283. All the right notes but not necessarily…

“I was just wondering – do you think it would be completely bonkers for me to take my Grade One?”

When I started having piano lessons, a couple of years ago now, I told Holly that I wasn’t even considering taking any exams. Why would I? Particularly with a tremor which, though generally mild and well-behaved, has been known to have the Mother of all Temper Tantrums in times of stress. Exams are stressful; piano exams need obedient hands; stress leads to disobedient hands; disobedient hands would make exams even more stressful. Even considering this would be illogical, Captain.

Continue reading →

282. Should auld acquaintance be unfollowed….

“Do you think that if I stopped looking at Twitter and Facebook, I’d get my book finished quicker?”

“No,” says ActorLaddie.

“No?”

“No. I think that unless you stop looking at Twitter and Facebook, you’ll never get your book started.”

Oh.

More brutally honest than I was hoping for. Still.

Continue reading →

Who would have thought

the beer bottle had so much glass in it?

#whoops #StupidWoman #Ma’sKitchenNowSmellsLikeBrewery #CrunchyGlassEverywhere #SuchFun

281. Euston Station made me shiver…

Heading for Euston Station … TFL app … will my train journey home be any easier than the one up?

Coming into town, the combination of an unexpected chill with totally unforeseen leaf fall (in Autumn – who knew?) led to both local lines grinding to a halt. Fortunately ActorLaddie swung into action and ubered me to a tube station. Lunch with InfantPhenomenon made on time.

Continue reading →

280. Running wild…

“Only ten minutes to go,” says Laura.  “You’re doing brilliantly.  If you’re finding it difficult, you can slow down a little.”

You know what, Laura – I really can’t. If I slow down any more, I will be running backwards. If you could really truly see me, you be much more likely to suggest, in the words of the good Doctor, that I get a shift on.

Continue reading →

279. Now we are six…

As a novelist, says Anna Burns, her job is “to show up and be present and attend. It’s a waiting process.” She “just had to wait for my characters to tell me their stories.”
(Interview by Alison Flood in The Guardian, 16 Oct ’18)

This obviously worked for Anna Burns as she has just bagged the Booker Prize with her novel Milkman.

I, however, have spent a lifetime waiting for characters to turn up and write themselves into a book but they haven’t done so yet and I’m rather starting to fear they never will. I go to bed having put out my finest stationery but masterpieces come there none. Not so much as a shopping list; not so much as a tweet. Perhaps the characters have used up all their best ideas writing other people’s books. They have no more twists.

Continue reading →

278. The Phantom of the Theatre…

“In those days, there was usually an intermission between each act during which the audience – and the actors – would get refreshments. One night, the great actor Edmund Kean was giving his Hamlet but by the end of the fourth interval found himself so refreshed that he couldn’t remember Act V. He could, however, remember Act V of Lear – which he’d done the previous week – so they did that instead.”

Continue reading →

277. Stuck in the middle with you …

Can you hear me, mother? Have to keep the noise down: I find myself at the centre of a supersize game of Sardines. If anyone else twigs that we’re here and tries to join us, the density levels may prove fatal.

Continue reading →

276. A loo with a view…

1534353546507380

First run through…

“So, have you been to the Minack before?” I ask, when we have a lull in the programme selling.

“Oh yes, lots of times! A few years ago, we did The Producers. As we were bringing in the props – crates of swastikas and Nazi banners and so on, we passed a party of German tourists.” FellowProgrammeSeller grimaces a little. “It was all a bit awkward, really. Would you like a programme?”

Continue reading →

275. Be careful what you wish for…

I’m safely on home territory now; more in danger of rust than sunburn. You know where you are with rain. Siestas confuse me.

Continue reading →