Hi everyone and welcome to my weekly blog post. I hope it has been a good one for you all and to UK readers I hope the snow hasn’t been too bad where you are. This week I will be talking about David Bowie and Alan Rickman, coffee dilemma, Denmark,  and How To Make A Murderer (TV documentary).

This week we all seemed to be rocked by the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. They both meant different things to different people but for me they represent part of my childhood. I didn’t really listen to much David Bowie when I was young but the film Labyrinth (1986) was and still is a favourite film of mine. How I was allowed to watch it I don’t know (wasn’t allowed to watch Dirty Dancing as it would be too rude for me but Labyrinth and those trousers no problem at all). I loved the music in it and back in 86/87 I was too young to know who David Bowie was. As far as I knew he was the Goblin King and in my memory he always will be. As I have got older I have listened to his music more and understand and appreciate him as an artist more so to hear of his death really saddened me.

Just days after reeling from the news about David Bowie I learn that Alan Rickman has died (also 69 and from cancer). I heard it at lunchtime at work and it stunned everyone. He was Professor Snape, Harry in Love Actually, Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility, Jamie in Truly Madly Deeply, Hans Gruber in Die Hard and of course my favourite the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. cee6561003c8ececd0006f9e70657d7fSuch a talented actor and once again he was in a film that shaped my childhood. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is one of my all time favourite films. I watched it so much as child I knew it word for word. I had the action figures and I was always Robin Hood when I played. There are no words for these two deaths but I want to say thank you to them both for being part of my childhood and for making me who I am today.

The news of David Bowie and Alan Rickman also reminded me how cruel cancer is. It doesn’t discriminate and affects so many people. We have all been touched by cancer in our lives but although we hear of battles lost there are always battles that are won so it is always worth fighting.

As well as dark days, tighter clothing, eating leftovers and the daily battle to stick to resolutions January also brings something to me, my coffee dilemma. This year I have two dilemmas what coffee to have and where to have it.  So far this month I am flitting between Flat White’s, Mocha’s, Cappuccino’s, and Vanilla Lattes. Normally there is a seasonal special to anchor me down but this year the seasonal special involves the trendy coconut milk and I don’t like coconut. So I am undecided on what to have. Maybe I should be embracing this fluctuation in coffee consumption. While I have been wrestling with this first world dilemma I see Tom Daley’s latest fitness tip video on YouTube. It is about how you should have black coffee well I think it is about that. You can watch for yourself here (I have to admit there were some distractions for me).

Sorry Tom even your very persuasive methods can’t convince me to drink black coffee I need milk in it, thanks for trying though I certainly appreciated it.

My other dilemma is where to have it. Now this dilemma doesn’t apply to my morning commute that is staying as Starbucks as I like the Starbucks in Durham. However on a weekend it is another story. Starbucks Darlington is proving to be anything but enjoyable lately. I can hardly get a seat because of teenagers all sharing one drink and eating food from elsewhere, a lot of the decent staff have also left and finally it is just a bit run down as a store. On Saturday I tried to go in and it was full of teenagers and families with lots of children and I turned around and left as did someone else who I often see in there. My second choice is Costa but that is becoming harder to get into probably because of Starbucks regulars turning away and then third is Caffe Nero which I seem to be going to more. Not because the coffee is better but it’s where I can get served. Darlington needs to have a coffee shop for over 16 year olds or Starbucks Darlington needs to sort itself out.

This week I started rehearsals for one of the productions this year. It was for Hamlet and it was great to see everyone again and to meet new people to the group. I know the story but Haven’t read it or seen it for a few years so I am going to reread the whole play (our version is a heavily reduced version) so I can get into character. I get the feeling it is going to be great being involved in this show especially as it is for the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It has made research more about Denmark and where the play is set. I think it would be great to visit onetime. In other Danish news I was amused to discover a seller on amazon this week called Books2anywhereus but then in the seller details said “DOES NOT SHIP TO DENMARK”. What’s wrong with Denmark and if you are to have that policy I think a change in name is needed as you are not supplying Books2anywhere. Still it did make me smile on a cold winters day.

After lots of social media chatter, TV reviews in papers and magazines and talk with work colleagues I have started watching “How To Make A Murderer”. Before starting I wasn’t sure whether it was a documentary, docudrama or a drama. It turns out it is a Netflix Original Documentary. I am only two episodes in so far and it is interesting although not sure I get all the hype just yet but maybe that is because it is not the usual thing I watch. Still I will watch it until the end before giving my final verdict.

Well that is it for this week. Hopefully the next 7 days will be less emotional or sad. Thank you taking the time to read and I will be back again next weekend with a weekly post and maybe a special during the week.

Top Programme of the Week – War & Peace

Top Song of the Week – David Bowie – Magic Dance

Book I Am Currently Reading – Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert