Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pam's particular wrinkled brow...

You see it there...just above her right eyebrow? It's very faint. It was beautiful and sad and particular. And I loved it. So once when I tried (yikes!) to draw her I noticed I'd included it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here she is Sawyer who was born this morning, resting in the arms of her proud sister.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We've been getting a lot of rain.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bergman's Wife.

Watching Bergman Island last night the one thing he said that moved me to tears was this, "I accept that I'm going to meet Ingrid. And I've completely crossed out that other nightmare thought that I'll never meet her again."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This last year...

There is a pain-so utter-
It swallows substance up-
Then covers the Abyss with Trance-
So Memory can step
Around-across-upon it-
As one within a Swoon-
Goes safely-where an open eye-
Would drop Him-Bone by Bone.

Emily Dickinson.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

His first tattoo at seventy three

Not long after IT happened my nephew Billy declared he was going to have a tattoo done for Pam. Dad ended up being the one who had one done. When the man began dad was struck by how big it was going to be but was too polite to say anything. At first it was a bit gulp inducing to see but dad is very proud of it. When I get an opportunity I'll get a better photo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have been following the news on Natasha Richardson avidly since I first heard about it yesterday. I worked with her sister Joely at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 1986. Joely is the same age as my sister Pam would have been 44. We have now lost our sisters to death within a year of each other. Joely is now in the same boat. Life is so weird to me now. You carry on but every second of your experience seems odd. Now Vanessa Redgrave, who is the same age as my mother, has to grieve and be in so much pain. It hurts and hurts and leaves a gaping hole. Nothing will ever be the same again. I will always have my head turned by tragic accidents now until the day I die. I wonder now regularly how I will die and when.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Focus of this Blog

Is to write. It seems to be a way of dealing with my grief to share stories about my family. However now that my play is going to Edinburgh I will be focusing big time on that. Anyway FYI this blog is about pouring the extreme loss of my beautiful and extraordinary sister Pam into something. It makes me feel a little better. Pam would like it.  I think this sketch is by John Williams Waterhouse.  I found it amongst Ron's stuff.  It looks so like Pam.  It's uncannily like her.  The more I stare at it the more it strikes at my heart, she seems so sad.  She often was so sad.  I wish this hadn't happened. I wish with all my heart that she was not gone.

Friday, February 27, 2009

For Dad

Get your laughing tackle round one of these!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My garden

This was taken as autumn was setting in last year. That tree covers the entire garden with it's leaves. Today I planted some sunflowers seeds. I got a spade and turned the soil over and spread the little seeds and covered them with mulch to be precise. I hope they grow, those little seeds. I enjoyed it. I'm no gardener but last year a friend stayed here because I had to go back to England unexpectedly for Pam's memorial. 2008 then became the worst year of my life. He was a gardener and he gave me some lovely suggestions. He also told me that one half of a little tree died and he said it was Pam. I love you Pam and I am going to make my garden grow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Go Mickey you're so fine!

The reason I'm loving Mickey so much lately is because of what his good friend Sean Penn said about him when accepting the Oscar last night. Sean won. He said, 'due to a sensitivity that has caused much challenge, Mickey has risen again.' Both Pam and I can and have related to this all our lives. They all said we were 'too sensitive' ah well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The sweetest, dearest creature...

My dear sister, you had the most exquisite face. Your skin was like rose petals so soft and sweetly freckled. Your square jaw I wish I could cup it now in my hands. I wish we hadn't felt so weird touching. I regret now as I think of you how we could have held each other more. I remember when I was living in Liverpool you visited. I wanted to show you a field full of sunflowers all just standing at attention. We took photos of ourselves in front of them. Then we went for a walk and saw horses and a peacock. We found a clearing amongst some trees and I suggested we go and sit there and that you put your head in my lap. I stroked your hair and you tried to feel OK about it. Your gorgeous long, thick, dark hair which I stroked. Were you wearing white? You are now I think. Oh Pam, I remember we had a nice day in the sunshine and we went into a little church.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Triffid

What do you think of this necklace?  Is it me?  No it is not me in a month of Sundays.  I defy anyone to think that this monstrous-looking triffid would suit anyone at all.  And yet this is one of many such xmas presents that I have received from my very own mother.  What!  Why?  I hear you scream.  I don't know, is the answer, I just don't know and what's more neither does she.  Let it be said here and now, and I'm sure mum would have to agree, when it comes to buying presents for her daughters, this woman was and always will be stark, staring mad.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Audience with Hilda and Derek

Confessions of a window cleaner

Steve was and still is the family window cleaner. He must have been cleaning my parent’s windows for ooh over twenty years. I bump into him occasionally when I’m visiting and he always says, ‘Alright Jane?’ with a look that says I know and you know that I’ve caught you in some pretty intimate positions. He was certainly kept entertained over the years by the sights he saw in our house. One occasion, which has kept me laughing for years, involved my youngest sister Pam.

We had not long been home from school one day and after putting up with my goading for long enough she went upstairs to change out of her school uniform. Every evening I would torment her for a while trying for some fun. I always shot myself in the foot because she’d only put up with it for minutes and then she’d be off. She knew I was after some shits and giggles but she wasn’t prepared to provide them by being jostled about by me.

One such occasion she came downstairs to find me staring at an episode of Blue Peter or Skippy going out of my mind with boredom. In she walked as only the best sitcom actor can. The wry look on her face couldn’t have been bettered by John Cleese or Leonard Rossiter. One eyebrow raised and her mouth cocked to one side which told me instantly that something had happened and I was going to find it very funny. My eyes lit up expectantly. What she next revealed had me beating the floor with peels of laughter. She had been sitting on the toilet staring into space when she began to hear a noise. It was a kind of squeaking noise and it was directly behind her at the window. Her mind slowly began to work. Squeaking noise at a window now what could that be? Oh no! She slowly turned her head and there at the window staring right at her with a look of apology and confusion was said window cleaner. She snapped back round, weed her wee hard and fast, not an easy thing to do, yanked her knickers up and bolted out of the toilet like a frightened pony. Mortified, she came to recount the story to me and having relieved herself of this (other) burden she wearily trudged back to her room. I resumed my viewing, grateful for the humour but disappointed that that was all I was getting.

Moments later I heard Pam’s feet thumping back downstairs, more juice? I could only hope. In she came same look of utter comedy despair on her face. Having slightly recovered from her toilet embarrassment, she wandered aimlessly into her bedroom lifting her school shirt over her head. She nearly screamed as she came eye to eye with the window cleaner who was now at her bedroom window his face filled with uneasy helplessness. Her eyes widened with horror at the thought of her bra looming at him in the manner of the local flasher. She pulled her shirt down like her life depended on it. Face red, head swimming she dashed out of the room and down to older sister to share her nightmare and provide some much needed entertainment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who invented this little instrument?

My dear old dad used to play the jews harp when we were kids.  He also played teddy bear's picnic and the theme tune from the film Genevieve on the harmonica.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The right man for the job

A few years ago my sister Pam and I were stuck in England wondering what to do. I was in a 12 step program and always thinking I was not good enough in my sponsor's eyes. She told me I was self obsessed and suggested I do some volunteer work. In an effort to please her I turned to Pam who was helping out at a homeless centre. Pam kindly arranged for me to go with her. We pulled up in a car park in dreary Stockport. The centre was located in a grey shopping precinct. I marvelled at Pam's matter-of-factness as we walked into a little hut of a building. I helped her and two mumsy women to set up. I was quite perky and rather intrigued by this world. I noticed that the food was cheap and not very nutritious. The actress in me was taking everything in. Pam was pretty laid back just quietly getting on with things. She had nowhere near the heightened intensity with which her actress sister was diving in. Perhaps she might have been a little wary if she'd known what was to come.

The homeless people started to arrive and Jane's eyes were glued. Looking to the ladies and Pam for the correct mode of behaviour she was given the job of serving tea. Men and women rough and ready, quite lively she noted, started to form a line. Jane went into big smiley, friendly, helpful mode perhaps with just a tad too much spring in her step. At least for the liking of one man in particular. This man was short, sleight, in his fifties, grey long hair and very grouchy. Jane poured the tea and asked if he would like sugar. '3 sugars' he said and Jane noted that everybody took 3 sugars in their tea. 'Shall I stir it for you?' she asked cheerfully. Gesturing that his hands were full he said, 'Well I'd do it myself but I can't get my flies undone.' Jane froze and stared at him blinking like a rabbit in the headlights. She turned round dramatically and Pam said,'God what's the matter?' 'That man, that man' I cried and tears started rolling down my cheeks. I told them what he said and taking it in their stride they carried on as normal. Pam laughed and comforted me a little and we all resumed our posts. Soon a cheerful chappy in his twenties rolled up for his tea. 'Hello love' he said, 'How are you today?' 'Alright' I said with a little dramatic emphasis. 'What love?' he pressed and I said, 'Well to be honest one of the men said something rude and it upset me a bit.' 'You what?! he cried 'You what?' He spun round and scanning the room shouted 'Where is he? Where is he? Which one is it love? Who is it?!! I'll show him upsetting you kind ladies who help us.' His voice booming he continued. 'Eh? Have you heard this lads? Some f*#*er has upset this lovely lady. What a f*#*ing c**t!' I couldn't seem to stop him shouting. I was flabbergasted. How could I have gotten myself into another scrape minutes after the first one? I looked at Pam aghast she was staring at me her eyes wide with alarm. The offending homeless man sat rigid, his back to us hunched over his food. The ladies gathered round to pacify the young man and with some effort they got him to let it go. Off he walked looking at me saying, 'Are you sure? Are you sure?' Me nodding furiously, the wind firmly knocked out of my sails. I felt utterly defeated.

Driving home I decided as Pam laughed and nodded furiously that that would be my last day volunteering at a homeless centre. A new sense of awe settled on me at Pam's ease in that environment. I said, 'I don't think I'm cut out for it. I'm too dramatic.' 'Too dramatic?' she said, 'You'd been there 5 minutes and you caused f*#*ing mayhem!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fame constantly eludes me...

I was asked to sing backing vocals on two tracks on this album in 1983. I was to go to the Manor recording studios somewhere in Oxfordshire I think it was. I went with my boyfriend Gabriel and we stayed there in a gorgeous room, eating gorgeous food and swimming in the pool. In the studio I had to sing the vocals over and over it seemed to go on forever. At last the producer seemed to be happy so with that we left. After those two days at the Manor it never occurred to me to buy the album or ask for a copy of it. So I never saw or hear of it again. Until today. I marvel at myself.

26 for sale in the Discogs Marketplace

Sort releases by: Title, Format, Label, ↑ Year

It's A Fine Day (7", Single)
Cherry Red 1983
Jane And Barton (LP)
Cherry Red 1983
Lovely And Chicken (12")
Wooden Records 1989
It's A Fine Day (12")
Cherry Red 1992
It's A Fine Day (CD, Maxi)
Cherry Red 1993
Appears On:
Working With Fire And Steel (Possible Pop Songs Volume Two) (LP, Album)
Virgin 1983
Working With Fire And Steel (Possible Pop Songs Volume Two) (CD, Album)
Virgin Records (Benelux), Virgin 1984
Working With Fire And Steel (Possible Pop Songs Volume Two) (CD, Album)
Virgin, Virgin 1984
Tracks Appear On:
The Eyes of Barbara Steele (12")It's A Fine DayCherry Red 1983
And Suddenly It's Evening (LP)It's A Fine DayVap Inc. 1986
And Suddenly It's Evening (CD, Album)It's A Fine DayVap Inc. 1986
Edward Not Edward (LP)I Slap My BellyWooden Records 1989
Ambition - The Cherry Red Story Volume 1 (CD)It's A Fine DayCherry Red 1991
The Indie Scene 83 (CD)It's A Fine DayConnoisseur Collection 1992
New Wave Soft Class-X 1 (CD, Comp)It's A Fine DayAntler-Subway 1993
Red Heaven (CD, Comp)It's A Fine DayCherry Red 1995
Ambition - The History Of Cherry Red Records Volumes 1 & 2 (2xCD, Comp, Album)It's A Fine DayCherry Red 1997
Pillows & Prayers Volumes 1 & 2 (Cherry Red 1982-1984) (2xCD)It's A Fine DayCherry Red 2000
Generation 80's: Classics From The 80's Alternative Scene (CD)Its's A Fine DayOcho 2002
Cherry Red Archive Series - Part Two (CD, Comp, Enh)It's A Fine Day, It's ...Cherry Red 2003
Ambition - Volumes 1 & 2 - The History Of Cherry Red Records 1978 – 1988 (2xCD, Album)It's A Fine DayCherry Red 2005
Beloved (CD)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My father regularly throws himself out of bed during the night because he's dreaming that he's being chased. My mother regularly wakes up in the night because my dad is hitting her on the head or trying to strangle her. He's dreaming that he is fighting with someone. In one dream he said he was hitting this guy's head with a spatula like the Three Stooges, only in reality it was mum's head. She tries not to sleep with him these days. Last July our lives were hit by an awful tragedy. His youngest daughter Pam, my closest sister was killed in Rhode Island. Lately I've been avoiding my dad. In the dream that is now life I was thinking back today to THAT WEEK. At her Bed & Breakfast, The Dragonfly Inn during the funeral, in the middle of the night there was a terrific crash. People came running. Dad had thrown himself out of bed. He knocked over the side table breaking it's glass top, a lamp and a dragonfly ornament. Mum cut her feet as she ran round the bed to help him. He was crying so hard they said. I had my ear plugs in as usual I didn't hear it. His grandson tried to help him. The next day he had a black eye and his nose looked like WC Fields. I can't stand to see him in pain. He wants to see me on the computer but I can't bear to see the pain in his face. I think I'm selfish.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Great Gump

I felt like I was at a wedding last night watching Mr & Mrs President. I always found the dancing part at a wedding embarrassing. I suppose that's my inbred Englishness. Last night, squirming, I tried to imagine watching our Gordon Brown up there smooching. What a 'Great Gump' (to coin one of my sister Pam's expressions) he would look. Actually come to think of it, I'd bloody love to see Gordon up there dancing and smiling his own special smile. Or not, erm.... well no, probably not, no. The only thing that touched me (which Pam would have liked) was the singer, Beyonce. What a lovely voice. I've never heard her sing. I thought she was stunning. When she was interviewed later she said of Obama, 'he makes me want to be a better person'. Followed by a sharp intake of breath from me. Oh God, it is going to be interesting to see this one unfold.

Eh?! Look what I just found!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Take Hart

And we did take heart thanks for being there for us Tony when mum was making our tea!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You are asking yourself just what is this interesting interview about aren't you? And who is she? Isn't she the spitting image of Kirsty Wark?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Speaking of shoes...

Take a look at these.  My dad's 'casual, working round the house' shoes.  Probably purchased in the 1970's.  Wonderful!

Pam's Slideshow

Sunday, January 4, 2009

17 little piggies basking in the midday sun

Hey come on you guys let this little piggy stay at home!


My 15 yr old nephew Billy shared this delectable video with me and his mum Angie this xmas. We then became Kelly addicts. Simply enjoy.

The Great Equalizer

As they say I'm sorry for your loss. I have not enjoyed hearing that phrase these last six months. It is unreal. I know how you feel John. We are in the same boat now. No one wants to be in this boat. No one.

Christmas without Pam

I'd better get it over with. My sister Pam was killed last July 3rd in a plane crash. She was my soul mate. Here we are without her. She was sorely missed. We love you Pam! It is excruciating. I want to write more about her and show you how beautiful she is but not right now.

Edible Arrangements

I am so sick of seeing the word 'simply' involved in advertising. Simply organic, simply this or simply that. My heart sinks when I see yet another product described as simply....whatever! The worst,worst one is Marks and Spencer's 'Simply Food'. Simply Food? It's simple. I was simply eating a multigrain cracker the other day when I spotted this on the packaging. "We invite you to experiment with our products. These original tastes are perfect for a variety of occasions, from informal snacking to hosting guests around a dinner table." Who the hell came up with informal snacking? What a great idea? To snack informally! Why didn't I think of that? I wish you all a glorious year of informal snacking. It's so simple. And don't get me started on edible arrangements grrrrr!

It's a Fine Day by Jane