A Charmed Life


a love story

For those old enough – do you remember playing elastics at interval when you were at school? Do you remember the ditty that went along with it? ‘England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, inside, outside, puppy dogs tails.’ This is what went through my mind as I learned of the EU referendum result.

The possibility of this foursome splitting up saddens me.
The chaos that has ensued since the vote was counted saddens me.
Brexit saddens me.

I am a faux Brit. I am a kiwi but I am also a faux Brit, to know me is to know I love all things British. For tis the land where Charlotte Bronte wrote my favourite book, the land where two magnificent queens called Elizabeth have reigned, the land where buildings and bridges tell stories, the land where great plays were written, a land where history is made over and over and over again, the land where all the great Banks congregate to do big business, a land from whence came the likes of Shakespeare, Judi Dench, Malcolm McLaren, Captain James Cook, Alan Turing, David Attenborough, Christopher Hitchens, John Lennon, Margaret Thatcher and my beloved David Bowie, it is a land that likes to tea, it is the land where for a time I got to live in the same city as Madonna, a land of many accents none of which I can do faithfully and it is the land where I found the love of my life.

My sadness for the current discombobulation that has taken over my adopted country is about the themness of the Brits, this is what I fell in love with when I was a youngin in New Zealand singing ‘god save the Queen’ at school assembly or while watching Coronation Street with my grandma or when pouring over Mothercare catalogues my mother would have sent to her. That pulsating heartbeat that beats throughout the land. What I fear most with Brexit is the loss of this feeling – economies adapt, politicians come and go, Europe will survive – but this feeling once altered or lost can never be got back. The Brits must never lose the themness of them, take it from this faux Brit who knows she will never be able to capture it no matter how much she will keep on trying.

Sat Nam

Also… I don’t understand the brouhaha about the new Top Gear, I thought this was a show about cars, why then does it matter who is driving them! If you had the misfortune of interacting with Jeremy Clarkson like I did when we were stuck together receiving treatment by the same specialist you would find him an odious man who thinks a bit too much of himself, he is not a man to be admired #Joey TribbianiCanActuallyDrive ♥ 2016 the year of loss continues. Elie Wiesel has been described by President Obama as “the conscience of the world” which is apt as he helped to develop mine. I read his book Night when I was a teen, in all honestly it is an awful read, gut wrenching in the way a book about life in a concentration camp could only be but reading this seminal work planted the activist seed in me and it continues to burn bright. If you don’t know who Elie Wiesel is please take the time to give this Holocaust survivor the respect of reading his work or at least one of the many obituaries that have been written in recent days. This man mattered. Elie Wiesel you mattered to me. I will end with his words that seem very appropriate for this world we live in today ‘We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.’

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send in the clowns

I have always enjoyed going to the theatre and going to the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebration has to be the pinnacle so I knew, even though I was sick with a sore throat and stuffed nose, I couldn’t not go. After all who does theatre better than the Brits right?

“All the world’s a stage.” So wrote the greatest playwright of all in As You Like It (William Shakespeare) and it felt like everyone that’s anyone (who is still alive) in British theatre was in the room either acting or seated in the audience. Where else would you see M (Judi Dench), the Queen (Helen Mirren), Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), Smithy (James Corden), Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes), Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and McGonagall (Maggie Smith) all in the same night! Over a few hours we got to see these actors and many more reprise roles they had performed in years gone by. It was particularly more special to me because it has always been a dream of mine to see Judi Dench and Maggie Smith perform live and now I can say I have.

My favourite scenes were from: Antony and Cleopatra (William Shakespeare), Othello (William Shakespeare), History Boys (Alan Bennett), Angels in America (Tony Kushner), Bedroom Farce (Alan Ayckbourn), Pravda (David Hare and Howard Brenton) and a little of Joey from War Horse. My ultimate highlight of the evening was Judi Dench singing ‘Send in the Clowns’ from A Little Night Music (Stephen Sondheim), that voice, that emotion- awww it can still make me teary. By the end of the evening I had laughed and cried and my hands were sore from all the clapping but I felt so fortunate that I got to witness such an evening, opportunity of a lifetime. Oh I do love London town.