Stand back! Writer coming through!

The world just lurched. The horizon tilted, the sun slipped, the sea receded. The floor beneath my feet shuddered. Maybe a huge crack appeared in the road outside. If I open the front door and see a river swirling past I won’t be surprised. Seismic disturbance. I am writing again and it’s so so SO good. I’ve written on and off in the last five years but this is different. This is me again. This, you cold and uncaring world of Producers and Directors and Commissioners, is me again… and I’m coming full pelt, armed to the teeth, with my sleeves rolled up and blood lust in my crazed eyes.

We have had an idea and it’s fabulous. I’ve struggled a bit with it over the weekend but just now, right very absolutely just now the characters and the words exploded in my head, as in days of yore. Bloody marvellous! I can’t wait to get going.

The ‘we’ I mentioned is not a royal we. It’s me and two producers who I’ve done my very best work with, our friendship and partnership stretching back 30 years. At the Bush in London they saw a play by an unproven writer and decided that she (me)  might be the one for a new TV series so together we came up with  ‘Soldier, Soldier’ and then a series “Bramwell’, then another series  ‘Servants’ and then a film ‘The Best Of Men’.

H is a great woman, a posh clever-clever-sharp and quick graduate with a vice-like grip on structure and dramatic drive. And loads of nowse. T is her bloke, a posh, warm and enthusiastic, clever-clever, witty and encouraging graduate with a passion for character and truth. They’re both steeped in literature and film and art and all those cultural things. That’s who they already were when we met. I was a middle aged Mum who had, almost by accident, won a writing competition but apart from that was unknown. I lived in a tiny council house with my husband, daughter, Great Dane and cat, and I had left school after being stuck in the non academic stream getting ‘O’ levels in needlework, cookery and art. They believed in me from the word go. When I delivered crap drafts, they believed in me. When I couldn’t tell good structure from a mess of potage, they believed in me. When Broadcast top brass condescended to this uneducated crass newcomer,  T&H believed in me.  When George died they brought me and my daughter to London for that awful dazed hiatus between death and funeral, and in a posh restaurant on the Thames they ordered oysters and champagne to toast our lovely man.  T was working but H caught the train from London for the funeral and made the sandwiches, set the table, swirled around me as I stood, numb and bewildered. They know me for who I am and they accept me. We’ve had some ripe old laughs and some quite tense meetings. They know me so well. A rogue agent lied that I wanted to re- negotiate a better contract and they knew me better than to believe him. They know me and I know them and I can’t believe that I have the chance to work with them again!

People are gold. People are gold.

T says that if there is a hell (he’s from a long line of Rabbis) his will be dragging me around museums, desperately trying to make me engage with historical research. As I said, they are academics while I am not. They’ve done their best to educate me but when T called me this afternoon he described me as still being delightfully bloody contrary. That’s what I want on my gravestone. Or ashes urn or whatever.

Friends are gold. Work is gold. Writing is simply bloody marvellous. My head is again full of endless possibilities, meaty challenges, the world I know. What a treat.

So, here I am, bloggites. 71 and feeling such a great surge of excitement and thankfulness, and glee. Glee is the word.

How is that God has brought me safely to this place and this day? How is it that He has given me so much to be thankful for? How is it that He has given me a family I love, a church family I love, and these two fabulous people to love and work with? My God is a great great God. To bring me safely through the childhood I had, the adolescence I had, all the rubbish of my early adult life, and to save me from myself…. how can I stop from singing? To bring this unloving and unloved person to this moment…..

Keep on giving your thanks to God, for he is so good!
His constant, tender love lasts forever!
Let all his princely people sing,
“His constant, tender love lasts forever!”
Let all his holy priests sing,
“His constant, tender love lasts forever!”
 Let all his lovers who bow low before him sing,
“His constant, tender love lasts forever!”
Out of my deep anguish and pain I prayed,
and God, you helped me as a father.
You came to my rescue and broke open the way
into a beautiful and broad place.
Now I know, Lord, that you are for me,
and I will never fear what man can do to me.
For you stand beside me as my hero who rescues me.

Psalm 118:1-7 (PT)

IMG_0659 2.jpeg


There’s no particular reason for this snap… just someone who strolled by as I prayed this morning.

How can I stop from singing?



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