Thursday, December 26, 2013

Picsmas (just a couple)

View from the east window
Christmas lippy
100% UK Pecan Pie made by me

My real view of the sunset over New Jersey

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

part 3 - 42nd Street

Turkey. Pork. Potatoes. Stuffing. Peas. Beans. Carrots. Broccoli. Yorkshires. Gravy. Cranberry sauce (by me) Cauliflower cheese. And the Statue of Liberty to the south, Empire State Building to the east...also New York Times building just below, The New Worker magazine HA...a breathtaking sunset making way for the city lights... Doing alright! PS I'm watching Robin Hood Men in Tights with Sir Peter Shaffer. No big deal.

...later that Christmas Eve

A Cosmopolitan in Hell's Kitchen with Hayley and Becky (and Sam and Jamie, not pictured)

The Christmas Diaries! part 1 (Christmas Eve)

Contains some profanity...sorry! Oops

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Buttons: Out

So ends my run as Buttons.  It has been a royal blast, with such fun cast mates and such enthusiastic audiences.  I'd say Queens NY is definitely ready for more pantos in the future.  My favourite moments include bringing my dear Lauren Downie onto the stage to act as the clock that strikes midnight and she rose to the occasion with gusto; a small boy today who was so good at audience participation that he managed to steal some money from the wicked stepsisters; hearing Anel laugh loudly when I meet the Fairy Godmother for the first time and comment how amazing it is that I never thought I had family and one of them turns out to be a fairy (I had been waiting for someone to be in the audience that would get the significance of that); our amazing lighting designer who at literally the final hour - one hour before dress rehearsal preview - stepped in as a stepsister because we lost one at the last minute; the inconsistency of the smoke machine and its comedy value and the lovely time we spent between shows yesterday at the Long Island City Christmas flea market eating far too much and swapping stories (and learning about dating apps from Kate, our fantastic wicked stepmother).  Absolutely wonderful.

Other things - Lola is in Mexico, sad for me but happy for her cos she gets to spend time with her gorgeous nephew Hector.  Likewise Lauren in Scotland.  Jacob just left for Texas today, Maite and Anel to Spain/Mexico respectively tomorrow.  And so on and so on until only the English remain - that's me, Sam, Sam's friend Jamie, sister Hayley, mum Angela and stepdad Kevin.  Got a call from Angie earlier, the ladies are planning wonders for this Christmas day, v. excited.

I personally have been prepping for my own couple of weeks off by...big!
Leek and potato bake
Salad of lettuce, red cabbage, flax seeds, cranberries, apples, carrots and honey lime dressing...a LOT of salad in fact
Gingery stewed apples
Two and a half jars of homemade tomato sauce which is SCRUMPTIOUS I love it

I need to go to the wine shop so I can make lentil kale soup (I discovered recently that red wine turns this from virtuous health food to indulgent winter warmer) and bechamel sauce...and, y'know, have some wine...which I will mull, obviously.

Officially on break tomorrow with the end of panto, school's out and the Evens in the Bahamas so no babysitting (I miss the boys!) aaand while I do have cleaning and decorating to do, I also will probably stay a-pyjamad as long as possible...I wonder if Maite and Anel will mind me showing up at Peacefood Cafe decked out in Hello Kitty?

Probably not
And that's why they are my friends!

Festive thoughts and love to allxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, December 16, 2013

December things

Merry Festive Season from me and my sisters from another mister (and Joris not a sister but in the fam no less) A weekend of Christmas gatherings and a LOT of babysitting - I'm talking 8.5 hours with baby Ari. Luckily he and his brothers are just fantastic, as are Yael and Yonatan. On Saturday it snowed all the live long day and the city was a cold windy blur so after she came home Yael insisted I stick around for a while and have coffee with her before going out to brave the storm. Such kind people. On Sunday after the 8.5 hours myself, Cristi, Lola, Anel, Joris and Maite gathered for the third annual Bedbugs (still the nickname, don't ask) Christmas/Cristimas (Cristi's Birthday was today, see what I did there) gathering. We bring food and we do Secret Santa. We enjoyed a lovely three course meal and exchanged our gifts and of course updated the group picture - see below. Cristi's pug Rubi can be seen bottom left. This week is Cinderella - I had more fun than should be allowed at our tech rehearsal today. We have non-stop laughs, I'm so lucky. Tomorrow is invited dress so Lauren will be there ready to yell and hiss at all the right moments - I'm counting on her! Christmas parcels winging their way to the folks at home, get excited guys there's a small chance that I was organised enough to make happen it on time this year! Small. Bedtime!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Season's Greetings from Lola and Tessa

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pull the pin

My current reading material, 'The Beauty Myth' by Naomi Wolf feels like a grenade in my hand especially combined with my new discovery The Representation Project and the thoughts and anger I already have about how women are perceived and controlled by social constructs.

I am in theatre.  There are plenty of places that this grenade could be usefully hurled.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Rehearsals underway

Day two of panto rehearsal today.  I am having so much fun.  I never would have thought I'd get to do this in NYC of all places.  Our director Derek is fab and very clearly understands the rules of panto - i.e. there are no rules! If you want to do something incredibly silly, noone will stop you.  And the cast while largely American (me, one Londoner, one German and one American with an English mum, she gets it) and therefore still a little confused by some of the conventions of this type of theatre have embraced it wholeheartedly.  We are all having a great time coming up with new funny things to do.  And, I've only ever been a non-comic character before but now I get to be silly with the rest.

Just that quick update, otherwise business as usual!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Amazing pictures by the fabulous Natalia Escobar, that are exactly how I wanted to remember the first Thanksgiving I ever threw, and perfectly capture the immense joy of having a room full of people you love, delicious food and laughs laughs laughs.

Anel kicking of the official sport of 2C, Charades

Carmen contemplating the banquet tables

Mighty Maite

We take charades very seriously so we brought in professional actors

Crumble and pumpkin caramel by me

Yup this seems about right


Jacob and I are a veteran charades team

Everyone: 'BRAVEHEART???'
Poor Lauren.  She takes it well.

Scotland teaching Hong Kong a Highland dance

It's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.  Obviously.

Noone gets it

Naming States, Jacob grading

Pilar repping for Argentina

Pili and Carmen cheating at States

Sam doing a bit of method charading
Our lovely and elusive photographer

Carmen with her map

Joris planning how to wow us

Spain and The Netherlands tag teaming

Charles, who is responsible for my greatest charades guess of all time 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time'

The kitchen filling up fast

Anel using interpretive dance

Carmen with Fernet

My Autumnal cornerpiece

The 'add it as you bring it' menu

Nations bonding over comedy

More States naming

Me and Anel often seem to have matching faces in pictures


An apartment Ceili!

Let's go Gay Gordons

Semi-successful maps

Les beverages

Early in the evening

I'd love to know what Jacob has just done

Sweets on the windowsill with the flowers - Czech cookies and Christmas loaf, Tessa pumpkin chocolate cookies

Lola Hayley and Maite

Well we find ourselves funny at least

Dancers in full swing

Naty again

Hahaha a few wee drams later...

Mexi-Scottish international relations

Further dance lessons

Jacob, known for his apprehension of unfamiliar food, trying something from the global fare

Three of the originals - Anel, Lola and Joris

Pili is Queen of Charades (Jacob is King)

...not getting it (note leaf garland in background)

Frustrated with the hopelessness of his audience.  Understandably.

Carmen gave up pretty quickly

This is what it's all about

Kitchen gals observing the fun

Dear Charles

Everyone digging in, some last minute prep

Maite brings the melodrama

Everyone looks stumped

Our Happy Festive Elf

Charles and Ruth looking like total pros

Buntings eye view

Still stumped

I'll be there for you cos you're there for me too!


Empanadas and cranberry sauce

Umm...I think it's 2 words...

Tucking in

Not even a quarter of the dishes we had by the end

What a magical evening.