Relaxing(ish) at Bestival

2014 - A Year in Review

2014 Country of Living: England in LONDON!

A rather busy year for us, yet again, this time with my going on a fair number of business trips and Mel being busy with her singing as well.


A bit of travelling…

  • January - Business trip to Warsaw, Poland
  • January/February - Ski trip to Japan with my mother where we visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Takiyama and skied near Nagano (see Japan Journal)
  • April - Visit to Normandy, France for the Easter break
  • May - Business trip to Chicago, USA
  • June - Another business trip to Warsaw, Poland
  • August - Visit to Scotland to show Mel the Highlands and to visit the Edinburgh Tattoo and Fringe Festival. Mel flew home to visit with her family in Ontario later in the month as well.
  • September - Visited Isle of Wight for “Bestival” music festival
  • October - Last minute business trip to Australia via Kuala Lumpur (see Australia Journal - A Flying Visit)

Mother visited again on her way to/from Zimbabwe in the fall.


It was yet another eventful year. We were able to do a lot including:


  • 9th - London (Royal Holloway Campus, Egham) - BBC “Stargazing Live” Live Event


  • 26th - London (The Duchess Theatre) - “Tell Me On a Sunday” (Musical) staring Marti Webb (the singer for whom the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical was written) - Interesting to see the original actress return to the role after so many years (ok, perhaps not a perfect performance)


  • 4th - London (St James Theatre) - “Urinetown” (Musical) - A reworking of the original Broadway musical - I attended this performance that included a drink and chat with the cast afterwards. Certainly found this piece very moving.
  • 15th - London (Acton Depot) - “London Transport Museum Acton Depot Opening” (Museum) - An amazing place with old trains, buses, and everything related to it…
  • 17th - London (St James Theatre) - “Urinetown” (Musical) - My second visit to this musical this time with Mel and the performance included a Q&A with the cast afterwards
  • 22nd - London (Pinewood Tettington Studios) - BBC “Goodness Gracious Me Reunion” (Television Taping) - Amusing but, it seems, it's time has past…(see BBC - Goodness Gracious Me for details)


  • 4th - Bristol - “Bristol Food Connections” (Festival) - Taking over large parts of the city, this was a really fun way to visit for the first time…and some good food too!
  • 8th to 11th - Nottingham (Theatre Royal Concert Hall) - “Sweet Adelines Region 31 Convention 2014 - Attended to add my support to Mel and enjoy the performances.
  • 29th - London (Greenwich) - ”Venice Preserved“ (Live Theatre Event) - Amazing staging as they led us through the streets of Greenwich in a procession of acrobats, actors and magicians to the venue - A disused warehouse on the banks of the Thames


  • 12th - London (ENO London Coliseum) - ”Benvenuto Cellini - Undressed“ (Opera) - Staging of the opera but also a chance to meet the cast afterwards (and a free goodie bag…and a drink)
  • 25th - London (The O2) - “Dolly Parton” (Music Concert) - She can still perform after all of these years!
  • 29th - London (Clapham Common) - “Calling Festival - Stevie Wonder” (Outdoor Music Concert) - So can he though perhaps a bit too experimental and esoteric for my liking.


  • 1st - London (Barbican) - “Jazz Inspirations - Wynton Marsalis” (Talk and Concert) - Amazing. Not only a fantastic musician but also an amazing speaker with amazing things to say. Inspirational.
  • 2nd - London (BBC Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House) - ”BBC Radio 4 - Welcome to our Village Please Invade Carefully“ (Radio Taping) - Good fun
  • 4th - London (Royal Albert Hall) - “West Side Story In Concert” (Movie with Live Orchestra Accompaniment) - Looked and sounded fantastic.
  • 5th - London (The O2) - “Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down Five to Go” (Live Staging) - Amazing to see them live on stage completely with flubs! No matter that the audience knew all of the words…
  • 7th - London (Temple Embankment) - “Tour de France” (Cycling Race) - Finally saw them tear by on the Thames embankment…wow.


  • 7th - Edinburgh (Edinburgh Castle) - ”Edinburgh Military Tattoo“ (Concert)
  • 14th to 18th - London (Excel London Convention Centre) - ”Loncon 3“ (Science Fiction Convention) - Lots to see and do, and very interesting…
  • 21st - London (Playhouse Theatre) - ”1984“ (Play) - Difficult to follow but makes you think…when you can understand.
  • 23rd - London (Vue Westfield) - “Dr Who” (Cinema Airing of Television Broadcast) - The premiere of the new doctor on the big screen.


  • 4th to 7th - Isle of Wight (Robin Hill Country Park) - ”Bestival“ (Music Festival) - We won tickets to this (including transport) but did not know a lot of the acts though had an interesting experience and the weather held all weekend (did not like our tent being broken into while we were sleeping)
  • 13th - Duxford - ”Duxford Air Show“ (Air Show) - Though the weather was not great, it was a good show. Mel had never visited so showed her around the various indoor and outdoor displays. Not a great show in the air though…
  • 23rd - London (Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane) - ”Art of the Brick - Time Out Preview Event“ (Art Exhibit) - Amazing what you can do with Lego…
  • 24th - London (The Shaw Theatre) - ”BBC - Unbelievable Truth with David Mitchell“ (Radio Taping) - We have been several times. Very funny.
  • 27th - London (Thames) - ”Great River Race“ (Boat Race) - Lots of fun with both professionals and amateurs racing through the middle of London…sometimes serious, sometimes not…
  • 27th - London (Southbank Centre) - ”Tim Berners-Lee 'In Conversation'“ (Talk) - Interesting conversation from who many consider to be the founder of the World Wide Web
  • 27th - London (Trafalgar Square) - ”Japan Matsuri“ (Festival) - Very busy but some really good food…entertainment a bit naff (particularly the dancing mascots)…




  • 10th - London (BBC Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House) - ”BBC Radio 4 - Dilemma“ (Radio Taping) - With Sue Parker. Very funny.

Reviews of the Year




Next Year

Next year we currently have plans for January for Mel's niece's wedding in Banff (Alberta, Canada) then we are in Cornwall in July for a week as part of a family holiday. My mother plans to visit around about the same time so it looks like July will be a bit hectic. Other than these events we are hoping to get away for a couple of weeks in the fall, but we shall see.


Visit here for my review of 2013.