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Darren Day Feedback

I recently reviewed Footloose, starring Darren Day. He read my review and sent me a video thank you in return. I was delighted to receive this. Thanks Darren. 

You can find the video on my testimonials and feedback page. 

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Les Mis is in Milton Keynes. If you want to know how actors Dean Chisnall (Jean Valjan) and Nic Greenshields (Javert) feel about their roles, click this link for an exclusive interview. 

If you want to know what I thought of Les Mis click here

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Inventing Jasmine Storm

My latest blog, inventing Jasmine Storm explores how much of ourselves we share online.

Read it here







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Happy 75th Birthday David Bowie

If you read my blog regularly, you know that this weekend is always significant to me. 

I wrote a blog on his birthday...and woke up with one of his songs playing in my head...read which one it was here.

Happy heavenly 75th birthday David Bowie. One of a very few people who have influenced and impacted on my life hugely, without asking for anything in return. You will always be loved.

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And Just like that...

I have always been a fan of Sex And The City (SATC). Although I am probably more a Charlotte than a Samantha, Miranda or Carrie, its Carrie that has influenced me in my decision to blog. I write a lot about my own experiences and life.

So what did I think of the new show, 'And just like that...'?

I will let you know here but be warned, the second half of the blog includes spoilers...


20 Bowie Questions

I recently answered these questions for a Bowie Facebook group, but just in case you are not part of that group, here are my answers... 

20 Bowie Questions

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Best job ever - talking Bowie!


I will be doing a talk for In Ziggy’s Footsteps. Here is how to join me for a Bowie inspired evening.

Join us on Sunday 2nd August 2020, at 7.30pm (BST) when our special guest speaker will be award nominated blogger, Jasmine Storm. with her intriguing talk ' Bowie - At the centre of it all'. Jasmine has been blogging for over a decade, but her love of David Bowie started much earlier when she bought the Ziggy Stardust album which sparked a lifetime of fascination and soul love. She has been a finalist in the Milton Keynes Digital Awards for two years running, regularly reviews theatre and gigs and has been published in three separate books on Bowie. Jasmine has received recognition from Tony Visconti, Woody Woodmansey and Glenn Gregory for her reviews on Holy Holy and continues to be an active member of the Bowie universe. 


Also in the Zoom Meeting there will be much more including Bowie inspired art from our resident artist Linda Thackray and the Bowie track of the week. Tickets for this fun and friendly event for Bowie fans are £7.50. 


I love #LoveMK day


I am a classic MK Lover.  I was born in London and moved to Milton Keynes as ‘London overspill’ to live somewhere with a bigger house, clean air and a can-do attitude.

I love MK and would not live anywhere else, given the choice.  If someone asks me why I love MK, the answers are numerous; but my default reason is the clean air.  I can smell the difference in air quality compared to a big city such as London or Birmingham.  Five minutes in any direction and you are in the country. It’s the best of both worlds!

I love MK because of the can-do attitude of so many who live and work here.  They are forward thinking and positive.  We strive to be the best we can be.  We have weird and wonderful house designs, we have embraced electric cars with more charge points than anywhere else in the country, and we look at the positives to see how to make where we live a wonderful place to live.

It’s easy to make a joke of us with our roundabouts and concrete cows but MK has heart. And there is nothing wrong with a grid system – New York has one, and if it is good enough for New York, which is one of the most successful cities in the world, its good enough for us.  I say city as true MK lovers say city.  We say ‘Are you going up the city?’ we never say town. Even the classic balloon ad says ‘Wouldn’t it be great if all cities were like Milton Keynes?’ And it was registered as ‘The Borough and New City of Milton Keynes’.  There are still signs saying this on the A5.  There are no signs saying town.  They say ‘welcome to MK’ with a small 50 in brackets.  Christ the Cornerstone church is like our very own St Pauls. For us – we have the heart of a city. If we need to travel we have good road and rail links to both London and Birmingham. We are perfectly located between the two. Many businesses have built their head offices here for that reason. We also attract big names when it comes to music, Take That are appearing here this month, and of course we do have the MK Dons football team representing the best in sport.

But the best thing about living in Milton Keynes is the talented and caring individuals that make MK a wonderful place to live.  I cannot say how much I celebrated when MK got its own theatre which will have its 20th birthday this year.  We have some amazing shows come to MK that towns in our vicinity do not get.  People come from miles to shop in our shopping centre.  And when that shopping centre was first built it was the biggest under-covered shopping centre in Europe. We even had Duran Duran do a photo shoot here – and Cliff Richard filmed Wired for sound here.  


We have cool architecture and amazing art works.  Our gallery has just extended to share wonderful art with us.  This month I will see a world premiere of Freddie Burretti – The Man Who Sewed The World – right here in Milton Keynes.  Directed and performed by local people and not to forget that Freddie Burretti himself lived in Bletchley.  For those who don’t know Freddie Burretti designed a lot of David Bowie’s classic 1970’s clothes including the Life On Mars blue suit.  I have also seen shows by MKTOC who are world class when it comes to comedic talent.  

So, laugh at us if you must – but if you live in Milton Keynes we know. We truly have it all. Where else would I want to live?!

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Who is Freddie Burretti?

If you love fashion, (turn to the left) and know David Bowie’s 70’s style, there is one name that is synonymous with those wild and wacky outfits.  If you know that blue suit from Life On Mars; if you know who Arnold Corns is; then you know there is only one Freddie Burretti.  Freddie Burretti – The Man Who Sewed The World: The Musical is having its world premiere in Milton Keynes, where Freddie grew up.  Jasmine Storm chats to Caz Tricks about directing this masterpiece of storytelling about this fashion icon.

Read the full interview here

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A hidden argument

There are many people who live with a hidden disability yet generally, the public at large seem to only see a physical disability as a disability, ie if they cannot visually see you are disabled, to them you are not.  This attitude needs to change.  People need to understand that if someone stands out of their wheelchair it is not because of a miracle (sadly) but a perception that you had assumed they couldn’t walk when maybe they use a wheelchair because they have MS, CFS or any condition which means they cannot walk far. 

If you have a hidden disability you can be at the receiving end of a negative attitude from people.  I was on a train a few years ago and chatting to my work colleague as we headed into London.  Once the train had stopped a woman who had been sitting behind me started to shout at me saying that I spoke too loud for her to be able to study on the train.  This was not a designated quiet coach and I was stunned at her reaction.  I have been hard of hearing in my right ear since I was six years old and despite many operations on my ear, have learnt to live with it.  I don’t even consider myself to have a disability as there are many more people out there with worse problems than me.  However, there are times I cannot hear properly and that is usually where there is extraneous noise levels ie a pub/restaurant or on a train where the noise of the train and others talking can lead me to be louder than usual.  I had to take a moment to understand what she was saying but reasoned that once she realised I had a hearing problem she would understand.  I was wrong.  She was nasty and judgemental and only thinking of her own needs.  Firstly I shouldn’t have had to explain myself or disclose my disability and secondly I wasn’t in the wrong – I was just chatting on a train.  What harm had I done?  This still bothers me now, more than 10 years later.  How should I have dealt with it?  Should I have ignored her?  Should I have told her its none of her business?  This is the dilemma that someone with a hidden disability is faced with as soon as a member of the public questions their disability.

Here are a few suggestions of what to say if someone says you don’t look disabled:

You didn’t look judgemental but hey, looks are deceiving

Where’s your white coat then doctor?

On the outside I look fine but my insides are falling to pieces

Say, you don’t look human

Oh you can see inside my body can you?

I’d better bring a walking stick next time to shove it where the sun don’t shine

Give me your number and I’ll phone you when my business concerns you

I see you just got off the stupid bus

How am I supposed to look?

*Big sigh* – that’s a relief

I can amputate my leg if it makes it easier for you to see my disability

I’ve had my medication and it hasn’t worn off yet

You are right – on the outside I don’t

I know – I do a great impression of a healthy person

Okay, some of these are rather harsh but why do people need to look disabled and why do the public feel the need to judge them if they don’t?  Education on hidden disabilities is really needed to stop people being put in this situation.  So next time you see someone park in a disabled space without a wheelchair or use a disabled toilet, stop and think.  Yes it maybe just an asshole who is taking disabled spaces because they are lazy…or it just might be they do have a disability.  


People with hidden disabilities live with it everyday and do not need the stress of being judged or pressure of having to disclose something so private. Please be understanding. Be considerate. Be aware.

Are you a true Bowie fan?

What is the definition of a true fan?  Why are some fans seen as more dedicated than others?  This is something that I have been pondering for a while.  There are clearly different levels of fandom but how do you measure this?  Does the size of your collection equate to the size of the fan?  Does the amount of times you have seen them live mean you are a bigger fan than those who haven’t?  How do you know when you are a die-hard?  It’s not an easy thing to measure.

I have been called a Bowie die-hard.  This title was bestowed on me by others but why do they think this about me?  Well let’s explore some possible reasons and see if I am a true fan.

So, let’s start with the size of your collection.  For many years my collection wasn’t much of a collection at all.  This wasn’t because I didn’t want to collect all things Bowie, but simply due to a lack of funds.  I would say I am still as much a fan as I ever was.  Yes, I have a nicely sized collection now but being admin on the Facebook’s ‘David Bowie Collector’s Group’ has shown just how lacking my collection is.  There you can see 30+ covers of the same album. I may have 4 or 5 of the same album but I have not collected them for each different country that it was released in.  Also, I do not spend money on items that have gone for silly money and for this reason, I currently do not have the RSD Starman picture disc or the yellow vinyl Let’s Dance in my collection.  So, if the size of a collection is a measurement of a true fan then I fail.  And I do not believe that a lack of funds should equate to a measurement of a true fan.  That can be dictated by life and your personal circumstances.

Perhaps you a true fan for the amount of times you have seen them live?  I have only seen Bowie live four times.  I feel blessed that I saw him those times and of course wish I had seen him more.  He did keep touring while I was pregnant (okay so that is two tours) and I didn’t like the Tin Machine years as I felt he was having a mid-life crisis.  This is David Bowie; he can’t just become a band member!  So, I never went. Of course, now this is one of the biggest regrets of my life, but again funds do come into it.  Raising a family meant funds were limited and I put my children first. I am so pleased that I went to the Reality tour as this turned out to be the last time he would do a big tour.  At the time, I had no idea that this would be the last time I would ever see him again, so I do feel blessed that I went. Despite the restrictions on trains home and the weather (it poured down), I am so glad I went.  However, I know people who have seen him more than 100 times.  I know people who have met him personally. I know people who have a story to tell about him. It breaks my heart to say I have none of this.  Does this mean I am not a true fan?

I rarely wear T-shirts.  So how do people know if you are a true fan if you do not wear a Bowie t-shirt?  I don’t wear them as I don’t think they flatter me – not because I don’t like them.  You may not be able to wear a t-shirt to work either so how can you spot a true fan?  Of course, you could suggest a more permanent solution to the t-shirt is the tattoo.  It is certainly true that since David’s passing, many hundreds of Bowie fans have had a tattoo to mark their dedication permanently.  This does include me as three months after his death I got my first ever tattoo.  But I do not think it is fair to say that only fans with tattoos love him and those who don’t have a tattoo are less of a fan.  A tattoo is a very permanent personal decision and it could be classed as one measure but certainly not the only thing that would define a die-hard.

So, it’s not about money and it’s not about the size of your collection.  Neither is it about how many times you have seen them live or if you have met them personally.

There are different levels of fandom.  That is certain.  But the real measurement of that is none of the above.  It is about your dedication to them.  It’s about what is in your heart.  How much you love them.  

I do find myself talking Bowie to random shop owners, I find myself mentioning a line from a song if it fits a situation.  I talk Bowie all the time to those who listen.  I cried and mourned for him as if he was a member of my own family when he passed away.  My website is dotted with blogs about my feelings for him.  It is for these reasons that I believe my friends call me a die-hard.  And although I would never say this about myself, I consider myself honoured to have that title bestowed on me. I am a Bowie die-hard.

David And I


It was a regular Thursday evening and I had settled down to watch MasterChef.  The phone rang.  It was my friend Debbie.  ‘What are you doing tonight’ she asks.  ‘Nothing’, I reply reluctantly.  I am a planner so I am not keen on doing things on the spur of the moment.  ‘I have two tickets for the David and I exhibition tonight’, She said excitedly.  We both knew about this.  We had talked about going many times but had left it and then the event had sold out.  Yet here she was offering me tickets.  ‘I’ll drop them over but I can’t go’ she said.  I called my son and told him who jumped at the opportunity.

Less than half an hour later I was driving around an industrial estate looking for Mini’s.  The exhibition was held in a car dealership.  I was greeted warmly and offered a drink.  Bowie playing in the background.  Yes, this is exactly how it should be, I thought to myself.  I saw a few familiar faces, after all, Milton Keynes is my home town, but of course was drawn to the stunning photography of David Bowie.  I took a deep breath and started to walk slowly around the exhibition.  I immediately had my favourites which invoked strong emotions and I had to blink back tears and think about the positives.  He looked so happy in some of the shots.  It was hard to be sad.  

Denis O’Regan has photographed Bowie several times but the image you will all be familiar with is the shot of the crowd at the Serious Moonlight Tour in 1983 at Milton Keynes Bowl.  Here we are in Milton Keynes with that photo almost finding its way home. I met up with Denis and told him of my experiences of being at that gig.  Not only my first ever David Bowie gig but my first ever gig on my own at the tender age of 16.  Denis is an extremely nice man and seemed genuinely interested in my stories.  I told him about my blog and mentioned I had already been lucky to have seen some of his work last year at Heddon Street.  But it never occurred to me to ask him about his personal stories about Bowie.  We both knew this thread connected us but it was almost an upspoken rule.  

How someone chooses just one of the pieces on show is beyond me.  I loved so many of them that I couldn’t make a quick decision as it needs serious thought.  Where will it hang? What size shall I pick?  Do I want 70’s Bowie or 80’s Bowie?  It’s not an easy decision.  However even if you don’t buy a piece its worth going to see this exhibition.  What a wonderful Thursday evening it was.  Nothing regular about it at all!

The moral of this story is if this event is coming to a town near you – don’t hesitate – buy a ticket!

Find out more and see if it is coming near you here: 


The best Zizzi's in the world!

Sara Captain is a talented artist who has transformed a Zizzi’s in Beckenham.  However, it is no ordinary Zizzi’s.  It is the original Three Tuns pub that David Bowie started  The Arts Lab in the back.  It is an historical part of David Bowie’s early years before he was famous.

Zizzi’s are aware of this and respectfully pay homage to him throughout the restaurant. There is a glass spelling out SPACEBOY with lyrics of songs.  There is a photo of the tributes left when they held a special Bowie event in 2016 and there are now two brand new murals that Sara has lovingly created especially for the restaurant.

Here, in front of the ’69 Bowie mural of David Bowie looking down on us, I talked to Sara over an Italian lunch.


Q:When did you first start to draw/ paint?

A: As a kid, there was a turning point at school, I painted a sky and was the only one to paint it all the way down so from then on I was encouraged to draw.  My dad and grandad also painted.  I was talent scouted at a street fair – I was supposed to do caricatures but did portraits instead and had a queue of people. I ended up working for an advertising agency as an illustrator.

Q: How has bowie influenced you?

A: He pushed me to be the person I am.  I realised you could communicate whatever you wanted to.

Q: How did it come about that you got involved in The Three Tuns/Zizzi’s?

A: Adam, who does local Bowie tours, introduced me to the manager, Lukasz and mentioned my work.  They contacted me about what they were looking for.

Q: What talent do you yearn for?

A: To make money – Ha Ha!. But seriously to be able to understand and stop evil.

Q: What do you mean by evil?

A: When you observe people or things that harm others and they seem to enjoy it – that is evil. For example, racism, jealousy, greed, selfishness and a lack of empathy.

Q: What food sums up happiness?

A: Raw fish or a rare steak

Q: Who are your artistic influences?

A: Expressionists such as Schiele and Klimt and abstract expressionists such as Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline.  I also like Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian Cartoonist, Hugo Pratt.

Q: What new music do you listen to?

A: I like Radiohead, Blues music, Amy Winehouse and Amy MacDonald, although I’m not sure how new they are.

Q: Tell me the story of how you lost and found your muse.

A: I was staying in a holiday home and we were unloading the car.  Someone stole my art out of the back of the boot while we were unloading.  I was so upset I felt I lost my muse after that.  It had included a graphic novel about the French revolution which I had still been working on.  This was around 1997.  In January 2016 after hearing the news, I felt the need to draw Bowie and that my muse had returned.  I started to paint him a lot and people showed an interest.

Q: What is your favourite Bowie era/album?

A: I really like the Berlin years.  Low is my favourite album but I have a special place for Heroes.  My first kiss was to Heroes.

Q: Who or what is your greatest love?

A: David Bowie and my boyfriend

Q: If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

A: To have love and empathy for people.


Sara has produced two pieces for Zizzi’s.  The first is the Bowie ’69 Mural.  This shows Bowie in 1969, with a cascade of curly hair, dreaming about future success and reflecting on the ideals that had inspired the Arts Lab.  The lyrics are from 'Memory of a Free Festival'. This is 1969 and a new decade beckons where when Bowie will finally find a way to become the star he knows he is destined to be.

The Bowie ’78 is a more confident Bowie who has known fame.  In this image he is relaxed and looking directly at us.  He is saying: live life to the full, don't be afraid to experiment, push yourself beyond your limits and your comfort zone, lest you should look back and regret not having done so.  Fans will also recognise the nod to the cut-out technique Bowie used for writing lyrics.


Zizzi’s in Beckenham is a must for any self-respecting Bowie fan visiting the sites that were important in those early years.  So while visiting The Bowie Bandstand and where Haddon Hall used to stand, pay a visit to Zizzi’s and complete the Bowie tour.

Zizzi’s can be found at 157 High St, Beckenham BR3 1AE

More of Sara’s work can be found on her website: https://www.thecaptainsart.co.uk/

Bowie wins two Brits!

The Brits have always had a bad reputation.  The first year with Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood had so many cringe-worthy moments that it was deemed a disaster.  It has worked hard to try to throw off its reputation but it is still not as respected as Grammy or an Mobo.  However occasionally it get things very right and last night at the 2017 Brit awards it realised that Bowie was genuinely worth honouring it got things very right indeed!

David Bowie won best British Male Solo Artist and also Mastercard British Album of the year for Blackstar.  Some of you may think he has only won it because he is no longer with us and he himself would have probably not cared less about winning, but the truth is he is a worthy winner.  Blackstar is a masterpiece and a very original piece of work. It is up there with his most acclaimed albums.

Whatever your view – This was a win for the fans.  We not only wanted him to win because he deserves it but also because he lives on in our hearts.

The first win for Best British Solo Artist was picked up by Michael C Hall. Michael C Hall was Bowie’s choice to star in Lazarus.  The first thing Michael said was that ‘If David Bowie could be here tonight ... he probably wouldn't be here tonight’.  He went on to say, ‘he accepts this testament to a man beholden to nothing but his own boundless imagination and daring whose ever expanding artistic vitality simultaneously soothes us and sears us and astonishes us’  It was very moving.  Michael C Hall was a great choice to pick up the award as he spoke from the heart and when he said ‘Maybe he is here tonight, I don't know.’  You could hear hearts breaking and tears streaming all over the country.

The second award for Mastercard British Album of the year for Blackstar was even more special and unexpected.  It was picked up by Duncan Jones, Bowie’s son.  His words were so moving.

‘I lost my dad last year, but I also became a dad and I was spending a lot of time, after getting over the shock, of trying to work out what would I want my son to know about his granddad, and I think it would be the same thing that most of my dad's fans have taken over the last 50 years:  That he's always been there supporting people who think they're a little bit weird or a little bit strange – a little bit different.  And he's always been there for them, So this award is for all the kooks and all the people who make the kooks.’


Duncan dedicated it to us kooks.  Its for the fans.  For all those who were strange or different.  I cannot tell you how much that means to all the fans but to me it was just what I needed to hear.  Thank you for this Duncan. It meant so much.

Later on Twitter he added an extra something.  ‘I did forget one little bit of the speech though… Fuck cancer.  Fuck it right off the planet.’

Our feelings exactly. Love on ya.

Left: Michael C Hall

Below: Duncan Jones and the Tweet. 

End Of Year Review 2016...or end of tears?


2016 has not been a good year for many of us but It started with such promise.  David Bowie had just realised Blackstar to high acclaim and it was going to be a year that I celebrate a significant birthday.


However, with no warning only 10 days into 2016, David Bowie was cruelly taken away and I had no idea how profoundly this would affect me.  I have loved him since I was 12.  He had always been there in the background, sometimes supporting me, sometimes quietly watching my life unfold.  I didn’t really believe he was gone.  On 16th January I set off on my Bowie Pilgrimage and met with friends who felt the same as me.  We visited Brixton and Heddon Street as well as the house he was born in – and later that night, we all sobbed as we sung his songs.


Bowie was hugely significant to me and his loss was a huge void.  However, it was not just the loss of Bowie that has called 2016 a bad year.  Terry Wogan was a legend and for years I watched Eurovision purely for his sarcasm.  And it didn’t stop there.  Ronnie Corbett died from Motor Neurone Disease. Ronnie was one half of The Two Ronnies and I grew up with their sense of humour.  I loved their dry wit and play on words and still find their sketches hilarious today.  It was a terrible loss.  Alan Rickman was the same age as Bowie and I am sure would have had much more coverage over his loss, if Bowie had still been with us.  Rickman was an actor with a huge range from the troubled husband in Love Actually to the best baddie ever in Die Hard.


Just as we thought the worst was over, it was announced that Prince who was only in his 50’s, had gone too.  Purple Rain had been one of my most played albums in the 80s.  How can this be?  Paul Daniels was another and I had met him many years ago. Although he was not as popular today, in the 80’s he had a prime-time TV show and was fantastic at sleight of hand.


In my personal life, my youngest son was taken seriously ill and hospitalised for a week in April and again in May and September.  The experience was made worse by neglect of the surgical consultant and I wrote to PALS on my son’s behalf to complain.  No one should have to go through what he has gone through and I now believe that everyone in hospital should be offered an advocate to speak on their behalf.  My son is recovering now but this experience has left us both wary of medical professionals.


However, my End Of Year review is not going to be all doom and gloom.  If you dig hard enough there are a few gems.  Through my grief of Bowie, I have met lots of new friends who loved him as I do. (yes, that is still present tense).  And it was good to see them again in July for the annual netters gathering.  I was once again nominated as a finalist for my blog, ‘It’s a wonderful life’ which inspired me to start my own website.


Heaven 17 have always been a great band.  But this year was 35 years since my favourite album, Penthouse and Pavement had been released and there was a national tour to celebrate it.  To make it even more special the second half of the gig was going to be a BEF special. (British Electric Foundation) which meant special guests including the lovey Mari Wilson and original Sex Pistol, Glen Matlock.  And I also saw Heaven 17 at the intimate Jazz Café gig where they wished me a happy birthday in front of the whole audience.  That really was a special moment.


Yes, I have truly had to dig deep to find those gems of good moments.  One of my favourites was my significant party.  It was a very glam event.  Set in Birmingham, with friends making the journey to celebrate with me from as far south as Southampton, as far north as Thornaby and as international as Germany.  The theme was Studio 54 meets The Blitz and included a 70s-disco set, a Blitz set, a hi-energy set and other tracks that have been the soundtrack to my life.  I had two Fabulous DJ’s – Only After Dark founder, David Wright and the fabulous Symix.  I also have some wonderful photos from Stagedive photographer, Tony Gaskin.  The dress code was glamorous and stylish so people could come with a 70’s  or 80’s theme or anything glam.  If you know me it’s always dress to impress!  I couldn’t tell others to dress up and not do so myself, so I had my dress made.  Not only did I have my dress made but I had the material made.  I wore a dress with photos of me throughout the years on it.   At least I knew no-one else would be wearing what I was wearing!  It was a fabulous event and made me thankful for all my friends family and all who bring something to my life.


So, at this time of year which is supposed to be goodwill to all men, but the media tells us of a horrific terrorist attack in Berlin and politicians being shot dead, here is my Christmas wish…


I wish you health.  Without good health, you cannot do all the wonderful things you want to.  It’s more valuable than any money or expensive handbags.  I wish you all good health.


I wish you love.  The Beatles were right when they said ‘All you need is Love’.. It really does make the world go around.  We all want to be loved – just watch the film, Love Actually again to remind yourself.


And finally, I wish you happiness.  You can all be happy.  It’s not about the biggest present at Christmas or the car you drive or the job you have.  Happiness is a state of mind and you can choose to be happy and try to see the silver lining – even in difficult years like this one.


Let’s all look forward with hope and good intentions.  Let’s not make New Year Resolutions but make life goals that are achievable and realistic.  Let’s make this world a better place.

Love to you all. Xx

It's Love, Actually

We built this city on rock n roll

Milton Keynes always gets a hard time from those who don’t ‘get it’.  Yes, we have roundabouts and concrete cows – but we are so much more.  A new book by Lee Scriven shows us in pictures from our humble beginnings to where we are now.

Just looking through this book felt like my own history.  I was born in London but came to Milton Keynes as a child and grew up here. (Just like Freddie Burretti).  I worked in ‘The Club’ at The Point, for a year when it first opened, had my first Saturday job in Woolworths in the city centre and my first Bowie gig was at the legendary National Bowl.  I love the fact this book calls Milton Keynes a city.  Yes, we get it.  We don’t need the Queen to give us city status to be proud of where we live.  We love it here!

I was invited to the book launch and an exhibition that accompanies it.  It was almost a who’s who of everyone who is anyone in Milton Keynes.  Of course, I was there to document it.  Lee Scriven and Pete Winkleman who both have given so much to our city.  The book also covers the legendary Jim Marshall (of Marshall Amps – Yes, they started in Milton Keynes!), John Dankworth and Cleo Lane (without whom we wouldn’t have The Stables venue) and my dear friend, Caz Tricks, who I have known since I was 15 (It’s a shame The Starting Gate wasn’t featured in the book!) and is not only known as a singer (The Blues Collective), Compare at many music gigs, director and actor at many stage performances covering a range of works and most of all – one of the best people on the planet!

The exhibition covers some of the movers and shakers that have made Milton Keynes what it is.  You can visit this exhibition for free until the end of January 2017 at The Event Pace. Milton Keynes Library.  The book, we built this city on Rock n Roll is available to purchase for £15. 

Coming up to a big age I find myself reflecting a lot on the past.  I feel very lucky to have grown up in the post punk generation.  We learnt early about diversity and accepting each other for our differences.  There were punks, new romantics and even the odd rocker all getting along together.  This was in the days before ‘Goth’ existed.  I classed myself as ‘Alternative’ and still prefer that term today.  I don’t like to be catagorised into a box and really threw people when I told them enjoyed a bit of Abba.

The post punk generation was creative.  We made our own fashions and music.  Never had

bands been so stylish!  But it wasn’t just about looks.  The new electronic sounds coming out

of this era was like nothing that had been heard before.  David Bowie himself went backstage

at an early Human League gig and told them they were the future of music.  A high accolade.

But most of all we all believed we could achieve our dreams.  It was an exciting and vibrant

times, full of colour with big hair, big make up and big ambitions.  My dreams have changed

a bit over the years.  Back then, I dreamed of being an actress (I do have Lamda qualifications)

and loved being on the stage.  But dreams change as you grow and now instead of being on

the stage I review a lot of theatre instead.  This is not the frustrations of an actress that never

quite made it…this is actually where I want to be.  I love going to theatre and gigs and turning a big number isn’t going to change a thing.

So despite a few more days of clinging onto my 40’s for dear life I have forgotten that turning 50 means…

1) I qualify for saga and that awful life assurance for the over 50s!
2) Travel insurance goes up
3) Age UK can support me

Well f**k that shit.... if you know me you know that nothing will change.  I will still be gigging and reviewing.  I'm still me!


How many 50 year olds crimp their hair and wear dresses like me?  We are the post punk generation and the rules are about to change!!


Looking back is for old folk. And I'm not old! The best is yet to come!

A Significant Birthday