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Sky Marbles

I love and am proud to work for the Foundling Museum which I think is one of the most important museums in London.  It is a place of heartbreak, sadness and hope.  It is a beacon of how important the arts are for changing lives.

Even though I am used to being there amongst its paintings and objects telling their silent stories, occasionally I still get overwhelmed. This work done with the children of Thomas Coram Nursery, inspired by Tom Railton (the Museum’s 2014 Artist- In -Residence) brought tears to my eyes.  As you look at their Sky Marbles you hear their voices talking about why they have made toys for the foundling children, and what types and colours of weathers they have in the marble they have made.

Sky Marbles – The Foundling Museum

Tom Railton – Cluds


Three this week – I like them so much

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.

W H Auden

Be confident, not certain.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to understanding ourselves.

Carl Jung



If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.

Blaise Pascal

An Unforgotten Life

I recently went to the superb exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery about Charles II and his art collection.  There were four magnificent full length portraits hanging together, all of which were fascinating but this one I found very moving.



A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.

William Styron

Welcome To My World

Spent the afternoon visiting some squares and gardens as part of London’s Open Squares Weekend. Here are some snippets of the conversations had during the afternoon.

1.  [Context: On tube platform.  Station Manager announcement being broadcast]

“You don’t need to put on your sunglasses here.”

“They help me hear the announcement better.”

2.  “Part of me really wants a dog.”

“How much part of you?”


3.  “Have you done your diet days this week?”



[I like all my quotes but I LOVE this one]

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.

Dwight D. Eisenhower


It is a bit tricky writing about the theatre from the perspective of someone who works on live performances but who also cares  that the magic of theatre is untouched, but it’s a balance I am striving to achieve.  Forgive me for any failings.

Some of you folk may be wondering about my flicker.  Well it’s very important, but I can’t say very much more about it, as it is part of a play steeped in  theatrical history, and I can’t give away its secrets.  What I can say is that I have the weight of that theatre history heavy on my shoulders.  The irony is if you were to watch me at work you’d probably think I had the easiest job in the world, but I have an enormous responsibility and with one twitch of my finger could bring about disaster.  I’m exaggerating, but only slightly.  My job adds to the reality and the mystery – the atmosphere, the magic – of  the performance.  Not one person in the audience will be thinking about the little factory of operations going on behind the scenes – without which there would be no show – because they don’t know about it.  As previously written on here I have the privilege of stepping through a portal (through the wardrobe, down the rabbit hole) into  a world that is a unique mixture of magic and the utmost banality.  It’s a world that has to run like clockwork, and yet it is at its most exhilarating when it doesn’t, for whenever possible the audience must not know that the cogs aren’t turning smoothly. Then the magicians has to summon all their powers to keep the illusion intact.  That may be a member of stage management or an actor improvising.  It may be me rethinking which button to push.  In each case the thinking must be fast and accurate.  At worst the theatre is a dangerous place where accidents can and do happen.  Many theatre traditions are in fact what we now call Health and Safety.

I’ll be flickering twice today.  Joking about it is a way of not thinking about it too hard. Deep down I am a little scared because these two numbers are watching over my shoulder.

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Waiting For The Last Bus

Waiting For The Last Bus Book Cover Waiting For The Last Bus
Richard Holloway

I picked up this book (partly because of its beautiful cover I admit) because I read Holloway's Doubts and Loves some year's back.  I found him a writer of profound compassion, with an ever-questioning mind and much wisdom.  He has journeyed from Christian fundamentalism, through the Church as Establishment, to the age of 84 as " a doubting priest" who writes and broadcasts.  I've been dealing with deaths of family and friends and knew I needed this book.  He writes from a Christian perspective but he is steeped in knowledge of many religions as well as science and his beloved literature.  Again and again he turns to quoting poets to describe the human condition.  To put it simply this short book is about us "denying" death because we have lost the rituals surrounding it that religion gave us.  But more than that it is a book about how to live at peace with ourselves, and how we can do that at the very end of our lives.  in so doing we help ourselves and those around us. He believes that we are resurrected through remembrance in the hearts and minds of those who know and love us, and writes much about the various ways we can create remembrance.  It is not a sad book, it does not depress  the spirit; it gives out hope and love. When Holloway himself dies, the world will lose an extraordinary mind.  But he will live on in the grace and wisdom of his beautiful writings.