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Pay What Now?
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When to quit
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Attack of the Drones
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Thursday, January 30

I think yesterday was, on the whole, a shit day!

My weekly appointment with the Newtonmeter of Doom™ resulted in a big fat 0, keeping the total at a big not-so-fat -53.

I got to work by minibus, which was fun, but I had to give the minibus back to the hire company (I'll miss my jalopy) and I got to work late. Then I had to brave the Metro and bus system to get to and from my rehearsal in the evening. It would have been fine, but some irritating charver lass decided to scream in my ear just before getting off the Metro, apparently that was a "big funny joke" to the likes of her. I didn't retaliate - I barely responded, though I might have jumped slightly at the sudden presence of a smoke-breathing teenager causing high pitched vibration of air in the vicinity of my aural tract. The 25 minute wait for the number 12 bus did nothing to cheer me up at half past ten at night, especially since I had not eaten for several hours and it was freezing cold.

However, today things seem brighter - despite the fact that it's snowing like it should be Christmas. The snow-covered Ash bumped into the same big issue seller I see every day I walk into town, and we exchanged pleasantries - we do that a lot. We never exchange money for magazines, but I've always time to say hello. Actually, I think she's grooming me. I think she's trying to slowly woo me so that I feel bad about not buying one of her soggy magazines. I shall be strong and resist!

Just when I thought the day could not get better, I had a lovely Starbucks coffee and came back to my desk to find a site advertising the ultimate mobile church and it's a BRITISH site. So our American chums do not have exclusivity on innovative thinking.

Thursday, January 23

How can you possibly be Androcles... when I AM!

The swearing version of the classic electronic game "Simon" is now online!. Make sure you have it on headphones... I think the swearing helps memorise the sequence.

Wednesday, January 22

He may be A. Lerner, but his lyrics show he's not a learner!

Weekly wednesday weigh-in was wicked. Well, it was okay. I managed a -2, which takes the total back to -53. I say "back" because of last week's +2. So, after two weeks I'm really back at 0. This is not a cause for concern. I do need to keep at it, though. More exercise, less overeating, yada yada yada.

Tuesday, January 21

The website for the Deadpool 2003 is now online and looking GOOD!

Ah.. the multi-buy promotion. I ended up buying two copies of My Fair Lady today. One was the original 1959 London production - Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews. The other was the movie soundtrack, Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn? well, no. In fact, it's Rex Harrison along with Marni Nixon - the voice behind a lot of musicals. As well as she managed to pretend to be Audrey Hepburn, dubbing the songs for the non-singing Ms Hepburn (actually, Audrey did sing in Breakfast at Tiffany's but not very well), Marni was not a patch on Julie Andrews when it comes to portraying Miss Dolittle. Such a shame that Julie Andrews never got the chance to play the role she created for the movie that everyone remembers of it.

Audrey Hepburn's rendition of Moon River in Breakfast at Tiffany's was good enough to earn its composer's praise as his favourite version. Apparently, though the Hepburn singing voice was not tuneful, her delivery was earnest and that's what Mancini most appreciated.

Monday, January 20

Quite an eventful weekend all in. I visited 4 different towns/cities, rehearsed, performed, ate, drank and was merry. I learned a lot and there's a lot more to learn.

In the near future, I shall be starting a second blog on my AshleyFrieze.co.uk site. This will be relating to any performing work I happen to do. I fancy myself as a performer... or should that just be "I fancy myself"? Who knows!? Anyway, I'll undoubtedly cross link to the new blog when it has something to say for itself.

I did watch the fantastic film Evita last night, with Madonna. No, she wasn't present, just featured in the film! I also saw the second half of Les Miserables, which was good, but not amazing. Somehow its big-screen action did not seem as big as the stage musical I saw in London last year. It's a shame I was watching movies so late into the night, though... it does steal the sleeping time. Especially when I then could not sleep and had to jump out of bed in the middle of the night to write down some ideas.

Thursday, January 16

There is much performance on the horizon. Last night I was rehearsing for a local operatic group's production of Chess and, though I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone going to see it, I had the dubious honour of being danced round by the other chorus members - in two directions simultaneously, no less!

Then I took myself out for a walk last night (see, I am getting back into being healthy again!) in order to practise for the turn I'm doing tomorrow night. I have 8-10 minutes and a 9minute, 30second act to fit into it. I hope that I've gauged the timing correctly, because it's very different performing to an audience, rather than saying it out loud while walking with a stop watch.

I also walked into work to aid my weightloss and, in case that didn't work, gave blood today - blood must weigh something! I originally thought that giving blood would be a good excuse to allow myself to eat some biscuits... but I couldn't bring myself to. So, it was a free black coffee.

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be laughing my arse off!

Wednesday, January 15

Ah dear... whoopsie... +2 this week. Not a great surprise, and I'm still in the lower stone border... but only just. -51 now. However, I know what I've been doing wrong and I'll be steering clear of dried fruit over the next week. I will also be doing a lot more walking (I've not managed it so far this week). Actually, steering clear of dried fruit is probably a good idea - the effect it has had on me...

Monday, January 13

Quite a surprise to discover that the English lyrics for Les Miserables were written by the same man who won an Ivor Novello award for the cheeky Goodness Gracious Me (he's also behind "Kinky Boots", but let's not go there). Herbert Krezmer - I salute thee!

Quite a roller-coaster of a weekend. I saw the very excellent My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (I only mention the theatre by its full name because it is as famous as the show).

Enjoyed a fun party on Saturday night and even managed to clear away the hangover on Sunday morning, with the aid of well-prepared nutrition. After a bit of yakking, it was time to return to the North East and I'd just like to say I'm happy to be here.

Sadly this weekend also saw the demise of one third of one of our best song-writing trios. It is indeed a tragedy that we lost Maurice Gibb yesterday. He had been admitted to the hospital, perhaps with a night fever, but soon they realised it was a problem with his stomach. They operated, but this caused a chain reaction, exacerbating his heart condition. I know it's only words, but I think our ordinary lives were touched by this incredible man. To love somebody just because of their music is a bit much; if you're really feeling that way, you should question how deep is your love. I would say that we should be glad of his music and put his death into perspective. For instance, the New York Mining Disaster 1941 was a much greater tragedy. It would more more fitting to celebrate Mr Gibb's life. You should be dancing to remember his rhythms, perhaps have a few good nights on broadway in his memory - if you live in New York, that is, and are not too upset still by that mining disaster. And so, I've gotta get a message to you and it's this: Mr Gibb did not survive until the first of may this year, but while he was stayin' alive he brought us more than a man, more than a woman might normally have given us. So, don't forget to remember him.

Friday, January 10

Went to a panto last night. I enjoyed it. I did feel a bit weird being surrounded by so many children, especially since I spent the first few minutes of the performance sitting alone, before my companions turned up late. I can't help but feel that Jim Davidson's production company is rather cynical about what makes a pantomime good, and I'm sure they could have afforded some better writers for the bits in between the mix of Disney songs, popular songs and classic panto banter (the double act of panto dame and controller-of-the-kids, in this case a chap called Muddles).

Overall, though, I thought they pulled off an enjoyable show for all the family. If only I'd been 15 years younger...

Thursday, January 9

I had a craving for dried banana yesterday, so I bought some from the local health-food shop. Sun-dried banana... it sounds like a typo! My favourite is the list of ingredients. It says - "Ingredients: Banana". This is better for my calorific intake than the equivalent honey-dipped dried bananas. This sun-dried variety is chewy. They are quite nice and probably good for you. Having said that I imagine that large quantities will have a laxative effect and medium quantities do make one feel a bit banana-ey and sick. So, best sample than binge!

Wednesday, January 8

Am I the only person not to have known that a marshmallow is actually a plant?

What a fantastic website this is: "Beer In The Evening". This site gives you an index of pubs and has facilities like a pub-crawl generator. My favourite is the gadget where you give it a word and it generates a pub crawl where you visit one pub beginning with each letter of the word. The site is most useful for London, but perhaps it will grow.

The weekly wednesday weigh-in premiered for 2003 today. -1, a solid and not entirely unpredictable score, taking the aggregate to -53. Now is the time to forget the last 53 and start anew. A target of -47 for the rest of the year remains outrageously unachievable, but worth aiming at!

Friday, January 3

Still awake and still online. I have yet to finish looking behind all the doors of the Framley Examiner's Advert Calendar but I must insist that everyone look behind door 10! It's a reference to something you may have heard of, but it amazes me in terms of how well they've done it and how much of a surprise it is that they thought to do it... just look!

I'm not usually awake this early, and it is most rare for me to be up before 8am without the aid of an alarm clock. However, today I woke up unaided, in the middle of a rather surreal dream. Perhaps the early rising was caused combination of my recent body clock reboot (I had been completely the other way round until Monday 30th December) and the fact that I'm due to embark on a trip to London this morning.

I'm certain that the dream was a lateness anxiety thing. I'll try to recall the story of the dream.

It was set last night (Thursday). It was late night shopping at the local garden centre and I had selected a number of items to buy. Absent-mindedly, along the way round the garden centre, a number of other items had found there way about my person and I'd forgotten to put them through the till when I got there - the till person had obviously not noticed things bulging from my pockets or whatever (hell, there's no logic, this is just a dream!). Getting a few yards away from the place, I realised the mistake and so headed back to the shop, very near closing time. Realising that the shop would have to stay open to allow me to return the items I'd not paid for, I ran on ahead and demanded that they stay open while I returned them. On the way back to the car, I saw a TV news reporter and asked him to keep track of my story and I saw a policeman, to whom I told my purpose for visiting and who immediately arrested me.

His problem was that I'd obviously taken items from the shop without paying and so had broken the law. He was not budging from this course, despite the fact that it was clear that I'd bought items of a much greater value than I was returning, and everyone was happy for me to just return the spare items and leave it at that. I called a mate over to the garden centre for moral support. The time ticked on and it became clear that even a night in the cells was going to be more of a morning in the cells. I knew I had a road trip to start preparing for
(that would be the real trip to London) and that I might not get any sleep for it, if indeed I was even released in time. I started to have to make plans for the mate to take my car on the trip on my behalf and for me to try to take a last minute train to join everyone else, once I'd been released.

Not sure what the dream means except that one should always keep an eye on where you put items you're buying in a garden centre - the trolley is best. Plus, if you've gotten away with stealing something by accident, be careful how you return it.

Thursday, January 2

Well, the first weigh-in of the new year was fun:


Hi folks,

You know the deal. I have placed "hampers" of choccies at reception and third floor. Please help yourselves and, in so doing, help me in my battle against the bulge.

If you are on a diet, then either have a small treat on me, or nominate one of your skinny mates to take your share.

I have not had a sausage roll in over 7 months!!! and I'm still taking it one day at a time.

Addictedly yours,


Ashley


Today's result was a satisfactory -6, taking my 2002 total to a cheerful -52. Losing nearly half a stone over christmas is an unusual feat, but I had an unusual christmas. I must not let this go to my head, however. It's all too easy to find the inches and pounds crawling back on. I don't want that to happen.

Wednesday, January 1

Happy New Year!

Let's start as we mean to go on. The front page has been updated - I've fixed a few problems with the links.

There's also a new article - something I wrote while away over christmas. I question what creature comforts I really need.

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