Look Ma – top of the world, well actually it’s a West End theatre

In the middle of the tour we had what was almost an easy date when we played a London theatre for a two-week “season” either side of Christmas. In fact we did get two days off together, which was more than we had ever had. We were actually in the West End at the MayContinue reading “Look Ma – top of the world, well actually it’s a West End theatre”

On home ground for a fleeting visit before we’re on the road again

After eight weeks on tour we arrived at Basildon – home again, for that was the way I had seen it while working on the Standard Recorder, except that now I would not be in my flat at Brooke House, I would be kipping in the caravan behind the Arts Centre. I would, however, beContinue reading “On home ground for a fleeting visit before we’re on the road again”

Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further

WHO AM I? A question many of us will have asked in our lifetime and we will have given ourselves many answers: son, father, socialist; mother, aunt, republican; daughter, teacher, royalist; grandfather, preacher, poet. There may be other roles we do not recognise ourselves playing. On the other hand we may know more about ourContinue reading “Six small steps to take you on the journey of a lifetime – or further”

Longed-for letter boosts my spirits as we catch up with some old friends

As the tour went on it seemed as though every day there was something new, though none of it quite as bad as those few horrific minutes in the cinema when a Polish actress made use of her natural assets to kill a man. As Dickens said: “They were the the best of times; theyContinue reading “Longed-for letter boosts my spirits as we catch up with some old friends”

Christmas past and Christmas present, what now lies ahead?

Christmas came and now its gone. All packed away for another year. In many ways Christmas remains the same except gradual changes creep in year on year and my Christmas of 2022 is very different from the early ones I can remember in the 50s. Nowadays we start preparing for Christmas in the New Year,Continue reading “Christmas past and Christmas present, what now lies ahead?”

Horror that followed us from town to town

When I left Basildon at the end of summer 1974 I did not know if I would ever be back. My move from there, initially, to the other side of the country was to create a breathing space, not just for me but also for someone who had become close. Initially my only contact wouldContinue reading “Horror that followed us from town to town”

Time to make my final stand as the hedge wars reach their Waterloo

It is time for the war to end. It has gone on too long with casualties on both sides. Now, however, we have reached the point where one side must achieve victory – that will be MY victory. Yes, this year, 11 years after the struggle began, I am determined to have my Waterloo and,Continue reading “Time to make my final stand as the hedge wars reach their Waterloo”

At long last I found ‘Uncle Howard’

Have you ever had that niggling little memory which has lost a piece of itself in that labyrinth we call the mind? It’s only a tiny bit missing but it makes all the difference to what you are trying to remember. I retrieved one of those bits tyesterday and I had been hunting for itContinue reading “At long last I found ‘Uncle Howard’”

How strong are your resolutions as we face a Brave New Year?

A New Year lies before us and this is normally a time to make resolutions, hollow promises of what we will do in the year ahead. We announce our intention to lose weight; to stop smoking; to drink less; to be kind to others; to refrain from licentious behaviour; not to abuse others on Facebook,Continue reading “How strong are your resolutions as we face a Brave New Year?”

The prodigal’s return after playing ‘poo sticks’ with a new prickly pal

Gone (for a while) but hopefully not forgotten. Unlike the Prodigal Son I have not frittered away my time or money, I have just been taking a break from cerebral activity and spending more time on manual work in the garden. I’ve also been making friends with a rather prickly chap who began to makeContinue reading “The prodigal’s return after playing ‘poo sticks’ with a new prickly pal”