27 February 2005

Liverpool Left

My mother has upsticked to Cumbria, and there endeth my Liverpool home. Sure, my sister Jane and nephew Dylan are still in the 'Pool. But the passing of a parental presence there is sobering. Since Dad died in August 2003, I've been willing Mum to leave that house in Warrington Road. Now that she has, I'm glad, and am also feeling bereaved all over again.
No more home. No more showing up with a bagful of books and drinking tea in front of Corrie, sitting in silence with Dad after Mum's gone up, watching him doze off, then stir and say, "right, that's me lot... G'night, Stephen."
"G'night, Dad."

25 February 2005

Carnage at the Chocolate Factory

Skidded down to the Borough to see The Small Things, a wrenching little nasty by Enda Walsh, with R. Beautifully acted, the maturity of the two actors, Bernard Gallagher and Valerie Lilley, lending weight to what might, in unsteadier hands, have been merely an exercise in dystopian horror. The writing is never less than brilliant, though its brilliance would sometimes dazzle and make you turn away from the story the characters wanted to tell. Here's Lyn Gardner's review.

Our first time at The Chocolate Factory, and we were underwhelmed. To reach the theatre you traipse yourself through the busybusy restaurant, if that is you get past the wired waitress greeting you as a diner, who switches to indifferent hauteur the millisecond it's clear you've come to see, not eat. Then when you crave a good cuppa to reheat the marrow, the (very charming) bar-lady tells you you have to go get hot drinks from the restaurant...
The space is good though, and we will be back there to see Philip Ridley's Mercury Fur in the next couple of weeks.

R bumped into her agent, Micheline Steinberg, who is clearly very smart and very pleased with R right now, as well she should be, with an excellent production of The Lemon Princess running in Leeds.
Tomorrow, more Joyce reading - I'm halfway through Richard Ellmann's engrossing biography,
trying not to think about the possibility that Radio 4 might not, after all, give me the job of adapting A Portrait. R thinks I should write it for the stage anyway...

24 February 2005

Late Night Early Morning

Took Spike to playgroup - my first off-drop. 22-minute walk. Through sleet.
Walked along with IK a short while, heading out of the park and down Church Street with Oscar in pushchair and dog in tow. He's doing a spot on Richard and Judy talking about history of food, and was amusingly self-deflatory about it, before pushing off to the Spence to buy bread.
It's all a little strange, this.
Like talking to yourself in a blacked-out hangar, wondering if one person, or thirty, or none, is listening.
The radio play I had on a couple of weeks ago was heard by something around two million people, mostly in Britain of course, but a small percentage online, abroad. And a small percentage of two million is not negligible.
It's the open-endedness of the activity that attracts, I realise. That it's liable to mutate.
I had thought I wanted to make a record of brain activity - the conscious stuff, anyway - writing projects, opinions on books, plays etc. And I will. But I'm aware of this place as a new destination, a place to play. I wonder what it's going to be like.
For now - back to bed with paper and coffee. B is out at the gym I think so all's quiet...

Good Lord

It really is this easy.
I ummed over the title - Playful London* - for so long, it's really rather late.
So I'll have to retract my toe from the admittedly inviting water and go to sleep.
But not before recording thanks to Paul Miller who quite unwittingly led me to this. His blog "My London Life" is entertaining and honestly direct and engaging, as he is in person, the few times I've met him. His latest post is from onboard an airliner somewhere over Russia, en route from Tokyo. Safe landing, Paul.
When the mist clears tomorrow I'll set down what it is I want from this diary,
*terrible. "Writer's Blog" not much better.