Saturday, 14 January 2017

Dear Mrs May

Dear Mrs May,

When are you going to realise that a number of the deluded fools who voted Brexit did so merely because they wanted a better NHS? The leaders of the Brexit campaign, whose great work you seem so keen to continue, made a big deal about their desire to spend the money we save on Europe on the NHS, and in the light of the Red Cross - the actual Red Cross - describing the British NHS as a humanitarian crisis, it might be time for you to stop pooh-poohing this deeply well-respected organisation, get off your sparkly harris and actually do something about it. Your task is to protect the nation. Stop saying Brexit means Brexit, cus shit means shit, and start listening and interpreting.

Love from one of the 48%, all of whom saw this nonsense coming.

We went to an industrial estate in Woolwich today which I subsequently found out was right next to the Thames Flood Barrier. I'm disappointed that I only found out this fact after I'd left the area because I've never seen the Thames Barrier and have always wanted to. I wonder if they raised it in the recent storm. They certainly got a bit over-cautious when it came to evacuating most of the coastal inhabitants of East Anglia, whom, I hear, are all heading back to their homes today, no doubt feeling somewhat bemused.

We were celebrating Tina's 50th birthday today at Jon Dunn-Balham's yarn dyeing studios, which happen to be just opposite Alex and Moira's Circus Space. Jon is known for dyeing the most gloriously vivid colours into wool, and in a woollen world saturated (or not so saturated as it happens) by girlie pastel colours, it's rather wonderful to see a wall lined with skeins of yarn in bright, vibrant colours. And if anyone reading this likes the sound of this, check out Jon's website at:

Tina had invited lots of her crafty friends, and we sat for much of the afternoon eating party food and knitting. Obviously I didn't knit. I'm the knitting widow. The bloke that hangs about with knitters, like the proverbial drummer hanging out with musicians!

The highlight for me was Jon and his partner Roy's little short-haired miniature dachshund, Sweep. Obviously, I prefer the long-haired variety, and preferably a female dog, because I've never been that keen on seeing a dog's willy bouncing about everywhere. That said, Sweep is a deeply charming creature. He's actually fed on a diet of raw meat, which, apparently, is why his coat is so shiny. I still maintain that if I had a small dog like a dachshund, I'd probably want to feed it a strictly vegetarian diet. I've heard that vegetarian dogs have good, calm temperaments, but maybe that's because they're zonked out from not having enough energy! I would be interested to hear from someone who actually knows about vegetarian diets for dogs, and is in possession of scientifically-proven reasons for or against. Forgive me for not being terribly interested in the instinct of a die-hard meat eater who merely has a hunch that being vegetarian is not fair on a dog! People used to make those sorts of statements about me when I was a non-meat-eating child, and believe me, it can get a little boring!

We spent the evening with Tina at her house in Canary Wharf, watching The Voice and the Gary Barlow Show. When Barlow is interviewed and says things like, "ever since I've been working in theatre, I've wanted to develop a musical using the songs of Take That" I just want it to be acknowledged that someone has already been there and done that. It was called Never Forget and it tanked. Quite how the BBC can justify promoting yet another cynical money-making production using the same material I'm not sure. I'm also not sure how they can justify hiring a panel of judges who can probably only claim to have been in a handful of West End shows between them. They demonstrate a woeful lack of knowledge about musical theatre. Gary Barlow actually asked one lad who'd understudied a role in Mama Mia whether he'd minded sitting in a dressing room every night. Any self-respecting musical theatre writer would realise that all covers come from the ensemble unless they're swings. Barlow also opted to raise the stakes by telling one auditionee that this new show will demand more of its actors than any other show in the history of musical theatre, "you have to be able to sing, dance, act and move people." Welcome to musical theatre Mr Barlow! And if you want someone who can do all of those things for eight shows a week, then you need to find musical theatre performers with stamina and stop telling lads with vocal damage, who simply can't sing in tune, that they have soul!

We keep getting tantalising glimpses of NYMT kids, however, whom, I assume, will be auditioning sooner or later. Both Callum from Brass and Sario, who was in Spring Awakening, have been spotted hanging out in the "green room" which never seems to show the same crowd of lads in back-to-back shots! Ah! The artifice of telly!

We returned home to find a bag of vegetables on the top of the stairs running up to our flat. I assume they've come from Little Welsh Nathalie downstairs, but there is no note. It's a lovely thing to find on our steps whoever it's from!

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