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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.

Its been ages, dear blog spotters

October 12th, 2014

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