Back in the cold

Oh God it’s winter. It’s winter winter. The air is cold. I woke up for the third time at about 8.30 in the morning. There was no possibility of going back to sleep from then. I opened the blind and looked into a rainstorm. I stared out across the river. Rain and cold and grey. I closed the blind again and went on deliveroo.

Paul delivered a selection of tasty pastries to me, and even a coffee. I am not well stocked at home. I had my guilty breakfast and then I looked out of the window again. Then I got back into bed.

My nose is running and I feel run down. I’ve been in dry heat for weeks. The humidity from the fountain last night and a tiny amount of time standing in a desert hailstorm … that’s all the external moisture I’ve had. I feel like I’ve been overloaded with cold and wet. I closed the door on the world.

I was lucky in Saudi because I made loose friends – I found connections with Farah and Dr Jesus and Baraa and Susanne… People I wouldn’t ever normally meet. I got on okay with the British contingent I was with as well, but they had established patterns and relationships borne out of previous events. I was – and always am – the element of wildcard. I did the things that needed doing that couldn’t be predicted until they were needed. I did fucking well at it as I always do. But some of the regulars didn’t know where to put me, and I found myself slightly squeezed out and deliberately misunderstood by cliques. There was no deep animosity. But had it not been for Farah and the doctors I would have only had one friend on this job, and he was so busy he couldn’t look after me socially.

London is full of friends, but it’s cold here. I managed a pint with Tom this evening – the creator of Christmas Carol. Now I’m hoping I can persuade Jack to come play with me. If I’m gonna be in London I want to have the things that make it worth being here. I need to be with my friends again. I’ve been totally fine in Saudi, but its mostly either been new friends or coworkers who tolerate me. A second time with this lot now I know the deal, and they’ll get me as I’ll get how to be with them.

I’ve been visible but visibility comes with disadvantages. It’s easy to bully the visible. I know that because I’m bullyproof now and just observe the people who try to go there. There was only one person with the bully instinct on the job I just finished, and if I’d called them on it they’d have realised and stopped. Mostly it was a joy. Crazy. But a joy.

Until the theatres wake up… Unless the Netflix or the Disney tapes cash in… Bring on more like that please… My agent is wonderful. My industry often isn’t. Acting will always be my primary concern. But there’s life in these thar events. And unless the UK industry gets off its ass and realises what an asset it has in my continued availability for it after all these decades, then sure I’m gonna moonlight in races.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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