Catching up!

No blog posted for six weeks. Explanations?

Just before Christmas my computer had to go in for an overhaul. One consequence was that when said computer was returned to me, upgraded and efficient, I couldn’t get any of my bookmarks to work. It’s take quite a while to get them up and running again. In particular, I couldn’t get on to my own blog site! The evidence before you suggests that this problem has been solved… a few minutes ago.

And then there was Christmas. And New Year. I took time off and enjoyed a much-needed break in the most agreeable company, so nothing was done then, including no blogs.

And then my chimney fell down. Well, it didn’t exactly fall down, but it showed a strong inclination to do so, ceasing to be weatherproof… so I had it repaired. At a cost I didn’t really wish to meet in the immediate aftermath of Christmas. And with considerable domestic disruption, including a wet bathroom ceiling.  :(

And then there was the playwriting course, and the creative writing course, and things to do for the Concert Society, and storytelling workshops (and storytelling evenings), and above all the rehearsals for The Snow Queen, and the public performances thereof, leaving me with little time to breathe, eat and especially sleep. So no correspondence except vital matters of business, and no blogs.

The Snow Queen was very hard work for all concerned, not least for those who were making the sets and the costumes. My contribution in this regard was fairly minimal, though I did spend some time climbing ladders and arranging poles and lines above the stage. The scenery was attached to these so it could be moved to and fro as the scenes changed. The dress rehearsal (January 20th) was a nightmare of chaos and made me dread the opening night – forty-eight hours later. And on the opening night itself, more chaos: half an hour before the start of the show the curtain jammed, the trolls’ ears mysteriously disappeared, and the costumes for the dancing flowers had been left elsewhere. Panic erupted among all the adults; the children were, of course, as insouciant as ever. And indeed, all was restored to order; we started only five minutes late.

It went almost perfectly. The children (actors and dancers) enjoyed themselves and the audience loved it.

And so it was on the second and final night.

Afterwards we had a lot of clearing-up work and expenses to pay, but in the end we’d made £200 for “Life You Choose”, our local organization for supporting and empowering people with learning difficulties. So it was worth all the effort, and even the panics! And as my friend Pamela said (she’d written the script, directed the show, designed the sets, made a lot of the costumes and scenery…), it was a learning experience for us, too. Next time we put on a show we’ll know what to do, what not to do, and how soon we need to do it (or not).

The play-writing course I’ve done has been worth the effort, too. I’ve sent a couple of plays off to theatre companies, not with any expectation of success at present (I’m a novice at writing for the stage) but to put down  a marker, if only in my own mind. I’ve certainly acquiring a renewed taste for the theatre! Once you’ve tried writing a play, you appreciate just how – and just how well – really good dramatists achieve their effects.

Anyway, having reached the end of the play-writing course and finished with The Snow Queen, and having got my chimney fixed and my computer more or less functioning normally again, I can, after a six week delay, write and post another blog.

So I have!



  • Very very sorry to hear about the chimney and the computer . . . I’d have loved to have seen The Snow Queen. Well done everyone.

    I was very interested to hear about the play-writing course and have been half thinking about doing this too. All the best.

    • Mark Henderson

      I found the play-writing course very helpful. Plays require some of the same skills as prose writing but also some different ones – stimulating! I recommend it.

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