Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sm. Boy Takes Over World

James and I played Risk today - he did much better than the last time we played, about a year ago. He plays more strategy games and is getting better at the 'don't spread yourself too thin' concept.

Here's the board, right before we called it a draw:

I was blue and James was grey, which you can't quite tell from the picture. We were just about tied (with ongoing conflict in Europe).

Yesterday the Bach Choir performed in St Mary's Church in Bury - it was one of the best concerts I've done with them. We sang quite well and the soloists were fantastic. The mezzo-soprano was a replacement at the last minute (the scheduled one was ill) and she had the most gorgeous operatic voice. Our conductor works at the English National Opera and so has a rather large database of opera singers at his fingertips.

We performed with the Suffolk Baroque players, and for one of the pieces had some Baroque trumpets perform with us for two of the pieces. Then the orchestra played an aria from Julius Caesar with the mezzo and the most spectacular Baroque horn that I've ever heard. I heard the horn player warming up and complimented her on her playing, but I was completely unprepared for what she played in the concert. It was a really complex piece, with lots of running scales and trills. All of which were unbelievably hard and beautifully played. I was really glad that we weren't singing while she was playing - it meant that I could watch and drool. I've tried to find the Suffolk Baroque website and can't - I'll have to ask our secretary for their contact info so I can hear the hornist again.

Here's the back of the church before the concert

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Here are some pictures from our walk last weekend - the weather was gorgeous.

I've been awol because we rented the first half of the first season of Lost on Saturday and have been watching the episodes every night. I don't think it's as good as Heroes but it's really compelling (and way better than 24).

And, as we hadn't had enough TV, we watched The Illusionist last night. It was a great movie. I can't think of an Edward Norton movie that I haven't liked. It was really well done and had a great story. And the magic was v. cool.

I think another blogging hiatus is in order: it's a concert weekend, so check us out if you're in the neighborhood on Saturday night!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day!

It's hard to believe that 5 years ago tonight I was shouting "CUNT!" from the Colby rooftops (in the Vagina Monologues). It is an amazing show and we had a cast of some of the strongest women I know. It's in the top 5 most amazing things I've ever done, and I'll never forget it.

This morning, John woke me up with some cards, and this one had me chuckling all day:
And on the inside, instead of the sappy message, he wrote, "My ordinary wife didn't get a Valentines card!". I'm the special wife...teehee! I love it - I've been chuckling about it all day. He also gave me a brand new shiny 'collector's edition' DVD of Ratatouille. So why am I sitting here blogging? Good's movie time!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The other Eye, and a recipe

Here are some snowdrops that we found on Saturday - there were a zillion more behind them. I'm going to plant some bulbs in the fall - there have been crocuses and daffodils popping up every where and I love it!

Hello, sheeps.

If anyone can explain these to me, I'd be grateful. NO idea what they are. They were by themselves in the middle of a pond in the middle of some woodland.

We thought this tree looked like a giant squirrel:

John and I had the most glorious pasta for dinner - here's the recipe.

Pasta '34'
by StowmarKate (with assistance from John)
serves 2

lots of garlic, sliced (we used 6 cloves)
6 mushrooms, sliced
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (quartered if they're large)
2 tbs capers (we like the ones in salt)
olive oil
squiggly pasta

Put the pasta water on. Chop the garlic, mushrooms and tomatoes. Rinse and drain the capers. Pour yourself a glass of wine and put your feet up until the water's boiled.

Add the pasta to the boiling water. Put the olive oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry for a minute or two. (Don't get it too brown - it'll be in the pan for a while). Add the mushrooms to the garlic and oil, sautee until glassy-looking. Add the tomatoes and the capers, poke with a wooden spoon.

Serve hot with lots of pepper and some more olive oil.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We went to Eye yesterday for a walk - the weather has been absolutely gorgeous this weekend. Glorious sunshine both days and really mild. Eye is an old village off the beaten track with the ruins of a castle and a spectacular church.Loved the gargoyles:

And the designs in the stonework:

And the tower (for bells, natch):

The inside was incredibly ornate - it's quite unusual.

The walk was the perfect length - 2 1/2 miles. There was a playground near the end - here's the small boy on the swings. Those were some very muddy wellies.

And here's the hubby. I call this one 'Green & Black'. Couldn't resist. His face is a bit washed out - we'll just have to go back with the bigger camera.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

More Bells

I went to bells last night - I took this picture of the church tower in the dark. It's quite grainy but I thought it was a neat angle.

There were 7 of us there last night: 3 'veteran' ringers, 2 people who have been ringing for about a year, and 2 of us who have just started. I'm really psyched - I can now ring the bell entirely by myself, although I still need someone standing next to me. I panic pretty easily - I need to work on that. It's getting more comfortable, though.

I also had my first try at 'change ringing' last night, where I was ringing half of the bell with one of the more experienced ringers while the two intermediates were learning how to call the changes. It was really neat the way they were teaching us - we were all practicing different things but while ringing together.

I love how mind-emptying it is - I had quite a week at work and there isn't room for thinking about anything other than the bells. It's how I feel yoga should be, except that I can never get my mind to empty during yoga. I need something absorbing to distract me, I guess.

I had an early Physio appointment this morning and it's a gorgeous day - the sun on the church in Woolpit was gorgeous.

Here's the little bit of spring on our kitchen windowsil: some daffs that are nearly done and some hyacinths that are held together with a rubber band because they keep falling over. There are three of them in a tiny pot, and I didn't think to replant them before they flowered. They smell SO good.

And Mom & Dad sent me this fantastic bag from Muji in New York - I love it! It's the perfect size for my wallet and phone and a book. All I ever need, really.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Yup, it's for us.

I called our friendly neighborhood Blockbuster (the selection is mediocre and the fact that the employees are awesome is the only reason we're not on a Netflixy thing) to find out if they had Tales From Earthsea, the latest film from Hayao Miyazaki's son. They'd recommended it and it was out when James and I went in last Saturday, but they had it when we called tonight.

When we arrived in the store, I went to the spot on the shelf and it wasn't there. The Blockbuster Guy was standing by the counter holding the DVD, and said, "I thought it was for you guys!" He'd taken it off the shelf and was holding it for us. Literally - in his hand - holding it. He also looked up the first season of Lost (out) and The Dresden Files (out). See...not much selection. But v. friendly. We got some other movie - The Walker - we'll watch it tomorrow night and see how it goes. I just read the reviews for Earthsea and they haven't been great...but if James likes Miyazaki I'm not going to stand in his way!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Germs on all fronts

Both my office-mate and the hubby were home sick today. Since I spend 95% of my time with one or the other of them, I can't see that I'm going to make it through unscathed. In defense, I had a grapefruit after dinner tonight - I sat at the kitchen table and peeled it and thought about all the tasty grapefruits that we liberated from the dining hall at breakfast time and had as a snack in front of the fire in the evening after lots of studying senior year.

I feel like a bit of a book snob: I just read three Maeve Binchy books that the MiL loaned me. And I kind of liked them. But don't want to admit it. Does that make me a bad person? (In case you're interested, in order of preference: The Evening Class, Quentins, and The Copper Beech). I'm not sure that I'll have the gumption to take more of her books out of the library, but they were enjoyable.

I also read another of the 'myths': Jeanette Winterson's Weight. I didn't like it as much as The Penelopiad or Dream Angus, but it was still quite good. There was a very witty part about what really happened to Laika, but overall the portrayal of Heracles as an endlessly horny 20something got tired pretty quickly.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I wanna watch the Superbowl

From the Radio Times website. Maybe I can stay home tomorrow? 10:50pm to 3am isn't really going to work with my schedule. I love that they have a 'guide to the rules of American football,' though.

All times are ish

I went to bells on Friday - I can now ring a bell on my own. Well, by 'on my own' I mean I can ring it with someone who knows what they're doing standing rightthere ready to catch something if I screw up. I'm still finding it surprisingly scary, though. I also have what are probably the most bizarre bell-injuries ever. I was wearing a somewhat tight oxford shirt under a sweater, and when I raised my arms over my head for the backstroke, my shirt was digging into my upper arms. Completely forgot about it until I was brushing my teeth, when I noticed that I have HUGE welts on my arms from the shirt. Good thing it's not summer - if I were wearing a tank top people might think that hubby was beating me. Granted, in odd places, but still. I'll try not to get injured at practice next week. It's a dangerous 'sport' - one of the v. experienced ringers broke her finger when she got it stuck in a rope a few weeks ago. Ouch!

John and I ran errands in the morning yesterday and then decided sort of late in the day to go to Woodbridge for a walk. I'd only ever been to the part of town by the river, which is gorgeous, but it turns out that there's a v. cute high street with lots of independent shops and neat places to poke around. When John was growing up, his parents spent a lot of time on a boat moored in Woodbridge, so he knows the town pretty well. We drooled in the cookshop, the bookshop(s), the lamp store, and some art galleries. This little guy was keeping watch outside an art gallery/antique/junk shop. V. funny.

We stumbled on a wood furniture store, filled to the brim with all kinds of gorgeous furniture, extremely well priced. None of which would fit in our house. The sign outside was the best:

It was just up the street from this - I loved the way it's silhouetted against the sky.

Here's the harbor, looking cold and wintry:

And this warmed me up:

After we got home, we went to the Stowmarket Regal to see The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. 8/10 on IMDB and 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes - we thought we couldn't miss. It was LONG. And dull. It was pretty, though. The cinematography was stunning and Brad Pitt is easy on the eyes. And you know from the title what happens at the end - I felt like I spent the whole movie waiting for it. And about half way through started thinking, "Ok, kill him now! No? NOW! ... still no? Bloody hell."