TOYAH’S BLOG: JAN 2017

Category: Toyah's Blog

Photo: Craig Astley

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!

The Fripp/cox’s had one of our best Christmases ever. I hope you did too.

Robert was home from a very successful tour and in a party mood. (as party as Fripp gets, he will never hang from a chandelier like some of us). I finished all work that required me to travel by the 15th December and the two of us set about catching up with all our friends we haven’t seen for months.

This was the first Christmas we both had without feeling loss and absence over parents being gone and loved ones not being with us any more.

I think 2016 was such a shocker for losing people it has made the two of us value every moment.  Seeing our friends had a new passion of cherishing them in the moment, they became super valued and we are grateful for having them in our lives.

A favourite moment of mine was making Simon Darlow two monster margaritas….. and I mean MONSTER….. Simon being the hardened musician he is took this in his stride but the evidence was there as Robert and I walked him and his wife to their lodgings and his knees were buckling.  Perhaps not a socially responsible thing to do to a friend but he was having a great time and he wasn’t alone……Robert was by his side as a drinking buddy, having abstained for 4 months on the road, making sure Darlow didn’t feel lonesome.

If you can’t indulge at Christmas life might get too hard.

I’ve made a few people cry this Christmas…in a nice way.

Last year I discovered a wonderful artist called BRIDGET STEEL-JESSOP. She was exhibiting at my local gallery and I immediately asked to buy her small but brilliant collection but it had sold within 4 minutes of the show opening.

Bridget has become a friend and a person I very much admire, she discovered her talent whilst working with teenagers who showed destructive and suicidal tendencies. She has an understanding and empathy that I love.

Bridget works in micro-stitching. It takes her about 3 months to complete a piece and I commissioned her to sew the ordinance survey map of WITCHAMPTON where Robert and I lived and got married. Not a small job by any means, as she has to select what has visual value and what needs to be left out.
It is a beautiful image. When Robert opened it on Boxing Day (we were too busy to open pressies on Christmas Day) he burst into tears.

As did my sister, who was staying with us with her hubby, when she opened a piece by Bridget of a map of the world charting her CLIPPER RACE in 2012. This one took Bridget 4 months to complete!

My sister’s husband Frank is to me a living saint. He is one of the world’s leading lights in child epilepsy and he works beyond his human capacity to look after his patients, never wanting anything in return and never expecting gifts.  He loves music and when he can he plays Spanish guitar. Last year he saw my small home studio set up in my office with keyboards/microphones and computers and he was enamoured by it.
So we bought him his first keyboard set up. He said to my sister that now he is 75, he needs to find time to write and compose….. it’s never too late!

All in all it was lovely Christmas….. Frippy gave me so many books I need more book shelves…. my collection on the history of film/fashion and jewellery is becoming quite comprehensive.

This year I hope to have my first suite of jewellery ready for sale. This will be necklace, earrings and bracelet.

I’ve been designing with LUKE GOLDSMITH for two years now but Luke being a small business with only two men at the workbenches has to prioritise his demand for wedding rings over the spring and summer months.

This leads to one of my intentions for 2017 and the future.

For the past two years I have been clearing my living space, you may have read about this before.

If I have an item I haven’t used for five years and it doesn’t inspire/ fit the person I have become physically and mentally/ install joy/ insight then I don’t need it and I should allow others to have access to these things.

It has taken two years to clear items I need to move on from……two years…..that’s how much “stuff” I had and non of it defined who and what I am today.

So the idea for 2017 onwards is to live a “creative life”. Remaining a working singer /writer /actress /musician,  I aim to design “pop up” pieces that are not constrained in their creation by any corporate pressure. A painting. A piece of jewellery, an outfit.

Being dyslexic I am moved more by image than anything else. I wake every morning with ideas popping up in my head that I forget to act on…..I am going to try and act on them.  Some people have a natural talent with technique (my husband is one) to execute these random but wonderful thoughts….I don’t,……I have brilliant instinct and will…….. technical skills are something I constantly have to re-learn because of the nature of my brain….. this is my task for 2017.

To bring these ideas into fruition as I feel they are part of who I am trying to find.

Just simple pieces that allow creative thoughts to flow and bring something into the world…simple as that.

This exercise has completely changed my living pattern. Suddenly I have no time to watch TV, or to read magazines…….. life has become busier because somehow I have revealed the holes in my life I need to fill with a substance I had no idea was missing because of constant outside distractions.

These holes need filling with ‘physical-izing’ my thoughts.

Developing an independent/individual/mindful/problem solving mind; with constant learning; relationship building, pushing my own boundaries and frustrations slowly forward to bring something into the world. Oh and to have confidence in what pops up in my head too.

A good example of this development in my adult life is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

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 THE WALK OF STARS in Birmingham on December 11th was a wonderful event.
Jasper Carrot and WestSide BID pulled out all the stops to make the day as special as possible.
I was nervous. I always am to some extent. It helped to have band members Colin Hinds, Tim Rose and Mike Nicholls there with me.

As I walked on stage I could see Frippy on the front row along with my brother Kim and a fabulous contingent of lifelong friends as well as a lot of fans. It was like appearing on THIS IS YOUR LIFE, as virtually all my life was represented in the audience.

We performed Greg Lake’s I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS. I don’t think I have ever performed this live and as Robert’s original King Crimson band member had just passed away it felt appropriate to perform the song.

It wasn’t easy, I had to dig my nails into the palm of my hand to control the tears but I think it sounded fantastic……people haven’t stopped talking about it.

POP QUIZ was a SCREAM!
Imagine putting 6 old friends, who have all had extraordinary careers, into a studio together……we gossiped and gossiped and gossiped.

I can just about remember doing the original Pop Quiz. We pop stars were and are competitive! Re-making it in December was no different. The silent concentration before the question, the rushing gushing speeding of the heart if you knew the answer….even if you don’t know the answer, your hand was rushing to get to the buzzer asap……something bursts from you that you didn’t know you had and that was an incredible will to win against your friends, come what may.

I really hope it returns as a full series. The simple innocence of it, in light of today’s style of TV with its true connection to musical facts is sorely needed in the world of entertainment. And it features people who have had long careers….what’s bad about that!

Presently I am painting A FIVE FOOT HARE for the Cirencester Hare Festival.
I am loving it!

I love my hare so much I want to keep him, but he will eventually be sold to raise money for the area, after being exhibited over the summer. More on this when he is finished.

I WISH YOU A FANTASTIC 2017.
Change is still in the air as we face Brexit and much much more.
Let it all be for the better.

BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE HEARD
LOTS OF LOVE
TOYAH
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