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GOODBYE 2015 – HELLO 2016

January 4th, 2016

(My favourite stage door of 2015 – Falmouth)

Ta-ra 2015, you’ve been good to me, far better than I expected twelve months ago. I loathe the end of the year/ beginning of a new one, it fills me with anxiety and trepidation, what if this is the year when all the rubbish lands on my head?

Highlights of 2015 have been the gigs and the book and Little Lifetimes, I’ve been happy with my work this year. ‘Moving’ comes out in paperback on the 31st of this month, see new cover below and has been chosen as one of Richard and Judy’s book clubs reads, which is very exciting and means it’s a lot more widely available as W.H Smiths will be stocking it.

‘How to be a Middle Aged Woman (without going insane)’ gets back on the road in Feb and four more Little Lifetimes have been commissioned. I’m also doing another trot around the block with my ladies, Susie and Kate, later in the Spring when we crank Grumpy 3 (Fifty shades of Beige) back up –probably the last ever outing for this particular show.

So loads of gigs already lined up for 2016, although what happens after the summer, I’ve no idea!

Basically I’m on a bit of a break at the moment, which is nice although I’ve started itching to write, I’d love to get stuck into another book but until an idea starts to jell it’s pointless, I thought with all this time off I’d be really good and get myself into a decent exercise regime but I haven’t, basically I’ve only visited the gym twice since I finished my tour and on both occasions I was dragged down there by my daughter.

Talking of the pixie – ( I must remember she’s nearly 27) , Phoebe has lots of interesting theatre projects lined up this year and thanks to a bursary from Ch4 she is 2016’s writer in residence at The Soho Theatre, which will buy her some writing time and is a very brilliant thing and there isn’t really a word for how pleased I am that she got this.

Christmas was more successful than anyone anticipated, there were twelve of us in my sister’s Welsh farmhouse and apart from her chronic meanness with the central heating we had a really lovely family get together. Four days of very little fighting, lots of food, not too much booze (hence very little fighting) beach walks, some bon fire burning and a bit of shooting at tin cans with air rifles, (my sister has fields where that sort of activity can carry on).

I think it made my mother very happy to see us altogether, we even did jigsaws and that kind of shit and watched the telly via a massive projector on the wall and I made my BRILLIANT red cabbage, did a bit of painting and we all got far too many presents and then it took us seven and a half hours to drive home which was a bit much.

Welsh beach water-colour- don’t ask me which one!

So my plans for 2016 just involve ‘keeping going’ – I don’t think I can ask much more, I don’t want great big sweeping changes, I just want everything to plod on safely and if there are some nice surprises along the way then that will be a bonus, let’s face it, we all like a bit of excitement, but too much makes me giddy- which reminds me – I got a tapestry set for Xmas- rock ‘n’ roll’!

I’ll keep you posted.

Love and luck to everyone.

Unbelievably, the Autumn 2015 tour is nearly over…

November 17th, 2015

Unbelievably, the  Autumn 2015 tour is nearly over, there are now less than ten gigs left, it’s all a blur and I’m incredibly grateful to those of you who bought tickets, it’s been one of the best selling solo shows that I’ve ever done and I’ve been bowled over by the response.

No show is ever completely perfect and there will always be some people who find my language rather too ripe for consumption, but I’m terribly pleased with what the show is trying to say, which is basically ‘underestimate middle aged women at your peril’.

I don’t have a support act for ‘How To be a Middle Aged Woman’, in fact I haven’t had one for years, though back in the day I had some corkers including John Oliver, Noel Fielding and the Russells, Kane and Howard!

So, basically it’s just me and the tour manager driving up and down motorways in a hire car with a foot well full of empty packs of squid rings and stolen post gig plastic wine glasses.

About ten days into this run I got flu, proper bed bound flu and had to cancel two gigs, ( which made me feel worse, I’ve never had to do that before). I also had bad side effects to the antibiotics I was prescribed, including massive sweating fits and night time paranoia, so that was great! Unless it wasn’t the antibiotics, might have been the menopause breaking through my protective HRT barrier? Who knows, by the way, talking of HRT, due to lack of Premique supplies, I am now on Estelle, seems to be ok, if a bit weaker?

Whenever I ask questions about the menopause on twitter I just get a barrage of stuff about ginseng, black cahosh and magnets to put in your knickers.

Over the past God knows how many weeks we have stayed in umpteen hotels and the experience has been mixed, for example some Mercures (Darlington and Bristol) are brilliant, others have rubbish staff and dingy rooms?

As for the Holiday Inn just outside of Salisbury, I’d have walked out with half their new Scandi style bar and breakfast room furniture – really swish.

Have to admit to a great deal of iPad dependence on the road, not only do I listen to The Archers live in my dressing room every night, but I catch up on the stuff I’ve missed and give in to my ‘America’s next Top Model’ problem– which I have allowed to get completely out of hand.

A healthier use of the iPad is dedicated to ‘calm down drawing time’- basically I do a lot of front passenger seat doodling using an app called Art Set.

Obviously I think my work is quite special, you don’t have to agree. But you’d be wrong not to.

That’s your lot for now, I’ve got a day off and I’m going to go and see Brooklyn.

Book wise, I’ve gone for post flu easy reads and enjoyed both ‘The Tea Planters Wife’ and ‘The Ice Twins’, nothing too brain taxing but thumping good stories regardless.

It’s been months dear readers…

September 28th, 2015

It’s been months dear reader and I have been away and working and working and away and sometimes I’ve mixed a bit of both.

Last time I blogged was just after we’d been to Greece, since then I’ve gone holiday mad, with trips to Cornwall and Barcelona – I also dragged the old man onto a work jolly which involved cooking on a cruise ship for a week- I know… sort of great… if I hadn’t had to spend every night in the kitchen which is not my natural habitat.

Apparently all five contestants were awarded points for this challenge (which was filmed for Watch TV) but I’m not sure I even made it onto the bottom of the leader board- or did I triumph and win??? You’ll have to watch the show – no idea when it comes out mind you, but in the meantime here is a picture of the ship!!

Pre the cooking show the old man and I went to Cornwall, where, apart from a couple of glorious days it mostly pissed down so we stayed indoors, read, watched films and I did some painting

Back in London in August /early Sept I worked on my stand up and recorded six new episodes of Little Lifetimes for Radio 4, this is the second series of fifteen min dramas that I write for better actors than me! In fact this year I didn’t get to perform a single one as my producer found an abundance of more ‘suitable’ talent. However, I still maintain I can act better than I can cook!

Straight after the radio records, we nipped over to Barcelona with the daughter and the nephew for four nights of an Air B and B bang slap in the middle of the city- which was a roaring success. Despite arriving in the rain, the weather eventually cheered up and I managed a dip in the sea, I love a city beach and Barcelonetta beach is clean and lined with decent lunch places. If you go, book yourself in advance into the Picasso museum, its one of the best galleries I’ve ever been to, one man, so much brilliant work.

Also loved the Gaudi’s/ hated the tourist traps/guzzled excellent cheap Cava and the most delicious watermelon in the world.

I still don’t think anywhere can beat London, but based on trips to various places this year and some of the ports we stopped at on the ship, Barcelona and Cadiz are places I will return to.

Back on dry land I’ve just started my tour, nerve wracking but exciting!


Hello, hello, hello!

July 21st, 2015

Hello, hello and welcome back, I haven’t been here for ages, got seduced by twitter, (quicker easier, cheaper- what a slag I am)

Anyway, I’m here for a catch up and to drone on about my new book and the new stand up show I’m writing and to say thank-you for coming to the big Grumpy tour we did earlier this year – (if you did) cheers.

I also want to show off some drawings and a photo of a Greek sunset, they might not have any money down the back of the sofa, but they still have million dollar sunsets!

Me and the old man have had trips to Copenhagen and Halkidiki so far this year, in Denmark it rained and in Greece it didn’t, in Denmark we ate fabulous open sandwiches and did lots of sight seeing, in Greece we slobbed.

So if you fancy a good slob out in the sun, check out Eksies Spa resort in Halkidiki. Warning- there is sod all to do apart from loll and off the resort, it’s scruffy. But if you’re in need of a week long lie down, with nice food, it might be just right. Warning 2- when we went there were a lot of small children as the beach is sandy and safe.

The holidays were treats for finishing a pretty intense Grumpy tour and for the old man to take a break- as he works his nuts off.

I also knew that once I got back from Greece I was going to have to get my new show in order, Its called ‘How to be a Middle Aged Woman (without going insane)’ and kicks off at the end of September, as always with new shows, it’s a case of slowly, slowly catchee monkey, I’m at the excruciating try out stage at the moment.

But hopefully we are getting there!

But in the meantime, there’s the new novel. I started writing ‘Moving’ the day after we finished the Grumpy tour last June, bits of it poured out, a lot of it was the usual struggle. I hoped to finish it around last Xmas but my wonderful and hilarious father died and that stalled the process for a while – but I was able to crack on in the New Year and it’s out this week, on the 23rd of July.

If you read and enjoy it, please spread the word and for the time being I shall leave you with this, it’s my best painting to date, it’s a peonie, I do love a peonie.

Brand new tour – How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane)

March 13th, 2015

Later this year Jenny will be embarking on a brand new tour, How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane). The official tour starts on September 25th in Reading, but Jenny will be doing a few warm-ups beforehand over the Summer – you can see the full listings by heading to the Live Dates page.