Hardy and Forrest hit the town!

I wonder at times, if I am properly crazy and no one has the heart to tell me. Actually, I think Sarah would tell me. Lots of people WANT to be thought of as crazy, but I certainly don’t try. I am just considering this, while working on snippets for Beatlemania. I am weaving a little story through the show, using Beatles songs, but changing the lyrics to fit our story. I think my craziest show yet, was Forrest Gump (or, Riffarama?). It was also one of my favourites. I think we should revisit it in the future – YES, Tenterden may yet see the RETURN of Forrest on the number 12 bus! I am quite fearless when it comes to musical fiascos and want to write an entirely original show in the next year. I remember how the choir laughed as I introduced the Forrest Gump songs to them. Queen’s ‘Flash!’ became “Run! Ah, ah… run Forrest, run away!” Haha. I’ve added it to todays blog.

I have an exciting new cooking pot which looks like a cauldron. It is HUGE and allows me to cook HUGE amounts at once, instead of using several smaller saucepans. You see, my kitchen (the Rogersmead Restaurant) is a hive of activity, feeding our satellite families, who are very busy trying to bring up the Amigos. Today, I have cooked three huge lasagnes, three apple crumbles, two chickens and some veggie bolognese for Amigo II, as it’s his favourite. Cooking should NEVER be rushed (unlike the prep, which I can do quickly), so things bubble away for hours, while I am in my studio cupboard working away.

Today, we were stood in Waitrose buying chickens and Sunday papers, behind Tom Hardy and his gorgeous family. More people said hello to me than they did to him, so well done Tenterden for leaving them well alone to enjoy their Sunday in our lovely town. I hear the family have moved to the area, which is great news, as he will surely want to take part in our future shows or at the very least his wife, Charlotte Riley, will want to become a Rockit. Joking aside, I’m never quite sure how to react to celebs. Usually, I chat to people in the queue in Waitrose with me, but I felt I had to totally ignore them. I would normally have insisted fellow queue members are aware of Think Pink month, join in with my humming and are up to date with things my Amigo’s have done recently. Maybe next time…

Run theme. Forrest Gump the musical. © Arr. Max Wilson

Here, there and everywhere

What a glorious sunny day it is today and I am sat in my studio cupboard with the blinds down to keep cool. I really am making EXCELLENT progress with Beatlemania though. The central character, a Beatlemania fan, will briefly guide us through the Beatles history while swooning over Paul M. Did anyone have a crush on Ringo I wonder? Poor Ringo. I have put together a few little snippets for Monika, our Beatlemaniac to sing too… altered a few words and made them full of teenage yearning. Today’s snippet is, ‘Here, there and everywhere.’ I like this one – hope you do too. Today’s photo is not in the least relevant, but I very much like the idea of candy canes hanging on champagne flutes at this years Christmas cabarets.

This morning while in bed, I tried to watch CATS (the musical) as I am researching for cabaret. Well, this was my excuse for not getting up. Its tough work, but I was attempting (and failed) to find a second good song in it, but I wasn’t feline it (haha). Most of the show is just plain annoying and it’s very dated – a good musical should seem timeless. CATS is based on poetry by T.S. Eliot…about cats. The show has no story, it’s just…about cats. The cast have to wear Lycra catsuits so you can at least marvel at their firm buttocks and lack of spare tyres. Elaine Paige got to wear a furry overcoat from Oxfam, to hide any spare pounds. If this musical was staged in a village hall without the costumes and lavish sets, it would be incredibly dull and the audience would gradually disappear before the interval. It’s more like the Royal Variety Performance – a bit of jazz dance, a row of tap dancers, a slither of comedy, loads of catty ballet, quite a bit of gloom, lots of spectacle, forgettable songs… For me, CATS is a childish and boring cash cow. However, an 8 year old, would-be Darcey Bussell would surely disagree with me.

Don’t do it! HRT. Sounds a fab idea when your hair starts falling out, your hormones are here, there and everywhere (see what I did?) and your mood swings are as uncontrollable as your sweaty spells and bladder. It’s all too easy to run to the doctors and get a tablet to fix everything. That’s exactly what I did and 6 months later, I had very aggressive cancer. Had I known then what I do now, I wouldn’t have tampered with my bodys natural chemistry. OK, HRT may not have been the cause, but who knows? New studies show that it may cause as many as 20/100 cases of breast cancer and not 2/100 as claimed. If you’re gonna take HRT, READ up about it first and if you want it purely to keep your hair and skin nice – FORGET it!! Grow old gracefully. I’ve been the guinea pig and done the research on your behalf. Anyway, older women are no longer invisible…let’s be proud of the women we are. Big love xxx

Here, there and everywhere. © Arr. Max Wilson.

Bon Anniversaire Amigo I!

I’ve been to Disney loads of times, it’s a kind of rite of passage for our kids – birth, Disney, marriage, kids and death. There is an awful lot wrong with Disney, but push aside the horrendous queues, half the rides having “technical” problems, the extortionate prices (76€ for 5 hotdogs, some chicken nuggets and a couple of drinks) and just be so glad to be alive, watch the little ones flying around in Dumbo and jiggling around as the Disney parade passes in front of them. Yesterday, I had a whirlwind day at EuroDisney to celebrate Little Max’s (Amigo I) second birthday (which is today). It was also a kind of celebration of life – sounds naff, but I have so much I want to share with my little ones and thank God, I am still here to do it. Butsy said today, “in the end, family is all that truly matters,” and she is dead right. Our friends are our family too of course! Amigo’s II and III will both be turning two next year, so I had best start saving!!

Today I am back to work mode…I am slotting together cabaret shows. There will be THREE shows this year, which is one extra, but I am adding a good, old-fashioned, family-friendly, magical Christmas sing-song with The Rockits. Something to get us in the mood a few weeks before the big day itself. Today, with everyone streaming music, it’s possible to know EXACTLY who is listening to what and we are told that 18-34 year olds stream the majority of Christmas songs! This may be because older folk are rubbish at streaming stuff and prefer to get their vinyl out, or, haven’t worked out how to ask Alexa for things yet – but actually, it’s probably because Butsy downloads Christmas music all year. The 70’s was the decade for Christmas songs! Slade, Mud, Wizard… 

I am often temporarily tempted to open a scone shop. I would call it “Get Sconed!” and sell savoury, sweet, herbal, healthy, even filled scones. I wouldn’t get many customers, but that wouldn’t stop me. Last Monday, Jane of The George, gave me a brilliant book, entirely about scones. Oh my God, I am on week two of the Giddy Up diet and dribbled over the pages. Today’s VERY ROUGH cabaret song is ‘Something’ from West Side Story. It will be sung by a handful of (victims) our lovely ladies only and this is to help them learn it at home.

Somewhere. VERY ROUGH VOCAL GUIDE. © Arr. Max Wilson

Lock down mode…

I am in lockdown. This is because, A) I must, must, MUST, finish off the Beatlemania script (yes, there is a spoken bit too), B) I have suspected malaria, C) my psychotic ex-boyfriend is stalking me, D) I am ensuring I don’t venture out for food. Actually, only two of these things are true (I hope). I am rather baffled as to how to punctuate this paragraph – generally, punctuation confuses me. I should have paid more attention at school and stopped hiding out in Twidalls Café. Oh my God – I just realised that even at the age of thirteen, I was lured away from school by the smell of freshly baked scones. WHY did I just mention scones? I am starving and only on day six of my diet! Back to being in lockdown mode. I must stop procrastinating as I have a cauldron of song snippets on the go and I have to make a roast dinner for the masses AND I want to watch Peaky Blinders later. The only other thing I watch on a weekly basis is ‘Strictly.’ I have no idea why I love it, but I do. Generally, I’m an ‘on demand’ kind of girl and watch tv late into the night. I was temporarily upset that Darcey B. has left, BUT then one of the dancers got injured and had to pull out. Surely, my time has come! I will no longer be on the reserves list! I will expect their call today and pack a little case with my essential dancers kit in. All the dancing will help my diet – I hope they give me cellulite-busting tights, as my thighs look as bumpy as a plate of couscous! I will not only win Strictly, but also Giddy Up!

Head Office has been contacted by the organisers of The Beatles weekend at the White Rock Theatre, to ask if The Rockits would perform their Beatles show in 2020. We must be getting famous! They have a goal to raise £30,000 for the Sara Lee Cancer Trust (www.saraleetrust.org). Hhhmm…I like the sound of this one. I feel 2020 is going to be a good year. Tentertainment returns, along with The Rockits Rockin’ Tea Tent (two days of cakes, Pimms and music inside a huge marquee) and we already have others ideas in the pipeline. Then, I also have my reconstructive surgery to look forward to! On top of this, I also have my Nanny Daycare duties – without my guidance, my grandchildren may grow up feral and live on Wotsits (just like me).

If I do ever get some free time in the years to come, I would like to learn the cello. We do have a lovely cello as Busty played it while at Sutton Valence School. She was never brilliant at it, but it was a condition of her music scholarship that she study a second instrument (piano being her first). There are few things I find funnier than a badly played string instrument. Oh dear – I used to go to all the school orchestra performances and I would honestly be laughing from start to finish. The more I tried not to laugh, the worse it became and then, there would always be a VERY bad violin solo. I felt so sorry for the proud parents as I howled hysterically throughout. I REALLY tried not to laugh, I would bite my cheek so hard that it would bleed; I used to try and pretend I was looking for something hidden deep in my handbag, or I would study the programme as though I was partially-sighted.

Say Something. Butsy was singing with me the day I put this together. I wanted something very angelic and choral. It’s got some nice harmonies…

Say Something. © Arr. Max Wilson.

Sliced and diced

I was thinking that in today’s alienating world, community groups of all kinds are a must. More and more, we interact online via social networking sites – sad that we rarely have a REAL chat with our neighbours. Singing groups are an especially good way to bond people quickly – singing is the glue that sticks us together. For far too long, choirs were for the ‘gifted’ few, yet if we look back 50+ years, we sang more within our communities. Everyone CAN sing, ok, some not as tunefully as others, but thank God choirs have become the norm for everyone, however perfectly imperfect, tunefully tuneless – the few flat ones and sharp ones seem to cancel each other out and you end up with a heavenly sound (!!).

Last night, Sarah and I went to see a musical at The Sinden, called “Sliced.” It was an original production, put together by half a dozen whippersnappers, in aid of the Pilgrim’s Hospice. It was a comedy about a hairdressers; this disappointed us slightly, as we had hoped it was about cake. However, our disappointment was short-lived because it was a rather sweet little show, with some sweet little songs and the cast did a very good job too. Even better, it was lucky (?) we were in the front row, as there was a scene involving the salons very camp hairdresser wearing a REAL Borat-style, luminous mankini, and a little bit of his willy was poking out of the top! Only about four people read this blog, so I feel it is safe to mention this here.

After Tuesdays singing, it was Zumba time – it was rather taxing too. I think it’s all the gyrating. I wasn’t designed to gyrate – I was designed to do things in straight lines. I also have drugs that keep my bones super tough…and super stiff. I looked like Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques as I tried to be bendy and swirly. I am better at being itchy and scratchy. Anyway, everyone very much enjoyed the session and what BRILLIANT exercise, especially for the Giddy Uppers…

I have returned to my Giddy Up regular daily diet of nothing more than a banana in the morning, four Ryvitas with fat free cottage cheese and a small bowl of mixed salad for lunch. Dinner is usually a Waitrose healthy balanced, diet meal, or (if I have time) a home cooked meal of around 500 calories. My top tip for dieting is to buy the best quality fruit and veg you can. It’s SO much tastier!!! A cheap, watery tomato vs a sweet, finest one… NO comparison! It’s like Paul Potts vs Bocelli. I have already lost 2/3 lbs.

I have no idea why I am trusted to cut other peoples hair. I have never been trained, but have been doing it since I was old enough to hold scissors. I started with dolls and then worked up to Mr Wren (see Chapters 1 & 2) when I was about 8 and he was about 80. It was quite challenging for such a young barber, as he had hair sprouting from everywhere (except the top of his head). Later, I cut all my school-friends hair and then my kids hair and now, my friends hair. I cut CP’s hair yesterday. I was very naughty once and let a tiny patch of his hair at the very back, grow for about 18 months, without him knowing! It became this little, thin very unfashionable ponytail, which he only discovered when a work colleague commented on it. I find it very funny when I cut hair and laugh hysterically during the process. This must be quite alarming for my victims.

Today’s song is a tongue-in-cheek version of Cell Block Tango (from Chicago), for a few of our Rubies to perform at this years fun-filled Christmas Cabaret.

Cell Block Rubies. Oh dear…