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January, 2013

  1. Life advice #3: Life is too short – enjoy it.

    January 26, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    3. Life is too short – enjoy it.


    Someone else who likes to enjoy life and have fun.
    Photo from The White House

    People die every day. There. I said it. It’s a sentence that remains true, no matter how horrid or personal it may feel. Some people make it through to a grand old age, having the time of their life, and passing away gently in their sleep with no sudden pain or long illnesses. That’s a good way to go, I think. Others choose to go, in which case I can only feel bad that their life didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. Others, well, others are taken too early. And that’s just not good at all.

    I could get hit by a bus today. I sincerely hope I’m not. Equally I could suffer a fatal concussion at the hands of a clumsy squirrel and its nut. I can be as careful as I can be, and yet something might get in the way and cause me a mischief.

    It could happen at any time, so there’s no point putting off the things we want to do until the weather is better, or Little L’s a bit bigger, or it’s not so busy. Well maybe a bit of the latter, but the point is, we should get on and do stuff.

    So we are. We’re getting a babysitter so we can go to a party. We’re going for more walks – the snow is a fun talking point, not something to hide from. Less Cbeebies, more activities. Less sofa slobbing, more fun. Less waiting patiently on the career ladder and more jumping ship to do what I’d really enjoy.

    I would write more but I’m off to dance around the room with my toddler. No matter how long or short my life is, I want to enjoy that as much as I can.

  2. Life advice #2: When in doubt, just take the next small step.

    January 19, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    cv gag copy2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

    Every now and again, we all have a look on Reed* to see how green the grass on the other side is looking. I think it’s a bit like that with jobs. You may be one of the lucky ones, doing something you love that pays as much as you need it to. You may be doing something that’s alright and working out if this is your career path or whether there’s a better offer out there. You might be one of the unfortunate ones, having been handed your redundancy notice. There’s a lot of it about.

    Over the last couple of months, I found myself in the middle one and on the edge of the latter. Nosing around for where I might have a better fit, coming across something quite extraordinary, and receiving a request for voluntary redundancies in quick succession.

    It was a normal evening, surfing around Reed and Monster to see if there was anything that might be a better option. Apart from a surprisingly tempting offer from Affairs4u** nothing caught my eye. Cue a Google search for ‘drama teacher’, just for the hell of it. A sponsored ad from Gumtree appeared. For laughs, I clicked through, expecting a job for experienced drama teachers to deliver leaflets/earn money from home/make quick $$$ etc.

    But I was in for a surprise.

    A company called Pyjama Drama was looking for franchisees in my local area. Was this it? Was this the job I was looking for? Or should I retreat back to the relative safety of my desk job? There we have it ladies and gentlemen – doubt.

    What to do, what to do, what to do. Chase or hide from the opportunity? I didn’t want to jump in too soon. I didn’t want to fire off an application form. I didn’t want to give up on a three year start to a career without good reason. So a smaller step.

    I sent a quick email showing a bit of interest. Asking for more information.

    Taking this small step gave me the information I needed. The confirmation that yes, not only was this the right step to take, it was the step I’ve been waiting for.

    And that small step has since turned into an almightly leap.

    But that’s a blog for another time.

    *Other job search websites are available
    **This is a real thing. Also, I am referring to a job, not utilising their services.

  3. Life advice #1: Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    January 12, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    its-okay1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    Since the start of December, I have been learning the words, songs, dances and blocking to play Aladdin in the Griffin Players‘ pop up panto, a one off day of shows for the families of a local company. The chap who played him in the main family panto wasn’t available on the planned show date and I was delighted to be asked to step in.

    It was great. I’ve never played a lead in a panto. I’ve played the comedy lead over and over, which I adore. But the romantic lead? I’ve neither the look or the grace for it. But somehow, we made it work, and rehearsals were brilliant. Full of laughs and I finally got to sing a solo, something unheard of since the days of Anything Goes (2007?).

    The night before the panto I was struck down with the norovirus. When it hit me at 5am that I wouldn’t be able to do the show despite all the hard work, I was absolutely gutted. Gutted for letting down the cast, gutted for giving the director a horrid task the morning of the show, and gutted to have had the opportunity taken away from me.

    A knight in shining armour made it to the venue with 15 minutes to spare before the first show and played Aladdin with script in hand to an amazed audience and a grateful cast. The shows went down brilliantly – the Griffins have been asked back next year – and the day was saved. Meanwhile, I was – well, you know – for the next three days.

    So that’s the “life isn’t fair” bit. But it’s still good.

    It gave me an enforced rest break in these months of rehearsals/visits/work/being a mummy. As a friend pointed out, while it was cruel to have put in all that work and then fall ill, it gave me a chance to remember what it’s like to be on a stage. To sing. To learn a dance routine. It stopped me from going too rusty. It reminded me how much fun it is to be part of a cast family again.

    And you know what? It’s still good.

  4. Coming up at Awakey

    January 11, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Stan Lee is 90 but I don't think it was him

    Stan Lee is 90 but I don’t think it was him
    Photo from Nerdage

    The lovely people at Pyjama Drama recently linked to advice from a 90 year old* on how to live life. This list tickled me. As much as I’d like to take on all the advice in one go, I figure that’s not going to happen. It’s easier to absorb one item a day, or even a week. As such, I thought they’d make great blog post titles.

    There’ll be other stuff coming up on the blog too – there’s the big changes in my job to talk about as well as updates on adult panto and other esciting projects. I’m rubbish at sticking to timetables, so let’s see if I can stick out the whole list of 42.

    In fairness, it’s a brilliant number.

    *Whether it really was from a 90 year old or or whether it was a marketing prop by someone else to get ‘likes’, I don’t mind. I think they’re great either way.

  5. Countdown

    January 4, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    No, not the telly programme. The timed anticipation of events. And there are lots of them coming in 2013.

    3 weeks until: Opening night for Friends Of Dorothy, the adult panto that I co-wrote for the Griffin Players. Rehearsals invariably contain a portion of people becoming unable to speak through laughter. The cast are just so good at what they do and are so easy to direct. The show is going to be brilliant.
    2 months until: The end of an era! More on this nearer the time.
    3 months until: Little L’s second birthday. No idea what to do yet, but the thought of being able to do anything at all is quite exciting.
    And a bit further to: Jenny and Stuart’s wedding. It’s going to be brilliant.

    And they’re just for starters. It’s going to be a good year.