I am back at work and hugely grateful to be able to be working.
Thank you to everyone for all your support and get well wishes, I entered Quarantine alone, in a frightened and bewildered state and felt immense supported with all the messages from around the world.
Having spent ten days alone I salute all of you who had to spend a year alone in lockdown. I don’t want to sit in front of the TV again for quite a while.
Every cloud has a sliver lining, I am about to be in the same room with my family for the first time in exactly two years….if only we had known in Dec 2019!
Please stay safe, contracting Covid seems too easy presently, it is so close to us all.
In the last two weeks, about 50 people have made contact, who have had it in the past month, or have it presently. I have not been in physical contact with any of them.
I am still running through my brain trying to find the moment I would have let my guard down and I keep coming back to the fact I use the London Underground.
Since May I have done many concerts, in relatively confined spaces and not even caught a cold. It’s baffling me.
Just before I developed Covid the POSH POP BAND were on a roll and I was completely storming PROUD CABARET.
The POSH POP shows are fabulous, the energy of the band is super supportive to me as a front person and I feel like we are a great team, so right for the new album. I love that when I look over at Manolo on guitar, he is beaming back at me. When ever I look over at Chloe on Keys she is right there, smiling and in harmony.
Chloe // Photo by and courtesy of Brian Marsh
Manolo // Photo by and courtesy of Brian Marsh
And at PROUD EMBANKMENT, I love the acts, the performers are a new generation, they fascinate me as people and as artists. The venue absolutely rocks, the audience go crazy and I know it’s a night to remember.
It goes without saying I have missed this so much in the last two weeks but now I AM BACK!
Two weeks ago I developed Covid, the symptoms appearing during sound check at The Robin 2 in Wolverhampton leading to immediate isolation for ten days.
I am now through that, the only hangover from the virus is “Covid Brain”. A member of my band had Covid two months ago and talked about Covid Brain and I didn’t believe it at the time but now as I make small mistakes in my everyday life I am astonished how my brain has been re-programmed by what was a mild case of the virus.
Misspelling, mis-judging, slight mis-coordination, all subtle but definitely there.
My energy levels remain ramped, not a great thing while recuperating but the company accounts are complete, the PRS listings for 120 shows have been done (the most boring, labour intensive box ticking act a musician has to do, listing every song played live, who wrote it, who publishes each song, the duration of each song per performance, its archaic and filled 7 days of quarantine)
But now I am back, with the full realisation I am only really happy when I am on stage.
I am not one for complaining but November has been a month of external stress, so much so I feel it has contributed to me becoming ill.
Photo by and courtesy of Brian Marsh
I’ve had two of large sums of money go missing from my company account during transactions in the actual bank.
I am currently funding a large project, the building of our offices and studio and to avoid fraud I do these large transactions in the actual bank with witnesses. Both times the money disappeared into the ether.
I am not relaxed about huge organisations making mistakes, especially via the internet . Both times led to polite, incredibly firm phone calls between myself and two seemingly complacent call centres that lead to me being told:
“Oh the money will turn up in 90 days, if it doesn’t call the Citizens Advice Bureau.”
My response: “The moment I put this phone down I will call the police and the fraud squad.”
The money reappeared three days later.
We need banks but they sit on our money earning interest and charging us fees.
I feel the stress of this lead to my body losing its natural defences, thus Covid took hold.
AND to add to all this the sale of my French home completed as I was experiencing the full effects of the virus, this is when my French speaking team discovered we couldn’t have access to my French bank account without a French telephone contact/number…… I’ve been with this bank for 15yrs! My listed address is in the UK.
As soon as I mention I was unwell they made an exception and were very sensitive to my situation but it took a whole lot of stress to get there.
I am a firm believer that perseverance topples all stone walling!
In December I was supposed to be in Barbados performing four shows on the P&O Brittania but I cannot get insurance protection for anything related to Covid.
There’s no repatriation insurance presently for Covid related incidence and I cannot risk myself nor my musicians not getting back, this might be over cautious but I’ve been through too much on my own lately.
P&O have been very understanding and we have re-scheduled for April.
Because of all of this it has become clear why so many bands have moved shows to 2022, it’s impossible to insure anything presently if Covid disrupts the event and I thank my band and my team for taking this into account.
King Crimson are risking bankruptcy if Covid effects their Japan tour, it’s a risk they have decided to take.
With the Toyah shows we are doing the same knowing we can re-schedule but never cancel.
My instinct is, pandemics take about three years to play out, we can get through this, we are two years through this, let’s keep the ball rolling.
There is huge positivity and great things happening.
I am in talks with a film company for SUNDAY LUNCH THE MOVIE……these things take time, a lot of development but the fact people are interested fires up a lust for life in challenging times.
PRS in Switzerland is using a photo of TOYAH AND ROBERT’S SING A LONG as their Christmas Card to all their members, which is delightful.
Every evening I FaceTime Fripp in Japan and I manage to catch him having his morning shower, they are 9 hours ahead of us, every time he goes running for a towel saying “don’t look at me, I am shy!”
We have been married for 35yrs and he is still shy! He will be home on the 9th Dec, I cant wait, this time apart has been especially hard.
I believe we are all protected by a benign power and sometimes “coincidence” just isn’t that. In our TV room we keep all the family photos, wedding photos and photos of long gone friends.
I was putting tinsel around the photos ready for Fripp’s return home. On the TV was the Christmas feelgood film Jingle Bell Bride keeping me company.
As I put tinsel around my mothers photo an actor said “and Barbara how do you feel about that”! That’s my mothers name and it made me smile.
I carried on putting tinsel around various photos and came to my actual wedding bouquet, yes I still have my 35yr old wedding bouquet, it’s very desiccated!
As I wrapped tinsel around its stand the same actor on TV said “ and the bouquet, how would you like it?”
At this point I looked at the TV in amazement and burst into tears. I’ve always believed these moments are points of reassurance from the cosmos that you are on the right path.
Christmas is here and I wish you all a wonderful time.
2022 is going to be the year 2020 should have been, we will get back to normal soon, I am sure.
I hope you can see PROUD CABARET, I am there until the end of this month, it’s a fab show.