Toyah’s Blog: Feb 2024

Feb 5, 2024

I hope you are all well and thriving


Plans are still being made here in Fripp/Cox world, I am not quite sure how we are going to be celebrating. But a huge fuss will be made of Frippy.

I have been grappling with some odd feelings this past month and I can only put it down to my age and the fact that I am always quite polarised within myself. There are two conflicting people within me. The comfort seeking me and the explorer.

I need stability, control and spontaneity.

There’s a surge of rebellion building up internally and I suspect it’s because of the predictive assumptions heaped on my age group.

Last week a letter arrived from THE DEPARTMENT OF WORKS AND PENSIONS asking  if I would like to take my state pension. The letter itself was received with gratitude, it is remarkable any country can afford to do this for it’s “older citizens”. This isn’t the source of my simmering rebellion, it’s more likely because I am part of a whole generation of Punk pioneers who are now receiving this letter and I am feeling a surge of resistance against time.

Add to this that my lovely, wonderful hubby is happily slipping into a more internal world ( and bloody hell he has worked hard to be where he comfortably is) I can feel my internal roar getting out of control.

This week I am a keynote speaker at an after dinner event which is taking place exactly where my “Walk Of Fame” star is, Five Ways Birmingham. The event also happens to be 200 yards from where I spent 14yrs at school and hind site is painfully highlighting all the opportunities I had in this city and rebelled against. Or put it another way, I was too damned lazy to learn.

Education is the greatest gift we can have……and I am going to tell everyone human being under the age of 5 to grasp at every opportunity it presents to them because the alternative is to listen to your own roar of frustration sixty one years later.

For two weeks I have been honing my speech, slightly terrified that I might be expected to be comic relief because I find telling jokes excruciatingly hard, so I have turned up the volume on how my mistakes with 1980’s fashion 44yrs ago turned into my successes. Two weeks into rehearsing this speech, feeling confident with it and happy with the origins of the story firmly belonging to me, I sat back and thought of googling some female comedians to see how “light of touch” their delivery is on stage. Finding a brilliant “60 minutes with Dawn French”, recently made for Australian TV I started to watch……….and literally she is talking about the exact experiences I have spent two weeks writing about.

THE GLORIOUS MISTAKES MADE IN MY WORKING LIFE and then……she tells the story of her letter arriving from The Dept Of Work and State Pensions.

Does age rob us of our unique experiences as we slide into a predictable category?

To get away from this predictability I have been toying with the idea of starting a vineyard, a small holding, anything that connects me to Earth’s lifeforce and away from the regularity of meals and bedtime.

Should I go to university? I am interested in being a Soul Midwife. I am also hugely in love with Colour Field art, sculpture and pottery.

My peers from the Valhalla of 70s rock seemed to use their time recreationally driving cars into swimming pools and sleeping through the days. My bank account is neither full enough for such economic waste and I am by nature in a permanent state of artistic frustration.

Maybe the answer would be to go into a soap……where the constant ebb and flow of the story line keeps you on your toes.

For all my unsettled feelings there is no reasoning why they are there because this year is developing into a wonderful year, with some prestigious festivals and events to look forward to.

  • We have the venues booked for T&R’s CHRISTMAS PARTY TOUR, these will be announced this month and it will be a fantastic way to welcome Christmas and 2025 in.
  • Last December I did a huge audition for a Global company which i should hear about this month.
  • I’ve been offered an amazing role in an amazing film and it’s a big budget project shooting over the summer.

There is a lot going on and I am not ready to slow down but i seriously need to sort my life away from the camera out, it’s reverting to feeling like being back at school.

More often these days I can be heard exclaiming “can we be spontaneous? My mood is nothing new, it’s part of my physiology. In the late 80s I did a lot of theatre to escape the expected and above all escape myself.

Robert and I took a train this week. This is a rarity. The last train I took was the Eurostar in 2018 to play the W festival in Belgium. This week our train was actually running when an awful lot were not. We are trying to use the car less and trust the alternative forms of travel available to us.

We loved it! Normally I drive Robert and this was bliss, I could work for the three hours we gained on the train.

Arriving in London Paddington we caught the Elizabeth Line and it was bloody fabulous. Space age. We were with Robert’s manager David, who was a little concerned about how we’d deal with me being recognised and a lot of heads did turn but everyone was cool and smiled at us both. We arrived at our friend Richard Hudson’s art exhibition in Claridge’s all energised and excited.

At the exhibition I filmed Fripp and Richard Hudson junior for our UpBeat Moments, being careful not to film Jeremy Clarkson or any other famous people there because it would just feel wrong and as I turned, panning the room with my phone, for an instance there is a gorgeous man, his face beaming in a smile and when i played the clip back to Richard he said “oh Tom Odell was behind you.”

It’s funny, not knowing Tom personally, I immediately noticed his inner light, in a split second of a turn. He glowed. And it’s that glow that reminds me why I do what I do. There is something about the flow of creativity that creates light. Perhaps my inner rebellion surfacing is because I need to be free of prediction. AND I need to like myself again.

Writing and creating is as much about healing as it is about bringing ideas into the world and it’s not that far off. Surely EVERYONE is experiencing bureaucratic drain. Robert’s management team are snowed under with it. In 2023 I was snowed under with it setting up T&R and it’s left a bit of dread in me. This year there will be less of it because we are now set up but I do think part of my present state is nostalgia for those heady days when spontaneity was available to all of us all of the time.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how 2024 pans out and what new developments appear from it.

Times are a changing.