A friend of mine from a couple of years ago, I’ll call him A, used to work for the Samaritans. When I say work, I mean volunteer, man the phones as it were. I used to think then that it was a very hard thing to do, to try and talk someone out of ending their life – emotional and very draining, the same as working with people with special needs. I greatly admire people who work in that area.
Now called just ‘Samaritans’, they are having a special awareness drive at the moment. They are one of the few ‘unspoken’ charities. We don’t like to admit that they even exist it seems, although they have since 1953. There are various ways in which you can support them, including buying merchandise.
It was a running joke with my kids that they knew the number for Childline; anytime they didn’t like a decision that we made they were advised to either call Childline or find new parents and get adopted. One phrase I’m sure every parent has heard – so and so’s parents have let them! It’s so unfair. Obviously the remarks were flippant and meant jokingly, which would annoy them even more when they saw you weren’t going to bit and get angry yourself – reverse psychology, works almost every time. The security though of having someone to talk to is so important, especially children in danger, so both charities, Samaritans and Childline, deserve our support.
When I think of the lids growing up, I can’t help but think of the classic Harry Enfield sketch when ‘Kevin’ becomes a teenager.
My brain totally wasn’t in gear this morning, thought it was February 1 today! Wishing the year away.
Recording with Tim today. Heavy skies, trying to snow here but don’t think I’ll be needing the huskies any day soon. Huskies remind me of wolves, I love wolves.
A few years ago I happened to be talking to a friend of mine Jeremy. The last three nights on television there had been films that featured wolves, including of course Dancing With Wolves. I mentioned this to Jeremy and my love of them and he told me to go and see him the next Thursday.
Jeremy is a vet, very passionate about animals and their welfare.
So I turned up at his surgery on the Tuesday as agreed and was told he would be back soon. Sure he enough he came in a few minutes later and asked me to go out to his car with him to help him, which of course I did.
Laying in the back of his estate was – a wolf! Jeremy was the vet for Wildwood, an animal park in Kent. As he and I carried the sedated (thank God) wolf into his surgery he told me that she had broken her leg and he had put in a splint and it now had to come out. We carried her down to the operating room, and he allowed me to shave her leg so he could put in a drip. Sad to say I still have her fur in a bag on the wall of my studio. He was of course baling assisted by the people who worked for him.
What I remember is the sheer power in her legs. Mishca was two years old. Her teeth? Well as I typing this I am smiling as it reminds me every time of Little Red Riding Hood. After the small operation, I helped carry her back upstairs and weigh her. I was in so much awe of the sheer beauty of her.
This is an actual picture of her, she is the face for Wildwood.
I helped carry her back out to the car, and said goodbye to her, and Jeremy, and thanked him so much.
He left, I sat in the car, and I cried! I drove back to the theatre, clutching Mishca’s fur in my hand and when I got back I couldn’t talk about it. Without any doubt, one of the most special milestone memories in my life, one I will never ever forget, to be that close to such a majestic wild animal, amazing.
Here’s a small clip from one of the best films ever made, Costner’s Dances with Wolves, with music from the late, great John Barry, my favourite composer.