Archive for July, 2012

I was thirteen when, shaking with nervous excitement, I went through the impressive doors of Bush House. The commissionaire – even more impressive – nodded me towards the lifts and  we [me and my mother, who was required to be my chaperone], ascended to Radio.

I was a contestant in the Children’s Hour programme ‘Regional Round’ – a not very demanding quiz game hosted by Geoffrey Dearmer, a kindly man with a gong, who responded to a wrong answer with a ‘gentle gong, Geoffrey’.

Luckily I did not earn a gong, but a BBC book token. I still have the stub, even though I can’t remember the book I bought with  it.

I dreamed of returning, perhaps as a child actor in one of the Children’s Hour serials. But fame eluded me, until I made it into Television Centre [another BBC giant that is now no more] as a regular on ‘You and Me’.

Bush House went dark at midday today. An era in broadcasting is over.


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I have wondered if Huxley and Orwell read each other’s dystopian novels.

Here is a link:



I read both their novels at the age of fifteen, and found Orwell’s was the one that gripped and horrified me.

‘Brave New World’ I felt lacked the anger and despair that I found so resonant with my life.  And I don’t agree with Huxley that his vision comes closer to political reality. Totalitarian regimes use elements of both.


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Who is very much alive and currently juggling with a surprising number of book launches she has enterprisingly organised herself,  in different locations, for her two books published this month. Those two books are ANHAREO, WILDERNESS SPIRIT – a biography of  a famous Native American woman, and SELKIE DREAMS, a highly original novel.

Selkie Dreams http://www.knoxrobinsonpublishing.com/
Anahareo: A Wilderness Spirit http://www.fireshippress.com/

More launches will be happening next week at West Cork Literary Festival – check out her website:


I love Kristin because she is not only a gifted writer, she can also play the harp like an angel, sing songs, and is a fine painter and artist – I have one of her original works on my wall. Truly a Renaissance woman!

and one of her publishers gave this write up to her recent launch in Ballyvourney:


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Sorry to be doing this, but there seems to be a theme emerging this summer. I’ve just read Brian’s obituary in today’s Guardian:


My memories of Brian are linked to summer 1976  in Newcastle on Tyne, when his theatre company ‘Road Gang’ joined forces with ours ‘Mad Bongo Theatre Group’ for a sparky, hard-hitting musical tribute to the 1926 General Strike, supported memorably by local NUM branches and some famous men of those days, including Will and Alf, the Lawther brothers, who praised our play for its truth and power in a short and passionate speech that moved us to tears.

We hit new heights of fame with the show, ‘Strike Alight’, when we performed in front of 700 people at the Durham Miners’ Gala [including the then head of the Labour Party, Michael Foot]  – but those celebrity gigs were not our style, and my memories are more of the rehearsals where we forged our script through impro and research, me with baby Rosie often in my arms, and a pub landlord supplying sandwiches.

Brian was terrific fun to work with, and his compelling singing voice could silence any rowdy pub or club. He was a kind friend, a great babysitter, a committed political theatre activist, and in those days that were overshadowed by illness in our family, he gave us unconditional support.

I wish I could say something appropriate in Welsh – but this will have to do: Thanks for all the memories and the theatre and the songs. May you live on in all of them

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