Hello (waves from the back of a people carrier en route to a Grumpy Old Women gig)! The tour is in full swing and I have my developed my usual gigging belly goiter thanks to the Grumpy post-show habit of white wine and fistfuls of crisps.

Honestly, despite a two-hour nightly stage workout I am struggling to get into anything that isn’t 100% elasticated around the gut. And this is why I’ve succumbed to the jegging. Now these have been around for a while, but I had managed to resist, until curiosity got the better of me, and I’m now a complete convert. Wearing jeggings is like wearing extra thick ballet tights, you can move around freely but no one can see your pants which, let’s face it, is a relief.

Last month I told you about the parking ticket I got in Camberwell, which I disputed due to having a valid residents’ parking permit. Well, I’ve heard no more from Southwark’s parking enforcement team and I’m pretty convinced victory is mine. But before I could get too smug about it, I started receiving brown envelopes stamped with TfL Congestion Charge through my letterbox on a daily basis. Hoorah, I thought, another bureaucratic bungle, surely I can’t have been stupid enough to have entered the congestion zone without realising five times?

I’ve got very little shame left after the career I’ve had, but even I can’t condone colouring-in in public

Oh yes I can. There’s a turning off Kennington Lane leading to a certain rehearsal room which is merely feet inside the zone. Bingo! Every single penny of my week’s rehearsal fee went on congestion zone fines. I’m an idiot. I have now registered my car so that I can never be an idiot again.


Or can I…? I’ve spent the last year writing my heart out and my fourth novel, Moving is published in July. At the moment I’m checking the proofs for spelling mistakes and typos. Seriously, I’ve no idea why they’re entrusting me with this job? I got a D in A level English (don’t tell my publisher). But while I plough through the thousands of carefully chosen words and cross my fingers in the hope that people will like it, I am also aware of the fact that topping the Amazon best-selling book chart recently was a colouring-in book for adults! Yes, that’s a colouring-in book, for human adults! It makes me feel nostalgic for when us writers got all po-faced about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. At least those books had words in them! Honestly, writing novels is a mugs’ game.

Secretly, of course, I can understand the therapeutic appeal of getting busy with some crayons, as Fifty Shades taught us, pleasure comes in many different guises, whatever turns you on and all that. God knows I’ve got very little shame left after the kind of career I’ve had, but I promise you, as a 55-year-old woman, there are some lines even I can’t cross and one of them is colouring-in in public!