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Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

What if your teddy bear could talk? My ten-year-old self would think that to be excellent. My more recent self would think it was a high-concept buddy movie with Mark Wahlberg. But in Stictches, Jonathan Blakeley's monologue, which he has written and performed, traces the life of his beloved Chloe, from when she was first given to him by her grandmother, wrapped with a red ribbon. It becomes a story not just about a cute bear (or maybe that should be rough, shaggy-looking bear given the performer’s appearance) observing life but an exploration of life and all of its stages. It's currently playing at the Hope Theatre .  The bear is not warm and fuzzy; he is a bit of a character and tough-talking, but also a bit anxious about being accepted and then discarded as nothing. But he is there to bear witness as she navigates the complicated facets of growing up and having a life. Ultimately, the bear has to deal with being consigned to a box with her other memories until circumstances

The move is on...

I think it may be all sorted now, but this weekend I have been auditioning for a place to live. It is such a beauty contest where you have to show that you have personality yet are considerate in about half an hour. By Sunday I was over it.

For various reasons (and much to the horror of some northern friends) I have decided to go for "sarf London" rather than "noorf London". I don't get this divide based on the Thames. I have seen rubbish on either side of the Thames so I think it is all a bit silly.

Anyway, I did have the opportunity to live in the north but decided against it. There were two reasons: price and the most hideous shocking bathroom I have ever seen. It was a tough decision I could have lived in zone one near Kings Cross Station (an area Time Out recently described as "up and coming" so that counts for something surely) overlooking Regent's Canal. It was very quiet and not bad looking for a semi-industrial-ripe-for-regeneration area.

I could have also shared with a lovely butch lesbian from Adelaide and her kelpie. What was not going for it was that the landlady who owned the place must have done some heavy drugs when she decorated the bathroom. Rather than replace worn out tiles as they started to fall off she stuck circular mirrors and bubble glass on in such a haphazard manner that now the lot was cracking and falling off. Jagged and broken mirrors stuck out from the wall. The ceiling also had holes punched in it with bits of plasterboard dangling down, and poking through was what appeared to be Christmas tree lights. So for the price, I said no. I said no to the flat with the canal view and the lesbian and her dog as the landlord had fucked up the shower. There is a lesson in that for all of us I am sure…

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