Tuesday, 13 January 2015


Apologies for the tardiness of this blog. I fell asleep at 9pm yesterday and have only just woken up! Like all periods of illness, the hours tend to roll into one, so I was incredibly grateful to my husband for taking the initiative and writing something on Sunday night whilst I shivered and hallucinated on a little make-shift bed in the sitting room formed from some sofa cushions and a couple of blankets.

It's amazing what an poorly brain will come up with whilst a fever is surging through its body. One part of my brain was bombarding me with numbers and little stubs of sentences which made no sense whatsoever, whilst another part tried to make sense of what was happening. It was exhausting beyond words. I was so angry that all of this was going on during a day which ought to have been so special. The Rebel Chorus had sung so beautifully all day, and I always feel immensely proud when I have the team gathered around me. We really ought to do more as a choir. There's the makings of something immensely special there. Perhaps we should enter the choir of the year contest...

I felt pretty lousy when I eventually woke up yesterday. Every part of me ached, and I was forced to knock back the Imodium like it was going out of fashion. I really wanted to stay at home, tucked neatly under a duvet watching MGM films, but instead I had to drive to a rainy Coventry for a meeting with Hamish Glen, the marvellous artistic director at the equally marvellous Belgrade Theatre. The Belgrade is named after the capital of Serbia who donated the timber which allowed the theatre to rise out of the post Second World War ashes of Coventry. As a theatre, it's always had huge significance for me. My parents were both young stagers there in the late 1950s, and my mentor, the great Sir Arnold Wesker, had his first shows performed there in, I think, 1958.

Hamish and I had a lovely chat about an idea I've had for another stage musical, one which would perhaps be even more personal to me than Brass. It would be remarkably exciting to do. I've decided my 40s are going to be about writing stage musicals.

Hamish Glen is the brother of the actor Ian Glen. I learned that fact during the meeting, and it might have to suffice for my "learn something new every day" mission. When you're barely able to function, the ability to take in any new information is entirely compromised. I may have learned lots of new things today! Who knows? Actually, I also learned that only five volcanoes in the world have lava lakes, that is to say an actual swirling bed of fire and molten rock that you see in the Indiana Jones films. I learned that watching a fascinating documentary where the divine Kate Humble actually abseiled into a volcano crater.

The traffic on the way home from Cov was beyond awful. I think I must have been following a weather front as it headed in a South-Easterly direction because It was raining solidly with ghastly high winds. Everyone seemed to be driving like imbeciles. I tried to maintain a sensible, solid speed, but people kept coming up behind me, flashing their headlights. One particularly aggressive bastard came dangerously close, so, as a warning, I gently put my foot down on the brake to suggest he pull back a little. His response was to overtake me and then slam on his own breaks so violently that I came within a few inches of crashing into him.

Driving with a gastric bug is no laughing matter!

I came home, ate a plate of spaghetti on toast, immediately vomited said plate of spaghetti on toast, and fell asleep...

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