I stayed at the Gateway services, peacefully writing until 3am. The Jewish man in the kippah was still playing on the gambling machines when I left. I thought it seemed rather a strange nocturnal existence. I wondered if he goes to the services every night, and whether gambling sits comfortably with his religious beliefs. Maybe he was sticking to the arcade games.
I did some good work, however, so the feeling of exhaustion I'm experiencing today is worth it. I think if you simply embrace insomnia, don't even try to sleep, and do something useful instead, you end up happier in the long run.
I did a lot of soul-searching whilst sitting in the service station with my cup of tea and little bar of Galaxy chocolate. It strikes me that the time has come for me to seriously reappraise my decision to work in British musical theatre. It's just not an industry which has learned how to sustain its writers and I am fed up with the constant feeling that I'm simply a beggar waiting for scraps to be thrown at me by kindly passers by. Em, therefore, could prove to be my last work of musical theatre. Maybe it's good for me to bow out on something this personal. Maybe something else will crop up. Who knows? I've given myself until the summer to make a final decision.
I have to say, I would quite fancy going and doing another sort of job. One where I'd have a guaranteed income, holiday pay, and a pension! I spoke to a woman today who was sitting in an office at Ali Pali. She was right by the front door, but explained to me that, although there was no longer a receptionist in the building, it wasn't her job to open doors and do the meeting and greeting. I thought how nice it would be to roll into work and be able to be belligerent about the perimeters of my job description!
We were at Ali Pali for a VIP tour of the building work which is being done on the old theatre where we got married. It's such an exciting place and such an wonderful renovation project. They're currently focussing on making the auditorium safe and functional. Those reading this blog who attended our wedding or saw it on telly, will remember that the stalls area is enormous, and that our ceremony took place on a little stage in front of the theatre's official stage. At some point they're planning to renovate the stage itself, but in the short-term, they're opting for something similar to our wedding set-up, with retractable or portable seating.
There will also be (fixed) seats in the balcony, which, for health and safety reasons, my brother and sister-in-law remain two of the only people to have actually visited. The first of their MC-ing sequences came from up there. For the princely sum of £900, you can have your name engraved on a plaque on one of those chairs. They're still fundraising for the renovations, and in a later blog, I may well furnish you with the details needed for making donations. For as little as £30 you can have your name added to a giant list of donors which will be displayed on the theatre walls.
They've made a decision to allow the place to keep its shabby chic character. Plaster work will still be chipping off the walls, and it will maintain a sense of faded grandeur. I think it's going to be absolutely stunning. I'm told we remain the only two people ever to have got married there. Result.