Miss Saigon – Standing ovation

I have always been into musicals, theater and even opera…
Sadly as I have grown up I do not have as much time as I did when I was younger. The last show I went to see would have been The phantom of the opera in London. That show absolutely blew me away. The phantom of the opera soundtrack, story, production and even through to the film have been one of my many favorites of all time. The show was the icing on the cake for me.

I will start this review with – Miss Saigon shocked me.
I expected it to be good, but I never imagined it would or could be executed and performed in such an amazing way.
I will give Miss Saigon 5/5. It is #2 of my favorite shows I have ever seen.
Let me go into a bit more detail of the story and why I feel it was executed so perfectly.

 

The Storyline

Based on Madame Butterfly, the show tells the story of an American solder during the Vietnam War who falls in love and marries a Vietnamese girl. They are torn apart during the fall of Saigon and the communist take over of the country. He doesn’t know if she is dead or alive…. in turn after grieving he eventually moves on with his life in America, marrying a new woman and falling in love once again.
While he is building his new life; she is fighting her way out of the country and trying to reunite with her love as well as tell him about their young son.

 

The Cast

Each member of the cast brought something special to the stage.
I could gush about the cast for ages but a few things that really stood out for me were:

Sooha Kim – She executed her role flawlessly, not only did she portray a innocent young girl but she had passion, power and fire. Sooha Kim made her professional debut in this recent production of Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre where she covered the role of Kim before going on to play the role in the Japanese production.

Ashley Gilmour – He worked extremely well with Sooha. The emotion not only in his face and voice but also in his movements and touch had the audience convinced his loved her. Ashley Gilmour also appeared in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre. His most recent credits include playing Link Larkin in the national tour of Hairspray.

Red Concepcion – He was the clown of the show, someone who you love to hate! His acting is second to none and the way that he conducted the audience was superb, it felt like you were the only person in the room. Red Concepcion’s many theatre credits in his native Philippines include Adam/Felicia in Priscilla Queen of the Desert for which he won the ALIW Award and Gawah Buhay Award, Tommy in TheNormal Heart and Alan Strang in Equus as well as the musicals West Side Story and Hairspray.

Ryan O’Gorman – He was a mans man, a young lad that wanted a laugh. His transition from the young naive boy to a caring, trusting man was exceptional. I felt with Ryan you could see his journey although they didn’t show ‘too much’ of it. Ryan O’Gorman is currently starring in the UK tour of Rent in the role of Tom Collins. His other theatre credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Billy Elliot.

Zoë Doano – Zoe’s character all be it relatively small on the grand scheme of things; touched me. Her pain, love and uncertainty was portrayed flawlessly, so much so it had me shed a tear.  Zoë Doano’s many West End theatre credits include Cosette in Les Misérables, Johanna in Sweeney Todd and most recently Grazia in Death Takes A Holiday. She has also appeared in the national tours of The Sound of Music and High Society.

Marsha Songcome – Not only the most stunning but her power, determination and the fact she is totally disillusioned is shown perfectly. The show wouldn’t have been the same without her. Marsha Songcome returns to the musical after playing Gigi at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End. Other theatre credits include Disney’s Aladdin and Mamma Mia!

Gerald Santos – I have to say I didn’t warm to Gerald immediately, I felt his performance lacked something… My first impressions were totally wrong. He owned the performance and really had me on the edge of my seat at points.  Gerald Santos was the youngest ever winner of the biggest singing contest in the Philippines, Pinoy Pop Superstar. He has released five studio albums and has won numerous awards including winning twice Best Male Concert performer at the prestigious ALIW Awards.


Who is it for?

I would definitely say don’t take young kids. I went with my partner and the copious amounts of scantily clad women dancing around and (dare I say it) recreating sexual acts was reoccurring. The positive is that he enjoyed the ladies and I enjoyed the show!
I could see some old couples shifting uncomfortable in their seats but we need to be realistic. This show portrays a brothel, prostitutes, abuse and foreign policy. It is not to be taken lightly especially when you become so engrossed in the show.
I do have to say though at some points I felt emotionally whip-lashed… There were dancing girls with Red singing making jokes but then we cut to a very serious and emotional scene which took me a little time to get used to!

The special effects

Would I call them special effects? I am not sure. There is the helicopter which was absolutely fantastic along with the dances and transitions between sets. At points I did catch myself sitting on the edge of my seat with my jaw pretty much on my lap!

Music

Flawless in every way. From the orchestra through to the vocals… I couldn’t even try to nit-pick even if I wanted too! Everything was perfect and the songs were so moving as well as some being extremely entertaining.

Overview 

Miss Saigon is a show of contrasting extremes. At one end of the spectrum is the purity of Kim’s love for Chris — with touching faith and courage, she waits three years for his return to rescue her and the son of whom he knows nothing. At the other end is the shady opportunism of ‘The Engineer,’ the Eurasian pimp who sees the half-American boy as his golden ticket to an elusive U.S. visa.
Love or hate the original version… I guarantee you will kick yourself if you don’t get a chance to see this show!

There are seats still avalible at the Curve Theatre Leicester up until 22nd July.
http://www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/miss-saigon/

My Easter Break… ‘Billy goes to Bournemouth’

Happy Easter Everyone!!
Hope you all have had a blessed day and have had lots of chocolate eggs!

My blog today is all about my little fur baby Billy! He has been on his first holiday over the Easter break; he has came to visit Adam in Bournemouth!!!
Unfortunately due to Bloo being so huge and Adam living in a top floor flat, it just wouldn’t be feasible for me to take both of them… I do hear though that he is missing Billy and is very jealous!

It all started off when myself and Adam was discussing moving in together and how we would get a dog. In particular I have my heart set on a little French bulldog however I am big on adopting puppies/dogs and not buying #AdoptDontShop
We were discussing how much hardwork they would be and also if it would be feasible.
Nothing else was said on the topic for a little while but Adam did suggest bringing Billy down on my next visit. As Adam lives by the sea and is a mere 5 minutes from Southbourne beach it seemed like the perfect idea…

I packed up my suitcase and bags as usual for my venture down south. I was also packing for a second passenger, Billy. 6 Tins of dog food, a bag of biscuits, a bowl, harness & collar, a ball, a bed and his lead.

The bearing in mind from Leicester to Southbourne (Bournemouth) it takes about 3 hours in the car… Billy was a little star. After getting the car packed up I put a blanket down in the foot-well for him to lay on. About an hour into the journey he was looking at me slightly puzzled as if to say ‘This is a long journey to the park’. Another half an hour and we had got half way. He kept trying to go sleep but the car was too bouncy for him and the bumps kept waking him, so I pulled over to see if he needed to go toilet and then put his bed into the foot-well. The space was a little tight but it did the job, for the remaining time he drifted in and out of sleep until we got to Bournemouth.

That evening he was pretty darn petrified. He wasn’t sure where he was and he wasn’t really sure what was happening but with a bit of encouragement he was going toilet and navigating around the flat. We had takeaway food that evening and had a reasonably early night sleep so we could get up and take Billy for his first experience on the beach.

Over the past few days Billy has been on 3 walks a day! A Morning walk which consists of lots of ball throwing and chase games. The Afternoon walk which was a much more leisurely stroll on the beach shoreline. The Adam Evening walk, Adam takes him back down to the beach for the final walk of the day which is only a 30 min walk but allows him to get some fresh air and go toilet.

Our evenings consist of getting takeaway or cooking and just before bed taking billy down to the very local greenery (1 min walk) for him to go for a wee before settling down for the night.
It has been a lovely break but very tiring for both myself and Adam as well as Billy.
I will be heading back to Leicester tomorrow morning to miss the Easter Break traffic. I can only imagine Billy will be doing exactly what he is doing now… Donking out, fast asleep!

I have to say! I feel fitter, but I am in so much pain with my back, my ankles, legs, shoulder and neck. I basically ache all over. Adam and I have decided that until we buy a house with a garden, maybe we wouldn’t cope with a dog. Lucky for me I live with my granny & auntie still so I have my 2 babies (4 including the guineas) at home.

Hope you all had a wonderful break!
Billy sends lots of love and licks

Kx & Bx

Kirstie’s World!

Hello my loves,

Can you believe it has been 2 days since I have posted?
It has all been happening in my world! I have had a very busy few days at both work and at home.

At work I am currently working on a new instore campaign which is due to go live this month. So there has been long working hours and a few frustrations but we are so nearly there! Very exciting!

I have been butting heads with my partner which has been very frustrating! Hopefully he sees sense soon!

Finally I have been painting and also I have had some new piercings!

 

Starting with my painting… You will already know that I have my new watercolour set… I love it! Oil painting has always been my fortay, however I am in love with watercolour!
I have created another animal focused piece. My auntie wanted me to paint a robin and some deer, so thats exactly what I did!

Robin & Deer!
I was a little flustered and needed some friend time on Monday so I text one of my oldest and best friends Mikhail. We met up in town and had YO! Sushi as it was Blue Monday.
I went and got a triple forward helix piercing. I had wanted this done for a while but I always put it off. Still, I thought ‘what the hell!’ and went to have it done at Jenova Rain
https://www.facebook.com/jenova.rain.modifications

I have to say she was the best piercer I have ever encountered! She is lovely in every shape and form. Very professional and talked me through all of the instructions. She spent her time really talking through my options and when I was unsure about the placement she did not hesitate to move them to my preferred placing. I have to say I am gutted that Jenova is moving away (she is moving to Spain don’t cha know!) I am so happy for her but she is obviously a well established piercer and body modification specialist. I am just being selfish and want her to stay!
Its key to note that there is a half price offer on for the remainder of April! Bargain!
I am happy to give a 5/5 for Jenova Rain – get there before she is gone!

 

Other than that – thats all that has been happening!
I guess now I wont write a new post until Friday/Saturday so I will leave you all be!
Have a lovey rest of the week and let me know what exciting things you have happening over easter

cheerio and blessed day to you all

Kx

Paw-fect!

My little fur-babies aka Bloo, Billy, Pippin & Zeus are like children to me.
I am a bit of a crazy dog and guinea pig lady!

I just wanted to give you a bit of background on my life of pets and how I have become reliant on animals in my life…

On birthdays and social occasions my family have been known to tell my friends stories about when I was a kid and I drank my milk out of a bowl like a cat and ran around the garden pretending to be a squirrel or at least some form of animal!
As a kiddie I was not really interested in barbies or teddy bears… I had a large selection of stuffed dog toys. The 2 most memorable ones were ‘Pluto‘ (one of his ears were missing as the actual dog got hold of him) and Beethoven (a puppy version of the well known St Bernard). I carried these everywhere with me. When going on holiday they couldn’t go in the suitcase they had to be carried on and off the plane. I can almost remember the sheer terror when I had to leave them on the conveyor belt to be scanned for potential bombs!

My family and I have had pets for as long as I can remember. We had a shark called Fred for many many years. He was small as he only grew to the size of the tank (which to be fair was quite big). We had a springer spaniel called Jasper and also a mixed breed part Labrador part horse called Eric. Eric was my first real dog that I felt was mine as I remember going to pick him up from the house.
The house smelt awful and I believe the owners were alcoholics selling the puppies off of their next fix! We couldn’t have left him there even if we weren’t going to keep him.
Eric lived for many years but had some awful medical conditions. Mid-Life he got a cyst on his neck which couldn’t be drained it needed to be operated on. The Vets wouldn’t allow us to be with him while he was put under anesthetic, causing him masses of distress. When he came out he had the wrong side of his neck shaved where they had mistaken the correct side of his neck, the cyst had gone down and we continued with the aftercare of the area. A few days later we noticed he was really poorly. We took him back to the vets they thought it was just due to  the operation, we knew better and went for a second opinion at another vets. It turns out that he had a issue with his pancreas which can only be caused by severe stress. We had to pay £50 a month for the remainder of his life to pay for a powder to stop the cause.  Sadly his death was not very nice either, his abdomen started to fill up with blood so he needed to be put to sleep.

It was quite a while before we agreed to get another dog. It could have been 2 years in the end. The house felt very quite and almost like the homely feeling we once had had just vanished.  I personally wanted a Husky or a Boxer as our next dog however we happened to stumble across an advert in the local news paper for German Shepard Puppies and we agreed to go and view them. The family were not breeders they introduced a bitch into the family and the dog got to the bitch before they had the chance to get her spade. Instantly I knew the family were genuine caring people who had the puppies best interests at heart. They asked us about our home life, our garden, plan to walk puppy etc. It felt almost like an interview.

When they family let the puppies out; there was a short haired bouncy bitch who was adorable. A playful long haired dog that was running around the garden like crazy. Then out came Bloo who at the time was a big dopey fluff ball. He seemed so chilled and took everything in his stride. We knew and the family knew that it was going to be him that we chose. The mum of the family shed a tear when we left, we left with some food and a sheep fleece which helped comfort him on the journey home.

We had arguments in the family about what to name him…. I wanted to call him Reeno, my uncle wanted to call him Maximus… Eventually we all agreed on Bloo. The reason behind the name is because my Grandad was a taxi driver (RIP) and his code name was ‘Blue’. We switched it up a bit with a different spelling but we thought it was a bit different to the usual.
Apologies for the attire in this video! But check out his skills:
http://www.facebook.com/miss.kirstie.jade/videos/10151875961173230/?l=4995703253949642557


Billy
has a even longer story…
My uncle Stefan and his partner Laura ended up getting a puppy for my little cousin Fletcher. (Apparently) He chewed up lots of things in the house, he weed in the house and I think they found having a dog difficult to manage. At a later date Billy was stolen from their back garden in Leicester. I did search petitions on Facebook, we even scoured the streets looking for him. Eventually we got him back by having to pay a ransom for him!! Can you believe that!?
We said enough is enough and we adopted Billy from them. Since being stolen he has been a very scared and nervous dog but he is so loving and kind hearted. He just wants to sit on your lap and be stroked all the time. He is the most intelligent dog I have met, he picks up tricks and behavioral activity very quickly. He doesn’t soil in the house and he does not chew. He does get under your feet quite a bit usually leading to almost falling over!
A cheeky video of his skills: http://www.facebook.com/miss.kirstie.jade/videos/10152791986753230/?l=5698713167011099166


We have had a fair few small pets in this house too!
I had 2 russian dwarf hamsters. One called VK and one called OJ. They were both male and got on lovely with each other. One day OJ completely flipped out and started attacking VK so sadly we had to separate them.
VK was a spider hammie – he would climb up the walls of the cage – he passed first, just from old age. He started to lose his fur a little and got quite skinny. He was completely happy and wasn’t in any pain.
OJ was a fatty but loved crawling around investigating my boots and crawling up my dressing gown arm holes. He lasted a while longer than VK but sadly he had a growth which we didn’t know if it would be cancerous or not. Because he was 3 at the time there was no point in operating, I just had to ensure he had good quality of life. The day I noticed him struggling to get into his food bowl I took him to the vets and cried like a baby as the vet put him to sleep. It was the best thing for him, I stand by that.

 

During the Hamsters time we had 2 other guinea pigs….
First of all we ended up having another one of my uncles pets ‘Dave‘ who was a American Smooth guinea pig. After getting him for my cousin they realised as a lone guinea pig he was extremely lonely. Due to this we adopted him. As he was living outside in the shed we thought it would be best to get another guinea pig for him to become friends with.
We took him down to Pets at Home and asked to introduce him to a Guinea Pig from the adoption center. I spotted a long haired Texel Guinea Pig called John! He was lovely. He was put up for adoption because he had ring worm and the family could afford to pay for his medication. We introduced them and they got on very well. We packaged him up and away we went (p.s we renamed him Scuff). They ended up loving each other so much.
Dave passed when he bit a cyst and he needed to go for an operation. He died on the operating table. Under a week after Dave passed we had awful weather out side… frost, thunder and lightening so I brought Scruff inside out of the shed. I  gave him cuddles and went to bed. In the morning I went to wake him with his veggies but he had passed in his sleep. I do honestly think he died of a broken heart.
Heres a quick video of my little ones when they were still here. Creepy voice alert: http://www.facebook.com/miss.kirstie.jade/videos/10151181756088230/?l=8795461141800024429

 

Fast forward a year and I went to Pets at Home to pick up some treats for the dogs… I spot the most adorable guinea pigs. I wanted some more after my other babies passed but my family refused. I  couldn’t help myself. I ended up picking a white and ginger American Smooth (Pippin) and a black brown and white Abyssinian (Zeus).
I hid them from my family… I still remember my heart pounding out of my chest when I had to confess what I had done! I thought they were going to kick me out!!!! 
They didn’t want anything to do with them initially but as they do they came round and they love taking to them.

Pippin didn’t have a good start. He had a cyst under his chin. After all of the bad experiences I have had with The Park Vets (I will write a blog/review on this at a later date) I decided to take them else where. I took them to Matthews in Syston. I took Billy there for his jabs, chip and castration. The neatest work I have ever seen.
Matthews drained his cyst and administered antibiotics. It never came back (touch wood). After this I noticed that Pippin had a funny nose instantly I took him to companion care which specialised in small animals. It turns out he had ringworm and he had it when I brought him from Pets at Home. Thankfully I got the veterinary bill wiped by Pets at Home as its £100 for ringworm treatment.
Since all this happened they have been happy and fighting fit!

Pets are huge amounts of work so please ensure you research in advance of buying!
Adopt where you can and if you are unsure of anything seek medical advice.

When I have a place of my own I was planning on having a micro pig if there are no issues with the council and where I am living. Sadly I do not agree with the tattooing or tagging of pigs which by law you need to do. So this is something I need to think about.
Otherwise I think a little french bulldog is on the cards!

I will follow up with future grooming, training and information you might find useful.

Thanks again my lovlies!

Stay safe and have blessed day!

Kx

Not Just For Grannies!

I get laughed at for many of my interests and hobbies, but most of all is crochet.

I love crochet. 
Now some people may have heard of this, others my have no idea…
Basically it is a handicraft in which yarn is made up into a textured fabric by means of a hooked needle. Do not mistake this for knitting, (it kind of is knitting) rather than using 2 knitting needles you use 1 crochet hook!

I got into crochet when I saw a ‘Mood blanket’ which is a granny square for each day or week of the month in the colour you feel represents your mood. People create these over a year and create 1 square a month others do it over a month and create them per day!

I like therapeutic or creative activities such as wrapping presents, adult colouring and also drawing. So my auntie picked me up a crochet magazine, a ball of yarn and a crochet hook… I read this magazine and then went straight onto YouTube for a tutorial.
I came across Jayda In Stitches who had created a granny square tutorial.
you can find her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgW3J4eHwnrgutZKNKGqj0Q
She also has a Etsy store which has many, many, many fantastic crochet patterns to choose from: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JaydaInStitches
Her tutorials were so valuable to me, it really helped me understand the basics of crochet as well as more complex stitches.

So I started off with a baby blanket (this took me FOREVER) which I eventually gave to my little cousin Mia to use for her dolls.
My next challenge was a throw for my bed! I have to admit it never got to the size of my bed, but it does make for a lovely blanket for work or just to keep me warm at home.
From here I felt much more confident to work on more complex items… I started making Mittens, Cardigans and Jumpers. I most recently made a super cute dress.

If you are looking to start crocheting I would suggest having a look on YouTube to see what tutorials are out there. I would then advise you to have a look on eBay for your crochet hooks. I got a selection of 12 aluminium crochet hooks ranging from 8.00mm all the way down to 2.00mm for about £4. For Christmas I received a crochet set and case from my partner which also had 9 soft touch hooks included from 6.00mm down to 2.00mm. I have to admit the soft touch hooks are much easier to use as you have a slight grip, if you do a lot of crocheting the spongy grip will also stop your fingers from aching and getting tired quickly! Included in this case I also received a selection of stitch markers, plastic yarn needles, yarn scissors, mini knitting needles, tape measure, round counter, and ruler. Some of these thing you may not think are needed but I have used every single piece of kit in my set. Unfortunately I don’t know where Adam got it from or how much but I would have happily paid at least £20 for it!

The most important piece of kit is the yarn. Before purchasing this work out what item you plan to crochet. Then you can work out the weight of yarn needed and how much you need.
For a quick overview of yarn weights have a look at:
http://blog.loveknitting.com/yarn-weights-translated/
Subsequently Love Knitting is one of my preferred websites to purchase my yarn. They always seem to have a offer on. I believe they are currently offering 15% off your first order. If you are looking for a basic yarn which is readily accessible and cheap I would advise you to purchase James C Brett Top Value DK 100% Acrylic Yarn (100g). This uses a 4mm crochet hook and comes in a wide range of colours. I can pick this up  on the market for around £1.40 or cheaper.

Here are a few snaps of some of the pieces I have made! Some of my best ones are not shown such as my poncho (no one can be sad in a poncho), little Mia’s poncho, little dress and a beautiful infinity scarf. I am also in the process of creating a little skirt with lace trim.


Going forwards I will start sharing patterns, hints and tips for crochet.
I am looking to get a new laptop and desk to allow me to do some videos to a decent standard, so once I have this sorted I may end up creating some YouTube tutorial videos to help you with easy to knit pieces and stitches!

If there is anything in particular you would like to know or have any questions please ask away.

Ciao & have a blessed day!

Kx

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