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Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Pantomime season is here

As Christmas draws nearer I'd like to tell you about my 'thespian days', which
began at The Pillar Club, held in a grand old house in West Derby Village, called Lowlands.
It played host to many talents, including The Beatles and other well known Liverpool Groups of the 'Sixties'.
Local young people gathered there during the week to play table tennis, drink coffee and generally 'hang out', doing things that teenagers do!
From these activities a drama group was formed, which was to become The Basement Players.

Each year a seasonal Pantomine was produced.

This was my first experience of 'treading the boards' and..... 'oh boy', what fun we had!

Along with my best friend Jenny, we were plucked from obscurity and put in the chorus line.

Oooh....... The smell of the grease paint and the roar of the crowd...
*A star was born*......

I was well and truly hooked and just loved strutting my stuff in front of a live audience.
Flushed with our first success, Jenny and I were picked for the next production, playing the leading roles of Principal Boy and Principal Girl.
My role was as Jack in 'Jack And The Beanstalk' and Jenny played a village girl who was the leading lady.

For my friends from overseas, who may not be acquainted with the traditions of British Pantomime, traditionally, some male and female roles are reversed, thus, the roles of Principal Boy is played by a female and the Dame is played by a male.
Strange, I know, but after all.....

It is a British tradition!!!

In the Pantomime 'Jack and the Beanstalk', we had a cow called Daisy, she was made by a costume maker called Elsie, who made all our costumes, she was absolutely brilliant at her work and turned out the most amazing outfits at the turn of a needle.

Daisy the cow was made in two pieces and was manned by two guys called Tom and Dave, Tom as the front legs and head and Dave as the back end.

Now then, Dave was rather too fond of a drink or three, and on the last night of the Panto he called at the local Inn for a drop of refreshment!

After he had donned the rear end part of Daisy's costume, he weaved all over the stage, in a state of inebriation, trying to dance in step with Tom at the front end.
To say he was legless was an understatement!

Eventually he found his feet and managed to dance in time until, at the very end of the routine, he stepped backwards over the footlights and ended up dangling over the drummer, directly below in the auditorium......

The audience went wild with applause and laughter, thinking it was part of the act, as he was unceremoniously hauled back on stage by Tom (the front end), who was absolutely furious with him.
Dave, inspired by the rapturous applause, attempted to repeat the performance, only to be tharwted by Tom, who gave him a sharp kick in the shins, sending him howling to the floor and ending up in a 'heap of Cow' on the hapless drummer below.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured and the Panto carried on.

I've heard the Nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon but not jumping over a drummer!

Merry Christmas everyone and all good wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Di.x

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Viva Espania! Part one.

What a lovely time DT and I had in La Mata, a seaside resort at the top end of Torevieja, Costa Blanca.
We stayed in an apartment which is owned by a friend.
It was very comfortable with a spacious patio area that overlooked well manicured gardens, with a large swimming pool.
There were fine views of the Mediterranean too.
I love to be by the sea, I suppose that living in Liverpool, one of the world's major seaports, it's in my blood.
My Great Grandfather was a Captain in the Merchant Navy and used to carry goods to many far off places, including Southern Spain, where we have holidayed on many occasions.
Everything was going 'swimmingly well' until our second day at the beach, when, DT decided to launch himself off his sunlounger.

He has a poor 'track record' of the said item!

I had my nose in a book, when there was an almighty ripping sound.
Turning around, I saw him with his backside firmly planted in the sand, and the remnants of the bed and aluminium frame, encircling his stocky frame.

He was firmly stuck, much to the amusement of the diners, at the adjacent beach bar. I could do little to help, firstly because I was convulsed with laughter and secondly, I am physically incapable of getting up of a sunlounger without my darling's assistance.

This is due to the Rheumatoid Arthritis that has depleted my mobility.

The more he struggled, the more entrenched he became. He managed to 'turn turtle', only to become even more firmly stuck.

Imagine the scenario...He looked like a beached turtle with the sunbed on his back.

Fortunately an enormous passing German chap saw his plight and helped disentangle him.
His name was Harry Neuman, and his laughter was as large as his six foot six inch frame!

It's the first time we've managed to make a German laugh whilst on holiday.
We treated him and his lovely wife to drinks at the beach bar.

I don't know what it is about DT but he has an uncanny knack of keeping me suitably entertained, albeit unwittingly!

On our way back to the apartment, we discovered a little roadside shop that sold all kinds of delicacies, including chickens cooked on a rotiserie.

That evening we dined on assorted tapas, followed by a delicious hot juicy chicken, stuffed with fresh herbs and smothered with the basting juices from the rotisserie.
I served delicious, huge squashy, whole baked local tomatoes and tiny potatoes, baked and sprinkled with sea salt, fresh from the local salt lakes.
Also I served a dish of baby padron peppers roasted in olive oil and again, sprinkled with sea salt.
All this was washed down with several glasses of a Spanish Rose Cava.

The end of a highly entertaining and perfect day.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Adiòs amigos'

Darling Trubes and I are off to sunny Spain for ten days for a long overdue holiday.
We are staying in a place called La Mata on the Costa Blanca.
Most holidays come at a price, particularly when, one's husband doesn't pay attention, when being given precise instructions by 'she who must be obeyed'!

I spent some time on my PC trying to get a 'best price' for Easy Jet flights to Alicante, which is approximately a thirty minute drive to La Mata.
After finding the best price, DT was given precise details and requested to go to his
den to complete the booking.

Two hours later he reappeared clutching the booking confirmation, proudly announcing that by slightly altering the dates, he had managed to shave £70 off my original costs.
Heaven knows why it took him two hours.
Nothing to do with checking the football scores on his PC perchance!!

Two weeks later, DT was discussing having got such a good deal, on the flights with the friend, who was kindly leasing out his holiday apartment to us, at a very reasonable cost.


Shock horror! He had booked the flights to Malaga instead of Alicante, which is a five hour drive from our destination, he had also booked the hire car to be collected at Malaga.

He tootled off back to his den to change the bookings...
At an extra cost of an extra £150 the deed was done....

If only men would listen, when they they know, we girls are always right!

Moral to this story...
If you want something doing....Do it yourself!

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Magical Mystery Tour .

Roll up, Roll up..
I'm Coming To Take you Away, Take You Away.....

There was a music store in Liverpool called Nems, it was owned by the
Epstein Family and managed by.....Yes you've guessed.....
Brian Epstein, later to become The Beatles Manager.
I've also met him, on several occasions.

Talk about 'name droppers' !

Brian was a charming man, although he was the MD, he would often work
in the Record Department, when it was busy.
There used to be booths 'in store' where you could listen to tracks of
selected records.
Needless to say, each time The Beatles released a new single, the store
would be inundated with bright eyed and excited teenage girls, bopping
away to the music.
This was at the time Brian had just signed The Beatles, and several other
Merseyside groups.
Sadly, later, he moved down to London, he was very much missed in the store,
by his Staff and devoted customers.
Although, his success in managing so many artistes, brought him fame and fortune,
I believe, deep down, he was a very lonely man.
Perhaps, had he stayed in his beloved City, with his loving family, he would have
been happier, and maybe, his life may not have ended, so tragically and prematurely.

Forever in our memories Brian. R.I.P.

Nems Music Store closed in the early eighties.

Now Back to The Cavern.

We used to do a funny dance called 'The Cavern Stomp', which involved partners holding opposite hands ie, left hand linked to partners right hand and then launching or swinging ourselves from left to right, in time to the beat.
I think this crazy dance, originated from the times when The Cavern was formerly a jazz club then a skiffle club.
John Lennon and a couple of others formed The Quarrymen, which was the group that was to become The Beatles. I didn't get to see them perform in those days, because I was a bit too young to go to into 'seedy' clubs, as deemed by my parents!
The next crazy dance arrived, and that was called 'The Shake' which was immortalised by The Swinging Blue Jeans song 'The Hippy Hippy Shake'.
We really must have looked manic, twitching and shaking all over the place but we all thought, we were 'dead cool'.
Other clubs we used to frequent were, The Mardi Gras, The Downbeat and The Iron Door.

The Swinging Blue Jeans, Gerry And The Pacemakers, The Searchers, Billy j Krammer, The Four Most, The Big Three, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, plus many more well known groups performed at these venues.

The Rolling Stones played at The Iron Door Club too.

They were 'Fab' times and it all started with 'The fab Four' !

From Penny Lane to Memory Lane!
Truly the 'Golden decade' of beat music, in The Swinging City....Liverpool.

The annual 'Matthew Street Festival' was held last weekend and on nearly every Street corner, tribute bands were performing all The famous Liverpool bands'songs
We had 300,000 visitors and the atmosphere was just magical!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

She was Just Seventeen and She Loves you, Yeay Yeay Yeay.!!

Dedicated to my friend Scroblene and apologies to those who may have read part of this tale already.

I was just seventeen, if you know what I mean!


One day, whilst being driving through the City of Liverpool we were stuck in a traffic jam. Eventually, we pulled alongside a beautiful, silver, Aston Martin DB6.
Oh joy, if, that wasn't enough, Paul McCartney was driving it and his father was sitting alongside him.

He wound down his window and said 'Hello'.
When I had gathered my equilibrium, I told him how much I loved his latest record.
He asked me if I would like to hear it, then pressed a button on his eight track,
stereo cassette player, a thing unknown in standard cars in those days He and played for me.....
'She Loves You'.
Well, 'You know that can't be bad'. Yeah yeah yeah... I nearly passed out with delight.
He signed a Photo for me, whilst his Dad, proudly looked on.
Thereon, whenever The Beatles sang 'She was just Seventeen', (I Saw Her Standing There), I was convinced it was just for me.

I think most teenagers, particarly from Merseyside, in the 'Sixties' went to the Cavern Club in Matthew Street. My workmates and I used to go frequently during our lunch breaks.
Quite often, in those days Cilla Black was the 'Cloakroom Girl'. She also worked at the snack bar, serving hot dogs and soup. She often used to get up and sing with, whichever group, was playing at the time. She had a belting voice but let herself down with her strong Scouse accent. Not surprisingly, she was the daughter of a docker and lived in 'Scotty Road', where many believe Maggie May hailed from.

If you think Cilla speaks badly now, you should have heard her then.
As the saying goes, 'She was as rough as a Badgers bum'.

Maggie May was a well known 'Lady of the Streets' and plied her trade along Lime Street and the docks, along with her friends. Business was brisk as Liverpool was a thriving Seaport, as it is now but employs fewer people.
There was always a ship in port for Maggie and her chums!

I only saw the Beatles once at The Cavern, just as they were on the cusp of fame.
The atmosphere was electric and we were packed in like sardines. The friend I was with at the time, passed out, and was lifted above heads to get her out into the fresh air.
On reflection, The Cavern must have been a deathtrap. There was only one way in and one way out.

The drummer in the Beatles at that time was Pete Best who's Mother owned the Cazbah Club in West Derby Village in the leafy suburbs of the City. It was never really established why he was ousted by Ringo, I thought he was a much better drummer.

The Mardi Gras, Downbeat and Iron Door Clubs in Liverpool were host to many famous Merseyside groups, including The Searchers, Billy J Krammer and The Dakotas, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Big Three and the ubiquitous Cilla Black.

On the day The Beatles returned to Liverpool, for a civic reception and the premier of their film, A Hard Days Night,
My friend and I were at the front of the crowd, opposite The Town Hall.
The policemen on duty, let us under the barrier to avoid the crush, so we were almost at arms length, when they stepped out of their limousine.
They appeared on the Balcony and the crowd went wild.
My parents swore they could hear the roar five miles away,
in West Derby where we lived.

I was hoarse for days...
That was more than A Hard Day's Night!

Golden days from the life of Trubes.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Two Baptisms and One Wedding.

On Saturday 4th July 2009 our darling Daughter Ingrid married her long time love and partner of 12 years Michael.
The following day their two lovely babies were baptised into the Roman Catholic Church, Olivia Grace aged 3 and Christian Zane aged 6 months.

At the wedding, Ingrid was given away by her Step-Daddy, my beloved Darling Trubes.
Certainly brought tears to my eyes when DT walked her down the aisle.
Olivia was the chief bridesmaid and Christian was the best man. The Registrar commented that Christian was the youngest best man that he could ever recall.
The ceremony was particularly moving, bearing in mind Christian's traumatic arrival in January.

When the ceremony was over Olivia danced down the aisle swinging on her parents arms and Christian exercised his perogative, as babies do, and slept soundly.
He was, however, awake during the proceedings, and tried to join in on one occasion, only to be unceremoniously carried off by an auntie, for refuelling!

The Reception was held in a local hall, which started with an advance party for 35 children to celebrate the forthcoming Baptisms.
A childrens' entertainer was there keeping them occupied...really great fun, (honestly).
It's amazing how a glass of champers or six charges the spirits. All the children went home at 7pm and the adults carried on with the celebrations.

A truly perfect day for a perfectly matched couple.

Next day Olivia and Christian were welcomed into the church with their four Aunties as Godparents.
Although I was raised in the Church of England, I truly felt a strong calling to the Roman Catholic faith. The service was inspiring.

Who knows? A conversion could be in order!

Afterwards we celebrated, yet again, with a barbecue and .......yes you've guessed....more Champagne....Absolutely fabulous!....hic..

Monday, 16 March 2009

News up-date and stuff. Dedicated to EK.

At last I'm back on line after nearly four weeks without my PC, I had eighty eight e-mails to deal with and all kinds of rubish to clear before I could even begin to read all my favourite sites.
Not being able to do my weekly Ocado shop and having to struggle around the local Sainsbury's was no laughing matter, especially for a 'gal' like moi in such fragile health.
What's that expression now?....'The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'!

Thankyou to everyone who has been enquiring of my well being and that of baby Christian.
Christian is really thriving and gaining weight and his Mama is really full of beans!
My brave girl has bounced back after such a traumatic time in childbirth. My heart swells with pride each time, I see or think of her and Christian.

RIP Rocket.

We've lost our family pet rabbit Rocket to a murderous fox from the local woods. It'd been hanging around for a few weeks obviously eyeing up the ingredients for his next banquet.
Although our garden was secure a neighbour had inadvertently removed a panel in the
fence and off Rocket went. He was murdered in another neighbour's garden and I assume, carried off to the woods.

There was nothing left but a bit of white and gold fur, thankfully no blood and guts!

He'd lived to the grand old age of 9 years. You can imagine how sad we feel....
I hope the Foxes enjoyed their banquet.
Heaven knows what we will tell the Grandchildren as they loved him so much, they played football with him and he alway patiently let them stroke him, not always as gently as instructed.
We are now down to two pets, Princess Chloe the Cat and Chico the Cockatiel.

I know all this is all very trivial but you did ask!

EK will know why I've dedicated this to him.

Anyway it's so good to be back on-line again. Now, I'm going to have a good read of all my favourite sites.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Joy of Joys. More baby News

Our Darling new Baby Grandson Christian is home from hospital. He came home on Friday with his Mummy Ingrid.
Today is Ingrid's 36th Birthday so lots of celebrations all around.

Christian has regained his birth weight and is feeding very well.
Apparently premature babies don't always know how to suckle properly, hence the reason for them having to be tube fed for a while. This all depends on how premature they are.
Anyway, he is feeding well on Mummy's milk and quite content. They had bacon and eggs for breakfast and I believe rump steak is on order for dinner!

We are all so grateful to The Liverpool Women's Hospital for the wonderful professional and loving care they received. The Neo Natal unit there depends on lots of Charitable Donations. They look after Mums and Babies from far and near.

When I telephoned Ingrid this morning to wish her 'Happy Birthday', I also wished her a 'wonderful day', she simply replied, 'Every day is a wonderful day now Mama'.

Such touching words from my wonderful brave Daughter. I understood exactly what she meant, the outcome could have been so different.

I feel I am the luckiest Mother and Grandmother ever. My heart sings.
People often say that having Grandchildren is so special and I totally agree

Thank you God, thank you.....
Off to the wonderful Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Sunday to give thanks.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A New Grandchild

Our daughter Ingrid has given birth to a beautiful baby boy on Wednesday 14th January 2009.
His name is Christian and weighed in at 5lbs.1oz.
He was born 8 weeks prematurely and was in the high dependency unit until yesterday.
He is now out of the incubator and in his own cot and doing very well.

The birth was very traumatic as Ingrid haemorrhaged and the Doctors had to perform a C section to save her life.

Ingrid is a lot better now, she had to have several blood transfusions to bring her blood count up.

I cannot begin to tell you how relieved we all are, this has been a terribly worrying time.

Christian is a little brother for Olivia aged 2years 9months.

Shaky and Silver Linings.