This GOW Waxing Lyrical throwback from 2015 about my place in the sun, The Algarve, has really hit home. It now 19 months since I visited the place I love and, as from 2020, had planned to spend more time. Once given the green light, I will be on the first flight.
A chick, in my book, is a baby chicken covered in downy, yellow feathers up until the age of 6-weeks. I’ve always bristled when the term is applied to young women, and I have always subconsciously disassociated myself from Chick lit, believing the genre to be driven by scantily clad, sex-driven female main characters. I couldn’t have been more wrong and, although I’m not a fan of categories, it’s time to reassess the genre I think I’ve been writing in.
Following the joyful inauguration of the 46th U.S. President, Joe Biden, hundreds and thousands of overlayed images of Bernie Sanders started appearing everywhere, ridiculing the mittens he was wearing at the ceremony. It touched a nerve with me. For goodness sake, he is seventy-nine, it was 4C and blowing a howling bloody gale, but I’m guessing his hands were warmer than anybody else’s. So, to whoever started circulating these memes, back off! You’re not so funny!
As we live in surreal times, I decided to call today Tired Tuesday. It is the day after Blue Monday, the official name for the third Monday of each New Year, which apparently, has been noted as the most depressing day of any year – not just one plagued by a pandemic. Surprisingly, I felt quite upbeat, as for the first time in 2021, I felt like I had a wasp up my arse, for the whole day, until I ran out of steam…
Around 6.p.m. I kicked off my jog pants, showered, washed my hair and dolled myself up. Then, proudly wearing an outfit I had been given for Christmas, I took a stroll along the landing from the bedroom, looking longingly at the photos and prints, framed and hanging on the walls. The hibiscus. A watercolour from Barbados, prints from St. Lucia and a photo of us all embossed on to canvas splashing around in the sea in The Maldives. Treasured memories.
I dare to dream about spending time with the people I care about, without being 2 meters apart.
I dare to dream about going out for a meal, or to the theatre – how I’ve missed the smell of the greasepaint – and listening to Little Black Dress cook up a storm in the Blue Note Bar with other live music lovers.
I dare to dream about a change of scene – I used to write poetry, just as well I gave it up.
I dare to dream about soaking up the sunshine somewhere with the gentle lapping of the sea in my ears, free to inhale the exhilarating, briny COVID-19-free air. Joy.
It does bother me that I spend everyday writing, but never allow myself time to sit and read a book these days. But, I have decided to stop beating myself up about it because I do read. I read a lot, but not always in the good old-fashioned way.
These days, thanks to the Internet, it is so easy to tap into a plethora of resources for literature, art and just about everything else… 24/7. So I quench my constant thirst for knowledge browsing the Net.
I have never been so emotionally involved in an American Presidential Election in my life but, since last Tuesday, I have been glued, as America’s future teetered on a knife-edge, and I’m not even American.
Thousands of miles away from America, the land of the free, we heard the news we were hoping for. We cried, imbibed and danced to Kool & The Gang’s Celebration on our patio in the middle of our night waving sparklers in the air. The feeling of joy, as well as relief for a bunch of Brits thousands of miles away, was very real.
You’ll have written the synopsis, well, you have written hundreds of different versions of the damn thing which you don’t think does your story justice, but you pick what you think is the best one and send it off with your query letter and wait.
This is the point where you need to start managing your expectations. My carefully chosen mantra is rejection is not the end, although it might feel like it, it’s just a step on the path.
As the world prepares themselves to face another major battle against the invisible killer, COVID-19, we all anxiously await the results of today’s US election, while willing Biden to cross the line with a clear majority.
If he doesn’t, another Trump administration would be disastrous. More disruptive to U.S. foreign policy and world affairs than during the past four years. Think on. Think BBC TV’s Years and Years – a ghastly cliche in so many senses of the words.
The thought of writing a memoir had never crossed my mind. I’ve listened intently as members of my writers’ group read from their life writings. One member decided to defy convention and sail around the world with her children. Another lived in India for years to learn the practice of Ayurveda, a form of traditional Indian medicine. Both amazing life experiences. But, consciously thinking about writing about my life experiences might not have occurred to me but, the fact was, I’d been doing it for years.
I first became aware of Gerald Durrell when someone gave me a copy of one of his books. After reading that book, My Family and Other Animals, I learned that Gerald Durrell had started a ‘zoo’ in Jersey, Channel Islands. As I would find out later, through my own first-hand experience, it was – and still is – so much more than a ‘zoo’.
I was born at my parent’s home in Fulwith Mill Lane, Harrogate. A stone’s throw away from the viaduct on the south side of town. I remember little about the house, as my parents decided to uproot my tender sapling self, aged three and replant me down south.
Despite my roots being pulled out from underneath me at such an early age, the draw of the place of my birth remains strong. It will forever be etched upon my heart.
I am grateful for many things in my life, but if I have learned anything during the first four months of 2020, it is that the material things in my life matter less. Our own home and a car, are things that many of us take for granted, but we have worked hard to getContinue reading “Grateful”