Tag Archive | performing

A couple of decades later…

Production shot from Decade 20

When you relinquish your little one to the mayhem of backstage that accompanies any children’s production you wonder whether you’re doing the right thing. It appears to be a mad disorganised crush of costumes, dropped make-up, stressed parents and performers and a half dressed chorus line looking bewildered.

I remember a strong desire to snatch Chelsea back to my suffocating bosom and cry ‘You’re not doing it’!

But I got over it, went out front and watched with amazement this perfect little pro overcome her own shyness to do what she loves; perform on stage. (You can read some of this in ‘A Funny Kind of Education’)

I’ve since found out how many actors are shy. Yet there followed from that day many a production, two or three a year, which we sat through and applauded with dripping cheeks, for the next twenty years – can you believe!

Now, all that ground work has culminated in a play that Chelsea, with her partner Rich Foyster, has written, produced, directed and everything else it takes to put on a production – an enormous amount of work, believe me, I’ve had the exhausted phone calls.

What appeared impossible has evolved into a remarkable project I could never have imagined. The play, ‘Decade 20’, is to be performed during the Brighton Fringe on 8th and 9th  of May – just a few tickets left if you’ve a mind for a grown up evening out away from your little ones. Because your lovely children will also one day be staging their own grown up lives away from you and you’ll need to acclimatise!

And even though I still hanker to snatch her back from the strife of life and say ‘you’re not doing it’ and bleed through the angst of those phone calls, it’s just as well not to. For our beautiful children need us to be as brave as them and let them be what they want to be.

I can’t wait to see it. And there’ll no doubt be tears of pride and yet still bewilderment on how a shy little girl could go so far!

Watch the trailer here.


The challenge of Radio Ga Ga

I had to emerge from my hermitic comfort zone and talk about Home Education on the radio earlier this week. (It’s available for a short while here – around 2:12)

The reason I opted for writing as a medium was because I could remain generally reclusive. The dilemma I face is that in order to help families, which is why I write, I obviously have to be a bit more public! But the fear tends to make me gaga.

I find it about as easy as having teeth pulled, although after a recent visit to the dentist for massive drilling and filling maybe I’ll review that opinion.

‘I can’t decide which is worse; talking on the radio or my impending visit to the dentist’ I text to my eldest looking for sympathy.

‘The dentist’ she text back. ‘The radio has far more creative and exciting connotations. The dentist just one outcome’.

She’s right, of course, but what’s all this talk of outcomes? She was sounding like her mother, I told her.

‘No bad thing’ she text back with a smiley face!

She’s performing in Gilead during the Brighton Fringe next month. (Check it out here) and how she does that I have no idea – it’s not a gene she got from me who goes into traumatic stress syndrome just from a few seconds live. Any sort of performance is an excitement too far for me, whatever creative and exciting connotations!

Secretly I know she gets as anxious about it as I do. It’s just through our early life together she grew into someone who doesn’t stop just because it got a bit challenging. Maybe it was home educating which had something to do with that and the fact that we encouraged them to go forward with what they needed to do, challenging or not.

I am so proud of all the parents who visit here and contact me about Home Educating who also choose a path away from the norm despite it throwing up challenges. Life is challenging, having children is challenging, putting your child in school is challenging, home education is challenging. But we should never let a challenge stop us from going where we feel we need to go.

We obviously have to assess risks. We obviously need to research. And weigh things up. Make intelligent decisions. And it certainly is a challenge when you are the pioneers of change as Home Schooling parents are.

But pioneers are people who don’t balk at challenges. And there are now thousands and thousands of pioneers whose children were failing to thrive, were unhappy or unwell, who don’t believe in systemised schooling, who are willing to stand up and say to the education system; ‘just a minute – THIS WON’T DO!’

And if you’re one of those reading this feeling the same, check out the stories and other blogs round this site and see if they give you the courage you need to take up a different challenge.

Because although it is a challenge, home educating is one of the most rewarding and wonderful approaches to raising your children. It really works. It leads them towards successful lives. It creates intelligent and motivated people who make valid contributions to the world. So don’t be afraid to give it a go.

And I’ll try and confront my challenge in being a bit more public about it and continue to raise awareness of the fact that kids don’t necessarily need to go to school to become well educated.


You can read my emotional stories from last year’s Fringe here and here. And have your tissues ready!!