I always mean to do a blog a month, but this year has run away with me, it’s knocking on the end of March and I’ve got cystitis for the third time since December.
Yay – fortunately I’ve got the magic pills because I’ve got a long haul flight coming up – I am Australia bound to perform at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. This will be my fourth time, sometimes I forget how lucky I am, although packing is a nightmare as Melbourne temps are ricocheting all over the place and anyway once I’ve got my massive swimming costume and all my prescription drugs and drawing stuff in the suitcase, there’s not much room for anything else.
Ah Melbourne, where the eggs are eggy and the sourdough is heavy and the avocados fit to burst. I want to be a lot more experimental when it comes to eating out this time, the trouble with getting nervous is I inevitably turn to my cure all which is the bog standard bacon sandwich, which is a shame when Melbourne is choc full with exciting places to eat.
I’m doing a truncated version of How to Be A middle Aged Woman – for almost 3 weeks at the arts centre, not a venue I’ve played before and cutting the show down from 90 mins to an hour has been tough, but I think Ive managed all the trims – though it’s still going to be interesting to see how much of it lands with the Ozzie ladies (and men – most welcome).
In other work news, the book of short stories ‘Listening In’ is coming out in June, complete with the authors own (mostly quite shit) illustrations. Anyway there are 24 short stories, so a nice mix of women behaving like women do, for whatever reasons and with whatever consequences.
I wish I could say I was deeply in novel number five but I stalled very badly at the beginning of the year and have decided to walk away until it stops hurting and concentrate on other stuff.
There is the possibility of a Grumpy 4 in the pipe line, a new series of Little Lifetimes and a hush, hush pilot project with the BBC, which is at such a delicate stage at the moment that I can’t really breathe a word on it.
In between these bits and bobs and gigging, I’m painting and mooching round galleries and keeping the tapestries going and just generally enjoying spring coming out.
This is a real weird side affect to being 57, I really care about seeing nature. I never used to notice but the fact is magnolia is really extraordinary and this year our Iron wattle (Ozzie plant) outside the house has gone mad.
Iron Wattle tree outside our house
Hobbies, I’ve decided, are the solution to whatever the problem might be. I’m making sure I get the odd afternoon sketching time.
And I’m still missing my Monday morning art classes at Dulwich Gallery where for two hours for five weeks, me and a load of other ladies (and one man) got to grips with our life model and some acrylics, anyway here’s my result.
Picture I painted at the art classes in Dulwich Gallery
Doesn’t bother me if anyone thinks its rubbish, for a couple of hours every Monday I was like a pig in shit – with a paintbrush.
I’ve been listening to a few books on audio recently and really enjoyed Emma Flints ‘Little Deaths’ which is a very classily written, if upsetting story of the death of two children based on real life events back in New York in the 60’s.
Far shlockier, but horribly enjoyable too, is JP Devlins ’The Girl Before’ which is a tricksy little psychological thriller that bends in all kinds of directions.
And for sheer quality, I also really enjoyed listening to Helen Dunmore’s ‘Exposure’.
Just wish I was enjoying wading through Zadie Smiths ‘Swing Time’ with my eyes, as much as I enjoyed listening to the above.
Telly wise, I have been adoring the pottery throw down and I’m sad the Painting challenge is over, but The People Vs OJ Simpson on Netflix, which runs at 9 hours, is filling any void!
Exhibition wise, my top picks this month are the Vanessa bell at Dulwich and Hockney at Tate Britain.
Talking of Vanessa bell, I spent my 57th birthday at Charleston (delightful) before making sure I was home for fish pie and chardonnay in front of the Great Pottery throw down – bliss. I was also given gifts of speciality cheese by a couple of my mates – I think this perfectly sums up being 57.
Anyway, I have a date with an afternoon nap, so excuse me.
I’ll do you a nice big catch up once I’m back from Oz.