Tag Archives: Happy

I’m So000oo Unstressed

29 Oct

I had a great week!

*

Monday

A stressbuster workshop.  Ommmmmmmm…

We were given a lesson in basic meditation.  Not sure it’s for me because the only people I know with third eyes appeared in Total Recall, but the deep breathing tip really helped:

Nasty bus driver?  Breathe in…breathe out…

Unexpected bill?    Breathe in…breathe out…

Hub wants his dinner?  Breathe in…hit out…

*

Tuesday

A.M.  Seven poetry books arrived from Amazon, thanks to my lovely friend Early Bird, who sent me a gift voucher.  I was able to buy collections from poets I love but can’t usually afford.  Thank you, EB!

Seven books for one reader!

Seven books for one reader!

P.M.  The dentist.  Ummmm…not what I’d usually consider a pleasant experience, especially when x-rayed teeth are involved, but I was so relieved to learn there is no infection in my mouth that I count the visit as the highlight of my day.

Every student bar needs the perfect setting.

Every student bar needs the perfect setting.

Wednesday

A trip to Sheffield.  Ecky thump!  No one told me how pretty a city it is:

Such a pretty view...

Such a pretty view…

A third of it is under the Peak District National Park and there are four trees to every person.  Spud loved it.

We toured the campus… i.e. the city centre.  Also one of the two student villages – there was a sports bar with a huge TV, which Spud took as a good omen.  We had our picnic lunch in the Students’ Union (voted No. 1 in the UK).  Everyone was lovely, friendly, helpful.  I loved it.

We had time to kill between events so we visited the museum:

DSCN2264

The highlight of Spud’s day was the visit to the Psychology lecture theatre.   There were about fifty people in the room, half of them prospective students; Spud was one of just three males.  Apparently, it’s more popular with girls than boys; though all of the top Psychology people cited by the (female) lecturer were men.   The professor gave a fascinating talk, which left me half-inclined to enrol myself.

Spud came out of the room with a huge grin on his face.

Mum: Did you enjoy that?  I think you’re really going to love it here.  The course sounds so good.

Spud: Did you see the ratio of girls to boys??

*

Thursday

A.M. To the doctor, to discuss test results and why I’m chronically knackered this year.

Doctor: menopause menopause menopause

P.M.

Earl Grey Tea in a fancy place in Manchester, with the stickiest, ickiest table I’ve ever been adhered to.

 

Click photos to see original links

That was followed by Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and a funny, rip-roarin’ romp of an afternoon.  Sam Attwater, former soap star, a winner of Dancing On Ice, can act, sing, dance and ice skate.  I’d never have married the Hub if I’d known the perfect man was out there.  I just needed to wait fifteen years.

Dinner at Café Rouge.  Yum, yum and triple-yum is all I can say.  Oh, and hic.

Thanks go to my lovely friend Louise, whose birthday treat for me it was; and who was also fifty this year, so it was a double celebration.

Thank you, Louise, for the wonderful, wonderful day.

*

Friday

Ender's Game experience

Ender’s Game experience (Photo credit: Todd Awbrey)

Ender’s Game opened.  At last at last at last!  How have I managed to go twenty years without a movie of my favourite book?

Contrary to expectations, I didn’t hate it.  I enjoyed it.  I’d have liked a lot more Battle Room scenes but there wasn’t the time.  The Battle Room itself was fabulous.  Asa Butterfield was good.  Harrison Ford almost made me believe he can act.  Great stuff all round.

There were some changes, naturally, but they worked, for the most part, so I won’t complain; but I did agree with this critic that the

overly dry script feels like it’s trying too hard to cram everything in, yet still feels insubstantial. The key character beats are all there, but because you move from one to the next in the blink of an eye, there’s no sense of character evolution – one minute Ender’s a raw rookie, the next he’s an accomplished leader and saviour-of-humanity elect.

Richard Edwards, SFX

By the way, if you think you’re going to see Harry Potter meets Star Wars, you’re not.  Read the book.

*

After the cinema, I shared my final birthday gift with Spud and Hub: a £20 Nando’s voucher from my good friend Alison (who also bought me flowers on the day; as well as a meal and a trip to see Ghost the Musical).

*

In conclusion:

A great week; a great summer; a great way to turn fifty.  Thank you to everyone who made it happen.  Old people don’t come more blessed than me 🙂

I Feel Like Dancing

18 Oct

The first rule of self-promotion is to keep your audience in the loop, so here’s me being loopy:

The first edit of Apartheid’s All Right If You’re White is finished!

You know, my book of poetry memoir about my time in South Africa during and after Apartheid.  Pay attention, people.  How can I self-promote if you’re not listening?

I say ‘first edit’ but it has been edited to the nth degree.  The first poem was probably written about 1992.  My skills have improved a little since then and the poem is probably quite different to how it started life.  Poems are never finished; they are simply polished to the level of my ability.

The poems first appeared in public on a short-lived blog dedicated to them.  I added the memoir for context.  That would have been that but Viv nagged me to gather and edit them for publication.  Her reward is to critique the finished product.  Pseu is also being punished.  Thank you, ladies.

I feel like dancing because it has taken about six months (and twenty years) to get this far.  Summer interrupted; visitors interrupted; new sheds interrupted; illness interrupted…i.e. I did anything but work on it.  

I write, therefore I procrastinate.

My intention was to self-publish, as you know, but Viv insists that I first try submitting the collection to unwary publishers.  Look out for a slew of despairing posts on yet another rejection.  

I write, therefore editors assassinate.

Once Viv and Pseu have done their evil but essential work, I will re-edit and begin submitting.  Look out for my next post on the subject in 2014.

*

I might as well get all the poetry stuff out of the way in one post:

You may remember in the summer I had three poems displayed on the Bolton Arts Trail.  All of the poems on the trail have been gathered together into one anthology.  Look:

I was excited to find one of my poems was first in the anthology – that’s never happened before.  It was dumb luck, of course: the poems are arranged alphabetically, according to the name of the shop in which they were displayed.  

I’m a writer; I need dumb luck.  And a little dancing.

In fact, that’s what I did when my edit was done: I put on some Mango Groove and gave it some wellly around the living room.  And I’m going to do that every time I complete a book stage.

%d bloggers like this: