Sunday, 29 July 2012

The One, One Year On

This is the last time I'll bang on about this. Promise!

Today is the one year anniversary of my last day at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines - the company I worked for, for 13 and a half years.

The day was one of the worst of my life. I put on a brave face. I made jokes. I played the fool and the clown as I always do because that's how I cope.

For Christ sake I even had a "closing down sale" and gave away my stapler and hole punch.

Inside I was scared and frightened and someone had ripped my guts out.

When I left I sat in my car for the best part of an hour crying my eyes out with Ken - who was crying too and we hugged and laughed and cried some more and couldn't believe we wouldn't be working together after all these years.

But now one year on I'm sitting here writing this with a bottle of something fizzy and dry to toast the last year and the amazing changes in my life.

It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Just not done in the best way.

To this day I don't think they ever understood why I contested my redundancy when it was noted that I quite obviously had aspirations and talents elsewhere.

But I felt that was my decision to make - no one else's.

I resented the assumption that I'm good old sport and would go quietly. Without one last hurrah. A send off. A thank you. But with a boot up the arse out the door. Off you go love and do your writing because we know you're hearts not in it and you've had this baby we didn't expect you to have and we don't really know what to do with you so slink off without a word there's a good girl and we'll forget this ever happened shall we!

Well that was never going to be me now was it.

Maybe I got it wrong. Maybe now with reflection I was rash, hasty, angry, hurt, humiliated.

It was the speed, the sweeping assumptions, the feeling of being brushed under the carpet.

I have since been told that I was a "situation" which has now been dealt with. I was too loud. Too noisy. There'd been whispers. Complaints.

Well I moved floors when our department changed I didn't fundamentally alter my personality so what the hell did they expect.

It leaves yet another bitter taste in my mouth about my years working for "the man" as a friends husband calls it and it serves to confirm that I would now, even after only a year, struggle to work for someone else.

So tonight I raise a glass not to those years but to the last year and the years to come.

Cheers and remember the words of the always eloquent and articulate Fletch from Porridge

"Don't let the bastards grind you down!"

Monday, 23 July 2012

The One With the Nude Photos

Yes actually nudie photos!

Of me!

I know!

Some say I was brave. Others, stupid!

But never the less I found myself posing nude for a charity calendar in aid of the local hospice and in association with our production of Calendar Girls this September.

In the spirit of the original story the cast and director all posed nude in the calendar, only in ours we were in the theatre where we perform. Our poses all centred around putting on a show, lighting, sound, costumes you know the kind of thing. 

Having the pictures taken was liberating, exciting, scary and empowering all at once. But to quote a line from the play

" It's just when you start something that's only a few photos that a few people are going to see..."

Since the calendar was launched we have been in the local press and on the local radio. The national press awaits and then who knows what may happen. At the time I just stripped off and got on with it but now people are actually looking at the pictures, as beautiful as they are, I can't help wanting to crawl under a rock and hide my rather over exposed body. 

I am extremely proud of us all and if you would like to buy one then they are just a minimum donation of £3 each for St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich and available from our Facebook page

So here I am with the rest of the cast doing our bit for charity. If you want to see some of us come out from behind the piano then you'll have to buy one!