Tuesday, 25 November 2008

People i would never had met, had i not met Sy- Number One.

One really fabulous thing about being the significant other of a succesful writer, is that i get to meet people off the telly.

Not very often, but when i do, it's a real experience for a sprouty like me.

People who, in a parallell world (ie, if i had not met Sy),would still just be people off the telly, and i would just be watching them, thinking, 'I wonder what they are like in real life?'

The first well known face Sy ever introduced me to was the actor Neil Pearson, he of 'Drop the Dead Donkey' and 'Booze Cruise'.

Sy knew him from 'Between The Lines'.

Now, i'd lusted after this man for some time...Sy knew this (well if he didn't he does now- sorry darling, you know it's you i truly love, ....) and when he told me that Mister Pearson was in theatre close by to us and would i like to go and see the show- well i couldn't get there quick enough.

Sy had a script that he wanted him to have a look at, so we would go back stage after the show to say hello.


Out came the incontinence knickers again, in case i got too excited, i had me hair done and went on a crash diet for a day, that left me no thinner, but on the loo a lot.

The show was a bit rubbish actually but i couldn't wait to meet The Man.

As you know, i am one hell of a rabbiter...one thousand a forty words a minute, and although Darling Daughter can top two thousand, i can still hold my own.

As we scurried back stage, i wondered what we would talk about.

I Knew i would have to calm down a bit- talking at the speed i do, The Man would just stare at me and possibly question Sy quietly as to how he ended up with a mad woman from the country...

Finally, there he was in front of me.

Looking a little smaller than i had imagined.

And i shook hands with him.

And Sy and Neil were talking like old friends, Sy gave him the script and they caught up with what each other had been doing.

And i couldn't utter a word.

Not even a sound.

Not one syllable.

So that was that.

I was soooooo pissed off with myself.

Can you believe- a moment to shine, be witty and interesting...

and i blew it completely.

The next day- back to normal, doing the ironing and thinking about how feckin useless i had been the night before.

Life is going on around me- Homework, tea's cooking, neighbours rowing through the wall.

I can't even be bothered to get the phone when it rings.

Ironing is just too important (being a Housekeeper an' all.)

Sy comes home from a scriptwriting workshop he had been running.

'Guess who rang me about a script.'

'Surprise me', say's i.


'Neil who?....Oh God- not Neil'.

'Apparently he rang here first, but he only got the answerphone, so he phoned me on the mobile instead....'

At which point, i put the iron down, unplugged it and went and sat down.

And since that day, a few years ago now, i have only used the iron six times.

And each time i have used it, i have had the phone swinging from a piece of rope attached to the ironing board.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Trust me, i'm an expert...

Last night, i watched the second part of a BBC2 Horizon doumentary entitled 'How Mad Are You?'

A group of people, half of them with a diagnosed mental health problem, lived and worked together for a period of time and were watched by three experts in mental health issues.

The idea was to see if the experts were able to tell who, in the group, had the mental health problems.

At first they seemed quite confident in their findings- but the more they got to know the group, the more it seemed to throw them- and indeed, they ended up diagnosing three out of the five wrongly.

Now, this got me thinking.

What makes an expert, an expert.

I looked up the meaning in the dictionary.

'Having special skill at a task or knowledge in a subject.'

I then looked up 'expert' in the thesaurus.

'Skilful, experienced, practised, qualified, knowledgable, specialist, professional, proficient, adept, master,masterly, brilliant, accomplished, able, deft, dexterous, adriot, apt, capable,competent, clever, well-versed, wizard, ace, crack, top-notch.


The word i'm still wrestling with is 'qualified'- because one meaning of it is 'make legally entitled'.

'Legal'- Of or based on law.

Please bear with me....i'm going somewhere with this.

I thought i might try to apply this to Sy's writing.

As you lovely people who read my posts on a regular basis will know, Sy has one book out with publishers about King Arthur- how he was actually a Scottish prince, who his allies were, where he was born (and concieved- can you believe he's found that information?' where he died, and most importantly, where he is buried.

And none of it has anything to do with Cornwall.

Another book is about Shakespeare's involvement with the Gunpowder Plot, his murder and who his illigitamate son is - that's nearly ready to send to his agent.

Some questions;

Does the fact that Sy has gleaned a lot of his information about these two men from other sources, apart from books, make him less of an expert?

Does the fact that Sy has not got a doctorate in Shakespearean or Arthurian studies, or whatever they call these things that you leave university with, make his findings any less believable?

Am i right in thinking that these studies are all done from books that have been dragged out, time after time, year after year, with the same information ( old information, that could be wrong, but because it is taught by 'experts', it must be right?)

I might be hauled over the coals for this one....if i have any readers with PHD thingys in the above, do let me know what universities do teach you, and what you research from.

If Sy was put in a room with half a dozen experts on the above two subjects, would his findings be believed, if the audience didn't know who the experts were?

And, if publishers want to see your work, how for F**** sake, do you make them see that your findings might just be the missing link on both these men, but because you haven't got a university PHD doctorate whiz-bang up-yer-bum all singing all dancing piece of paper to verify that you have read books in a classroom, they don't think you are qualified enough to publish.

All in all, Sy has been studying both these subjects for over twenty years.

That's a damn sight longer than any feckin' uni degree.

Now i'm going to go and lie down for a bit- my head hurts from thinking too much.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Blow the wind southerly...or easterly, or northerly...

Big news in small village (actually villages, three of them).

We are in line to have a wind farm built.

We have had meetings.

The communities in each village are split.

If it all goes ahead, we are to have up to 10 turbines, each being of about 125 metres tall.


Sy and me are all for it.

But we are rapidly losing friends along the way.

But then, so are many others.

By some random act of random things, we had a BBC journalist come knocking at the door a few nights ago. Sy asked him in, and it turns out he works for the 'Politics show' and was looking for three people to take to a wind farm in Wales, to film their thoughts on WF and then air it on Sunday.

Sy was off like a shot. Couldn't wait.

So, he's come home tonight loving them even more.

I asked him if any blood had been spilt- after all, he was with the woman who has organised the action group against the development.

He tells me they were all terribly British, and there were no fights or name-calling.

I feel terribly deflated by that news.

We asked Darling Daughter what her thoughts are on WF. After all, it's for her future.

She is all for them.

' I want to have electric in twenty years time, and if we need to generate it from wind turbines then so be it', she announced.

Sy nods.

'I can see where you're coming from- well done. But i think we are going to need more than 10 turbines. Those 10 will be needed just to power your hair straighteners. How many are going to be needed to power everything else that's up in your room?'

She still isn't talking to him.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Who the hell am i?

When i was a little sprouty, i had a famous dad.
Not famous in the conventional 'i know you, you're on the telly' sense.

More like ' i know you- your dad took me to school'.
My dad was the most famous coach driver in the whole of the West Midlands- he would always put Radio one on in exchange for a cache of Mars Bars, and had been known to strap children to the roof rack, if behaving too badly.

I am not joking- you wouldn't get away with that these days....bloody health and safety.
Any how.
I was always 'The Bus Drivers Daughter'.
For years.

Time moves on, and i'm ok with this.
Then my sister, who is younger than me, gets much louder than me.
And suddenly it's 'i know your sister- she used to have that pub in town didn't she? And she used to work 'The Doors'- chucked me out of many a club, she did'.


Now, My lovely dad passed on a few years ago, so i don't get 'the Bus Drivers Daughter' bit so often...and lovely sister has settled down and quitened down, so i thought i could finally be me.

I went for a meal with a goup of ladies from the local villages recently- at least half of them are newcomers, and didn't know me.
I was intoduced to a few.
One woman pipes up;
'I know you!'
I smile, thinking she must recognise me from amateur dramatics or at some point, she has seen me staggering from one house to the next, laden with mop, bucket and feather duster.

'You're married to Sy aren't you- he always performs the most brilliant Tam O'Shanter on Burns Night.'

So- Sy has made his mark.
And instead of being 'daughter of' and 'sister of', i am now 'wife of'.

And bearing in mind that this is where i have lived almost forever, and Sy has been here all of five minutes (well, eight years, but it's the same thing in village speak), you can imagine.

I am pretty pissed off.

till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

sing for your supper...

Darling Daughter has gone off to beat the hell out of several full grown men (aka Kick boxing), and Sy has gone off to band practice.

A couple of hours to do as i please.

I do like it when Sy has band practice.
Several reasons.

1; It means he gets some fresh air (even if it's only the walk to the car.)
2; He gets to interact with some other blokes, real men. (Not that Sy isn't what i'd class as real man- i mean they are real blokes, as opposed to the imaginary ones that are wandering around his brain when he's writing. I'm not sure i'm explaining this very well...)
3;I get to watch what i want on the telly.

Sy is the singer in the band. And he can sing really well.
Drama school training, i'm sure.
The band has done gigs in school halls, clubs, pubs, marquees and even in a sitting room one new years eve.
I try to support him, and go to all the gigs.
Mainly in the capacity of 'holder of the voice products.'
No room in the handbag for the usual stuff- everything is tipped out onto the kitchen table and replaced with throat spray, honey, cough sweets, lyric sheets and a small tambourine (i ask you..)
The band has quite a big following and a gig can last anything up to four hours (depending on where and who the audience are.)
I can remember when i was a young'un, going to see bands and falling in love with the singer- such stage presence-i think every teenage girl was the same.

These days, i can go to a gig, watch the singer belt his heart out, and know he's singing to me.

And i can say, without fear of being labelled a slapper, at the end of every gig...

I get to sleep with the singer.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

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