it had no signal she asked me if I had plugged the router in. Just how old does she think I am? I should have asked her why the television would tell me that it had no no signal but did still have pretty coloured lights, but I might not have understood the the answer . Anyway I'm obviously elderly and gaga . The young man on the help desk was much more flattering but I remember teaching him to count , which he's probably found useful . But of course it could be her ageism ... or my incompetence ...

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Putting OnThe Glitz....

I've been looking through the shops' Christmas folders ...

It's not enough any more to crawl out of bed , shove the Roast of your choice ( Turkey, Beef, Goose or Nut ) into the oven and collapse over some burnt toast, while admiring the contents of someone's stocking . No, one's supposed to dress up for the occasion special Christmas gear. And I don't just mean a Santa hat . You've all got to have the right onesie

 The children

The dog

And the husband

Whilst drinking an Apple, Banana, Mango, Avocado and Spinach smoothie
         ....I'm looking forward to it

Monday, 11 December 2017

Snow , Salt And Socks.

Yesterday it snowed everywhere . And , as a family , we don't really do snow .

In Leeuwarden , I sat cosily inside , eating baked apples and reading a murder story. In Amsterdam , YD resolutely walked round the block and rushed back up to her flat and Netflix . In London , Smitonius refilled both bird feeders.  In Leicester , Middle Daughter and family were mildly surprised to find they had two sleds and took them off to the park , after lunch.

Here the Town Hall dusted off the salt spreaders and they trundled round town with flashing golden lights all day , joining in the Christmas fun . Then the local news warned us that so much slushy,  salty snow could freeze solid overnight and might make early roads extremely dangerous .

And this morning , I opened an email from MD to find a photo of Elder Grandson's lower lip twice as large as usual with some decorative embroidery on it . Not a sledding accident ; no sooner than they'd got home than he'd fallen on the stairs , split his lip and ended the day in A&E . Outraged, later on the 'phone today to me, he explained , "I had SNOW on my sock".

Oh dear , perhaps he'll never be part of the bobsleigh team. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How Can I Have Forgotten ?

It's only 340 days or so ago , so how can I have forgotten that days in December shrink from twentyfour hours to seven , that in December rolls of Sellotape are only two foot long and that in December the town's entire population takes it in turns to join the queue in the Post Office.

 That there'll be wet snow on the day you've arranged to meet a vague acquaintance for coffee and icy fog when you go Christmas shopping in Groningen . And no heating on the train when you come back from Amsterdam.

Still , at least this year , even though M&S has closed in Holland, I've managed to get hold of a Christmas pudding , know where the nutcracker is and have posted the cards so if all else fails Christmas won't be a complete washout.

And I've seen the perfect Christmas shoes.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Keeping Busy In My Old Age ...

No , I haven't slipped down the back of the sofa or gone off on a round the world trip ... 

I've just been pursuing a certain Pokemon character . I've got the whole thing down to a T .

Pick the toy shop with the most plastic clutter in the window . Fight your way though a sea of pink sparkly things and fluffy things . Interrupt one of the employees who is rushing out of the stock room with a trolley piled high with shiny boxes .

The best informed member of staff usually looks too young to work anywhere . You might in fact remember him from his pre-school meltdown days , in which case don't remind him that he was frightened of the swing or forget to admire his almost-moustache . Don't try to impress him with your computer skills ; let him find the right Pokemon pages.

If  they haven't got what you want , don't despair . Have a coffee and look in another shop or two .

 By day three , get on a train and widen the search.  Eventually, like me,  you'll find something roughly right and the manager will throw in a free pack of Pokemon cards, delighted with the prospect of getting rid of you .

On the way back to the station, remember that Birthday Boy and all his/our relatives will need Christmas presents next month .