Category Archives: family

It’s May!

It’s a Windy Face Day

Stories about centenarians walking up and down their gardens, nonagenarians climbing up and down steps are so inspiring. I’m all in favour of them raising as much money for the NHS as they possibly can.

Meantime, I’m a septuagenarian (a mere babe by comparison) fund raiser, but I also come into the category of freelance performer/theatre-maker who has lost my music festival and fringe festival gigs, not eligible for any government assistance, now in self-isolation and doing anything I can to keep up my skills, while sharing a bit of love and laughter in an attempt to raise some funds for my local children’s hospital charity.

It occurs to me that I cannot be the only one in this situation!  I’m not a celebrity/famous actor or singer sharing free performances for their fans.  I am your run of the mill jobbing actor/singer-songwriter/clown surviving on the aged pension, and anticipating the reality of being stuck in this situation for months, if not years to come, if I want to stay fit and healthy to see my grandkids grow up.

I’ve put callouts on all my Facebook performer type groups, to find some other pensioner performers taking action to contribute in some way.  No response so far. Maybe there’s a journalist who might see this as a story with some potential, and be able to do the research to find the rest of my ‘mob’ #pensionerperformerstakingaction is my suggested hashtag.

I decided to take part in the London Marathon’s #TwoPointSixChallenge, and chose tap-dancing as my fitness regime – something I hadn’t done since I was 8 years old. I’m posting short videos every day, about to record Day 14 this afternoon. They are all up on the donation website:  I would be eternally grateful if you would share the link, help me to reach my target, and help the charity to continue its support of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

It occurs to me there may be another story here. I’ve been advised by a few friends that people are reluctant to donate to the VirginMoneyGiving site, because – you know – Richard Branson.  I can sympathise. However, I’ve checked out  a few fund raising websites, and this one is the only one, as far as I can make out, that does NOT charge the charities to register, and that has waived all fees for this campaign.

And I’ll be raising a glass of the red stuff to you all, but not till I’ve done today’s tap dancing challenge. Don’t want to embarrass myself even more, or be a burden to the NHS  by falling over!


May I

May I be

May I be well

May I be well enough

May I be well enough to

May I be well enough to be

May I be well enough to be still

May I be well enough to be still useful

May I be well enough to be still useful enough

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to help

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to help you

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to help you through

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to help you through to

May I be well enough to be still useful enough to help you through to

The end of May.

Experiment: Journal, Day 1

The View from Over The Hill

Day one of journaling!

Decided to jot down what I’ve just been doing today, so that I don’t forget how industrious I can be if I try.

So, first thing, I made the bed. That’s ok, eh? Got dressed, left my hair alone. No make-up, so must remember not to video myself today.

Checked on the garden, all good. Found that ‘double daffodil’ or is it a Jonquil? tipped over, so I snipped it and brought it in to play with its friends.

It has the most exquisite, delicate perfume.

Those are tomato seeds under the cling film next to it.  And the perfume is Ralph Lauren Safari, which they don’t make any more, so I bought that bottle years ago on eBay, and it was already well past its best, so now it is an ornament.

I brought in from the ‘garden shed’ (a cupboard by the front door) the plastic bag I’ve been dumping stuff in ever since I moved here last May. Found some tiny bulbs, some of them rotten but others desperately sprouting pale and wan leaves, and I’ve popped them into a pot. I repotted the beautiful flowering plant that Sarah brought for me when she came to work on her audition monologue – she was accepted into ALRA North’s MA Professional Acting course next academic year!

I listened dutifully to Radio 4 and the news, wondering when and if a State of Emergency, or Martial Law (whatever they call it here) will be declared, and having more sympathy than I ever thought I would for those nation states who have ever declared it, in this ‘war’ or any other. Who would have thought so many people would be so stupid? Me. That’s who.

Turned over to Radio 6Music, and had a jolly good bop in the kitchen to Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Boney M.

Now I’m tucking into my incredibly healthy breakfast, of muesli-with-extra-rolled-oats-and-almonds, a dash of milk and a topping of home-made yoghurt.  I’ve made my second cup of coffee, and left it, forgotten, in the kitchen. The first one was abandoned, pouring all over the worktop because I’d left the machine on while I took stuff back to the garden shed. Hang on.

There it is. Lovely. Just needed a wee zap in the microwave. This one had been forgotten because my phone tinged, and it was Morag Stark sending me a daft wee video on WhatApp. Comedian @JaneyGodley has taken video of Nicola Sturgeon advising Scotland how to behave and added her own voice doing a creditable Nicola Sturgeon, only speaking in much broader Scots and making the message much more hilariously powerful.

I’ve forwarded it on to a few specially selected friends. I hate the mass sharings, when you know the sender has just hit “send to all my contacts”. I delete those immediately. Just so you know.

Already, I’ve heard back from three of my actual friends, who’ve enjoyed the video and asked how I’m doing. Conversations. That’s what it’s all about.

Now I’m doing this. Which has exhausted its usefulness, for now.

Catch you later. Stay at home. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. (If you’ve been doing a lot of online communication lately, via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, whatever, you’re probably noticing, as I am, just how often we touch our faces).

Message to self: Don’t do it. Even if you are socially distanced. It’s an unconscious habit, and you’ll do it when it’s dangerous if you don’t lose the habit.

10:04 am Tuesday 24th March, 2020.  Not dead yet.

For all the mothers

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, and about to be mothers. As someone who spent half her life avoiding her mother, and the other half learning how to appreciate her, with all her strengths and flaws, I have been astonished at how much I miss her, now she’s gone. This is a song I wrote for a show about 15 years before she died, while I was still in the ambivalent stage. It took another few years before I realised it had all come true – for me. I’m not the greatest singer, as you know, but you may enjoy the song. Listen here, or you will find it on Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer et al in the album “Yes! Because… the songs”