Monday, July 29, 2013

The Performance

The moment I saw the venue, my hands went clammy and a cold sweat broke out on the back of my neck. 

As we swept up the wide staircase, my brain had already spun into a spiral that matched the brown swirly carpets, and by the time we entered the cavernous hall, with its rows of white-covered chairs facing the window, I felt sick to the core.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Memories are made of this

Mel Smith RIP

Tyne - picture from Side Gallery

It’s been a week of stirred memories. 

Live Theatre’s production of Tyne was a treat. Michael Chaplin had encased this compilation of Tynerabilia within a loose-fitting narrative about an ex-pat Geordie who returns for his father’s funeral. It was undisguised sentimental indulgence – a perfect show for the theatre and the region. I’m rather glad Jo didn’t go: my American wife wouldn’t have understood a single reference. 

As I spent my own childhood in Tynemouth, in a house that looked out over the two piers, the play was two hours of nostalgia-inducing pleasure.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Howzat! The village cricket match.

What a thriller. On a hot summer’s day, the match ebbed and flowed; the capacity crowd was at fever pitch to the very last ball. 

I’m not talking about the Ashes. That was humdrum stuff compared to the cricket match I witnessed yesterday afternoon. This was an even more fiercely fought fixture, one that pitched neighbour against neighbour, farmer against land agent, furniture salesman against vicar. 

The Middleton versus Hartburn village match is a highlight of our community’s year.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A new Mrs Gutteridge

Another Mrs Gutteridge entered the world on Saturday. 

This time I wasn’t responsible – my eldest son, a film director, has finally tied the knot. 

The wedding took place at the home of an ex-Mrs Gutteridge, Jilly, my first wife and mother of the groom. It’s always nice to see the by-product of one of my divorce settlements: in this case, it's a picture-book beautiful farmhouse in Sussex, a perfect setting for any wedding.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Proud mums and pushy parents

This afternoon a 19-year-old girl will take hold of Britain’s nerves and torment them for a couple of hours until she either makes history or goes back into the big box of British sport’s near-achievers. 

Laura Robson, this season’s tennis darling, has already managed to demonstrate both aspects of British sporting prowess – flashes of brilliance interspersed with nervous unreliability.