A Snap Chat


My life is happening in snapshots not unlike snapchat, moment/days that swap from the personal to the political/professional, bouncing at speed and demanding responses, lists, resolve and care.

My wife and I bought a house with a garden last September, we’ve been renovating and now, after 22 yrs. of living in our current house, we’re about to move (this weekend).  It has to happen now as on the 24th April I’m having my second to big toe amputated.

My son and wife are the beat that echo’s in my heart and if that beat falters, then I trip, fall, catch and hold, and they to me in return.

After SUGAR’s preview I’d taken time off, spent 14 x days, painting our new house top to bottom – chasing the builders from room to room, sweeping and clearing.

Then last week my first day back I’m on a train to London, we’ve been invited to the launch of CultureUK, we’re speculating why, asking ourselves if we’ve been Green Lit for The Space Commission, that will see us live streaming internationally later this year.  I’m sat at a table reading the brochure and there we are, Green Lit, it’s happening.  I’m sitting in the BBC Radio Theatre, second row to the stage, wearing a yellow band, VIP and (on behalf of Open Clasp) am feeling special, recognised and valued.

Back in Newcastle I’m reading and reacting to responses from our preview of SUGAR, feeling good and hopeful this show will make change happen, has already done so but need to check on our audiences, collaborators, see how everyone faired with its content and the issues raised.

The cast of Key Change are upstairs rehearsing for their three week run at Battersea Arts Centre, they previewed on Friday at Trinity Academy, to an audience 80+ strong, teachers, primary and secondary, a training day, looking at mental health, addiction and abuse – the cast are brilliant, talented, skilled and strong – the impact tangible and the audience share their love of the show and its power to make change happen.  Later the cast look tired, like all actors they juggle jobs, lives, children, money, relationships and relocating.  The staff team, back at the office look tired as does the director, everyone working hard to make sure the show and each other are ok.  The cast/crew/Creative Producer and Director travel down on the Sunday, and WhatsApp tells me everyone is safe, happy and excited to be at Battersea Arts Centre – all is ok.

On Monday night, as the cast prepare to perform Key Change (opening night), back in Newcastle we had our first board meeting of the year, with three new members.  Our agenda is full and exciting. We’re recruiting for a Treasurer, need a Vice Treasurer.  We’re recruiting and considering issues of ethics, finances and the programme of work that takes us to 2022 (if we get reinvestment from the Arts Council).   I leave feel appreciative of the board, their care and distance travelled to support the governance of Open Clasp.

Tuesday, so yesterday I’m at the hospital for my pre-assessment, then picking up a coal house door, cabinets and a quick visit to IKEA (my card’s declined and I leave empty handed), then we, the wife and I find the worktop is to short, there’s chaos, shouting and hugs, more shouting and a bottle of wine drank.

Today I’m back at my desk and WhatsApp, Twitter tell me that Key Change shone last night and received a standing ovation.

Mary, Carly and I talk about my operation, whether I’m going to keep my toe afterwards (which I’m not).

Then my final snapshot is Buster, our lovely yet challenging dog.  He’s doing his Kennel Club Silver Award tonight, which given that to pass he has to be greeted without jumping up, and when training last week with Jill our Creative Producer, he jumped up and bust her nose, he (we) will fail, I’m sure of it…. but it’s the taking part that counts, the training and learning, not the rosette – it’s the change and development of our relationship that matters most, but the rosette would be nice!

My life in a snap chat.


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