We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.


We have been crowded out of our house by the boxes and our last week or so as residents of London is to be spent in our local Marriott Hotel.

This is Swiss Cottage as one does not know it; of course the Marriott claims Regent’s Park in its title and there are Primrose Hill Teas to be had in the afternoons. The last time we moved house and into a hotel was thirty-three years ago when we left our Kilburn flat and flew straight to Manila, having left the key with the estate agent. We (as part of the London Shakespeare Group) were to play Twelfth Night in the huge main theatre, part of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines that Madam Marcos had instigated in the late 60s in the grounds of a large, rather deserted park. There were dark stories about the haste in which the whole project had been constructed. Tonight at supper, by strange coincidence, our waitress was from Manila.

The Tanghalang Pambansa (Theatre of Performing Arts).
Photo by EP
Our Twelfth Night set on the stage of the main theatre.
The proscenium has a height of 30 feet and a width of nearly 60 feet.
Photo by EP
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Emily and I had, on that same British Council tour of the Far East, performed in Hiroshima. A few days later, whilst sorting and packing, I discovered Emily’s Japan diary and saw from it that we took possession of our house in West Hampstead the day before we arrived in Hiroshima.
A lady from the Council called at our house today and spent three minutes looking at the rear of the property. These terrace houses are all constructed identically but I suppose Camden keeps a watchful eye on developments and our buyers are certainly going to make structural changes – built to last. So I know that this year’s crop of ripening grapes in our little conservatory is the last.
Photo by EP
      Loose Ends
     I sit here, my mind churns and prattles 
     And chatters of goods, endless chattels 
     What can it portend
     When each odd and end
     Enslaves me and signals more battles?
     Oh to spirit or give them away
     Realizing that blessed new day
     Free from this tittle-tattle
     No need then to tackle what package or pack’ll
     Prevent breakage or rattle 
     Oh that day my back’ll
     Sing songs voiced through each vertebrae!

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