Well the sun has shown itself at last and the calendar reminds me that this cold weather has got to be on its way out before long, and that I have been far too lax so far this year where my garden is concerned. Well, not so much the garden itself, but the greenhouse, where so much preliminary work must be done if it is to look its best later on in the year. So I started and actually put in about 3 hours good honest labour! But really I must stop because I am beginning to feel the twinges!!
Not so much heavy work - after all I am only repotting and sowing seeds, - but my goodness, bending down and trowelling out pots and trays of special soil from hefty bags and getting them into the propagators all newly sown and on to the shelves - not something one does every day. So a cup of tea and a sit down at the computer is my plan. Just a few new jottings. The picture by the way is what I hope my greenhouse will look like in a few weeks time, because now it is just full of pots and trays and propagators! Now on with the jottings.
Some few days ago I received a letter out of the blue from the British Film Institute.
Nowadays I usually only get letters concerning films when my company name has still not been removed from various film publications, and film scripts still roll in, quite unasked-for, even now. I slowed down my business ( a film and television production company) after many successful years, quite a time ago, but you must know what it is to get your details removed from any database!
No this was a letter which stated that they had found me via my agent during the time I was a performer, because a project was to be worked upon concerning a film I had appeared in way way back. I was one of the people they were trying to find for a new project to be started later in the year. Interesting, and I hope they find some other people involved at the time apart from the writer, who has since become a famous television chef!! No connection here then with the movie because that certainly was nothing to do with food as far as I recall.
Funny though, a long chat with my agent, about an hour it was, started to bring back a few memories of what was going on at that time – I had finished a contract doing a series of programmes for one of the original Independent Television companies (Ivor Emanual, lovely Welsh baritone singer and actor was the first male face to appear over the region and they say mine was the second!) I had been to
I try to keep up with my old profession, but whether I would like to be involved in what goes on today, I do not know. I speak to actors sometimes, who know so little of the business they profess to love. Ask any one of them about productions of certain plays or musicals of bygone days and back comes the reply "that was a bit before my time" Sure it was, but then so was Shakespeare and Disraeli, but we knew something about them! I just wish they could speak our language the way it should be spoken. I don't want an Ophelia who sounds like Patsy Palmer or a Gertrude sounding like Denise Van Outen, do you? Must be getting old. What me!! Even Lee Meade is beginning to sound like the artful dodger these days. Pity. It is lovely to meet up with many old friends - those who have not dropped off the branches - at the annual meeting of my favourite Charity The Actors Benevolent Fund. In their youth actors give little thought to the future, after all success is always just a phone call away and failure is what happens to others. If they make money they spend it with little thought to the future. When successful there is no more generous creature than an actor. But you are only as good as your last part and when the phone stops ringing.....!
Our Patron is HRH the Prince of Wales and last year (or was it the year before?) he gave a delightful reception at Clarence House to which I was invited along with many of the present membership. Prince Charles himself is a great communicator and can certainly hold his own in a crowd of performers I can tell you. An old friend of mine, Marilyn Thomas, who was seriously ill at the time, was permitted to be taken from the hospital in Chertsey and was thrilled when HRH spent a long time chatting to her. As if he'd known her for years. She was so happy and so were her friends. With her is Maureen Tracey her best friend of many years. Dear Marilyn died some few weeks later. Maybe he sensed this. He certainly made one member very happy. But everyone had a good time and somehow Charles himself seemed to move easily from group to group chatting away as though he were one of us. Our Chairman is Penelope Keith, so loved by the public and so hard working on behalf of the ABF. Maybe you'd like to know a bit more about the Actors Benevolent Fund? Even join? Take a look at their website http://www.actorsbenevolentfund.co.uk
I think for the moment this is enough of "luvvy" talk, don't you? Mind you I will keep coming back to it every now and then. So many anecdotes and so much to tell, but actors can be too self-indulgent if given half a chance. My plan for the next few days is to get myself straight in the greenhouse. Then I might feel inclined to let you in on what is going on in there