I’ve recently put out a new Celia track ‘Dear Frank’ and the response has been terrific. In fact, I’m in the process of recording Celia’s Lockdown Diaries as a sort of Thought For The Day Mini Series, will keep you posted. It’s so heart warming to create something you’re proud of and for it to be well received in these show-free times, so I sincerely thank everyone who’s bought the track and sent lovely messages. For anyone who hasn’t found it yet, here is a link and some info below. It’s available from £1.
I’m offering some FREE GIFTS to subscribers on my mailing list, so feel free to add your details to the form on here and receive a Happy New Year present from me. And do share wherever you like, if you have friends who’d like this too. You can always unsubscribe if I’m not longer a good fit for your daily pottering.
Please can I recommend that everyone watches American Utopia by Spike Lee? It’s just terrific. It’s out on DVD now.
X Love Jo
Dear Frank – A Letter By Celia
New track on Bandcamp out now
Who wouldn’t want a letter from this lovin’ clown?
‘Dear Frank’ is a letter from Celia, a new character comedy set in UK Lockdown 3.0. It’s a five minute, spoken word thing, written and performed in between home schooling, recording adverts under the stairs and being grateful. Co-written with TV comedy writer Joseph Nixon (co-writer of ‘The Crab Prince’), with original music by Glen Richardson. It’s suitable for all the family and is now available from just one pound.
I hope you like it!
Who wouldn’t want a letter from this lovin’ clown? 📮
– warning – we did commas today, for home schooling, and now I can’t stop, using them.
‘Dear Frank, A Letter From Celia’ is a new character comedy, set in lockdown 3.0. It’s a five minute, spoken word thing, written and performed by me, Jo Neary, in between home schooling, performing tank battles and being grateful. Co-written with the wonderful and hilarious @josephnixon with original music by Glen Richardson, it’s suitable for all the family. It’s now available on Bandcamp for just one pound and I’m very grateful that I was given a thirty minute break today, so I could achieve something😙😙
You can go to my Instagram (@WifeOnEarth) to check out my horrific meme thing 🎈I am really struggling with reels and stories, learning this stuff with a bewildered brain like mine feels like I’d advance more quickly if I were mainly cheese scone.
Anyway, I’ve finally got round to doing things again after all sorts of nonsense. What about you? Are you being stirred into action, carrying on as normally as this stuff permits or just about ready to start anew? Celia is my beloved Brief Encounter homage and is star of my podcast ‘Wife On Earth’ produced by the marvellous @cosmicshamblesnetwork – series 3 coming soon. You can join my mailing list here on my website to hear about announcements and new delights/plans afoot for 2021. And if all this sounds a bit confused, it’s because I’m writing this on a postage stamp sized screen, off the top of my head and I’m rubbish at improv.
I hope you like my thing.
Happy New Year, be cosy and stay safe.
Love from Jo
Photograph by Andy Hollingworth who I just really love. I didn’t even know he’d pressed ‘take’.
During lockdown, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to make some little puppet shows for children. My tour of The Crab Prince had to be cancelled and instead I made five short little films using puppets and focussing on art history and making. Seashore Art School starred Fiona Fish Finger, the mermaid who lives under The Erskine Bridge, and her friend Lucy Le Crayon, a little girl who’d like to make things inspired by her library books.
For instance, a picture of a monster, some wrapping paper for her friend’s present, and a little doll to play with and send on holiday, inspired by Eileen Agar and Paul Nash’s found personages. The idea was to reference some artists and creatives that aren’t usually mentioned in the National Curriculum or in children’s art books, such as Ronald Searle and Aardman Films. The age group for the films was 5+ with the added remit of using no specialist art materials as much as possible, just stuff that most people have lying about.
We added sweet music by Heather Minor and Pad Mclean to make the making sections as soothing and sweet as possible. Early lockdown was such a bonkers time, home schooling was a real challenge, to be honest in the end I was proud to have completed them at all. A big thank you to Julia without whom I might have thrown in the towel, and my family who ended up on photography, sound, lighting, acting, music and direction. One of the episodes features a music video with psychedelic effects.
You can find a link to these films here on our website under videos, or search for Seashore Art School on Youtube.
We hope you enjoy them! Here is Lucy with her mum Cathy.
I was thrilled to be able to work during lockdown, after an initial horror show of having all work cancelled overnight.
Robin Ince and Trent Burton at Cosmic Shambles Network invited me to join them for two episodes of The Stay At Home Festival (this one with Nicole Smit, Tim Minchin, Robin Ince and Josie Long) and another as Celia Jesson with David Baddiel, Josie Long, Robin Ince and the sublime Phil Jeays). Celia’s lockdown diary with a beach romance theme was part of Sea Shambles for The Royal Albert Hall, and at that point, I pretty much burst with pride.
Radio 3’s The Verb with Ian Mcmillan included some new entries from Celia’s diary too, so all in all, very pleasing to feel like there was some life outside of home schooling and general despair.
As well as making some little films for Renfrewshire TV (more on that soon), Michael Spicer had his own brilliant, much deserved and well received comedy show on Radio 4 which I was proud to join in with, albeit as a character called Josephine who was boring, perhaps it was based on me.
But happiest of all, my second series of Wife On Earth Podcast has just come out on Cosmic Shambles Network. The first episode was recorded before any of the lockdown took place. I wanted to set the second series in Celia and Fred’s suburban home. Little did I know how appropriate that would turn out to be. The series isn’t overtly about lockdown as I didn’t want it to date, but there are moments and mentions, such as Fred taking up learning ukulele and Celia recording in the airing cupboard. The second episode is set in a supermarket, and I called it Supermarket Surrender as a homage to Mills and Boon.
Working from home and home schooling has been very difficult. And hats off to all my fellow creative types who lost all their paid work overnight and are now working for free in an attempt to keep their creative work going when all this is over. It’s horrid feeling like you’re not doing anything well enough. Instead, we’re juggling all things and hoping our best will do.
Listen to my podcast if you fancy, it’d mean the world to me. Aside from shouting about handwriting and concentrating, and using a puppet to be the teacher, it’s currently all I’ve got.
Gosh, too many colours and choices. An outfit for the day…
I need to be warm, and to be able to run off at the drop of a hat (in case of murderers).
Eventually settled on = Grey Prince Of Wales checked trousers, cotton knitted beret, St Michael’s (1960’s Marks And Spencer) fine wool classic cardigan, brown leather boots, handmade red leather belt. Finally, have found a cosy and elegant look. Must show husband how nice I feel.
It wasn’t meant to be a costume but maybe it was. And I was meant to be pleased that I didn’t look like Norman. Right, must go and practice my pratfalls. Boink.
Postscript if you’re still reading this nonsense. Youtubers suggest LAYERING, which means putting a cardigan on.
Minimalists/French Style gurus suggest wearing only three colours. And not even colourful colours. They suggest ‘teaming’ grey with white (gasp!) and black (Swoon). And they get sponsored for this. Wish I’d thought of being a style youtuber, but I’d just sound sarcastic and I can hardly be arsed to do more than wash my face.
So. To conclude. Come and see my freshly washed face at Greater Manchester Fringe this July and also Machfest in May. Tickets just gone on sale. It’s my best show yet, I hope you like it. If you love me, I’ll see you there. It’ll be our Valentines gift to me and you.
I need to knit a hat with ‘I am reading’ written on it, but at the same time, I don’t want to miss out on the whirlwind doings of a Boy Who Smells Of Strawberry Jam and the Robin that seems to have a life of it’s own, apparently.
After the General Election, as a way of coping with the result and what it meant, I found a way to feel genuinely sorry for Boris Johnson and told it to my Tory Voting friend.
That Boris and his rich privileged friends have had sheltered lives and may never have known the loveliness of being treated kindly by some poor person who has nothing for themselves, who has never known luxury or personal wealth, but continues to give and share what they have anyway (this had just happened to me in a charity shop in Bexhill-On-Sea before Christmas, it was profoundly touching). And how we are kind in return, and what a lovely way to live, how sad never to have had that, because they seem to act as though poor people baffle them at best and at worst, disgust them. Poor, deprived, privileged people. Who’d want to live like that, don’t you agree?
My friend did not agree, they was almost incandescent with rage and defended Boris Johnson vehemently and then left. According to them, Boris probably has a lot of joy from being rich and having rich friends, that we don’t know about.
It was very satisfying. Pity is such a terrible emotion, I can highly recommend directing it at the people you dislike. It feels less destructive than rage but is pleasingly mean, and you can do it calmly, as though you’re being considerate. Aren’t I horrible? To be fair, my friend had already told me that Boris Johnson is right, that mothers shouldn’t work and that single mothers are responsible for criminals existing, while they were in my home, being fed by me, a working mother. If they’d bought a tea cake with them, I might have been less antagonistic, but they arrived empty handed and insulted me. The twit. (Changed one letter there, in case my mum is reading this).
Here’s my doodle about the fact that Labours manifesto pledge to renationalise the railways, that was derided and rejected by the right, has now been implemented, just a month later, on one rail company at least. Hahahahaaha. Poor Boris and The One In A Top Hat.
I’m listening to Mathieu Boogaerts right now, I want to be more European than ever, and Mathieu helps me with my French, I just haven’t told him. I noticed my driving licence has the EU flag with UK in the middle of it after my gig this weekend, the Bent Double comedy night at Brighton Komedia, run by the marvellous and brilliantly funny stand up Zoe Lyons. Zoe is one of my favourite stand ups in the world. I’ve been telling myself her jokes for a year now, and still laughing at the thought of them. In that way, she’s a bit like Laurel and Hardy.
Here’s a smashing song in French, performed by Rue 66, makes me want to dance and don’t you just love those Tricolore dresses? This is so groovy. Now I’ve just got to learn what they’re saying.
Also, this one by Françoise Hardy seemed apropos. I think it’s called ‘How do I say goodbye to you?’ (my translation but I might be slightly off).
Signing off. Best wishes, Pat Barker Of East Sussex.
Next time – a post in French.
Today I’ve been looking at designs for a simple crab puppet for my children’s show, and I also found this beautiful cutting in my Sea World folder. Everyone has a Sea World Folder, right? I also have a box labelled ‘For Making Hats’. And my records in alphabetical order, which really riles some people, and in turn, makes me laugh. It’s an awful affliction really, that people being indignantly furious makes me cry with laughter. Most unsympathetic. But I put on a show, so you wouldn’t know to look at me.
My lovely creative friends Peter Chrisp and Lisa Wolfe in Brighton did a photo that reminded me of Diving Belle. Here they are in The Guardian.
I’m thinking of resurrecting my Dolphin character at some point. But things change. When I did this years ago, no one minded, but they might now because he’s made of plastic and he should really be made of recycled cardboard, bamboo or stainless steel. I guess the answer is never to chuck him in the sea.
Anyway, this Friday is Comedy At The Lamb with Dyball & Kerr, Sooz Kempner, Wendy Wason and I’ll be doing my cat character Mr Timkins and some new material. Tickets only £10 here. For people further afield, I’m doing Fireside Festival, MachFest2020, Manchester Fringe in July and more to be announced. Keep an eye on www.joneary.com for details. Thank you my friends (all three of you) xxx
A disco with hot dogs and squash at the hatch. It’s a tradition.
(Hopefully this post has enough commas for everyone, what with the current Missing Oxford Comma debacle on the Brexit Fifty Pee. If anything, there’s too many commas, it’s like I’m trying to overcompensate due to British shame or something. But actually, I’ve only done 48% more commas than usual. So, as we all agree, nowhere near half, doesn’t count, and nothing to worry about. if only it’s been a resounding 52%, we’d be in no doubt that we have at least the correct number of punctuation marks, if anything, an overflow. I’ll end it here. I need to get out. Apparently – comma – we all do).
My son and his best friend wanted to dance to the Beatles. I asked for them and was met with a blank stare. Maybe the DJ hadn’t heard of them. Perhaps the DJ couldn’t hear me? Possibly, he’d ruined his hearing by blasting his ears with shit music. The other record request was for Cab Calloway.
Next time – Belfast visit. Plus Bristol and Coventry Art Galleries and Museums. Comma.