Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Love Letters

Vanessa, a sweet soul (Vanessa's Runway) paid me a kind compliment two posts back and then mentioned my possibly writing love letters.

I must admit, I've never written one or a love poem. Received letters and poems? Perhaps. Modesty forbids one from discussing details. The truth is, in my mind, those didn't count, because the emotion (carefully avoiding the word - love) was not reciprocated.

I truly admire people who can profess love through a letter, without knowing how the beloved receiver may react. It is brave, it is hopeful, sometimes it's just foolish. But I would rather encounter an honest fool than a dishonest vagabond. Did I just type vagabond? Alas must be the Browning influence.

Secretly too, sometimes, I peer out from under an emotional hat, wondering what it must be like to love the sender of a love letter. I've never been in love, not even close. I guard my heart carefully and want to be with one person and not waste a lifetime tasting the fall-aways. This may seem quaint and old-fashioned in this day and age, but I'm OK with that. Although I do tend to hear the chorus of "When one has so much love to give it would be a waste not to marry...". People mean well. Yet, one cannot force love, one cannot conjure chemistry or forge true understanding. It is so much easier to be friends than to know who your life partner should be.

So when I come across a love letter, a genuine profession of the beating heart, It moves me, in a sweet sad way that can only be compared to looking through glass at a beautiful sight you cannot touch. Then I close the shutters. And reality crowds in like welcome clouds. I am reminded how blessed I am, how gifted with good people and true love in other ways.

The rose you see above is a love letter. One picked by my father to give to my mother. After decades of marriage I am touched by how sweetly they can share love. In ways I cannot describe here, they bring an example for me to look up to. I also see it in my friends, a couple who have been through so much in a youthful marriage, perhaps the sum of challenges some face in decades and still their strength and faith revives and holds up their love. They are amazing to me. They make the choice to see the good in everyday and each other. I think the best examples of love to me are those who choose to work as a team, no matter what and make it them against life's inevitable tests. Perhaps that is the best love letter, the unwritten, never finished one. Where the pages are years and the words are their actions.

Love is such a delicate beautiful giver, of the heart and the mind. I am reminded that if anyone wants proof of God they need only think of love. I hope you can all take the time to treasure the soul that is entwined with yours today. Feel free to write a love letter, or even share it. This wonderland was made with love. So I guess, these posts are my journey but also, my love letter to you.


Monday, 20 July 2009

Doubles, anyone?

I got double-tagged. A truly lovely compliment from two adorable and bird-like ;) bloggers I admire - Laurel of HappySimpleLife and un bel Oiseau. I first came across Oiseau's ("Bird") blog a while ago and then Laurel's (who shares my adoration of Gatsby); I found that they have a winged obsession in common, remember Laurel?

I adore this award, it's so unfluffy and simple, it's a bit English too, which fits, so thanks! So the rules are, according to Laurel:

I need to copy the logo and place it on my blog (Right)

Link it back to the person who gave it to me (Which? I'll put both)

Pass it on to five fellow bloggers (Gladly)

List 10 things about myself (OK, this should be easy for a relatively anonymous blog)

Before I give my 10, I would like to pass this on to, in alphabetical order and with just one of their talents highlighted:

Anika - Book collector
Will Bryant- Artist/Illustrator

If you have been tagged, then I hope that we can find out 10 more things about you. I'm not sure what to write, so here follows a simple stream of consciousness.

My ten are:

1. I am an optimist with a reality hat on. I see the world as it is but rose-scented.

2. By the age of twelve, I had visited over forty countries. I love travel but have a nesting instinct.

3. I decided to be a writer early on after my love of reading. I decided to be a Filmmaker too aged sixteen after reading Orson Welles' biography by Barbara Leaming. He was a misfit and nothing else fits but film and words.

4. I choose my close friends carefully (sometimes after a minute) but am friendly to everyone. Life is too short and precious to be cold.

5. Last year I was faced with my own mortality. It was a tough time but brought me back to my true course; I quit my current work and decided to direct my own projects. Nothing teaches you more about reality than realising how short life is. I'm fine now.

6. Although I live by the city, I like oceans, lakes and mountains. Nature refreshes me, if I had a choice I would eat facing a view, all the time.

7. I don't drink.

8. I think Africa is the most beautiful, varied and mysterious continent. From Mozambique to Morocco, so earthy and ethereal.

9. I believe in God. My DNA is because of him, I'm grateful.

10. I don't know what to put for 10, I really don't. If you have read my blog and you know anything I can put there then let me know. Good or bad, I don't mind.


Monday, 13 July 2009

Recycled humour, now exporting.

Here is an unusual post from me. I rarely get to catch TV beyond the news and a really good documentary. So I am increasingly pleased with youtube, a virtual picnic of clips you can get in your inbox, choose or drop without having to sit through a precious half hour.

Thanks to them I get to share some new British comedy with you that you may be unfamiliar with. Humour is continually evolving here, but what I adore is that it never loses it's wit, irreverence or more to the point, kind satire; be it towards Churchill or the Church of England - the latter being the church King Henry VIII invented so he could legally get a divorce. Ahem. With that, please enjoy this comedy window with brief descriptions. I'm leaving the best until last but they're all quite good.

The following BBC clip comes from the naughty schoolboys in grown men's clothing known as Armstrong and Miller. This clip is one I like because of the literary references and tongue-in-cheek treatment of manuscript readings à la Byron, Shelley and Co.

We take a brief break from this presentation to bring you the following "advertisement" from Mitchell and Webb. Another funny pair who are rather similar to the above. Sometimes I feel like my country's entire comedy repertoire consists of the grown up antics of former public school boys (public school means private school in England, we call none-private schools, state schools). Happily this advert spoof needs no translation:

We return to regular transmission to
finish with Armstrong and Miller. Their funniest work is the spoofing of British WW2 Films and the stiff upper lipped pilots therein - only the language these characters use is current slangy "London street":

There's a brief foray into some laughs, let me know what you think.


Wednesday, 8 July 2009


I like listening, I adore people who listen without waiting to jump in. Although an endearing talker can make me smile; I'm sure you know someone like that, who is just fidgeting to speak, so you nod and then their words flow like pearls clattering down stairs.

I am slowly realising that there is an art to this life, and listening is another art within it; one to practice and attempt to perfect. Yes, I said perfect. I know we will never achieve that state, being flesh and fallible. Yet while knowing this and being freed from the myth of human perfection, why not aim for perfection? that way you can at least conquer the best you can do and exceed your own expectations.
This applies to listening.

It is also giving: Something to share without asking anything back, something you present, something that makes someone feel special. Listening ticks all of those boxes without coming in a gift-wrapped one.

As a child I was either incredibly shy and watchful, soaring with glee or chatting non-stop with those I felt comfortable with. Not unusual. But I recall listening in order to learn, absorb, soak in. The quiet moments taught me most. The expressions of adults as they pondered thoughts I could not reach, with emotions I could sense as keenly as fire or ice. As we grow older and savour the nuances of a deeper and wiser life, our beloveds have a lot more to say, a lot more to carry and also release.

Listening brings it's own rewards. At first the air changes. Literally. I can feel a tangible peace when someone listens and I listen back. The words that are spoken are absorbed. And still more goes on, we are expressing, "I am here", "I understand" and even "I love you" without having to say a word.

Time is so precious and one of our preconceptions is that we need to fill it to experience it; with speed, travel, music, parties. All of these things are extras, some of them wonderful extras but they cannot replace the gift of time, spent with someone, when you just listen.