Monthly Archives: November 2015

Review: The Night Before Christmas @WYPlayhouse


Information on The Night Before Christmas

‘Carol doesn’t feel very Christmassy. What’s all the fuss about? Trees, tinsel, baubles, pudding, presents…? What a lot of nonsense. Definitely not for her.

That is until the night before Christmas when Elf 30046, all stripey tights and pointy ears, falls down her chimney and they both tumble into a bigger adventure than they could ever have imagined. Will Elf ever do as he’s told? Will Carol learn to have fun? Will they ever spot the speeding sleigh and most importantly of all… can they find Father Christmas before it’s too late?

A beautiful, funny and delightful story of friendship and the true meaning of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas is the perfect present for little elves, a magical treat for the family this winter.’  –WY Playhouse




It’s that time of year again and working in retail so long it makes me shudder, and then up pops Niamh with an offer I can’t refuse. Last year it was Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas see my review here. This year it was a Night Before Christmas. I didn’t read up about it until I actually got to the theatre and I’m so glad, because it just turned into a magical 50 mins and at one point I cried my eyes out.

The one thing I have learn’t over the last few years of theatre, is that you don’t really need many props or fancy scenery’s too make a story come alive, you just need some fantastic actors, and a great atmosphere. This had everything. A small story that seemed to have a big heart.

We meet Carol, someone who thought Christmas is a lot of nonsense. (I think it is too sometimes after working in retail, everyone goes crazy and grumpy just over one day, and this year it started in August!).

Then on the night before Christmas as she lays asleep in bed Elfy or Elf 30046 falls down her chimney and an amazing adventure happens where it melts Carol’s heart and changes her idea of Christmas forever!

I don’t know where to begin with this, I’m still in awe of what I saw. It’s definitely a must see for people with younger children. With just a small set, several very cleverly placed props, use of ladders hung from the ceiling, and the only special effects being the lighting and glitter that falls as snow creating a magical moment and bringing me to tears. Honestly, I was so caught up int the moment that I started crying. (Sorry Niamh).

Everything is brought alive by the two actors James Barrett and Rose Wardlaw who’s interaction with each other is seamless leaving the rest up to your imagination as you get caught up in the idea of Christmas and the lost Elf and the need to return him to Santa. The performance was energetic, interactive and fast paced and most of all tugged at your heart strings.

Once again the set was beautifully and ingeniously designed, from the subtle touches of the candy canes to the nativity scene behind the tree (I did not spot that until Niamh said as I was too busy watching Elfy run about). There was something for everyone. I especially loved Elfy’s moment with the pedal bin, his dancing and his reaction to carrot juice. you must go to see it to find out what it is. As for Carol, she is of course one of those characters you come to love, just like Scrooge in a Christmas Carol.


As for the audience there was a mixture of ages in the audience in this performance including a man sat at the back telling Carol that there was a present behind her, the children  dancing along to the songs, along with one boy in front of us who said to his teacher ‘that song off the film where the boy is at home’ ‘you mean home alone she replied’ ‘yes miss’.

So if you do anything this Christmas take your family to go and see this play and fall in love with Christmas and the magic of the Elf. Because I certainly have.

One last thing before I go what is you elf name?

Mine is  Cutie O’Christmas Tree and you can pick yours from the West Yorkshire Playhouse list below


and while you’re at it follow the link and make yourself into an elf!

Book tickets here

Photographs by  Photographer Amy Charles curtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse

Thank you for reading.


‘My name is Michael Caine’

my name is michael  and not a lot of people know that

Well no it’s not it’s Helen, but you wouldn’t think it these days. My identity seems to be getting lost. I’m being constantly compared with others, that on some days I don’t know who I’m expected to be. And when that happens, I wonder if it’s either easier to act the way the person wants or just to shut down.


With the seasons changing I’m finding it harder to motivate myself on a morning. My sleep patterns can vary from a fantastic 8 hour sleep to a distured 2 hour sleep. My short term memory is non existant at times, mostly when I get stressed these days, and like this morning I find I do silly things like put the TV remote in my bag and the phone on the TV/DVD player. Or I become so busy I don’t know whether I’m coming or going and jobs get missed and things go missing.

I’m also very much into self improvement. Living on my own isn’t always plain and sailing and on top of that I work long days. I do my best to ask for help but in most cases some things are best done by myself making more work for me. I have always wondered why I have been seen as a joke to some people, and why they think I don’t fit in their gang and yet sometimes I just don’t care. I will do things and sometimes not in the way people expect and yet for some it is never good enough.

Also being single doesn’t fit well with most people. I chose to be single because to me at this point in time, it is so much easier, I can’t get hurt, I don’t have to worry about others, and most of all I am on a journey to ‘fix’ myself, even know I have had  a few setbacks, I’m still shuffling along and the best bit is I can do what I want and not ask anyone’s permission.

So please don’t compare me to others, I am who I am and although however strange I may appear to you, I think I’m an alright person.

And yes I do believe Colin Firth IS the only Mr Darcy, EVER!


Thank you for reading



The Helen Project-update

I recently read a book called –The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo. I was told about it by a friend and I was quite interested to see what it was about. I loved everything about it, once Ifinished it I couldn’t pick up another book and settle. I had to start on the tidying and sorting. Within a few hours I had got rid of two boxes. Amazing.

‘The key to successful tidying is to tackle your home in the correct order, to keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once – and quickly. After that for the rest of your life you only need to choose what to keep and what to discard.’

I’ve been trying to clear out for a couple of years now. I’ve got so much stuff in this house, and it keeps building. Some of it is at least 12 years old and just sat in boxes. I’ve since cleared out paperwork, old college work, books unread or not likely to be reread and reorganised the bedding and towels.

In recent months I’ve tried Reiki and crystal healing, and although I’ve had odd effects from it, it has felt like it has helped. The only problem is, is that so much negativity has built up over the years, trying to reverse that has had some odd side effects. The main one being around the throat and the sensation of being strangled or constant pressure on my throat. When I first had it done I ended up with a terrible headache and then wanted to cry. In the past year I have developed a hate for negativity, if someone is in a bad mood I will stay away from them the best I can, I do try talking to them but get the same response my Dad used to give, and it was always a sulky/ snappy response. So I leave the person/s to it. I just don’t want to waste my energy on them.


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I have a terrible memory and sometimes it can’t be quite bad. I can do something, get distracted and completely forget what I was doing in the first place. The other week I was sorting my bag out on my bed (I don’t normally do this) I then tidied up, not realising I hadn’t put the bus pass back. Went to bed and slept, and then found it missing. In the end I walked to work and got the bus back only to find it sometime later when I went to tidy the duvet up.

I’ve also had some family related issues to deal with, which I didn’t realise had affected me so much, but made me angry and upset at the same time. This topped with work, and feeling really tired, and no motivation at the moment just left me drained. Today I seem to have fixed that. I started again on this clearing malarkey and started cleaning the carpets. They hadn’t been done since I moved in 5 years ago, and boy is it filthy.


I only noticed it when i moved the rug by accident and saw a dark patch and then there was the area near the door where I walk to the kitchen and back.  So today was about cleaning the house and I ended up cleaning the living room twice and both times the machine came up with black water. I’ve even had to give the machine a deep clean as there was all sorts of crap in there. Best bit is though after the new way of getting rid of stuff and cleaning the house, especially the living room, feels a lot lighter. Like the energies have changed and that it’s actually my home, it belongs to me and I have the headache and throat problem again which means that the energy has shifted and I am really proud of myself.

The result is I have now got another 6 bags for charity, I’ve cleared out at least 6 bags of rubbish and now there’s just a few repairs need doing, and bob’s your uncle. My home is my home and it has a fresh start and tomorrow I can begin the day feeling more positive. I can’t wait until the weekend to do the finishing pieces of cleaning and then I can start enjoying being the house rather than dreading coming home every so often.


Theatre review: The Kite Runner at the @WYPlayhouse, Leeds

Hello from me to you

*Please don’t read this if you’re going to see the play*

The Blurb!

Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel The Kite Runner first hit the bookshelves in 2003 and became a best seller in the United States, voted the Reading Group Book of the Year for 2006 and 2007 before being made into a BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated film in 2007.  Set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime, it charts a friendship that spans cultures and continents and follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. – see more about the cast here

This haunting tale of friendship spans cultures and continents and follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Afghanistan is a divided country on the verge…

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Crystals to Help With the Current 2015 Energies

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

2013-04-04 10.54.00

“Theologians may quarrel, but the mystics of the world speak the same language.”
~ Meister Eckhart

Are you feeling it? This wild, crazy energy we’re sitting in right now. If you’re the slightest bit spiritually or psychically sensitive you’ll know what I mean.

Of course, each of us will be impacted differently, and we may experience a number of sensations or emotions over a given day, or a week. So I’ve put together a little crystal First Aid Kit that you might find useful or comforting right now.

Below you’ll find my crystal recommendations and suggestions for use. I’ve also included suggestions for children and pets, because they are so often sensitive to these shifting energies. You can pop the stone in your pocket, place it by your bed or desk, hold it when you meditate, or even wear it as jewelry. Small tumbled stones will work as well as large…

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