2013: Reasons to be Cheerful….

2013 hasn’t been the best year for me and many of my friends, who’ve sadly lost close members of their families; more so this year than any other it seems.  In our family, we’ve had more than our fair share of heartache through a variety of situations which are still on-going, and for these reasons I can’t wait to see the back of this year.  However… in looking back, as you tend to do at this juncture of the calendar year, there have been many good times with friends.  So here’s my own indulgent reminder of why 2013 should be a year to be remembered for positive reasons:-

From the beginning of the year, it became a Bowie-fest for people of a certain age… his surprise single release was then followed by the amazing “David Bowie Is…” exhibition at the V&A, which I was lucky enough to attend on Preview Day (thank you again Theo) and again right at the very end (thanks Jonathan).  With rumours of a forthcoming gig, my breath is duly baited with anticipation.

Talking of gigs, I’ve had the fortune to see many of my favourite artists this year including Little Annie and Baby Dee at Café Oto supported by the brilliant Laura Moody, Marcus Reeves’s shows  in June and again at Xmas Polari, Marc Almond (supported by The (incredible) McCarricks) at Union Chapel which is always special occasion to me especially meeting my dear Marc-friends but especially so this year, as he performed the “Mother Fist” album in its entirety (my favourite)… such an amazing surprise!, Depeche Mode in November and meeting my Twitter devotee friends, Mesh in Manchester (or Meshchester as it was duly renamed, during a life changing weekend with Samantha) as well as performance poet Jeremy Reed at the National Portrait Gallery, with friends Peter, Liz, and seeing Jamie, and Ben, and Marco there too.  Also a Boy George gig and meeting new friends (and, bizarrely enough, John Paul Gaultier), and the utterly amazing Siouxsie Sioux performing my fave SATB album as part of this year’s Meltdown Festival.

This year marked 10 years since my hubby and I have been together; our first date was on the London Eye and it was brilliant to be able to go back there on the anniversary date ten years on, with our son and re-live those times as a family.

We’ve taken a few trips this year… I could never forget the bitter coldness of our Easter break in Brighton, but the warm summer trips visiting my family in Cheshire and Lancashire were equally as memorable.  Meeting Angie and her son Alec on a gloriously warm day in Blackpool, and also meeting up with 2nd cousin Steffi from Greece, and Megs and Dean on an equally warm day in Greenwich and just hanging out….  Our main family holiday was to Singapore and Hong Kong.  It’s the 2nd visit to Singapore and the 4th to Hong Kong for me, but we managed to have a completely unique and marvellous time as a family and it’s a holiday I shall never forget.  In August I enjoyed a fabulous weekend away with 20 of my closest friends in Amsterdam to celebrate Jon C’s 50th, and naturally we had a blast!  We still have another family trip, to Germany scheduled for this weekend, which we’re all looking forward to immensely, not least because we get to hang out with Susanna and her gang!

Professionally I’ve been working closely with Peter Parkinson to produce the books “Winter Dreams” and “Visual Poetry” and also more recently the exciting photo-poetry project with George Vjrankovic (MoGeo Photographic) of which we’ve produced a number of pieces available for sale.  Next year will see the publication of “Winter Dreams 2” with photography by Peter and poetry from me and Samantha Reynolds.  It’s been a delight to work with such talented creatives.  Some of my work was also included in the “Album for Amy” which was a commemorative collaboration of project which was presented to Mitch and Janis Winehouse as part of remembering Amy in what would have been her 30th birthday year.

Other events which are note-worthy are attending the mayor-making ceremony for his 2nd term, of my friend Jonathan…. Our annual participation in London Gay Pride with this year’s theme of “Monochrome 1920’s” and getting papped and featured on various websites and publications (our team always manage to make an impact!)…. Visiting the Henry Moore Foundation with my son for the Moore/Rodin retrospective (brilliant day)…. My birthday weekend just doing not much but having a great time doing so… Attending the Amy Winehouse exhibition in private view and talking to Mitch Winehouse about Amy’s incredible life… Seeing Marcus perform in “Captain Jack and the Space Vixens” with Tony and Grumpy…. Paul’s 60th birthday party…. Hils and Cronain’s wedding party in the summer…. Summer BBQ’s…. Celia Imrie’s fabulous show at the Krazy Koq’s Caberet Club and her Polari performance earlier in the year…. Tracy Thorn’s book reading preceded by an amazing trip up the Centrepoint building thanks to Fabrizio….. the numerous Polari’s, not least the July one, in which I was given the incredible opportunity by Paul Burston to stand on the Southbank stage and read one of my short stories.

There, lots of reasons to be cheerful about 2013!

I have made many wonderful new friends his year (and a couple of enemies, but we’ll gloss over those, suffice to say some people can be very disappointing and my judgment of character skills need a good sharpening!), and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all better during 2014 and hopefully beyond.

So what does 2014 hold in store so far?  I’ve already booked to see the amazing Anna Calvi (in February) and the legendary Charles Aznavour (in June) both of which I’m looking forward to immensely. Tickets for The Human League’s tour next year have just been released so I’m sure they’ll feature in there somewhere too, as well as Marc Almond with John Harle, and here’s hoping for a Bowie gig thrown into the mix too!  Early 2014 will see the publication of “Winter Dreams 2” and I’m looking forward to embracing other yet unknown creative projects along the way as well as hopefully working more with MoGeo Photographic.  I plan to re-edit my novel and pro-actively do something about that, and I also have a poetry collection waiting to be published.  Trips wise we’re considering a family holiday in Canada to see friends and family over there and I’m sure there will be other impromptu trips elsewhere throughout the year.  I’d love to go back to my spiritual home of Cornwall, time permitting.  There are also a few 40th birthday parties pencilled into the calendar… 2014 is already shaping up to be a much better year!


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