CURRICULUM VITAE - The ‘courses of life’ that have shaped me into who I am today.
1960s - NAUGHTY
How could I not be. I was the youngest of 5. 4 girls 1 boy. The house was always teeming with kids. The older ones got it all wrong and I just sat and watched. My parents slept in separate beds and I thought that was normal. Nonetheless I was a tomboy with a lot of confidence and a great lust for life, and a niggling need to be seen. Difficult sometimes through all the crowds. I wanted to perform. I loved dogs and horses, sherbert fountains, blackcurrant licorices .
1970s - BIT NAUGHTIER
Now at an all girls school, parents divorced and living with my dad, I still loved horses and hunting and Biba and Fiorrucci and shoplifting and Cosi and Tarka and Fiona and generally getting into trouble. All my friends then are still my best friends now. Punk rock the kings road, boiler suits …. Boys still not number 1 interest but creeping out of bedroom window late at night and sneaking into Legends starting to become a habit and Pete Duel and Ben Murphy compulsive TV viewing!
1980s - HICCUPS BIG ONES
Lots of failures, lots of disillusions. I didn’t get into RADA, huge blow as my whole life had been predicated on going to drama school. My heart got properly broken. I escaped to LA and US university. America was a shock , the kids were different. I needed something to ground me, to call my own and that was my dog. I stayed 4 years I graduated with my dog Atalanta, a rescue german shepherd. Real life and death in the 80s. A mad time but survived it and moved back to London and met the father of my kids. Got pregnant, got married, got my first job at the Royal Court in a play with Marc Rylance. Life was many shades of grey. Lots was possible but having Jake finally made me soar. I fell deeply in love and with all the trials that the 80 s had put me through the arrival of Jake in 1989 made everything possible and more.
1990s - MORE BOYS AND DOGS
Dreams came true. As a kid I just wanted boys and 1995 gave me the last of my 3 sons. The 90s felt like the non stop 90s, with uninvolved husband I reared my three lads pretty single handedly and I had a ball. Work became harder to navigate as a mum and I gave up acting to direct. It happened seamlessly through writing and I ‘ve never been happier. With the boys, it felt like we were navigating the world as a motley troupe of actors. We watched plays, travelled, ate laughed skied surfed played football. I was a shoulder to lean on and they were the best support anyone could have hoped for. Heavenly 90s.
2000s - THE MOVIES
And the boys grow and so do I. I go through traumatic divorce and terrible pain and eventually out the other side. Working, film festivals, not working, arguing struggling loving but always laughing and crying and juggling and eating and meeting new amazing special people and learning to be more independent and walking the dogs.
2010s – ORPHANS
Mothers and Fathers dying and understanding that death is ok at a certain age. More and more examples of the cycle of life are offered up to me and boys grow and leave and make me burst with pride not only at huge achievements but at the tiniest of shared moments.
Having reached 50, I have more to say about life, more experience, am slowly accruing some wisdom but not nearly enough. I remember to always relish the process and not dream of basking in the end result. That’s when egos and narcissism get in the way. Time to move on and keep on moving. I have a healthy thirst for more, a daily education in love and feeding and honouring my love and respect for my partner. My aspirations are to keep letting go of the ties that bind and yet no longer bind, as my boys fly and soar and I stand quietly (we hope) and watch.
Good for the Soul - Hampstead heath with my 3 enormous mad lurchers. Big family meals and amazing theatre.
Good for the Body - Yoga and more walks in the park sometimes late at night round the Serpentine with the dogs .
Good for the Heart - Delicious red wine and Hylton Nel plates that my friend Moira has turned me onto and that I now avidly collect. Simple, naïve designs or drawings on fine ceramics fired in amazing colours … naked men or women or children’s drawings or fiery statements adorn his plates and they just make me happy. I know that when I go, my boys will treasure each and every one of them.
Required Reading - Ian McEwan and Alan Bennett and well, Gabriel Garcia Marquez just ‘cos I have fallen in love with South America and one thing I do plan to do when my youngest Dash leaves the nest in the not too distant future is a road trip across South America.
Watching - Haneke, Jacques Audiard, Almodovar and Carlos Reygadas… I guess I like a mix of film directors
Listening - Citizen Cope and Rodrigez
Dress - GEMINOLA my sister in NYC has an amazing downtown vintage store. Wish I could say levis 501s but they never did look good on that arse ….in my dreams and at 50, I am still dreaming.
Shoes - Lanvin but since the dogs have eaten them I am back to Clarkes boys lace ups.
Gaby’s latest Film ABANDONED comes out on VOD in April.