Anna Chancellor

2

You know, really, darling, you are not getting any younger. Surprise me. Buy a bottle of wine, drink yourself silly and dance all night with some inappropriate man like you used to. It’s much better than staying in with a good book. Me? I’m old. I’ve made my mistakes. But you, too pretty. Don’t let it go to waste. Run away for too long and they stop loving you back.

10

Luna couldn’t always fly, you know. Long ago, before the world was round, Luna and the rest of her species inhabited a remote forest. They had tiny little wings, but were flightless. They foraged around on the forest floor and kept themselves very much to themselves. Luna lost her parents at a very early age. They were taken from Luna just like that, no explanation. Barely out of the nest, she was too young to know anything. She was such a worrier. only coming out for food briefly when all the other animals had gone to sleep and the forest floor was bathed in moonlight. She was such a scrawny little thing, a loner. Life was passing by until one day Luna saw a kindly traveler holding a thing of great wonder and beauty. Mesmerized, Luna couldn’t help but think about the peony. Luna asked the traveler where he got the beautiful flower. “There are many,” the traveler said. “From the top of the mountain, you can see thousands. A sea of petals. It will make your heart sing, for it’s a beautiful sight.” “But how will I get to the top of the mountain? I can’t fly and I only come out at night.” But the traveler had heard this before. “You seek the rarest flower from the top of the tallest mountain in the world. If you want to see them enough, you will.” Luna was scared and excited, in equal measure. “I think I will find my mother and father there.” The traveler smiled. “You have much to learn, child. Are you sure want to continue on this perilous quest?” But Luna knew that whatever obstacle stood in her way, her quest could not fail. She had been greatly inspired by the words of the wonderful traveler. He would stand by her. Then one night, alone in the forest, Luna resolved to find the magic flowers herself, even if it meant confronting terrifying demons. She had nothing left to lose. And as Luna drank in the view, she was filled with something quite magical. In the distance, she could see the southern shore of the Caspian Sea, which isn’t a sea at all but actually the biggest lake in the world. Luna thanked the traveler. "Oh, it’s nothing. You haven’t done the hard part yet.” “Really?” said Luna. “Now, you must believe,” said the traveler. And he pushed Luna off the mountain. Luna screamed to the traveler: “Why did you do that? I can’t fly.” “Says who?” he replied. And the wind lifted Luna off the mountain and she soared. “Can you see them now?” yelled the traveler. “Yes,” said Luna, gliding through the air with the wind whistling between her wings. “I can see thousands of them.”

This Beautiful Fantastic (2016)

8

Everyone told me turning 50 would be awful, but I am loving it…For such a long time us women tend to be burdened by things; motherhood, career worries but then to find out, aged 50-plus, that I really like myself makes me feel utterly alive in a way I haven’t felt for a long time.

Happy Birthday Anna Chancellor! (27 April 1965)

Sees a middle aged woman, forgets how to talk and eyes become heart shaped