Too many requests for this thing – so here you go. The whole sodding lot. Now stop asking.
A good night for you too long and I don’t have a good night to go in and out and then go back and then I
B to the best of us who are you gonna was a great night of my birthday party and then the night I went and had my
C to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a great night and I have a lot to say and it was
D to be honest I would like it if I had to do a refund and I would go to a different store but if they
E to the best of us who are you gonna was a great day to see you and your friends in a great way and a
F to be fair to a refund or refund the price and I don’t know if I can refund it but I gotta is
G to the best of us to get a refund for it and I don’t know what it happens but it doesn’t matter to us who I can
H to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a great day for me and my dad to get a drink with us tonight
I have no no problem at least you know what that is about to me haha was a great night I had to go get back with
J to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was the best way for me haha is to be an excellent day of our week
K to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was the best way for me haha is to be an excellent day of our week
L to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a good night and a good day for me a lot to come to get
M to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a good night and a good day for me a couple weeks later and then
N to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a great night performance and a performance in a review and the best of all
O I have no no problem at least not the same thing I have to say I have a lot to say to you I know
P to be a fair bit to a good job and I have no idea how much I would like it but it is a great
Q to the point where they were the only person who was sent a message to me a refund for the money I paid to do
R to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a great night and a good night for a good day and I enjoyed the
S was a great night and a great day for me a bit of it haha is to be an excellent night of the year in a
T to the point where they were the first floor of a restaurant and I had to get to a restaurant The Watermill is a great
U to be an excellent day to the day of my day today so I’m going on in the day job for the day and then
V to be a good airline for a great day of work for the best way of the business and a good job it was the
W was a great night and I had to go back and then go back and try a little more to it and I don’t
X to the best of us who are the only person in this the group who knows how about you haha was a great night performance and
Y to be an excellent day to work with a good day and night out and then I will get to see it again soon I have
Z to the best of us to get a refund for it haha was a great night and I was gonna was the night of a good day and
Always wash hands thoroughly before and after handling raw food, including vegetables.
Keep raw foods, including vegetables, separate from ready-to-eat foods.
Use different chopping boards, knives and utensils for raw and ready-to-eat foods, or wash them thoroughly in between preparing different foods.
Unless packaging around vegetables says ‘ready to eat’ you must wash, peel or cook them before consuming.
To wash vegetables, immerse them in cold water.
The majority (well, at least it feels that way) of musical theatre performers seem to be doing something or other online. It is quite impossible to keep up with the sheer amount of content being pumped up at the time of writing (three weeks after a UK-wide lockdown began because of Covid-19) – arguably, the singer James Blunt said it best when he tweeted on 25 March 2020, “During lockdown, while many other artists are doing mini-concerts from their homes, I thought I’d you all a favour and not.” Stories abound, too, of streamed shows that people have paid for which then fail to stream or whose connection is severed part-way through due to sheer volume of web traffic.
Sharon Sexton and Rob Fowler seem to be more than aware of all this, and though they may be a little late to the party (of online content), it is with good reason. They have, in their own way and in their own time, spliced together over an hour of high-quality video footage. There are a few bits from the archives but most of it is fresh, with plenty of shots of them singing away in their front room, or otherwise outdoor images of the English countryside (Lincolnshire, to be more precise).
I counted fifteen numbers, which range from the emotionally charged to the utterly exuberant – variety, after all, is the spice of life, and in this broad selection, itself a combination of self-penned words and music and cover versions of songs written by others, lies something for almost everyone. There’s some nifty camera work to be enjoyed, too, in amongst the singing, as well as some interesting commentary – admittedly this will become somewhat less interesting on second (and subsequent) viewing, but the context in which the songs are placed is good to hear about, and is the sort of thing that one might expect if we’d been sat in The Crazy Coqs in London or some other suitable venue hearing these tunes in concert.
For instance, if the first few songs seem very laid back, it is because a good number of them were written whilst the pair were on holiday! I suppose songs are better written, if they are to be written at all, during a bit of downtime rather than when one is performing eight shows a week. I rather liked the mix of tunes regulars like yours truly have heard several times before with ones that perhaps haven’t had quite so much exposure, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll get to about the sixth song in and realise that while these songs are wonderful to hear, they aren’t exactly showtunes. I won’t give everything away here but let’s just say that if it’s showtunes that you are after, your patience shall be rewarded.
The harmonies are quite brilliant, with the tunes perfectly pitched, with verve and strength when needed (and subtlety in other places), but never overpowering. Some choices of expression in the lyrics made me smile – it’s an interesting idea, for instance, in ‘Delight’, to drink until one is sober (as opposed to drinking to get drunk). The art of storytelling through song is very much abound in this charming 67 minutes of musical and lyrical excellence.
‘Grounded – The Living Room Concert’ is available for £10 via PayPal to email@example.com, or otherwise use that email address to request alternative payment methods.
Walter filters – plumbed-in water filters are relatively inexpensive and can help remove lead from water – making it tastier too, which means you’ll want to drink more of it!
Blinds – everyone feels better if they have enough sleep. If you wake up in the night frequently, or during the early hours, try shutting out the light by using good quality blackout blinds or an eye mask.
Allergens – a common cause of allergies are microscopic, eight-legged creatures called dust mites. The best way to remove these irritating creatures is by regular vacuuming but it’s essential to buy the right model – there are machines that are specifically designed for dogs, wooden floors or carpets, for example.
Ergonomics – around one-third of Britons spend more than 10 hours a day seated, according to the British Chiropractic Association. Incorrect posture and the wrong chair can often contribute to back, neck or shoulder problems. Try an ergonomic chair, fitball or specialist cushion support, and if you have a home office, make sure your computer is at the right height – the screen should be level with your eyes. Also buy a gadget that cleans your computer peripherals. Tests show that most are dirtier than the average toilet seat!
Walk-in baths offer greater safety due to a range of key features
Slip-resistant – helps prevent slopping when getting in and out.
Low entry step – a foot (or less) high, for easier access.
Grab rails / built-in safe seat.
Walk in showers have the same type of slip-resistant surfaces and grab rails, as well as:
Low-level of flat shower tray – for easy access
Stairlifts let you stay active at home for longer. They should have:
Seatbelt / sensors – pressure-operated sensors stop the stairlift when an obstacle is detected.
Battery power – avoids the nightmare scenario of becoming stranded on your stairs in the dark during a power cut.
Rack-and-pinion operation – for a quieter, smoother ride.
Out and about
Mobility scooters are available for a variety of uses. A heavy, powerful device, for example, will get up hills and kerbs, but may not fit in your car. Meanwhile, 360 degree swivelling and flip-up arm rests will be key if you have very restricted mobility.
Weirdly, yes. To a scientist, the wetness of a liquid depends on its surface tension – that is, the tendency of its molecules to stick together in a droplet, rather than spread out. Water has a high surface tension (which is why tiny insects such as pond skaters can walk on it), which means, strangely, that it isn’t very wet as liquids go. Many others, including alcohol and acetic acid (vinegar), are much wetter. Water itself can be made wetter, though – by using ‘surfactants’ such as soap, which reduce surface tension.
It has been interesting to observe people’s reactions to the sudden closure of theatres (as well as pubs, restaurants and so on), and it has occurred to me that there are people for whom the theatre, as well as other forms of entertainment, is something that they depend on, at least in part, for their emotional and psychological wellbeing. In many ways, I understand it: there is, for me, nothing quite like the thrill of an excellent production, whether this comes in the form of a blockbuster musical in a large West End venue or a single-performer play in a room on the first floor of a pub.
Reading how distressed some people have become is in marked contrast to my own response, which has veered more towards frustration, and occasional anger, at certain organisations that are withholding refunds, or making it difficult for customers to obtain refunds. It is worth thanking those who have very swiftly acted to provide refunds, and following some very efficient and pleasant experiences I will name and shame (in a positive way), the Premier Inn hotel chain, The Crazy Coqs in London and the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester.
It may surprise some readers to discover I haven’t been depressed or at a loss as to what to do with an increased amount of spare time (something which has become infinite, or at least indefinite, since I am now ‘furloughed’ – there is, undoubtedly, some relief, that my day job employer thinks highly enough of me to keep me on the books, though as the Government points out, there is nothing to stop a company from making redundancies even whilst people are on furlough leave). Perhaps it is something to do with being a reviewer – more often than not, I attend the theatre with a view to casting a critical judgement on a production, which involves, at least for me, an element of being reserved, even cold, though (I hope) never uncivilised.
The few visitors I have received at home (prior to Covid-19, I hasten to clarify) will have noticed a vast amount of books, magazines and newspapers that have not yet been read, a position exacerbated by the sheer amount of theatrical productions I have ventured out to in recent years, both in London and further afield. I have no regrets about that, and I am reminded of one of the showtunes in A Chorus Line, ‘What I Did For Love’, in which the question is asked, ‘If today was the day you had to stop dancing, how would you feel?’ and the answer comes back, through song, ‘Kiss today goodbye, and point me toward tomorrow.’ And so, the mountains of papers are slowly but surely starting to recede, and the recycling bin is filling up quite nicely.
I had a nice ‘food box’ from Morrisons, the only sort of food delivery aside from takeaways from JustEat and Deliveroo I could get, delivered by DPD on Sunday, with their usual text messaging service to say it would be with me between 11:25am and 12:25pm (it actually arrived at 12:14pm, for those who really want to know), and will find ways of doing something with the variety of products I’ve been supplied with. If you told me even a week ago, I would be making carrot, cabbage and cucumber soup for myself I would have dismissed you for being beyond ridiculous.
But when my thoughts do turn to theatre, there have been some excellent experiences to look back on, particularly now that so many theatre organisations are making some archive footage of productions available. I had no idea what Zoom, Cameo or OnlyFans were before the lockdown – in short, they are amongst the relatively few businesses presumably turning a profit in the current situation – and I am sure there are other services and apps to be discovered in due course. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I am just going outside. To put the bins out.
These people don’t send ‘let’s make a plan soon’ emails, ring for a chat or talk about being busy. They only call from the car. When you do see them (which is not that often), they are always on time and good company, because they are not thinking: “Should I be doing something else right now?”
Doctors on call, project managers during a crisis, the sleepers in the Bourne series. PBs need to be contactable wherever, whenever. They can’t be separated from their smartphones, though they rarely speak on them except to say, “I’ll have to call you back.” PBs make you feel anxious and generally let you know they should be somewhere else important. They eat standing up and gallop down escalators.
They are up and energetic, brief and decisive on the phone (in the background you can hear the clacking of a keyboard or running water – these people are multitasking hard). They love to make a plan and will typically offer to go the extra distance (“No, let me pick it up – it’s only half an hour out of my way”). They also have no idea they are busy – this is just “life”, and they thrive on it.
NOT BUSY, DISORGANISED
Always short of breath on the phone, usually late, often in the middle of some drama involving loss of keys or muddling up dates. Quite capable of describing a manicure booking as a “logistical nightmare”. The impression the NBD gives is one of manic busyness, but on closer examination, you discover that while a lot is going on, it’s mostly crisis management, faffing and a lot of sharing.
ABs can’t make a plan for next week until they know how busy they are going to be, even when there is little chance anything will change. They always say they are busy, even when they are actually about to get in the bath. They panic if they have two social engagements in a row and will almost certainly cancel one. Don’t ask them why they can’t commit to X or Y. They feel “really busy”, that’s why.
MYTH: Chicken soup cures a cold
Chicken soup may be warm and comforting but there's no evidence it can actually cure a cold. Although there have been reports of chicken, ginger and some spices being therapeutic, a cold is a virus that just needs to take its course. The fluid in soup can help to replace lost fluid if you have a high temperature but, unfortunately, there are no magical cold-curing properties. Nutrients such as iron can help with immune function but you wouldn't get a significant amount from a bowl of soup, no matter how hearty it is.
MYTH: Carrots help you see in the dark
Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness and first manifests itself as night blindness. It can be easily prevented by a reasonable diet with some vitamin A. Carrots are packed with beta carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. However, to say you will see better in the dark if you eat lots of vitamin A is a bit twee. You will see normally if you have an adequate amount of vitamin A, not better. This was World War II propaganda as the Germans wondered why the British pilots were so good at attacking their planes at night. The RAF said it fed its pilots carrots to cover up the invention of radar, used to guide its planes.
MYTH: Chewing gum will stay in your system for seven years if you swallow it
Although chewing gum is indigestible, once swallowed it loses its stickiness and passes through your body much the same as all food, and at the same rate. But it’s not a good idea to swallow chewing gum. It can be a choking hazard, regardless of age.
MYTH: Reading in dim light will damage my sight
Reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired but it’s not harmful and cannot damage your vision. However, it can cause eye strain so it is important to have your eyesight checked regularly.
MYTH: Sitting on a cold floor gives you piles
An old wives’ tale. Piles (haemorrhoids) are swellings made up of enlarged small veins that can occur in the anus and lower rectum. They may develop for no apparent reason, but constipation and pregnancy are main risk factors for causing piles.
MYTH: Rubbing oil of cloves on the gums can bring relief from toothache
Oil of cloves has been used for centuries as a remedy for toothache. However, the benefits are tough to assess scientifically. When you do a medical study, the patient and doctor shouldn’t know which product they are testing. As cloves taste so strong, they are able to recognise the product. It has a placebo effect and therefore it’s difficult to know what’s a real effect and what’s mind over matter.
TRUE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Perhaps the most obvious benefits from eating apples is that they are low in calories (about 95 for an average apple) yet are high in soluble fibre (about four grams per average apple). Soluble fibre helps to prevent gut conditions such as constipation, piles and bowel cancer, and may help to lower your cholesterol level. Regular apple eaters seem to have a reduced risk of developing some cancers and heart disease, too. This is attributed to the rich source of chemicals, called antioxidants, in apples. They are also a good source of vitamin C.
Bladder infections are common among elderly men and recurrent attacks may be linked to kidney stones or prostate problems. These can include an enlarged prostate which affects the vast majority of men in their 80s and older.
Obstruction around the prostate, or a swollen prostate, would cause urine to remain in the bladder, causing an infection. This usually develops quickly and is often a result of dehydration because fewer trips to the lavatory can worsen existing bladder problems. Sufferers are likely to develop a fever quite suddenly, be in pain and feel generally unwell. Often they become confused and disorientated.
The diagnosis of a urinary tract infection is confirmed using a simple urine test. Antibiotics are the first line of treatment and usually work within the five to seven days for younger patients. However, if the infection is causing severe pain and the patient is elderly, hospital treatment is advised. There, intravenous antibiotics can be administered more rapidly, the patient can be quickly rehydrated using a drip and progress monitored more carefully.
The actual cause of an infection is bacteria within the patient’s body which get from their normal home in the bowel to the bladder which becomes infected. Precautions are necessary because such infections may be serious, even life-threatening, without prompt treatment. In rare cases the infection may travel to the kidneys causing kidney failure or lead to septicaemia – blood poisoning.
To the cells, please, officer
Two police officers who stopped at traffic lights were surprised when a drunk climbed into the dark of their patrol car and asked to be taken to the cells. Police in Stockholm said: “He sort of fell into the back seat, but just said he wanted to go and sleep it off in a holding cell. The man was very intoxicated. He was brought in and left to sleep it off. After six hours we sent him home. it was still a lot better than when they pass out and we are forced to carry them away.”
Women cyclists are putting their sex lives at risk by not sitting up straight in the saddle. Placing the handlebar lower than the seat increases pressure on the genital region, decreases sensation and reduces ability to detect vibration, according to a US study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
A barmy booze bar
A shopper was told she couldn’t buy alcohol from Asda, even though she was 39 and with her 70-year-old mother. Francis Fitzgerald could have £300 only if they both had ID, a checkout worker in Canterbury said.
Oh no, no, no
Apparently, there is such a thing as too many orgasms. Kim Ramsey, a 44-year-old nurse from New Jersey, America, feels constantly aroused and is plagued by up to 100 a day, which are triggered by even the smallest of movements. “Other women wonder how to have an orgasm,” she said. “I wonder how to stop mine.”
Walter, Walter everywhere
It can be difficult to agree on baby names, so when Erotides Brandao suggested to her husband Walter that they name their first child after him, he was delighted. In fact, he was so delighted that after their daughter Walterlucia was born, he requested that any other children they had were named after him, too. The couple, from Paraiba, Brazil, went on to have eight more daughters and six sons – Walterlivia, Walterlenia, Walterlonia, Walterlacia, Walterluzia, Walerluana, Walterangelina, Waltersilviana, Walteremanuel, Walterluis, Walteroliverio, Waltermarcelo, Walterlicinio and Walterfernando, as well as Walterlucia. Walter has now passed away but his name lives on with 33 grandchildren also named after him.
Boy racer Heinz Koenig, 19, ended up in hospital after a giant stereo speaker hit him on his head as he braked hard in Bavaria, Germany.
£4 trial is a real steal
A judge hit out after a £4 theft case was brought before him – at a cost to taxpayers of £1,200. John Neligan said magistrates should have dealt with Linda Meehan, 55, who pleaded guilty at Truro crown court.
Beach dummy’s a figure of fun
A beach rescue turned into farce when a person trapped in sand turned out to be a shop mannequin. The ‘emergency’ was a birthday prank, in which the dummy was kneeling with its head buried in the sand with a sign saying: “50 And What?” Police in Bielefeld, western Germany said, “It was clearly intended for a 50th birthday.”
London lad, loving life and all that it has to offer.