I do find the transition from winter to summer, back to spring down to winter , back to summer and back to spring ever so bloody difficult, don’t you? I have seriously believed that my sartorial choices have catered for all seasons but even I have been utterly foxed by the ridiculous weather we have been experiencing. Zara has of course come to the rescue with a pair of pastel pink jumpers, one close fitting to go with some flared jeans and high block heels, and one loose and flowing to go over pencil skirts and skinny jeans. A beige cape covers the needs for the dry days, a Maxmara trench coat for the rainy ones. But when the Siberian winds creep in, I am stumped I’m afraid. Any ideas?
Two castings await me next week, one for a reputable fringe venue in London covering August doing a lesser known play of a well- known, but no longer living, contemporary playwright. The other one is for a very well-known venue in London for which I would, if I were younger, strap myself to its gates, until they cast me. So wish me plenty of “Merde”. Or Chookas, as the Aussies say.
An eight minute chunk of the pilot episode of a sitcom I have written will be read by me and other brilliant actresses at the Hospital Club on June 1st, so I am trying to prepare material for additional episodes and be generally ready, in case, for some haphazard reason, somebody important shows interest.
The consultancy job has resumed it’s delightful atmosphere, as I have been given a different client on one of my two days, which has proven to me that my personal feelings of inadequacy were unfounded and that my abilities are as good, if not better, than they always were. My colleagues and I work pretty well together, maintaining a sense of humour throughout, so that the day passes fairly painlessly. At least they did this week.
Weekends have been spent at alternate parents, the one which took us to Lancashire with the Captain’s mother saw us at The Cartford Inn in Little Ecclestone. It had a bewitching view, with a wonderfully informal atmosphere, marrying extraordinary regional artists’ eclectic work hanging on the walls with food sourced from the local area cooked to perfection and an outstanding wine menu, privately run by French husband and artistic wife from the area. If you are up there, make it your first port of call.
My parents have fed me both at home and at The Angel at Petworth. The latter remains a personal favourite because of its hosts and animated choice of art, garden and clientele, but they really must keep their usual chef, as he or she was definitely not overseeing our food that day. Hey ho.
One night after work the other day, I was so stressed by my consultancy job that I drank far too much. I did luckily end up home, but with the various projects that lie in front of me, and the physical effect it had on me, I ruled out my remaining social life, until those events are over. My last social events were a dinner party near the parents in West Sussex with gorgeous friends, where I was served with possibly the best dry martini I had in my life. The secret is to make it pink, with Angostura bitters. I hope my friend forgives my telling a family recipe to my readers. I also went to the Schenkman bar at the Royal Academy and put the world to rights with another dear friend, and it really is the place to do this, the waiters could not have been more helpful and kind. But that is it, for social engagements.
The Captain and I were going to flit away unplanned to Dieppe on a ferry for this bank holiday weekend but when we read the weather reports we thought again. So instead we have stuffed ourselves with both food and culture, having been on diets. I hadn’t realised how starving I was but Thursday night proved otherwise, as the Captain prepared hamburger and chips with all the relishes and gherkins and I polished off the lot. Friday I prepared pate on brioche, followed by Pork Normandy (Delia’s recipe) , plum tart and two types of French cheeses with French red wine. I think we wanted to make up for not going. We sure did. Hell, yeah, to use Millibandian idiolect.
Saturday we had the full fry up including black pudding although admittedly all grilled and the eggs were poached. That evening we watched Birdman and A Serious Man. Birdman reminded me why I feel so betrayed by the Catholic religion. As a child, the nuns tried to tell me that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit were all the same being, that when communion was taken, it literally was the body of the aforementioned Son, and that after dying on a cross over 48 hours, he came alive again. Oh, and his mother was a virgin. Well, if any of that makes you feel betrayed or lied to, that is the same sensation for Birdman, notwithstanding Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Edward Norton’s fine performances. It is fine to suspend disbelief for one person’s individual delusions , I do so comfortably watching James Stewart in Harvey, but when those delusions are seen and believed by another significant member of the cast, the belief becomes fantastical, a type of hyper – reality that simply makes me irritable. I loved most of the film until it’s end. But that is where the love stopped. Do not get me wrong, I love fantasy, but it is important to choose a genre and stick to it. Ditto Lars von Trier with Breaking the Waves. Regarding the Cohen Brothers A Serious Man, like Birdman, it was brilliantly acted, but went down the Old Testament route, with a story that seemed to be a modernised version of Job. At my Convent Boarding School, my most memorable read was Job as it sealed my mission to dissuade as many nuns as possible from pursuing their faith. My prognosis at the ripe old age of eleven was that if the reward for continuing to be good and kind indiscriminately, holding one’s temper and generally praying a lot was to get shat on from a great height, then the lesson was to abandon this method of living, and adopt one with more guaranteed possibilities of happiness. So whether I like them or not, these two films have certainly provoked thought.
Here are a few thoughts to add. I don’t know much about happiness but I think I achieve some of it, some of the time, and here’s how not to be a Job or Birdman. 1/ If you want something passionately in life, try to go for it with all your might. You only live once. 2/ If someone tries to shit on you, find a way to get out of the way, or shit right back. Do not sit there saying, ” Oh dear, I wish you’d stop doing that. 3/ Never try to pre-empt someone shitting on you, always be well mannered and kind, unless they prove otherwise. 4/ if you are angry about something eg a good friend dying, death, life, find a way that is tolerable to your other half or your loved ones, to let it out, without causing harm to them. There we go. Sorted.
I am sorry if the language has been a bit scatological, but the Captain and I went to the Tate Modern today, which was not on that theme at all. On the contrary, we enjoyed many of the works but we were reminded, as we enjoyed the view of London from the wonderful restaurant, of our visit, fifteen years previously. The works were in the main based on themes such as elephant dung, naked men trying to do strange things with boxing gloves and their genitalia and other strange delights. It prompted an incredibly satirical short film by the Captain of a character depicting a genuinely mad artist who purposefully ate fruit in order to produce the necessary art materials into his especially rubberised nappy trousers. Thank Zeus, the Tate Modern is no longer the laughing stock it once was.
Our evenings are being completed by watching the last series of Mad Men, the last series of Justified and we now know we will have to download the third series of Nashville, to keep the great television addiction fed. W1A makes us laugh as does Modern Family, Better Call Saul’s second series is anticipated sorely. BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers should not be missed.
The title of this blog is at the heart of my current energy. It is to do with a couple of decisions the Captain and I have made. But certain restrictions do not permit me to make this public yet, but suffice to say exciting times are ahead. I really did not mean to leave you on a cliff hanger. But I have, haven’t I?