I am kind of glad that February is behind me.
There have been many great things this month, especially in the world of music.
One being Rihanna at the Super Bowl, which was sheer joy and spine tinglingly dangerous too! Fripp and I now refer to her performance as “the Rihanna effect”, an upbeat moment, the joy of her pregnancy alongside incredible imagery and songs like “Diamonds” finding new meaning as she was raised up to the sky will remain with us for a long, long time.
The return of the cold weather and the continuing dark nights creep right into my psyche. I can’t wait for the clocks to move forward at the end of March and the daylight to increase, I am far more productive in daylight.
During lockdown Robert and I would start our evenings with a Margarita cocktail, it dampened our fears and made the mandatory separation from the world more palatable, but this continued once lockdown was over so at the beginning of 2023 we decided this was something that had to stop.
Rather surprisingly we are now teetotal and half a stone lighter!
Fripp and I like to have an evening walk around our town and last week we were ambushed by the smell of Marijuana everywhere, a common occurrence in our quiet town.
I need to add Fripp and I don’t partake…… Fripp has never taken anything other than paracetamol, he was once spiked at a party and vowed never to experience that again.
Me…I am a wuss, I just don’t trust myself to have any control, thus I try not to partake in anything, CBD OIL is as far as I go and that has been hugely beneficial to my sleep.
Our town has a large ageing population of which Fripp and I add to.
Occasionally Marijuana farms are discovered in the attics of some of the quaint Georgian houses on the main street and we can watch the police ram raid particular addresses. It used to be a running joke that a trip to Tesco could result in you getting stoned by just breathing in.
On this particular evening walk we both observed a cyclist coming towards us on the pavement with a joint in his mouth, without a care in the world.
I pride myself on being from the revolutionary Punk movement, where anything goes, but even Punks didn’t cycle down the street smoking a spliff in those days, you’d be arrested on the spot.
I’ve worked in Seattle for many years and Marijuana is now legal there. You’re not supposed to puff away on the street but people do. There is no longer fear of recrimination.
As the world speeds ahead into the future leaving myself and hubby slightly further behind with each new day I wonder where all this will be in 50yrs time. It’s a dichotomy I think about often having seen the benefits to many but also the exploitation of the vulnerable in other cases.
My strongest feeling is children need to have a childhood where they form their thoughts/choices/decisions without pressure from areas that capitalise from them….now for the elderly I have a completely different attitude! I am a firm believer that after a certain age, when health declines and pain is inevitable there should be a supply of “happy pills” for everyone, medically induced joy available to those who choose. Whoever invents this will be super rich.
So much has happened in the past month that paves the way for the rest of the year.
For me it’s been a month of writing Tour scripts for the TOYAH SHOWS/ TOYAH AND ROBERT SUMMER FESTIVALS and Octobers SUNDAY LUNCH TOUR.
Fripp and I spend every morning on the top floor of our home, looking out over a Georgian square with a cup of tea in hand. We sort the world out and dream our future together.
This morning at 5.30am I woke with the complete vision of the Sunday Lunch Tour in my head, I could hardly write it down quickly enough. The show had already been fully conceived before Christmas, but I had one of those flashbulb moments that was so obviously right.
So, on the top floor of our home, 7am this Sunday morning I told Robert the new idea and it has given birth to the entire coordinated concept of all that goes with it. I’ve been in this business for 42 years and at the end of a creative process I always rely on one key ingredient when starting and finishing a new project… don’t over complicate, simplify.
And the SUNDAY LUNCH TOUR MARK 2 is perfect!
It is funny from the get-go; it is rocky from the get-go and the rollercoaster doesn’t stop. Robert has even agreed to the finale…..which I believe will be the most enduring image of the tour. I am now re-working the December tour script…lighting/ props/ merch and it all gels perfectly.
Last year I discovered the band RAMMSTIEN for the very first time when we covered Keine/Lust for Sunday Lunch.
Why do I discover great things so long after the event, Rammstien have been around since 1994!? They are the only German language rock band to sell out New York’s Madison Square Gardens. After seeing their documentary RAMMSTEIN IN AMERICA, I am totally in love with them. There are so many levels I identify with. The first is the language barrier, which made them feel isolated during their massive USA tours. For many years they didn’t speak English.
Quite often I struggle with language, it’s a common part of Dyslexia, when these frustrations arise the isolation if overwhelming and I often feel left out of things. Watching this long, brilliant film about their beginnings behind the Berlin Wall I felt self-recognition in their feelings of frustration and I like to think this feeling has led to who and what we are today. It’s been a driving force in my life to reach further, do better.
This band is “out there”, dangerous yet not threatening, controversial yet utterly lovable. Their visuals are the best I have ever seen AND I don’t find their sexual content offensive, because some how they are beautifully innocent, an open book, no shadows, no lies, no underbelly. Goodness I wish I discovered them in the 1990s, I think they would have had a truly radical effect on me creatively. I LOVE THEM.
We had a very weird “incident” at home this week.
I was in our bedroom when I saw the sparrow hawk snatch our favourite pigeon out of the olive tree next to the bedroom window and drag it down behind one of our giant flowerpots at the back door.
As I ran full speed down the stairs to save the pigeon, Robert was standing by the stairwell with no idea what was going on. He witnessed me shouting “that F—— Sparrow Hawk!”
Opening the kitchen door I dived behind the flowerpot and scared the sparrow hawk away.
The sparrow hawk knows me well. In the summer I chased it the full length of our 500ft garden after it tried to take a Dove out of the nest. The hawk flying zig zag only feet away from my face, knowing full well why I was chasing it. I have even surprised it at 5am, its favourite time to take the birds, as I creep out of the house in the early summer light, and I startle it before it can kill anything.
So, this week, as I confronted it, it flew at my head and up to the roof. THEN, the pigeon flew over my head, over Robert’s head, as he stood confused in the door way and into the kitchen and all hell broke out.
It landed bleeding very badly onto the frame of a very large P. J. Crook painting that was the cover artwork for one of Robert’s albums. The artwork rather ironically called THE RITES OF SPRING!
And I found myself trying to save not only the pigeon but the painting too. The pigeon stayed there in total shock, its blood all over the painting. At this point Robert was not at all happy. He’d stepped out from setting up his touring guitar rig with his guitar technician for a quick minute that now turned into an hour’s bird rescue. I was determined to get the pigeon out.
If you have ever had a largish bird in your house you know the damage it can do. It’s like a flying brick.
So, we slowly and painstakingly got dark sheets and blacked out the two windows knowing the first thing this bird would do is fly into a window. Then I slowly, and I mean REALLY SLOWLY, got a step ladder and climbed to the top of the painting and got the bird.
Carrying it out, I placed it behind another pot to keep it hidden from the hawk, when the pigeon took off, flew over Robert’s head again, back into the kitchen and landed on an art nouveau vase.
By this time I looked like I was in a horror movie, blood all over my face. In fact, the entire kitchen looed like a scene from SAW. Blood everywhere. Again, I ascended the step ladder, carefully picked the pigeon out of the vase and as I left the kitchen, shouted back to Robert “close the door”.
Placing the pigeon outside it flew up to the roof. On coming back into the room I saw the true extent of this adventure. Blood splattered walls, blood splatter album artwork, blood filled mugs and my face, covered.
Our kitchen looked like a crime screen and the pigeon….he will survive, the hawk got his thigh not his neck. Sparrow hawks are nature’s killing machines, but ours is taking everything on a daily basis and I like the idea of our garden being a sanctuary for all.
This March is the start of something new and big in our lives, the band are excited, Robert is excited, I am excited…..I love this time of year.