Reclaiming my weekend

Mars Lord

21st November 2017

Today is Sunday and the Wife and I (my best birth buddy and one of my closest friends) took the decision a month or so ago, NOT to work on Sundays. So when I told her that I still had to keep up the November challenge and write every day, she said that I couldn’t write about work. Gah! Then what will I write about?

I poured myself a glass of red. No. Not Malbec. A lovely Tempranillo that was given to me by one of my Abuelitas (my course is Abuela Doulas, when it’s been completed, the doulas are known to me as Abuelitas). It was time to let the words flow and grab that germ of an idea that hit me a short while ago.

Earlier today I went to my local theatre to see a couple of pieces that have been written. It’s called a Script Accelerator – the pieces are written, brainstormed and developed there. The writers have to submit their scripts and some are chosen to be worked on. There were two pieces tonight. One was about a hate crime, the other about depression. As a Trustee of my local theatre, I feel it important that I get to see these things and support them. It’s always an interesting evening. After the performances, which are staged readings, there is a feedback question and answer session. These are valuable for the playwrights as they get to hear what an audience thinks about their work and can adjust different parts and or be pleased about what they’ve written.

I like being at my theatre. It’s a lovely space to work in. I can watch people, hear people and yet not be distracted in the way that I am at home. Dishes to wash, laundry to do, box sets to watch. Did I say that last one out loud? I think that working in a theatre allows my creative juices to flow. But I mustn’t go further along that train of thought, else the Wife will find out and I’ll be guilty of working on a Sunday. We’re planning (and by we I mean SHE) to extend it to not working on Saturdays as well, and then she said Fridays!!)

Whilst I’m thinking about the theatre, I thought I’d let you know how I became so interested in the theatre. It was my sixth form English teacher, Miss Cartwright. Oh this woman didn’t suffer fools gladly and she didn’t let us get away with anything. She could eviserate you in moment. No one wanted to be on the end of that. I remember a quote from a play, possibly ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett. It said ‘hope defers makes the heart sick’. She turned to me, she knew that I went to church, and asked me where it was in the Bible. I didn’t have a clue. Oh my but that was not the right answer. She asked how I could possibly call myself a Christian and not know my Scripture. For those that don’t know, it’s Proverbs 13:12. I rarely forget that now. Jan Cartwright would be proud.


“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” – Proverbs 13.12


None of that tells you how my love of the theatre grew. It was because Ms Cartwright, Jan as we were finally allowed to call her, would take us to the theatre and then back to her flat where we would have cheese, wine and crackers and discuss the plays. Oh my goodness but we felt so grown up. We were intelligent adults, discussing plays and drinking wine with an intelligent adult. I have always loved reading. Even now I have more than one book on the go. Of course I have about half a dozen birth books on the go, but I always have a couple of books of fiction on the go as well. My reading pile never shrinks, no matter how much I read. There is not enough life to read all the books that I desire to read. As a young woman that loved reading, going the the theatre was a natural progression. Being made to feel like an intelligent adult, by a woman I greatly respected, was life changing. I remember seeing Shakespeare’s ‘A Comedy of Errors’. The protagonists were completely blue. That’s right, COMPLETELY blue. Head to toe. It was fabulous. And then we saw a production of ‘Waiting for Godot’. My best friend practically snored through it. I loved it. Reading Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ was brilliant. Hearing that the ending was changed when it was first performed in Germany was outrageous. They refused to accept that a wife would leave her husband. The feminist in me began to rise. The thoughts and feelings that I had had for years were validated through that text. It remains one of my favourite plays.

I go to the theatre as much as I can. And I love it. For me it is the perfect self-care and I always factor that in to my plans. For my Golden birthday I asked for theatre vouchers. Some friends bought me theatre tickets to plays that I wanted to see, so that they could come with me. It continues to bring me joy and make my oxytocin levels rise.

Fast forward to now. I am on the Board of two theatres and have been approached to apply to be the Chair of a third. Not bad for a girl that thought drinking wine and eating crackers in a flat in Barnes was the height of grown up sophistication.



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