This time last year, I was battling glandular fever and feeling rather rotten - this year, my back has been pretty painful and the irritating cough that I’ve had for ages just won’t clear up. Apart from that, I’m OK ( well, a bit tired sometimes but that goes with the territory...) On my consultant’s advice, I’ve been taking painkillers and trying to stay mobile - doesn’t always happen though!


I can’t really grumble, I’ve been to 27 shows this year already and have been working on my wishlist - I never thought for a moment that I’d get to meet Dame Judi Dench but it happened last weekend and she was an absolute delight. I’ve also booked to see two more of my favourites in April - Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Helen Mirren - I’m sure they will be just as good.


I’ve made some good friends through the Cosham Support Centre and had some great days out. My last theatre trip was with Indya, who used to volunteer as a befriender - we found a lovely cafe in London which sells Danish pastries that are a foot long ( no, we didn’t buy one but we did have tea and cake ). I was lucky enough to have tickets to see “Betrayal” which is a play written by Harold Pinter and starring Tom Hiddleston - as you can imagine, there were hundreds of fans hoping to catch a glimpse of him at the Stage Door. Security was quite strict but amazingly, we got to meet him, have photos and autographs etc - it definitely made Indya’s day! She bought two extra pieces of cake to take home too!


I am trying to make sure that there is always some “chill time” after my London trips as I’m finding it more tiring recently and I have more aches and pains the next day. My monthly pedicure and foot massage is always a treat and deeply relaxing (particularly as I struggle to bend and can’t always reach my left foot...). I overdid things a bit last week and am paying for it now - but it was worth it to see 3 West End shows and then on Saturday, I was given a last minute front row ticket to see Mike and the Mechanics. They are a great live band and having met the drummer in a lift in Cairo in 1999 and interviewed him the following year, it was nice to catch up over a drink after the show. I also bumped into an ex-colleague and was touched when she said “I’m so proud to see all the things that you’re doing”. Awww...