Hello? Anyone still out there?

Apologies, I have been neglecting this blog for so long. There are a lot of reasons why this has happened and I really did not want to dwell on it. Yet as I was told today by a very observant friend (“That’s my job!” I can hear her shout – yes, she is also a qualified therapist, so she is trained to be observing…) I don’t internalise well.

In fact, my internalisation process sucks: it’s not internal at all! It breaks out in patches on my face and last week my left-eye started twitching… My stress has taken to new levels. The thing is that I have absolutely nothing to stress about – let me explain:

I’ve got a job as a writer of sorts! They pay me enough to survive which is fine for now, to be fair – I still love the writing part of the job.

I am about to move house – again, and hopefully I can stay there for longer than a month. The room wasn’t ready for the end of the month and I had to find a roof for a week or two.  This is not a big deal! I live in London, there is always a place to stay. In the end it actually all worked out, I will live out of two bags for 10 days as I trek around but it is all good. It really is.

I have to remind myself that the basics are covered: somewhere to sleep, food to eat. Tick and tick! Right?

Scratch the surface and there it is… my confession to anyone who has recently exclaimed their flattering admiration for my gypsy lifestyle to pursue the dream: It is tiring. I am tired. I am physically exhausted.

I am getting by thanks to family, friends and a little faith but I am ready for a base. Perhaps if I don’t have to wonder where I will sleep next week, I will have time again to engage with what I love best. I need to stabilise the basics to be able to focus on the roller coaster of a dream.

Never mind, it is all part of the ride. I just wanted to let you know I am still here. Maybe I wanted to let myself know I am still here. I am still here and I haven’t just given up.

Bits of Saturday

Train conversation 1 : Son: “What’s your book about?” Dad: “About a Man with five wives.” Son:”And that is a PG?!”

3 Replies my text message that I had just purchased a coffee for 90p at the trainstation:

– ” Bargain, that wouldn’t even get you a hot water in London.”
-” I’m worried your coffee might be rancid…”
– ” Can you see a horse and cart somewhere too?”

Driving through the country lanes: “This is so pretty…”

“Scones or Tarte Tatin?” “I don’t know.” “You choose” “Ok erhm Scones” “Ok.” “Wait but we don’t have cream.” “Oh and I forgot the jam.” “Tarte Tatin.” “Yes, Tarte Tatin.”

After already having made cheesecake, meringues, indian potato pie, chickenskewers, salmon bagels, roast veg- and – mozzarella stuffed loaves, vol-a-vents, drumsticks, three kinds of dip: “Do you think I should just cut up some veg?”

“I only go through one pack of these a week. Really not that bad you know” “For a smoker.”

“They’ve just texted: they’ll be here in 20min!”

An hour and a half later: “Oh my god, I’m so glad to see you! I so need the toilet! I’m so glad to see you!” “Maybe be use the toilet first.” Sprints upstairs shouting ” I AM SO GLAD TO SEE YOU!”

“Give me the baby” x 126435

“Sorry, I just remembered I don’t like gingerbeer.”

“I’m worried my son will know you as Auntie Lezza…” ” I’m not a lesbian, I’m just married to one.”

*Whisper, whisper in the kitchen* Door opens: “Oh sorry, did I just interu…WHAT BOY!?”

To baby:”Are you using my boobs as a ledge?”

“She just texted: there is a two hour delay.” “Tell her the food will be gone” “She says to save her a voillavent.”

“I want to try all three desserts.” ” Good me too, just cut them smaller then we can share.” Yeah me too, but I’m not sharing.”

Again two hours later: “Yay! There she is!” ” Stupid lorry, but I made it!” ” Yay! I’m sorry we got to go…” Booo…

On our way out: “Wait! We have to plan Christmas!”

Trainconversation 2: Man on phone: (on redundancy and work opportunity) “Yes, but I don’t think I’d want to go to Hong Kong.(…) No.(…) I know, but I don’t think the dog would like it.”

If I can dream

A rehearsal take – not the best polished performance but I like the slightly tired, slightly slack emotion that it adds.

Out there in the dark there’s a beckoning candle and while I can think, while I can talk, while I can stand, while I can walk, while I can dream…

One Man Two Guvnors

I was kicking the blues yesterday and what better remedy than seeing One Man Two Guv’nors at the National Theatre. My really cool sister got us tickets on the third row in the stalls – great places, but thank god not the first row with the amount of audience participation that was involved…

The brilliance starts with the 1960s band ( think very early Beatles, when they still wore the silly uniforms)  that plays a few songs as the people coming into to the auditorium: it is worth it to come in a bit early.

One Man Two Guvnors is written by Richard Bean and based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni. The story is now set in England 1963, James Corden stars ( and I mean that in the shining meaning of the word) as Francis Henshall, a hard-up and hungry musician who takes a job for a small criminal Rosco Crabbe.

Rosco is in Brighton to claim his fiancee the dim Pauline. It’s to be a marriage of convenience – Pauline’s dad Charlie owes Rosco’s family money and with Pauline and £6000 this would all be settled.

The play however, opens with Pauline and wanna-be actor Alan’s engagement party as Rosco is supposed to be killed a week before by his twin-sister Rachel’s boyfriend Stanley Stubbs.  Shock and confusion when Rosco (and Francis) join the party.

Soon a slap-stick comedy of confused identity commences, and to make things worse Francis accidentally gets employed by Stanley ( yes- the murderer and the boyfriend) too. He now has two guvnors to serve and keep happy. Oh and Rosco turns out to be Rachel in drag, who is waiting for her boyfriend Stanley -geddit?

James shows off his skills with his portrayal of Francis. He’s quick-witted in improvisation when bantering with the audience and his physical ability is admirable. He owns the slap-stick scenes – a particular high light when hungry Francis has to serve lunch simultaneously to his two masters in two different rooms. Add  a bumbling waiter and an unsuspecting audience-member to the mix and it turns into perfectly choreographed and hilarious chaos.

The second half is much calmer than the first, but there are still gags aplenty. Francis develops a crush and all the characters need to discover the truth about each other. Throughout the performance, scene changes are accompanied by songs of the band and all the characters have a chance to shine in a transition number: be it singing , showing off their musical skills or even their bodies….

We literally cried with laughter all night: the situations are incredibly silly and entertaining. It is the complete package and delivers with a beautiful set, in words, music and action. One Man Two Guvnors is one perfect piece of entertaining theatre.


The ten missed calls indicated something was wrong. As I had to run an errand in town I had given Sura my key to let herself in: we travelled from Glasgow this morning and she was carrying a suitcase around. We had only caught up on three days of London riots that we blissfully missed.

Then three text messages:  my road was full of police and all the shops on the high street were boarded up. All, apart from the shop beneath my flat. Sura was told by police to get off the street and thus urged me to find a new place to stay for the night. ( I later called my flatmate and she said the police woman in front of our flat said it were just rumours. Ah, the police woman in front of the flat you said?)

So here I am, writing you this from refuge in Mile End ( yes also shaky but at least less shops around.) There is a strange atmosphere around, people hurrying home before dark and there is an eerie quiet in the air. What a difference from the pretty Scottish place I woke up in this morning…

Sura and I have spent the last six days with our friend B who lives close to Glasgow. Highlights included:

  • An amazing wine in Cafe Gandolfi that had to be excavated from the cellar but the memory still brings tears to our eyes. ( The following days we had to remind ourselves nothing could live up to it.)
  • Sunshine – It Happened. We had 1 day of rain, we even had a drink in the sun, it was like summer had come to Scotland 😉
  • The night view over Glasgow from the rooftop of the old BBC Scotland building, after having met a few of its residents in a pub and having been invited to share their whisky at home. ( “Well, aren’t you boys kind and generous souls…”)
  • Super 8, the movie. It was a highlight, even with hangovers ( best quote that day came from B’s 10-year-old: “Are you hung over?”  We: “No, do we look hung over?” He: “No, but maybe girls cover that up with make-up and stuff…” *cue faces of disbelieve… )
  • Edinburgh, the festival in the rain: 12 hours – 4 shows. The first was One Million Tiny Plays about Britain, quotes from the British public are made into theatre. The second was the mind-blowing Orlando by Cryptic, whose technical wizardry really should be toned down to let their one woman do her thing in the show. As we are applauding Ed Byrne’s comedy we’re halfway out of the hall, legging it to another show, The Golden Dragon. We managed to catch the last extra train and felt very happy with ourselves.
  • Sura cooked dinner. I think that deserves a mention.
  • Another cinema round, where B and Sura see Horrible Bosses and I see Sarah’s Key. This had to do with pre-booked tickets, a cinema card and a sold out show. As I took in all the horrors of WW II , I realised that we were having a completely different cinema experiences… but the question remains: Jason Bateman, Yay or Nay?

It was lovely, a happy relaxing time. Something I will hold onto as I lay myself to sleep tonight. My flatmate just texted: All’s quiet here.

Let’s hope it stays that way.