People - Family
Mum & Dad
It's great to feel so close to one's parents. Mum and Dad are kind, loving and irritating, often in equal measure. But we are always there for each other and share our fears and joys. They seem to have thrived so much on moving back to London.
My father still does quite a bit of magic and stage lighting and has become an Associate Member of the Inner Magic Circle. He is also heavily involved in the British Red Cross. My mother records tapes for a charity for the blind, researches and delivers informative talks on musicians and lyricists. I love and respect them for their constant support and honesty.
Muriel & Ralph
My aunt and uncle have been a stronger influence on my life than they realise, and more so than I usually admit. My uncle combines wisdom with patience and stoicism, whereas my aunt was constantly engaged in artistic, educational and literary pursuits. I have learned and absorbed their passion for music, art and theatre. Muriel died in June 2004 after a year’s illness, which she bore with great dignity and stoicism. My love and admiration for her will endure. Muriel had been unhappy with being mentioned here. I hope she will now forgive me for wishing to pay tribute to her in this form.
I see far too little of my cousins, Judith, Sarah and Carolyn. Carolyn has a partner, Chris, and two super children, Miriam and Tamarah. They are a super bunch but I guess we’ve never been close enough to meet up more than once a year or so.
Vincent, Cosmo and Fif
My elder brother Vincent has been a constant friend. We are very different in personality and temperament, but have often supported one another. Thanks to Vincent I know the difference between a sipping Tequila and one for mixing with lime juice.
Vincent has two children, Cosmo and Fif, who are as dear to me as can be - they are in my heart and thoughts all the time. Cosmo is a thoughtful, intelligent twenty-one year-old who is studying Fine Art at University. Fif is a girl with a heart of gold and a keen wit, a huge personality and zest for life. She is studying Psychology at University.
Adam and his family
I have a younger brother, Adam. He is a rabbi and communal minister. He is married with five children and has disowned me, as he judges my lifestyle to be defective. Adam has caused me much offence and grief and I fear that I shall never see him again. That is his wish, not mine. I regret bitterly that I live without the pleasure of the company of my brother and sister-in-law, my nephews and nieces. But Adam has chosen to bring up his children with no uncles or cousins, as he has cut himself off from his family. He is the victim of his own curse.
Yoel & Sharon, Sorella, Sholly, Chani and Levi
My second family. I love Yoel and Sharon as though we were related by blood. Yoel taught at my secondary school. My surrogate nieces and nephews are Sorella, the motor-racing mad and beautiful belle of a New York fim school, Sholly the renegade, who is now married to a charming young lady. Then there's Chani, who is witty and sharp, and Levi who has a huge heart and love of humanity. The family is presided over by Sharon, who would surely be canonised if she wasn't Jewish. My secret honey cake recipe is a variant of Sharon's.
Other people I miss are my cousins Fiona, Bridget and Nina, my great-aunt Hettie, my late grandparents Lilly "Grandma Hilly" and Nathan (who I never knew), my great uncle and aunt Jack "Uncle Yankel" and Erna and my great-greataunts Paula, Fay and Betty .