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Category: Writing (page 2 of 8)

To My Aunt

And so another funeral.  This time my aunt.  I was very close to her when I was a child.  My family used to travel down to her house for Christmas every year, a long tortuous car journey.  There was my Uncle, cousins, brothers and grandparents, plus all the neighbours coming in for sherry on Christmas morning.  It was a big house built in the late 1960’s I guess, with a main bedroom which instead of having a fourth sold wall, was open onto the living room below.  They eventually

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Grrrrrrrump

Well it’s hot.  I don’t mind the heat and I love the seasons in this country but when we go from snow to heatwave in what feels like 4 weeks, then I get grumpy.  Actually I am grumpy generally.  I’ve had a number of deaths amongst family and friends in recent months (which is why the blog has been a bit subdued) and I know the generation above me in the family will soon be no longer be around.   Being old is harder than I can imagine, even witnessing it first-hand.  I  understand how people give up on life, when they just feel too exhausted to go on.  The very elderly who manage to sustain an independent life fall between the two stools of the social services and the healthcare system – which don’t seem to work together.  I know people think it’s great when old people live independently, and it is that very independence that keeps them going, but life when you are old is unbelievably hard when you have to struggle to do the simplest of things.  For instance getting out of bed.  Washing.  Going to the toilet.  Cooking is very hard.  It involves heat, and bending down and lifting things.  You can’t impose on people what you think will make life easier.  If they have never had a microwave, they aren’t going to start over with one now.  Getting a cleaner in is an obvious solution, but what if you have never lived with a stranger coming into your home?  So the cleaning is kept to a minimum or not done at all.  If you are managing your failing body (arthritis, a multitude of pills to take etc) and getting by day to day, then the social care system and the health system pretty much ignore you.  There is no holistic duty of care by them anymore.  That is something the generation above me has seen disappear, and they find that very hard.  Care in hospitals can be amazingly good but things aren’t joined up.  Departments don’t talk to each other.  Everyone seems to work in a bubble.  The duty of care by a taxi driver or a supermarket assistant who just go slightly out of their way to help makes so, so much difference to the quality of someone’s life.

If you have a network of family, friends and neighbours to keep an eye on you, that is all good,  but how people cope who do not have this is beyond me.  There must be so much acute loneliness in this world.

Forgive me.  This was intended to be a review of Caroline Or Change.

Off to work now.

Grumpy.

 

Beginning Of Food

Kiwi fruit, porridge, banana, pie, yogurt, Peroni, Chablis, cupcakes, cherry, pesto, shoulder of lamb, fish finger sandwich, scotch egg, tomato ketchup, hot dog, sausage roll, lemon, salami, artichoke, mushroom crostini, HP Sauce, cheeseballs, bag of crisps, wine, candyfloss, eggs, bacon, ale, bitter, sausage-meat, toast, breadcrumbs, “dirty Ginsters”, cheese & pineapple, pickle.

I feel a PhD coming on.

(with apologies to David Eldridge)

I Need A Job (Again)

I really need a job from March 26th.  I’m clean and tidy, can use a knife and fork and tie my own shoelaces.

All  offers and suggestions gratefully received.

Anything involving writing and/or the theatre would make me too happy for words.

Middle

One of my most important jobs at the moment on Beginning (now showing at the Ambassadors Theatre – book early) is Audience Watch.  It is in fact vital to the smooth running of the evening.  I may (or may not) be seated in such a position that I can see out over a large swathe of the auditorium.  There is a chandelier in the middle of the ceiling and some Wit on the company said I “look like the Phantom of the Opera” and that they “wouldn’t walk under the chandelier with you sitting there”.

I digress.

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Loss

The irony is that this post was going to be a review of The Ferryman, the title perhaps referring to Kharon (Charon) who in Greek mythology was the Ferryman of the Dead, taking the shades of the dead in his boat across the waters to Hades, the land of the dead.

One morning last week, around 1am, we went to a hospital

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Beginning 2

I know I could set the cat amongst the pigeons with the above photo having added lettuce and lemon, but I could not find a photo I could use with just the fingers and bread.  I could have gone out and bought the ingredients for a photo shoot in my kitchen….but it’s cold outside.  (Shame on me for not having any already in the freezer and this being north-east London I only have wholegrain bread)

I’m still riding high on my new job which is working backstage on

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Job Started

Three days of observing and then thrown in at the deep end for the Dress rehearsal on Saturday.  Made mistakes but kept calm and quiet, so no problems.  I suspect everyone thinks I know a lot more than I do but I am going to take the opportunity to learn as much as I can.

The play is wonderful.  I cried through two run-throughs. (I then got home and burst into tears at the end of the TV Little Women adaptation – I’m very emotional at the moment).  It’s about loneliness and connecting, and the actors are so good it’s not like watching actors – just people.  The characters are unusual in the sense you rarely see the thoughts and feelings they convey here, but they are so ordinary there must be thousands of (real) people like them.  I both identify strongly (painfully!) with them but the play has also made me question my own assumptions.  I think it will get richer every time I see it. And it seems a great company of people.  Everyone is really friendly and it feels like there’s no hierarchy (which strictly there isn’t in the theatre).

First preview tonight and my second time doing my job.

(I wish the photo above was my own – sadly not)

Beginning

Even more joy if you can take it.

2017 could have been a lot worse but I’m glad it’s over.  2018 has started rather well.

I HAVE A JOB!

A friend of mine was looking to job share  some technical lighting work they’d been offered on a West End play, and asked me if I was interested. They then suggested me (as job share) to the theatre’s technical boss who had originally offered the work and  within 2 hours the theatre  is ringing me to tell me I have it.

I’ll be working on half the weekly performances, the play is short, and at the moment it has a limited run of a few months – so it’s perfect.

It gives me my days free to keep working on my writing and raising my potential work profile.  (I’m also working on a secret project at the moment, so I will still have time for that.)  It’s excellent relevant new experience on my CV.  I have started some private tuition which I am enjoying and gives me a bit more money and it won’t intefere with that.  And I should be able to keep my shifts going at the Foundling, where I love working.  Both of us  want to be flexible, and we know each other from having worked together in the past, so I have freedom to do other evening things if they crop up.

It also gives me a foot in the door back into theatre (where I started) – so we’ll see.

Relieved and happy.

More Joy

I am delighted to have just received an email from that website which tells you everything going on in your locality, that a “Spanish Beginners Curse” is starting next week.

As my mother would say:  that’s a bit different.