A Year Like No Other

It has been a while. I had no intention of not writing and there has definitely been news – we are all living through it. I hope everyone is well and finding ways through. There is a lot to deal with and consider right now, and so much to learn and take in.

I can’t quite get my head round the fact that a year has passed. I have been lucky, and found ways and means to live quietly and gently and frugally, and to take stock. After working 40 years at a pace I now cannot quite believe, I have wanted to reflect and ‘lean into’ this time, to live quietly, slowly and gently and to notice, think and feel, away from anything that was close to ‘normal’ or known. The ability to rest has been a gift, as has experiencing what it meant to not be swept up in and by the whirlwind of my working life, as much as I loved it at the time.

Do I even exist without my work? Is their a separate identity in there waiting to come out into the light? I am happy to say that there is both and even though these pandemic times have not all been easy or plain sailing they have been good for me, and I am glad I made the choices that I did.

So, I haven’t zoomed much, or had a routine, or any deadlines. I have been quiet and removed, living in my own time, (HSP time – I’ll talk about that in my next post) with no neccessity of creative outputs driven by the arts infrastructures, systems and marketplace to which I belong. I have however, done and achieved more than I could possibly have imagined.

Of course, I have missed people, deeply, and lost people whom I’ve had to grieve from afar.

Not least two of my dear colleagues from An Audience With…  Betty Clarkson and Doreen Leighton-Ward – magnificent women, who had both reached a great age, but still departed to the ‘Big Cabaret in the Sky’ far too soon. My last post here on the website, that long year ago, was about the future of our work together and all the potential that held. Things do change and move on, sometimes when we least expect them to.

To honour them, their work and careers, and our work together I worked with the wonderful Dominic Corr to create a website that profiles our four years of working together, and each women’s career and contribution to dance and variety theatre.

The Big Cabaret in the Sky was a term coined by June Don-Murray, another Audience With… stalwart who departed at the end of 2019, and whose legacy funded the website. I’m happy to think of them, and all their many friends and colleagues that they talked about, dancing up there together. It will be one heck of a party that’s for sure.

The rest of  the troupe, Marie Duthie, Katie Miller and me are very much looking forward to the party we will have on this earthly plane, as and when we can. It will also be one heck of a party.

There is a lot more to post about the past year and what’s to come, but for now, I’ll leave you with An Audience With…  website: an-audience-with.com

I hope you enjoy

Take lots of care and stay safe

Janice x






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