Finnglish Diary


Things you really want to know.

Saturday 1st November 2003

Off to Manchester for a wedding! A 'cyber friend' of mine was being married in Manchester and we went up for the weekend. In spite of a horrendous drive, it took 7 hours, we had a marvelous time. Having said that the hotel was crumby, the restaurant was abysmal and we had an argument over the bill! But it was all worth it to attend such a terrific event. For that's what it was. Take a look at the pictures and you may get an idea.

Grieg and Sarah's wedding



Thursday 13th November 2003

Went to St. Paul's Cathedral to hear a recital of Berlioz' Requiem. We were very excited about this as the Requiem is not performed that often and not in such an exalted venue. Neither of us had ever been to St. Paul's so we were looking forward to an exciting evening.

Unfortunately, we were both somewhat disappointed. While St. Paul's is undoubtedly an impressive place, they had the builders in! Large parts of it were covered in, albeit tasteful, tarpaulins. It was undergoing renovation. Oh well.

The real disappointment was the performance itself. While not taking anything away from the choir or orchestra, the accoustics left a lot to be desired. The place is huge and the sound seemed to be sucked into the dome and lost. Never mind, it was an evening out! At least we can cross St. Paul's of our 'must see' list.

St. Paul's



Friday 14th -Monday 17th November 2003

The weekend of Tapani and Pekka's visit. It's all been chronicled elsewhere

Stasi Men and Bulletin 14





21st November 2003

And now for something completely different! Civic theatre, Chelmsford.

I'm not sure if the Rocky Horror Show is know in Finland but here it has something of a cult following. I hadn't seen it before although Arja has. She convinced me to go and I agreed, with some misgivings.

I thought I was right when we went into the auditorium, people were dressed up in suspender belts and fishnet stocking, corsets and short, I mean SHORT, skirts. That was just the men! I was beginning to think we were in some sort of madhouse!

The RHS very much depends on audience involvement. Most folk knew the script backwards and shouted out witty responses to the actors. Well I soon understood the form and changed into a very happy bunny!

A great night out and I would definately go and see it again.

There are loads of sites for this but this is the best I came up with.

Rocky Horror Show




Sunday 23rd November 2003

My my, we do get out a lot! Cinema today to see 'Seabiscuit'. The story of a racehorse at the time of the depression in America. True story as far as Hollywood will allow but enjoyable for all that. We're suckers for a good horse story anyway.





29th November 2003

What a busy November! We were sitting around reading the papers when Arja suggested we try to go to Chelmsford cathedral to hear Mozart's Masse in 'C'. Being doubtful whether we'd get tickets at the door, we thought we'd give it a try.

Amazing! We got tickets even though the place was pretty well packed. What a stroke of luck! It was a terrific performance. Not a lot more to be said, the choir, Essex University choir, was outstanding! The orchestra, although a tad small, did a first class job.

This was the evening we hoped St. Paul's would have been. It goes to show that all the talent isn't in the big cities eh?

Essex University Choir



Friday 12th and Saturday 13th December 2003

We had an invitation to dinner from Doreen and Andy, (Andrew when he's in trouble!) not so much to be sociable but to get their own back on us for getting them too drunk when they came to us. Apart from the very good food, they did get their revenge on us! Arja couldn't remember the journey home! A terrific evening folks, thanks a lot. Oh and a special hello to Nipper, a cute little West Highland White terrier, who bit my finger, the little sod!

Saturday, our good friends Jon and Olly Allen came down from Ipswich for dinner. For this one, Arja made me do the cooking! There is something definately wrong with the training programme! Anyway, I did beouf Bourginon, potatoes au gratin and fresh veggies. Didn't hear any complaints. Again, an evening when copious amounts of wine were consumed and, by the picture, you can see blood pressures were up and waistbands pushed to the limits!


In all, a weekend to recover from, but MOST enjoyable



Christmas eve and Christmas day 2003

or, as we call it, December 24th/25th 2003

Christmas eve, we went to the local "Rat&Parrot" restaurant with the grand name of Barne's Farm. This is one of those themed Beefeater places that you feel you ought not to enjoy, seeing as they're so naff! But as much as I hate to say so, it was very good. We pigged out and drank our fill for less than £50 including a bottle of decent wine! We then walked home, yes that's right, walked home.

Christmas comes but once a year and when it does, we won't be here! For many many years, Arja and I have protested our disinterest in Christmas and all the hassle and expense it brings. I sometimes feel that people don't believe us. Well, this was our 'Christmas dinner'

Yes, it IS a plate of sandwiches and a cup of tea! Backed up of course, by a bottle of wine.


Boxing day 26th December 2003

Went to see off the local foxhounds. There was a fine turnout although the weather was a little on the drizzly side. For once there were no 'antis' out and the day passed off without any unpleasantness.

So there we are, Christmas has come and gone and everyone can heave a huge sigh of relief!




28th December 2003

Saw Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. Very nearly as good as the preceeding two installments but dragged on a bit too long towards the end. I, and of course Arja, cant wait until we get the full set of DVDs. Then we can sit down and watch it from beginning to end in one sitting. I reckon on about 16 hours!




January 1st 2004

We could barely keep ourselve awake to see the new year in and as soon as the clocks struck midnight we raced up the stairs to bed. We really must slacken the pace!

Happy New Year Everyone.