A theatre visit and Match of the Day put Honor Blackman at ease after a hectic week
A visit to the theatre on Friday evening is a nice way to start the weekend. I have lived in Notting Hill in west London for 13 years and I wouldn’t move a muscle — it’s so handy for everything. I’m going to the Apollo to see Jessica Lange in The Glass Menagerie. I played her part, Amanda, in York a few years ago. I also played another character, Laura, when I was 22, in Canada. It’s a thrilling play and Jessica Lange is a fabulous actress. I’d like to bet that she has also played Laura, but I wouldn’t have the sauce to go backstage and ask her. She might say: “Who the hell are you?”
Afterwards we’ll eat at Joe Allen, in Exeter Street, Covent Garden. It stays open late and you always see someone you know there. I have a new companion to take to the matinee. His name is Oscar, he’s nearly four and he’s the oldest of my four grandchildren. I was in my mid-70s before I had grandchildren. Then, like a number 11 bus, four came in rapid succession. I have just taken Oscar to see Mary Poppins. It was the first time he had been to a proper theatre and he was thrilled to pieces. Sadly there are very few shows for young children.
On Saturday, I like to lie in bed for a while and recover. Then, if I’m having supper at home, I walk to the farmers’ market near my house to buy fresh vegetables and fish. I never eat ready-made meals and resist the lovely chutneys and jams because when my children Barnaby and Lottie visit, they go through the pantry saying “Mummy, this is dated 2004!” and chuck it out.
If I don’t make the market I often meet a friend for lunch at Kensington Place at the top of Kensington Church Street. It’s noisy but nice. After that I certainly won’t want to go out again. I rarely watch daytime TV — it’s far too boring — but Match of the Day is the exception.
I love watching football, especially if Manchester United or Chelsea are playing. My first husband, Bill Sankey, was a terrific football player. I used to watch him play and got hooked. My second husband, Maurice Kaufmann, also liked football. He played for the TV All Stars and we used to support Fulham together when I wasn’t working.
My family would like to take me to see a live match, but it’s marvellous watching football on the box. You can see the skill and the cheating and fouling and diving. I shout out loud. One of my most treasured possessions is a trophy shirt signed by Frank Lampard. Another favourite player of mine is Alan Shearer.
On Saturday evening, and indeed any spare moment, I like to settle down with a book. I’m reading the wonderful Alan Bennett Diaries and Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom. It’s of great interest to me because it’s about the Spanish Civil War and I was filming in Spain around 1951. The film must have been rubbish because I never saw it, but I became intrigued with the people who were involved in the war and still love to visit Spain.
On Sunday it’s a treat if the children bring the grandchildren to see me. Barnaby lives in London and when he arrives with his two we take them to a nearby park, to work off their energy on the swings and roundabouts. Lottie recently moved to Lewes in East Sussex and it’s easier for me to travel to her. I go by train, which means I can read my book and not get exasperated in the traffic.
If I’m doing nothing much on Sunday, I might have friends around in the evening for dinner, but never more than four. I don’t enjoy cooking but I have the answer – a cook called Paul. He brings some dishes, perhaps a casserole, with him and does the fresh vegetables here. He then serves and clears away afterwards. I don’t do a thing, which is how I like it.
I’ll make a bit of an effort to dress up, but it won’t be the diamonds.