Saturday, 29 September 2012

Are Restricted View Theatre Seats worth the Money?

I was reading this article about trying to make the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden London more accessible and popular.


Which in turn leads to the whole question of whether any theatre is worth going to if you can only afford very cheap tickets.

I have been to the  to the roh to see the Nutcracker Ballet and Swan Lake.  On both occasions I have paid £8 per seat to sit in the slips. This means sitting on a bench and being unable to see a third of the stage but it is still very enjoyable.  The dancers use the whole stage so they are not out of view for long. The roh itself is pretty magnificent inside and you still see the most beautiful ballet dancers. Lots of people take their children and sit in the slips.  I think it depends when you go and what you expect for your money. I go around Christmas time with my daughter and friends and we love going into the roh and see it as part of Christmas time in London.

I have just bought tickets for this year to see The Nutcracker at roh for Saturday January 5th at 12.30 and once again I have paid £8 per ticket with no booking fee.  We shall go and spend a few hours watching this pretty show and then wander around the sales and see the Christmas lights. (Link)

Photos from roh site.

The argument about the roh being elitist is just silly yes the best seats are expensive but they are in most theatres. You can get tickets to stand for most shows for £5. Yes I would like to be able to afford the best seats but it is the same with hotels and most other things. Many of us can`t afford to stay in the Savoy or such like when visiting London but maybe we can stay in a Travelodge if we book early and go midweek. We still see London.

I have been to many London theatre shows for £20 or less sometimes you are really lucky and get `upgraded` to stall seats.  This happened to us recently at `Rock of Ages` and `The Sunshine Boys`. Sometimes your seats are indeed very high in huge theatres showing musicals like `Wicked` and `Shrek`.  You still see the show and the stage effects are pretty special and very big so everyone can enjoy them. You may have to strain you neck a little to look over the balcony rail but really who cares when you are seeing such amazing shows for less than the price of a family outing to the cinema.

I have only had one show where it truly was impossible to see the show without a climbing rope to scale down the wall!  That was `Cat on a Hot Tin Roof`. We moved in the interval to other empty seats but that is the only time in ten years I have been annoyed at the allocated seats.

My answer would be yes go to any show you like the sound of and don`t be afraid to go in cheap seats. I try to use other sites rather than though do go direct to the theatres own site first.

Travelodge link  and Timeout London

I am not sponsored by any of the above
this is just my own opinion and experience.


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Stunning Bodnant Garden - National Trust

Bodnant Gardens

I have been on holiday this week in North Wales and visited

Bodnant Gardens which is 80 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland in Conwy North Wales
    The National Trust's Bodnant Garden in Conwy is famous around the world for its botanical collections and stunning views across Snowdonia.

  • It is not just the lovely flowers and layout of the lawns as they lead you down to dells and yew trees that is magical. It is the Snowdonia mountains that you can see in the background that cast a spell over this special place. It is a real privilege to wander here.

    I was making the most of a sunny afternoon and a National Trust Membership that I received as part of my working holiday at Erddig earlier this year.

    As my eldest son lives in North wales I do visit often but have never been to Bodnant before. I can`t imagine why as I have passed it often on my way to Betsw-y-Coed. Maybe I have been spoilt by so much beauty around me that I have missed this fantasy land.

    I can`t do Bodnant Gardens justice with a camera it needs to be walked through to appreciate the work that has gone into creating it. The smell of flowers and water, the colours and the awesome size of some of the trees leaves a powerful impression.  I want to go back each day and watch the trees change colour into their Autumn outfits, then again to watch the frost outline their branches against the sky.

    Walk down quite a steep slope and you find this pretty waterfall and barns hidden amongst the trees.

    There is a a tea room and some shops including tiny art shops and a pottery shop. A larger pavillion where you can get a large choice of dishes and an information centre. Bodnant Hall is not part of the National Trust and therefore is not accessable to visitors which seems a shame.

    Bodnant Hall

    Mountains in the background of the top garden

    Tuesday, 18 September 2012

    Buskers - Covent Gardens

    Buskers in Covent Gardens

    There is always something exciting going on in Covent Gardens and these buskers were extremely good.

    Talented Musicians

    Playing to the Audience

    Saturday, 15 September 2012

    London in Black and White

    Dali Sculpture

      Link for South Bank London

    Buckingham Palace

     Link for Buckingham Palace Tours

    Regent Street

    Nelsons Column

    You could get a tour bus and see all the sights  or simply get a day tube ticket and go where you like.

    Westminster Abbey

    I thought I would show you how different some of London's famous landmarks look when photographed in black and white.  The buildings look more defined and I like the overall effect.  Why don`t you try using black and white next time you are sightseeing or taking photos of the family.

    I am looking forward to going on one of the many Ghost walks and taking photos in black and white. I am sure it will create a more spooky effect and with Halloween not far away that should be fun.

    Traitors Gate at the Tower

    Would you dare enter this Gate. One side is London the other the darkest history of the city.

    Friday, 14 September 2012

    London Fashion Week - 80`s style

    It is all about fashion in London this week so I thought I would show you some photos of 1980`s fashion. Just for fun.
    The casual look

    Wide flared jeans and patterned jumpers propably in early 80`s. Anyone thinking of wearing these jumpers as a `vintage` look they are awful to wash. LFW

    I don`t think Nike would be rushing to sponsor this sporting group. Its McEnroe days and seriously 80`s
    The Boys

    Then we have the boys showing how to lounge around a bar in style. Suit jackets worn over ties with the then fashionable 80`s hairstyles.

    Then its shoulder pads and big hair. Dallas on the telly for the first time.

    White jeans and pink boots all the rage in Liverpool `85

    The children show off the homemade pink dungerees and the combat jacket. 1986.

    Childrens Party fashion

    How dark the home decor was in 1985.

    That`s the Reid fashion show over bet your glad its 2012. 

    Tuesday, 11 September 2012

    Parade of the Olympian Warriors - TeamGB

    Keeping the crowds entertained  before the Parade.

    The Royals and VIPs assemble right  opposite us.

    Princess Royal Ann and Edward Count of Wessex

    Athletes Floats arrive in the Mall

    Aren`t they amazing

    Medals gleam in the sun

    Athletes wave to the crowds

    Wow what a day

    What a fantastic day thank you so much Heineken!

    I won this VIP day in a competition run by Heineken and it was amazing from the moment we were shown to our seats in the Mall. We had an excellent view of the parade and sat in the VIP seating opposite the royal box. Once the floats with all the athletes had passed we were able to join the parade.  What an honour to walk down the Mall just behind the athletes, half the government and the Princess Royal.

    Flags medals and TeamGB

    Once at the Victoria and Albert Monument outside Buckingham Palace TeamGB stood on the steps of the monument.  The skillful Red Arrows  flew overhead with steams of red white and blue smoke, a plane with Thank You painted on its undercarriage flew low over the Mall.  Everyone roared with appreciation for the past seven weeks of sport at its best.

    What a Team

    The Pet Shop Boys played their music and the glorious Katherine Jenkins sang the National Anthem.  Amy Armstrong and Noisette were also there to add to the party atmosphere.

    We were then able to stand at the side of St. James Park and watch as TeamGB walked down the roadside. They showed people their medals and stopped for photos.

    Once the excitement was over Henekien had arranged for their guests to head over to the grill bar in Waterloo train station. Cool larger and food was served to us by the lovely staff. It really was a privilage to be part of such a special day.

    The party ends


    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    Ashridge National Trust Estate

    Ashridge National Trust Estate

    Working on the cabin steps

    It was such a beautiful day today I wanted to do as much walking and photography as possible. London will be amazing this weekend with the Mayors show and lots of free entertainment around the city. Then its the Paralympic Closing Ceremony tomorrow night which should be superb. As I am going to the Olympic Parade on Monday as a guest of Heineken I stayed close to home today.

    After a short walk along the canal I headed off to Ashridge a National Trust Estate with hundreds of acres of woodland. It is so lovely up there and you can stay where families gather for picnics or wander in perfect isolation. Luckily for me it is only 15 minutes drive away from where I live.

    Ashridge Monument

    Pedal Power

    I want to walk along this

    I am such a child I want to balance across the fallen trees and jump in the few muddy puddles I have seen todayDignity prevents such behaviour as I am alone with a camera someone might decide I have escaped from a carer or had to much sun.

    National Trust


    Canal Bank Hemel Hempstead

    Canal Bank

    Keep thinking I must get a dog but as I live in a flat and I can always `borrow` a dog to walk with I have resisted. A dog would also be such a tie if I wanted to go away and its hardly fair to leave one in a flat alone all day. I do love them though so I will be out with my son and his dog
    Archie tomorrow.  If I was in Wales now I would be doing this......


    Robbie and Sarron