Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Unless God send his hail Or blinding fire balls, sleet or stifling snow, In some time, his good time, I shall arrive.

Dear God,

I can cope with fireballs. Oh yes, I've encountered so many in my time.

 I'm fine with stifling snow. In fact, I would go so far as to say I LOVE it.

Tigger the Shetland, aged 30-something, looking for green bits

But please, PLEASE don't send any more sleet.

Sleet is horrible; sleet is my least favourite form of weather (and I LIKE weather); sleet is a poor excuse for Proper Snow; sleet should be BANNED.

I apologise for the minor rant. Robert Browning didn't seem to be bothered by sleet, but then he probably didn't have to spend two hours feeding, turning out, bringing in and generally caring for 27 horses in it, did he? (I expect he was curled up in front of a roaring fire, toasting crumpets and thinking poetic thoughts about Childe Roland coming to the dark tower.)

Certainly, whatever you choose to throw at me, I shall arrive, but it would be so much more pleasant a journey if you forgot you'd ever created SLEET.

Kind regards,


Monday, 30 January 2012

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.

You can always count on Oscar Wilde to find the right words. Well, I can, anyway.

Desert Island Discs celebrated its 70th birthday yesterday. I'm pretty sure it must have a worldwide franchise - but if not, it's a BBC Radio 4 programme where well-known people choose the eight pieces of music they'd take if they were stranded on a desert island (along with a book and a luxury item.)

Musical choices say a great deal about a person, I think. More so than words sometimes.

At various junctures, I've wondered what I'd choose. I really don't know, is the answer. I suppose...music to remind me of different phases of my life.

Early childhood? I think it would have to be Gilbert and Sullivan (no, NOT Gilbert O'Sullivan PLEASE!) much loved by my parents. And which song of the hundreds?

On a tree by a river (Willow, tit willow) from The Mikado. Takes me straight back to our house, 51, St. Matthews Parade, Northampton. To the drawing room, which was on the first floor because my father was a doctor and his surgery and waiting room were on the ground floor. To the radiogram. I WISH I could remember what sort it was. I can certainly remember what it looked like. (Hideous!)

Then, perhaps, the first record I ever bought, which was:

All you need is love!

I'm not sure what those two choices say about me. 

Hopeless romantic? Probably.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Life is full of choices, if you have the guts to go for it.

"...That's why I get immediately bored with anyone's complaining about how boring their life is, or how bad their town is. F*%~ing leave and go somewhere else. Or don't."

Oooh, a bit feisty this morning. Not me, apart from the fact I chose that as my quote - as a kick up the backside for MYSELF.

The person who said this was Henry Rollins (American Rock Singer, Author, Actor and Poet, b.1961)

 Sorry, Henry. Don't know who you are. But then, I haven't seen Jackass nor am I ever likely to. I'm sure Mr. Rollins is even now weeping into his breakfast of whey protein. (other body-building supplements are available)

He's right though, in what he says, so very tastefully.

Things that are on the horizon for me...meetings to attend, projects to complete and, specifically, this morning - training runs to make - get all out of proportion in my brain so they seem like The Scariest Things In The World that in No Way can I possibly do. Not now. Not ever.

...when all there is to do is just get out there and DO IT, whatever it is.

So, against all my enfeebled feelings and reluctance and No Can Do, I DID...

...run 6.54 miles, up hill and down hill.

And now, everything else seems so much less daunting


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Sometimes the most urgent thing you can do is take a complete rest

It's that Ashleigh Brilliant speaking again. I'm sure I've mocked her name before.

Oh, good grief. She's a he. Or she has a great need for depilatory cream or a jolly good shave.

I do like his work, though.

Don't you?

Today, I'm going to take his advice and, as a matter of extreme urgency, REST.

Next week is going to be...


Friday, 27 January 2012

If you want something done, ask a busy person

At the moment, that busy person is ME.

(Cue hoots of bitter laughter from Peter, who is at a loss to understand how someone who 'plays with horses' every morning and finds time to go running, and circuit training in the evenings can call themselves busy, can say they've been working very hard.)

I know I haven't a traditional 9 - 5 job and I know I'm SO lucky to have the life that I do, but I DO work hard at everything I undertake (including keeping fit and taking care of the horses.)

This week, I've been working on:
  • an animation script for a pharmaceutical company
  • a re-branding exercise for a building company
  • a travel brochure for Virgin
  • website proof-reading and editing for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
...then yesterday, I was asked if I'd consider writing material for a company who run private psychiatric hospitals (BIG job, quite a bit of travelling) - meeting in London next Wednesday...

(What an extraordinary week it's been!)

THEN there's my own writing...

THEN there's the greeting card business I'm hoping to set up, as a result of so many people loving my Alfie card at Christmas. I'm flying off to a meeting about that as soon as I've finished this.

Working hard? Busy person?

I'm just going to check my e-mail and go on Facebook for a bit. Ergo, I CAN'T be.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery.

No, not a Kinder egg. It made me laugh out loud when I searched for an appropriate image to go with the quote and this came up!

See, now I've got side-tracked, remembering the story about Kinder eggs being banned from importation into the United States because they contain a "non-nutritive object embedded in them." (Believe me, it's not only the toy that's non-nutritive.)

ANYWAY...Winston Churchill was referring to Russia, not Kinder eggs, as far as I know.

(Bother - side-tracked AGAIN!)

See that it's not a COMPLETE non sequitur?

I was referring to myself.

The riddle wrapped in an enigma inside the mystery that is ME.

Explain this. When things are going badly for me, I'm a total optimist, motivated, proactive, full of energy, determined.

When things are going well - as they have been this week, what with the contest and approval for an animation script for a major new client AND another project from Virgin yesterday as well as more work from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission...so I'm practically dizzy with it all...

Yes, when things are going well, almost at once I become a fully paid up member of...

Go on. Explain it.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.

"...Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."

For battle, read screenplay contest.

This is my friend Mr. Buddha, part of him at least, helping me to keep my feet firmly on the ground. He's good at that.

On Monday, I learned I had won a screenplay contest with my fantasy feature-length script The Melting. The official announcement went out yesterday, just when I had resigned myself to the fact that it was all a Big Wind-Up, that they had changed their minds and someone else had won after all.

 My delight is hard to put into words. The prize is extraordinary. No, not loadsa money. Loadsa money would be very acceptable but ephemeral.

This prize is worth way more than that to me.
It's the chance to meet one-to-one with a top UK producer who will help me hone my pitch and then "recommend and facilitate introductions to any relevant industry connections to whom the project can be taken forward." 

Absolute gold dust!

Even if it looks more like demerara sugar - that's Buddha speaking again...

People have been so kind to me. A writing friend, (you know who you are, Marnie) posted the result on another website, which I wouldn't have done. British reserve and all that. The congratulations have been flooding in. David Birch even made me a fantastic poster to inspire me.

How cool is that?

It's all fantastic, great, wonderful, marvellous and any other positive hyperbole you can think of BUT - I'm certain to reach for the self-destruct button at any minute.

NOT doing that would be a SUPREME victory.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.

Goethe said this. Now I'm getting into the realms of super-intellectuals. Forget Astrid Alauda. (You already did?)

I'm not even going to START with German, Goethe. That would be too, too embarrassing. Mind you, French is bad enough even though we lived there for a couple of years. I can get by but could hardly be called fluent.

Here are some family examples of linguistic prowess:

Me, when son Laurie was in hospital in Grenoble following a snowboarding accident. (Note to snowboarders everywhere: Sambuca + snowboard jump + friend videoing so you want to show off = disaster)

Me: Mon fils a une douleur dans sa poignée!

La poignée = door handle. Le poignet = wrist.

My son, in the same hospital, when asked if he spoke French:

Un petit pois!
Un petit pois = a pea. Un peu = a little bit

My brother when lost in Paris, late for a train:

Où est la guerre?

La guerre = the war. La gare = the station

Well, at least we made Le Effort...

Monday, 23 January 2012

You are your own judge. The verdict is up to you.

This is a famous quote by someone called Astrid Alauda, who is famous for...saying famous things that people quote on famous quotes pages. Otherwise, a mystery woman.

D.I. Coxon has failed.

On that note, I'm a harsh judge of myself and my worth. As brutal as Judge Jeffreys, me. Towards myself.

Good bits: High standards, determination, motivation to move onwards and upwards.

Bad bits: Never satisfied, too hard on myself, undervalue my services.

Surely there must be a balance?

Actually, I suppose I'm my own balance. I just have to make sure the good bits carry more weight than the bad bits.

Nothing like answering my own questions. Saves bothering anyone else.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Just a perfect day

Drink sangria in the park...

No, I didn't drink any sangria but here was my yesterday - in pictures.

To the yard at 7, feeding and turning out all the horses and sweep-sweep-sweeping.

A long ride on Ashdown Forest on a well-behaved Poppy.

Down to Brighton - ran 4 miles straight and it was MUCH better - no searing pain anywhere (much!) and I felt good afterwards.

Home to a soaky bath with rose petal bath bomb (oh, and some water too)

 (No, this is NOT a picture of two scoops of ice-cream)

Started reading 'The hare with amber eyes'

Had a sleep.(Nothing to do with the book being boring because it wasn't AT ALL)

Out to dinner with Peter at Phish Bistro.

On to the cinema to see 'The Artist'

A great (but not the greatest) film - fascinating to see a silent movie, so very cleverly made, such wonderful facial acting!

And a very well-trained dog...

Home to a less well-trained but much more adorable dog.

And so to bed.

Oh dear, no writing. But everyone needs a holiday.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

All things Brighton beautiful

Brighton's about 15 miles or so from where I live.

It's funny living so close to one of the top English tourist resorts. It's not a tourist resort to me. It's...just one of the places where I go shopping for clothes, hardly glance at the sea, avoid like the plague in the summer months...

...and moan bitterly about the price of car parking, which is EXTORTIONATE! (I'm not even sure those are current)

Samuel Johnson said this about Brighton: "...if one had a mind to hang one's self for desperation at being obliged to live there, it would be difficult to find a tree on which to fasten the rope." (perhaps he was overcharged for parking his carriage?)

Come on, Samuel! It's not THAT bad.

Today, I'm going to run right along the front for lots of miles, marathon training. I'm very fed up with hills. Hills are painful.

If I keep moving, the traffic wardens won't get me...