Big news is... I have started rehearsals for the play. It feels very strange to be sitting around, without cameras, and saying things to people in a way that ensures all the people who pay their hard earned cash, can hear me, and see me.

I am used to the idea of a camera following me and picking up the relevant bits and putting them together with other relevant bits, at a much later date. This is all pretty immediate stuff. I feel as tho' I am flexing a muscle that needs much flexing. It is too long since I have done this and I hope to keep it a working muscle. In other words, I AM ENJOYING IT. Which is a great relief. I'm not sure how good I am yet, in fact, I am struggling to find the bits I am good at, but it is great to be with a cast who are as talented as they are fun. And, yes the director is absolutely vital, but it is essentially up to us to make this play work on the night. I think that it will. Harry Burton, Matt to his older chums, is lovely to work with. Nothing is verboten yet, which means that we can get it as wrong as we like for the moment. Trouble is of course, altho' I am used to just a couple of minutes rehearsal, three weeks really isn't enough.

Not only is that a short time frame for rehearsals, we have no previews. It is a shame that we have to plunge headlong, but then, this is no medium for the faint-hearted. My colleagues all seem much more adept than I, and have much more recently tested their mettle on the boards. I feel confident that they will not let me fall too far behind!

Away from that, you will find a fair wave of publicity in the local newspapers coming up. The nationals too, I believe the Times Gardening section will have me in a couple of weeks. The photo shoot was a hoot. I sat up a tree with a copy of my mother's book like some old age Shakespearean fairy. I thought the sub-headline could be , "Oh Puck".  Ah well, you had to be there, as they say. Sometimes I really do put myself in silly spots, but I think the child in me quite likes that.  

I am finding myself more and more in love with the garden. It is so vital at this time of year. So much is coming to life. Last year I didn't know enough and we still had builders, but this year I can see much more clearly what I like and don't like. It's very exciting.

Can I put in a plea. Perhaps I should do this under it's own heading, but anyway...

I do enjoy all your letters and requests for autographs and photos, but please put in a stamped addressed envelope. If you live abroad it costs me around £2 each time. That's postage and photos. I also only send one per envelope, and always like to write the recipient's name on the photo. It is very pleasing to get these requests, but I want to be for the people I send them to, and not for resale. My agent's address is 

Independent, Oxford House, 76 Oxford St, London, W1D 1BS, UK. And please mark it clearly for me. Poor Jessika has to forward all your requests from here, and she has enough on her plate already.

Many Thanks 

So that rounds it up for the moment. I hope you are all well, and as my age is about to increase, yet again, I want to congratulate anybody and everybody on making it this far.





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