Friday, 4 March 2016

Sleep!

I managed to sleep until mid day today. I think I was finally sleeping the sleep of the just! I texted Philippa to say how confused I was that I'd managed to sleep in so late, and she replied: "That's nice. I went to bed at 12.30. Woke up at six thirty and was awake for two hours in the night with restless children and period pains. BUT I AM SO GLAD YOU SLEPT WELL." I think those with young children must sometimes wonder if they'll ever sleep properly again!

We didn't do much all day. Our landlord let himself into the house to sort out the roof. I stood in the hallway, but suddenly realised I was entirely naked, so ran like a girl in the opposite direction, hoping he'd not seen me, and disappeared under a blanket.

As we left the house we found a little shrine on the steps outside our door, which had been left there by our fabulous neighbour, Little Welsh Nathalie. She'd carefully laid out a vase with tulips and daffodils, a lovely congratulations card, a photograph of Nathan and me in front of the theatre and a cut-out sign of letters spelling the word "peace."

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such extraordinarily beautiful people.

We drifted into town and had tea at the theatre with Llio, Frank and his friend JJ. CJ in the cast had emailed me a recording of her singing Baker Baker by Tori Amos and I pressed my phone to my ear to hear it. She knows I'm a massive Tori fan and thought I might enjoy her rendition which she'd recorded that afternoon. Which I did. In fact, it made me feel hugely emotional and then incredibly happy.

After an hour or so the audience started drifting in and the cafe filled with excited-looking people. There's a wonderful buzz which comes from an expectant audience...

I'm proud to say that another slew of Greenham women came to see the show again tonight, some of whom chatted to us in the bar beforehand. Two of them asked me to sign their programmes and all I could think to write was "thank you for saving the world" and "Greenham women are everywhere." I feel such an enormous sense of gratitude to them, and feel so sad that the world doesn't quite recognise them as the heroes they undoubtedly are. Emily, LJ and Robin from the NYMT came to see the show tonight and none of them knew anything about Greenham and what had happened there. They were extraordinarily moved by the story. I genuinely think that Greenham Common needs to taught in more history syllabuses.

It was the night of the cousins tonight. One of Nathan's was there (whom it turns out was a day visitor to Greenham, and took part in Embrace The Base) and my cousin Matt was there with his brood. His wife Boo, whom I've known since I was about 14, threw her arms around me afterwards and said, "I'm so proud of you. I always feel like this when you do anything. I see you as my little brother." And I realised I see her in the same sort of way... Like a big sister. She was, I recall, the first member of my family whom I came out to. The older I get the more important family becomes.

There was a partial standing ovation tonight, and, as I looked around, I saw a sea of people wearing CND badges, both men and women. Robin described the show as electrifying (one of my favourite words.) And one of the Greenham woman was weeping when she came up to me. "You got it spot on." She said. "Even with such a small cast you've managed to get all the characters." It is hugely gratifying. So many people who know nothing, or very little about Greenham have told us we'd got stuff wrong, but even Scratch The Itch, the bawdy heterosexual song which the knife hung over for so long, has become one of the, if not THE most popular numbers in the show, and had a seal of approval from Rebecca Johnson last night: "I remember a straight woman aggressively waltzing me around the camp fire. She was just like Ceridwen."

The man who runs the cafe in the theatre also saw the show tonight, and came up to me twice to shake my hand and tell me how great he thought the show was. "We've also loved having you here" he said, which made me feel proud. The company of this show, to a tee, have been polite, fun, friendly and very good to be around. I'll miss them all very much.

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