Interestingly (well I think so) I have been working on two plays that have both had intense parts for two actors mostly on stage together alone for the whole time. Beginning by David Eldridge was a 1hr 45 minute real-time conversation (no interval) between a woman who had just held a flat-warming party and a man who was the last guest to leave. Mindgame by Anthony Horowitz, a dizzying
Category: Writing (page 2 of 8)
A couple of summers a go I read Robert Macfarlane’s book Landmarks about how both our language and a handful of writers he focuses on have shaped our relationship with the landscape of this country. The last chapter is about a project by Deb Wilenksi with Caroline Wending observing a class of Reception children (4-5 year olds). Over ten Monday mornings they went out into a local country park and were just left to do whatever they wished with
Just realised I never wrote this post.
It was one of the happiest times of my life.
I just came across this write-up from 2010 I’d sent to friends and I didn’t want to delete it, so posting it here. It is slightly hysterical in tone:
How I Broke My Leg by Hopalong Bert
Due to popular demand, here is what happened:
My boots which I wear all day every day, have been through so many repairs I couldn’t justify another patch up. (Comfortable boots are like old friends). I had a small hole in one toe and the tread had worn down again and I was slipping a bit on them. So I decided to go and buy a new pair in the West End – they originally came from Next. Well I started in John Lewis buying a lightbulb (wrong type) and looking at digital radios as ours has bust, and pottering for Christmas present ideas. Then I passed a Zara – one of my favourite shops – and nearly bought a jacket and dufflecoat but decided I couldn’t afford or need either. Then I went down Regent Street to Next. That’s right, there isn’t a Next on Regent Street. So I ended up passing another Zara. Hmmmmm…just pop in and look at them again. Decided against jacket but thought I would treat myself to £90 dufflecoat, as I have just paid off my credit card (that would be the bill of the Nicole Farhi £hem-hem dufflecoat to add to my 2 other dufflecoats. You can never have too many dufflecoats.) Credit card declined so I had to pay out of my current account, the whole point being not to pay for it from current account as it was a treat to pay off over 2 months on credit card.
As leaving shop slipped because worn boot treads, ankle bent outwards and I landed on ground knocking my head (not hard). 5 people came to my rescue, but of course I was so embarrassed I got to my feet saying I was OK and hobbled off. My logic now was to get to Next and get more boots. Got to Charing Cross Road very slowly and pain quite bad so stopped for a hot chocolate in favourite cafe. Then got to Next by Charing Cross Station – line discontinued.
Hobbled up to Church’s in Covent Garden – changed to Jones the Bootmaker (when?) and no use. Hobbled up to Floral Street and went in a few shops including Paul Smith (what was I thinking going in there?) determined to get a new pair before I fell again. Snowing by this time. Ended up on Long Acre and saw a Russell and Bromley. Pain was getting quite bad now, but fortunately they had a fantastic pair of boots (£125 bargain). Credit card declined again.
Staggered home, found ankle very swollen (see photo) and next morning bruised as well. Rang neighbour who drove me to doctor. Doctor said probably wasn’t broken but to go to hospital anyway. Neighbour drove me and said to ring when finished if I didn’t want to go home on bus.
More or less got straight in for an x-ray. Fracture is hairline so they had to check with a consultant, but he/she confirmed it was broken. More or less got straight into A and E, but had quite a long wait (had got 2 books and a magazine with me). Consultant told me I would have to have it put in plaster and all being well it would take 6 – 8 weeks to heal.
Well all this only took about 4 hours and I was out by 3pm (I thought I would be in till at least 6pm). I had to sit with naked toes and crutches by opening-and-closing door at A and E entrance. Note: it is FREEZING temperatures at the moment here. Rang neighbour who was not home yet, rang everyone else I could think of – no one available so I rang for a taxi. 30 minute wait. I explained I was by door of A and E with leg in plaster and you couldn’t miss me. 30 mins or so went by and Taxi man arrives asking for “Caroline” who is on crutches and going to same area as I live. Well I thought there had been a mix-up and it was for me, so we had a laugh at me being Caroline and I got in taxi – to realise it was a different taxi firm and Caroline’s address was not mine. So I battled back out of taxi and waited few more mins, before realising it was now 45 mins since initial call – so rang back. Told driver had turned up, couldn’t find me and gone away again. Deep breath. How long for another taxi? 60 mins. I know what happened – Hospital has a new big main entrance (probably where Caroline was) and A and E is a small entrance near to hospital’s original one. Which is why I had emphasised to taxi firm exactly where I was. What’s the betting he went to main entrance?
Well by this time I was ready to cry. It was snowing outside and no way I could get a bus. School run had merged into rush hour as well,l hence no taxis. As a last resort I contacted my brother in law who is a consultant in hospital (I know it seems stupid not to have done this before but I didn’t think he could drop everything unexpectedly for me, and at the time a 30 min taxi wait was bearable.) So he came to my rescue and drove me home. And has since forwarded me my x-ray.
And I have a lovely pair of boots and 4 duffle coats (one brand new) which I can’t wear as I can’t leave the flat.
And a looming overdraft.
My card was declined as it had expired. I so rarely use it I had not noticed. I’d been sent new one in May. No idea where that is – under a pile of things somewhere no doubt.
or How To Put Off Going Into Work
Just to keep your all up to scratch with the thrills of my life, I have gainful employment after the show I am on closes this weekend, on a short run of a psychological thriller by Anthony Horowitz. So temporarily I have no unemployment and a little more money coming in than I expected.
There’s another play booked after that but as yet my potential position on it is unknown.
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
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.
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 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.
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”.