The She Street Band
Signs that you are getting old:
- Policemen start looking younger
- Covers bands start looking younger
- Annual celebrations like Christmas Day, your birthday and #EdBallsDay come around at alarming speed
- Seven months passes in the blink of an eye (see 3.)
Yes, it has been seven (count ’em!) months since I last wrote a blog-y, news-y piece here, so I thought it was about time that I not only posted an update of sorts, but also used this as a public vow to start posting monthly about… well, what I’ve been up to that month. But chiefly: what I’ve been enjoying. For that’s what life is for, no?
And in fact, much of the past seven months has been spent doing work which has led to the most important event in my life over the past month: being elected as a councillor.
I’m ridiculously proud and honoured to now be representing the residents of Churchill Ward, Pimlico, on Westminster City Council. The work began immediately – the election was on a Thursday, the results were announced on the Friday, and I had an email from a resident asking me to look into the scaffolding on their building on Saturday – and has been full-on ever since: not just training and learning the ropes but immediately doing the day-to-day work that being a councillor entails, and looking for ways in which you can improve people’s lives. (Which are, of course, endless. Especially given the state of Britain today, and the conditions people are enduring.)
But to me, that’s what it’s all about. I stood as a councillor because I believe that politics should be, above all, practical. That it’s about helping people in a tangible, practical way – and being a councillor is just one way you can do that. It’s a huge honour to be elected and I’m incredibly grateful both to the people who voted for me and the Labour Party activists who helped get me and my fellow Labour councillors elected (and there are now 19 of us on Westminster Council: 4 more than before the election). From scaffolding to surgeries, casework to committees, I promise I will do my best (as we used to say in the Girl Guides) every step of the way.
So, here’s the bit which I will try to do each month from now on: a little round-up of the things I’ve been enjoying. Probably cultural, but who knows? This month I’ve been enjoying the sunshine a lot too, so: yay weather!
This month, I’ve been…
Old episodes of Desert Island Discs (for reasons that I may or may not be able to divulge soon). As in, not just subscribing to the DID podcast but also delving into its archive (because one always ‘delves’ into an ‘archive’, yes?) such as this one, to give just one example. It was especially poignant and lovely to listen to the Sue Townsend episode.
Also, as always, The Huey Show on BBC 6 Music, which is my major source these days for discovering both new music (recent gems: Kruangbin, Hollie Cook, Stimulator Jones) and a new-found appreciation for music which I didn’t appreciate back in, oh, the mid-1990s.
Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe – which is funny, and delightful, and was recommended by Isy Suttie on a recent episode of a new podcast I’ve also been enjoying (insert also into ‘Listening to…’ above) called Rule Of Three. Which is a must-listen (now there’s a noun which presumably gets used more these days due to podcasts) for those interested in comedy, writing, and, above all, comedy writing.
Also falling into ‘Listening to’ above is The She Street Band – who I both watched and listened to because I went to see them live this month. This involved going to The Water Rats in King’s Cross for the first time since, I reckon, 1995 (all I remember is that I was listening to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill a lot around that time – hey, who wasn’t?! – and I confirm that it’s been smartened up considerably since then). But I digress. The She Street Band – who are, you guessed it, an all-female Bruce Springsteen covers band – were brilliant, and gave the audience what can only be described as 90 minutes of pure joy. Do go and see them (and indeed listen to them) if you ever get the chance.
I also, finally, watched Heat. It’s only taken me 23 years (see points 3. and 4. above). Full disclosure: my husband and I had to watch it over two nights because it’s 2 hr 52 min long and I am now Of That Age. This is probably why it’s taken me 23 years to watch it, tbqh.
My sister-in-law’s 50th birthday. She, my brother and their children live on a marina with their motley crew of dogs, three of whom (dogs, not children) are pictured below. All of them were abandoned in some way (the dogs, not the children), and the reason I mention this is to promote the charity that my sister-in-law fosters for, and adopts from, ProDogs. They rescue dogs and find loving homes for them – in many cases, sadly, their first loving home – so if you’re thinking about getting a dog (and who among us isn’t, right?!) then please check out their website; and that of another great charity which rehomes older dogs on behalf of many charities: Oldies.
(Left to right: Elvis, Willow and Eddie. Now all living their best life, thanks to my sister-in-law)