Well that’s that great chunky fat leg of a tour done and dusted, just a fifty date summer Grumpy tour to do, before we take ‘How to be a Middle Aged Woman’ back on the road in September!
Touring in your fifties is tougher than touring in your forties and there were times in Feb and March when I felt a bit sorry for myself – the shows were going well and I was having a ball onstage but offstage, I had one virus after the other – the flu thing turned into a chest infection for which I was given steroids – have you ever had steroids? They make you bonkers, I was either bursting into tears (seeing my brother at Euston station) or calling people cunts (the bloke in the shop where my mother got her washer/dryer from). Anyway, once I got over that (and neatly passed it on to my tour manager) I got the Noravirus, picked up from one night at home with the old man who had puked up 30 times- I didn’t touch him (obv) but I think he had left nora germs on the bannister rail and the next night in Wales I puked up 8 times and shat the bath mat in a posh golf hotel where they had upgraded me to a bridal suite – er sorry about that everyone – I did tell the cleaners to approach the room with caution and wear rubber gloves – the last thing any new bride needs is the Nora.
To keep myself sane between puking and coughing I did quite a lot of ‘ipad passenger seat art’- (which is a school of art I think I have invented) read a couple of books and finished a small tapestry.
Talking of art – whilst on the Spring tour I managed to visit some galleries, not as many as I’d have liked, but in between shows for a couple of weeks I was good for nothing but sweating under the duvet. However as I got better, I managed a fabulous day of art in my beloved Edinburgh where the Modern Scottish Women artists exhibition was joyful, as were many of the paintings in the National Gallery of Modern art across the road – these sister galleries are so wonderful and so un-crowded and in such gorgeous settings – I remember having one of those occasional joy to be alive moments as I mooched about. I’d also played Glasgow Citizens theatre the night before and was still on a massive buzz.
Some theatres just worm their way into my heart, I love The Citz and I love the Leicester Square theatre and Hull truck is just ace for comedy – but I also got to play some new ones on this tour including the tiniest Georgian theatre in Richmond Yorkshire, another dolls house sized Georgian beauty in Bury St Edmunds and the rather glorious (massive) deco Bexhill pavilion down on the South Coast.
I don’t have favourites (I do) but the prize for the most generous catering goes to Chorley Little Theatre, who bombard you with goodies and make sure you have everything you could possibly need before a gig. I can’t tell you how freezing and miserable some dressing rooms can be – good work Chorley.
Richmond Georgian Theatre
Bury St Edmunds
Oh yes and a big shout out to the art gallery in Colchester showing Hattie Stewart’s work – fresh new take on graffiti/doodling but so much cleverer than that! Follow her on twitter @HattieDoodles
It was a flying visit but a good one.
Anyway eventually we got to the end, I haven’t seen any of my local mates for months, I’ve only seen family if I’ve been gigging in the area where they live and after 45 dates (I had to postpone two due to the dreaded lurgy) I was ready for a break.
So me and the old man went to Cornwall, where we did a three day road trip from Fowey, to St Mawes and then onto St Ives, where the weather was glorious and we wandered into an open studio where middle aged ladies were learning how to do oil paintings and it was all I could do not to draw up an easel and stay.
Cornwall is one of my favourite places, especially when the sun shines and it did and we spent a fortune on posh hotels and had delicious food and lashings of wine. So special thanks to Fowey Hall hotel where I intend to visit till I die and Trevose House in St Ives which takes the humble B and B to new heights and offered us a breakfast fit for the Gods- seriously, at last… avocado on the menu… with poached egg and asparagus – just look at it!
We also stayed at an old favourite The Tressanton and got a room with a terrace on a lovely sunny day – where we could sit out and paint and read, but it was so expensive and breakfast was disappointing (bog standard sliced toast) and I just feel that they’ve slightly lost their mojo- for eg – a main course of scallops consisted of just two scallops which I don’t think is sufficient for £22. It’s still a fabulous hotel, but only for the seriously loaded – anyway here are some lovely holiday snaps.
Spring at Cotehele Cornwall
We also popped into visit some old friends who have converted a fish smoking house into a beautiful two screen indie cinema, check out the Newlyn filmhouse online, it’s utterly gorgeous and does exceedingly good home cooked food.
Newlyn Filmhouse cafe/bar
Anyway, back in London now and I need to get to the butchers- rock and roll.
20th April afternoon
Ah, just heard Victoria Wood died, immense sadness for her family – she pushed open many doors and paved the way for so many of us – we should all be incredibly grateful – she left so much brilliant work behind and proved time and time again that women were funny. If I can be honest, I was madly jealous of her for many years, she had so much natural talent and such a brilliant work ethic, I owe her a great deal.