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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008

Well, I love reflecting at the end of the year and looking forwards at the beginning of another and this year is no exception.
I won't be sad to see the back of 2008, in fact I'm delighted to wave goodbye to it!
Personally it's been a bit of a roller coaster year for me, but professionally I achieved quite a bit.

Love:
Well as you probably remember, Mr Sally and I split up in April, which was HORRIBLE. I moved out, which was HORRIBLE. But I was determined to get on with my life, which was HORRIBLE! Anyway, to cut a long story short, Mr Sally and I got back together in July. He was desperate to win me back and he did, after AGES of screaming matches, tears etc.
If anything our relationship is stronger because of it. Starting a fresh made us able to talk about everything in the open, and work through things that usually got shoved under the carpet and forgotten about. We're very happy and very much looking forward to our future together.

Friends:
I've really learnt who my true friends are this year and I have some very beautiful friends, I'm very lucky and hope they realise how much I value their friendship.

Family:
My family are the best. When Mr Sally and I split up they gave me lots of love and support and without hesitation gave me money for a deposit on a flat, (I've since found out that this was the dining room money that they had saved to decorate.) Then when Mr Sally and I got back together they were thrilled and accepted him back like the son he'd always been. They even bought him a Wii for Crimbo, bless them.
My brother Gav finally packed his things and moved to Manchester. A very brave thing to do, when all he knew was me and Mr Sally. We're now renting an apartment together and he's doing really well, I know it's taken him a while to settle, but I'm very proud of him and it's great to have him so close by.
Weddings and Births:
What a year this year. Lots of friends got themselves engaged or preggers!
Leah and Mandeep. My beautiful best friend and her gorge hubby to be. He proposed to her at work, leaving little notes on her desk and then he was stood in another office with flowers waiting to whisk her off for champers. Their engagement was beautiful and I can't wait to watch them get married in June.
Paul and Chris. My best mate Paul and his gorge hunk Chris. They got enGAYged in the summer - Paul proposed to Chris on holiday, in the sea with the most beautiful speech about best mates, soul mates and being a husband. I missed their engagement do as I got my dates mixed up, had a play on and a knackered car, I'm so chuffed for them though and can't wait for their special day, which I won't miss for the world.
Claire and Zohar. Claire is my pen-pal! We've been writing to each other since we were 11 and she's from Paris, but now lives in Israel with her partner Zohar. They have been together for 10 years, he's taken his time proposing because she kept going on about it! But he finally proposed on her birthday on a romantic picnic. I'm so happy for them both.
Catherine, Mark and baby Isabelle. Catherine is my cousin. She gave birth to baby Isabelle in the summer. Unfortunately, at 19 she's still quite young and currently arguing with her mum and sister's, so as of yet we haven't met baby Isabelle. I've seen some photo's though and she's beautiful.
Dane, Laura and baby Noah. Dane is my cousin (on the other side of the family). He and his beautiful fiancee Laura (Oooh, they should be on the weddings list too as Dane proposed earlier this year) gave birth to baby Noah in November. I haven't met him yet as I've been busy with Panto and in Wales for Crimbo, but as soon as I get back then a visit and cuddle is well and truly on the cards.
Writing
I wrote three plays, produced two and had one produced through a youth theatre.
DOUBLE CLICK started off the year as an experiment with a group of actors, but it's a play I'm truly proud of and hope to tour it around the festivals next year.
BATTERED EGOS probably the hardest to write as I had so much going on personally and I had a bit of a block every time I tried to write it. I finally panicked and wrote it in a day, the actors pulled together and the end result was fab and we received 5* reviews!
CAMP 360 a play I wrote for a youth theatre and it was one of the most rewarding things I've done and I'm definitely going to write more for kids next year.
BOOKS I've just started my new book, my agent is waiting to read it and I hope he likes it when it's ready.

Misc
PANTO I performed in a Panto this year. It was truly an experience and although it was a laugh and at times not, it was a great Panto, I was proud of the show and we worked really hard to put it on. I'm not sure if I'd ever be in a Panto again, although I'd like to one day have a go at writing one.
PRODUCING Whenever I produce my own plays, it's a difficult task as there is so much to think about as well as the fact I'm usually always in my shows too. I'm quite laid back though and sometimes worry if the actors would rather someone who wasn't so chilled out about things. However, when my play DOUBLE CLICK went in to utter chaos when one of the cast pulled out on the dress rehearsal (stupid girl), I'm really proud at how I coped. It's the one thing I'm taking with me proudly through to next year. When you have a cast looking at you for answers, with terrified faces and one huge problem to solve then it's not an easy task. I'm proud that I stayed calm, I did not let the actors feel one ounce of the fear and frustration I felt, I kept those things to myself, I didn't sleep and I worried myself in to the night. Cancelling a show wasn't an option, so we just had to get on with it. The way I see it is that when you're in charge of a group of actors, a show, anything, then it isn't wise to let them feel any of your concerns, yes it's fine to ask for help and advice, but it's not fair to offload any of your worries or stress on to them.
I'm proud to say that because my chilled manner stayed the same, it enabled us to focus on what we needed to do, and it made everyone not only willing but capable of pulling together as a TEAM and work things through together. We did nothing but laugh that day and when we all stepped on to stage the next night on opening night, we knew that no matter what, we'd do it because we were still working very much as a team. And I'm very proud of that play, it taught me a lot and I'll love that cast forever!
I have lots of plans for 2009 and I'll bring everything I learnt from 2008 and make sure that 2009 is one to be proud of.

I wish you all a very happy 2009. May the new year see all your dreams come true and thank you for reading my blog.
Lots of love, Sally x

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

What's his is err - MINE!!

Mr Sally today decided to pop in to JJB as there was a HUGE sale on and he needed a pair of new trainers.
Now, from since I can remember I never have ever bought expensive ones, as basically I can never afford any. My last two pairs were a converse style pair from Ethels for £4 and a pair from Primark for around £5.

Anyway, Mr Sally found his dream pair and then I spotted a pair of really cute Adidas ones for £20.
'Get them if you want them,' he said.
'Nah, can't really afford to be buying trainers. I'll get some in the new year.'
'Sally, if you want them just tell me and I'll get them for you.'

So naturally I got the guy to find me a pair in my size, he did. But Mr Sally's dream pair weren't in his size, so I ended up with a pair and he didn't. And to add insult to injury, when we got to the till the guy said that they were actually £29 and not £20. Eeek.

They're like these, but the stripes are green! Oooh, I love them.

And, Mr Sally is so nice - he just logged on to ASOS to see if they had his trainers on there (they didn't), but I had a look for skirts and found a cute one.
'You not getting it?' He asked.
'No, I need to watch my money for a bit.'
'I'll get it for you if you want?'

This time I said no. I think he's spent enough on me thus far...

I love you Mr Sally x

Scratch!

I am itching to write, itching I tell yer!!

I've planned the outlines of my new novel and I need to get stuck in to it, whilst taking on some advice from my agent.
Oooh, here we go - I bloomin' love a new writing project.


Other news, for Crimbo my lovely, lovely mum and dad amongst other amazing gifts got me a gazillion Little Black Dress books, loads of them. I've just finished reading 'Plan B' by Emily Barr and was just about to start reading one of my new books, when...
I happened to pick up my copy of 'By The Time You Read This' by Lola Jaye and I just looked at the prologue and, well I'm hooked!
It's so true that an opening of a book is so important, and Lola has obviously cracked it.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Time for Business...

I'm a busy little bee. Currently planning a way to turn my production company in to more of a business in 2009. I'm hoping once I launch it properly soon, things will take off. I'm really excited. I just let Mr Sally watch FOOTBALL on my brand new netbook and around a million and three viruses have now downloaded themselves on to it... grrr. My dad is currently sat with his head in his hands trying to get them off.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

LoveLoveLoveLove!

Today Mr Sally and I celebrate our 5 year anniversary (we're not counting the little gaps where I left with bin bags in hand!!)

It's been a roller coaster 5 years and this last year started off pretty grim for us, but we're together and better than ever. If anything it's made us realise how much we mean to each other.

So happy 5 years Mr Sally. Thank you for my DKNY perfume and I'm very much looking forward to the Italian meal we're having tonight.

I love you very much xx



Right, gushing post over!!
Oooh, I bought a gorgeous, cute dress in the sales for a fiver today. I'm just debating whether to wear it tonight...

Friday, 26 December 2008

Planning

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Now Panto and the day itself are over, I'm relaxing. I'm so tired, but excited to start making plans for the new year.
I've learnt loads from last year, met and worked with people I think I'll always work with, and some I'd never work with again!
So here I am, on Boxing day, thinking about the things I need to start planning for next year... workshops, new play, book and my TV script. I can't wait to get stuck in.



Thursday, 25 December 2008

Spoilt Rotten...

that's me. I've been a very, very lucky lady and received so many beautiful gifts. Including a brand new digital camera off my brother Gav. (Remember my old one got stolen and the lettings agency have failed to care - anyway, that's another story!) But Gav got me a gorgeous camera and I love it.
Amongst perfume, books, Cd's etc off my beautiful parents, I opened a mini laptop, so that I can carry it anywhere. I LOVE IT!! I can do loads of writing on the go now!!
Mr Sally got me a beautiful coat he saw me admiring a few weeks ago, perfume and a gorge new pair of UGG boots.

It's been a fab family day. My uncle is spending it with us this year, which is lovely.
We just went for a walk on the beach, well all except for Gav and my mum. She was cooking and he was playing with his new guitar Mr Sally and I bought him.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to EVERYONE!

Hope you have a lovely time.
Lots of Love and Christmas magic xx

Monday, 22 December 2008

Friends

Today, so many of my beautiful friends supported me in my Panto role by coming along.

Firstly, my girlie friends from the office came and brought kids as well to boo and cheer for the matinee. I was especially thrilled to see my friend Jo had made it, despite a terrible hangover! It was brilliant to see them all there in the middle, smirking when I started my song!! Thanks though ladies, I really appreciate the support.

This evening was a fab show. The theatre was really full and my best friend Leah and her fiance Mani came along to support. It was brilliant to see them both. And we got our first standing ovation at the end, it was lovely.

Tomorrow is the last day of Panto. It's been one heck of a journey and although I'll be bloomin glad of a rest, I'll be sad to wave goodbye to Myrtle and the Christmas Crew!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Panto in Pictures

Here are some photos of my Panto. Christmas Cat and the Pudding Pirates.
I'm in the middle, playing Myrtle the Mermaid.


Yes, that's me lay on the floor in the netting. A washed up Mermaid!



Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Why I Love Old People #1


I did a matinee yesterday and we had a group of lovely old ladies from a local nursing home in to watch the show. They loved the show from the beginning and joined in and laughed lots, then...

Halfway through one of the actors said to me backstage that an old lady was really putting her and another actor off.
I went on stage and halfway through my song, an old lady in a wheelchair looked at me and said, 'Hurry up, I want to go home. It's getting dark.'
I carried on with my song and throughout the last few scenes she kept saying, 'Come on, get on with it. Please hurry up.'

As frustrating as it was at the time, it made me smile afterwards!

I've Started, so...

I'll finish sometime!!


Well I made a start on the shopping and OMG it was HELL!!

I still haven't bought a Christmas present yet, today's priority was my mum as it's her Birthday on Friday. I think she'll like her Birthday gifts and I'm pleased with the purchases.
I hate the fact she has a Birthday before Christmas as I feel she tries to sweep her day to one side as Christmas is looming, so I always try and make her day special. It must be rubbish for anyone to have a birthday so close to Christmas.

I went to Sainsbury's to do some food shopping as I was starting to feel like Old Mother Hubbard! So the fridge is full-ish. Still managed to spend £80???!

Cleaned the flat and even cleaned Gav's bathroom (eek!) Anyway, although I hate not doing a show, it's been nice to have a day to catch up on bits and bobs.
More shopping tomorrow and drinks with the girls, can't wait.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Last Minute Santa!


I have not even started Christmas shopping yet!!
OMG! OMG!

I do not want to talk about it!

Eight Down

I have performed 8 shows this week. I'm covered in bruises... and I mean covered. The shows have been lots of fun... apart from the matinee to around 10 college students, who talked through the whole thing, shoved their fingers up at Jolly Roger and totally disrespected the fact they were sharing the theatre with some lovely ladies from an old people's home. Never in my life have I ever not enjoyed being on stage, but in that matinee I just wanted to get off stage and leave!

The Panto is going well, although getting bums on seats has been a bit difficult. We've cancelled a few shows because of low ticket sales and it's so heartbreaking after all the hard work we've put in and the show is FANTASTIC. I think the end of next week is rather busy, so at least we'll end on a high!

Last night on stage, these are just some of the things that happened to me:
My shoe fell off.
My handbag got caught in the fishing net.
My shell necklase got caught in the net and then snapped and the beads rolled all over the stage! Eeek!

Oh well, it was still great fun.

One more week left. Hope you can come on down xx

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Icing on the Cake!

Well, it happened... The Panto kicked off yesterday and let me tell you it's been a frantic, tiring, and emotional week.

The set wasn't ready in time, costumes were still being made... it was pure chaos. I was at the theatre until midnight every single night last week and on Sunday I was there until 2am... so I'm a very tired lady.
We opened on a matinee yesterday and we were all pretty much running on adrenaline. Then we had an evening show to get through, but we did it and the feedback has been fantastic.

Lots of people have commented on how much they have enjoyed watching a traditional Panto with lots of comedy and lots of audience interaction for the kids.

The tickets are £5 and £4 for concs. This doesn't mean the show is going to be amateur, far from it. We're selling them at £5 because the venue is still trying to establish itself and doesn't have a load of celebrity wages to pay!!
The director is a FAB slap-stick/comedy director and he's worked us hard to make sure we're offering a high standard Panto. And I can honestly say, it's been tough, it's been long hours, it's been very stressful and at times a bit tiring but hand on heart, I stepped on that stage yesterday and felt truly proud to be a part of a fantastic show. And to hear old ladies laughing and children screaming at the baddies was truly the icing on the cake.

If you're in the north west and looking for a Panto, please come along.
www.salfordartstheatre.co.uk

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Still Here... Just!

What a week!

It's gone on and on and on!

I've been finishing work, heading straight to rehearsals and not finishing until around midnight every night. I'm so tired and fighting off a cold that I can feel trying to sneak up on me.

We open the Panto on Monday and things are very, very stressful at the moment. So much still to do and I'm there again at 3pm until whenever today/night!

It'll be worth it though.

Mr Sally is in the middle of his own chaos with his Panto, his opens in about an hours time, eek!

Ah, Panto - such a stressful yet magical part of Christmas.

PS: I've still not started my Christmas shopping.
BUT as I finished my day job yesterday to be a paid actor for Christmas, I may just be able to squeeze some shopping trips in before and after shows. (Hopefully!)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Leah and Mani

My beautiful best friend (we've been friends since we were 2 years old), Leah today celebrated her engagement to Mandeep (Mani).
Marrying in to a Muslim family, Leah will have two weddings... one traditional and one Indian.
If the Indian wedding is anything like the engagement ceremony I witnessed today, it will be such a beautiful, colourful, happy affair and I can't wait!




The happy couple.


This is Leah and I as kids, joined at the hip. (Leah is on the left, I'm on the right).

This is us today. We couldn't look at each other in this photo as we couldn't stop the tears. She looked so beautiful and radiant and it was far too emotional for us both to say anything. (I have no idea how I'm going to get through two weddings!)
I think I managed to mumble that I loved her and was so happy for her and... no, I've gone again!


Leah Whitehead, I wish you and Mani all the happiness in the world. For nobody deserves it as much as you.
Love you x
 
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