Yes, I do have a life but Jim’s doing his last show night. I am all alone with the dog, who’s just had his freshly cooked brown rice and a third of a big tin of dog food. I don’t know what they put in that stuff but sometimes, if I’m in the right mood, … Read more


Well, it’s 1.01, or too-late-for-my-own-good.

The old man has just arrived home from Hornchuch where he’s been giving his Trinculo in the Tempest. I watched some TV after driving for two and a half hours from the centre of London, where I did a voiceover for an advert that I WANT. Sorry, I don’t mean to shout but we jobbing actresses have to take whatever we can get.

I didn’t know that Jane Asher, she of no middle name, started acting when she was five. She is of indeterminate age, a step grandmother, with a sylph-like body and a fab sense of humour. She made cakes on the show and all the time I wanted to ask her what she thought about Heather Mills, or as she was so aptly described in the paper recently as ‘that one legged charity campaigner’, but Ms Asher has class and discretion and she would never reveal what she really felt about anybody, and certainly not an act like Mrs Mills.

Longevity in the business does equate with how many people you have miffed. June Whitfield is renowned for being a lovely woman. My mentor Betty Marsden, of the same generation as Miss Whitfield, and the female voice in ‘Round the Horne’, pee’d off everybody she met. If she didn’t like them, she told the truth. She taught me to do that in both my acting and writing.

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Friday morning

The alarm goes off at 7.00. I either meditate for 20 minutes or sleep for 45 or jump out of bed and ablute. This morning I slept. I am knackered from taking out my daughter, nephew and great nephew for supper. I did the minimal washing. You know, all the important bits. Then I walked … Read more

Jammie Dodgers

One of the best things about getting older is that you really do know what you are doing.

In today’s ‘wrinkle free, let’s pretend we haven’t lived for years in case we look a day older than 28’ culture we actually deny all experience. We’re turning into denuded rats without a grain of pain on our smooth uplifted faces.

I admit that I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t have many lines although I do have the down turned mouth which afflicts so many of us old peasant women. It makes me look sullen and miserable even if I am hysterical on the inside.

If I catch myself in the window of ‘Top Shop’, I grin – yes, inanely – or if I feel the scowl, I try and smile, even if it is only passing bus drivers who notice. Indeed, I do get that inner glow when the sewage truck comes to empty the cess-pit in the garden. I know the geezer with the pipe (his son used to learn cello with my daughter) so we always have a chat as he empties last month’s waste. He says I don’t look a day older. The reason I mention this is because today’s programme bore testimony to the good old, and I mean that – the GOOD OLD.

We had Jimmy Hill (Oh, behave!) on the show (he of the footballing pedigree) with his delightful wife Bryony. She talked about her gardening book, her painting, jam making, her breasts and her husband’s long career. It was quite a chinwag, which is exactly what she was. Probably one of the first ever WAGS there was, if ever the WAGS there is. But the point is that we all chatted so easily because we are old.

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Hangover cushions

Thank you for the kind comments. So many and too many to answer individually, but be rest assured they are noted and gratefully received.

We had a little hangover cushion on today’s show. Stuffed with herbs in brown silk, it smelt intoxicating, and was hand-crafted in Nepal. You can buy them from Wild Earth. They’re sweet and buying them gives decent people some pennies.

I brought four back to the flat: one for hangovers, which is great for today; a yellow one for dreams; a pink one for energy; and a deep crimson one for passon. I think I may leave the passionate red one in the airing cupboard just in case. All the herb combinations are different but they all assault the nostrils magnificently.

Uncle Leo, the floor manager, is in Dubai doing some kind of horse racing (floor managing it, not entering the fray) but he says he will be back for the last week, we have 7 shows to go. I am managing to get through them. I’m not sure how, although pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy, helps.

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Acupuncture and pink champagne

I guess this post ought to be in my acupuncture category but you really need to know the ridiculous lengths I’m going through to survive the last few days of GFL. I had needles put in the tips of my index fingers – yes, of course it hurt! And in the tips of my toes … Read more

Not good enough

This is just not good enough. I am weeping all over the place. You can’t be saying all those things and expect me to keep a dry eye. But the sun is on the river, the sky is blue and the geese are squawking and life goes on, all be it that I can’t imagine … Read more

Thank you

Thank you so much for your support. I can’t answer each and every one of you – there are so many to read, but just to let you know that yes, I will keep up this site. And yes, I have received Crawford’s blog. Joan Crawford and me indeed, and the thousands of you who … Read more

Points of interest

Cor, blimey! Thank you for your lovely comments. I am overwhelmed. Really I should be out running or, at least, power walking, but it ain’t ‘alf cold out there. Today’s show was… It’s 14.59. I’ve been off air precisely one hour and I can’t pigginwell remember who was on. Hold on, I ‘ll just go … Read more

The First day of Spring (doing!)

Ain’t it always the way? The more successful a person is, the easier they are to talk to, be with, listen to and appreciate. And so it was with Anton Mossiman. For the last five years we have always had our Christmas lunches in his restaurant. His bread and butter pudding is legendary – I always have at least five portions. I snap them up while the suits are discussing budgets.

I have found out from my notes that his place is a club – an eating club. If you have £500 and come with a recommendation, you can eat there and be wined and dined in style.

And Mr. Mossiman certainly has that. He has style and discipline:

  • He runs every morning for thirty minutes.
  • He has a bow tie for every day of the year.

Today he wore a shiny multicoloured affair that matched his shiny mono-coloured head. He has just celebrated his 60th birthday – 300 guests including heads of state ate with (and for) him. When I’m 60, which will be in 18 months time, I’ll be lucky to have 30 people visit me, of which not one will be a head of state.

Mr. Mossiman is very, very, clean with a relaxed manner, though don’t be fooled – he’s in there at the coal face and ready for anything. He leads my example. Pristine, Swiss, gentle and firm.

He cured a salmon – no it wasn’t ill – by marinading it over night in a simple combination of luscious lemons and botanicals. Then he sprinkled crabmeat, green herbs, and a few more essential elements on it before Lesley Waters, Wayne Collins and I attacked it. It was lovely.

Any food left over goes to the crew. The joke is that they all have forks in their back pockets. The food is always second to none on the show and if I haven’t scoffed it, they do. Smoked salmon is Sooooooooooooooo me that there were only a few slivers left for anybody.

We have four cameras, but a rolling gang of operators: Cutesy, Dan the Man, Biggy Small, Gaylord Hauser, Sherry Sherry, Biggin Hill, Pat, Nick, and of course Saff who has just moved to Tunbridge Wells. We used to have five cameras, one hand held that we called RON so that we could get Ron to run. But over the five years we have been bled dry.

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