10,000 miles away

He was so distant, Ten thousand miles away

But with him forever her heart will stay

A wife of a soldier in Afghanistan he fights

Defending our country with dangerous plights

At home she stays, and with her family she prays

She finds useful ways to fill the long days

No news is good news she tells herself

As only a couple of letters sit upon her bookshelf

He was supposed to come home, but remains out there

She only hopes her God will answer her prayer

To bring him home safe, unharmed and well

As at home together is where their happiness dwells


How to get rid of unwanted food….MACPHAIL STYLE

My Grannie (Mary) told me of this tale the other day…I thought it was BRILLIANT!! So….I had to make a blog post out of it!

(Mary, then aged 11) and her younger sister Ivy (My Great Auntie then 9) were kindly taken on a picnic by their Aunt and Uncle to Wallis Monument in Sterling (Scotland) It was a treat for them as by this time the war had begun and rationing was put into action ,which meant that food was quite scarce.

However, nothing could have prepared them from the culinary horror that was in store for them. I can only hope that they had eaten a decent breakfast that day!

To say the picnic prepared by their Aunt was DREADFUL would be an understatement!  The unattractive clumsily cut, cheap -tasting paste sandwiches (my Grannie told me she had no idea what meat is was supposed to be) were almost inedible.  The other half of the picnic consisted of Pancakes .  Mmmm!!!  I hear you mutter PANCAKES! But not these pancakes oh no! They would have been delightful had they not been spread with the most DISGUSTING rancid butter known to mankind, which at this stage was on its way to becoming cheese. All was not lost, Mary and Ivy were intelligent girls, and they had a plan.

You see the monument had A LOT of steps leading up to the top. Cunningly, the girls took the pancakes from their pockets, now wrapped in hankies which they had managed to smuggle up to the top and dropped them over the edge of the tower. They breathed a sigh of relief; no-one would EVER KNOW!

The plan backfires

Not for one moment had my Grannie and Great Auntie considered the fact that the door of the tower was directly below them, of course they had to disembark the building!! Consequently when they came down from the tower with their Aunt and Uncle, the pancakes were scattered upon the ground directly in front of the door! Let’s just say they had a great deal of explaining to do!!

History repeats itself

I had to laugh when my Mum (Jennifer) and Auntie Dorothy had a very similar tale, but this was a tale of VILE sandwiches. Again they had been treated to a picnic by their Auntie when they were in ST Andrews in Scotland.

The sandwiches were unattractive, thickly cut and poorly put together, spread with THE CHEAPEST, MOST REVOLTING fish paste known to man (Which probably didn’t even contain fish, especially not in the 1970’s)

History was about to repeat itself almost 30 years later after the pancake incident in the first tale. During the picnic they somehow managed to hide the sandwiches in their hands until they went for a walk. My Auntie and Mum also thought they had a cunning plan and threw the sandwiches over a stone wall for the seagulls to eat.

Later on their Auntie and Uncle decided that they were all to take a walk on the beach. Low and behold the sandwiches were so horrible that not even the seagulls ,who are scavengers of the air who will eat almost ANYTHING hadn’t eaten them!!!

My Mum and Auntie were terrified that they were going to get the biggest telling off of their life however; the adults were so engrossed in conversation that they didn’t even notice!!

The moral of this story is:  If you have relatives who cannot cook and you need to dispose of the evidence, make sure you do so by putting the offending object in a rubbish bin rather than attempting to “throw” it away to avoid the embarrassment of getting caught !!!!!!

WOW this has literally blown my MIND….it’s as if technology had brought the late Rapper “Tupac” back from the dead !!!



Ok, have you watched it? YES? Right now you can read this post!!!

If you were a member of the audience at the “Coachella Festival” and someone told you that the Rapper Tupac was going to be “performing live”  you’d think they’d LOST THEIR MARBLES!! 

Tupac Amaru Shakur died tragically on September 13 1996, after being shot 4 times. He was SO YOUNG at only 25. Fans thought that they’d never see their idol “Perform Live” again, well not in this case. With the thanks to the amazing standards of technology the audience members were stunned to silence as a stunning life-like 3D holographic projection of Tupac joined famous rapper Snoop Dogg, LIVE ON STAGE !!!!!

The hologram certainly drew some mixed reactions from those watching. While some argued that the ASTOUNDING image was bad taste, many of the celebrity fans took to their Twitter page to express their excitement over the undoubtedly dramatic performance.

Katy Perry tweeted: “I think I might have cried when I saw Tupac.”

I literally think this is the future. We could literally bring back our legends. Take Freddie Mercury for example, he died back in 1992 and Queen have  toured without him. What would be stopping them touring and “bringing Freddie Mercury back as a holographic projection.” The same with other late LEGENDS such as Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, potentially if they turned enough of their videos into 3D holographic projections they could create a whole concert !! What an AMAZING thought !!

As you can all probably tell I’m a little bit excited about the whole idea as well as feeling a bit emotional !! Are your minds blown? Mine was!!

If I was a casting director this would be my idea of a Les Miserables Dream cast…..

Lets just pretend…..

Ok I’m just going to pretend here. I am a West End casting director and I am about to cast a “Dream Cast” for a brand new production of Les Miserables.

Recently (especially after the 25th anniversary concert) I was pretty horrified. Cameron had cast NICK JONAS a 17 year-old BOY as Marius one of my favourite characters who should be played by a MAN, AT LEAST age 20!!! I nearly died and yes, he lived up to my expectations, the expectation that he wouldn’t be good. He was pretty SHOCKING and got drowned out by the rest of the cast members, don’t get me started on his acting (if you can call it that) Apparently the only reason why you could can hear him on the DVD is because it has been EDITED !!!

Anyway, I’ll get on with it and lets start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start)


Right we need a Jean-Valjean. There have been some impressive ones over the years.  While many say Colm Wilkinson was “The best Valjean” he really doesn’t impress me and he makes a POOR attempt to hide his Irish Accent (PET HATE) don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Irish accents. I just think singers with noticeable accents should neutralise them. For example if Gareth Gates started singing with his Yorkshire accent its might not sound too great !!  Personally I have an all-time FAVOURITE Valjean. *****DRUM ROLL******


Ah! he’s an absolute legend to say the least! with a voice like pure satiny silk which makes your heart melt. Not to mention his AWESOME vocal range and wonderful, emotive acting skills. I LOVE HIM. The man is an absolute PRO’ and has been playing the role of “Jean-Valjean” on and off for around 14 years. In 2010 he starred as Valjean in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Mis (I saw him in the role twice he was EPIC)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_vxj1MeRls  (John singing “Bring Him Home”)


Earl Carpenter is also absolutely AWESOME and my favourite Javert. His portrayal of the character is one to watch.  He shows the battle-axe inspector of police Javert who lets religion rule his heart leading to his eventual downfall as he is obsessed with finding Jean-Valjean . “The Confrontation” was a mind-blowing powerful duet between John-Owen Jones and Earl Carpenter – EPIC  !!!  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHSrgGAUO34  (Earl singing “Stars”)


I always forget what a small main part Fantine is. Although, she does play an important part in the story. For this role I was stuck between two (possibly three) but I thought putting 3 choices down for the part would be greedy although Ruthie Henshall was GREAT too !! So….I decided for the two that I have seen live. Joanna Ampil (top left in 2004) and Madalena Alberto (Les Miserables 25th anniversary tour cast 2010) Their voices are fabulous and both of their performances moved me to tears (particularly Madalena Alberto)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS_kMu_YNKk (Madalena Alberto Singing “I Dreamed a Dream” )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laH1DoJqptE  (Joanna Ampil Singing “I Dreamed a Dream)


When it comes to casting The Thenardiers I would probably get stuck. Hmmmm who to choose? Right ok, I’ve made a decision…..


Matt Lucas was BRILLIANT in the 25th anniversary concert as Thenardier. Not only is he a talented actor (as we’ve seen from his Little Britain Sketches) but he’s a great singer too, as well as adding the needed amount of comedy to the role. He’s probably the best Thenardier I’ve heard. I love the fact that his “Little Britain” voices seem to “come out” when he’s singing which makes the whole thing VERY entertaining!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3FIonz7TA (A Small clip of him singing “Master of the house”)


Lynne Wilmot’s Madame Thenardier was second to none. Her ferocious yet eccentric portrayal was fantastic. At the age of 36/37 she is quite a young choice as most Madame Thenardiers chosen are normally nearer their mid-40’s. I love her voice, she is a great comedy actress. In the 25th anniversary tour she played Madame Thenardier alongside Ashley Artus. He is a great actor, but I wasn’t too keen on his voice, hence why I’ve chosen Matt Lucas !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejijcglUbEM&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLE5E30E2118DB782A (The Thenardiers waltz of Treachery) 


I have never seen him live, he last played the part in the 2008/2009 cast. However, what I heard on You tube was breathtaking. He has BY FAR the most powerful voice out of the Enjolras’s that I have heard, his voice is high quality, probably helped by the fact that he is Welsh. (Ramin Karimloo is close behind as he was also fantastic!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJSXFeoIY0A  (“Lamarque is dead”)


Yes I know what you all think, why haven’t I picked Samantha Barks? Well, I think Rosalind James is FAR more original as she has “bluesy” tones to her voice. Samantha Barks can BELT but as a singer, I feel there are better Eponine’s out there. She wasn’t feisty enough and FAR too “squeaky-clean” looking. Rosalind James gave a far more realistic portrayal, I think she’s amazing !! (Lea Salonga is too old to play Eponine these days, I agree she is the best of the best though!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq7qp18S1N4 (“On My Own”)


I wasn’t sure of Katie Hall’s voice at first. But then when I saw her live I realised that she was wonderful. She is very young (21) but she has enough vocal experience to pull the role off to a tee. Her voice is pretty and she starred in the 25th anniversary tour as well as the concert as Cosette.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txp6kWuNYGQ  (“In My Life” – 25th anniversary tour)


Yes ok, I can hear most non-Les Mis enthusiasts sighing deeply at this point. But what you have to know is that Gareth Gates is BRILLIANT. Cameron Mackintosh (Les Mis’s producer) sung his praises as did “Rave” reviews about the show. He really did make the part of Marius his own. Gareth’s love-struck portrayal was PERFECT ! With Marius I need and actor who can successfully move me to tears as he endures tragic loss’s later on in the show and he has 2 very emotional songs to perform in the second half of the show (A Little Fall of Rain and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables)

Gareth Gates has grown with each performance as young fighter, Marius and his suitably repressed turn and ‘less is more’ approach to the moving “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” works wonderfully well. He also has genuine chemistry with Katie Hall – who is beautifully understated as Cosette.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txp6kWuNYGQ (Gareth Gates singing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”)



In the 25th anniversary concert he took my breath away, such a wonderful young talent, he took my breath away. I wasn’t lucky enough to see him in the 25th anniversary tour as they alternated the young actor playing Gavroche depending on the venue. He was a breath of fresh air as the cheeky street urchin Gavroche, he beams with confidence and his voice is great !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKSZeoH7BQ (A little compilation of Robert Madge as Gavroche)

In the terms of smaller ensemble parts such as the bishop and the factory workers, I can’t decide to be honest most of them are great!

So If you were the casting director of Les Miserables, who would you cast? Do you agree with my choices? (I hope so!)

Motherless Child (A Poem)

She walks alone, the town is bare

The streets are deserted, there’s nobody there

With no-one to care for her or show her love

She prays to her god in the heavens above

Sometimes she feels like a motherless child

Her clothes were torn, her bedraggled hair wild

Alone in the world the days dragged by

Her only hope was her god in the sky

He kept her going, he kept her strong

He gave her courage when weeks seemed long

Today the city was busy , with hustling and bustling

The cold wind blew, leaves started rustling

Her poor hands were numb, frozen to the bone

No-one saw her , she stood alone

She tried not to dwell on the emptiness that hurt

She rubbed her cheek which was smudged with dirt

She ate the scraps she could find for the day

At night upon the cold hard ground she lay

Passers-by might state “Who’s that child? where’s her mother?”

But her Mum was in heaven, there was no-one to love her

The motherless child was weary and weak

She sat and stared, too tired to speak

The nights grew bitter, she caught a chill

Alas each day she grew even weaker still

Her 6-year-old heart beat softer, the beat died away

Along with her little life on that lonely day

Her body was discovered, no-one knew her name

Or of her days full of sadness, filled with pain

Her kind soul went to heaven it was as pure as could be

She could now rest with her mother for an eternity

It’s Friday the 13th !!!! ***DUN DUN DUUUUN*** !!!!!

We’re ALL DOOMED!!!!

Hello everyone!! well if you’re reading this then you’re still alive!! Congratulations! 😛 People do go on about Friday the 13th A LOT. Personally I think were all DOOMED 😛  If nothing happens to you today, maybe the universe is on your side !!

Friday the 13th is most commonly known as a day of bad luck and dread! I wanted to answer the question “why?”  so I have done a bit of research. Here are my findings :

1) Every year there is at LEAST one Friday the 13th

2) Months with a Friday the 13th ALWAYS begin on a Sunday

3) Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor, most Airports skip gate 13

4) Jack the Ripper had 13 letters in his name

5) There used to be 13 twists in a hangman’s noose and 13 steps up to the gallows!

6) In Formula 1 racing, there is no car with the number 13. The number has been removed after two drivers were killed in crashes, both driving cars numbered 13.

Friday the 13th was also trending on Twitter earlier…. These comments in particular caught my eye!

“All the nutters will be out today (including me) #Friday13th

“Everyday, I have bad luck, #friday13th couldn’t make it much worse (touch wood)”

#friday13th for the superstitious, a day of hiding under the duvet! For me, a typical day :p”

Of course there’s that Freaky Film ….”Friday the 13th” although I haven’t plucked up enough courage to watch it (yes, I know I’m a wimp !!!)

A brief summary of the the plot according to Wikipedia would be as follows……

A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions. The film follows Clay Miller as he searches for his missing sister Whitney who, while camping in the woods is taken by Jason Voorhees and as you can imagine things go from bad to worse.

On Friday, February 13, 2009. Friday the 13th was released in 3,105 theaters in North America. The 2009 film was given the widest release of any Friday the 13th film, including the crossover film with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was released in nearly three times as many theaters as the original 1980 film, and edged out Freddy vs. Jason by 91 theaters. Friday the 13th also saw release in 2,100 theaters throughout 28 foreign markets.The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray , and Apple Tvon June 16, 2009. The DVD and Blu-ray releases contain both a theatrical release and an extended cut of the film.

So I think I’ve waffled on enough about Friday the 13th already! What do you think ? Personally as yet,  I have never been chased & hunted down by a psychopath on Friday the 13th !!! I’d say every single day of the year can potentially have its ups and downs! Having said that, this year there are 3 “Friday the 13th’s” and all are 13 weeks apart !! SCARY !! Drop me a comment today so I know that your all still alive !!!!!!!

I don’t need your flowers….(A Poem)

Jade looked in the mirror, another bruise appeared

More noticeable than the last, it was this she feared

People would question, others would judge

Others relationships she sadly begrudged

Tim had a temper no-one could explain

To Jade’s life he added suffering and pain

He had a short fuse, his temper was violent

Inside she was screaming, on the outside silent

When asked why the bruises on her arms were there

An excuse she made “I walked into the chair”

After each assault it was the same

She felt  it was her fault, she was to blame

But no person deserves to be treated like this

Tim was the bully, the fault was his

Each time  in the hearth stunning bunch of flowers sat

The next day he’d be stating “You’re ugly, you’re fat”

The next week the final straw was drawn

Down the stairs he pushed her , her clothes were torn

After months of suffering this no longer she would endure

She slapped him back and walked out the door

Changing her name she moved away

Although with her the memories forever will stay

Time is a healer and recovery takes time

But soon her inner self began to shine

She became her own person a new life started

With old friends she had been sadly parted

Jade, now stronger she stood tall and proud

She threw back her head and stated out loud

I don’t care about the scars, or being alone

Don’t dare to ring me I won’t answer the phone

I have enough money to see me through

The scars are a reminder that I’m stronger than you

I now stand alone in the April showers

But I don’t want your excuses, I don’t need your flowers

Heart of Ice (A Poem)

Her appearance was fair , yet her heart was cold

It was broken by suitors, Helena’s story untold

Her soul once innocent,  now sinister and evil

Those men she despised , her excuses were feeble

She once loved someone deeply with all her will

He abandoned her, she felt the pain still

Another event had further darkened her

The date was a success, the night a blur

The morning after he was gone, no trace

With no note left, she felt disgraced

She will filled with fury, she hated all men

Helena would have her revenge , the question was when?

Man number three was rich and charming

Although he found her character quite alarming

As by now she was sharp and cold

She had a dark past, never to be told

He was a kind soul, her mister right

This was not to be, she was filled with spite

The coffee sweetener stood balanced on the surface

Now it was her turn for revenge, he’d served his purpose

Rat poison was put craftily in the sweeteners place

She waited for days for the change in his face

A few days later she found him…. as dead as dust

It should have been a relationship of happiness and lust

His face was blue, worth her wait

He’d met his sinister and unplanned fate

Helena had her revenge, she didn’t want to play nice

She packed more snow around her heart of ice

Short Story – “Madame Mirela”

Gone…without a trace

Three long years it had been, yet it felt like yesterday. Liam was left with a cold and bitter emptiness which ached terribly .

Three years previously to the day, Liam and his best friend had been laughing over a prediction they had received from the unconvincing haggard fortune-teller at their town fair in Dorset. It was a dare and a case of “I will if you do” they both plucked up enough courage and entered the unknown in the form of a warn canvas circus tent. The aroma of incense inside was so intense that it tightened their chests. They were overcome by a slight dizziness, nothing serious but enough to give them that ‘Spaced out feeling’ similar to the sensation a person might get when intoxicated.

The reading had been fairly vague, and they thought nothing of it. The bizarre feeling soon faded away after them exiting. On walking home along the wide dusty path still joking and mocking , Liam’s converse shoelace had come undone. He stooped over to tie it in a neat bow, his face focusing on his shoe. All went silent. When he looked up his best friend Jake was gone, gone without a trace.

It had been tragic. No-one knew what had happened, there were many questions which had been left unanswered; had he run away? or had something far more sinister happened to him? Liam was left confused and deeply saddened by the loss of his closest friend, how could anyone vanish in the space of 10 seconds 1/6 of a minute ? was one of the thoughts which haunted him. A police inquiry had been undertaken for many months, he became another name on the ‘missing persons list’, his picture on posters titled “Jake Barnes-Missing have you seen this boy ?”  The frantic search led to no positive results results or hope for his devastated parents.


Liam still needed an answer. His instincts informed him to return to the fair and attempt to get his fortune told again, he didn’t expect it to be the same traveller after all this time. It was exactly the same scene as it had been those three years ago. The same faded musty smelling canvas circus style tent and the identical sign etched on an old piece of blackboard “Enter if you dare Madame Mirela awaits you” it was her !

The haggard old lady gave him a sharp glance, her eyes were so dark that it was almost impossible to define the pupil from her iris, her wild thick grey hair was held away from her face by a medium thick piece of authentic silk scarf knotted at the back of her head to create a headband. “Back again child, I remember you” she stated not exactly sharply, but in a tone so sinister that it sent an icy cold chill down Liam’s spine. “What happened to Jake ?!” Liam demanded. She did not answer as if she was brushing off his question and classifying it as insignificant.

“You’ve been deeply hurt from an event three years ago, You will meet a mysterious unsuspected stranger” were the first words to be uttered from her wise lips. Liam was slightly spooked he payed her and walked rapidly out of the tent not looking where he was going. He bumped abruptly into a figure  “I knew you would come” without seeing the features of the person, Liam was dumbstruck and let out a loud gasp, he recognised his voice after all this time….


“Out Damn Spot !!” (A Short Story)

Mount Vesuvius has erupted

Henry fancied himself as quite the ladies’ man. Well as a matter of fact, he was still a boy at just aged 16. It was the morning of the last day of school and his school prom-a day to remember. It was to be the end of his memorable school days and the start of a new chapter in his life. Most of his time at school was filled flirting with the most beautiful, smartest girls in town and probably the richest, as Henry attended the best private school in the area.

He awoke that morning as usual; stretched and walked to the bathroom in a zombified state hunched over slightly….he looked like the first man of evolution. As good-looking as he was like most people, Henry wasn’t at his best first thing. He ran his fingers through his un-styled dark brown hair which presently resembled a bog brush. He brushed his teeth to get rid of his “morning breath” not really looking up into the mirror and finally jumped in the steamy shower. After showering he felt a throbbing sensation on his chin, feeling rather curious he gazed into the mirror. To his horror staring back at him was the biggest, angriest yellow headed spot known to mankind. The spot seemed to speak to him as if to say “Ha! I’m about to ruin your life!!”

His mood was not the best as he stomped down the stairs and plonked himself down at the breakfast table.

“Oh my god what’s that on your CHIN!!” Was his 12-year-old sister Kate’s first words to him, twizzling her auburn hair around one finger she continued “Its HUGEE”

“Yes OK…!!!” he snapped.

“Hahaha your school prom is today. It’ll show up in ALL of the pictures”

“Yes I HAVE thought about that” Henry grumbled keeping his head down to hide behind the Frosties.

“It’s ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS!! Kate continued ….you can borrow some of my concealed if you like?”

This would be a new experience for Henry “What’s that?”

“Well obviously it covers up any spots, you definitely need it!!”

He cast her sharp glare. That shut her up, but he took her up on the concealed offer, the only problem was he and Kate had different skin tones, her skin was far paler than his as she was a ‘red-head’. Henry couldn’t help but feel that it highlighted the problem rather than covered it,  but oh well. Anything was better than having ‘Mount Vesuvius’ smack bang in the middle of your chin.


Throb, throb, throb ….great ! Henry sighed, the thing now had a heartbeat….it was alive and seemed to be pulsating in his chin. He kept his head down so that his chin was slightly buried in his shirt collar and sat down at his table in French.

“Oh my god ! DUDE! That is the biggest SPOT I’ve ever seen in my LIFE!! ”

Rob his best friend who sat opposite him wasn’t afraid to speak his mind either. The concealer which he had applied earlier had rubbed off onto his shirt collar, leaving a noticeable orange streaky mark. His whole form turned their head and stared at him. He wished that the ground would open up and swallow him whole. With this huge spot he didn’t want to EVER go out into public again. Henry rolled his eyes again

“Yes you’re not the first to tell me”

It was only a half day. But still the day seemed to be spent avoiding Clarissa his prom date, she looked different today, she normally had her fringe pinned back but today she was wearing it down…just an observation of his. She’d clearly noticed and was now giving him daggers from across the classroom….if looks could kill !

Henry wished that his hair would grow and cover it. The rest of the day was spent dodging Clarissa, hopefully the spot would be gone by tonight and she wouldn’t even notice it. But if she saw him with in now it might put her off attending the prom with him well, that was Henry’s theory.


After dodging Henry had spent his time hiding from Clarissa THE WHOLE DAY she stormed over, clearly upset. “Henry WHY have you been avoiding me all day?”  She demanded.  “ Just because you have ‘Adam pimple’ growing out of your face doesn’t give you that excuse TO PRETEND I DON’T EXIST !!”

Henry answered in a low whisper….”I look disgusting, have you seen the size of my spot ?”

“You idiot you’re so VAIN !! Why do you think I spent the whole day with my fringe down?!!”  She pulled back her fringe to reveal Mount Vesuvius’s double!! Henry couldn’t help but laugh.  “Ha! It’s just as bad as mine…we’re twins!! Who needs matching wrist corsage tonight when we have matching SPOTS!!” They kissed, linked arms and Henry was forgiven.