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JENNY ECLAIR GETS ALL HOCKNEY WITH AN ART APP

Camberwell comedian Jenny Eclair on the latest Grumpy Old Women tour, the art-app-inspiring beauty of the British countryside and her new novel…

The Grumpy Old Women tour is over. Never again will the Grumpy posse drive past swaying golden fields of shining oilseed rape, peppered with massive purple UKIP posters.

Yes, South West England, I am giving you a very hard stare. I can’t tell you how easy it is to spoil an unspoilt Devon Village with a load of Farage propaganda! Ah well, that’s all done and dusted now and people are quietly cheering or licking their wounds. Or in some cases, still rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

For me, its back to work on a new solo show and basically feeling glad to be back in London. Although I have to admit touring throughout this most beautiful spring has been an utter pleasure – just the sheer lushness of the blossoms and the mind boggling variety of roadside greenery. I mean, how many types of tree do we have in this country?

One of the comforts of ageing is getting all excited about nature. Stopping off in Poole Harbour for a couple of nights, we took an early morning ferry trip to the quite extraordinary Brownsea Island. Brownsea belongs to the National Trust, and boasts a turreted hotel to which only staff members of John Lewis and Waitrose are permitted! This is where Enid Blyton based her Kirrin Island adventures and the Boy Scout movement was invented.

Listen, I am not a big rambler, but this place is magical. I saw three red squirrels – three! – and don’t try to tell me it was the same one running up three different trees.

I was so inspired by nature that I turned all Hockney and downloaded an app called Art Set

So inspired was I by nature on this month-long tour that I turned all Hockney and downloaded a brilliant app called Art Set onto my iPad (no more than a couple of quid) and proceeded to get all creative in the back of a people carrier while travelling at 70 miles an hour. The results are either ‘brilliant’, ‘quite nice if you like that kind of thing’, or ‘utterly appalling’, according to your taste buds.

All I know is that it kept me quiet and nothing got spilt (which is more than I can say for our incredibly messy motorway picnics with coleslaw and crisps flying everywhere).

I tell you, by the time the tour was over that car was in a disgraceful state. Talk about Spinal Tap meets the WI – it was all discarded knitting and empty chardonnay bottles.

It was lovely to return home and find the East Dulwich Picturehouse freshly opened with its groovy bar and parent-and-baby friendly ‘screamings’. These are obviously really popular – the day I poked my nose in there must have been 30 buggies in the foyer. Not having my own bawling bundle of fury, I decided to leave them to it, but don’t you worry, I shall be back, especially if the menu tastes as good as it sounds.

In other news, my new novel, Moving – set in Kennington, Manchester and Chelsea – is out on 23 July. It’s my fourth novel and possibly the most grown-up thing I’ve ever attempted. Please do give it a gander!

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