My house is full of children of various ages and sizes. Every room is littered with stuff. There are makeshift beds everywhere, and there is no moment in the day when someone is not eating something. Social arrangements are complex and various. The front door really should have been replaced with some kind of revolving arrangement as they surge in and out, shouting reams of instructions, exhortations and requests at me as they come and go.
I am hiding in the study. I have told them I am working. I am not working. I am just retreating. They are all lovely, each and every one of them, but it’s fair to say I am in overwhelm.
I had a wonderful weekend in London. My health held up. I saw Anne Marie Duff in Common at the National on Saturday. It was very weird. At the interval, Andrea turned to me and asked me if I knew what was going on. I said that I didn’t. She was relieved. I was relieved. Anne Marie Duff was marvellous though, which made up for a lot. I’ve loved her since watching her in Shameless, and this is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to see her on stage.
On Sunday we met up with my wonderful friends Alex and Connor who I haven’t seen for ages, and have missed a great deal. We ate delicious food and followed it up with a trip to Camden Roundhouse to see Daniel Kitson’s Something Other Than Everything, which was amazing.
I was relieved about the Kitson thing being amazing, as I had read a troubling opinion piece in The Guardian by a woman who was upset that he’d used derogatory racial language in the show. I was surprised when I read it, not that he’d used derogatory language. He uses eye watering language a lot of the time, but that the way she had framed it had made it appear as if he had been using it to be deliberately insulting. I’m not saying that she wasn’t upset, or her feelings were not valid for her and I am in no position as a white woman to deny her personal experience. I am saying that I believe that she took his words out of context and that in the narrative of his performance I totally understood what he was trying to do, and didn’t find it offensive at all. I thought it was an excellent show, and very Kitsonesque, and if you like Kitson, it’s well worth trying to get tickets for it.
We stayed over in London on Saturday night. We stayed in an Airbnb place in Golders’ Green and spent much of the weekend when we weren’t theatre going trekking around North West London. It was pretty nostalgic for me. A lot of the walking we did took us along routes I used to push Tilly in her buggy when she was tiny; Golders’ Hill Park, Hampstead Ponds, the Heath, South End Green, Haverstock Hill, Primrose Hill. It was lovely to see how much has changed and also how much has stayed the same. Usually Andrea and I drive back and forth in a day if we’re going to see something, and it was nice not to be on a deadline, and just drift around.