Its been ages, dear blog spotters and sorry for that, I’ve been trying to crack the story of a new novel and I’ve been sitting in my pants, huffing and puffing and stressing over it.
Finally I seem to be seeing the daylight through the murk of characters and plot and voices in my head- this will be my fourth novel and I feel a lot is riding on it- no pressure there then!
Talking about reading, you really need to log onto Standard Issue, a new free emag, written and produced solely by women with all of the women’s magazine crap about weight and blah taken out- so you’re left with just the good bits, tons of great writing/opinions/anecdotes- I’m a fan and that’s why I’ve written for it.
Apart from the writing, I’ve been painting, me and the old man went on a Flavours painting holiday in Treviso which is just outside of Venice and yes we did get a day in Venice.
And we did lots of painting, here’s one of mine
…and one of his
Can you tell the difference? Geof quickly became the teachers pet, because he can do perspective, something I really struggle with, which is why my stuff looks a bit flat and childish- here’s another
Anyway, we had a laugh and met some nice people ( all women apart from Scottish Hugh, the endlessly patient painting teacher’).
Activity holidays might just be the way forward, once your body is never going to be ‘beach fit’ again, there have got to be more exciting alternatives, anyway, to be honest, the thought of just lolling about on a beach for an entire week, now slightly bores me, these days I’m like a toddler, I need things to do.
Which reminds me, did you see my knitted Dachshund? Yes, I know, the first sign of madness is knitting your own dog, but I was determined to do it and even though the kit said for 7 yrs plus, I really struggled, anyway here he is…
I know, is it a dog, is it a seal? I have been banned from creating anymore
I think part of coping with getting older is by having hobbies, since the painting holiday – I’ve allowed myself the occasional twenty min sketch session, it’s a kind of therapy. Between the knitting and the drawing and the HRT, I hope to retain some kind of sanity through some of life’s frankly fucking tough bits.
Moving on, I did a really great telly job back when it was really hot – coming up soon for Children in Need are three Celebrity Sewing Bee specials and I’m hosting one of them, I can’t tell you what a laugh this was and how hard people worked and the result s- well you’ll see, it was genuinely a really happy experience.
The radio 4 series Little Lifetimes which ran from August into the early Autumn have been re-comissioned for next year and I’m utterly thrilled about that, hopefully I’ll be able to bagsy the same caliber of actresses next time around, I was so lucky with this first series.
But apart from a few gigs to stretch my old legs, its all about the writing at the moment, writing, writing, writing – which reminds me, I did a gig at Cheltenham Lit fest to celebrate the publication of a book about R4’s Just a minute, anyway after a few rounds of the game (with Shappi and Pam Ayres), a wasp invaded the stage and 91 year old Nicolas Parsons killed it, by smiting it with his stick and then crushing it with his foot – it was quite the scene.
Also did a nice little literary event at the new posh Foyles on Charing X road with fellow comedy people Viv Groscop, Lucy Porter, Sarah Pascoe and John Robbins, as part of the ‘Books are my Bag’ day – if you live in London keep an eye out on these book events at Foyles, there are worse ways to while away an hour than chatting about books, with booky people in a fabulous bookshop.
Ok gang, culturally I’ve been slow, when Im writing a new book I get to a stage where I can’t read anything else – I swallowed “Daughter’ on holiday because I wanted to see why it was selling so well and now I know – but as for anything else, until draft 1 is finished, then books are off the agenda – and I’m desperate to stick my nose in the new David Nichol.
A rare trip to the cinema to see ‘Gone Girl’ resulted in frustration – it’s a very ordinary film and I expected something madder and more indie, it’s a proper Hollywood big budget movie and all the worse for that, though Pike is good, but the only bits that really took off for me were the trailer trash scenes.
As for live shows, my favourite performance this season so far has been Luisa Omielan at Soho, this girl is wonderful – and she has funny bones.
Supper after in Herman Ze German – ja wohl- sausages.
Also popped into The Arcola to see a new short by my favourite playwright Phoebe Eclair Powell, my girl is the writing biz and I love what she does.
Her first full length play ‘Wink’ will be going into Theatre 503 next Spring which is vvvv exciting
Art wise, I’ve seen the Virginia Woolf at the Nat Portrait gall and while in Venice we visited the Peggy Guggenheim, possibly my favourite small art gallery in the world
Here are a couple of my favourite pieces that Peggy owned