This week’s episode has Helen chatting via Zoom with another of her college friends. Esme (Essie) has moved to Houston, Tx with her partner BethAnn and it’s clear they both have mixed feelings about Joey’s memoir project.
This whole podcasting escapade of mine, creating these characters and exploring their relationships and stories over time continues to surprise, terrify and delight me. The big surprise this week was when I discovered that Esme (played by Joanna Cazden, who lives in Burbank, CA) and BethAnn also have a dog. It came about because Amy Stoller, who plays BethAnn (who lives in New York) also has a delightful little Maltese cross rescue dog named Bibi, and Bibi couldn’t resist joining in while Amy recorded BethAnn’s lines. Not a problem!
I hit upon Houston for their current address because I had visited a friend there some years ago. Also, back in the day when I used to make jewellery, and occasionally explored the whole craft market scene, I discovered that there are—or were, pre-pandemic days—touring craft fairs in the States. Hence, that is what Esme and BethAnn do. So last night, I began trawling through my photos app to find some photos from Houston. Unsuccessfully, as it happens. Nothing at all from that Houston trip. I have no idea why, because I take photos all the time. Hey ho.
What I did find is that 2007 was quite an extraordinary year!
I was house-sitting on and off during the year, in between visits to the UK and US to see my sons, teaching, performing, training, having a play performed, began working on my PhD, among other things. My house-sitting duties usually involved animals and gardens, sometimes birds and even snakes on one occasion.
Visits to my mother on Bribie Island often included visits to her friends as well. Here she is with her best buddy Sue. They were in their mid nineties, both still active in the Country Women’s Association and on their local church committees. This is one of my favourite photos.
I can understand why Helen thinks her life was ordinary… But she’s wrong about that.