Monday, 29 October 2012

Day 4 - Rhodes

Oooh, thought things were going too well. Last night, VERY late, some very noisy (British) guests were rampaging outside our room and Peter went to quieten them and was met with a torrent of foul abuse. Tonight HE went to apologise to THEM for being grumpy and they were less than gracious and didn't apologise to him but...well done, Peter. You got your power back. Today, the boat trip to Syma which was two hours each way, to my seasick horror. Lovely place, both the port and the monastery, beautiful...but I am just not a guided tour sort of gal. The guide was great and we followed her, carrying her bright red Mickey Mouse umbrella (with ears) Her commentary was interesting too but it meant we had no time to wander and SEE stuff. Glad to be back on dry land and hoping for a quiet night. Oh, at the monastery there was a wonderful Greek Orthodox tradition, where people laid brooms below the icon of Michael the Archangel, symbolising brushing away all their troubles. Note to self, must buy broom. XXX

Friday, 26 October 2012

Day 3 - Rhodes

An exciting evening with a tremendous thunderstorm followed by a lengthy power cut and then lights going on and off randomly throughout the night. At dinner we ordered a bottle of red wine (local) On the label it said 'Characterised by its lively red colour'...well, yes, it was red...and today's Retsina for lunch...ahhhh, the delicious after-taste of household disinfectant! I just put in carriage return again, out of habit, though I don't know why I bother really. We were enchanted by the sound of cicadas chirruping, only to discover it was a squeaky bearing in the air con... Today...a strenuous SIX HOURS on the beach and I HAVE caught the sun. Tomorrow we're off on a boat trip to, I think, the Island of Sima, noted for its sponges...not of the Victoria variety, I assume. I'd love to sign off in Greek. But I can't. XXX

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Day 2 - Rhodes

I've decided to post in the evening rather than the morning. More leisurely. I'm really missing my techie boy Tim because this blog will only work at all on HTML for some reason and I can't post images and when I publish it there's no formatting...but, the good sign IS that I don't care very much, whereas usually, I am completely obsessive about spacing and spelling and the LOOK of it all as well as the content! I think all that washed away in the Mediterranean Sea (or is it the Aegean? Shows how laid back I am about this!) Today has been spent being VERY busy sleeping on the beach, reading a very good good I can't remember the title but it's by Sebastian Faulkes and isn't Birdsong...and falling in love with all the stray cats and kittens and having to promise not to adopt one (apparently, an English guest did that last week and has so far paid £400 in vet's bills and she, the kitten, will be flown home at Christmas!) And going to the supermarket to by Retsina but we have no corkscrew. I'll probably use my teeth! And now it's dinnertime and Peter is champing at the bit, so...more tomorrow. XXX

Rhodes - Day 1

Well, I needn't have worried about the food on the plane being made of reconstituted cardboard... There WAS no food, unless you count Pringles, which I don't. In fact Pringles ARE reconstituted cardboard... And I would have been better off being a dachshund with regard to the legroom. Apart from the length of the body. Behind me was a very fidgety old lady. Had she been a child I might have turned round, fixed her with a steely stare and said, 'kindly desist from kicking the back of my seat,' but some how, I couldn't bring myself to do that to someone aged 93. here's one thing it shouldn't do when we come to Rhodes and that is...RAIN. I put it down to the fact that I bought very expensive sunglasses in a moment of airport madness at Gatwick. Very expensive, but still £125 cheaper than the ones Peter bought. Anyway...after a night of torrential rain, thunder and lightning, today has dawned sunny and I'm off to lie on the beach with a book. Sorry no pictures yet. Difficult to post on iPad Also seems impossible to make paragraphs...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.

Here's a clue as to who wrote that...

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
This is me, today.

I sincerely hope that flight number JN2374 from Gatwick, cheap and cheerful though it is, does NOT require me to hang on behind on a sort of flimsy trapeze.

I hope, too, that my mind is released from the tyranny of petty things. That means:
  •  not having to pay extra for luggage that weighs more than half a kilo
  • being provided with a meal that is not made from reconstituted cardboard
  • having more leg room than would only be sufficient for a Creature With Very Short Legs...
Oooh, I'm so picky.

My next blog will be smeared with sun tan cream.

Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off

Ten? More like ten MILLION things still left to do before the holiday...

Isn't it completely crazy? No, let me rephrase that...I AM COMPLETELY CRAZY.

When I woke up this morning I was thinking to myself, "I know what I'll do - I'll work straight through until we leave for the airport at 6.30 a.m. tomorrow morning. It doesn't matter if I lose a whole night's sleep because after that, I'm on holiday for a week."

It doesn't matter?

Well, it bloody well SHOULD matter, Caroline. If you don't take care of yourself...

who else will?

So...I shall be calm, sleep tonight and countdown patiently until...

Monday, 22 October 2012

"I do not really like vacations."

 Robertson Davies (Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist and professor) said this, NOT ME.

He goes on to say:

"I much prefer an occasional day off when I do not feel like working.  When I am confronted with a whole week in which I have nothing to do but enjoy myself I do not know where to begin.  To me, enjoyment comes fleetingly and unheralded; I cannot determinedly enjoy myself for a whole week at a time."

Hmmmmm! I must say that this concern is not at the forefront of my mind for our holiday to Rhodes, which starts on Wednesday.

I am determined to determinedly enjoy myself for a whole week. Mostly lying down and reading a book, whilst possibly sipping retsina occasionally. Or maybe frequently. If the fancy takes me.

My fear is that I am looking forward to it SO much that it can't possibly meet up to my expectations. Oh, and the other fear is that Peter will buy a guide book and will want to take me on a daily tourists' route march.

Happy days!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”

I could get into an argument with Malcolm Muggeridge over this (if he were still alive to have an argument)...which would be me not swimming with the stream.

Live fish swim with the stream but I suppose the EXTRA ALIVE fish swim against it, because only they can.

It's easy to get swept along by the flow of life's circumstances.

Tell me about it...

It's harder to battle upstream.

But here goes...


Welcome to the salmon in my soul. May it never find itself in a tin.

...and certainly never skinless and boneless...

Saturday, 20 October 2012

If I could, I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.

...said Emily Bronte, she of Wuthering Heights fame.

Come on now, don't pretend you thought Wuthering Heights was actually by Kate Bush.

See, Kate Bush is horrified too.

(Ah, happy days! This was the soundtrack of my life while expecting my first baby...)

After a choppy 72 hours, this weekend I'm going to work in silence and obscurity to get some work done before my holiday. Which starts on Wednesday. We're off to Rhodes for a week - the first holiday in the sun we've had for possibly 15 years, I think.

Crazy? Mad? (for working over the weekend) No, realistic. I know I won't be able to relax if I have too much outstanding awaiting my return.

And I very much intend to relax.

Even if intimidated by the size of their pineapples.

Friday, 19 October 2012

"I hate having my life disrupted by routine."

(So who IS Caskie Stinnett, anyway? And what an unusual name! "An American editor and writer as well as a frequent contributor of humorous pieces to the Atlantic Monthly and Reader's Digest.")

At the moment, for me, every day is broken up into tiny chunks by scheduled phonecalls, appointments and other commitments, so I haven't any substantial clear runs where I can really get on with my work. 

A ridiculous thing to say, really, because the phonecalls, appointments and other commitments ARE my work. The thing is, I don't feel I've achieved anything at the end of days like these. I DO feel I've achieved something if I've written an article or a few pages of screenplay or a chapter of a novel.

Note to self: Reassess criteria for what it means to have achieved something.


I could always...


but that seems a bit radical, as solutions go.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go

Okay, a few days ago I said Mark Twain was my number one purveyor of good quotes, then it was Thoreau, now it's Oscar Wilde. They jostle for pole position.

It sounds awfully sick-making for me to admit it, I'm sure, but truly that quote sums up how I strive to be in life.

(Not making people feel happy because I've left their presence, by the way, but causing people to feel happier! )

I think everyone's like that, if they think about it, wanting to spread happiness.  I mean, how many people wake up each morning and think 'I wonder how many people I can make unhappy today?'

                                                                          Demonic laughter, courtesy of Rush619

So here's what to do: Slot as many happy-making acts as you can into your day.

Register them on Little - make a little heart appear on the Google map, wherever you are in the world.

Spread a little happiness!

P.S. You can be totally anonymous. It is NOT about being self-congratulatory. It's about become more conscious of kindness, so that what happens anyway, so often in your life, then begins to happen MORE.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Fate only takes you so far, then it's up to you to make it happen.

Last night, initially, fate only took me as far as just short of East Croydon, where the train stopped for nearly an hour...

Like this only it was dark
James and I, fellow travellers to Haywards Heath, had been so delighted. We'd skipped out of the Landmark offices in double quick time, plenty of time to sprint along Eversholt Street to Euston, take the underground and catch the earlier, FAST, 23.06 train from Victoria Station.

Whoopee! Home just after midnight, for a change. Celebrations! (I used to think being out after 9 p.m. was pretty outrageous)

Until...fate stepped in with a graunching sound of metal against metal.

So - fate took us that far and then it was up to us to make it happen.

What DID happen was good fun instead of gnashing of teeth. Defying the predictable. James and I were, as usual, battling with The Times crossword - online, not the terribly difficult one. Our brains weren't exactly running on full-speed...much like the train, really.

Then the man sitting next to us offered a solution to one of the clues. (which was wrong!) Then another (which was right!)

We were struggling with 12 across - material inserted in fabric to stiffen it (I think) - and suddenly, a woman's voice from up the carriage shouted out 'INTERLINING' (which was incorrect - but it fitted!)

So it all turned out to be a sociable, friendly experience with people actually talking to each other and laughing...on a delayed train...after midnight...when we all had quite good cause to be grouchy.

SHOCK HORROR! People talking to each other on the train? That can't be right.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Do not feed the trolls

 "In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion." 

How extraordinary some people are!

I posted about The Little Acts of Kindness Project on a community forum...

and almost immediately received the most extraordinary response, part of which, below:

"I think it is morally questionable that the primary school has embraced this. It simply reinforces in the children the notion that they should be noticed. This is not the action of a giving,caring, loving individual..."
My response? At first, hurt and angry, if I'm honest. That has now dissipated somewhat to feeling glad I live in my world and not his.
But how to respond on the forum? WHETHER to respond on the forum?
Here's something from Tiny Buddha

From a page entitled '10 ways to deal with negative or difficult people.'

"Temper your emotional response.  Negative people often gravitate toward others who react strongly–people who easily offer compassionor get outraged, or offended. I suspect this gives them a little light in the darkness of their inner world–a sense that they’re not floating alone in their own anger or sadness.  People remember and learn from what you do more than what you say. If you feed into the situation with emotions, you’ll teach them they can depend on you for a reaction. It’s tough not to react because we’re human, but it’s worth practising."

I'm practising! Oh how hard I'm practising...

Monday, 15 October 2012

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants.

"The question is: What are we busy about?" said Thoreau, another of my quote heroes, next to Mark Twain.

Well, today I'm so busy I wrote this yesterday.

It's exciting busy, but sometimes when I've got so much on, it's hard to enjoy it. I'm being too busy worrying about the next thing, how I'm going to get there on time, how I can possibly fit everything in to one day, busy worrying that I'll get too tired - and then...

And then... I enjoy...



Very early. To the yard to feed and exercise the horses. Fun.

From 9. Working hard re-writing a website. Fun (ish)

Late morning. Off to London to be present at the casting for one of my films. Fun. Double fun.

Early evening. Straight down to Brighton to attend a seminar called 'Living Life Powerfully.' (the irony of this doesn't escape me!) Fun.

And so (late) to bed.Less fun.

This is what I'm saying to myself (aside from "Stop your moaning, plenty of people would kill to have a life like yours.")

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The colour purple

The reference highlights for me my serious, contemplative side...

 The Color Purple - the novel by Alice Walker.

I love that book. I read it again and again.I think the use of colour as a motif is one thing that informs and inspires my script-writing. The colour purple equated with suffering and pain - Sofia's swollen, beaten face. The beauty of a field full of purple flowers... contemplative side and now my very silly, superficial side.

Yesterday, I got a new Smartphone. Functional, valuable when I'm travelling and need to keep on top of emails and so on. But was I impressed by all the fancy-pantsy apps and facilities? Nope. I chose it because it was...


Saturday, 13 October 2012

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

I think, if there is one person above all persons whose quotes I've quoted that mean more to me than any other quotes, it's...

Mark Twain.

And there I was thinking that all he did was write The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

So - yesterday, for most of the day, I was completely lacking in energy, drained, at a loss to work out how I could make myself feel any different.

My temptation was to crash out. I tried it for a bit but I didn't feel any better.

Another of life's perversities...

The best thing to do when you're feeling totally wiped out and without the energy to take any actions is to take some actions.

from fiber mixed media
 So I did, and instantly I felt about 103% better and full of vim and vigour.

Life, eh?

Friday, 12 October 2012

Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.

...from Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (a big god, as far as I'm concerned.)

by Marc Simonetti
 Yes...too much time. Well, not too much, but a lot more than I'm used to, having freed myself up from a particularly time-consuming commitment.

So, what do I DO with this abundance of extra time?

I waste it.

There's a quote by John Lennon.

My trouble is, I haven't enjoyed it, I've actually achieved less than I do when I'm so short of time my head's spinning.

Today, I'm left feeling frustrated and fed up with myself.


Life can be SO perverse sometimes.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

On misleading titles

A friend is appearing in a musical called Spring Awakening at the Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, tonight.

Of course, I want to go to support her. I encourage my son and a girlfriend to come along too. 'What's it about?' they say. 'I don't know - but I'm sure it'll be a giggle,' I reply. I book the tickets.

My vision of Spring Awakening - the musical:

or possibly

Oh dear. I hope this musical isn't going to be too mawkish...

So I check, just to prepare myself for possible high cringe factor.

"An adaptation of the once scandalous 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, banned in Germany for some time due to its frank portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide."

Oh, that'll be a giggle then.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

“Taken in any context, except seriously, life on earth is palatable and positively enjoyable.”

...and whoever first said that, apart from me, will have to remain shrouded in mystery, because the author is not cited.

 This quest for a quote about context came from something that was said on my Self Expression and Leadership course last night.

(It's funny how, great though the course is, through and through, just a few words jump out and those are the ones you'll remember forever. Speaking for myself, of course...)

It was the story of the two stonemasons, working side by side, hour after hour, chipping away at great chunks of rock.

One of them was asked 'What are you doing?' and he said, 'Oh, just chipping away at a chunk of rock.'

The other was asked the same question. 'What are you doing?'

He smiled and said 'I'm building a cathedral.'

How great is that?

I'll tell you how great it is.


Now what I could do is to remember it when I'm doing the dusting

...or should I say, creating a beautiful home for my family?

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words."

  I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret."

 Good old Jeffrey Eugenides, person I've never heard of, but for my screenplay writing friends - in 1986 he received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship for his story "Here Comes Winston, Full of the Holy Spirit"
He goes on to say: 

"Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar."

 Love it! So today, this is what I'm feeling:

"The apprehension tinged with excitement and naked fear that attends visiting the West London Synagogue, venue for the big lecture I'm giving on November 1st."

Yeah, a single word doesn't really do it...