Monday, 15 January 2018


Old printers in Venice in the early days of printing had a motto- FESTINA LENTE (translated: HURRY SLOWLY.)
At first glance a contradictory and nonsensical motto but when was doing purely rational? 
A recognition of the painstaking and precise work needed to prepare a book for printing and recognition of deadlines and need to get things finished. 
It seems a sound attitood to most things.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Hanging in there

As I get older I am less inclined to judge other  directors/creators aesthetically- I used to be very harsh on others work but now I recognise and applaud the way they have stayed working. The longer one stays in the making performance/theatre game the more it displays  a passion for the work as an only option- you do it for love of your craft. The'we' becomes more important than the competitive 'I'  and respect for having chosen to hang in there, in spite of everything. It's a stance to the world of ‘that’s what I am’ and  craft and experiences merge with to lessen aesthetic differences

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Ataxia, reality and humour

Since my diagnosis with Ataxia I have been connected with the Ataxia community  through online digests etc. I like and want to be with the bravery the humour, the can do spirit of the Ataxic community- that’s exciting and energising, but unfortunately because of gloomy medical prognosis there is a lot of the atmosphere of depression and dependence about it - but rough with the smooth - there is a lot of superficial feel good and also superficial feel bad.
 Almost .. but the brave funny spirits win!?
We are all gonna die someday. 
How to be positive while admitting dark truths. 
That’s where the jokes are...

Friday, 12 January 2018

Why does putting crucial things to do in a list make them less crucial? I have lots of VERY IMPORTANT things to do otherwise my life becomes dysfunctional. I write them down.
I look at my to do list and all becomes  a blur. The act of putting them in a list is NOT getting them done. It’s an illusion- it’s just a bit of organisation and the organisation removes the anxiety and urgency. Putting things in a list starts to remove any sense of needing to get the thing done before moving on to the crucial things ... Maybe this is just playing with putting felt things into words - unnecessarily nit picky and complex this articulating of feelings, putting feelings into words- maybe that is the myth of our culture up to now- that if a feeling is articulated, put into words that it’s ok, it’s rationalised. Maybe to a future generation, whose language has evolved visually through emojis pictures gifs memes etc, ( and other ways we have not imagined yet) our  reliance on the word will seem hopelessly naive, and deluded. Or language will be a combination of visual and verbal- words are pretty good and the ancient Egyptians found heiroglyphics limiting. I ramble...

Monday, 8 January 2018


I used to believe in high art,
honing your craft,
but theatah even if its beautiful is all narcisism, competition bravado trickery laughs and bums on seats,
Performing is low art.

Sunday, 7 January 2018


(to fellow sufferers and those less fortunate than me)

Sometimes it  dominates me and I am a clumsy weak oaf
Sometimes it is nothing and I feel graceful and 'whats the fuss about?'
Some people don’t see it, for others it’s ‘poor Jon he can’t run or jump or jar his limbs.’
If I manage it well and live within its limitations, it almost disappears 
but if I am in crowded noisy hilly places I lose balance. 
If i try and do stuff in a strange place or in a strange way 
i might get frustrated with myself and not be able to function. 
So what’s different from me and the average 59 year old? 
Yes I’m dysfunctional and falling apart like all my peers (whatever their gender). 
A piece of paper from a respected medical authority after genetic testing? 
Maybe that’s the difference. I am authenticated. 
Maybe I am more fortunate than many Ataxia sufferers who have it much worse than me- 
I have heard horror stories 
but I do know that if you find a way to limit dependence on medication and the medical system and self manage your Ataxia, 
and be surrounded with supportive loved ones, 
life is richer, better and warmer