Sunday 24 November 2013

Hours twenty-four


How are things on The Internet?  Rather a lot has changed here in real life since last I posted.  It will take far too long to catch up (Short version - Life: Splendid) so here instead are some snapshots of my glamorous showbiz life.

I fancied trying my hand at one of those 'a photo every hour' posts, and as yesterday was my birthday AND the finale of a short but very sweet show, I thought it a jolly good opportunity. (Actually, I chose yesterday because I imagined it would be a day full of exciting variety, but you will notice that the majority of photographs were taken in the pub...)

Right, so. Saturday the 23rd November, 2013.

Midnight. Sleepy Hannah posing with Godfrey the owl.

Eight o'clock.  Two excited girls.  Happy birthday Elizabeth!

Nine o'clock. Breakfast time.

(Half past nine. Breakfast pudding!)

Ten o'clock. A very pretty present.

Eleven o'clock. Puzzling over my new anti-ageing skin care regime.

Twelve o'clock. Lovely dining companions.

One o'clock. Too hungry for careful photography.

Two o'clock. So begins the theatrical part of the day.

At three o'clock I was otherwise engaged, putting my finely honed G&S-face skills to good use, but here is four o'clock - some shambolic selfies immediately after the matinee:

Bah. Formatting on iPad-Blogger is megarubbish.

Five o'clock. Scrabble in the pub.

Six o'clock. Crochet in the pub.

Seven o'clock. Nearly showtime again! Flamin' Norah pictured in toilet selfie.

(Eight o'clock, similarly indisposed.)

Nine o'clock. Post-show blues already setting in.

Ten o'clock. A little of this magical liquid soon cheers us up.

Eleven o'clock. After-show party gossips.

Midnight. Regular mealtimes don't really exist in show week!

Bonus photograph. High treason. Really high treason.

Utterly spiffing day, all in all. Thank you friends, thespians and well-wishers.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Gin. Again.

Regular readers of these pages will need no introduction to my favourite poison.

I'm not much of a gin expert, though.  To rectify this, one sweltering Sunday Alice and I went on a mission of gin-education.  We attended an event run by The Drinking Classes, called G and Teatime.
We weren't quite sure what to expect, but what we got was this:  We were greeted with a glass of an absolutely delicious punch, which had been made, bizarrely but to great effect, with chai tea.  Our host explained to us that proper punch has a specific ratio of sweet and sour. (Alice wrote it down, I was too busy drinking)
What followed was a history lesson about the origins and rise and fall of gin throughout the centuries, which came with some very interesting nuggets of info, such as how the phrase 'Dutch courage' came into being.  We were given samples of three different gins to taste (neat!!)  That was pretty painful (I love gin, but I like my G&Ts nice and tonic-y), but after the first sip has blown your head open, you can actually drink it much more easily and discern the different flavours. 
We drank tiny gin martinis, designed our own G&Ts (I put apple and mint in mine - delicious!) and ate sandwiches and cakes from the afternoon tea cake stands.
Afterwards, we wobbled home, not really drunk but feeling very relaxed, sun-drenched and happy, and neither of us went to our rehearsals that night!


Sunday 7 July 2013

A Few Days of Summer


Bit quiet on Bette on Toast, innit?  So much so that people have actually been noticing, and enquiring why I haven't been uploading photographs of myself wearing clothes for their enjoyment.  One of the chief complainers, as always, has been my curly-haired, strange-accented Goldilocks, Alexa, so when she travelled up from the capital last weekend to visit, I roped her into service as a Boring Outfit Photographer.

Our first stop of the weekend was a picnic in the park, followed by a mini alfresco concert by my school choir.  Alexa took a lovely picture of me conducting the little mites, looking for all the world like somebody who knows about music, but it shan't be appearing on this blog, because I've done a child protection course, and one of the first things they teach you is don't put photos of the children in your care on The Internet. ;-)
This red dress is one of those amazingly versatile garments, that also always receives compliments from chums, colleagues and random passers-by.  Here is my younger, chubbier self, pictured with Alexa, wearing it at our Graduation Ball.
I seem to have started talking about dresses as usual, but I would really prefer for this blog to be more of a diary of my life than a shrine to Boring Outfit Posts.  So I will continue telling you about my splendid weekend.
After the park we built a wardrobe, and then got dressed up for the evening, and took some photos on my steps while waiting for the taxi.

You will note that the girls both look elegant and lovely, while I look like I'm dressed for pub golf.  This is because I was dressed for pub golf, being terribly busy and popular and having to be in two places at once that night.
So while Alice and Alexa sipped cocktails in Pleased To Meet You, my teacher friends and I drank alcopops and got thrown out of Wetherspoons for having too much fun with a plastic golf set.
On Sunday we went for our lunch at a hipster Ouseburn cafe.  I was a cowgirl that day, and cowgirls like yellow walls.
After a bit of shopping and some very rushed cake, Alice and I plonked Alexa on a train and went to our respective rehearsals.
I am curently having a similarly wonderful weekend this week, so maybe there will be another summery diary post coming up soon!
Cheerio x

Thursday 11 April 2013


Feeling a bit of a ridiculous hipster today, so I have donned my vintage dress and made my pictures all olde-fashionede in colouring.

"Not another new dress?", I hear you cry.  It's a doll, aint it?
It's a well-kept secret, but I don't actually like charity shops all that much. That is, not the clothes.  Well, no, I like the clothes, it's the rummaging that I don't get on with; I'm a lazy shopper and like to see the wares all conveniently laid out for me to browse. I'm sure this has led me to miss out on many a bargain.
Luckily, I am the daughter of the Charity Shop Queen of the North  (also the niece of the Charity Shop Queen of the South), so I am often able to quietly peruse the books and homewares while my relatives sift through the rails.  My mum wins the prize for finding this frock, which has POCKETS, a pointy collar and a fabric belt.
My garden-gate posing isn't as effective in this week's Boring Outfit Post as in last.  It's all to do with the strategic placement of wheelie bins.
Coming up soon on Bette on Toast: holiday snaps!

Thursday 4 April 2013

Two words. Sput. Nik.

Hullo!  Would you like to be introduced to my new dress?

Isn't it awful?  It's got a print like a hotel carpet, and it's ORANGE and BLUE.  I found it on the very last page of the Joy sale, and it was love at first sight.  Here it is on me:

I probably shouldn't wear it with blue tights, but I'm going to anyway, so there.
Despite the short hemline and overall polyesteriness of this dress, there is something very 1950s-child about it.  The russety colour and the shape of the piping on the chest make me feel I should run around playing cowboys and indians, whilst those sticky-outy Star Trek cap sleeves give it a bit of '50s Atomic style.  Cowboys and Spacemen in one.
So, essentially, I'm Toy Story 2 in a dress.
I removed the hair-bow before I went out. It was too girly, and I'm not a girl, I'm a cowboy!
AND, my 1950s-childhood cup of joy is overflowing because Cath Kidston has finally made my cowboy handbag dreams come true!
(Also, P.S., many thanks to everyone who said nice things to me following my last blahg post.  I felt a bit twatty publishing it, but I'm glad I did.  You're all nice, and I'm a lucky Bette.)

Thursday 28 March 2013

I Am No Unhappy Maid

Something is different around these parts.

Outwardly, not much has changed - life still consists of too many rehearsals, not enough sleep, wintery weather and grouchy colleagues, but I've got a smile on my face.

I've been a very, very whingey Bette in the past months.  I'm surprised I have any friends left at all! I don't know what was wrong with me; I don't know where I went and I don't know why, but somehow, after a bout of January Blues that lasted from the autumn until March, I think I might be better.  I think I might be back.

It's the Easter holidays, you see.  It's been a short half-term, but it seems to have done me a power of good.  I'm off down to Grandparentville to see the family tomorrow, and, whilst I am looking forward to it, it's been a sort of pleasant surprise every time I remember how close Easter is.  At Christmas I was desperate.  For all of December, I yearned and pined (I am a G&S alto, we're good at those things!) and counted down the days until I could leave Newcastle far behind me.  I was sick, sick, sick of the place and everyone in it.  I hated work, and I hated rehearsals.  I was sick of the dark, and I was sick of the cold, and I was even sick of my bicycle.  I had nothing whatever to mope about, but I moped about everything.  Above all I was sick of maudlin, miserable me.

I've been trying to find the nerve to post this for a couple of weeks now.  I know it's a bit attention-seeky, and I hope I'm not the type to air my dirty washing on The Internet, but it seems I am doing so anyway, so here it all is!  Writing things down helps me remember 'em, and I don't want to forget.

I was cycling home one Friday afternoon in January, with no weekend plans and no Friday feeling, and I went straight past my street because I could not bear the thought of going into that cold, dark, messy, empty flat and staring at Facebook until bedtime. I went to a cafe down the road, installed myself with a book and a pot of tea and stayed there until they shut.

That was a desperate measure, but I started repeating that little adventure quite regularly, as a little Friday treat to myself - not out of desperation but because I realised it was something that made me smile.  And I began to notice other things that made me smile, like having flowers in the house, and reading, and my very patient friends, and plinking out tunes on the plonky old school piano.  A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I'm smiling rather a lot these days.  I thought about December and that Friday evening in the cafe, and couldn't believe I'd ever felt like that.  It was quite scary, actually.

So, I reckon I'm me again.  Oh, I'm sure I can still whinge with the best of them, and you can be sure I'll find something to complain about as soon as I post this, but, for now, I've got my smile on.

Bugger off, self-pity.  The sun came out today, school's shut and I'm makin' hot cross buns.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Monday 25 February 2013


To stave off last week's post-show blues, I went to Alnwick with the mother.  We bought lots of fine things from charitable shops, and then went to the seaside at sunset.

Here I am all snuggly in my parka.
Dozy and reluctant to leave the comfort of my own pyjamas, I asked Mum what on earth I should wear.
"Start with sensible walking shoes, and work upwards from there", she replied.
Don't be ridiculous.
In the end I hoyed clothes at myself at random and was rather pleased with the result.
This photo's a bit unfortunate, but it shows what I liked about this look - the tiered skirt, thick tights and ankle boots made me feel like a naughty Victorian ruinning around in her bustle!
Also a bit like Peter Pan...
Mum proceeded to take some photographs withouit me in them, which I thought was a sorry waste, but other people seem to like Views, so here you go.

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