Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year!

Well now seems like a fun time to review the year that has passed me by in the blink of an eye! But before I do that, a little catch up on what I've been up to in the past few days. Well of course we had Christmas Day! For the first time ever I went to a pub on Christmas Day. It was brilliant, no preparing food, cooking food, arguments on the lack of help being afforded to me, no washing up, no arguing about lack of help on the washing up front... no just plonk bum down, be sociable for a couple of hours, even I can do that, and then home to spend the rest of the day in my pyjama's...with my new pencil set...and a rather gorgeous photo from the new BBC epic War & Peace. The next few days were interspersed with catching up on TV, the entire series of Jeckyll and Hyde, Harry Price Ghosthunter (very good - get it on catch up if you can) reading and catching up with friends. I was watching the recording of The Winter's Tale on Tuesday, so as I didn't have a clue wha

A Design For Living - Revisited! Victoria & Albert Museum 16th December 2015

I laughed when I read this play, the dialogue was very witty and it was an easy and enjoyable read, so given the opportunity to see a recording of the play in which Tom starred I was in seventh heaven. I was really looking forward to seeing this play, and I am pleased to say I did not leave disappointed. In fact I left in considerable pain as my sides and cheeks hurt from all the laughing I did! The first thing to notice about the stage play is that the sets are beautiful, especially when they are in a stunning New York penthouse in the final act. The three lead cast members were terrific, but the connection between Tom and Andrew Scott was sublime. How they managed to keep, almost, straight faces throughout the performances is beyond me. They were hysterical! But we should not forget Ernest, Angus Wright should be commended for his portrayal of the forgotten man, as without it, the connection between the three leads would be lost. The play starts with Ernest and Gilda talking in a

The Doctor's Dilemma Revisited! National Theatre Archives 15th December 2015

A number of Tom Burke fans headed to London to attend a charity Christmas carol concert. One of the fans had found that this play had been recorded and was available to view at the National Theatre Archive and therefore whilst we were in the area it was thought we should see it. My review of the written play was a little on the disappointing side, so when the opportunity arose to actually view the play, I couldn't refuse. The first thing that struck me about the play was that whereas the book seemed a slow moving affair, the play trips along at a decent pace and is filled with poignant moments of light and shade. There are subtle lines which only come alive when watching the actors perform and interact with one another; this was sadly lost in the reading of the book. The subject of the play is an emotive one, a doctor has found a cure to treat TB, eleven people need your help but you can only help ten. Who do you cure, who do you leave behind? Despite the serious nature of the to

The Conspiracy Against The Human Race - Thomas Ligotti (book)

When I was in London I was asked if I'd thought of putting some book reviews on my blog. Well the answer was no I hadn't. I wasn't really sure anybody would be that interested. I thought posting a list of the books I had read would be sufficient! I do know however that two books Burketeer's would be interested about would be the two books Tom suggested to me when I spoke to him in Newcastle. I have previously written about my thoughts on the book Sway, so now for my observations about Conspiracy! Human's are a pointless and evil part of civilisation The Conspiracy Against The Human Race centres around Ligotti's claims that the worst horrors we encounter are not those that are produced by our imaginations in the field of horror films or writings, but in actual fact they are here, all around us in reality. The human condition, according to Ligotti, is not a nice one, in fact it is quite dreadful to be a human. Essentially we exist, and that is where the good n

Operation Smile's Christmas Carols - A Burketeer Special!

I read somewhere that writer's accomplish their best work when tired or drunk. Bearing in mind I've had 11 hours sleep in the last three days, today's entry should be a work of pure genius, although I suspect it's more likely to be delirious ramblings! Whilst I think on, I'm combining three days into one post, you may wish to make a nice cup of tea, or coffee if you have to, before you start reading. On second thoughts maybe a nice bottle of Russian vodka, or something else to take away the pain, might be better! Monday 14th December I'm all packed and ready to go to London, if I'm honest, I've been packed for several days. I have been given a lift to the railway station, however, the bonus of the lift is negated by having to sit for over an hour in the freezing cold as my train isn't due until 10:30. Still I buy something that vaguely passes as tea to the uninitiated and I sit with a spot of light reading until the train arrives. On the train so

Jane Eyre -Live Stream from National Theatre

I was lucky enough to secure the final ticket at my local theatre for the National Theatre's live streaming of Jane Eyre from the Lyttlelton theatre in London. Obviously it would be better to see these performances in the flesh, but I have found the live streaming to be an opening to a world of great performances that I would otherwise miss. A live stream will cost me about £15, whereas a trip to London to see a show, well we're talking about £300, at least!!! I am so pleased that I got to see this production, it was a dramatically and energised contemporary twist on a classic novel, however, for some members of the audience it seemed that it was too contemporary "too much running around the stage in my opinion" said someone, "I don't know why they have to mess around with the original" said another! I found the performance refreshing. It was a piece of theatre, not a re-enactment of the book. The stage is minimalistic and reminded me of school gym s

Sway - novel by Zachary Lazar

I have to be honest, if I had seen this on a bookshelf, I would have walked on by. I found nothing appealing to make me pick the book up, and even reading the blurb on the back, I thought, no! I wasn't a fan of the Rolling Stones, I've heard of Kenneth Anger but not seen any of his work, and Charles Manson? He was a complete "nut job", why would I want to read about him? The book was a recommendation though, and quite frankly if you ask someone to recommend a book and you've told them you will read anything (especially if you put them on the spot and they're not expecting the question) the least you can do is give the book a chance and read it. Sway entwines three symbolic stories charting the early years of the Rolling Stones, the life of the avant-garde film-maker Kenneth Anger, and Charles Manson and his followers during the decade of the 60's. It was a dark and disturbing novel, but for some reason it resonated with me. I loved it! Honestly I could

Dolokov - dashing, destructive and deceiptful

Oh my oh my, some pictures of Tom playing Dolokov from Tolstoy's War and Peace were posted last night. I couldn't be bothered writing anything at the time, but they did make me want to watch the show. The costumes and set designs look so opulent and I'm looking forward to seeing the book reimagined and brought to the small screen. I have never felt inclined to read the book, I thought it would be too daunting and a rather dry, austere read. When I heard that Tom was to portray Dolokov in the BBC adaptation I realised I would have to knuckle down and read it. Having heard that it would probably be on our screens in the Autumn and that it takes forever to read I started reading it in February, and I finished it in February! Now that is not some testament to me, it is a testament to Tolstoy for writing a book full of complex and enthralling characters. The tale he weaved could have been written this century, let alone when it was completed in 1869. As I read the book I liter

If your Christmas tree droops, your balls are too heavy!

December the first, I'm travelling home! When I get in, I shall have a cup of tea, then get the Christmas tree out of the loft and start putting the 200 baubles I have on it! I don't do coloured themes, I like my tree to have baubles that mean something, and most do have a story attached to them! This year there are five new baubles from Prague, so I will always remember my holidays there when I put them on my tree. Still, I had to make way home before festivities could begin, and I thought I little detour to Stroud would be good, because I believe that there is a gothic mansion that Marc Warren may have "lived in" as Dracula! I know the house is closed to the public at the moment, but I'm sure I will be able to get close enough to look around the grounds, and maybe go back again in the spring if it looks good. Woodchester Mansion should have been one of the most glorious private houses in existence built in the Gothic Revival style. It was built by the Le

The Westbury White Horse

According to my father, the first word I spoke was horse. A strange choice as I don't come from a 'horsey' family, so either I had a grasp of the English language from a very early age, or my dad was telling tales and I burbled 'dada' just like all small people! I say this, but to be fair to my dad, my earliest memories are of horses. I was obsessed with them. One of my earliest memories was being in a hospital riding on an old fashioned wooden rocking horse. My brother was ill at the time, but that is the only thing I can remember, the wooden horse! Unsurprisingly the earliest toy I can remember was a rocking horse I called Bluebell (after the donkey in Ivor the Engine) I still have her, the rockers were removed for ease of storage, but Bluebell remains in the loft, my black and white piebald pony. She taught me all that I know about horses. I wasn't allowed riding lessons as a child, lots of various reasons that I don't intend to go into, but my parents

A Victorian Gothic Revival

I love Gothicism. I grew up wanting to live on the wild Yorkshire Moors, where remote landscapes were the playgrounds of vulnerable heroines, and supernatural occurrences were hard to explain. Vampires and bats held a strange fascination, and quite frankly still do! As a young teenager my brother took me shopping for some new clothes in Manchester to a place called Affleck's Palace. This place was mesmerising and full of the most delightful vintage garments. Black silk, satin and velvet dresses, with long laced cuffs which fell over your hands, all called out to me. Not only that, but gothic architecture was beguiling, grand designs reaching to the heavens, pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, terrifying gargoyles and ornate decorative stonework. I haven't even mentioned the literature or what most people associate with the genre, music! Back in 2002 I read that the National Trust had acquired a property which really interested me! It's a four hour drive down the motorway fr

Bath (Christmas Markets, Fashion Museum & Dr Seward)

I'm not quite sure how I've ended up at the Christmas markets in Bath, I wanted to go to the ones in Vienna! Actually I do know, the times of the flights were dreadful, and the attributable costs seemed rather extreme to what would equate to 48 hours in Vienna, so having heard good reports about Bath, I found a charming and cheap cottage to rent in a nearby village! Now whilst working out an itinerary for my stay, I realised that the 2006 version of Dracula had been filmed in the surrounding area. Obviously I would need to track down these locations as they would make an interesting article for the third issue of TB Online Magazine! (Did I mention that I told Tom about the magazine and he didn't think we would have enough material to fill it?! Oh clearly he does not know about the tenacity of Burketeers!) Once I had located and photographed the area in daylight, I decided I had better check out Bath, and maybe come back later for pictures in the dark to echo one of the

A winter break near Bath (& OMG Tom gets a haircut!)

I'm currently in a place called Batheaston, and I'm writing this whilst maybe a little bit intoxicated, which is probably not a great idea, but non the less I shall plough on! I am having yet another short break, in my mind I'm carrying out research for articles relating to programmes Tom has filmed in. In reality I'm going to the Christmas markets and the Fashion Museum in Bath because I've not been down to this neck of the woods for ten years and I feel I am due a visit again! I am staying in a very cute cottage on the outskirts of Bath. It might be incredibly sad of me, but as I pulled up at the cottage I was delighted to find I'm staying next to a large. Church with an impressive graveyard. There is something about this time of year that makes a misty graveyard an incredibly interesting place to be. First things first, need to grab a few supplies, so I wandered up to the local farm shop. You can tell we are nearing Christmas as there is this intoxicati

Comic Con - Tom goes to Newcastle

I'm sure if my butterfly brain could keep a grip on reality I would come up with a better title, but I have spent the last six hours threatening to sit down and write about yesterday's events at Comic Con and I have failed. I keep getting all excited, doing a silly dance around the living room and then reading Twitter, just in case I missed some gem that Tom said which I may have missed. To be fair I did go missing for 3/4's of an hour and everything seemed to happen during that time. Polly met Tom for the first time and Sharon gave him a Scrabble mug I had designed. If I'm honest I'm glad I wasn't around for the mug unveiling, I'm great at chatting to complete strangers about their lives etc but self-promotion? No, can't do it! I would have died a death as she waved her hands in my general direction saying "Sioux made that"; thank goodness I'd gone AWOL!!! So where do I start? Well unusually for me, let's try the beginning! I was i