Monday, 30 April 2012

A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

...and today, a double dose of sunshine. Triple. Quadruple, even.

First, it's sunny. After days of slashing rain, I woke up to...sunshine. It DOES lift the spirits, try as I might to pretend that I feel just the same when it's raining.

Next, my boy Tim came up to the yard with me. AT 7A.M. This is nearly unprecedented AND he didn't crumble into a pile of grey dust due to being exposed to the early morning light, which I have always feared.

He took me unawares with this picture...

Yard, 7 a.m. sunshine. Harry, Radish and Izzy wait for their breakfast.
Then, back at home - I came across the quote by Steve Martin, which made me laugh.

Yep, lots of sunshine in my day today!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

I think that too, Abraham Lincoln.

Oh, that's not Abraham Lincoln, by the way. Although... almost could be. Almost. Sort of. Ish.

In many surveys, scholars required to rank US Presidents since the 1840s place Lincoln consistently in the top three, often #1.

In another survey, Caroline Coxon, required to rank husbands since 1977, place Peter Coxon consistently at number one.

Happy Birthday, Peter!

Here's where we're going for a celebration lunch:

THEN you can start your diet!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

“We all of us need to be toppled off the throne of self, my dear," he said.

"Perched up there the tears of others are never upon our own cheek.”
By Elizabeth Goudge from 'The White Witch'

What do you DO about people who only ever think of themselves, who are so utterly selfish that it takes your breath away - or, in the case of this morning - make tears well up in my eyes?

I'm terribly unreasonable, I know, to expect that someone for whom I've performed an act of kindness for 6 days a week for the last 5 years, in all weathers, even when I'm ill, should show me any gratitude at all. After all, I don't do it for that...but sometimes...

At the moment, all I can think of is performing acts of unspeakable torture.

(Blimey - you should see the images that come up when you Google the word torture! Actually, don't.)

That distracted me. I feel better now.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.  If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway."

Just call me Mother Teresa...

Friday, 27 April 2012

Goldfish don't bounce

...but I do!

(Am I the only person in the entire universe never to have watched a single episode of The Simpsons?)

Possibly - apart from a few members of the Kombai Tribe in the dense jungles of West Papua, New Guinea.

Me yesterday - moaning about the lack of efficacy of echinacea, garlic and Vitamin C in warding off The Common Cold.

Me today - back to full health. Better than full health. Apologies to all herbal supplements everywhere.

Me today, Part 2 - swamped with work. Hence, the lateness of this blog. At least five hours later than normal.

Bouncing back.

I think that when I get ill, I make things so much worse by getting annoyed about it. I feel I haven't TIME to be ill - I have so much I want to get done, so much energy that needs channelling.

I reckon that accounted for about 75% of my malaise yesterday - the struggling against being ill.

Well, I'm better now.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds.

...said George Jean Nathan, American drama critic and editor.

Well, I suppose I should have expected it, getting drenched through to my undies and frozen cold in the wind and the rain yesterday.

The thing is, I DON'T expect it. I expect my body to behave itself better, especially since I'm stuffing it full of Vitamin C, echinacea and garlic at the moment.

 The rhino virus, most frequent cause of the common cold,  looks rather pretty, I suppose. Believe me, it doesn't do pretty things.

This is known as 'association of ideas.'

Perhaps my oh so common cold has affected my brain?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.

What a wonderful feeling, I'm happy again...

Well, I was. Singing in the rain, I mean. I'm still happy.

How can you not be happy if you watch Gene Kelly?

I got completely and utterly drenched at the yard this morning. Just think how silky and shiny my hair will be now. Just think how the grass will grow. Just lovely it was to change out of wringing wet clothes into warm and dry ones when I got home.

Okay, that's enough of the positivity.

Actually, the weather is foul.

It's a perfect day for staying inside, wrapped in a blanket, writing the first ten pages of my new feature film.

Later, I might venture outside again.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.

Time...YOU FAILED this morning. Or Einstein should stick to the The Theory Of Relativity.

(OH, am I showing my ignorance again? Is that statement about time something to do with relativity?)

So - earlier, everything happened at once. Of course, that's a teeny-weeny bit of an exaggeration. Let's just say LOTS of things happened at once.

Urgent things. Things with deadlines. Things with deadlines yesterday that I was only sent today.

Did I lose my sense of humour?

OF COURSE I...DIDN'T!(without the N'T)

Not for long. Soon smiling again.

It was when a client said that my multi-coloured (for clarity) e-mails reminded him of my hair.


Monday, 23 April 2012

On Monday, when the sun is hot, I wonder to myself a lot:

 Now is it true, or is it not, that what is which and which is what?

Lies, all lies. For A.A. Hodge it might be true, but not for me. For A.A. Milne, who actually wrote those words, even though ThinkExist said it was A.A. Hodge, it might be true, but not for me.

One, the sun's not hot. Two, I haven't been wondering to myself a lot. But it IS Monday.

I like Mondays.

I don't hate you, Monday.

I'm rarin' to go.

It's not like that for me. The thing is, I love my job. (No, that's NOT the same as saying I haven't got a life.)

You could say I'm one of the lucky ones but loads of people would HATE what I do - so it can't be the job itself.

All a question of attitude, I suppose. I'm wondering to myself a lot now...(you'll be pleased to know.)

Would I love Mondays as much if I worked down a salt mine?

I suspect not.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.

...Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.

Anne Lamott is a writer who looks like a writer.

I must at once get dreadlocks in my hair and make myself look intelligent.

My consolation is that I look more like a writer than I look like a sheep louse.

I promise you.

This weekend I'm having a wonderful time with my lovely writing friend M.J. Hermanny, here to stay until Tuesday. We speak the same language. You wouldn't think that talking about writing, its joys, its frustrations, would be so very difficult for anyone at all to understand. After all, we speak in English; we are reasonably articulate.

We could be speaking in Swahili and not to a person from the Mozambique Channel.

I Googled M.J. Hermanny's name to see if there was a picture of her:

She must be doing well. She has a swimsuit named after her on a site called Temple of Glam.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

On an exhausted field, only weeds grow

Today I am that exhausted field. My exertions, both physical and mental, have caught up with me a bit.

Just the way it is. I'll be growing weeds today, if anything.

But, hey, I LIKE weeds - a lot of them anyway. (On that list I would NOT include Ground Elder. Hateful, pernicious stuff and not even a particularly pretty flower to justify its existence.)

There are weeds and there are weeds...

...if I grow a few of these today in the exhausted field that is me, I won't be in the slightest bit disappointed.

Friday, 20 April 2012

This is the weather the cuckoo likes, and so do I.

...said Thomas Hardy .

And so do I, said Caroline Coxon.

I heard the first cuckoo of spring this morning. Well, when I say 'the first' I expect there were probably others before that...

That sound makes me joyful. Why? I don't know really. It just does. I suppose it means that summer's coming.

Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu!

That's Middle English - I'm sure you can translate.

The cuckoo is a Naughty Bird, laying her eggs in other birds' nests so she doesn't have to go to the trouble of feeding them.

Now why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

Who is this Eric Hoffer chappie? Ah! A writer.

 I might have guessed.

Yesterday I worked hard. I DID. Three separate projects, all urgent. I finished at 8.30 p.m. For me, that's practically bedtime - I'm up at 6 a.m. to see to the horses.

I was tired.  What made me feel tired was all the things I HADN'T done.

Human beings are wired up wrongly, I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.

It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.

Ray Bradbury said this and you'll be pleased to note I have actually heard of him! (He's an American Sci-Fi writer.) I've been listening to his short stories on the radio at some unearthly time in the wee small hours when sleep escapes me.

I love that title!

I've not been finding any hours, minutes or even solitary seconds for creative writing lately.

There's been a great deal of paid freelance work - can't be sneezed at - and other things that have swallowed up my time. When I'm not doing those things, my brain's like porridge...

 ...or I'm asleep - or I'm not asleep and listening to Ray Bradbury short stories on the radio.

The funny thing is, I usually spend AGES over my writing - not so much in the planning but in the execution - honing, selecting exactly the right word, tinkering. Self-conscious? You bet! Though often the results don't appear that way.

This time last year, because of time commitments, I had left myself about 12 hours to write the first ten pages of The Melting for a contest deadline. Bear in mind, this might usually have taken me two to three WEEKS.

I had NOTHING - only two characters in my head, no setting, no scenes planned, no ideas, NOTHING.

I think they were the best ten pages I ever wrote.

 Now I'm striving to recreate the same conditions. Somehow it isn't working...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how

I seem to be preoccupied with these thoughts lately.

It's just that in the last week or so, in various areas of my life, I've come across such wonderful generosity...

I've been finding it humbling. Moving.

Yes, and you may be finding it nauseating to read about.

 Shall I just go back to being a miserable old cynic then?

Help! I think I've forgotten how.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses

Confucius said that - a man not known for his marathon running.

It so very much applied to me yesterday - and today and every day henceforward if I'm sensible.

It would be Very VERY Boring if I were to list all the pre-marathon ailments I was nursing. Suffice to say, my head was telling me I should NOT be doing this marathon, especially when I had to fill out the 'Next Of Kin' section on the back of my race number and was seriously wondering if I'd end up...well, dead...if you must know.

My heart, however...

I had a wonderful, wonderful time. I kept to my promise to smile all the way. It was SO moving (pardon the unintended pun) when my legs didn't want to work anymore and someone would shout 'Come on, Curly!' (the nickname emblazoned on my vest) 'We love you, Curly!' 'You're awesome!'

Then suddenly my legs got a burst of energy from somewhere and I was able to keep running.


This is for YOU, lovely people and all the kind, kind people who sponsored me for a very good cause.

It's not too late!

The Bhopal Medical Appeal  - that's the link to my Just Giving page.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I am prepared to run the marathon.

Whether the marathon is prepared for the great ordeal of having me run it is another matter.

Winston Churchill said (something very remotely like) this - sorry Mr. Churchill. No offence.

I don't have a fear of failure because I haven't Great Expectations - except that I WILL finish. Too much money for a very good cause rests on me completing every one of those 26.2 miles.

Tomorrow. In Brighton.

Here's my page. People have been so very, very generous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I WILL reach my target. I know I will.

Rainbow striped leg-warmers - check.

Crazy Alice band - check

Bhopal Medical Appeal running vest - check

(Do you think I should shave under my arms?)

How can I POSSIBLY fail? The only failure for me will be if I stop smiling.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Do as you would be done by

Isn't this a wonderful picture?

By Jessica Wilcox Smith c 1916
Mrs. DoAsYouWouldBeDoneBy from The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley.

I loved that book when I was a child.

This one's of Mrs. BeDoneByAsYouDid

I have an innate sense of How Things Should Be permeating my life. I don't know if it's my age - the era in which I was brought up or the WAY in which I was brought up, but 'To Do As You Would Be Done By' is something that has stuck with me. I'm practically destined for sainthood, me! (And if you believe THAT...)

I wonder if Peter would like eyeballs for dinner?
The flaw in this quite sickeningly honourable way of leading one's life is when one expects everyone else to adhere to the same principle.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them.

It happens!

Yesterday could be counted as a bad day. Work stuff. Sometimes, when the client is wrong, it's hard to adhere to that old adage 'the client is always right' with a bright, shiny smile.

I let myself become both upset and stressed.

When I think about it, what happened only occupied about 4 hours of my day.

Before that was lovely. After that was lovely.

Note to self: Don't let the bad bits spoil the good bits. Be thankful. Be gracious. Be happy.

Image by Darling Stewie

Smile more!