foul pages

29 May

FOUL PAGES *** By Robin Hooper
At the Hope Theatre
Plays involving William Shakespeare are always fascinating. However his heart and his brain have been investigated by so many different writers with so many differing results that it is a joy to see him as a simple working writer collaborating with his friend The Countess of Pembroke (The impressive Clare Bloomer)who is playing host to the players escaping from plague ridden London.
Another advantage here is that the actors are all living in close contact so, like an old fashioned play there is just the one set.
However he has written it in short scenes, and it takes a while to get ones brain into the correct gear, especially as between each little scene there is a whole lot of excruciatingly loud music which I found not only annoying, but in my case actually painful.
The main occupation of Mr Shakespeare (played with dignity by Ian Hallard)is to finish his play in order to win the favour of the new Scottish King James the first. A familiar problem arises when one is writing under orders, the patron insists on undesirable alterations in the casting. The leading role is Rosalind and the leading juvenile of the company is being pushed aside to give room to the Innamorato of the King .
Of course much is made of the casting of plays most especially the use of young men to play the leading ladies and there are many slightly bawdy and very gay jokes during the whole of the performance.
The play begins as a crazy comedy, the main character being a talking dog who is the unnamed and unrecognised narrator of the action. It is a great and unusual part for an actor and it is played with lots of fun and dedication by James King. A terrific role where he doesn’t have to communicate with the actors except to get a lot of cuddles.
Clare Bloomer is an imperious countess and a lot is made of the fact that Will collaborates and takes advice from a woman, so that women had their place even though they were not allowed to perform. Peg, her maid is played by Olivia Onyehara and these are the only two women in the cast but they are strongly registered..
All the young men are absolutely gorgeous and play with great honesty, truth and wit. Lewis Chandler is the blonde beauty originally engaged to play Rosalind and Thomas Bird is his usurper. Greg Baxter plays Ed, the sweet young man who is playing Orlando and is distressed to lose his lovely Rosalind.
Probably the most comical character is that of Tom Vanson who is the highly vain and over-dressed, over-made up and over- jewelled Scottish King – and his over-butch Protector is played by Jack Harding.
All good, crazy – if sometimes confusing – fun. The edge taken off from me – and probably only me – by the horrendous noise, like being at the heart of a thunderstorm. Longed for my earplugs.

andrew eborn

22 Nov

I really enjoyed this Aline . There are lots of things I’d like to talk about . At present I’m co-writing a Play about Shakespeare’s life with a fellow actor / writer called Clive Greenwood and I could talk about that . I’ve also been using the enforced rest of this Covid crisis as a Reset button as an actor to have some time to rethink things . In my younger days I worked as a Chef for Pru Leith in her Serpentine restaurant in Hyde Park . I enjoyed seeing the Chef talk in this zoom . Andrew Eborn is very entertaining 😎

This was from Jason Wing at apachewing@yahoo.com

Ute Lemper Rendezvous with Marlene

21 Nov

UTE LEMPER.  

RENDEZVOUS WITH MARLENE 

I first became aware of Ute Lemper when she came on to sing All That Jazz in Chicago .  It was one of my favourties shows and I saw it many times afterwards with different casts.  

Ute Lemper is a German actress who has worked in many theatres – and her idol was another German Actress – the great Marlene Dietrich. She specialises in the songs made famous by Dietrich and Edith Piaf who was Marlene’s great friend. 

Marlene had become a recluse later in life. She was afraid to go out and be recognised perhaps made fun of because of the great beauty she had been. She feared rejection, didn’t want people to see her face. She had already experienced the horror of rejection in her life from her own people, the people of Berlin who called her a traitor to the Fatherland.  

Billy Wilder took her to Berlin jut after the war and it broke her heart to see the ruin of her city. On her next trip to Berlin for Unicef in the sixties, during the cold war. She was castigated and there were banners saying Go Home Marlene and the smell of stink bombs. 

The hatred stayed in Berlin even  when she died. She had her funeral in 1992 there and there was no wake, because of the fear of  neo Nazis. They made it a small private funeral but the smell of the stink bombs delivered by her enemies was still around.  

Marlene had refused to work for the Nazis in Berlin.  When she worked in Hollywood, she learned from the many Jewish friends there how the Jews were being treated in Her native land, and she became a soldier in the American Army. 

She had said “Send my love to France,  my  heart to England – to Germany, my dead body” and so it came to pass. 

Knowing she would be  unable to see her idol face to face, Ute wrote her a letter, telling her  she was a young German actress who had played The Blue Angel – the play in which Marlene was discovered andbegan her glittering career in Hollywood and the movies. 

To her surprise, she received a call from Marlene herself and was treated to a three hour phone call about the life of Dietrich. This she has turned into a play,  using some of the music, telling the  story as herself, the young actress, in small chunks with no time frame, just as Marlene told it to her. And occasionally taking on the persona of Marlene, by donning a top hat or a shawl and singing one of the songs.  

The play begins with the orchestra playing something that is only vaguely familiar and is eventually identified as Falling in Love again, perhaps the most famous song from Blue Angel. One of Ute’s speciality is her original interpretation of music and she uses this a few times during the story. 

Dietrick loved to drink and to smoke and most of all to love. The list of her leading men is extensive. There were very few stars in Hollywood who were not on her list of lovers both male and female. She tells us that Judy Garland was one of her failures. Charlie Chaplin was a wate of time and Jack Kennedy was boring. Later in life she met Brt Bachcharach who became her accompanist and her love thoughhe was about thiry years young than she. Her affair with Yul Bynner last about a year but her true loves were French …Jean Gabin and Edith Piaf. 

There are so many secrets to be given away. Not only her list of lovers male and female, but one of her beauty secrets that makes one shudder. She used tape to pull the loose skin from her face and drag it to the back of her neck. This she had to remove every night which was painful and made her bleed so much that eventually it became infected and had to give up working. She retired to her house in Avenue Montaigne and shut the door on her life.  

Ute tells the story as told to her and occasionally takes on the persona of Marlene and gives us some of the songs. “Where have all the flowers gone”, “Just a gigolo”, “One for my Baby”  

There is so much more to the story of this Androgenous, extraordinary, brave lady and Ute is the girl to tell it. Try and catch the story whenever you can spare two hours. 

pimlico pate

13 Nov

EVE FERRET, PIMLICO PATE

Eve Ferret: Pimlico Paté

at the St James Theatre Studio

Larger than life is one way of describing this woman. She is all heart, all soul. She is out to give us a great time and boy does she deliver. With her signature peignoirs, her huge piled up red hair – no one else ever had hair that big. Her exceptional vocal quality – and her voluptuosity (my own word) she is a completely unique presence. A one off.

Being with Eve is like sinking into a lovely warm bubble bath. Cares all gone, just enjoy. So much delight, so much laughter, so much pathos. All unexpected. For instance – St Louis Blues – fantastic. especially with the trick ending. We were carried along with the magic of her wonderful throbbing blues voice, and then, after the build up, we were almost in tears …an insanely crazy event at the end. SO FUNNY. I’ll say no more – her comedy is impossible to describe. Surreal and yet seemingly completely spontaneous. The Salvador Dali of Cabaret. Her material is mostly written by herself and full of her own witty lyrics. Her parody on ‘The Thing that Got Away’ is hilarious and so is the description of herself as ‘Last night’s Pate’. A phrase we have to learn and perform with her as she tells stories of her ridiculous love life. ‘Congratulations, you Got me’ a torch song like no other sung with passion and heartbreak. ‘I love my peignoir’ is performed to a pink peignoir on a pole. And one of my favourites. ‘It’s never over till it’s over’

She describes herself in one of her songs ‘The Pimlico Belle;. She said at her performance at the St James’s last March.

“Born a mile away from the theatre, who knew from playing on bombsites down the road, that one day I would sing in this glorious theatre and launch an EP ’.

Eve has been billed as ‘One of the most original performers on stage today’. And beloved of the critics who say, ‘The incomparable Eve Ferret you have to see it to believe it. Musical Theatre Review.comShe could be compared to Bette, Ella or Peggy but in truth she is Eve Ferret the one and only’ LondonTheatre1.com

Much of her lyrics are put into musical form by her guitarist/composer who was unable to be with her on this occasion. But on stage is a great blues piano player Johnny Miller. He follows Eve perfectly – not an easy thing to do. Not content with just backing her up on the St James’s grand piano, he accompanies her on the pencil. Now there’s a rarity.

I say this to one and all – if you ever get a chance to see this lady perform, grab it with both hands. She is a marvel.

aline waites

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WAIT FOR ME

5 Oct

WAIT FOR ME 

A Dance Musical Film  

By Sam Cassidy 

Directed and Choreographed by Ainsley Ricketts. 

Wait for me was originally designed as a stage show, but of course Covid put an end to all Theatre productions. 

Writer Sam Cassidy realised the damage caused to people’s lives by being deprived of music theatre and decided to try and change the story into a movie – the first film to be performed totally obeying the social distancing strictures. With just four dancers/actors,iIt has become a most entertaining, original and moving piece of cinema. The story is told almost completely in dance, but the dancing and choreography are original, eccentric and sublime depending entirely on the emotional content of the scene. Choreographer Ainsley Ricketts is certainly a force to be reckoned with. 

The cast were put in quarantine for the three weeks of rehearsal to create a bubble. Even the technical staff members were not allowed near the performers. 

It is presented on an empty stage with very little furniture – just a bench and a small table. A few props a wine bottle, 2 glasses, a camera, and a book plus the very important blue teddy bear – an essential character within the story as it represents a virtual child. 

The prologue begins in Heaven with two angels dancing together, making love by stroking, teasing and playing like baby animals. These ethereal creatures are two halves of a single soul and they know everything about the world having been up in heaven watching them. 

While they are dancing, rays of light begin flashing, eventually becoming a circle on stage, separating them. They can no longer reach each other and instead they are given a task. They are presented with a soul divided into two and are given half each. They must find two human beings who will turn out to be a perfect match, get them to meet each other and make the two half souls into one. The angels cannot be together again until the task is completed. 

They split and go to earth to find a two people who should belong to each other 

On earth there is Jack, a young man obsessively reading his book, falling over his feet and anything that gets in the way of his walking, with his head stuck in the book.  Finally, the angels lead him to the bench, and he sits. 

The girl Emma has a camera and obviously loves taking pictures. She is currently trying to catch a white feather that is fluttering around.  She accidentally takes a shot of it as it lands on the knee of Jack. The two meet and they are twin souls.  

From then on, the play tells the story of the young couple, their affair, their marriage, the comedy and tragedy in their lives, always dancing, and always watched and helped by the guardians from heaven. 

The whole of this part of the story is told in dance with much sentiment and comedy. 

When tragedy strikes, the tale is too sad to rely on simply dancing, the narration goes to the wonderful voice of Eloise Davies who sings the most heartrending song I think I have ever heard. It is a simple theme, and it is the very ordinariness that makes it so emotional.  

The off-stage voices by Davies and Bluey Robinson are important. It seems that when the emotion gets too strong, the characters speak with the voices in their heads. After the third time of watching I was still in floods at this point. 

But there is also much comedy and of course some wonderful dancing by the four dancers, Jaih Betote, Chrissy Brooke, Clarice Lanta Lilly and  Ainsley Ricketts. They don’t just dance for the sake of it, it is not ‘pretty’ dancing, but it is elegant and vital. Each movement they make tells us something about the characters and their inner feelings.  

Film is an excellent medium for showing this example of eternal love, lasting through hate, disaster, life and death.  We can see the action from the same distance as on stage, but with the use of close-up you can see the emotion expressed on every face.  

Congratulations to Cinematographer Nick Ross and lighting designer Matthew Camazza. The sound is by Will Vaughan. 

This is a very special production and should be seen. The World Premiere in online via INPLAYER, Accessible via a link on the ‘WaitForMe’ Facebook page from Monday October 5. £10 to view.  

PIPPIN

19 Sep

2Aline

PIPPIN ****

Last night I returned to the pretty little Garden Theatre in Vauxhall, where last month I saw the enormously successful “Fanny and Stella” At the time socially distancing meant there were only 20 audience seats for each performance. Now the stage is in the round situation and audience area has been enlarged and there is room for forty.

The new show is Pippin – full of Stephen Schwartz’s joyous tunes and with incredibly wonderful choreography by Nick Winston – who also staged “Fanny and Stella”The six-person cast members are arrayed in colourful hippie style tie-dyed costumes designed by David Shields. The whole show has been given a circus feel by Bob Fosse in a previous Broadway production and it adds a wonderful almost childlike appeal to the story as well gives even more opportunity for Winston’s amazing choreography.

Pippin, charmingly played by Ryan Anderson is a young man who needs to find out where his life is going. He is a Prince with a powerful father, Charlemagne. Dan Krikler gives a very impressive performance as Charles the Great. He is a terrific oppressive character, forever beheading and hanging protesters, fighting wars against the Visigoths and behaving very much like any other Medieval dictator. Pippin watches his father, thinking ‘There must be something more in his life than this’. He wants to be extraordinary. He does achieve some of his goals but is never really satisfied until he does a Candide type retreat with a rich widow, (Tanisha-Mae Brown) helped by a pet duck (played by a yellow feather) and his stepson to whom he teaches the recorder.All highly satisfactory.

The music is some of the best from Stephen Schwartz and here there is even one opportunity to join in with Joanne Clifton who plays outrageous comedy as the mother to him and his simple brother Lewis (Hary Francis) and also his sex-mad grandmother Bertha.

The actors will joyfully take o other roles whenever necessary. With only six in the cast, this versatility is essential. They all dance and sing up a storm – an incredible casting job by Anne Vosser.

The virtual star of this production is The Leading Player, who opens the show and carries Pippin through his trials and tribulations. The part is quite brilliantly played by Tsemaye BobEgbe.

Musical Director Michael Bradley is in charge of the piano and the music fits the actor-singers perfectly, but it is the dancing that is the main part of this show. Nick Winston has arrived at a compromise between circus-acrobatic and hippie style matching the seventies design of the costumes.

Steven Dexter directs and much of the effects are is by overhead lights that change colour according to the mood of each scene.The script is cleverly adapted to include a few topical jokes about the measure of leadership and class. (When a country is in difficulties it is the arts that are first to go)It is a sad fact though that some of the gags are lost because, with a prevalence of masks, the laughs from the audience are difficult to hear. it is a shame but unavoidable in the current situation.

Pictorially it is exquisite and exciting (unfortunately it was often lost on me because of a huge man sitting on a bench directly in front of me. You can’t win them all!).Nevertheless, it is a joyful and satisfactory way to spend a theatrical evening. Everybody, actors, creatives, ushers and audience is having a good time.

Production by Peter Bull for Lambco Productions.

Pippin is at the Garden Theatre in Vauxhall until 11th October.The Garden THeatre at the Eagle until October 11th349 Kennington LaneSE11 5QY

champagne

13 Aug

CHAMPAGNE 

WHEN i WAS five, I was a bridesmaid at my Auntie Dot’s wedding to my favourite Uncle Len. (always known as Mick) 

I had a long white dress in velvet and a little posy of flowers round my head. It was all a load of fun until it came to the wedding breakfast. All the grownups were drinking some  

fizzy yellow stuff it looked really good to me. The glasses were different from normal wine glasses, they were wide and flat. 

I was given one of these exciting flat glasses full and it tasted like the best thing I had ever had in my life. I was told it was champagne, 

Champagne at five years old.  

It was sometime later I found out that I wasn’t drinking the same champagne as the grownups. Mine was called Lucozade. 

Now when I am indulging what my friend Roger Foss calls “My champagne lifestyle” I admit I expect it to taste of Lucozade – a bit. 

It is also why I would rather have nothing than Prosecco which has no more taste than soda water. 

I have to say Lucozade is a darn site better than prosecco 

a fine romance

13 Aug

my first affair

MY FIRST AFFAIR. Donald Simpson. 

By Aline Waites 

My Grandma was boasting about me to Aunt Olive, her cousin 

The family resemblance was slight.  My Grandma Beat had brown curly hair, was slender and could do the splits. 

Aunt Ol was magnificent and big, with jet black hair and the air of a Queen. 

She was supposedly descended from a Spanish Princess, but this was never explained to me how and when. Probably a false legend. She was a powerful woman and Beatrice always felt she had to boast a little to her. 

I had been dressed up for her. Aunt Ol always gave me something for my birthday. Usually a penny. Which she did as if dispensing largesse and we all laughed about it after she’d gone.  

My birthday was I a few days’ time. Aunt Ol never worried about being exact with dates. Nevertheless, after the dispensation of the penny, she said “you are a pretty little girl”. 

Beatrice had to reply with, “Yes isn’’t she?” and to everyone’s astonishment , “and she already has a boyfriend, haven’t you?” She said to me 

I joined in the game and nodded. Always anxious to please. 

“Look,” said Beatrice, “She’s blushing”  

Which made me blush in reality. It was a bit embarrassing. 

Aunt Ol gave a deep sexy laugh. Beatrice continued. 

“His name is Donald Simpson and he’s very special   A genius. plays the piano like a grownup person” 

Aunt Ol was suitably impressed.  

Her goodbye included the words “Good luck with the boy genius” 

Later My grandma reminded me that as II was having a party for my birthday. I should ask my ‘boyfriend’. 

By this time, even though I’d only seen him on a couple of occasions, I blushed every time his name was mentioned, and was getting quite excited about my young imaginary lover.  

“Maybe he’ll play the piano for us,” said my Mother. 

She rang up Mrs Simpson and made the arrangements. 

It all sounded very exciting. 

He seemed a little reluctant when he arrived. He wasn’t very friendly with the other children – or to me. His mother brought him in and left immediately, saying she would pick him up later. We were playing spin the bottle in the front room, but he didn’t join in, he just sat on his own in the corner. 

He came to life when tea was announced, and he came into the living room which had a huge oval table all set with wonderful food. Sandwiches of course – which had to be eaten before sweet things. But they were nice, peanut butter, ham and cheese. The kind that children like. 

Then there were the other things, cakes and buns and little pies, jellies and trifle. And in the centre of the table was The Cake. A traditional fruit cake with almond paste, white icing and my name written on the top surrounded by four candles set in rose candle holders. All ready for me to blow out at the end of the meal and I could make a wish. This was the highlight of the day. 

Donald sat himself at the table without speaking.  He hadn’t shown any interest in me at all. “That is what boys are like” I thought to myself. – already beginning to learn the oddness of the opposite sex. 

No Donald was not looking at me. His eyes were fixed on the groaning table and all the food upon it. 

It was as if he was eating for England. The food went on to his plate for just a second before it was planted into his eager mouth, chewed up and swallowed as he was reaching out for the next item. 

My mother and the other grown-ups were stunned by this amazing performance. They just looked at him as if he was some kind of zoo creature. They had never seen anything like it. 

The awareness of my position as hostess made me enquire how he was feeling and was he having a good time. He looked at me as if that was a silly question but deigned to nod his head. 

Maybe a little too violently, as this this unusual piece of exercise had an alarming effect on his body and with an enormous blappo, the mashed up contents of his huge tea spewed out all over the table cloth, and the food, missing the cake by a half inch. 

So this was the glamorous musical genius I was in love with.   The grownups rushed around to clean up the mess. The children were dismissed to the other room and Donald started bawling. 

He did a lot of loud crying. He wanted to go home, “I want my motor” he cried. His mother was telephoned and asked to remove her son. It was then I found out that Motor cars were more interesting to young blokes than nice young ladies.  

His mother came and looked at us angrily, as if we were responsible for the state of her precious son.  

The other children went back to spinning the bottle and doing forfeits.  

Donald went home to play with his Motor Car. 

Thus ended my first romance.  

FANNY AND STELLA

13 Aug

Fanny and Stella from the book  by Neil McKenna 

The Young Men who shocked Victorian England. 

A wonderful post lock down treat. Fanny and Stella is a show that was previously shown last year at Upstairs at the Stag and is now located in the garden of a pub in Vauxhall – The Eagle. The garden has been turned miraculously into an open air, socially distanced theatre, beautifully thought out, and furnished by designer David Shields. There are gorgeous red velvet curtains, many plants and trees, a small raised platform at the back of the acting area which gives the impression of a stage.  Several rocky features for actors to leap on to when needed.  

The audience are well spaced out and have to wear masks, Drinks can be served during the performance and there is free ice-cream – Marine ices, no less.! 

There is a small cast of seven actors including the amazing musical director Aaron Clingham at the piano. An old friend of mine. Totally unrecognisable under his mask. The other performers are mask less but have been well trained by director Steven Dexter to keep their distance from each other. 

The story is a true one, recorded in a book by Neil McKenna, where the two upper middle class young men want to live their lives as respectable Victorian ladies, but in this musical by Glen Chandler who did book and lyrics with songs by Charles Miller, they are a couple of drag artists dressed as showgirls which allows for a certain amount of send up of the original. There is one typically panto song sung by Fanny “Has anybody seen my Fanny” with a chorus which I think calls out for audience participation. This didn’t happen on the press night, but critics are never all that good at singalong. 

We first see the two young men Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park dressed up in their stage attire as two showgirls Stella (Jed Bery) and Fanny (Kane Verrall). They wear Corsets and full skirts hoiked up to show their shapely legs in fish net tights. 

They are joined by the rest of the company to sing and dance the opening number “Sodomy in the Strand” so the audience is left in no doubt about the content of this musical. All the singing and dancing in this musical is first class.  Song harmonies are great arranged by the masked music director Aaron Clingham and the simple, excellent Choreography by Nick Winston is perfectly performed and seemingly enjoyed by the whole cast. 

 The two young men carry their drag impersonations into their real life, which is where the story gets tricky. Stella is married to a Liberal MP Lord Arthur Clinton, played by Kurt Kansley but is in love with a younger, handsome man (Louis Charles Hurt)who wants her to be a real chap, give up the make-up  and grow a moustache. She loves her purple eyeshadow and wants to stay in her women’s clothes. 

It is inevitable that at some point Victorian morality will insist on the two boys and their lovers being arrested for unnatural behaviour. The Court case is fascinating, involving the entire cast as different characters including Fany’s performance as the mother of Stella. I do not want to give away the ending, but it is a lesson in how influence and money can pervert the law. 

 The story is a fascinating one though ultimately sad – well a little sad.  It is of course a true story and we do not know how the boys turned out after the trial end, but one hopes they  lived happy uncensured lives. 

One of the most interesting things about this production is the huge cast of people who have contributed in so many ways. There is so much unemployment in the business, so all the front of house staff members who would normally be on stage themselves, play their parts with a real joy at just being back in the theatre.   

The show runs until the end of August, but it is so successful that I see no reason why it should not run through September. 

It is a load of fun – played for laughs, but the serious edge to the story adds a little extra something to think about. 

kenwood sunday 21st june 2020

23 Jun

Last Sunday M daughter visited me in her new car and took me to Kenwood. It was a beautifully sunny day and she invented a wonderful picnic involving Emental , salmon, avocado in a sweet and sweet potato wrap. She was surprised because she got the car in March, but we had all been on lock down and I had never seen it. Fo me it was mnagic being in a car. I had been in solitary confinement for three months.

So it was sucha big adventure to get outside, to walk on the grass to see other people. There were many benches scattered around the house and we kept moving from bench to bench. She also provided tonic water.It was so lovely.

We had just moved to a large expanse of “Rolling Ground”

The steep rolling ground was in front of the house, Beside the house was a huge well kept lawn with gentle sweeps of ground, very convenient for tiny ones, and this is where we sat, watching people exercising and children rolling. Happiness was secure. We sat on the edge of the lawn near a small dirt lane which was a convenient access for visitors with their dogs and some of them on bicycles.

Then, suddenly there was a srange sight. What we thought was a sqjirrel doing a dance on the lane.e. It was not a place for motor cars, but there were people and dogs there quite a lot.

Why was the squirrel playing there, where it was bound to get run over – was it teasing a dog or something, but it was alone.

We went up to it and found it lying there in a kind of coma. It semed dead, but it was breathing. The biggest surprise of all is that it was not a squirrel. It was a tiny rabbit. Its lunch of baby carrots was scattered on the road. It was horrid to think that someone may have deliberately poisoned it.

It was in a dangerous position but it would be foolish to touch it, so I watched over it and got people to go the other way, while Aya my daughter went for a steward.

During the time she was away the rabbit had another big fit, jumping jup and shaking all over – which is what had attracted our attention previously.

Ays arrived with the steward, wearing gloves and carrying a box with a sliding cage like door. He picked up the creature carefully, shielding his hands and put the rabbit in the box.

He explained that there was a current plague of miximatosis and rabbits were dying all over Kenwood. It is a disease peculiar to rabbits and invented by mankind as rabbits tend to breed so fast and overtake all other population. It has not bWe had saved him from being worried by other animals. We were grateful to the kind man but were not able to give the creature a funeral. I just wrote about it on facebook so that the creature could be remembered and thought of.

I was reminded when I was very young – not sure of the age, probably just past todder time. I trod on a caterpillar – cabbage white genus. It was vey green, but I scraped it up and put it in a machbox. We help the funeral. Me and some kids that came around for it.

We needed a sad song to sing but couldn’t think of any funeral songs- none of ujs knew anything much about funerals, except that we had to sing and then we would have some orange juice and a bun provided by parent (We didn’t publicise it to grown ups – wasnt sure they would understand. Think it was a bit of getting dirty. But one of the girls would provide the orange juice and the buns.

Eventually I decided on a song “Red Sails in the Sunset” I didn’t know the words but I realised it was a sad song and therefor eappropriate.

When we came home ferom Kenwood. Aya and I opened a bottle of wine and had a couple of glasses and thought about the little creature.

I sang some songs for it when Aya had left.

number 13. 2.he who dares.

30 May

Drusilla took off Mrs Grampion still clutching her can of lager. The was the sound of an aria from Aida and Mrs Pat joins the party in the waiting room
“Was that the doorbell?” she asks, Charles assures her that it probably is.
“I’d no idea it was still working, ” said Mrs Pat.and shouts, “Come in come in the door’s open”
Another knock on the door
“What’s the matter are you deaf?” cried Mrs P.
There is another burst of Aida and more knocking.
Pat went to the door and opened it.
Charles and Garth listened to the dialogue. Federick mumbled to himself some words of hate.
They heard Mrs Pat say
“Hello, my dear. How nice to see you, There is no need to knock you know. This is Liberty Hall. Come along in.
Mrs Pat joined the others accompanied by the unwilling Mrs Prudhomme. Pat pushed a cat off one of the chairs
“cup of tea?.”
Mrs Prudhomme seemed shocked.
“Not at this time in the afternoon,” she said and she shook her head, not accepting the seat she was being offered..
So Charles stood up and indicated his own chair, giving her a polite little bow.
Mrs Prudhomme was still not satisfied. She looked quickly at the chair and gave the impression that it could be infected. She turned her attention to Charles and his raggedy jumper which she regarded with great disdain.
“Thank you,” she said, “i prefer to stand”
Fredrick shouted Bastards.
Mrs Pat quickly put a different…. to her speech
“Oh yes, of course, your poor shoulder. Why not sit on one of the kitchen chairs. So much better for the back”
Mrs Prudhomme was not pleased about this either.
“I did not come here to talk about my shoulder” as she mentioned, she got a bad twinge. Mrs Pat looked sympathetic.
Mrs Prudhomme continued “Is there anywhere we can talk – in private?”
Mrs Pat laughed “Why in private? We are all friends here. We have nothing to hide”
Mrs Prudhomme’s shoulder gave another twinge
“I would prefer it,” she said
Okay dokay.” said Mrs Pat, follow me and t=she led the way into the Den.
As they went off, Feredick had covered his face with the New Statesman and shouted after Mrs Prudhomme.
“Bloody Tories”
“Wouldnt be at all surprised ” retorted Charles.