Monday, 11 January 2010

Tipping

The British are reluctant tippers. In the United States a 20% tip, while not usually included in the bill, is common practice. In the UK, I have seen parties of diners almost come to blows over a small saucer of pound coins. Try that in New York and the waiter would readily supply the knuckle-dusters.

Actors, accustomed to using their skills at silver service to support themselves between gigs, should be generous tippers. But there is a dying art to tipping in the theatre, and it is a skill that actors would do well to revive. Dressers and stage door keepers remember the days when the actors would tip them properly and promptly at the end of each week. This is a guide on how to do it, for those of us who have been neglectful, based on information supplied by both tippers and tippees (not tepees, they only need oiling and not toupees, they only need glue).

I was told all this many years ago and 'forgot' it. Mea Cupla. This is to remind me.

1. This sort of tipping is for the work where there is a disparity in wages, unless you are a film star on minimum wage slumming it in what counts for the West End even though your manager begged you to sign up for Comic Hero 2, in which case you can treat the entire cast and crew regularly. When you are all earning £356 a week a thoughtful gift at the end of the run will do.

2. Tip your dresser even if they don't actually dress you. Just as you tip the waiter even if your order was quite straightforward. They are still working and they have to pay the rent/buy baby new shoes/some other increasingly unlikely financial euphemism. At least £20 a week is the going rate if you have your own dressing room. If you are sharing, £10 each is much appreciated. If you are the only cast member do your best; you're probably a nightmare.

3. You'll have to work out who does what at the stage door. There is usually more than one doorkeeper, on a rotating shift. It will not be difficult to understand but it may be a little more expensive. It is not cool to divide £20 between more than two people.

4. Get envelopes and leave them with a name on at the end of the week. Don't start pressing crumpled notes into palms or counting out change. I once left the service charge in coins at a Californian restaurant. The waiter refused it and stood by unsmiling while we rearranged our wallets. It was embarrassing and ruined the meal but it taught me to be more prepared. So thank you, proud and difficult waiter, though I hope I never see you again.

5. Tipping is not a measure of how grand you are or how lowly are others. If you are worried you will seem high-handed, get over it.

6. There is nothing sexy about stingy.

7. If in doubt, you only really need to remember #6.


70 comments:

  1. There's nothing sexy about stingy, eh? Have you ever dated someone from Yorkshire? Also, be careful when tipping waiters in Yorkshire as they're not used to it. I tried it once and the waiter brought my money back because he thought I couldn't add up. ;oD

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  2. In the UK, do they tip cows as well? In the US it is good form to leave a tip for any service that you'd otherwise could/should do for yourself: e.g., leave a tip for the maids who clean your hotel room after you've left it in a disarray. It's a thankless job to begin with. To wit, if you can't afford to tip then don't go out to eat.

    I don't know that people are necessarily stingy, but they can be thoughtless and seen as inconsiderate when in fact, some people are just clueless. For example, it can be considered insulting to some to over tip in some countries.

    Most people in the service industry make less than minimum wage and count on gratuities to supplement their income. However, some service-industry workers, such as waiters, expect to be tipped for less than stellar service. It can be a two-edged sword. But there's no simply excuse for rude behavior. That arrogant waiter in California? I would have asked him how much he thought he deserved for his attitude commensurate with his performance; and then I would have advised him to consider another career move.

    But thank you so much for this insightful post. I never knew that it was proper to tip a dresser, unless it was skewed to begin with. *Smile. Hope you're staying warm.

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  3. Hi Sophie! Here in Brasil the native people dont't use give tippen, despite our fame of generous. I have the practice, but this is uncommon. Than the commercial establichment use to inlay the tippen in the account, futher that illegal. Than the people pay and dont't oppose, rarely. I appreciate your comment, its cool.

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  4. I am very ashamed by confusion wiht books and names. Please, my apology. I don't to hurt or to offennd.In fact the books that you recomend are out of stock in this moment.

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  5. Re:#4 and preparedness.
    Many years ago while in London I visited the War Museum, stayed for about an hour and on my way out spotted the plastic box marked 'Donations' There was a man sitting beside the box, a man who was old enough to be my grandfather, who asked if I might donate a little something. Like Sophie and her restaurant experience, I only had coins in my possession, very few at that and so dropped them in, smiled at the elderly man and made my way out. As I pushed through the heavy doors, suddenly this incredibly violent cursing was launched at my back. Grandad was screaming,'You f*****g American c***t, stingy American b***ch!' Following me outside to really let me have it. It was so horrible that it took me a moment to realize he meant me. I paused on the steps, stunned and being all of 18, completely frightened. By the time I got the courage to turn around, he had gone back inside.
    Since then, every time I visit a museum, I stuff the donations box full of bills, knowing full well that 'Donations' truly means, 'If you've stepped inside here, and enjoyed yourself, fork it over.'

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  6. Hi Lindsey, I've never dated anyone from Yorkshire, but I'm sure they're very sexy and generous in other ways. And Anon 14th, I have never tipped a cow, which shows what a sheltered life I've led. Mariangela, I know it is different in Brazil, but there are different rules if you are a visitor and not a resident, I think. As for the books, I see that Amazon are listing them as Out of Stock, but I think you can place an order. Thank you!
    And lastly, Anon 18th, that sounds like a truly horrible experience. It is true that many museums need all the donations they can get, but I'm sorry you had a rotten time. Please take it as a sign of his own issues and not a representation of Anglo/American tourist relations x

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  7. Yes we are! And, for the record, I'm a very good tipper...

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  8. Oh, Sophie, post something funny on your blog. I'm having such a boring day at work and it's hours till wine o'clock. Come on, make me laugh.

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  9. Lazy writer, I'm appalled. Do you think I wait around to be asked to play the fool at a moment's notice? Oh...

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  10. See! It worked! I feel better already and can face the final hour and twenty minutes armed with a cheeky smile. Thank you so much, Sophie! I do hope your Friday afternoon hasn't been as grindingly boring as mine. x

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  11. I watched the video in you tube about your come out and saw that you know same place of Brasil. Did you play anithing here?

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  12. Is anybody besides Sophie reading 'Wolf Hall?' Just today nominated for a honking pub. award.

    For those of you who are, what's the verdict?

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  13. Sophie! I have become an avid reader of your Unreliable A-Z of Acting and I am now an incompetent armchair know-all on the subject. However, having scoured your labels, I am left disappointed that you go straight from Advertising to Assistant Director, while discretely side-stepping Age.
    As I will be hitting the big 44 in three weeks, could you tell me, and all those other souls who find themselves with a similar wrinkle-related trauma, how you would go about preparing for the role of a 44-year old Englishwoman?
    Are there any tips you can pass on that I may employ successfully over the next 12 months? For example, selecting support tights. Do I ease myself speculatively into a pair of nutmeg-coloured 15 denier with control tops before working my way up to 20 denier? Or do I go for the full clench straight away? Also, what position should I take with foundation garments?
    When can I start being cantankerous? I have been practising fiercely since childhood, even though I knew I would need the gravitas that only comes with age to pull it off convincingly. Finally, bath chairs; de rigueur or optional? As I have a job in the centre of town, I do worry about parking charges.

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  14. Mariangela, I did a film in Brasil called Bela Donna based on the novel White Dunes. I have never seen the resulting movie but the experience was amazing. We stayed in Canoa Cabrada and I fell in love with Brasil and with the people.
    Wolf Hall is extraordinary, I highly recommend it, review on the Cyber Reading Room to follow.
    Aging? I have so little experience of it that I'm not sure how could I advise, Lindsey. But I will do some research. It sounds rotten.

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  15. Sophie, realy Canoa Quebrada is amazing, like every coast of Brasil's northeast. I leave on the other side of the country, where the water sea is cold,turbulent and dangerous. Nevertheless the people go tere in summer. What is Cyber Reading Room?

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  16. Sophie! This afternoon hasn't been as tedious as last Friday (someone brought biscuits and I'm very easily pleased). So, in case you're all fired-up and prepped, ready to spring into action with your clowning skills, you can relax. ;oD

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  17. Re:aging. Good one, Sophie! I turned 50 this past summer and I can say with some degree of confidence that being this age is absolutely fabulous. 40s were good but fifties are even better because of the freedom, wisdom and maturity that comes with it. Lovelies, do yourself a favor. Do not buy into the common attitudes towards women and aging, it is untrue. The truth is women are even more beautiful and stronger as we age. Or let us adopt Sophie's mindset, 'Age? What is that?' Doesn't seem to have hurt her any. x

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  18. Woa! I was being provocative. Believe me. I saw Sophie on stage recently and I can say with all honesty (and envy) that she has lost none of her youthful luminescence or playfulness. She was trim, lithe and sensuous and her famous beauty and steely gaze were captivating. She moved around the stage with authority, confidence and grace – all qualities of which most of the rest of us can only dream. As Sophie is just over a year older than I (and I feel at the top of my game, by the way) it would have been terribly disingenuous of me of to accuse Sophie of being over the hill. I really enjoy reading Sophie’s blogs and I am genuinely interested to hear how someone, who has enjoyed a successful career in a profession which is notoriously fickle and cruel to women, is managing to do so without compromise.
    Sorry if my tone offended. I won’t do it again.

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  19. Hi Sophie,
    I just stopped by to say hello. I hope everyone is enjoying their New Year.

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  20. Oh, Lindsey, no offence taken!

    Hi, Dan. Good to hear from you.

    It's time to go and collect a prize from school. There's a cap and gown with my name on it, waiting to be worn.

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  21. Re: cap and gown. Sophie! Congratulations and well done, you! I hope you're having a fantastic day. If you get photos, please post them to your blog. x

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  22. This is the day. Raising a glass v. high to our newest graduate! Brava!

    And Lindsey, sweetheart, no. . .Your tone was perfect. I was attempting to be funny in a rah-rah old broad sort of way. My apologies.x

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  23. Sophie! It's too early in the morning for me to raise a glass to your wonderful academic success, so I'll raise my cuppa tea to you instead! Brava indeed!

    Jan, bless you. You had me worried there. x

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  24. Congratulations, Sophie!

    -Mary from Tennessee

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  25. Sophie, Congratulations!! :-)
    @--->--- I send you a "cyber" rose ;-)

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  26. Congratulations Sophie!

    One cinema question: do you have good memories of the shooting of "Full Circle"/"The haunting of Julia"?
    Your part in this film is very brief (i must say that your scene is very powerful and shocking!) but that's one of my favorite film,a very haunting and moving "ghost story" with one of Mia Farrow's best performances.
    I'd love a special edition of this film on dvd/Blu Ray!

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  27. Hi Guillaume,
    I have never seen this film, I was too young when I made it to be allowed into the cinema and I don't think it has ever been shown on television. Not sure about the dvd, have you looked on Amazon? Mia Farrow was absolutely lovely though and I had a great time filming all the choking stuff! It was a time in my life when I played of lot of haunted children who came to a sticky end.
    Sophie x

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  28. One always tips a waiter, bartender, tattoo artist and barber/hairdresser. Its common courtesy, in a restaurant, in the US to leave a decent tip. For parties of eight or more the tip is usually included in the bill. I don't think I'd want to anger any of the people above anyway. That could potentially be very bad.

    Sophie, I'm sorry about the waiter. That was rude of him. >:(

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  29. Sophie! Have you heard whether those nice people at the BBC are going to release Land Girls on DVD? I wasn't around to catch the series when it was broadcast and even managed to miss it on iPlayer. How could I let that happen? :o(

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  30. There is the possibility that those nice people at the BBC will make another series of Land Girls this year. If they do, I expect that would be a good time for them to release the first series on dvd. Just guessing.

    I would like to see Mel's (sqeek's) and your emoticons get together though. Perhaps in an animated musical.

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  31. lol! ;oD Fingers crossed for another series of Land Girls. Hope you're having a great weekend; I've just spent the day ironing. Good grief... x

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  32. What's happening to the world? Just when I thought it was safe to venture out, the snow comes back. I have only just recovered from my last case of groin strain from walking stiff-legged across icy car parks.
    Now they tell us we can save the planet by wearing crumpled underwear. But I like freshly-ironed underwear. That new-pant feeling puts a spring in my step...

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  33. Hello Sophie,

    If you like old "ghosts stories" like "the Innocents" (from Henry James's "Turn of the screw"),you'll probably like "Full Circle",really one of the underrated gems of the 70's!
    There's a french dvd available,but the overall quality of it unfortunately isn't very good...i would like to have a better copy than the one i own!
    I don't know if the film has been shown on the UK television (at least it's available on Youtube ha ha!) but i saw it years ago on french tv,the film has a small cult in France (it even won the Grand Prize of the Avoriaz Film Festival in 1978)

    In your career i also quite like "Young Sherlock Holmes" and "Return to Oz".

    I can't wait to see "Book of blood",i've heard good things about it!

    Kind regards from France,

    Guillaume

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  34. Lindsey here is 30C at 10pm. I love the cold time and I am soffering with this weather. Did you would like make a change?

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  35. Mariangela, the best antidote to miserable weather outside is to stay snuggled-up inside with a special someone! Works for me everytime... when I can persuade the thing to fly over from Germany to keep me warm, that is.
    Anwyay, Sophie, Happy Valentine's Day to you and Rena! x

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  36. Mariangela, after I sent my reply to you, we went downstairs to enjoy (endure) breakfast in my cold kitchen and it set my mind thinking about the sultry heat of South America. I spent Christmas in Buenos Aires a couple of years ago and I have to say that I really missed the cold! Opening pressies in the morning without the cold nipping my toes was strange. Later, my sister and I battled bravely in the heat to serve up a proper Christmas dinner to an assortment of northern hemisphere students who had mysterioulsy heard that a real English mother was cooking 'proper food' and invited themselves round. There was not enough room at the table and some of us had to sit on suitcases or on the arms of the sofa, but the atmosphere was great. In spite of all this - and the 'proper food' and amazing Argentinian wines and singing boozy Christmas carols till all hours - we all agreed that the following year, we wanted to be cold on Christmas Day. (shrugs shoulders)

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  37. Hi Lindsey. Well, the climate in Argentina is more agrreable than here. The temperatures it is lesser all the year. I think hilarious when I see in the streets Santa Claus ( Papai Noel)
    sweating a lot in side the european winter clothes in the summer tropics. Our Valentine's Day is in july, 12.

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  38. Lindsey: I hope that, in spite of the heat you suffered here in Buenos Aires, you were able to enjoy my city. I agree that, during summer, the heat can be unbearable and celebrating Christmas (as regards eating and drinking) with this weather is not the best option.

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  39. Niki, Buenos Aires is amazing! The people seem so proud and beautiful and the architecture is jaw-dropping. All very seductive.
    Then there's the food. Oh my word, the food. We went to a restaurant in San Telmo where we were spoiled for life with the most delicious beef and wine. I nearly got thrown off my connecting flight back to Manchester because I bought half a case of our favourite Malbec at BA airport and had to check it in as extra baggage at Heathrow. Luckily, my local wine merchant stocks the same label so I don't have to take such risks anymore!
    Buenos Aires is a place I'd wanted to visit since childhood and, when my niece was lucky enough to study at the University of BA for a year, I jumped at the chance to visit her for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, because I'm a Yorkshire lass, I wilt in the sun and I did struggle to make it through the day without taking liquid precautions. Fortunately, my niece (being a student at the time) was able to recommend local restorative refreshment called Quilmes, which worked particularly well...
    I'd love to go back to Bueons Aires one day, but it's such a long way from here. I often manage to find my way back there in my dreams. Which reminds me, what's the name of that bird that sings the half-forgotten song? Do you know the one I mean?

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  40. Hello Sophie

    I've enjoyed your very interesting blog over the last few months but what I just read finally prompted me to post... You've never seen Full Circle/The Haunting of Julia?? This is actually the movie where I discovered you and it's everything Guillaume said and then some. I was 12 when I first saw it and didn't sleep a wink that night!

    Unfortunately I can only confirm what Guillaume said about the DVD release: the french edition was so awful they had to remove it from the market. Complicated copyright issues have kept it from getting a proper release but every time there's a showing at the Cinematheque (which happens every decade or so) I attend religiously - often dragging a few friends who come out of it as enthralled as I am.
    To anyone who get the chance to see this movie: don't pass it up. It is simply one of the most beautiful ghost stories ever filmed, right up there with Robert Wise's The Haunting or The Innocents as G. pointed out. And Sophie is lovely in it - even though she does forget her table manners at some point :)

    Funnily enough, the last time I saw you on screen was in another horror movie (please tell us you *did* see Book of Blood) and that's probably my favorite performance of yours. But I'll save that for another post as I believed I've raved enough for one evening.

    Oh and: very pleased to meet you.

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  41. Sophie: How can you make a movie and never watch it? I have heard other actors claim they don't watch their own films and I've never understood it. Aren't you the least bit curious?

    I don't know if sexuality questions are off- limits here, but...If another female had hit on you before you really started to come to terms with your own sexuality, do you think you would have run away screaming, traumatized for life? Just wondering.

    P.S. I'm an excellent tipper.

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  42. Lindsey,I'm glad you enjoyed your stay here in Buenos Aires and that you liked our food, wine ... and beer! (so that was your 'restorative refreshment', eh? lol). I hope you are able to come back, but avoid the summer season ;-) lol
    I don`t know what bird you mean :s

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  43. er... I've just noticed I made a typo on Buenos in my previous post... are you able to amend?!! I'll try to proff red more carfully next time. Sorry for the pest factor. x

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  44. As far as not seeing 'Julia' goes, it is not because I don't ever watch my films. I usually force myself, with the understanding that if I'm going to ask other people to watch, it's the least I can do. It's a feeling not unlike when you listen to yourself on an answering machine; fairly horrific. Thank you for your kind comments about the film, though.
    Loving all the South American tales.

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  45. Niki, if we could have persuaded my niece to marry a nice young Argentinean gentleman, then we’d be in business. But, you know how young people are, she met a man from Southport. Ah well.
    Sophie, no tales of Argentina this evening, but I did go to Brooklands today for work. Brooklands is the birthplace of British motorsport and my little MG and I got really excited when we realised that we were parked on the top bend of the famous Railway Straight (recall the sepia photos and silent films of earnest young pioneers throwing their shaky cars round the apex – all very boring if you have no interest in cars, I’m afraid). I was there to meet a client at the on-site car dealership selling shiny, expensive (very), German luxury models and – even though I have a bad cold today – I was still able to enjoy the spectacle, though not the smell of the buffed leather interiors.
    There was a big corporate do happening inside and there were lots of self-important execs and media types flaunting themselves casually. Then I spotted Mika Häkkinen chatting happily to the gathering, signing autographs and posing for photos. Aargh! What an opportunity missed; my one chance to get close to a multimillionaire and I looked like a monster. So I slunk away to the Ladies to blow my nose – again. Poor man doesn’t know how close he came to being molested by a middle-aged mad cat woman with a faint whiff of Vicks Sinex about her...

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  46. Thanks for bringing up the subject of tipping. I had put it on my own list for my culture clash blog, but I kept putting it off as I had no clue where to begin. And you gave it an angle I hadn't even considered, i.e. tipping in connection with your own profession. I'm grateful I don't have to know about tipping at work as well, as it is hard enough as it is. (Bribing my students has occasionally crossed my mind, though!)

    When it comes to tipping, I think it's always harder when travelling, because local customs are so different from one another. To be on the safe side I may often tip 'too much' (if that is even possible??) if I don't have a clue what I'm doing. So my basic rule would be 'when in doubt, be generous'....

    In Denmark a 15 percent tip is already included on the bill in restaurants, hotels, etc. No matter if you got excellent service or no service at all. However, a lot of people, including myself, do add something extra, if the service was special. For some reason, it's customary to tip people in certain service jobs, but not others. E.g. we'll tip a cab driver or the one who delivers a pizza but never a hairdresser or an usher, and I know they do in other countries. And then again, even that depends, it seems: during a visit to Paris some years ago I watched a performance in the Garnier Opera, and you do tip ushers there. A few days later I was in the Bastille Opera, but as I tried to give the usher there a tip, he just pushed back my hand and said 'oh no, we don't do that here'. So, I may never learn this.....

    Other slips of mine include my first cab drive in Tokyo. I handed the driver some notes, not expecting any change, and he came running after me, shaking his head and handing me the change. It was my first visit there, so I didn't know that not only are you not expected to tip cab drivers, it is almost considered rude if you try to (as if you imply you are worth more than they are). Oops.

    Although I wish I wasn't so much in the dark about tipping while travelling, naturally I don't mean one should tip because one is 'expected' to. Hopefully it is supposed to be a sincere and friendly gesture. Personally, I especially tip people generously who work very hard for low wages. At the same time I think it's sad that the (otherwise low) income for some people more or less depends on other people's generosity.

    A question for the other readers here: what would you do when friends pay but don't tip? E.g. I was attending a course some time ago and shared a cab every day with a colleague. We took turns paying for it, but he'd always pay the exact fare and didn't tip. I thought it was embarrassing, but it felt equally embarrassing when I tried to slip the driver a tip out of sight of my colleague, who had paid the fare. What would you do?

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  47. I couldn't get past the first fifteen minutes of 'Julia' - the choking scene was terrifying to watch - I've actually witnessed a choking ending in death and it will forever haunt me. Also what made the film unbearable to watch: Mia Farrow's acting was cringe-worthy.

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  48. Now then, Sophie, I've just watched Holby City and I was reminded that you filmed something for Lewis a couple of months ago. Have I missed it ?! Has it been?! x

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  49. Hi anon 28/02, sorry the film was traumatic for you. Obviously, I haven't seen it but I love Mia Farrow.
    As for Holby, I think there's an ep coming up and Lewis, I have no idea but maybe April? Oh, and New Tricks, again, not a clue. Helpful, no? If I get proper transmission dates, I'll post!

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  50. Oi pessoal! Ontem fui cortar meu cabelo e lembrei de todos vocês. Tudo porquê enquanto o auxiliar lavava meu cabelo eu pensava na gorjeta que daria ao rapaz. Achei essa conexão com pessoas tão distantes e fora da minha realidade muito bonita e interessante. Um abraço em todos.

    Hi guys! Yesterday I cut my hair and remembered all of you. Why all while helping wash my hair I thought the tip would give the boy. I found that connection with people so far and out of my reality very beautiful and interesting. A hug everyone.

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  51. Apparently sexuality questions are off limits.

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  52. Mariangela, that sounds so wonderful. And I hope you are happy with your haircut!
    Anonymous, I don't think I've ever run screaming unless I'm paid.

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  53. Enemel
    When I've been out for meals with tight types, I've paid the tip. Partly in the hope that they'll get the hint and partly on principle. Doesn't always have the desired effect of curing tight behaviour, unfortunately.
    After graduation, I did a few stints 'waiting on' and it's not easy; long hours on your feet being nice to ingrates...

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  54. I'm spending my Friday evening watching A Dark Adapted Eye. Oh my ******* God, Sophie. Please tell me you still have that naval uniform... ;oD

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  55. Lazy Writer- I was a teenager when I saw Sophie in that attire and I'm still getting over it! :-D Ah, me and my emoticons!

    Anonymous- a good number of people take off running when attracted to the same sex. My mom did. In fact, she is still running. hehe.

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  56. I agree that the opening scene of "Julia" starring a young Sophie is very impressive and disturbing,but i disagree about Mia Farrow's performance,in fact i think that it is really one of her very best performances,very sensitive and touching.

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  57. Sophie, sorry to hear that your former co-star in The Grass is Greener, Christopher Cazenove, is so dreadfully ill. I am sure we all wish him a full and speedy recovery. x

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  58. Happy International Women`s Day to all the female readers :-)

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  59. Just got back from a ball. Now I'm in my jimjams, sitting on the edge of my bed, cleaning my teeth. I was kidnapped earlier this evening... or rather morning. I have spent the past three hours being driven round town by a mad woman in a wreck of a BMW; she wouldn't take me home till I spilled the beans on why I am 44 and not married. Good grief. Strange evening all round, really. At the 'do' one of the doormen asked me if I was the governor at the local prison. Er, no...

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  60. Guys, I'm very sad.In last week some people of the community when I work, ask that I will be removed. The first razon: I'm lesbian and live openly with my partner. I'm in shock. My superior don't take knowledge, but still that, is hard.
    Embrace all.

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  61. 17 MARCH 2010, GONE MISSING - MISS SOPHIE WARD

    Short of showing your mugshot on BBC tv's Crimewatch, those 1960s Aidensfield Village police bobbies in your tv series Heartbeat must've neared their wits' end this month, out there seeking Sophie Ward's whereabouts

    Until, at last, we hope you will lurk back into the Blogosphere, a warm, welcome return

    Despite busy schedules, some writers, for example, Mr Alastair Campbell, the political commentator and author of the novels, Maya and All in the Mind, blog every day, without fail. Even on Sundays, incredible

    So regularly, like a soft, smooth bowel movement ( ... Sophie, are you sure the similes need be that graphic?! ... sorry)

    Swift change of tone, please. Already I do feel I know all I will ever need to know about "tipping" - especially thanks to the SIXTY comments your posting generated, since 11 January. Such enthusiasm. Tipping must be hot topic, then?

    But what's our next topic of discussion, Miss Sophie, please? I reckon this thread's goin' cold

    Warmly from Trevor Malcolm -----

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  62. Mariangela, I'm sorry to hear of your desperate situation. Last weekend (when I was quite the worse for wine and lack of sleep - see my previous blog offering - sorry everyone... oops), I learned that someone I had trusted had 'outed' me to some people she thought would be able to damage me. Luckily, the group of people she approached were much wiser and kinder than she and I now have a whole new bunch of supportive friends. I am sure everyone who reads Sophie's blog spot sends you their best wishes. x

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  63. Mariangela, I hope that you find support in your community for being brave and living your life honestly.

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  64. Going to get my German from the airport tonight. I am SO excited that she'll be here for a whole week. Come on, Friday afternoon, get a move one.

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  65. Guillaume, we shall agree to disagree about Mia Farrow's acting. I've never been a fan of her movies, including "Rosemary's Baby." But as a person, I admire her tremendously. She's a phenomenal woman even though she married that icky, weird guy, Woody Allen.

    Sophie, yes, one can love someone but one can't overlook one's tastes in movies, obviously. Has anyone seen Claire Danes in "Temple Grandin?" She was awesome. Dane's performance outshines anything Angelina Jolie has ever done, although, "Gia" was pretty believable, but Angelina cannot be anyone but Angelina. As a person, I admire her humanitarian efforts in Africa.

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  66. Hi Anon, got your comments about word verification. Is it annoying, it's supposed to stop spam? Maybe I should just remove the whole moderation element.
    I haven't seen Temple Grandin yet but have heard good things.

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  67. Sophie!
    While we're on the subject of IT (I'm a complete IT numpty, by the way) the word verification isn't so annoying - as it's there for a good reason - but not being able to send posts from my smart phone is. I can type a message but I can't access the drop-down menu to type my name (I can access drop-down thingies on other sites from my phone, though). I don't want you to incur any expense, but is this something with which your IT support can assist? Or maybe you're an absolute IT whiz and can sort it all by yourself! x

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  68. Dammit! (excuse my language) but here we go again. I don't know what happened, when I went to type in the word verification poof! My post disappeared - I wish taxes were that easy. But as much of an annoyance the word verification is, the spam is, by far, more vexing. I'd keep the WV intact.

    Hmmm, I learned something new today: You can actually use the smart phone to post comments to a blog? Wow, that is one smart phone! Takes the fun out of having to think on your own though.

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