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Rememorabilia…

July 22nd, 2010 Comments off
My oldest saved memory...my fifth birthday.

My oldest rememorabilia...a gift I received on my fifth birthday. A Wade figurine made in England.

There’s a seaside bookshop in Suffolk that always has several cardboard boxes of cheap books outside. I always stop to have a nose. The other week I found a 1914 edition of three of Henrik Ibsen’s plays one of which was A Doll’s House. I’d read the play several times about twenty years ago, but I could only remember that the play touched me…not what happens in the play or how it ended. My memory of the story seemed to remain with my last copy which most likely ended up in an Oregon seaside dump along with most of my other books and childhood treasures. In my minds eye, I can see the mountain of garbage. Screaming seagulls, white against the gray sky, fighting over scraps of discarded food while deep underneath never to be seen again are my precious memories.

Have you ever noticed how objects seem to magically store our memories? Lose the object that reminds you of the memory and the memory can fade until its lost in the mists of never-happened-land. There’s something powerful about objects we imbue with a memory. I’ve always valued memorabilia. As a child of about eight or nine, I found the school memories book my mother had bought for me when I was five, and finding it empty I collected the important papers I’d kept from my previous school years and put them in my book. Over the years I continued collecting. I still have the contents of that memory book. My diaries and other important paperwork went home in a special box. My regular diary along with my early stories and drawings survived, but my Literary Diary (which I’d kept from 12-26) had no obvious value to my mother so it went into the trash. My Literary Diary was an important list of memories I’d attached to books. Now the only books I can remember reading before 27 (when I started a new diary) are the ones that really stood out. This is probably not a bad thing. If I can’t remember reading the book, then it probably wasn’t part of a significant moment in my life…or was it? I’ve no idea. I can’t remember. Read more…

Categories: I've been thinking Tags:

A gorgeous end…

July 21st, 2010 Comments off


I woke up early after a muggy night and rolled out of bed to put the trash out. Once outside it was so much cooler and pleasant than inside the house I stayed outside to weed the garden and pick up all the trash that had blown into the yard over the last month. I even washed the front door. I don’t know if the large spider survived, but the door looked better without so many cobwebs. I can’t figure out why the spiders keep making webs on my front door. I use it nearly every day. (The web weavers spin their energy on webs sure to be torn before their finished while the flies escape into the house to torment me. I spent £2.49 on fly traps…I’ve caught one fly.) I knew today would be stressful because I was expecting a package. I end up caught in a mental loop of “Will they find us? Will they leave my package on the doorstep of the other house in town with the same name? Will it come broken? Will it be the thing we ordered…” Yes I’m paranoid and I couldn’t go back to sleep. After coming back inside I opened all the windows upstairs and spent the rest of the day intending to go back to bed, but I didn’t.

The package finally arrived around 4:30. A half hour later the Goblin decides he needs something for the computer and wants a chocolate milkshake so half asleep I get in the car and we drive off to Peterborough. By this time I’m so tired my legs feel full of sand. We had an unhealthy fast food dinner and as we weren’t far from Fotheringay (where Mary Queen of Scots lost her head) I asked the Goblin if he’d drive me over so we could see the landscape in the setting sun…I assured him it would be romantic. He’s such a lovely goblin! He muttered that I could climb what I wanted, but he’d be staying in the car. We got to Fotheringay and there was a giant fat cloud hanging overhead so the landscape looked flat and dull. I told him the fat ugly cloud had ruined my plans and to drive on, but if he saw any wheat fields with the setting sun on them I’d be very happy if he pulled over and let me take some photos. We weren’t far from Apethorpe when he said…we’ve never gone this way…let’s take this road. Read more…

Categories: I've been taking photographs Tags:

A comment I couldn’t make…

July 13th, 2010 3 comments

This morning I wanted to make a comment on the article in the New York Times ‘Accepting that good parents may plant bad seeds’ by Dr Richard A. Friedman (a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College of Manhattan), but there was no comment box. I wasn’t deterred; I have a blog!

Dr Friedman writes, “For years, mental health professionals were trained to see children as mere products of their environment who were intrinsically good until influenced otherwise; where there is chronic bad behavior, there must be a bad parent behind it.”

I can’t help, but think that most people who go into the mental health profession (if they were taught this and believed it) must have predominantly been either only children or from very small families who didn’t regularly go to church and interact with numerous other whole families over any length of time. I have six siblings. I’m the second child, the oldest daughter. Every week we went to church and interacted with a  group of families. I knew the families as a small child into young adulthood many of them in public and private spheres. People have always fascinated me. Over the years I watched and listened; I know good parents can have bad children. I know bad parents can have good children. I also know that good parents aren’t always as good as they think they are. Read more…

Categories: I've been thinking Tags:

And in your crypt you’d keep a…?

July 12th, 2010 Comments off

When we woke early yesterday it was already hot and our brick house was the proverbial oven with the unpleasant addition of a few flies who continued to mock the ugly dangling sticky traps we hung the day before. I’d just started working on Dancing the Maypole when the Goblin came in to inform me he had the urge for one of his favorite burghers in Solihul (about twenty or so miles north of Stratford Upon Avon). My characters were left mid sentence for an air-conditioned ride. Having reached our destination, while we waited for our food I casually mentioned that since we’d come all that way for a burgher, would the Goblin feel up to driving me somewhere I could take pictures? (He’s been unwell so I didn’t want to pressure him.) He said he’d manage a detour home so I was quite happy to traipse around in the heat on a full stomach looking for a casual sun-hat for the Goblin. The only one he liked was £40. (Who said you can’t spin straw into gold?) He decided not to get it and I sighed in relief as I didn’t like it and we were soon back in the car. When he took the turning South to Warwick and Stratford Upon Avon my first thought was, ‘Warwick!’ As we approached the turning to Warwick I said, “Ooh Warwick! I’d love to go there…I read about in my Medieval book they have some medieval effigies…” I don’t think he heard me. When the Goblin drives…he drives! Read more…

Categories: I've been taking photographs Tags:

Progress…

July 1st, 2010 4 comments

Sometimes progress is a small pile of pencil shavings. It might take a stretching of the imagination, but you could change the world with a freshly sharpened pencil. You could use it as a weapon and put out the eye of an attacker. The villain starts wearing an eye patch which engenders sympathy and kindness from strangers and soon makes friends with people who aren’t remotely villainous. He (though it might be a she) reforms their evil ways and goes to clown school where they meet someone in need of pirate Vaudeville act. The villain takes along his pet budgie and is such a success he’s soon a TV star making millions of people laugh. An unhappily married couple watch the show and that night make love instead of war. Nine months later the woman gives birth to the person destined to discover that rocks are the untapped energy source which will make oil redundant. All because you sharpened a pencil.

Yesterday I finished reworking Chapter 26 of my book, Dancing the Maypole. All I have to show for four weeks of effort is a small pile of shavings, but I have great hopes that my sharpened characters will keep telling me how their story unfolds and soon I will finish a book. My book might then make someone laugh. That reader might have a good day and impulsively befriend someone who’s shy and lonely who’s then emboldened to start a disco club for shy people Read more…

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