So I watched this last night, with daughter, at The Apollo in Shaftesbury Avenue and it was incredible.
I always enjoy a trip to England’s big smoke and more recently my visits have been book/writing related, and utterly, delightfully selfish. But last night was more about seeing my daughter who has now been in West Hampstead for almost two years.
She has her lonely moments, as all single London-dwellers do I’m sure. She returns to the farm most weekends, or to her BF’s which is equidistant from the city but in another direction. A 9-6 routine with all the usual issues can be quite a strain, especially if you don’t have a circle of friends on your doorstep.
Not because I want to interfere with her continued discovery of the adult world, but because she asks for my company on occasions, and I told her when she was a toddler that she could rely on me. For as long as I walk this planet, and for anything.
The thing about being young is you’ve yet to develop that hard exterior shell of ‘fuck you’ which makes it vaguely easier to deal with life’s knocks. (Is swearing strictly necessary? Well, in this context I think it is, yes. If you insist, although I’m not convinced).
We may have been in the minority in an audience full of, it has to be said, gorgeous gay couples. I’ve always had gay male friends because, quite frankly they were some of the funniest, genuine men I’d been fortunate to cross paths with. The fact they never required or expected anything from me other than respect was refreshing too.
In my early days, when I worked in local radio, I had two if not three, gay male friends to pass the time with while we booked guests into studios or discussed the lengths of CD tracks which would fit between the end of an interview and the news.
I’ve lost touch with them, and the farming community is not exactly awash with gay men. I know there are some out there, just like rugby and cricket is finally more tolerant of a handful of players who have been public about their sexuality, I hope farming can be the same in time. We need to change from the straw-chewing gate-leaning, leering chauvinism men of farming past!!!
Anyway, I digress….
Daughter enjoyed and totally got the messages in the play last night. It goes without saying the lead was a star and will go on to be so, but two parts particularly stood out and made my blood boil.
Jamie’s father was brilliantly portrayed as the stereotypical homophobic middle aged man who had washed his hands of his son. It was heart-breaking.
A classmate was also incredibly portrayed as the alpha male of the class, predictably good-looking, fit, swanky attitude but horrendous tongue to match as he bullied Jamie who wishes to wear a dress and high heels to the school prom.
While not all gay men wish to have an alter ego drag queen as a friend, those who do get my vote.
I know I was there more to listen to her woes as opposed to impart advice, as we jangled our way back up the Jubilee line to West Hampstead and she stirred hot chocolates while I sat propped up under her rather delux goose down duvet. She recently failed the second round of online application process for BA cabin crew so is nursing a bruised ego too. Having been a Head Girl at her school and a hard-worker with glowing references since she was fourteen and started waitressing, we both assumed she’d at least get though to the taster day. But hey ho, that’s life. She can try again in six months time.
I don’t know all the answers to life but I do know what it feels like to want to succeed at something and going through the motions of not knowing if I will.
I got to the end of pink pen edits last week and practically rewrote some of the novel in the process! I’m excited about getting back to the laptop next week to implement those changes during which what in essence will be a second read through. I wonder how the 77,000 word count will fare after this exercise!
Anyway. Going to rest my eyes for the remainder of this train journey. Have a great day and weekend everyone.
PS .. thank you Joseph Beech for your amazing comment at the bottom of my post about depression xx