Twenty Twenty Two… A Re-Do… Part Two

Shakespeare once wrote: “All the world’s a stage.”

But that’s ridiculous. If all the world is a stage, that would put theatres out of business, because no-one would ever need to visit one. What a silly thing for Shakespeare to say. Why are kids made to study this FOOLISH man in school?!

Luckily, wiser counsels prevailed, and plays continue to be produced on proper stages. Here are some I saw this year, including some very mainstream hits and more… esoteric fare.


Nine years after I saw it in London, The Book of Mormon visited Liverpool as part of its 2020 tour (Covid may have caused one or two slight delays), and was just as outrageous as I remembered.

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Twenty Twenty Two… A Re-Do

2022 will go down in history as a year. There was turmoil in the wider world and political upheaval at home.

Anyway, here are some films I watched and enjoyed.


The first gay rom-com (by a major studio). Billy Eichner plays Bobby, an uptight, slightly whiny gay man, who falls in love with Aaron (Luke Macfarlane), a straight-acting jock type. But — who would have thought it? — the relationship is rocky and punctuated by awkward moments and personality clashes before they eventually realise they are perfect for each other.

Sadly the film didn’t do too well at the box office. Maybe Eichner’s character was a bit too annoying, maybe the straights were scared off by the four-way sex scene, or maybe there were too many jokes about gay culture that only make sense to someone who has a lifetime subscription to the Advocate and has seen every episode of Drag Race. It was probably a little too gay to entice the straights in. Not that they should have diluted the gayness for more mainstream appeal. Quite the opposite: they should have gone the whole hog and left in the rimming scene.

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The Strike Before Christmas

Goodwill is in short supply this festive season. Rail workers, postal workers, nurses, ambulance workers and more have all called strike action.

The railway is in such a state in parts that it doesn’t need workers to strike to cause disruption, as customers of Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast, among others, can testify.

The NHS is in meltdown due to chronic underfunding and understaffing caused by mismanagement. Even on non-strike days, people are waiting hours for ambulances. Is it any wonder that nurses and ambulance workers have had enough?

The government has naturally attacked the striking workers, and is now planning to pass draconian anti-strike laws. Add this to the recent laws passed cracking down on protests, and we have a government that can only hang on to control by crushing its opposition.

These are workers who were lauded as “key workers” during the pandemic, dutifully heading into work while the rest of us stayed home and baked banana bread. People stood on their doorsteps and clapped for them, now they are being attacked as lazy and greedy for making some perfectly reasonable demands. After years of pay failing to keep up with inflation, prices are spiralling. People are being forced to choose between heating their homes or eating properly. Some can’t afford to do either.

We all need a pay rise, and for public services to be funded properly. We are in one of the richest economies in the world, it could easily be done.

I am inconvenienced by cancelled trains, and delayed post, but even so: solidarity to all those who are campaigning, and Merry Christmas.

Pining for the Fjords

My Norwegian adventures came to an end, and I had to return to Brexit Island. The journey to the airport and the flight home was uneventful, and a few hours later I was touching down in Manchester Airport, where I was greeted with the usual welcome: a long, slowly-moving passport queue. Great first impression of the UK for visitors, WELL DONE.

A "Fly SAS" jet on the tarmac at Oslo airport, waiting to taxi to the runway.

Despite the problems I had along the way, it was overall an amazing trip. Norway is a beautiful part of the world, and I was glad to spend a week there sampling some of what it had to offer. Bodø in particular was a lovely surprise – a charming town with plenty to do and see.

I have to give Railbookers their due – they gave a refund for the non-running sleeper train and the cancelled Northern Lights tour without any quibble. I’m not sure, given the number of emails and phone calls I had to make to book the trip in the first place, whether a specialist tour operator required less effort than just booking the different parts of the trip separately online. On the other hand, you do have that all important ATOL protection, which may be an important consideration for some.

I’m hoping to travel extensively in 2023. Will I be going back to Norway again? Maybe not next year, but I think I will be heading to Scandinavia again sooner rather than later. Wherever I go, it will be blogged in excruciating detail – watch this space!

Photo of the setting sun low in the sky, illuminating a Norwegian landscape of mountains, trees and fjords