Monday, 6 June 2011

Did I have a fabulous day yesterday or...

did I have an absolutely fabulous day?

Armed with a red top Sunday paper (a luxury I don't usually indulge in!!!)   Last train times carefully written out on a scrap of paper by Hubs, ferried to the station with the unspoken words of... 
"Make sure you don't throw away your old girls railcard like you did last time!!!"

The reason for this expedition was this lovely lady

the much loved and sadly missed Claire Rayner.

Back in 1992 I had the pleasure in meeting Claire on numerous occasions in the 'wings' of Good morning with Anne and Nick on BBC daytime television.
 Me being the new girl on the block of live telly, she showed me kindness and encouragement which I never forgot.  When an article appeared in the Observer by Jay Rayner her son, about last night's memorial concert, I knew I had to be there.


Hubs who like me, is a stickler for being on time, suggested I catch the 6 am train!?!
Could this be a wicked plan to ensure a quiet Sunday I wonder?

Armed with camera (which never left my bag!) and brolly (which did!)
I set off on my big adventure.  

Now don't get me wrong, I'm in danger of becoming a recluse, why, because I love my home, studio, garden, dog and man so much that I never want to go anywhere.  Even on the train I thought, I don't really want to be doing this?

I got to London at 1 o clock, strolled up Regents Street which had a very buzzy carnival atmosphere due to the whole Promote Spain party that had closed off one end to t'other.
I was aiming for Libertys, the store that gets all my artistical juices going.  Where I just had to have a glass of a very creditable English fizz and a bowl of olives, just to sustain me before tea you understand.

John Lewis next, then wait for it...
the sardine-experience - the tube.
Hubs had told me where to go, which line, where to change, you get my drift...
an innocent abroad.
Did as instructed... problem was, I travelled the wrong way...
Regents Park, he didn't say anything about a trip to the zoo!?!
Re-entrained backwards (once more for those who weren't watching the first time!)
Up the escalator falling into the welcoming arms of WSD who like her dad is just as lovely and caring.
"You look like you've been around the course an few times!"
Well I have but that's another story.

Table booked here for 3.30 pm

What a super idea, a shop and cafe bar selling EVERYTHING, vintage bits and bobs, sewing stuff, new designer craft wares, you name they've got it.

Afternoon tea with a kick was ordered and a glorious couple of hours melted away.

 I was posted off on the right train by Belinda, feeling for all the world like minced pork being fed into a sausage machine.


What a day this was turning into.

The concert was fantastic, full of fun and truly what a memorial concert ought be like.
A celebration of the persons' life.  And what a life the Rayner family had.  I know it sounds smoozy but the theatre was filled with love, it enveloped you like dry ice.
The Criterion Theatre couldn't be bettered for a cosy and homely venue.

Over £30,000 was made for

Claire was involved with over 60 charities and worked tirelessly for those 'pushed to the margins of society'.

What a woman.

The evening's concert finished with the cast and every man, woman and child singing

I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
And make believe it came from you

I'm gonna write words, oh so sweet
They're gonna knock me off my feet,
A lotta kisses on  the bottom,
I'll be glad I got 'em

I'm gonna smile and say:
"I hope your'e feeling better."
And close "with love" the way you do.
I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter
I'm gonna make believe it came from you.

 What a finale sung with gusto to one helluva wonderful woman.

Tipping with rain outside, I floated to the station.
I didn't want to dispel the moment by going to the party,
even though it was held at Oliver Peyton's Massimo.

I felt the Rayners had shared enough of their wife and mum with us and I for one didn't want to intrude any further.


  1. What an adventure for a wanna-be recluse. Sounds like a wonderful day (I so want to get to Drink Shop & Do), and you got home safe, which is always something of an achievement.

    And now you can relax with lots of happy memories.


  2. And another thing... all the way home I sang to myself... Yes, you've guessed it... "I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter" Even Hubs said this morning he went to bed with the refrain going round in his head! Thanks for your comment Joanna, LLX

  3. What a lovely post, I did have a laugh at your surreal train journey though, you daft thing lol!!! You crack me up honey!!! What an amazing amount that they raised! xx

  4. Sounds brilliant - what a lovely day you had. The 'bill' for the memorial looks great what an amazing line up of guests and features.

  5. You certainly packed a lot into the day.
    I always thought Clare Rayner seemed like such a lovely genuine person, lucky you to have met her and know she was just like that!
    What a fantastic way to remember someone so clearly treasured by many.
    Lisa x