Friday, 22 February 2013

The last post

Our boiler is still broken! The landlord continues to promise he'll sort things out, yet I've sat all day freezing to death underneath a blanket in the sitting room. Unacceptable. I was a dachshund and a packet of parma violets short of being a little old lady.  No one can be expected to live for more than a day without hot water or any form of heating in these sub-zero temperatures.

I had the misfortune of having to take the Victoria Line in the rush hour this evening. What's that all about? People were literally screaming at each other; "move down the carriage, you twat, people are trying to get on this train." "Alright! Keep your hair on, you wanker..." The packed carriage echoed with the sound of general tutting and elbows being jabbed into ribs by frustrated, claustrophobes. It was hell on toast. London transport brings out the very worst in people. 

What brings out the best in people however, is a sad story. This afternoon, 250 people in Southsea turned up to the funeral of Jimmy McConnell, a former marine, who'd died alone, without family or friends in a nursing home. His prized possession was a red beret, and the nurses who'd been with him at the end used twitter to urge people to turn up to his funeral so that he had the dignity in death that had eluded him in life. People came forward in their droves. He even ended up with a set of buglers playing the last post. 

His death sends out an important message. It sounds cliched but we all need to think a little more about the plight of old people. No one should expect to die alone, feeling like a burden, but as the population grows progressively older, the likelihood of this happening to us increases. 

So come on, everyone. Stop worrying about how many followers you have on twitter, and go out there in the world attempting to make a very real difference.

We went to the Pheasantry tonight to see Julie and Abbie performing cabaret sets. I was deeply proud of them both. Abbie's low chest range is simply stunning. The room held its collective breath as she performed Send In The Clowns. I always feel pangs of sadness when I hear that song, wondering if I can ever hope to write something so beautiful. Julie performed Piaf numbers exquisitely, and in French, which was a real treat. I've got some deeply talented friends. The evening made me want to play more 'cello!

Speaking of small London theatres. Do take a look at this link (suggested by Venta) which discusses how the London Mayor might help small theatres to overcome the fundamental problems which go hand in hand with, well being a small theatre; lack of investment, lack of money to publicise events or pay performers. They are vital training grounds, particularly for writers and directors, and we must all do our bit to help them to thrive.

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