Frankly, I’d be more interesting to the world if I was dead. Alive, it seems that I am of no interest to anyone, but if I went to join the Choir Invisible, my life as a single, childless, out-of-work woman in her mid-fifties could act as a salutary lesson to young ladies about what not to do with theirs. …


Photo by Sukhveer Hans on Unsplash

The three of you who HAVE read War and Peace, or caught up on all those Best Foreign Film Oscar-winners in lockdown can bugger off now. I meant to, too, but being an unemployed arts and entertainments editor does frazzle the brain somewhat, and not having to watch anything for work has meant that I’ve somewhat found my natural level in the things I have watched, read or listened to.

I’ve happily ignored any of those lists of those things that you “should be” partaking in, as they’re mostly just what’s new, and what SEO says will get hits (#EnolaHolmes…


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Sir Keir Starmer gave his first speech of 2021 today, asking the government to put “families first”. Yesterday, he wrote for the Sunday Telegraph along the same lines. “The importance of family hasn’t been talked about enough during this crisis. In the last decade — and during this pandemic in particular — families have too often been let down or forgotten.”

Hardly, Sir Keir. Those of us who don’t have families — 4.5 million of us over 50 — have been totally ignored, despite the brilliant work of Ageing Well Without Children. For a change, I put fingers to keyboard…


Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Diana Thomas is writing in the Telegraph about her week. Whizzing from hairdressers to lunch with a friend, to a plastic surgeon to a doctor. It’s a whirl! And sitting on the sofa at home, in the old Gap Breton t-shirt and leggings with holes in, and manky slipper socks, which have been my outfit for a good six months, as I do very little, I’m reading on with a little envy at her girly outings and tremendous fun she’s having.

I’m not wearing a bra, and I failed to make a hairdressing appointment to see my lovely Simon before…


Read this today. It shook me. A 45-year-old single, childless woman, Natalie Langham, took her own life in March, because her life had become small because of the lockdown. Not going to explain the details here, as the details are all in the Sun story, but I think Natalie’s story should get more attention, because I think her personal situation means that it won’t.

People like Natalie only seem to get media attention when their “Eleanor Rigby” lives end in tragedy. It sounds like Natalie was a very nice woman, who was always the first to organise a social gathering…


Amazing graphics

Today, the BBC announced a new gameshow. “TV presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness will soon be taking the reins of the brand-new mystery music game show I Can See Your Voice … joining Paddy on the series’ celebrity panel will be the king of comedy Jimmy Carr, the inimitable Alison Hammond and national treasure Amanda Holden.”

So far, so nauseatingly predictable. But wait till you hear the hilarious premise! “I Can See Your Voice will see two players aiming to win a cash prize by guessing who can and can’t sing from a group of mystery singers standing before them…


Ironic that Hollywood — home of the eternally youthful and bouncy-titted — has made a stand against ageism. To mark the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, the Writers Guild of America West has demanded that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expand its new inclusivity rules for the Oscars to include age discrimination.

Photo by Nathan DeFiesta on Unsplash

“Conspicuously missing (in these rules) was any reference to age,” said the letter, written by WGA West Career Longevity Committee head Catherine Clinch. It continues: “For decades, members of the Writers Guild of America have lived under the burden of this painful reality…


I’m not going to write anything new on the 10th anniversary of his death, just republish a piece I wrote on my Urban Woo blog on the day he died. Much missed.

Such a modern way to be shocked. I opened Facebook this morning to see that Victor Olliver had discovered that he’d died. True? Not true? So I rang Greg at the PR company for Dandy In The Underworld, who confirmed it.

I feel such a fraud to be so upset at his death; I wasn’t a close friend, but merely an acquaintance, but I liked and admired him…


At least the virus that could crush the arts in Britain has the alliterative sense to start with a ‘c’, meaning that I can write the snappy phrase Coronavirus Culture Crisis. It’s what a tabloid sub would do for a headline, but as the tabloids are largely devoid of discussion about how the crisis is hitting the creative industry which employs many of their readers, it’s a headline that won’t be written.

I was Arts and Entertainments Editor of the Sunday Express for nine years — and don’t scoff and say “I didn’t know they had an arts editor!”, because…


“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.”

Honoré de Balzac

I often wonder if living alone eventually drives you mad, and today I woke up and realised it does. After staying up half the night, looking at old family documents on the web, and sleeping badly, I woke up from one of those freaky Technicolor lockdown dreams that involved dreadful people from the past and moving house, and realised I’d finally flipped; the combination of lockdown, the loss of my last job and long-term loneliness had changed me.

OK, I don’t think I’m quite…

Clair Woodward

Journalist, editor. Writes about arts, entertainment, life. Follow and commission me — Twitter @clairywoowoo

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