My son (15) came home from school yesterday and said “You’ve dyed your hair!”
I hadn’t, but the sunlight was hitting it at just the right angle through the window and he said the colour looked lovely.
I was pretty chuffed, so I ran my hands through my hair with delight, just as he said “It looks great, you can’t see any roots at all…oh”
I had coffee with a friend later. We’re starting a new project (singing group for parents and babies – very excited!) and we met for half an hour or so, going through the details. As we got up to leave, we both went “oooh!” at the same time, as our knees creaked and our stiff hips complained.
It’s my hips and my shoulders and my calf muscles and my elbow and occasional arthritis flare-ups in a couple of fingers and…
All Change, Pauline Eyre had its PREMIERE, I tell you, PREMIERE on Saturday night in the delightful setting of The Kitchen, Croxley. Comedy, cake and Corona beer – what more could we ask? And oh MY that Victoria sponge!!
If you’re new to the blog, welcome! To catch you up a bit, I’m documenting the changes in my life, including the development of this, my first hour of comedy. After almost 5 years of performing, it feels like a wonderful step up to be writing a one-hour show and touring it all round the UK.
It’s a very different animal, the comedy hour. Not just trying to be funny but also telling a story, giving the performance light and shade and in my case, bringing my wonderful mum to life for those poor unfortunate folk who haven’t met her in person.
The experience of performing the show for the first time was pretty surreal. I couldn’t have chosen a lovelier venue, nor a more gracious audience, who even when they weren’t laughing were nodding along, confirming that my experiences are universal for people ‘our age’.
Jenny Laville warmed the room beautifully, as only she can. We laughed, we cried we sang and we ate cake. Stuff of life.
It felt very different, performing it in front of people. It was like… do you remember learning to drive? When you find yourself behind the wheel of a moving car, but you don’t feel like you’re in control? That’s what it was like. I was happy with the gear changes, but I think I may have startled a few rabbits along the way. I’ll try hard to learn not to screech the tyres next time.
Talking of next time, that’s Sunday 16th February at 7pm at The Globe in Leicester. Do you know anyone who lives near there? Perhaps you could encourage them to come? Click on ‘All Change’ below. After that, it’s Rochester and many more to come. If you click on All Change above, all the info is there.
I’ve been banging on about menopause onstage for about 4 years but there’s one person I haven’t really discussed it with: my GP. I went to see her today (she’s looooooovely! If yours isn’t, change to a different one!)
It was weird, seeing the doctor for kind-of-not-much-of-anything-really. I’m used to saying to them “it’s like this, The Doctor. I’ve got this pain here, or this injury there” or whatever” But today, it was more like “I just need to speak to someone about ALL OF IT!”
Because none of the symptoms are especially bad on their own. The sweats aren’t terrible (although they do keep me awake), the aches & pains might be injuries, and they’re really not that severe, the ditziness… well, maybe I’m just ditzy? Or old?
And I’ve put on a fair bit of weight in the past couple of years, so maybe that’s why my joints are sore, and my moods are up and down… And maybe that’s why I’m ditzy and why I have sweats…?
“No, Pauline, it’s not. You’re menopausal. And while your BMI is relatively high, you’re fit and active and this is all normal.”
I told her how I’ve always wanted to avoid HRT, but maybe I should be considering it now? She asked what I’ve been doing instead. I looked blankly at her. “You know, red clover, that kind of thing…”
“Oh no!” I said, “I haven’t tried anything!”
You see, I’m not especially into complementary stuff and every time I’ve asked a friend or Facebook, I’ve been given a list as long as your arm of alternative potions, and I just can’t be bothered to research them all. And I’m sure as hell not going down the snake oil route. So as a result, I’ve done nothing. “And when people suggest cannabis oil, I just think ‘well, that’s the latest thing, isn’t it, and people seem to think it cures everything!’
…unless you’re going to suggest cannabis oil, are you, The Doctor?”
“No” she said. “I’m not.
What I am going to do is text you links to 3 websites, where you can get good, evidenced based information.” And so she did. Only I didn’t get the text, because I’d forgotten my phone so I couldn’t pick it up til later.
And I will read them as soon as I’ve found my fucking glasses. Seriously. I’ve checked the car, I’ve checked the surgery, I’ve checked the waiting room. They’re probably in the fucking fridge…
My friend Jenny is the BEST. She just sent me 2 messages:
Message One: “So excited for your show. Its going to be such fun. Fancy a catch up before then? I could come to you. You could perform your show to me! I will deffo heckle tho.”
Message Two: “Also wheres your latest f-ing blog post?”
Jenny (Laville) is opening the show at my first performance of the new show on February 1st (that’s NEXT WEEK Oh God Oh God! Ticket link below). Jenny is a fab stand up comedian & a proper grown-up comedy writer (Radio 4’s The Specials, The News Quiz, Newsjack & more) and we did a show together last year in Edinburgh (& Bath, Guildford & London)
It was Jenny who sat me down in Edinburgh and said “mate, you’ve got to stop trying to pursue comedy in the way you are. You need to find your tribe and get your show out to them, rather than do things the way 20 year old comedians are doing it”. They were blunt, brilliant words. Sometimes a trusted friend is just what you need to tell it like it is.
And there and then, on a bedroom floor in Murrayfield, she said “I think you should start a blog”. She set up the site and showed me how to do it, and I got straight on with it… 6 weeks later after a lot of faffing!
And she promised to nag me, mercilessly, if I didn’t carry it on.
This is exciting! The next outing for my hour-long show is on February 1st. I performed it twice at the end of last year, but it’s time for a rewrite. It had lots of jokes, but not much heart, so it’s time to inject that.
There’s a story that I want to tell. It’s got loads of connections to the stuff I joke about, and I’ve told it at a storytelling event, but I haven’t made comedy from it. And how do I fit it into the show?
I met with a director last week who suggested this exercise: summarise each little section of the show on a post-it note, then add the story you want to tell and see how it might all fit together. I’ve done the first bit, now I’m procrastinating. Looks good on the board, though, doesn’t it?!
What if it doesn’t work? What if it’s crap? What if I’m not good enough? What if nobody comes to see it?
Also, ooh look, pretty post-it notes… biscuits in the cupboard… online Killer Sudoku… the kids’ll be home from school soon… I need the loo… ooh, it’s about time I blogged…
If I promise to get this done, please will you come and see All Change, Pauline Eyre? The next show is on Feb 1st in Croxley Green. Ticket link below.
I need to write. I haven’t blogged since Christmas Day (which feels like about 4 years ago. And I have a show to rewrite. The next performance is on February 1st, which is close enough that I should be panicking, but far enough away that I’m not.
I’ve been doing lots of helpful thinking though. And having some good ideas. And then doing nothing about them, because I’m soooooo tiiiiiiiired.
I’m tired because I’m not sleeping well. I’m not sleeping well because of the sodding menopause. The show is about my menopause and at the moment, I’m thinking that the opening line will be “If this show is crap, it’s because of my menopause”. It’s a terrible opening, but at least it’s on brand.
I’ve been having night sweats. Everything I read about them makes them sound AWFUL! Waking up in the middle of the night with soaking wet bedclothes, that kind of thing. Mine aren’t that dramatic. Just a little sweat, like an adrenaline rush, then throw off the covers, turn the pillow over and lie in a star shape on my front. All the while thinking ‘I’m so lucky, I don’t have the really bad ones’. And then thinking ‘I can go back to sleep now.’ And then thinking ‘I must remember to defrost that lasagna in the morning’ and ‘I wonder if we’re at war yet’ and ‘I hope Andy Murray’s better in time for the Australian Open’…
And then I think up a BRILLIANT idea for my show, and 3 or 4 hiLARious jokes. And then I fall asleep.
And when I wake up, I’ve forgotten the ideas and the jokes, but I’m still worried about Andy Murray. And war.
I have to go now, I have a show to write. Do you mind? I don’t have time to sit here all day writing to YOU, you know!
I’m just going to quickly google Andy Murray and see how he’s doing…
When my mum was younger, she used to talk about ‘clearing the video’. “I’ve had a really useful day”, she’d say. “I’ve cleared all the videos.”
What she meant was that she’d spent the entire day catching up on Coronation St & documentaries she’d recorded! Being retired, and starting to age, clearing a room, clearing a cupboard or clearing the videos was solid, useful work.
It’s Christmas next week, so I’m clearing the freezer. Getting rid of all the stuff that’s been bunged in there this year, as it was just about to reach its best-before date. There’s been a bit of a theme to it, I’ve noticed. This year I’ve tried to be a wee bit healthier and buy less red meat. I appear to have a freezer full of turkey sausages, turkey steaks and even a small turkey joint.
My poor kids are going to be heartily sick of turkey by Christmas Day. Still, so far they’ve gobbled it up…
(Oh God, sorry. That’s a terrible joke, a complete… turkey. Merry Christmas!)
So I’ve got this show, All Change, and I’m going to be bringing it all round the country in 2020 – from Brighton and Leicester to Perth & Edinburgh. And as well as visiting some lovely comedy festivals, I also want to take it to non-traditional venues.
People‘our’ age don’t necessarily hang out at the local comedy club. Sometimes we don’t feel it’s our natural home. Like a lot of things these days, it feels sometimes as though comedy is aimed at 18-34 year olds. It’s like they haven’t noticed that we’re interested, and we want fun things to do, and that we have a disposable income that we might want to spend on a night out listening to jokes that aren’t about Tinder dates and Mo-vember! (Not that there’s anything wrong with those subjects, they’re just not wildly relatable when you’re dealing with getting the cat spayed and hot flushes!)
So I’m bringing the show to other places too. A cafe near Watford with amazing lemon drizzle cake, a craftivism group in Bristol, the Menopause cafe in Perth, maybe even a WI group near you…
So, um, do you fancy it? Can you think of a group or venue near you where people might enjoy a spot of comedy about being married, middle-aged & menopausal? If so, get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment below and let’s do this!
Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s about being middle-aged, ‘n’ stuff. Not quite fitting in any more, because the world seems to be aimed at people younger than me. It’s not, it just feels that way.
I’m the youngest of 4. The whole world was always older than me, everyone else knew what they were doing (didn’t they?) and I was too young to understand. And slowly, gradually, I seem to have become the grown-up, and it’s weeeeeird.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t WANT to be younger. I don’t have to do that stuff to my eyebrows, or my cheekbones, or my pubes… I’ve never had a spray tan, or gone on Tinder or watched porn (honestly, never!) and that’s fine with me.
When my kids say ‘EVERYONE knows this’ or ‘EVERYONE does that’, I think ‘no they don’t. I don’t.’ It seems that I’m not ‘everyone’ any more.
Welcome. If you’re here because you relate, hurrah! If you’re here to try and understand your mum better, that’s great too! The blogs will only ever be short, so you only ever need to make a quick visit. Unless you’d LIKE to stay longer, in which case check out the rest of the website and come and see me doing live comedy. I’d love to see you!