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Since the last entry several things have happened. I guess the first and most important one, given the content of the last entry is that we took the house with the feature walls I linked to back there. We moved house on Good Friday and it took us a week or so to get almost everything sorted. The move was bloody hard work but thanks to Jane's colleague and partner (Alison & John) we didn't have to hire a van, and they gave us so much help I don't think we'll ever be out of their debt.

The new house is mostly great! I'll take & post some pictures eventually. It's an ex show-home and all the main rooms have feature walls - for example the living room wall is turquoise with patterned wallpaper. It doesn't sound that nice but it really is. It's about as different from our old house as it's possible to get. It's significantly bigger to start - the old one was a 2-up-2-down with huge kitchen, small living room and an extension for utility room, and an enormous garden, this one is 3-bed with a large living/dining room, fairly small kitchen and a tiny garden :)

Since moving, we've discovered that this new house has significantly less storage than our old one. So we've had to buy new furniture - a new oak wardrobe (well actually Jane's parents bought the wardrobe) and sideboard from Colour Supplies, as well as a new 2-piece sofa (3-seater and 2-seater, brown leather) from the Shrewsbury Alan Ward sale as they're closing for a refurbishment. So we're now skint. But we'll have a nicely furnished home with plenty of storage, so it's all good :)

In other news, I have a new job! This happened rather suddenly at the end of March. I went for an interview with the company which lasted almost 2hrs on the Tuesday, then Monday the week after I was offered the job! Didn't take me long to accept it, but working the month's notice at my current employer has been a weird experience.

The new position is with a company called Transactis, and my job is "Application Support Engineer", which as far as I can tell means making sure data gets from point A to point B and fixing it if it stops. The company are part of the Shop Direct group who own the Littlewoods & Very online catalogue shops along with various others.

It's a significant pay rise for me, and a slight increase on the commute (yeah I know... but it's only a slight increase and hopefully they'll be moving somewhere where I can get the TRAIN to work!!! What a concept!). It'll also involve working some on-call, which will be an experience but shouldn't be a bother.

Being on-call means that I probably won't be able to do the next show with OMTC, which I am slightly disappointed about, because it's panto and panto is relatively easy. Having said that, taking a break every now and then is a good thing, gives us time to breathe. Both Jane and I were in the last production (The Sound of Music) which was just about a sell-out. Fabulous show in the end, despite grumblings during the rehearsal process.

So, that's all the news that's fit to print. How about you?
location: LL11
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 06:43am on 31/10/2010 under , , ,
This month has involved a week away in Scotland, spent around Loch Ness and up in Dufftown, including 5 distillery visits (Glen Grant, Glenfiddich, Glen Ord, Dalwhinnie & Cragganmore), 1 brewery (Black Isle), 1 chocolate factory (The Olive Tree), 10 bottles of beer, 3 bottles of whisky and a chocolate bar of my own design, mwahaha.

Was a good week, though driving ~1,000 miles in a week isn't much fun, especially when some of those are along the joyous A82 that follows the banks of Loch Lomond VERY closely, and where at points if you come across a bus/HGV coming the other way, you pull over and stop until it's passed - and this is a main route?!

Rehearsals for the panto are coming along OK, we're running the show every rehearsal at the moment which is quite hard work but considering we have all of 10 rehearsals left before tech/dress I think it's about right. Just need to get the damn words sorted. Bloody words, can I not just make up my own?

My baby, my HP DV7-2110SA has now gone away again to "The Tech Guys" for a problemmatic battery. It went away while we were in Scotland, and came back with exactly the same fault. Unimpressed was I. So now it's gone away again and hopefully will come back with a new battery, and no need to reinstall everything - again.

And yesterday, me and several other people from Oswestry Musical Theatre Company eventually got round to tackling the hell that is St David's. St David's is our storage, we didn't pay anything to the Diocese for a number of years because we didn't have a lease. We do now, but in the last few years they've got planning permission for the site which means we could be turfed out with little notice if they decide to sell up.

This place has essentially been a dumping ground for scenery, props, costumes, stuff. It was a state. I didn't manage to get a decent "before" shot because I couldn't actually see enough to get the impression I wanted! After 6hrs or so of shifting, breaking, sawing and destroying, almost all the old flats had been taken to the dump, leaving only things that are hard to remake, easy to re-use or being used in the current show.

It's now largely empty. We had 4 pick up truck loads, and several more car loads of mainly wood. Then there's the scripts - I didn't pay too much attention to them but we've what feels like hundreds of old scores and scripts, mainly Gilbert & Sullivan stuff that you could probably buy new for not much money.

I also obtained an iPhone 4. I felt dirty for a while, but then I used it for a while and got to like the way that things just worked (mostly). There's still plenty of minor annoyances but overall, I quite like the fact that I haven't had to reset it, put new software on, experiment with this that or the other (yet). I have also realised that I have gotten a very good deal. The phone was free, I pay £30/mo! You just don't get an iPhone 4 for that price.
location: LL11
Music:: BBC News 24
Mood:: 'awake' awake
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Oswestry Musical Theatre Company has started rehearsals for Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. Monday was just a quick run through of the music, and a look at some of the chorus pieces. mmmm close harmony, what fun.

I can't decide what part to go for. For a start I'd rather not speak - I don't do accents very well! I lived in Scotland for how many years? Must be 15 at least, and can't fake a convincing accent for the life of me. I just don't seem to be able to pick up what makes them different. I know there's a difference but can't pinpoint what, and how to make those noises!

So assuming that I have no choice but to speak, we're on to songs. I don't really know the show well enough to judge yet. This should make for an interesting time of it - auditions are next Thursday! Youtube is being hit quite hard tonight!
Mood:: 'indifferent' indifferent
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 03:53pm on 01/11/2009 under ,
See the pics on Picasa here.

I feel very relieved to be finished with this one. It's been a struggle throughout, and I don't know why! It's not been that much harder for me than some other shows and except for feeling rather icky on the last night making it difficult to concentrate, it all went well.

The next show is Annie Get Your Gun, which I know next to nothing about but has to sell better than this one has - I think ~700 out of a possible ~1000 tickets went. We needed ~900 to break even, oh dear.

At least rehearsals don't start for 3 weeks. I don't know what I am going to do with myself!
Music:: Ugly Betty on 4
location: CH3
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:07pm on 11/10/2009 under , , , ,
Yesterday it was my birthday. I am now the ripe old age of 30, and let's be fair, it's no different to being 29, 28, 27 or even 26. Life goes on the same!

I took full advantage of this offer of free food from Nando's on one's birthday, and was treated to a film (Gamer) and several nice presents - my favourite is the GorillaPod (from - it's a light-weight, flexible tripod for small cameras - very nifty.

Unfortunately, since Thursday I have been feeling a bit on the rotten side, with a head full of expanding foam and cotton wool, a nose that leaks, and eardrums that only work half the time. It's made the weekend a bit of a washout for "things to do" but it's been a nice one. I suspect I shall be off work tomorrow because I cannot foresee my voice recovering before then, and frankly I will be amused to see how they cope.

Speaking of work, since my last post (which I think went to LJ only... a rant about colleagues taking the piss with a new call logging system), nothing's really changed. I had a word at our Monday morning meeting and suggested that we do things a particular way. This suggestion appears to have been ignored. I should have expected as much. I don't think it's that the boss doesn't want to do x, y or z but I think he doesn't know how bad it is - because he doesn't sit with us.

I heard my slot on Radio 2's Elaine Paige show today, hurrah! It came in the last "Break a Leg" slot - around 1hr 52mins into the show. I didn't sound like a numpty or anything :) I'd been waiting ages for it and was getting worried. We've got another chance to do another recording, which I've asked our director to do instead.

I bought myself a 2nd hand copy of Super Paper Mario on the weekend - I had it from LoveFilm ages ago (must be years now), and have been watching the price ever since. It hasn't fallen at all. Wii games are annoyingly good at holding their retail prices. Some 3yr old games are the same price they were when they came out!

I tried making pumpkin fritters today, and they turned out remarkably "meh". I think I made two big mistakes - one was not letting the mashed pumpkin cool down before combining it with some flour and other ingredients. I don't know - but I suspect - because the pumpkin was still hot, it took a lot more flour to get it to a reasonable consistency, which diluted the pumpkin taste down to effectively nothing. The other was deciding to bread it instead of batter it. I have never deep-fried, and don't intend to make a start now, especially without some decent equipment - a thermometer would be a good start).

Jane's trying to persuade me to go for a facial at a spa that put a leaflet through the door today. Hmmm....
Music:: Emma on BBC1
location: CH3
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 09:50pm on 16/06/2009 under , , ,
Since Saturday evening I've been feeling a bit off, and come Monday I was whispering hoarsely instead of speaking. I thoroughly blame [profile] ginny4harry, who definitely sounded ill when she arrived :) Both her and [personal profile] buckbeakbabie arrived on Thursday and stayed until Monday.

Friday evening we went for late night bowling, and lo it was great fun. I sucked more than I am used to doing, I am trying to persuade myself that it's purely because I am so out of practice, or that it was really late for me (for the past few weeks I've been in bed for no later than half ten at night, and this session started at half ten!).

So since I can't speak I've been off work, though I've been trying to check emails and respond to things as best I can given the crappy remote access facilities we've got. I think I even managed to tell somebody something completely wrong, though it was picked up on quickly. I resorted to using LogMeIn (we have it on a PC at work for some reason) to try and get some information. See, nobody can say I've not been doing anything :)

I still haven't decided if I should go back in tomorrow. I do feel bad for being away, but that's kinda set off against the "I don't care" attitude and being able to at least prove I have been doing something while away.

There was a read/sing-through of The Secret Garden act I the other night at OMTC which went pretty well, as far as I can tell. Some people (some of who admittedly have a hell of a lot more to do than me) didn't seem to have even looked at the script/score but it's early enough, though makes one question why one bothered! :)

This week's going to be a bit mad, with Rehearsal Monday/Thursday, then it's OMTC committee meeting on Wednesday. This was silly of me.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
Music:: BBC News
location: CH3
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:54pm on 29/03/2009 under , , ,
Since my last update I've not been doing a huge amount of exciting things. Last weekend we went to Jane's parents' for the afternoon/evening and had tea there, it's been a while since we did that. It was remarkably stress-free, and their new car is shiny :)

I've been enjoying rehearsals for OMTC's next show, the director appears to have calmed down somewhat after a period of intense stressiness where he just shouted at everything and everyone, or so it felt. Now he's calmed down he's actually seeming to enjoy it, and the cast are too! I'm very happy with two of the numbers I'm doing - Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and Suddenly Seymour. They've both come along brilliantly. The Song that Goes Like this isn't really all there - it's OK but some of the people in it really aren't comfortable with the music. We've only done a few run-throughs of it, and not much just music learning. It does miff me a little that they don't ask, however it's now a bit late!

Timeless to Me is just pure nastiness. The arrangement we're doing starts off low and goes even lower. The one that John Travolta does in the film is probably half an octave higher, I'm jealous of him!

Work is continuing along. My sideways move without anyone noticing has been continuing unabated. I'm possibly planning a trip to Scotland to help with the final sign-off on a large project (Kilmartin seems to ring a bell in my head, though I don't know why - having looked at where it is I can't imagine why anyone would build a cash counting centre there). I'm still annoyed at at our developers and product managers for doing things arse-about-face.

Home is home. Our landlord is still a bit ditzy and hasn't done some of the small things we brought up ages ago. I've decided that since we've told them and they agreed that something needed doing and would arrange something, it's no longer our responsibility. There's nothing major so I'm not fussed too much but it's still tedious.

Been playing some more with Quidco, now that they've decided to pay out the £120 from ages back I've forgiven them somewhat and am using them for a few things. Seems like a decent way to get a bit of cash back on things I would have bought anyway.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 12:18am on 13/03/2009 under ,
It all went really well. Looks like someone gave our director a chill-pill. It really is astonishing what a difference it can make when the person in charge is relaxed.

Suddenly Seymour is about as there as it can get I think, at least he seems happy, I'm happy and I think Jane's happy.

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is coming along beautifully, with a couple of tips tonight from Malcolm on things to change slightly. Having not known the music particularly well before starting this I've interpreted it differently and I do see why he's suggested the changes that he did. I really did feel quite drained after doing it a couple of times, which took me by surprise somewhat. I'm assuming I must have done something right!

Most small numbers are together pretty well, with a couple of exceptions. Welcome to the 60s is one of them, the people doing the backing seem to be struggling with timing.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:36pm on 02/03/2009 under ,
Overall, not bad. Be My Guest is a shambles but we've gone through it twice, maybe, and that would have been 2 or 3 weeks ago. Timeless to Me - struggling with getting the right starting pitch. Seem to be starting off about half an octave too low, which is pushing it. Not sure how as when I rehearse it on my own it works fine.

Everything else seems to have gone fine, mind. Mark (director) may not be happy but he's not happy unless everyone's got spot on timing at least 2 months before the show. I do get fed up with him shouting.
Mood:: 'tired' tired
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:58pm on 02/12/2008 under

Some more details about songs.

  • Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors (Duet). See this youtube video if you don't know the song, you should do, it's loverly. Doing that with Charlie who took the female lead in the last show OMTC did (Me and My Girl).
  • The Song That Goes Like This from Spamalot (Duet). This is a parody of everything predictable and bad about some songs you find in your run-of-the-mill musical. Think of it as a musical escalator, upping the key every few bars. We're splitting it into 3 and I'm doing a section with Heather (I think?).
  • Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables (Solo). I know little about this despite having seen the show. It was a couple of years ago (in my defense). See this Wikipedia page for some background.
  • Timeless to Me from Hairspray (Duet). This is going to be done with me singing the part of Edna Turnblad (John Travolta in the film, Michael Ball on stage) against Mark, who's directing this show. If you want to see why it's going to be scary, see this image - I've got to be able to show how madly in love with him I am.

The chorus pieces I'm not sure what the deal's going to be there, but we

  • One Short Day from Wicked. If we (blokes) had the tune on this one, we'd be fine. As we're singing quite high harmony a lot of the time, it will be an experience.
  • Something from the Secret Garden musical, which I know nothing of. It sounds a bit saccharin to me when I've tinkled it on the organ but it may sound good when properly played.
  • A medley of Beatles songs. People NEVER believe me when I say I don't know many Beatles songs. I've really proved it with this. I know one or two of them, vaguely. Learning quickly though!
  • A medley of On This Night and Buenos Aires from Evita. Again two songs I don't know and am finding tricky. It's only been a week. Must keep reminding self. It's only been a week, can't be perfect yet!

Looking forward to getting my hands on some music for the solo/duet parts.

It's so bloody cold here I'm shivering. I think it's a good cue for bed.

Mood:: 'energetic' energetic