Showing posts from 2015

University choir celebrates 50 years of singing


Family drawing workshops with Immy Smith @ aspex gallery

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight branch of the British Science Association has teamed up with aspex gallery to present a series of family workshops inspired by science and nature. The workshops will be lead by artist Immy Smith, who is a Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence in the University of Portsmouth Brain Tumour Research Lab. You can find out more about Immy's work work on her website

Immy will host informative and fun drawing activities and games, suitable for all ages and abilities. However, parents should supervise their children during the activities and in the gallery space.

1. Saturday 28th November - lichens
2. Saturday 30th January - stargazing
3 Saturday 20th February - the beauty of fractals
4. Saturday 19th March - brain tumour

Time: 2-4pm
Venue: aspex gallery, The Vulcan Building, Portsmouth PO1 3BF

The workshops are free, no pre-registration required and people can drop-in on the day.

aspex gallery 023 9277 8080 (

The event is orga…

Royal Marine to Release Debut Choral Album at Portsmouth Cathedral

After months of work, Royal Marine musician and composer James Dunlop will officially launch his debut choral album, Ascension, with a free concert at Portsmouth Cathedral on Monday November 30th.

The Ascension album is an independent collaboration between young composer James Dunlop and the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir. This 18 month project is the debut album of 26 year old composer James Dunlop and has been funded by the Arts Council England and a crowd funding campaign.

It features 12 tracks of new contemporary choral music composed by James Dunlop and consists of A Cappella works, whilst also featuring the Northumbrian Smallpipe performer, Alice Burn, finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards, as a soloist with the choir. It features works set to religious text as well as modern contemporary pieces of a melodic, thematic nature.

This is James Dunlop’s debut album and a big leap in his musical career; it shows an extraordinary journey with director Dr David Price and the Portsm…

36 hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has announced its major contributions to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Jutland for 2016, highlighting the pivotal role played by the Royal Navy. This follows the Government’s plans to mark the milestone which were released earlier this week. Commemorative events for Jutland 2016 start in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the formal opening, on May 24th, of a blockbuster exhibition “36 hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War.” As well as being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together material from across the UK and Germany, the exhibition is linked to the other significant NMRN launch in 2016, namely the opening of HMS Caroline in Belfast.

HMS Caroline is the last survivor of the battle and following the receipt of the largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant awarded in Northern Ireland, the ship is being transformed into a world class heritage visitor attraction in time for the national centenary comme…

Living with dementia

Today it's all about dementia. The newsletter on my inbox read:

World Alzheimer’s Day is taking place on 21 September 2015 and Alzheimer’s Disease International are encouraging everyone around the world to get involved in an event to help raise awareness of dementia and challenge stigma.

Here in Southsea we can join a new fortnightly session to be held at the King's Theatre (No. 28 Albert Road) to help people understand dementia more.

Red Sauce Theatre has researched and created a forum theatre piece that will help people to learn more about what it's like living with dementia.

This afternoon I had a quick chat with Rachel Goodall from Red Sauce Theatre and I hope to come along to her sessions as dementia affects us all and we both agreed that it's important to learn as much as possible and to have time to share our understanding and experiences with each other, particularly with those caring for people living with dementia.

Best Burgers in Southsea

Where can you get the best burger in town? My vote still goes to the ABar Bistro! The meat is very juicy.

Other places I can recommend for a good burger is Le Cafe Parisien. Here you can choose between a beef, chicken or vegetarian burger. Each topped with some lovely battered onion rings.

As people have preferences and probably been to many other places in Southsea, please feel free to add your recommendations in the comment space below.

Looking forward to hear from you!

Sudoku helps fill the time on a rainy day

It has been pouring down with rain today and as soon as it started looking like it would stop, it starts again! I have a book to read, so it's fine. But if you don't feel like reading what would you do?

You could do some Sudoku. It's not difficult and it does not require any skill in maths. All you are doing is filling in the spaces with numbers 1 to 9. The trick comes with the arrangements. Try the easy ones first and then move on to a more difficult ones. It's all about learning slowly how to spot for the answers.

It's a game young and old can do, but it does require some amount of memory. It can, over time, help you sharpen your memory too as you keep using that part of your brain.

You can find books and books of Sudoku or your daily papers would have them too. I only buy the papers once a week, but sometimes it has a bumper edition of games and there will be several Sudokus.

You can find Sudokus online too, where you can time yourself doing it and notice how mu…

Four ways to cook chicken

Keeping to the barbecue theme, chicken drumsticks are perhaps the easiest part of chicken to cook on the barbecue. It's easy to handle at the bone end.

What to do with your chicken is very easy to answer! Here are some of my favourite flavouring:

Oyster Sauce - this very versatile sauce liven up any chicken dish, whether you stir fry it or stick it on the barbecue

Teriyaki Sauce - The Japanese answer to a barbecue sauce and it's simply good!

Honey mustard - a tablespoon each of honey and wholegrain mustard for 8-10 drumsticks would give it a continental flavour.

Garlic and chilli - this must be my all time favourite and the best combination of flavours in the world; try it for yourself! Add some lime for a Thai twist.

Light the barbie, or on a rainy day, eat it indoors with your pretty picnic plates.

Barbecue time!

Summer is about enjoying the long, warm days and not stuck by the stove cooking labourious dinners. That's why the barbecue was invented!

The simplest possible way to do the barbecue is to buy some sausages and burgers ready made in the supermarket. Foodie me, however, prefer to know what goes into my food.

Making your own burger should not be difficult. Some prefer plain meat which they flavour later with tomatoes, lettuce, a slice of bacon, or a chunk of Stilton.

I tend to mix lean steak mince with onions I have chopped up and caramelised in the pan with a spoonful of oil. Then to flavour it I raid the fridge for leftover chutney, chilli sauce or apricot conserve (my favourite!).

You want to keep the mixture moist and to stick it all together, add an egg and mix well. This mixture is very good if you want to cut out gluten from your diet. Ready-made burgers often have rusk or breadcrumbs added for volume.

What better to drink in the hot summer evenings than the very British Pimms…

What's interesting: Hair Peace

When Victoria competed in beauty pageants for her award-winning show, Major Tom, a hairdresser advised she wear hair extensions.

Freaked out by wearing a piece of somebody else’s body she embarked on an extraordinary adventure to find whose hair this was.

The outcome is a true story about the search for three unrelated strangers from India and Russia connected by DNA.

Hair Peace aims to look at how one woman’s situation through birthplace, class and religion can be so radically different from another’s, yet still be so inextricably linked by having worn the same hair.