Aug 6, 2020

I hope you are well and safe.

It’s still a weird time of not knowing if the glass is half full or half empty.

Strangely there are still so many potential positives, such as having the time to see who and what we are, do we like ourselves/what we have around us, the success of all our past labours/ habits we have ignored that seriously need addressing such as keeping busy to avoid being available to do something else you don’t want to do…… i.e: opening the post/ dreams left on the shelves which need to be fulfilled…. all to be rediscovered in this solitary whirlpool of “sameness” and I say this as a positive even though in the past four weeks every effort to get out there and work has stalled because of the looming potential of a second wave, its like continents drifting apart.

Self-reliance is being taken more seriously daily in our household. Our garden is producing a Harvest Festival of food for the table. Never have we had such a crop of peachy peaches, figs, apples, pears, courgettes, beans of all variety, Beetroot, butternut squash, tomatoes. It must be because the air is cleaner and we are around to develop our green fingers.

Everyday we count ourselves bloody lucky.

As soon as lock down started four months ago my husband morphed into a home front superman.

Its quite likely that for the first 35 yrs of our marriage he just let me get on with my work while he got on with his and never the twain shall meet work wise, but in lock down I believe he has actually seen who and what I am capable of for the first time, we are morphing together as a creative team………this is all thanks to enforced isolation.

All our friends are having garden parties yet we feel a little strange simply because everything social feels like Russian roulette. We just don’t know how to behave any more or what to do; we are so resolved with our own company.

Thus ……..Humour has become our antidote.

Robert and I are enthralled with making our home films. It has allowed us to present ourselves as we actually are at home! Nothing in this house is normal and never will be, we live within these conventional four walls but choose to bounce off them rather than pass them by.

It does us a world of good when the humour is shared and recognised by our viewers on Face Book and You Tube for what it is and concerning when it’s taken as disrespect in any way. Disrespect is something I would never intentionally dish out; age gives you a perspective of compassion and high regard for all life.
We see humour, or more directly, laughter, as a healing experience.
Both Robert and I are the Monty Python generation, then add The Sex Pistols to the mix of our youth, and the threat of nuclear war, which every one over the age of 50 remembers and there you have the ingredients for a generation who sticks two fingers up to the negative forces in the world.

One of the most beautiful things I have experienced in the last 8 weeks is the message’s I am asked to send to fans on CelebVM. Some people really need to be lifted up, others want to declare love to their nearest and dearests. It’s really such a beautiful window onto humanity, it’s become a high light of my days here in semi-lockdown and it’s giving me creative insights too.

Cherry Red has really picked up the Toyah banner and its full steam ahead with releases starting in a matter of months.Because I have created “safe social pods” with the people I work with in my home town, the brilliant Nigel Clark of the band Dodgy, who lives 8 doors down from me has agreed to come and play guitar for one of the “extras” on a DVD. Currently he is sitting at home with chord charts learning a few songs….. I am so grateful.

Last month has earned me the new name of Rat Bag, possibly because I am slightly tired of domesticity. I was supposed to be doing drive in concerts for the next four weeks, something that I was chomping at the bit to start but of course these needed to be cancelled for everyone’s safety.

Now hearing my close knit team address me as Rat Bag in texts, e-mails and on the phone has some how become endearing.

My training routine has given me an outlet for all the pent up performance energy and all those Rat Bag tendencies get diminished once my boxing gloves go on and I can hit big non-sentient objects.

I have actually dead Lifting 70 kilo…that’s 15 kilo more than I weigh!

I would never have guessed 5 months ago, when I had creaky knees, a bulging lower back disc and hip pain that 3 hours of weight training a week, core strength and Pilates could completely eliminate the pain of being in my 60’s….but it has.
The slightly down side is I am 2 kilo’s heavier…..but I am ripped, a muscled up Rat Bag Granny….( in name only).

Fripp is even training now and he is learning ti-chi and boxing…..he is a tiger.

Our domestic exile has allowed us to discover the American food critic Anthony Bourdain on Netflix, wow his travel shows are breathtakingly great.
If my history lessons at school where as observational and critically on point as these programmes I might have sat up and listened.

Simon Darlow, myself and Robert wrote and recorded a track for the successful album series Miniatures two weeks ago. FUTURE DREAMING is only allowed to be 60 seconds long for this project involving many many musicians and writers, who all contribute 60 second songs.

It proved challenging fitting a whole musical story into this time limit but it was heaven being in the studio with both Fripp and Darlow, it completely revved us up with dreams for the future.

I hope that all of you are able to enjoy August and stay safe.

This virus cannot last forever, we will all be back to normal eventually and what a party it will be.