Accidents and Chocolate Cake

Before getting a little emotional on Friday before my last school pick-up for a long time (as my postgrad acting course at GFCA starts tomorrow – eeek!) I made sure to enjoy my last free day alone with both boys at school. I slept in, took a long walk in the sun and had a late lunch and prosecco.

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I got a little emotional thinking that I won’t be able to pick the boys up from school myself now until December, their last week of term, when my term has finished. But then, I get to drop them off, and I remembered why I’m doing this and that I’ve been at their beck and call pretty much for six years, so I think it’s time!

I really wanted to make the most of this last chilled weekend, though before the madness starts, so we had a lie-in on Saturday and I took them to the amazing Sheriff Centre Hullaballoo soft-play in West Hampstead. It’s the most amazing place, with soft play for under 2s (£2) and over 2s (£4). They get to stay in for ages, if it’s not busy I don’t think they ever kick you out! It is a huge converted church (actually still used in part as a church) but with a post office inside, sofas, free books and games to borrow, so you can sit and enjoy yourself while still keeping an eye on the kids and the café not only does coffee and nice food but also WINE and beer!! Plus the people there are lovely. In other words, it’s just heaven to a knackered parent like me. I would literally live there all the time if it were possible. They serve their tea in proper vintage, mismatched china and before my wine I had lovely porridge with cinnamon and honey.


Unfortunately, two hours killing themselves in the soft-play is not enough to tire out my insane kids, so I put them in the garden to play and regretted it after both of them fell off the garden wall, one after the other. Luci first, nosedived headfirst off the wall, god knows how, and yelled in that way that even the most lazy, unsympathetic parent (me) uncharacteristically bombs it down the stairs immediately to see what’s wrong. He had a huge shiner on his forehead but 10 minutes of icepack and a cuddle later he was perfectly happy to sit in bed and watch Team Umizoomi. So I started dinner… 5 minutes later, Gabs runs in and falls dramatically on the floor, bent double. “Go to the toilet!” I cried, misreading his bending double. Then I noticed his weird breathing and crying: “I’m injured! You have to call an ambulance!” he cried, dramatically. I’m not inclined to panic but I did get a bit shaky when I noticed the colour drain from his face and his lips start to turn blue. He had scraped the whole side of his body and was clearly in shock. I panicked and got Remus out of his teaching room, when he started to say, “I’m tired” and go all floppy, I was starting to think I should set off the to hospital, but then we tried the magic, “How Serious Is It?” litmus test. We offered him his Samsung tablet to play some minecraft in bed. It works every time. If he wants the tablet, he’s fine and it’s a non-emergency. If he says no, it’s super-serious. So we gave him some calpol and water and checked on him and eventually he got some colour back and Mummy had a medicinal brandy (yucky cheap stuff I use for baking, but needs must!)

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Today, Sunday, I had to teach and say goodbye to some lovely violin students who I won’t have time for anymore but who I have grown very attached to. :( Curiously, absolutely everyone today needed work on something major on either hand and I ended up photographing everyone’s progress so they can refer back as they practise. I am keeping my smallest pupils on, who I will teach at 8:30 on a Sunday morning for as long as I can manage it. I so love my pupils. Teaching will always be something I want to do.

I also taught my Gabs, trying to help him get used to his new 1/4 size violin, which he’s finding a bit traumatic – Aspies don’t like change! I also cleaned the kitchen floor, made popcorn and a chocolate cake and a risotto and got Gabs to complete his homework. I was on fire today!

My crowning achievement was definitely the chocolate cake made as a treat for my amazing boys to say thank you for supporting me in pursuing my dreams and my new acting course! G for Gabs, R for Remus, L for Luci…

In the absence of letter cutters, I had to make templates with greaseproof paper. It didn’t work particularly well. If anyone is reading this and wants to buy me R, G & L and heart-shaped cookie cutters for Christmas I wouldn’t turn them down.

Gabs helped me decorate.

I’m not sure if they liked it…

This may be the last blog I have time to write until Christmas… I don’t know. Maybe I will have time to write a bit about the course but I wouldn’t bank on it. Any post will be a bonus! So have a wonderful Autumn, all and see you in December, if not before!

Messy Play for Matilda Mae – by Gabriel Azoitei, age 6

Yesterday, I woke up early in the morning, and straight away without having any time to eat my breakfast, I started making a bottle rocket. Materials: 1 empty – plastic Coca Cola bottle, 4 paper triangles, some pens, 1 coloured pencil (yellow), some paints, and, some tape.

First, I made a blueprint. On the blueprint, I drew, ‘the keys’. The Red line, is the key for, ‘cut’, and the Green – dotted line, is the key for, ‘fold’.

Then, I painted the windows blue, and I went out in the street with mummy to get a haircut, while the paint dried. When I got back, I painted the rest red. The next day, (obviously, the paint would have dried by then)…(again). Next, I painted a door onto the rocket. Can you guess what colour the door was? It was green!

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So, then my rocket was finished, and ready to blast off! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!!!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blogpost.

 Oh, and don’t forget to leave a like!

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– Gabi xxx

[This blog post is all Gabi’s own words and own typing, completely unaided… He had already made the rocket and painted the windows on by the time I got up in the morning! The only thing I did was to help him spell “obviously”… Think he’s a better and quicker blogger than me. He even knew to ask for likes, which I never thought of! LOL. -Ed. aka Mummy]

GFCA – Postgraduate Intensive Diploma

It’s time I came out of the closet.

The Actor’s Closet.


Giles Foreman

I might have mentioned briefly, and rather cagily in the past about my part time acting studies that I started a few years ago when the boys were really small, at the Giles Foreman Centre for Acting. It is a small independent drama school in Soho, well a drama centre really as they train professional actors too, founded by Giles Foreman who studied and taught at Drama Centre. He also has schools in Paris and Luxembourg. It was recommended to me back when I was too shy to tell people I had always really, really dreamed of acting, by my lovely and very kind friend Nick – who is a great actor and who I trusted not to judge me unkindly or laugh at me – and I wanted to be sure of getting a great quality acting class. And that’s exactly what I got, so I’ll always be grateful to him, first of all for being so warmly enthusiastic and encouraging me to go for it and secondly for giving me good advice.

So, here I am three years later having trekked through some highs of success and some tears of frustration and a couple of crash-n-burns, in the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced evening classes at GFCA with the brilliant Dylan Brown and then Giles himself, and still not satiated and not put-off and only wanting more seriously to do it, and realising how much I want and need to be trained.

So – amazingly for such an oversharing facebook queen – I have secretly and quietly prepared for audition for the 4-term intensive postgrad MA-equivalent course which I yearned to do (and nearly auditioned for) last year, when Lucian was still just that bit too small and I was just that bit not ready.

10952303_340903702768733_2298836491052096742_nI kept going to my evening class, crammed in some Othello on the CLS tour to Mexico in May and prepared Emilia’s monologue, “But I do think it is their husbands’ faults if wives do fall…” from Shakespeare’s Othello and Eva’s ‘Kindertransport’ monologue from Jonathan Lichtenstein’s amazing play Memory (which I am now desperate to see/be in a production of at all costs) where she describes to her childhood friend, now an SS-officer how she put her 5 year old son on the train to safety in England.IMG_3083

I studied, I practiced, I felt good about it, then I felt bad about it, I had some coaching, I cried in the bath a LOT, and then I auditioned on 17th June and Remus waited anxiously to take me for dinner afterwards, expecting me to be an emotional wreck (not that he expected me to fail – well, maybe we both did a bit, after-all it was my first acting audition of any kind, but whichever way he expected me to be exhausted and emotional, which I kind of was). And apart from not noticing myself get on the wrong tube line and exiting, to my surprise at Golders Green instead of Finchley Road, I was as surprised as he was to find I was in pretty good shape, kind of elated, kind of terrified, that I thought it might have gone OK!

But I still considered it a massive long shot. I’m 35, with no previous acting degree and two kids, there are only about 16 places on the course and I knew in my heart I was what Giles might call a Wild Card. So I forgot about it.


And then I got this!

So, I just wanted to warn you all that facebook shares will probably plummet when my decade of immense contribution to Mark Zuckerberg’s empire, with my over-sharing and photo-uploads will most likely come to an end. I am warned I won’t have time. Thank you to a few wonderful people – my friend the fabulous Romanian actress Anamaria Marinca, the inimitable Dylan Brown and the gorgeous Rebecca Wield (who is currently already on the course and will begin her fourth term as I start my first) – for collectively providing all the coaching, tea, biscuits, wine and moral support I could have wished for. I am so grateful. See, it worked!!!

The person I most want to say thank you to is actually my husband Remus. He knows why. I don’t even know how to explain it here. In vague: for how he’s got behind this plan, which must have hit him like a tonne of bricks when I first brought it up; more specifically for the massive unconditional love and support that he poured on me during that Café Rouge converstation where I cried my eyes out about all the presumed judgment I thought would be coming my way from others for this, about all the money my parents and my late Grandad gave me to get me through my violin studies and my crushing sense of guilt about wanting to do something else; for saying to me, “Can I ask you something? Do you feel like a failure?” – “Yeeeees! That’s exactly how I feel!” – and for telling me, “Nothing could be further from the truth,” which I SO needed to hear; for the frequent removal of the kids from my vicinity so I could prepare and for understanding and supporting the fact that, as impractical and ridiculous a plan as this might look from the outside, this is something I really need to do, to be whole and to be me. For all of this I have never felt so loved, and never loved him more.

So, there it is. I am about to be a full-time student once again, both terrified and eager and wondering what kind of “me” I will find waiting in December 2016 when I (hopefully!) graduate. Wish me luck, and see you on the other side.

Coffee Art in Cornwall Part 2.5

I was browsing back through old photos while blogging and realised I missed a whole batch of the very best of my Dad’s yummy coffees-with-chocolate-pictures (usually personalised or some in-joke) from last year. I can’t believe I missed them! So really this should be a part of Coffee Art in Cornwall Part 2 if we’re pandering to chronology, but who cares… Here they are. They taste even better than they look. I wish I was drinking one right now.