OLD is the NEW YOUNG (we hope)
A big thank you for visiting. I think the best way to start is by letting you know who I am.
This is me a couple of years ago when life was really happy and I was in Venice with my dear friend, Francis, (Feri, the last love of my life.)
I am a retired ex theatrical person. This has absolutely nothing to do with my present activities. But since I cannot imagine how to start, my first thought is that I certainly cannot imagine any way in which my knowledge of theatre, as experienced by me and my contemporaries, could possible help towards anything. Sure, I might try to sell ballet shoes, musical instruments or sheet music. Perhaps copies of French’s Acting Editions of any number of plays, BUT that would never be in any way satisfying. By a theatrical person, I do not mean that I was a stage door keeper, or a scenic artist or even a stage manager or writer of wondrous West End plays. No – I was a humble actress. ACTOR they say I must call myself, although I really am not a man.
I live alone in Surrey, England. Well almost alone, since there is a small tortoise-shell cat and a big black cat who also share my house and garden. This is Daisy-Mae caught in my bed the other day. I’ll pop one of Big Billy in if I can find one
further down as things look a bit crowded here.
My first recollection of my “talent” was being in a boxing ring, somewhere in South London at the age of three, and belting out a Gracie Fields song called “He Forgot to Come Back” for which I won a three wheeled bike, so lovely, bright red with a white back-rest and precious, that I remember it to this day, some seventy six years later. It must have been some local talent competition that I was entered for by my father or mother (may God forgive them)
I am not someone who has got a vast library of photos and memorabilia, after all we were bombed out of our home in London twice when I was a child, and I know we had nothing left and had to start again in 3 homes at that time. And many years later, my wonderful portfolio of photos from everything I had ever done theatrically, once found itself sandwiched between a pile of old magazines and it got thrown out with the rubbish, never to be properly replaced again. One or two photographs I was able to find and I will pop them into this page - like now - this one is from a television production around 1975. But many were lost forever.
I am at that point of life that I find myself pretty well alone. I have a son and he has a family of course, but the young have to take care of themselves, no mean feat these days, and older people must not expect them to be at their beck and call. So one has to devise a way to fill the days.
I do have a lovely garden which tends to keep me busy in the spring because I start all my plants off (well nearly all) in a greenhouse from about March 1st.
Meantime I am keeping busy. First thing, after Feri died, was that people said “oh do you play bridge?” No I don’t and what a drawback, because I am told that it is a most sociable game. I mulled this over and I tend to agree, it might be a good thing to do. I looked around on the web and came up with something you might be interested in too. Nothing in it for me but I did find it useful to learn the basics of Bridge completely free.
Well, so far, and apart from the lessons offered from this website, I have joined a class to learn from the very beginning. Twelve lessons - so the first three are done. Next one tomorrow and I really do hope I can get enthusiastic about things. Not too sure right now but I will persevere.
I cannot remember anything other than in a kaleidoscope as it were. As you get older things come and go and sometimes you remember things (like the words of songs) that you had never thought of for fifty years. I recently sang in to the ear of my dear Feri, as he lay dying, the song “Goodnight My Love” – now how could I have remembered that? You will know I am sure. They say the hearing is the last to go. I don’t know, but I like to think it is true.
This is Feri the last time we were in Venice. He was Hungarian and had lived in England since the early forties. We met only six years ago, but what a lovely and wonderful six years they were. Feri's wife, (short for Ferenc - Hungarian version of Francis) had died some two years earlier, and my soul-mate of thirty two years had died just about a year before. We hit it off immediately, he at 87 and me at 72. Hope for all then? What has age to do with it?
We went to Venice, to France and to Dorset and Cornwall. One of the most beautiful places that we visited (quite different from Venice, of course) was Budapest. We were guests of the Overseas department of the BBC and during the time we were there, our young producer, Gabi Gera, took us to where Feri had lived in his youth. I was in tears it was all so wonderful. The house was lived in by a lovely woman who gave us coffee and told feri what had happened to the house as he wandered in and out of rooms that recalled his Mother and Father and himself as a boy. The house, or part of it rather, was now a chemists distribution point and a showcase for new products. What a beautiful few days we had. It was only in the final year of Feri's life that things were not so good because his health deteriorated. But right up to the day before he went into a coma, he was writing an article for his Hungarian newspaper in USA. Thank God he was right on the ball and never suffered the way so many do at the end of life.
I will treasure my time with him till the day I die.
Another thing that interests me is the business of being an affiliate to various businesses on the web.
Now this is something really new to me and I have found things quite exciting in this area. For example, I am going to apply myself to learning how to build a website!. But at the same time I am keen to show others how to fill their time if they are in the same situation as I am. The next one appeals to small businesses or to individuals with no business other than to be an affiliate agent I suppose it could be called.
One thing that I do enjoy when I am asking anyone to lunch or dinner is cooking. A talent I really never knew I had until the past few years. Cooking was something that was always done better by someone else (and always being busy, I never argued!)
I have just performed a miracle (I hope) with my cooking.
I bought some meat, nicely packaged, from the supermarket and put it in the freezer. Took it out about a month later to see the ominous words "Suitable for Slow Cooking" What did this mean? Had I bought really cheap meat? It looked lovely. So I searched ALL my cook books and finally found one mention of 'lamb shanks'. I rose from my couch and decided if I wanted a decent lunch I'd better do something drastic. And get started immediately!
So out came the WOK (a wonderful thing is a wok) I put the 2 shanks in the wok with extra virgin oil, garlic, onion and carrots. I had defrosted tomatoes from my garden last year and red peppers and courgettes. These I put into a saucepan to make a good sauce with. Very slowly after a couple of hours I added stock, the tomatoes and things I had put in the saucepan, and red wine and left it to marinate overnight. I put it in the oven at mark 2 and there it stayed for 5 hours. The meat just slithered from the bone and the sauce you would kill for!!! This is a historic meal in my book! Now couldn't you dream up something tasty and turn it into a good read?
I refuse to let things get the better of me now that I am old and alone! (almost) I read a lot and find that, apart from my shop which has books from W.H Smith and many others, Amazon is just about the best company on the web for delivering what you need in a matter of hours rather than days.
Shop at Amazon.co.uk!
See you again soon,