Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas Bearwood

There's nothing like a good Christmas cover and one of our favourites has to be Bearwood's finest Musical Youth's version of Mary's Boy Child.  Chill out and enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Bearwood. 

See you again in 2015!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Bearwood has the write stuff!

Bearwood has the write stuff!  We've always thought so and we were excited when we found out that Bearwood based writer Lynne Voyce has just had her collection of short stories, Kirigami, published.  It makes for a perfect Christmas pressie.
We caught up with Lynne to find out more...
"Kirigami is my first solo short story collection. Many of the stories have won prizes or been published in anthologies, magazines or on line, over the past fourteen years.  Now they have been collected together by Ink Tears Press in a quite ravishing hard back edition that would make a beautiful Christmas gift.

My first story was published by, now defunct, Birmingham literary magazine, Raw Edge.  I remember, clearly, that the first I knew of this little literary success was someone bringing the magazine to me while I sat having a pint in The Bear.  Since then I have won quite a number of prestigious prizes, for example, Legend, Momaya, Flash 500 and Calderdale, and had more than forty short stories published.

So, I wrote the book in bits and pieces, although, strangely, when I had the offer of a publisher putting a collection together, certain themes and motifs emerged from the individual stories that served to make the book a whole. As for what the book is about, Agnes Meadows puts I nicely:

"This is a treasure trove of captivating stories that will tap into everything you ever felt about love and relationships but couldn't express."
(Agnes Meadows, Poet, Writer and Founder Loose Muse Women's Writing Night)

Of course, living in Bearwood has inspired me.  From the very moment I moved here fifteen years ago I felt as if I was living in an imaginative place. Yes, it's very pretty with the woods and the park, but it's also full of people who are using their skills and ideas to make it a creative hub."

Lynne Voyce's Kirigami (Ink Tears Press) is currently available in first edition hardback on Amazon (18.99) and will also shortly be available in Kindle format.  Please click here for more details.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Jolly Old St Nick

Two events taking place this weekend which we just have to share with you.

Tomorrow (so that makes it Saturday 6th December) St Nicholas (aka the original Father Christmas) is holding his Fayre from 10am to 2pm at St Mary's Church (on Bearwood Road). 

There'll be various stalls selling cakes, cookies and preserves, crafts and gifts, bric-a-brac (hurrah! we love Bearwood bric-a-brac) and a tombola, amongst other festive goodies.  Tea and coffee along with mulled wine (the non-alcoholic kind of course) too.

If that’s not enough for you on Sunday (7th December) Professor Firestick is hosting his next Sunday Acoustic Music Session at Samba Lounge, Bearwood. 
The music starts at 2pm and the line-up this time includes Mr Apollo, Mariah and Amelia with their Ukulele-driven beautiful vocal harmonies, Small Changes, fronted by ex- Valuable Fools leader, Mark Winters, and the very talented Kate Barry. 
Professor Firestick promises an excellent afternoon listening to some very fine music which is made even better as entry is free!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Thimblemill Library December 2014 Calendar

Ho! Ho! Ho!  It's......CHRISTMAS!  Well nearly anyway!

Thimblemill Library have definitely got in the festive mood and there's plenty happening for everyone to enjoy.

The Family Christmas Crafts Fair starts off proceedings tomorrow (5th December) and then next weekend your children can meet Santa on the Saturday afternoon (13th December). 

The library is also inviting everyone along that evening for Brandhall Community Choir's Christmas Carol Service complete with mulled wine and mince pies.

We love a good Christmas Carol sing-a-long so it's great to see that on Saturday 20th December the Bearwood songsters Yule Choir will be dropping by to sing our favourite festive songs.
There'll be FREE mince pies let's give a Christmas Cheer for Bearwood's no 1 library!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The BFG @ The REP, Tuesday December 2nd 2014

Adapted by actor, writer and magician...yes...really...David Wood and directed by Teresa Ludovico (who previously directed the popular version of Philip Pullman’s I Was A Rat) this brand new production of Dahl’s classic The BFG is a pretty much perfect festive family treat.

Telling the story of a young girl called Sophie (named after Dahl’s real life granddaughter who went on to become a model before marrying pocket sized pianist Jamie Cullum), who’s snatched from an orphanage by a giant that delivers dreams to children it’s packed with glorious Dahl stuff and nonsense.

Played by Joshua Manning this particular BFG comes across as part Billy Connolly, part Ali G and part Droog (thanks to Dahl’s marvellously mangled giant’s language) and he manages to make that awkward transition from the scary ogre that initially terrifies Sophie to her friend pretty smoothly. There are a trio of Sophies on offer, ours tonight was Lara Wollington who’s already played the West End lead in another Dahl inspired smash hit, Matilda The Musical. She sang and danced her socks off displaying a level of professionalism, timing and innate charm that could shame some actresses five times her age.

Ludovico sprinkles some Italian sophistication on the whole piece, gently introducing younger members of the audience to a little ballet, opera and acrobatics and thanks to the masked ‘Dark Thing’ characters that drift in and out of Act I, even the tradition of Commedia dell’arte (or that might just be me over thinking things). There’s possibly a hint of surrealism here and there too, less Dahl more Dali if you will, but it’s all cleverly blended in to the action without distracting from what is, after all, just great family fun.

Act II goes straight for the belly laughs with a truly show stealing performance from Mike Goodenough as the Queen of England ably supported by Mei Mac as Pup-Pup the Dog. 

They’re worth the price of a ticket on their own. Add some truly giant sized hands and feet and chair rumbling bass for the giant’s footsteps the breaking wind sequences (getting you in the mood for sprout season no doubt) and this BFG is a Bloomin’ Flippin’ Great night out!

The BFG is on at The REP until January 24th 2015. Tickets available right here.

All photos copyright of Robert Day and must not be reproduced...or else the BFG will come round and 'ave a word... 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Food Glorious Good Food Show

Photo Credit: Urban Herbs

Hot (or warm at least) on the heels of the recent inaugural Bearwood Food Festival welovebearwood spent a very enjoyable day at the BBC Good Food Show yesterday and dropped by to see a busy business that started right here in the ‘wood, Urban Herbs. Andrew Perry, the Herbfather himself, seemed to be doing a roaring trade.
Photo Credit: Urban Herbs

Photo Credit: Urban Herbs

Elsewhere there was the usual mix of small local producers and the big names offering plenty of chances to eat, drink and chew the fat...metaphorically and literally...with some really passionate foodies. Ludlow Food Festival has a stand there each year to promote its culinary delights maybe one day Bearwood could do likewise eh? We reckon Charlie’s Mum’s Chocolate Factory and Nat’s Chilli Pickled Onions would go down a treat...although perhaps not at the same time.
Photo Credit: Urban Herbs

One of the discoveries of the Show this year was a liqueur spirit called Lanique, each bottle created by distilling thousands and thousands of rose petals, think of it as liquid Turkish Delight. Delicious and guaranteed to perk up a hot chocolate this Christmas.

A ticketed tasting session also introduced us to a great new way to discover and enjoy wine via the Wine Tube Map which replaces the likes of Piccadilly Circus and Camden with Shiraz and Riesling using the concept to link one type of wine that you already like with another that might also be your cup of it were. You move round the room sipping two wines at a time and having a natter with your fellow travellers. Most civilised. Take a look at it here and pop down to Bearwood’s Global Wines or Liquor Bins to try a ‘station’ or three!

P.S. You can stock up on your Christmas Urban Herbs for your Christmas Lunch at Webb's Walled Gift Shop.