As 2017 is analysed and filed away, Kath and I are busily sorting out 40+ years of archives, lofts, photos and our individual and shared lives as we reduce (a bit) what we plan to move to our new home in Edinburgh.
My creative week has encompassed meetings with a playwright exploring 6 new projects which are each in commercial development, an inspiring concert with 4 cabaret bands and over 40 performers offering their celebration of contemporary music, a showcase of a cabaret artist on her way to Edinburgh and a reading of a new piece of community musical theatre which could be scheduled to have 20+ productions across the UK next year.
Those who read my blogs will know that I am near despair to see what a Grady can do to help 1500 young people who are literally packaged in containers awaiting dispatch, with no water or food from the government which is dispatching them to another government that does not want them.
I’m on a posh train, can’t find my seat, standing in floods of tears, too tired to walk the ten coaches or so to find my place. That feels a fitting end to a week where I have been in Calais to try and support my friends, daughter Anna and her partner Jonny as they weather the disinformation and mess which has come from the clearance of the Jungle.
For 100+ volunteers in the warehouse a few miles from the Jungle camp, it is business as usual (as I first type this on Day 2 of the evictions). My colleagues and I spent a day sorting donations from supermarkets, individuals, garlic farms, and traders. Every single tin or bag was gathered by type and put on pallets for future use.
I sometimes wonder how anyone makes sense of my artistic taste and my direction of travel. This last week has been a particularly rich menu and by the end of this blog I may have found a common theme.
I have just spent three days in and around the Jungle in Calais, and there are two preceding blogs circulating which look at the work of the Refugee Community Kitchen and Jungle Books. These are just two parts of an intricate, fully functional, completely unexpected operation or organised chaos to bring the maximum level of life and hope to the 7000 people living in political and governmental limbo in Calais.