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Showing posts from November, 2014

'Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.'

'It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.'  So sayeth the mighty John Steinbeck.  Today has been Black Friday and what a black day it is.  Hordes of people desperate to have something for nothing.  It really is the antithesis to Thanksgiving yesterday and ironically hails from the same shores.  Why can't we import a festival that celebrates all that is wonderful about humankind, why do we have to have something which encourages greed and (if the tv footage is anything to go by), appalling bad manners when shopping?  Apparently, it was Amazon who imported Black Friday five years ago (thanks for that) and each year it has…

'Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.'

Oprah Winfrey said that.  I like her.  She seems a sensible woman, who has control of her own life and appreciates everything she has worked hard for.  She talks a lot of sense, in-between the self-help twaddle.  I used to watch her show, back in the day, when I was in my teens and early twenties and it was on before Neighbours and Home and Away when I got back in from work.  I must admit to having the occasional guilty pleasure, buying O magazine and seeing what the great one had to say on everything from faith to fornication via cookery tips and meditation - all in one magazine!  Incredible.  I liked her strong sense of herself, her place in the world and how thankful she was to be there.  Okay, so she also had Tom Cruise jumping up and down on her sofa but even she couldn't avoid being pulled into the glamour of Hollywood sometimes.  I admire her still for the way she has a concept of her spiritual self that she is happy to embrace and to share. 
However, this was supposed to b…

'The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt'

Sylvia Plath wrote that and she knew a thing or two about creativity.  The more I read about writing, the more I think about it and learn about it as both a scholarly and creative pursuit, the less i actually write.  Before I even began my creative writing diploma, I wrote every morning before either going to work or beginning studying and i finished the first two parts of two separate trilogies.  I had even begun to send work off to publishers.  Now I rarely write even when a perfect opportunity like NaNoWriMo knocks at my door and what i do write, I agonise over ridiculous things and find it impossible to edit and difficult to share.  I don't really have much experience of anything much so although it doesn't appear that I am 'laying myself bare', I am constantly rereading and consulting with myself as to whether someone could find something out about me, about my character, my dreams and fears, the silly things that raise a white flag occasionally and say that no, i…

'I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.'

You can thank Winston Churchill for that quote.  I wonder what he thought of chickens?  As far as I'm aware, history did not capture his thoughts on these feathered mercenaries of the garden.  I'm sure if he did have something to say about them though, it would be considered, erudite and finely tuned - purposeful you might even say.  Whether he said anything or not, I have a few things to say about these delightful birds.  I was warned that they would wreck the garden so I really, honestly was prepared for this.  However, looking out onto the sea of mud that was grass (not quite a lawn but manicured somewhere between a roadside verge and a sand-dune with a liberal spattering of moss added in for good measure), I have to admit that the ladies have beaten me.  The garden is no great thing of beauty but it was more beautiful than it is now so that is something which needs to be addressed.  I have a cunning network of a variety of fencing materials all designed to keep the chicken…

My mother's handbag

My mother's handbag was a small, brown thing.  But she loved it.  It was always slung over her shoulder, her left I think,  I began below it and as I grew, my fingers were able to reach it, then my hair brushed it, eventually my shoulders passed by the once plush pouch with its huge tarnished, silver hoops which acted as the clasp.  I was allowed to carry it too then, you see.  The bag contained the mysteries of womanhood; articles that were of interest to me like spare change for sweets and lipstick to transform along with boring and less fascinating objects like tissues and tampons.  The tan colour would have once been a deeper chocolate brown I think but time and use had weathered it.  The bag smelled of mum on the outside and leather on the inside and when i opened it, the hoops clinked together.  I sat on the kitchen floor and spent some time trying to slip the rings through one another.  They never passed each other in this way.  I sat, feeling the knot in the long leather s…

'One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.'

Words are funny things.  We need language to communicate and for most of us, that means using words.  Words are sounds strung together with squiggly lines on paper standing in for them; just signs that mean something which we all agree to abide to and for the most part, think we understand.  But rules... rules... who writes them and what if they are not written down?  What do we do then?  How do we all agree on what we mean and what is the result of misunderstanding?  I ask this because I was misunderstood earlier this week when I put what I considered a perfectly innocent comment on a friend's facebook photo stating that I was scared of clowns (it was in response to a photo of a clown, fact fans, so not as random as that might sound).  I followed this with a further comment that I found the makeup which I took as a way to hide one's face, unnerving and that I worried that the person who spent their time using a persona to interact with their public might be actually unhappy a…

Wedding music and dreams in general

I heard a piece of music on the radio today which is one of my favourites: Corelli's Concerto grosso no. 8, or to give it the other name, the Christmas Concerto.  It is a sublime piece of music and one I have loved for a very long time.  So long, in fact, that it was my music of choice for my wedding.  As Oscar pointed out in the car as we were driving somewhere and I was singing along (or rather humming badly), 'but you never got married, did you?'  Thanks for reminding me.  He did make it sound as though I had endured some wedding aisle catastrophe from which I had never recovered.  But no Miss Haversham dusty white dress hysterics for me - no,  I never got that near a church because nobody ever asked me to marry them.  It does seem silly now to have thought so much about something that never happened but I don't think it has left me needing any long term therapy.  Dreaming is essential though and as we did our 'trick or treating' last night, I did find my at…