I had the joy of rehearsing at the St James Theatre the other day, being directed by the brilliant James Albrecht, the Assistant Artistic Director. The impeccable Emma Swinn who among her many talents as an actress and co-founder of The Philosophy Foundation has organised the event so well, that we are now sold out. I have put the link below for your interest, simply because it may arouse interest in such a brilliant organisation and of course, it mentions that I am playing Nietzsche’s ethically challenged sister, Elisabeth. My fellow actors are all superb, so the bar is pretty high, I am aiming to meet their level.
One of our team explained that he had been working with fresh young actors at the BBC Elstree training department (where I had the joy of working for about ten years on and off). He said that a new word had entered our urban dictionary, FoMo: Fear of Missing Out and that it seems to be quite a plague among some people. I reflected on how grateful I am not to feel that sort of anxiety. I think I did at some point in my late twenties and early thirties, but the advantage of growing older is that possible state of mind has left me, being replaced by the same drive, but an acceptance that the world will move at its own pace.
I have just returned from a long weekend at Grayshott Hall with my mother, an exquisite treat for the both of us, in order to celebrate my birthday. I had a facial, a full body massage and on the last day an Indian scalp massage that sent me into such a state of release that it defies description. Just go and have one, if you can manage it, just once in your lifetime. My mother and I swam, jacuzzied, talked, slept and ate so as a result I feel like I am both spoiled and incredibly lucky.
My birthday will be celebrated with a handful of mates in Jo Allens, because I have my doubts that when I reach my fiftieth, my wish to party may be limited to just the Captain and me in an expensive hotel with good food. I would prefer,this year, to be among the theatre centre of the west-end, in that busy, buzzy and atmospheric of all places. I have been going to Jo Allens since I was about eighteen years old, and I suspect my friends will also have a similar statistic. There is something both comforting and exciting about it, in an old-school kind of a way.
I shall also be attending my old girls school Christmas Concert at Westminster Cathedral, with drinks at the Territorial Army Headquarters afterwards, which might be less wild than last year, as it was about twenty-seven years since we last saw each other at that point. However, being good Woldingham girls, I think we will manage to drink a successful amount of alcohol, just to test ourselves, so to speak.
I have invested just before our weather took this bitter turn in about seven glittery thermal tops from Marks and Spencers. It will probably be all I wear from now until March 2014. They work as tops with jeans, they work as tops over some Gap yoga trousers, they work as nightwear. They are £15 and will keep you warm all winter. You heard it here first.
The seismic change that I mentioned in my last blog, has, incidentally, taken place. I will not go into its details, as I do not wish to speak out of turn, but suffice it to say that it has brought such a beautiful change of energy into my life, that I feel in every way in the right place. The Captain and I will be undergoing some domestic changes over the course of next year, possibly selling our property and moving house. He, too, has made some radical changes so that while both of us still suffer the losses of finance from our Hollywood Adventure, we have a faith in what lies ahead. The Hollywood Adventure has, despite the financial cost, brought about most of those changes, in any case. For that, I will be in its debt.
Christmas cards, need to be bought, but I have bought all the presents, so that is one less worry. Christmas Eve lunch is booked at The Green Man in West Sussex, a wonderful gastro-pub in Partridge Green, with a brilliant choice in wines. No doubt there will be a Sloe Gin and Sloe Vodka competition, since my father helped my brother pick them off the latter’s land before the deer ate them all. Both father and brother scurried off to their respective laboratories (otherwise known as the kitchen) to make the sugary, mischievous, warming stuff, so I can’t wait to try both. So, FoMo. Don’t think so.