Birthday with Dad

April 2017

Dad’s funeral

People have been asking, “How was it?” It’s hard to know how to answer about a funeral, because the usual response to that kind of question is a bright, nodding “Really nice, thanks!” But it was actually really nice. Someone said it was noticeable how there was no friction or  “oh, you know how he could be…” or “well, we had our issues but…” Everyone there had the same thing to say about him, which was: what a good guy. And then we went back to a friend’s house to drink beer and tell stories. It wasn’t what I would call a FUN event but it was pleasurable to spend time with people who knew my dad when he was younger, and to get a fuller picture of his life than you get from inside the child-parent relationship. Also actually it was sometimes fun, there were lots of jokes and great stories.

Portland

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Birthday with Dad

All the theatre I saw in 2016, ranked

(nb: most of this was written on the train on New Year’s Eve, so “last night” = Dec 30th.)

In 2016 I saw 41 plays (and three staged readings, which were interesting but it feels unfair to put in with the rest because they’re not supposed to be fully realised pieces of theatre). Drunk Theatre stalwart Louisa and I tried to clear out the bottle-ends in the booze cabinet before the New Year, and carried out the immense task of force-ranking all our 2016 plays with Post-It notes. (for the record if you are also looking to clear out your drinks bottles, the “Monkey Gland”, a 1920s? cocktail involving grenadine and absinthe, was surprisingly all right.)

Bottom to top:

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Birthday with Dad

Friday interesting things

HOO BLOODY RAY an end is in sight.

My news desk has been one person short since October; we’ve been just about managing, but shifts have been tiringly busy and we haven’t been allowed to take any holiday, which has made me feel quite cramped and woolly-headed. Now I know many people such as Americans and freelancers who go several months and more without a day off, and have even done so myself, but when I took this job a big part of the appeal (aside from the money, and being able to say “Well, I report on terrorism” and sound cool at parties) was that it offered a good amount of time off to write and travel. Though it’s a fascinating place to work and I enjoy it, I am definitely not a Live To Work person, and it’s been difficult not having the time and space to really think properly, never mind Do Things.

But we’ve finally hired a new person! Who’s starting in a week and a half! And oh, then we’ll all rush to take our holiday time before it expires in July, and the spring will be lovely and warm and relaxed, unless of course the Tories get in with a majority in May and I am forced to take out David Cameron, Theresa May and George Osborne in some kind of murder-murder-murder-suicide event* (picture a game of duck-duck-goose gone horribly wrong).

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morningglory_ft

Morning Glory restaurant, Ashland, Oregon

Man, February is miserable, isn’t it? Let’s talk about summer.

After Ewan did me the honour of agreeing to become Mr. Kerry, in summer 2010, we went on an engagement trip to the US to visit my family (ie, have them vet the new guy) and show off my old stomping grounds. As a gift, my parents lent us a car and gave us some dosh for a road trip from my home city of Portland, Oregon to San Francisco and back.

On the way, we stopped for two nights in one of my favourite towns in the world – Ashland, Oregon.

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