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All posts for the month February, 2015

Valentine’s Day for Singles

Published February 9, 2015 by Naomi Rettig

It’s that annoying time of the year again when shop windows fill with a sea of red love hearts and loved up smug couples flaunt their sickly sweet soulmate status, while feeling sorry for singletons and their miserable lonely existences. Yes, I’m not a fan of the over commercialised event of Valentine’s Day.
I don’t like the fact that florists, hotels and restaurants hike up their prices for this day – I know they are in business and need to make money but I still find it distasteful. I don’t like the assumption that it’s just this one day of the year that you show the person that you love you care – you don’t need a special day to do this. I don’t like couples who send vomit inducing messages on social media for all to see –tell each other privately, why do you need to tell everyone/show off about it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am surprisingly an eternal romantic even though I’ve been single for many years now. I’m more in love with the idea of being in love than actually being in love though. It’s exciting to imagine that my soulmate is out there somewhere and that fate will guide us together in some mysterious circumstance, our eyes will meet and we will instantly know we are destined to be together for eternity. But in reality I know the chances of this happening are a slither of slim. I manage to hide this hope of ‘my soulmate is out there’ at the back of my brain, filed away with ‘someone will invent calorie free chocolate’ and ‘if I mentally promise to donate half to charity I will win the lottery jackpot’.
Maybe that’s why I don’t like Valentine’s Day too, a reminder of another year sailed by without bumping into said soulmate (and another year without calorie free chocolate and a lottery win). So when I see the sea of red and pink hearts surging up the high street I have to remind myself how good it is to be single to stop myself sinking in the suffocating waves of organised romance.
There are wonderful advantages to being single. Your legs are warmer in winter as there is no need to shave them, although when you shave for summer dresses it will appear that you’ve massacred Chewbacca in your bath tub. You can watch whatever television you like and when you like, no having to put up with silly sports channels or being tutted at when watching hours of soap operas. There are no tedious in-laws to dutifully visit or partner’s friends that you have to tolerate when you would really like to smack them across the face with a wet haddock. You can starfish in bed at night, fidget away and keep all the duvet to yourself, not to mention the bliss of a quiet night’s sleep with no snoring or heaving breathing next to you that leaves you contemplating first degree murder. You can also have lovely lazy days where you don’t have to bother brushing your hair and applying your face and you can feel happy lounging around in the nude without constantly holding your tummy in. Also you will have healthier intestines too as there is no need to hold wind in, extra beneficial being a vegetarian.
I unfortunately can’t banish Valentine’s Day so instead I will celebrate with the current soulmate in my life – me. I will treat myself to some lovely gifts perfect for me (Erica Spindler’s new thriller book, the Fawlty Towers scripts and Monty Python’s Holy Grail script) and spoil myself with a luxurious candlelit bath after work while sipping non-alcoholic pina colada (my tipple of choice) before watching a Judd Nelson movie (getting to spend the evening with the most handsome man on the planet) and enjoying a Marks & Spencer meal for one.
I suppose I have fallen into the consumer trap of this day. And that little seed of hope will be waiting for flowers from a secret admirer to be delivered in work and an array of admirer’s cards waiting on my doormat on return from work. They won’t, and I shall be momentarily disappointed before reminding myself that I’m spending the evening with someone that loves me unconditionally and forever. Me. So if you are single on Valentine’s Day: love yourself, be kind to yourself and remind yourself how special you are, too special to share in fact!

The Business of Murder – a theatre review

Published February 5, 2015 by Naomi Rettig

The Business of Murder: Theatre Review
This business is booming. The whole play was a ticking time bomb throughout: tense, taut and tantalisingly terrific. I won’t reveal any spoilers as I urge anyone near to a theatre on the tour to treat themselves to a performance. And what a treat.
Written by Richard Harris (not the famously known Irish actor but the screenplay and playwright) the plot had more twists and turns than the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps. Just when you think you know what’s going on you are flung fiercely in another direction. I was exhausted on exiting. And at one point, with a gasp of ‘dear God no’ from behind me, I thought an elderly lady was going to have a coronary attack. Luckily she didn’t as I’m not a first aider and I didn’t want the play interrupted.
The set was perfectly designed and kitted out with 1981 décor. I definitely spotted my mum’s trailing spider plant in a knitted macramé holder hanging up. Sound and lighting was top notch too as was the direction by Michael Lunney. And what a wonderful cast he had to direct. There were only three actors in the play but they not only carried it successfully they lifted it aloft. Joanna Higson played Dee and was delightful. I won’t reveal too much about her character but it was excellently portrayed and I look forward to seeing Joanna in many more roles. Paul Opacic played policeman Hallett, good cop or bad cop? My lips are sealed, but he was fantastic in the role, persuading my opinion of Hallett’s virtue to waver throughout. Robert Gwilym played Stone. I can honestly say his portrayal creeped me out so much I wouldn’t want to share a lift with him. He made Norman Bates seem a rational pleasant person.
I highly recommend The Business of Murder if you love quality theatre, enjoy a good murder and like your spine tingled. The Business of Murder by the Middle Ground Theatre Company is definitely a thrilling partnership that had me sold. Bravo.