Showing posts from 2017

Countdown to Opening Night

Okay, I need you to go get your diary - or open your calendar if you are technically inclined.  Go on, I can wait... ... Got it?  Good. Now find 19, 20 & 21 October - I'm assuming it's a 2017 calendar you are looking at!  Anything pencilled in for those dates?  No?  Excellent!  Pick one of them and write the following entry: The Winslow Boy, Henderson Hall, Abbots Langley @ 19:15 Now you have an entertaining evening lined up with The Centralian Players' production of Terence Rattigan's play about a Naval Cadet accused of theft and his Father's fight to clear his name.  To make sure you have a seat, you can book tickets with the Box Office on:  (01923) 227392 Last Sunday saw the first set build get underway and by the end of the day, a large amount of the set had been built and decorated ready for the first rehearsal on stage since auditions back in July. The state of the set when I first arrived The state of the set towards th

The Winslow Boy

In four weeks time, The Centralian Players will once again be performing at Henderson Hall, Abbots Langley, with their production of The Winslow Boy , written by Terence Rattigan  and performed under license from Samuel French . With 11 cast members, this production is larger than normal and sees the debut of the group's youngest member, Daniel Remmington, playing the role of The Winslow Boy, a young naval cadet accused of stealing and his Father's fight to clear his name. If you are interested in booking tickets, please contact the booking office using the details on the poster above; there is no need to pay now as payment will be required when you collect the tickets from the box office.  If you cannot make the booking for any reason, all they ask is that you let them know so they can make the tickets available to others. As the production is still a few weeks away, why not like their Facebook Page or Twitter account so you can be alerted of updates.  Better still

Starbucks Name Chain Fun

Who's up for a game?  I'm going to call it the Starbucks Name Chain (hopefully, nobody else has come up with this yet!). The rules are really simple: Go to Starbucks and buy a drink of your choice, as you normally would Give them your name when asked  If the name on the cup does not match yours - and experience suggests this is highly likely - adopt this as your new name! Change your name on social media (completely optional, especially if the platform complains!) Next time you go to Starbucks, use your new name! How long does it take for you to get back to your real name?   Currently, I am living as Roger... [UPDATE] I thought it would be a fun idea to change my name on Facebook to reflect the Starbucks name change.  I thought wrong.  Apparently, Facebook will lock you in to your name change for 60 days before you can make any further changes.  This puts a dampener on any fun and means, regardless of any further name changes by Starbucks, I am now locked in t

Alexa, ask Super Me...

When Amazon introduced the Echo in the UK, it was the first time in a very long time I had been eager to try out some new technology; I had been waiting for the Google Home , but Amazon got there first so ended up with my money . My own personal feeling is that consumer technology seems to have stagnated over the past 5 years, with only incremental instead of revolutionary advances, so nothing really piqued my interest until affordable home control came into being, something that was finally within my budget.  Being able to combine it with the Philips Hue system was great; though trying to find answers to questions proved ... interesting. Then, back in June, I decided to try and build my first Alexa skill.  Nothing major, just a feed from this blog as a daily flash briefing.  It worked, but I decided not to publish it as I would hardly consider the content of this blog to be frequent or interesting enough to warrant it joining the likes of CNN, BBC, Sky, and the rest! So I dec

New Look ... Again

Taking a page out of Facebook's ... um ... book, you will notice this blog has had yet another change to it's template! It seems like only a few posts ago that I changed the template to something a bit cleaner - which is probably true - but with the length of time between posts being something of an epoch, I figured those of you who do pop by from time to time could probably do with a change.  I know I did when I logged back on. Up to now, I have been bemoaning the fact that Blogger is not as flexible as Wordpress and considering moving everything over to something a bit more popular.  However, after wasting time configuring this latest template, I have discovered that ThemeForest have a range of Blogger templates !! Who knew?!?! If there are Blogger themes on ThemeForest, then there must be other options elsewhere.  So, you can look forward to an all new look in the coming weeks, just as soon as I have worked out how to do it. Nothing like having a bit of v

Walking in Memory

On the weekend of 1/2 July 2017, my brother-in-law is walking 100km in an effort to raise money through his JustGiving page for Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity .  What follows below is a very personal story of loss from a Dad's perspective...

Narcissism Alert!

As if it wasn't narcissistic enough that I have a blog about the random stuff in my life - of which there is PLENTY I have yet to tell you all - my desire to learn something new has lead to the creation of an Alexa skill that should read my latest posts to you as part of your flash briefing! The motivation behind this is a bit more mundane. As a tech developer who is always looking for new things to get to grips with, I thought it would be a simple introduction into the world of Alexa skills development; certainly the creation of content skills seems to be the easiest route to get started, with this blog providing an RSS feed managed by Feedburner .  As skills go, it isn't exactly going to be the most popular and would probably be a good candidate for some kind of 'worst app' award, but as it is really just a test and an introduction to the tech, I'm not overly worried about it.  Yet. However, it is still in test as I am learning the Alexa developer interface

Opening Night!

Well, after around 10 to 12 weeks of rehearsing, opening night is finally here ... and I am in NO WAY READY!!! It doesn't matter how often I go through my lines and feel that even if I don't know the exact words I can work with it, as soon as I set foot at the venue - if not before - the adrenalin kicks in, my stomach ties itself into knots and my brain goes completely blank.  Not the best of fight or flight responses if I can't even think of what to do - I doubt I would survive in the wild!!! This has been a tough one to rehearse for a great many reasons, but we have had all the practice available and it is now time for cast and crew to assemble and put on a good show.  So, if you fancy seeing an amateur dramatics company performing a thriller over the next three evenings, why not pop along as there are still tickets available. Deliver Us From Evil by J.D Robins Venue: Henderson Hall, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, WD5 0AR ( Map ) Production Dates: 18,

Back to the Boards

Last year was a tough one, in so many ways, and I have yet to be convinced that this year will be better, but we will see.  However, in an effort to find something other than work to fill my time and get some of my previous enjoyment of life back, I have returned to the Centralian Players - admittedly after some encouragement from various quarters. In 9 days - Thursday, 26 January 2017, to be more specific - I will once again be appearing on stage at Henderson Hall in Abbots Langley, in a never-before-seen production, titled 'Awkward!'.  The script has been penned by our very own Steve Barker and everyone is hoping that it will eventually be published for other groups to perform. To summarise the plot, think of that moment when your tongue rattled something off before your brain could hold it in check.  Or that situation where you have to converse with someone you have nothing in common with.  Or that moment a piece of clothing let your modesty down.  We've all had t