I am writing this sitting on an incredibly hard metal bench at Westminster Underground Station! "Why?" I hear you cry! Because I'm homeward bound after a cracking night out with my sister, where we were entertained right royally by Ms Barbra Streisand – boy can she still sing!
Before I give you a little insight into the evening itself, I'd like to thank you very much for sharing so eloquently your memories of gigs/live performances, past and present! And what an eclectic mix of performers! From Bon Jovi to The Bay City Rollers, the Beatles and even Shirley Bassey!
I loved reading them, and hope you did too! Oh, and Colin's gig at The Horns was a mighty success, and I have to say hello and thank you to Jackie and Dave for reading about it here, and coming along to support him
Back to Barbra! My sister, Jenny, and I have always shared a love of this Brooklyn songbird, but never dreamed we'd have the chance to see her.
Our childhood consisted of singing our way regularly through the entire song list from Funny Girl, Hello Dolly, Yentl – to name but a few – and we surprised ourselves when realising that we hadn't forgotten a single word!
There we 21,000 people at the O2, and so this is what Ms Streisand walked out onstage to face…terrifying, eh? In fact, she admitted to giving up live performances for over 27 years having forgotten the words for three songs in 1963!
Last night the autocue was firmly set up in the rafters and she was word perfect But, more than that, she was note perfect. Every single word was as clear as crystal and her first song, from the 1970s film of the same name, reduced Jenny and I to tears…"On a clear day, you can see forever"
I was back in my bedroom, 14 years old, singing to my reflection and truly believing that I could blow the clouds away and see forevermore. Not only were we treated to Ms Streisand's vocal talents, but also those of her son and her sister, and then we were serenaded with a fabulous duet on trumpet and violin (not forgetting the 60-strong orchestra)!
She took us back to Brooklyn, moved seamlessly from stage to studio recordings and held us all in the palm of her hand. 50 years of making music and, for Jenny and I, creating memories that we will last forever
To be honest, I have been more than a little spoiled over the last few weeks as, in addition to Barbra, I took Colin to see Jersey Boys in the West End as his birthday treat. We did cut it a tad fine though. Having had supper first, we arrived at the theatre just as they called one minute to curtain up!
It was a wonderful show though, although COMPLETELY different to War Horse, which we'd been lucky enough to see the week before. Debbie Greenwood's husband, Paul, had two spare tickets and so we met them in town and were completely transported by the sensational animatronics that brought to life so cleverly and sensitively, the brutality of the First World War.
The horses are created like a kind of wicker cage and people move them from inside. Seriously, after about five minutes you believe they are real! Must be exhausting for the puppeteers (I think they're still called that although these horses would knock Punch and Judy into a tin hat!) :) Again, well worth travelling into town – thank you Mr Coia!
I moved from stage to small screen last week when Lucy visited me and we decided to immerse ourselves in Baz Lehrmann's stunning remake of 'The Great Gatsby'. We donned our 3D glasses (quite fetching don't you think?) and were treated to an incredibly glitzy and glamorous snapshot of life for America's rich and wealthy in the 20s.
The costumes and jewellery were unbelievable, and I thought Carey Mulligan was completely convincing but honestly, there will only ever be one Gatsby for me: Robert Redford…sigh…
Down to earth with a bump and my appointment at The Marsden. In short, I will have to have three operations over a six-month period, and hopefully then things will be a little easier. The surgeon has said not to set my hopes too high but, with fat transfer to help with the incredibly thin skin and different implants, I should feel more comfortable. That'll probably be July, but I'll let you know and thanks, as always, for all your lovely comments and words of support
Well, you'll be glad to know that the train finally arrived and I headed home, but not before I'd taken this picture of the Houses of Parliament in the sunshine Beautiful, eh? Looks pretty good at night too – as Jenny and I discovered when we walked back to our hotel :) I have swapped my hard metal bench for a somewhat softer seat at Heathrow airport and am waiting with Colin to fly to Nashville :). It's an early start so we're both a bit sleepy but excited. I will take lots of photos as always and report back on our return!
At least I leave you with sunshine for at least the next few days and hopefully more to come! Pretty warm in Tennessee I hear, so y'all take good care and I'll be back before you know it :).
With my love,