Pocketwatch Theatre Company

Ooooooo my first posting on a fabulously favourite subject!!! Well, I’ve delightedly selected a small yet exquisitely expert theatre company for this momentous occasion!! The delightful, the incredible, the uber talented…Pocketwatch Theatre Company!!!

 

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Photo credit Matt Stockman

Each Summer and Easter season and Summer Half Term, Powderham Castle (located just outside Exeter in the village of Kenton, venue of the most recent Radio One Big Weekend and home to the current Earl and Countess of Devon) is home to Pocketwatch Theatre Company who, quite frankly, are flipping awesome! Working tirelessly and mostly outdoors through the changeable  British weather is no mean feat, yet Pocketwatch have all eventualities covered!

Featuring themed weeks which include Robin Hood, Pirates and Mermaids, Candy Capers, Royals (genius!) Wonderland, Pirates, Enchanted Dragons, Knights and Witches, the team of performers entertain children of all ages and also throw in the odd aside for the benefit of us grown up kids! Savvy?!

When we visited this Summer Half Term the company were performing Wonderland Week up in the American Woodland Garden which was a new location for them. I did not think they could get any better from when we had seen them perform in the Pleasure Garden right beside the Castle wall but Oh Me Oh My! The added ambiance, magical rhododendron enclosed pathways, Folly and Leat all made the Wonderland Week exquisite. A whole level of ‘magical’ was added to the show. Not to mention the choice of music for the tea party – divine!

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Photo courtesy of Jonty Depp

 

  • The Queen of Hearts (Claire Fisk whilst also taking on the responsibilities of Stage Manager) was fab, sporting a beautiful ruby encrusted heart-shaped necklace and threatening, in the nicest possible way, to chop off heads!
  • Alice (Elisabeth Burnette) was sweet and innocent whilst cheekily asking for wine at the tea party table (well done that girl!). The little girls in the audience just love her as she helps them find hidden objects which the Queen must have for her birthday gifts.
  • Marchie (Hare) (Ben Tallamy) as always was brilliant! Played by a talented fellow who pens some quality songs both quirky and thought provoking. Marchie, with his steam punk fashion always makes me chuckle! His little quips to the adults are so well timed and capture the moment perfectly.
  • And last but most definitely not least, dear Hatter (Jonty Depp)! I’m sorry but I actually think our Hatter is the real deal! Superb! Costuming to the extreme, nothing is left to chance with the delivery of this charming character…even if there are a few ‘cheesy’ jokes flying around!  Watch closely and you may just catch a glimpse of his Futterwacken!

When we had our magical holiday of a lifetime to DisneyLand Florida, we went to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and saw a Captain Jack ‘act’…Twin 1 and Twin 2 both said – “He’s not the real Captain Jack! Our Captain Jack is the real one!”(to be perfectly honest, he wasn’t a patch on our home grown talent!)

And that’s the beauty of Pocketwatch – we all believe!

If you’re sensible enough to visit Powderham when the team is performing I promise you won’t be disappointed! The detail in which they plan their performances is brilliant; costumes are elaborate, scripts are sharp, props are abundant, audience and child interaction and participation occur seamlessly and hilarity is a given. The cries of ‘Sword, Pig, Monkey’ can be heard at our house long after an encounter with a certain long-haired, broken compass wielding, Rolling Stones-esque pirate Captain!!! (Take a visit during Pirate week; it’ll all become fantastically clear!). It’s a little extra on your entrance fee (£3 per child) to the Castle but honestly I would be happy to pay more – the effort Pocketwatch go to and the enjoyment that the children experience is beyond measure.

 

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With their availability for private parties too (which by the way are equally as well planned and entertaining as any performance) your party can really go off with a bang and be such a special, memorable occasion for little ones (and us big ones!)

To have (in my humble opinion!) the UK’s best Johnny Depp lookalike character actor, in any number of his unique guises, entertain your kids along with members of the company is just magical. I guarantee your Mum friends will want to stay to these parties, and will even adhere to your fancy dress stipulations! (and here I speak from personal experience at Twin 1’s & Twin 2’s 8th birthday party! Mummies, you know who you are!!!)

 

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Photo credit mike pitches for Plymouth Barbican Waterfront.

Check out Pocketwatch at their website:
http://www.pocketwatchtheatrecompany.com/
http://jontydepp.com/

But nothing beats seeing them in action! They can also be found at Pirate Festivals so other websites include:

Home

http://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/

And for dates of their upcoming Summer Season at Powderham check here:

http://www.powderham.co.uk/events

other websites of interest:

http://bentallamy.com/

http://elisabethburnette.weebly.com/

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

Mummuddlingthrough
A Cornish Mum
Petite Pudding
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Chalk Board Hijack!!

7 Chalk Board Hijack

For those of you who have read the goings on of my life, my Aloha Mummy wisdoms (Phah!!) thus far, you will have noticed that for each of my post titles I use my beloved heart shaped chalk board (if you’re interested on how this generation has become so enamoured with their chalk boards I refer you to one of my previous posts – Keep Calm and Get Your Chalk Board!  https://thealohamummy.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/keep-calm-get-your-chalk-board/ ) to write the title of my work on and then take a snap of it to use as the photo to make my work look fancy, draw in your eye, and trick you into reading!!

 

Well now, my gorge little Twinboes have an eagle eye. Any new crafting item they discover that they have not yet had a go with becomes as tantalising as sought treasure! As gold is to Pirates; As adventure is to Captain Kirk; As tat in a skip is to Kirstie; As rubbish is to a Womble (bit similar to the Kirstie analogy that – soz…although, is Kirstie in fact a Womble in disguise….probably another post in itself that one!); As multiple marathons are to Eddie Izzard (right you get the point by now I’m sure), Twin 1 and Twin 2 simply MUST investigate! They must inspect the item visually. They must hold the item physically. They must work and use the item creatively. They must create something unique! *kisses fingers and releases said kiss into the air like an Italian Pizza Chef.

So.

My chalk board.

Just sitting innocently on the dining table.

With the chalk pen right beside it.

TOO MUCH TEMPTATION!!!

Hubs and I were out in the garden fixing up the Twins’ tent for their sleep out in the garden – one of their 30 Days Wild acts; they had even set their alarm for 4.30am to wake them up so that they could listen to the Dawn Chorus (another post right there folks!  https://thealohamummy.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/the-4-37am-feed-and-the-dawn-chorus/ ), God I love my Twins and their love and embracement of nature! They were rather excited about the prospect of sleeping outdoors in the back garden for the night – what would they hear….?!

Twin 1 – “We might hear an Owl!”

Twin 2 – “Ooh we might hear a hedgehog!!”

Twin 1 – “We might hear a fox!!!”

Twin 2 – “We might even hear a badger!!!!”

The Aloha Mummy (Nonchalantly) “You’ll definitely hear the donkey in the morning!” (somewhere nearby, the farmer who has the fields at the back of our garden has the loudest donkey you have ever heard, but I can’t help but smile when I do hear it; it just sounds like its having such a good belly laugh!)

Twin 1 & 2 “Ahhhhh, mmmm.”

Twin 1 “Yes. We can’t NOT hear that!”

And so, whilst I was outdoors lovingly setting up their bedding and preparing them a fantabulous midnight snack, their curiosity over the chalk board and pen got the better of them.

I returned to the dining table to find their own little creation which read

From Twin 2 – Camping in back garden!

From Twin 1 – What fun it will be! I am excited!

Completed by a little sketch of their tent and a crescent moon. (I refer you to the post photo!)

Now, I didn’t have the heart to wash it off! I know, push over Mum right?! The things is, is that I love everything they create; I would have kept Every.Single.Thing. they had ever drawn, written, coloured if I could! So….I went and bought myself a new chalk board…plus had a little jaunt around Hobby Craft whilst I was in there! I treated myself to some new, colourful chalk pens whilst I was at it! OOOh, I’m such a rebel!

And so I have created this post using my new chalk board and the one that the Twins had claimed!

But….there were now new pens to be investigated. Colours like delicious sweeties in retro jars. A few days later this is what I found…on my newest chalk board!!!

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They have seen me documenting things via the medium of chalk board and now they are doing the same!! Monkey See Monkey Do! Twins’ Documentation of a School Beach Life Saving course!!

Still. Doesn’t matter. I’m off to Hobby Craft again tomorrow and that is never a bad thing! (Unless you’re my Hubs, who then sees how much is being spent in there and worries where I will store what is bought there!!)

Ho Hum!

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

P.S Turns out the new chalk pens I purchased are not very wash-off-able. They are, in fact, pretty bloomin’ stubborn. Who knew?! They’re chalk based for the love of Norma!! Sneeze and chalk disappears even quicker than the Dad’s when it’s Maypole practice!! Not these ‘Arnie-of-the-chalk-world-pens’……

Back to Hobby Craft for yet another heart shaped chalk heart slate!! (Sssshhh!)

 

Diary of an imperfect mum

 

Land of Soap and Water – our own Red Arrows!

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Like a lot of Great Britain this weekend, we have been celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. We have seen the Trooping of the Colour, the brilliant fly past, the Patrons Picnic, the parade and we have even had our own picnic.  Our village held its own Picnic in the Park, open for everyone to go along to with their own blankets and hampers.

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Sunday morning arrived and I set to work creating a spectacular picnic – sandwiches, carrot sticks, tomatoes on the vine, cucumber sticks, flasks of tea, bottles of pop (just thought; I should have got lashings of ginger beer and some exploding Pop biscuits just like Jo, Bessie and Fanny in The Magic Faraway Tree!), jelly, scones, jam, crisps, chocolate biscuits and pink wafer biscuits (my fav!).

I dug out my Cora Taylor (cheap version of Cath Kidston!) picnic bag that I bought from Book People selection of goodies at work, found the plastic frozen block to keep the food cool and my British Bunting scene ‘bag for life’ and filled them with the multitude of Tupperware containers and Chinese takeaway tubs all bursting with edible delights.

By now the rest of the family had emerged from their beds, dressed, completed homework and fed any pets that looked like they needed feeding. My turn for a shower and to dress.

Upon my downstairs return I heard a strange noise – a bit like gentle low-level white noise. Funny, I thought to myself, the radio must have lost its signal. As I went to close the back door I saw it. Thick mizzle (mist and drizzle – it’s a West Country technical weathering term don’t y’know!). I’d just bothered to wash, dry and straighten my hair – something which since the birth of Bubs 10 weeks ago I hadn’t bother with. (Please know that I had washed myself and my hair just not really bothered/had time for the drier or the GHD’s! – Don’t want you thinking I’m all stinky and greasy haired!) Now, it was only Mizzle – not the end of the world, and certainly not enough to put me off a picnic. But then…..down it came! Stair rods! Rain so heavy I couldn’t see our patio. Rain so fat that it bounced off the wooden garden table with such force I swear it was returning to the cloud from whence it came, to enjoy falling all over again!

Picnic in the Park became Picnic inside!

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Not to worry, we all had a fab time! I linked up my phone to the DAB speaker using some magical transmitting atmosphere called Blue Tooth (get me and my technical competence!) and we ate our picnic at the table whilst listening to Last Night at the Proms, the Royal Firework Music, Land of Hope and Glory aka Land of Soap and Water; loved my Nan singing me that version when I was little…

“Land of soap and water

Mother’s washing her feet

Father’s cutting his toenails

Baby’s eating his meat”

 and Dame Vera Lynne. And do you know what?  It was bloody lovely! All my newly increased in size little family, dressed in our assortments of red, white and blue clothes (got a gorgeous dress for Bubs from George at Asda!) gathered, eating, laughing, chatting and singing along to the tunes! Life is good!

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The rain soon cleared and so we ventured forth to the park with rain macs stuffed in the buggy’s under carriage (Sorry, just had a Miranda look-to-camera moment…under carriage! UNDER carriage! Saucy!) and as we stepped out of the house…we only got our own personal bloomin’ fly past from the amazing Red Arrows (en route to a nearby Air Show!)!!! The air on the back of my neck went all tingly – it always does when we see The Red Arrows – an amazing aerial display team. (One year at Regatta I delightedly bumped into the whole display team of dashing young pilots at the pub! They had ‘parked up’ their planes at the Naval College and headed into the town! Swoon! No – I did not curtsey Miranda style!) Next we saw four Yakovlevs whoooosh past above our heads and finally, up at the park -which we heard before we saw-the lung shaking, rib rattling awesomeness of the Typhoon!

Whoever said rain stops play! Not me! Hip Hip….you know the rest!

 

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

Diary of an imperfect mum
Petite Pudding

Sleep deprived with hairy legs!

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Ok. So having been a dancer and now a dance Lecturer I have for the best part of 25 years had professional waxing beauty treatments.

I’ve worked my way through many a salon depending on where I’ve been living at any one particular time, London, Eastbourne, Brighton, Devon. Beauty therapists have come and gone in the time I have spent at some salons, whilst at others I have only been a fleeting client.

On my return to the South West, knowing that this was a move for the long-term I wanted to find somewhere easy to get to, parking close by, relaxing salon and quality staff.

Thankfully, in the time I had been away the demand for hair removal within Devon had significantly increased! I found a wonderful salon in my local town and this remained my salon for the next 7 years.

During my first pregnancy they helped (heaved!) me up onto the couch right up to the week before the Twins were born. I felt it was important to me to continue with these treatments throughout the pregnancy; the one aspect of my body I could still be in charge of (even if I could no longer see my legs thanks to the beach ball belly I was sporting!)

I continued to use this salon until it closed and then I was stuck!  However, I struck gold finding a magnificent mobile beautician. What a luxury!!  She would come to my house!! No need for parking, parking money, babysitters etc etc.

Then she changed career! Ahhhhhhh! I’d become so dependent on her that the thought of finding someone new was torture! Many salons and beauticians were sought out and tried but they just did not match up to her exceptional standards and,they weren’t my friends. This was a strange hurdle for me to overcome.

Honestly though, some of the waxings I experienced! Turning up at one salon to be told that I would be seen by a girl who was there on an interview (well that just filled me with confidence!)  or the beautician who was maniacally OCD in her work and provided me with a mirror – as though I was at the hairdressers and checking the back view of my head, you get my drift-which as she held she said “Is that OK for you?!” Yikes! That is an angle I really wasn’t expecting to check out! Thank God I always remained in my undies for treatments! What was she expecting me to say? “Gosh, yes I love what you’ve done!?” as I twisted from hip to hip to get the full perspective??!! My British-ness kicked in “Oh, yes. Thank you!” was all I could muster! I never revisited either of these!

We then moved house to a very rural location in Devon. I visited the village beautician but having to then chat in the playground with someone who had seen angles of you that even you hadn’t seen – oh wait, no I had…shudder!- and maintaining eye contact was tricky!

Another lady was found and she has been brilliant. A former dancer herself so she knows her onions (where did that phrase originate?!) and her waxing, and no mirrors insight!

Now though, a new Mum once again, I’m thinking this is something I should deal with myself. Man Up. Seize the day. Just get on with it.

Fancy Veet pot of melty wax stuff bought.

Fabric strips bought.

But..is dealing with liquid molten wax in delicate areas, whilst balancing sleep deprived eyelids open with matchsticks, and grabbing that window of opportunity whilst Bubs has 40 winks, a good idea?! Plus I may need a swig of vino – Dutch Courage and painkiller all in one! What if the baby wakes when I’ve just applied said melty stuff and am potentially bordering on squiffy? Should I:

a) carry on regardless (ooh I’d forgotten about that song!) – as if I could.

b) remove hot melty stuff and run to Bubs by which time quite predictably nodding off again has occurred

c) stand in a panic in a John Wayne type stance thinking through all my options by which time hot melty stuff is no longer hot or melty. But solidified. And cold. A whole new set of problems to be dealt with – not to mention that the wine is no longer chilled.

d) end up forgetting what I was meant to be doing after the first few sips of wine go straight to my head (I know – lightweight! but it has been nearly a year since I’ve enjoyed alcohol!)- no waxing occurs but I feel rough the next day.

Plus, the beauty of having someone else do it for you is not knowing that exact moment when they are about to pull/rip/remove/tear out/defuzz you.

This is not an option when you and you alone are operating the fabric strip! Mentally preparing to rip a plaster off is no match for this. Plus, you have to maintain your tension of pull for the full fabric strip; you can’t get half way and have a breather!!

And so, I am in a quandary. Go it alone or go to my ‘onion lady’ (funny because onions bring tears to you eyes too!) Plus, can I be arsed to get out of the house,  drive to town, park up, blah blah blah blah, blah??

Who am I kidding! Quandary over! The answer is quite clearly Yes! God, I’m such a lazy arse!! I shall return to Onion Lady. However, I have a friend who before her cleaner arrives has a quick tidy up, dust and vacume so that the cleaner doesn’t think the house is a state. I may have to adopt this attitude before returning to Onion Lady….you know what I mean?!

 

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

Keep Calm & Get Your Chalk Board!

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We’ve all lived through the Keep Calm and Carry On era (Oooooo Matron! Sorry wrong kind of Carry On!). We’ve had the mugs, been sent the cards replacing the ‘carry on’ for the ‘it’s only your birthday’ slogan, and basically seen it replaced with whatever activity you can think of; Keep Calm and Buy More Shoes, Keep Calm and watch Eurovision, Keep Calm it’s *enter name here’s Hen Do and so on and so forth.

I’ll admit I have my KCAKO wall canvas in my kitchen hanging up above the baby bottle steriliser and bottle warmer and next to my wine rack (which also is home to my ‘Wine Makes Mummy Clever book’!) and it works! When Bubs is in full vocal throttle, looking at that and taking a breath really helps me (that and gazing at my lovely pink bottles of Dizzy Juice!)

This trend for keeping calm was largely due to the nation’s resurgence in falling head over heels for anything vintage and I for one loved it! The fashion of the Land Army girls rocking those head scarves, the glamour of the 1940s style tea dress and the complete wear-ability of the high-waisted palazzo pants. Dash forward a few years to the comfy Hepburn-esque pedal pushers and ballerina flats whilst sporting some fab Breakfast at Tiffany style sunnies! Heaven! Classy Heaven!

But I digress!

Our love and mine in particular for things from the past does not just end at clothes. I have a real hankering for the children’s TV of my youth. Classics programmes such as Bagpuss, The Flumps, Mr Benn, The Mr Men (the proper ones voiced by Captain Mainwaring aka Arthur Lowe and not the new ‘noughties’ version where the Mr Men do not even look like the Roger Hargreaves creations- don’t get me started!),  Willo the Wisp, Bod and Button Moon.  There are some which I have never been able to find on DVD, my old favourite Cockleshell Bay…anyone remember that one? The twins who lived right next to the beach?!

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http://www.thechestnut.com/cockle.htm

I remember being at school watching fun educational children’s programmes….namely Words and Pictures! Oh the joy on a Tuesday morning, knowing our class was scheduled to go to the TV room to watch this programme!  Watching the teacher pop the video cassette into the top loading VCR, waiting for the tracking to sort itself out and listening to the somewhat watery-voiced BBC announcer as the ‘lines’ crackled down the TV screen ….then…the music began!!  I remember it vividly! This is also helped by the fact that my Mum was a Primary School teacher so still has all those video cassettes with the episodes on them! And Yes!  I still watch them!  Twin 1 and Twin 2 are as enamoured as I am with the Halloween special, the Hungry Caterpillar episode, the Frog and Toad or Oink and Pearl stories, The Winter Bear and my favourite the one with the Christmas Fairy! Vicky Ireland and Charlie presented the show from their Library during the 1980s and before that in the 1970s, Henry Woolf and Charlie presented from their bookshop.  I remember Charlie in black and white and the excitement when he got his Joseph and the Amazing techni-coloured waistcoat!!

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check out Maria Lavelle on pintrest for lots of other childhood tv favs!

Now, along with the stories that each episode of Words and Pictures presented, us children were wowed by Magic Pencil! The mysterious floating pencil that back in those days focussed on the simple formation of letters without all the flourishes and in-anticipation-of-joined-up-writing-flicks here there and everywhere. Magic Pencil would calmly float up to the black screen, flashing it’s mesmerising golden light and carefully but beautifully form the letter of the day with a catchy little song:

All the way round, down and under

That was the letter g by the way!

So, whilst stood at the bottle warmer one night under my KCACO sign I looked across at my 2 chalk notice boards. One which keeps the organisation of after school activities for the Twins and one which I wrote a natty little laundry quote on!

Top to bottom, up and over. (Any ideas?!)

Top to bottom and cross (All will be revealed at the end!)

These tunes and songs of my childhood began to float through my sleep deprived mind. Magic Pencil was there in my kitchen writing on my chalk board! Ah Ha! I thought to myself. That’s it. That’s why now my generation are so taken with chalk boards (me in particular…you have noticed all my post pictures right?!)

We are all children of Words and Pictures! We are all the extended family of Charlie, Vicky and Henry! Deep in the darkest depths of our subconscious we are all thinking in the way Magic Pencil taught us and we are all LOVING writing on a clean, sleek, magical black chalk board with our satisfyingly glossy chalk pens!

 

Cue music and adopt a Churchillian voice:

Land of Hope and Glory…

Gone are the days, due to the immediacy of classroom based technology, when our children will get the satisfaction and anticipation of going to the TV room for the one week slot. They will not experience that moment of excitement as the large, cumbersome box TV on the wheely trolley wakes up. It is up to us then, the children of the late 70s and 80s to provide our children with their own Magic Pencils in their own homes!

Go forth Mummies and Daddies!! Purchase that black chalk board paint and slather it onto a wall in your house!

Present your children with the glorious chalk pens and have fun!

Form your letters, embrace your children’s homework, leave cute messages for loved ones…(‘Buy more wine dearest!’) create your shopping lists and smile.

For you dear British parent are your children’s very own Vicky, Henry or Charlie!

Bring forth the Words and the Pictures!

The Aloha Mummy 🌸

Today’s letters were…

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courtesy of testcardgirl76 on youtube

courtesy of sdaonline

 

 

A Cornish Mum
Petite Pudding