Well it is morning as I begin posting this whether I get through it all is a different matter, it has been quite a stressful week here in the UK due to politics and people being determined to fall out with each other because of it. It has been a week many have felt the need to dive into something stronger than coffee to get through it. On the plus side, there was the fantastic benefit concert put together by Ariana Grande, my rugby team have won again, and hopefully have turned a corner for the season, that will get them away from the dreaded bottom four. So let’s get on with things and this week I have picked things that have a feel good factor…
I love this first post because it imparts wisdom passed down through generations and in this world where so much emphasis is placed on material possessions it reminds us what is important, my dad’s car advice to me was similar, he was talking about speeding and pointed out ‘there is nowhere you need to be so badly it is worth dying for!’ https://lifewithblondie.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/its-just-a-car-baby-girl/
The second post today I also love but this time is it is because this fantastic lady has taken a chance, turned her life upside down, taken the risk to turn her back on the normal jobs and do something physically harder but ultimately more rewarding I hope she will keep posting and share her journey in her new job, I want piglet pics https://terahvandusen.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/farm-her-new-job-new-life/
Okay so Sunday is almost over as I write this but to be fair my daughter has been here most of the day and I cooked Sunday dinner so it did not turn out to be totally lazy. The world was a darker place for a little while this week and things like writing and blogging seemed foolish and frivolous, as I titled the vlog this week ‘No Words’ sums up my feelings still but I will talk about that later in the week in a separate post. So on with a few posts to little the mood a little I hope and spread some love and light in the only way we can, by carrying on with life as normal.
One of the other things I love about reading blogs is you get to see places that you would never get to in real life, let’s face it the world is a big place, so much to see and do and for most of us we lack the time, resources and freedom from commitments to get to a fraction of them, so seeing others journeys is almost as good https://exxtracts.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/jew-town-kochi/
The one thing these posts all have in common is they span the globe, they remind us of the fact we have more in common with 99.9% of people than we have differences with that 0.01% who seek to destroy the way of life we love, they will not win unless we let them poison our heart, take care of each other and remember a smile to a stranger can create ripples that might be what is needed to heal our world.
Okay you might notice the title is for two months together, and you will also see the lack of form compared to how I normally do these posts, the fact is the last couple of months life has got in the way. That doesn’t mean I have done nothing just that what I have been doing does not necessarily relate to things that can be shared at this point. I have a grandchild on the way, have helped my daughter move, have been researching swag, exploring new possibilities to take advantage of moving forward (really excited about that bit but not something you will hear about until the back end of the year).
My priorities for the next couple of months is the Queen of Ages trilogy, losing the extra pounds I have regained and getting ready for #Darker2017. It is so easy to buckle under pressure, I have a couple of times in fact I have come close recently to throwing my arms up in the air and claiming I cannot do this any more. May will see my resolutions posts take their normal structure once more but part of my resolutions for this year was to not let everything get on top of me and stress over things I cannot change so in that aspect I succeeded at least, I recognised that I lost my way, rather than spending time and energy backtracking I have simply focused on moving forward.
It is also worth noting I failed the A – Z Challenge but I am going to do a separate post on that. Not much more I want to say here really I have book reviews to write Glossybox reviews random posts and a trilogy to complete.
I think I am insane for taking one this challenge every April, don’t get me wrong I love it but is always seems that things crop up when I try, this is probably why I don’t try doing Nano in November. Insanity is a perfect subject for me I remember first seeing this info-graphic which I am going to insert here…
now you can obviously see why this made me stop and contemplate so many of the things you could be committed for let’s start with the first, being kicked by a horse! I totally get that if you are kicked in the head by the horse it could cause some form of brain damage but what if the horse kicked you and broke your leg, then clipped your head as you fell down but did not actually do any damage to your head do you still get locked up? Does it make a difference what you were doing to the horse when it kicks you? You can imagine for the writer side of me the endless possibilities each of the ‘reasons’ above. Many of them of course were aimed at women but I imagine that a few young men may have also ended up confined should they fail to live up to their families wishes.
My ex’s mum worked in an asylum a few years ago, a place which is now closed down, but she always said it was so sad that there were women there who were institutionalised by their years spent shut away, usually on the orders of their families for falling in love with the wrong people, getting caught having sex outside marriage and having children out of wedlock. I have an idea in my head for a story involving an asylum and a rich family which I would love to write at some point.
What is surprising is how many of the reasons that a man could probably be committed involve trauma, I know your normal hospital would not have been equipped to deal with brain damage or mental illness but you wonder how shutting someone away with depression or shell shock, in an institution full of people with serious mental illness (though of course many would not have the sort of diagnosed conditions we know of today) could eve hope to lead to their recovery.
Personally I would have been committed on numerous counts, let’s just mention the novel reading and as the timer is going leave you to imagine the others lol.
Leave a comment below for which you are most likely to be committed for is you dare!
a sheet of light paper folded and sealed to form a letter for sending by airmail.
Set the timer and let 30 minutes commence…
I like writing letters, even today in the digital age there is something so much more personal in sitting with a pen and paper, and letting the words, flow from the heart. I have written letters I have never sent, cathartic, vitriol filled rants at those who have done me wrong, well in my eyes anyway but I have written just as many love letters filled with words I cannot say, that I could never allow to spill from my lips.
As a child I used to write to my grandma once she moved away, I have some of those now, returned to me before the dementia took hold, such innocent lines of nothing but they had meant enough for her to have kept them for over 25 years. I think of the letters I wish I could write now, that it is too late for, to give her news of my books, my first grand child impending, so much more information than those lines she saved on the floral notelets that you unfolded to give you more writing space. I need to write to my great uncle, I have not been in touch with him for a while, at one point we rung every week but then my grandma passed away and the contact got less, not from a desire to lose contact but laziness, he probably feels I do not want to hear from him and I know he struggles with the phone so writing is better for him but I put it off so often. My great aunt is on Facebook so I keep in touch there with a series of likes, comments and tags, but my great uncle is not as tech savvy and I know he had trouble accessing the emails I sent him with stuff about the family tree. U have photos of him and my great aunt as children, I know in theory the idea of digital albums people tagged and shared should mean they last forever but you have to wonder whether with the accidental hit of the delete button will entire sections of history disappear. there is of course another reason the letter is so much more personal, the writing. In the family tree research we came across an uncle of my grandma’s repatriated to Australia after the first world war, in this cache of records there was a letter, scanned into the computer but a request for his army records, it seems so silly, the least personal type of letter you could imagine but as I sat staring at the screen I thought about the fact this man, dead before I was born, on the other side of the world had written those words. It had an address and though I am pretty sure the area had chanced I could put it in Google Maps and look at the address he had written that letter from, the street he would have walked down to post it. I love the idea that history is passed on in something tangible, that you can smell perfume on the letters, just the faintest smell of what the writer might have been wearing, that you can look at their choice of paper, pen and even in my case wax seal to tell you even more about them, I love the idea of something that though it will not last forever will, if passed on tell far more than an email ever could.
I was going to do Tuesdays for #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017 posts but as more events are added to my calendar it makes sense to pick Tuesdays as the day for all my posts about live events and signings. Darker is creeping up on me just ver 7 months to go but this week it is the #leeds2018 event which takes precedence and that is because this Friday 3rd March at 8pm tickets go on sale, and in a brilliant move the ladies from Hourglass Events are heading north and will be hosting the launch live on FB from the venue. Of course being just down the road in Huddersfield means it would be rude not to go join them for a beverage or two, (though not too many need to be on a train back at half ten as I have work next morning and next train is half one!)
So if you live in Leeds or in the surrounding areas why not come along and join us for a little tipple but if you can’t do not despair, instead grab you chosen beverage, get comfy on the sofa and join us live on line in this group, which you really should join anyway because there are some amazing authors in there, so click here to pop over and join up.
I have to say I challenge anyone who has heard his voice not to read this and hear him talking to you…
As usual begin with the Goodreads blurb…
Ten childhood snapshots from the master of the monologue Alan Bennett recalls his childhood in a sequence of talks that are funny, touching and told in his unique style. Hampered, as he sees it, by a family that never manages to be quite like other families he recounts his early years in Leeds a place where one learned early on the quite useful lesson that life is generally something that happens elsewhere: there is hiking every Sunday, trips into town and teas in cafes. Its an ordinary childhood, Bennetts father a butcher, his mother a reader of womens magazines who dreams of coffee mornings and cocktail parties and life down south. He re-lives family crises, early pieties and the lost tradition of musical evenings round the piano, all these tales told with that wry observation and ironic understatement that has earned Alan Bennett a place in the forefront of contemporary writing.
Even though his childhood in Leeds took place decades before my own I can still relate to much of what he was saying, I grew up on the outskirts of Leeds in a mining village and to be honest it always felt like you went back a decade or two from the city centre. But the truth is that even for those who grew up in other areas there will be elements from their own childhood they recognise, after all we all have those certain characters in our childhood that make their mark one way or another. Though it is written about a specific area the language is not dialectically difficult, and as I said in the opening if you have heard Alan Bennett’s voice it is impossible to read this without your head creating the illusion of him narrating it to you. It is also interesting reading the introduction the understand more about his reasons for choosing to use this medium to relate his personal stories. It is a slim book and can be read in one night and makes a refreshing change to some of the ‘celebrity’ memoirs that are three hundred volumes of drivel., it is a testament to Bennett’s genius that he can select out a few memories that give you such an in-depth understanding into his childhood without needing a whole book.
And for the score, well it has to be five out of five stars.