My daughter

Is brilliant. GCSEs time… Dance, acting, singing. Triple threat time.


Lazy, tardy, busy, not busy

It’s been a long time since I posted to this blog; I’m not sure if that means I’m a lousy blogger or I’m not cut out for it, but it most likely means I’m lazy and get sidetracked by Facebook etc. So, what’s happened?

Thing still the same on Mum front, she’s still hanging on, still in the home, getting worse on the maintenance and memory front (recently she was convinced I was really into football and would be out playing a match – me, football, ha!) I must admit that my visits have become rarer, the emotional stress and bravery required for a full on visit is too much for me any more. I phone, she answers, I feel awful. It’s a cruel disease, as any fule know.

Pip – has had a good year at school. Good results and reports, etc and now moves up to the “Upper School” and embarks on GCSEs. There was a bit of wrangling with the school with this, but it’s all now resolved. Her only slight twist is that the school have jumbled up classes and it seems at the moment left Pip in a class with no real friends, mostly just acquaintances and people she doesn’t really know (it’s a big school with 300 or so in a year) … she has emailed the school re this, don’t really know if this will do anything.

In dance/theatre Pip has had a great year, starting with Annie last December, where she played Pepper and took on a solo. Acquitted herself really well for her first stage show; it was a good production, too – Southwick Players at The Barn Theatre.

Easter was Oliver with the City Youth Theatre Company, at the Old Market – she was one of Fagin’s Gang. Excellent production all round again, and she did really well and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

She’s got the part of “French Mouse” in Alice in Wonderland, Southwick Players’ Pantomime for Jan 2013, rehearsals start soon… then auditions for “Cats” with the CYTC… all fingers crossed for that.

She also won (!) her category in her first singing competition (Sussex Festival of Dance and Song), singing “Taylor The Latte Boy” – a great surprise and very encouraging for her!

Great results in Ballroom and Latin this year as well so far – several first places and lots of other trophies!

She got “half colours” for sport at school, for 3 years of good work in dance, the first year colours have been given for dance.

Trying to do some decorating (P’s room) but tidying up/clearing/purging in order to get the room is an ongoing problem…

Been a difficult time with work; very little design stuff (and zero in the offing) and weather being so appalling that Apex has ground to a halt. Health, me: still feeling strange from pneumo. Can the effects last this long? and still seeing doc bi-monthly for checks. Mostly feel ok but some days so poorly and down. Never mind, mostly good.

Will try and hop on here more often.


Still amid a terrible month of depressive moods (circulating darkly around our house) and depressive vampirism (mum’s ongoing medicals) this has been a funny old time. Along with this is the usual raft of missed social engagements, and also a small sprinkling of pressure for P – upcoming school tests, peer group changes and a slight waver in her performance-confidence. Mum is in a respite home mostly in order to re-regimen her meds, she simply can’t cope with taking them herself. Strange times.

I handed in my final essay for OU yesterday. Assuming I get more than 40% for it – ?! – I have finally got my degree at 2.2 and will graduate in April 2011 assuming I live that long. I feel sort of empty with no focussed reading to do any more. Dickens here I come… I wonder if I’ll ever write another “essay” again? Pulling out the pin…

Skinbat Scramble have an upcoming gig at the Forum as part of the Syd Barrett trust; also recording to do for the next album; I have committed to this. Syd Barrett – could it be any more perfect?

Last night I dreamed that my next-door-but-one neighbour urinated on me from his window, in the dream I pretended to ignore it and haughtily went on with unloading groceries from my car.


Into the Granary tomorrow to continue work on the soon-to-be nascent Skinbats album. Hooray. My mum’s medical problems overhang everything like a manky sword of Damocles. It’s harsh and dull. P is doing well in dancing, and at school. But everything is overhung… Off to Vegas at Easter for a bit of desert therapy, which is a big sky-anchor, a big holiday, a big five-oh.


P’s at Earwig Theatre School again this week. Poor little thing’s a bit knackered at the moment, and the time ticks away until she starts at Secondary School. Time, as your parents probably told you, flies.

Dancing – Deaf Cat – Hannigan

It’s been a while since I did a blog. Lots has happened. I have finished decorating the kitchen (yesterday) so I should have clean fingernails now (no black grout rammed down them – ouch).

Last week was the summer show for P’s dance school – the excellent Hove Dance Centre, they have a lovely web site 🙂 – it was very good, held at Dorothy Stringer School – nice theatre venue. In addition to the kids and some adult classes doing their thing with (mostly) dancing and some singing, there was a novelty item involving – me. Three of the fathers of the younger girls were asked – along with one experienced dancer who was choreographing – to form a foursome to do a waltz-based dance, cutesy dads and their little girls. I was initially reluctant, for reasons of huge embarrassment and time, but did agree after coaxing. It was kept a “secret” from everyone else – families and most of the other dancers at the school – we rehearsed on Sunday mornings and evenings, P and I did quite a lot at home. It went quite well – the whole event was professionally filmed, so I will see how it went later… I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. There was some applause…

The cat went for her annual check up/jabs and was pronounced deaf. We’ve known for some time that all was not right with her – and suspected her hearing/balance – but evidently she is as deaf as a post. Apart from that, she’s OK for her age. It seems odd that we’d not figured out the deafness, but cats work as creatures of habit – visually – they know that, for example, if she cries and we get up, she goes to the back door to be let out, and if she cries outside the back door (eventually) she will be let in. It’s sad, but we’re all giving her extra strokes. And the nickname possibilities are endless…

L and I to the Komedia to see Lisa Hannigan couple of days ago. Splendid, warm-hearted and uplifting it was. Sort of a meeting between the lovelier end of folk with This Mortal Coil, Velvets, Joanna Newsom, and in spite of minimum electrics, the song-ending apocalypses of, say, Doll by Doll. Great cover of Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” – shiver down the spine great.

At home, algorithms continue to mis-align and disjoint, we’ll work through it.

P is on her last 4 days of primary education. The SATS may or may not be valid, may or may not be important, may or may not mean anything at all – but she did exceptionally well in them. Perhaps, unlike me, she has an aptitude for turning the correct (or at least the expected) educational keys to please her educators. In vaguely related educational housekeeping, I’m still waiting for the results of my penultimate OU year (Creative Writing). I have committed to the final year, which (assuming this year’s result is OK) should get me a Ba(Hons)2:1 even if I crap up the last year.

Skules / Medical / Blinding El Scorchio of a gig

The skule conundrum is sorted; Little Boots will evolve into Big Boots at Hove Park. If not smiles all round, then at least horizontal mouths… many friends join her…

Mum ongoing. Uh. Final consultation this Wednesday. Distraction and upset.

Sunday 22nd, Skinbat gig at the Forum.
Afternoon rehearsal rocked, and was very successful. PM to the venue, where the bass amp for the evening (supplied by another band) was found to not work. Cue Mark chasing wild geese hither and yon for miles. He found a wild goose in the shape of a bass amp (complete with chicken wire – a poultry theme is developing here). After this, Piers went to KFC to buy some – I guess it was – chicken. Anyway, soundchecks complete, the evening could begin. The bands were introduced by Rob from Apollo Records, who was co-hosting the evening. His enthusiasm is infectious, and chivvied the audience up a bit. As usual, not enough people there but a small audience attended. First on were LEBANONS. Amazingly good, a confused swarm of neat/wild sound. Then us, with our first splendid song, “The Legend of Big Joe The Chicken Man”. Great stuff, I struggled to get a feed from Mark’s guitar but made up for it with some demented singing and the old 2001 soundtrack whammy. Next up was “Gutshot”, with slightly amended lyrics to cater for the demographic of the audients. Next, UFOUK, Nicky on top form, a loping, groovesome version. Next we went for “Ringmain Dancer” – technically difficult to perform “as it is on the album”, but as Imogen’s vocal can run over any suitably dark noise, we re-wrote it that afternoon for performance purpose. It went well, though the key element – the vocal – apparently got lost in the mix for the audience; it sounded OK on monitors. It went well as a song, though. Robert Frost included. Next up we performed “Heartbreak Hotel”, which was stunning, loved it. “Stop Trying So Hard” was its usual magnificent wedding cake of a tower of babel, then we bridged it into “Silver Machine” which went magnificently. Nicky sat this one out with a sore throat, and as Imogen left the stage as we whirled into a lock loop of Metadrums (Piers) Looped Fierce Crunge Noise (me) and Ultra Mexican Starling Soloing (Mark) we finished the gig as a power trio. Hopefully this is the uncompromising trio which will take the stage at the next night, as Imogen is away for that one. Carl was missing in action.

Keep On Clucking, as Stackridge once said…

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