I am a refugee in our top bedroom. The Captain has set up the sitting room for his six weeks fitness regime. He has borrowed my yoga mat, some weights and while an American female voice pipes out through closed doors from the television, I hear the grunts of over-exertion. Meanwhile menus have been planned and bought by him in advance, so that if we are not careful, we shall both be growing long, furry ears and bucked teeth. Visits to the loo are a frequent occurence, thanks to the Wholefoods Organic green tea and Badoit that we are consuming. Because he does not consider my regime too seriously, I am allowed my glass of Pouilly Fume with my supper on most nights. And so the amusement continues. This, ladies and gentelmen, is often the pattern of middle-aged actors who are either preparing for a job, or setting about to be ready for if a job emerges. It is a reaction to a personal boredom with stuffing one’s face and being, in the main, horizontal, for large amounts of time.(This last sentence can be spoken in the tones of David Attenborough, when observing the behaviour of the rare species, Actorus Boredoutofhisbrainus)
Meanwhile, our rented flat is now next door to a building site, ranging from shouting scaffolders who like to overstay their welcome until 7pm, even at weekends, and concrete mixing on an epic, grandiose scale. It has shaken the delicate, peaceful harmony that the area usually has, so that even the wildlife in our neighbouring graveyard has hidden or fled.
So, since I committed on Twitter to write my blog today, I am so doing, despite not particularly feeling like it. That is not to say that I am in a bad mood. On the contrary, I am in a summer-slumber mood, dozy with heat and laziness. It is a particular frame of mind that I quite enjoy, since my usual febrile state renders me into a state of exhaustion. I am actually too hot to care, right now. I will, however, endeavour to share a few thoughts and moments that have passed recently.
A particularly enjoyable evening which seemed to spark off something of an eightees vibe for me was the event of the Eagles concert. My brother, who, like me, is generally not a fan of crowds or concerts, decided to take the plunge and bought some brilliant seats at the O2 Arena to see the Eagles. He kindly invited both the Captain and me, with an extra ticket that went to our lucky neighbour on the day itself. On the brother’s suggestion we met in the city, taking the Thames Clipper to the O2 which began the night in a supremely elegant fashion. As we began to glide along, drinking ice cold gin and tonics from the bar and looking at the Thames as it opened its arms to us, we were all spellbound. The landscape of mixed architecture silkily moved in and out of our vision and the sun began to set. Arriving at the impeccably well organised O2, we moved among a swift crowd of folk to the first class lounge and enjoyed some Southern Fried Chicken, the gentlemen opting for lagers and Bourbon, the ladies with their wine. We ran into a friend of the Captain’s, nattered, ate, drank and then were ushered into our seats. How a band like the Eagles can actually be even better than their own impeccable recordings is beyond me, in particular because they are not spring chickens, but they were. I was partilarly blown away by Joe Walsh with his ability to play such brilliant guitar riffs but also with his playfulness. They were a testament to reuniting all bands who have broken up, and living proof that getting older can actually make you stronger and better, if you work at it. An inspiration all round, I think. (I hope my brother is pleased with this review, he complained that he has been waiting for it for some time).
The other event that has taken up large amounts of my energy was playing The Shard in http://www.sceneandheard.org ‘s production of children’s plays. I have mentioned this organisation before, but I will do so again. It supports and helps the children of an inner city area in London called Somerstown. With their help, the kids learn to write little ten minute plays that are often hilarious and moving at the same time. Professional adult actors (often well established and sometimes well known) act in them, in the spirit of acting in an adult play. This is as far from Theatre In Education as it can get. It is more like watching plays written by Spike Milligan and Morecombe and Wise. So it is a delight all round. We had GALA night, and Damian Lewis, Tom Goodman Hill, Simon Russell Beale and Ron Cooke were in as well as Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex, to name but a few. Do, if you can, support and spread the word, it is one of the few grassroots charities that actually actively helps it cause. And yes, I did very much enjoy playing the Shard, written by playwright Tommy. My name was Glasshoop and the chararcter I played was rather aggravated by a black fox called Woodenpink. Tommy’s play was chosen to open the evening, which was obviously dangerous because after my costume was off, I was able to have a glass of wine (or two). I have kept up my new business development job in the interim and wonder if I am getting too old for all this, but now that I have seen the Eagles, I think not. The Eightees vibe has also been playing in my i-pod, as I have now downloaded Eddie Grant’s Walking on Sunshine. If you have not listened to this album by now, get on with it and do. It’s perfect for this weather.
Lastly, I am not sure that I mentioned that I went to the Royal Academy with my dear writer friend for the Summer Exhibition. We had a wonderful time because she had great news, and the colour and vibrancy of the work acted as a catalyst for all sorts of thoughts. Likeminded people were hovering about, one of whom sported a dress so brilliantly that I had to tell her so. She proudly announced that she had bought it in a thrift shop. This the way forward, ladies and gents, THRIFT SHOPS. The best possible way to find original clothes that do not cripple the bank account.
Meanwhile, I have made up for my thrifty ways in the sartorial department by allowing my one and only disproportionate addiction to be fed: I think in an earlier blog, I have mentioned my toiletries addiction. Well, I foolishly drifted into Peter Jones with the aim of buying one treat, a shower/bath tonic from Clarins. I left having had an entire make-over at the Clinique counter with two products from my new friend, Phil, as well as some bath goodies from Clarins. Phil, at the Clinique counter in Peter Jones, has to be the best make-up, facial consultant I have ever come across and if I had not extricated myself from him, I might have bought the whole counter. All I did was ask him one question: “Could you tell me about the new Clinique Smart Serum?” Well, ladies ( I am sure you gents have stopped reading at this point and are watching football or something), I have bought the whole caboodle. And apparently, I will be the youngest looking 48 year old on this planet. You better believe it, buddy.