Thank you and goodnight…

So that’s it. Over. Finished.

BBC White City at night

I left the BBC for the last time as an employee yesterday. What a strange feeling. 18 years of some amazing experiences, very special friendships and proud achievements as well as a load of not so nice stuff; all rolled up in a short walk to the station. Actually it felt like a very long walk.

The day itself was lovely, beginning with the most amazing present from my Danny. A painting, or rather a multi-media artwork, created by him in secret. Little iPhone photos of its hi-sheen surface are not going to do it justice, but lets try…

Danny has painted onto an Edwardian portrait we bought ages ago in a charity shop. I wonder who she was? I’m quite sure she didn’t know what to do with herself when the photograph was taken – she looks bemused. It would’ve been pretty unusual at that time to even have a camera, yet it doesn’t look formal enough to be a studio portrait. She’s a mystery to us and she’s been waiting among our pile of secondhand frames and pictures, for her moment to shine.

Aunty Beeb ws

And now it’s arrived; she’s been given new life by Danny. Reborn as Aunty Beeb, smiling serenely at my decision to leave the BBC. I think she approves.

Behind her head is a halo provided by the iconic layout of Television Centre and drawn on by Danny. Television Centre is about to close; we both officially finish our BBC contracts on 31st March. After that TV Centre will undergo a radical transformation that will hopefully revive the building’s natural beauty. Over the years it has become obscured by the needs of a working building – extra props stores, office buildings, scenery storage areas and roads that have gradually hidden the building’s essence.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that I too am undergoing a transformation, mind you I don’t think there’ll be much hidden beauty revealed, except that a happier heart might make for a brighter exterior.

This dramatic change has been a long time coming and pretty painful along the way, but now I’m emerging into brighter light and it feels amazing. This blog is part of the process. There’s no way I could’ve done this a year ago. And now here I am leaving the safety of the institution I’ve been part of for so long, leaving it for an uncertain future. I must be bonkers, but I know it’s the right thing to do.

And there, on the painting, is all this new excitement and hope – beautiful bright handpainted butterflies. I love what this picture stands for. He’s a talented man, isn’t he. I love it so much and I love the people close to me for helping me through the gloom. You know who you are and I thank you hugely X

Aunty Beeb cu

Having got to where I am now, I’d urge anyone in a difficult, dark place to be reassured that it can be different, it will be different. It’s not permanent, so just hang on in there until the clouds start to disperse… You’re okay, you really, really are. And it’ll be worth the wait…

wavy line of crocuses

It’s been an extraordinary journey already and I’m looking forward to following this winding path to I don’t know where; but where ever it is I think it’ll be good. The key will be to enjoy the twists and turns as much as possible. Hang on for the ride!

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6 Responses to “Thank you and goodnight…”

  1. Carole sleight Says:

    Clare what a fabulous and eloquent goodbye..I’m sure the next stage of your life will be rich and varied and will hopefully unleash the creativity in you….good bye institution..hello life…

  2. Ruhi Hamid Says:

    Clare you are so right about the bright future ahead. For someone as talented as you it can only be good. You contributed hugely to the success of what was the BBC in its best days. TV Centre will hold so many memories for all of us who walked those corridors never knowing who we would bump into, from Peter O’Toole to a dalek. They were good days but time to move on to other great people and places to encounter.

  3. Tricia Pearson Says:

    Good luck Clare in all your futures and all your tomorrow’s. You are a beautiful talented lady. Look up to the bright sky and Flourish. Tricia xxx

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