Well that’s the 48 date Grumpy ‘Fifty Shades of Beige’ tour done and dusted and now the set is dismantled and the props have been nabbed or binned – it feels very strange that we three ladies will never stand in a fake wooden shed, with, a bucket (me), a colander (Kate) and a swing bin lid (Susie) on our heads, waiting to walk through a massive smoke and strobe effect to the front of the stage, never again will we do the Grumpy Strictly dance medley or hang up the massive knicker bunting at the end of the show.
It’s been a blast dear punters, and if you bought a ticket, thank you. If you didn’t, then you wont know what I’m talking about, because the Grumpy shows are a law unto themselves and only if you’ve seen one do you know how madly, hilarious and bonkers they are.
Kate, me and Susie backstage on the Grumpy Old Women: Fifty Shades of Beige Tour
I’m taking some time off over the next month – the tour took its toll, though I have to say summer gigging is much easier than schlepping out in the winter, anyway it’s never the gigs that wear you out – it’s the travel and we three grumpy ladies, me, Susie Blake and Kate Robbins owe a huge thanks to our entirely unflappable driver James Moran, who put up with a bunch of neurotic, absent minded, Chardonnay swigging old biddies for ten weeks without ever losing his sense of humour! Although now and again when he thought we needed teaching a lesson, he’d take us round the same roundabout a few times, larks!
I tell you we had some big laughs and we all did some paintings and we tutted over crap hotels and despaired of microwaved scrambled eggs up and down the country.
Gawd – hotels, get your acts together, with some truly fabulous exceptions, Hotel du vin (York), Mal Maison (Aberdeen), The Harbour Hotel (Ramsgate) to name my top three, there are some truly terrible doss houses out there and you know who you are. Yes you, The Brittania Southport, what on earth are you playing at?
A pen and ink portrait of I drew of Weston-super-Mare
Of course the biggest upset of the tour, apart from losing my favourite mustard cardi for five weeks before finding it zipped up in the side compartment of my other suitcase, was the Brexit result, we were all gutted and I cant say I’ve got over it yet, let’s just say, the state of the world is making me terribly anxious and I’m still having horrible rows with Brexiteers, I’m just so relieved none of my nearest or dearest voted out – although we did have to warn my mum she’d be on her own for Xmas if she went down the same route as some of her mates did.
Glad to say that health wise this tour was a lot less eventful that my spring solo tour and we managed to get through all those dates without much more than the odd swig of pepto- bismal and the occasional paracetamol, though I did see Susie sporting a fetching knee brace a couple of times.
Since we finished almost two weeks ago, the old man and I spent four night on Ile de Ré in France where the donkeys wear striped pyjamas and there are hollyhocks springing from every crack in the pavement, it’s really lovely unspoilt place, although we were slightly shocked to find how little the pound is worth this summer! So that’s fifteen quid for a salad nicoise wrap, cheers ‘out’ voters.
Donkey’s in pyjamas
Lovely harbour in Ile de Ré
Hollyhocks in full bloom, Ile de Ré
Of course the biggest casualty of all that EU hooha was I lost my tapestry getting out of a black cab in a huff and absent mindedly leaving my ‘hobby bag’ at a bus stop in Holborn.
Shit. And yes I do have a hobby bag.
Hey ho, I’ve started another, although I don’t think my coral and seashells will ever replace my Chinese Peonies!
And so the rest of the summer stretches ahead, I’ve got some more foreign travel to look forward to and a night in Edinburgh where I’m planning on seeing the daughter’s two shows, ‘Torch’ and ‘Epic love and Pop Songs’.
Phoebe has written three shows this year, Fury debuted at the Soho theatre in July and is a knock out piece of writing – and although it divided some critics, it got four stars from the Times, The Evening Standard and The Independent, plus lots of really lovely and frequently really moving reviews online.
Torch is really quite bonkers and a departure from more traditional onstage story telling, although there is a story, it’s basically a one woman show set in a night club toilet, complete with great big fuck off songs, performed by the fabulous Jess Mabel Jones who gives a great gutsy gut spilling show.
‘Epic love’ – I haven’t even seen in rehearsal, but I’ve read the script and it’s about two best friends and a big lie set in a world of teenage cruelty, it’s funny and terribly moving. Both Fury and Epic love and pop songs are published by Nick Hern books and available on Amazon.
Yes, I’m biased, but I also know when someone has talent, and (equally importantly) works their arse off.
Talking of work, I must crack on.
RECENTLY – I HAVE
READ – Eligible by Curtids Sittenfeld, still waiting for her to match Amercian Wife – this is a good light spoof on pride and Prejudice, but it’s not Sittenfeld at full throttle.
SEEN - Winifred Knight at Dulwich picture Gallery – just phenomenal, look at this landcape
Painting by Wilfred Knight
Also Georgia O Keefe’s terrible show at the Tate, just awful. Much better is Etel Adnan at the Sackler Serpentine Gallery which includes fab tapestries.
WATCHED - Bloodlines series 2 on Netfix, cannot wait for series 3!!!