• allan

The 18th of December is a date that will be forever etched in my mind. The day we lost Andy Gray.

I won't go into the whole run up to that horrible day but Andy and I had been working together in Milton Keynes rehearsing for Sleeping Beauty. We had been billed as 'Pantomime Royalty' and both of us were ecstatic at working again together.

When the show was cancelled due to new covid restrictions Andy went back home to Perth to spend Christmas there. I don't think I've seen him so low. Even during his massive fight with Cancer he kept up.

Within a few days he had told us he had tested positive for Covid 19 and he wasn't feeling well on Christmas Day. He was taken into hospital shortly after that and put on Oxygen. Then we were told the dreaded news that he was on a ventilator.

He fought as only Andy could for more than two weeks. But as we now know he didn't win.

'The Boys' Andy Pickering, Jordan Young, and Grant Stott were devastated. We had, as a group been Zooming every week since the first lock down. We couldn't believe our pal, our stage partner Andy was gone. Andy's beautiful partner Tamara and his daughter Clare and grand daughter Anna we left desperately trying to come to terms with it.

It's been a week now and every morning as I wake up it's the first thing that comes into my head.

I cant imagine what the Panto will be like this year without him.

The tributes to him were unbelievable. They went on and on every day. Friends, acquaintances fans, celebrities, were all stunned.

To think that he had beaten Cancer and then to be taken so cruelly by this terrible disease.

We will, I hope, when things get back to normal, do a wonderful memorial for Andy.

So what else can I say. Andy we will miss you so so much. A reviewer of one our pantos a few years ago said :

'40 years from now grannies in Edinburgh will be shaking there heads and saying how they remember the great days of real panto at the Kings , the days when they had Andy Gray and Allan Stewart.

I was very proud to part of the team. Panto will never be the same's the end of and era.

Cheery bumps Andy xxxxx

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  • allan

So......find a new profession they say. Well it's not a new profession but it will be my lock down goal. To design a 'poo bag' that is easy to open and make my life easier when walking Hershial. (By the way Hershial is Harry in jewish. One of my friends calls him that) So now that he is Hershial we will have to be circumcised. Oh no not the cone of shame again. Also the poor thing can't afford to loose any more of his private parts. Ok he can stay a gentile. Maybe I'll have him barmitzvahed when he is 13. Anyway back to the poo bag. Those of you who have a dog will know how difficult it is to get the bag out of it's little plastic holder (especially with gloves on) and then find the end where it opens. Now you need to lick your fingers to get it open and in these times that is not advisable. So as you struggle to open it Harry is standing looking at me. Even after about 1468 poos he still doesn't know why I have to pick it up. I suppose that is understandable. Can you imagine your wife standing by your side in the toilet waiting to pick up your shit. So as I said my goal is to be able to pull the bag out of a receptacle and it opens automatically. I have heard of a pooper scooper that you can place over the poo and it grabs the poo up and you can through it away. But I haven't found one yet.

Right that's my future sorted. What else has Hershial been doing. Well I'm afraid he is a kleptomaniac . He gets a kick out of stealing anything he can find. He goes into jacket pockets and steals gloves, masks, tissues. Oh yes he loves to eat tissues. He finds them in the street and carries them in his mouth till he gets home and swallows them. He doesn't seem to have any taste buds either. We spend fortunes on Butterbox food (liver beef lamb) but he eats horse shit. What is the point.

He is such a part of the family now. I said to Jane would you sell him for a million pounds. She said not ever for 10 million pounds. I said would you sell me for a million pounds. She said I'd give you away for nothing ......nice.

At least I now know where all the odd sox are going. Battersea Dog home.

Bye xxx

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  • allan

Well.....the cone came off, Harry not me, and he hasn't changed one bit. Still loves to bite me at some point every day. I have always been the one that gets down and plays rough with him so I have to accept the blood and pain.

We have settled into a doggy routine and Jane does three long long walks come rain or shine and I do the 6 minute walk just after news at ten. My walk is filled with stress because if I come back in and he hasn't done a poo, I get the blame. Me .... how can I get my dog to do a poo. He is in complete control of his arsehole, but I still get a loud tut when I say with a frown on my face....'sorry darling no luck' He then goes crazy for about 15 minutes running around with my socks and pants.....(eugh) in his mouth. He eventually calms down and sleeps between the bathroom, the window beneath the curtain and the bed. I have to say I love him on the bed. He sometimes lies with his face right next to either Jane or me. I turn over and a moustache tickles my face......I'm used to that though because Jane refuses to get electrolyses. We had found a wonderful hotel for Christmas (the Fish in the Cotwalds ) but sadly Covid has put the kibosh on that. (What is the kibosh....I must google that)

So what about panto. I had rehearsed for a week at Milton Keynes but alas covid struck again and we were all sent home. We had a fantastic 10 days of fun. Andy and I and Claire Sweeney. She is great fun.....loves a fart, and got as close as the dress rehearsal but they closed us down at that point. At this point I'd like to mention a company They are refusing to refund the money I paid up front for my apartment in Milton Keynes. They are keeping 7 days for no reason at all and I have no way of getting it back. Out fxxxxxg ragous. We are hoping to de the show end of March (an easter Panto) but the way things are going that's probably not going to happen ether. But hey....we are all still well and that's the main thing. We will be back next year at the Kings with the biggest panto ever seen and a new enthusiasm that will blow the roof off.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I'll see you on the other side (that's new year not heaven)


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