Monday, 6 June 2016


It's Ian Knauer's birthday today, and by rights we should be at Giraffe on the South Bank surrounded by a colourful bunch of waifs and strays from around the world. We're not there, though, because Ian selfishly now lives in New York, so we had to make do with a Skype chat instead. We virtually found Ian and Jem in Manhattan's Chelsea District eating scones. It's afternoon over there. It never ceases to amaze me that it's possible these days to video call someone in the States, and see them in high definition on the screen with no time lag. We take so much for granted.

I worked up in the village today, attempting to make my way through a list of admin which had grown out of proportion throughout last week. Top of my list was trying to find funding for the NYMT trip to France at the end of the month. Our little fundraising site hasn't gone quite as well as it could have. I asked the cast to see if they could give the fund a big push just before the bank holiday weekend, and I learned today that not a single extra pound has been raised, which obviously made me fly into a panic! I'm not quite sure what I'll do if we don't get enough money for the trip. I suspect it'll have to be another music quiz. If anyone reading this is feeling flush and has thought they might like to add a bit of money to the pot, you can do so by going to:

I personally think all young people need to have the opportunity to visit the First World War trenches. It brings the whole conflict to life, somehow, and reminds us how lucky we are to be living in this era. Remind me not to organise a similar trip at any point in the near future, however. This one has been stressful beyond belief! Why is doing something nice for a group of people always fraught with such misery?!

I had a contretemps with a ghastly man in the gym today. Our new gym has ludicrous "pod" entrances. Each gym member has an eight digit code which they have to type into a special pad which activates the doors. The doors then open and close like something in Star Trek. Sadly there are only two of them and both work as entrances and exits. You have to use your code to exit the building as well and once someone has started tapping their number into the key pad the person on the other side of the door's key pad suddenly freezes. It's so badly thought out.

Anyway, one of the doors has been broken for five days now which means it now takes five minutes to get into the building at peak times.

When I arrived today, a bloke in Pure Gym uniform was standing, ineffectually, in the foyer watching people struggling to get in and out. I asked him how long the door would be broken. "I dunno. It's not my problem." He said, "I'm a personal trainer, not someone in charge of the doors." "What are you doing in the foyer then?" I asked. "I'm helping with a delivery..." "But you're wearing a uniform with Pure Gym all over it. Surely it's your responsibility as an employee of this company to make sure the customers are okay?" He sneered, "I've apologised to every customer who's come in." "You didn't apologise to me." "You're the one customer I didn't apologise to." I've seldom seen a man drip with such little interest in what I was saying.

The situation was made a lot worse by a prannie in front of me in the queue, who butted in with that awful thing that people often say in these instances, "leave it out mate" he said to me, "he's only doing his job. We're all here at the gym to chill, so why don't you just chill out?" And what's the one thing which is guaranteed to make a stressed person even more stressed? Telling them to chill out! And I personally do not go to a gym to chill out. My body drips with sweat. My thighs burn. That is not chilling out! At that point, the personal trainer looked me in the eye and said, "you're really embarrassing yourself right now, mate..." It was horrifying...

Nathan got back from work this evening and we watched films of Elaine Paige dancing really badly, and the Great British Sewing Bee, which I'm very much enjoying. I would personably watch a Sewing Bee, a Bake Off or a Pottery Throw Down every night of the week!

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