Where did you get YOUR imagination? Blog post revisited :-)

Leave a comment

007

 

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

Wix blog post dated 21st January 2012:-

 

Where did you get YOUR imagination?

In light of the recent traumatic events that my family have suffered, it’s a slightly more serious post this time. I can do serious just you see if I can’t. Don’t worry it won’t last long I’ll be back to loopy quicker than you can click your fingers. Hopefully, quicker than you can hit the back button!

I have wondered at it many times before but, with the shocking news that my sister and niece were on the Costa Concordia when it hit rocks and ran aground, my thoughts suddenly marveled at the complexity of the mind. Exploring all the possibilities of what could be happening to them when all contact was lost got me thinking, where did I get my imagination? There will be heaps of biological and psychological research on the matter but this post isn’t intended to be academic, it’s just a bit of a muse that’s all.

So, is imagination genetic or the product of experience?   

Taking a look at my two children, I like to call them Chalk and Cheese, it is clear that there must be some genetic link to the power and depth of thought. I have a very vivid imagination but, unfortunately, fantasy is not always fun. The ‘What if syndrome can play havoc with your plans, your decisions, your mood, your dreams and in some cases even your life. I have suffered frightful recurring dreams that I can remember way back to when I was five. When I am stressed I dream that I am awake and it often takes quite a few ‘awakenings’ to get me back again. I dream in colour and, for anyone who wondered what it was like to hit the bottom in a falling dream, it REALLY hurts! I have had doctors sitting on my bed, wardrobe doors flying open, huge hands trying to smother me and Hitler declaring that I am his Eva Braun. My imagination has been cruel at times but of course it has also led to good things, like the writing of twenty-four books and the publishing and sale of one of them. I intend to bring more of my work into the world but I shall build my house of creativity just one book at a time. There are a multitude of reasons why someone might decide to write but for me, first and foremost, it was about liberating my mind and finding a decent voice to channel it through.

Although genetics probably play a big role in imagination I believe that it is life’s experiences that have the greatest impact. Life threw some pretty difficult things my way when I was little and at the age of ten a momentous shift occurred, challenging everything I knew and relied upon. Despite trying to control things with quirky little behaviours, I couldn’t physically alter a thing. With all the internalised emotional turmoil I ended up doing badly at school, education really wasn’t important to me, and I made some pretty bad choices along the way.

Fortunately, as I turned eighteen, my life was about to shift again. I was about to find something stable, secure and enriching. I was about to find a decent job. I managed to get an interview with a legal firm (don’t ask me how, I haven’t a clue) but although I didn’t feel in the slightest bit worthy they offered me the job on the very same day. Luck was on my side for once. I’d left a lech of a boss behind (good riddance) and I was eager to start working on the mental health and criminal law cases that awaited me. The work was often fascinating and disturbing and I loved every minute of it. That firm changed my life and helped me to see that I was capable of more. With the firm’s support and encouragement I graduated with an LLB Law degree in my early twenties and went on to complete solicitor’s exams.

So now that you’ve got it what are you going to do with it?

Thankfully my children have had the most stable upbringing a child could possibly hope for and should, by rights, demand and that makes me feel incredibly proud. I’m doing something right. On reflection, would I trade the traumas of my own life when it has helped me to develop my debut novel? Probably not, and it’s a good job too because I can’t. All of the above, the genetics and the experiences, are part of me in the same way that my novel is a part of me. Poker Face isn’t just a young adult story with crossover appeal, it is testament to what can be achieved if you put your mind to something and, when I say your mind, I literally mean just that.

Poker Face is about a young girl that leaves school with nothing. A girl who has to fight to survive in a world where everyone and everything feels so much bigger than she is and, I have to say, I know how that girl feels. Ruby Palmer was created in my imagination and I don’t know if that was as a result of genetics, experience or some other thing but what I do know, for sure, is that I love her and I am very glad I found her.

Go, Ruby, go!

Thanks guys and take care from me. Jess 🙂 x

 

I have the equivalent of Scotland Yard on my laptop! Blog post revisited :-)

Leave a comment

007

 

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

Dear all,

Look, I’m still going! [eye roll] I’m still finding stuff to talk about! [groan] It’s amazing what you can put together when you sit down for long enough and make yourself do it! [bite your tongue and don’t say a word, unless you have something nice to say there’s always the back button].

Well first things first, the biggie celebration of the year, Christmas! We had a very good Christmas and, unlike most years and many of the people I know, we missed being ill this time! Yay! I do currently have a pain in my chest that’s been there for days but I figure it’s better than a pain in the butt, so I‘ll live with it. I probably pulled a muscle…unwrapping…my…new…laptop! Yes, you read me correctly, I actually got a shiny new laptop with no viruses on it, no junk and no missing keys! I think that has to be the best present I’ve ever had. Many thanks to the man who calls himself my husband, I love you big time! I was also presented with the mother of all security to load onto said new laptop to ensure I experience no more hiccups or desires to beat inanimate objects. I have the computerised equivalent of Scotland Yard ready to arrest and bang up anything that shouldn’t be trespassing on my mobile workstation.

On to the book, Poker Face. It sold very well on the run up to Christmas and I’ve already had some fantastic reviews on what people have read so far. One reader (that I don’t know) declared that they’d read it and loved it in just 24 hours! I can’t ask for more than that. Amazon managed to make it look more popular than it has been by suddenly declaring that my novel was out of stock! I wish! I was tempted to ride with the inaccuracy but thought, one, it might put people off ordering and, two, it’s not very true, it’s not even a little bit true because…basically…it’s a lie. I contacted them and they promptly put it right. They are good people at Amazon, they know their stuff and they work quickly, I like them.

On to the website, I can now welcome New York and Spain as well as many other towns and cities in the UK to my website hit-counter, hello New York and Spain and many other towns and cities in the UK, it’s lovely to have you! All being well 2012 might be a crazy busy year for Poker Face. There is a huge promotional drive in the pipeline, running the length and breadth of the country and I am scared it won’t happen. I am equally scared that it will. I feel like Bob the Builder ‘Can I do it?’ I bloody hope so! It would be an awesome experience and brilliant for the series too so, once again, it’s a waiting game. You get used to waiting as a writer – six weeks here, six weeks there! OK so that’s not true, when you’re a writer and an Aries you wait because you have to but you don’t do it with any pride or decorum. You rant and rave, fold your arms and tap your feet whilst constantly hitting refresh on your email and nipping to the letterbox to see if that blinking post-woman has been yet! Basically, I just need some more responses and as soon as I know my little adventurous plan has enough support I will be able to share it with my beautiful readers. I so want to blurt it out but I’ll resist the urge to spill and sit on my hands instead.

OK so I’m off my hands now, it’s impossible to do that and type, don’t check I tried already and believe me when I say it’s both impossible and a little bit dangerous, especially if you are perched on a stool. Unlike millions of others, I skipped the January sales this year…just like every other year of my life. Actually I have been to one sale, towards the end of the discount frenzy. I was dragged into River Island in my teens and was shocked to find items of clothes in various states of destruction. People had literally ripped the arms off of tops, torn the hems on skirts and smeared makeup on collars and cuffs. It looked like there’d been a dirty protest. The garments had been through a tug-of-war where nobody had won, the clothes had given in first. Anyway, never again, I’ve stayed away in fear of my personal safety or being spotted in something that somebody decides they quite like. You could end up leaving naked from these places. Some of these shoppers would steal the Next top right off your back! Word of advice, if you are brave enough to go in, make sure you’re wearing fantastic underwear because that might be all your wearing when you come back out.

Right I need to get on with polishing Poker Face II so I’m going to round things up now other than to say this post started before the New Year and as I conclude it is now 4th January 2012!!! Happy New Year!!! Bang! Bang! Pop! Whizz! Whoop! Whoop! That’s my attempt at reconstructing a New Year’s celebration, that being better than my actual New Years experience which consisted mostly of ECG monitors, scans, journeys on hospital beds and wheelchairs. Man I know how to see the New Year in. A potential diagnosis of clot on the lung or mini heart attack was the worst New Year’s Eve I have EVER had, and believe me when I say I’ve had some pretty bad ones! I am pleased to say that what started out as potentially life threatening and incredibly sobering (not that I was even a little bit drunk) in fact turned out to be anemia and lack of oxygen in the blood. My New Year’s resolution is, therefore, don’t spend all day writing and not eating (other than to drink tea and eat toast) because apparently your heart doesn’t like it and lets you know by making you collapse and scare the life out of your husband! I’m on the mend now and I will definitely be taking much better care of myself in the future, wake-up call duly noted and acted upon.

Apparently, even suspected heart attack and clot on the lung couldn’t stop me! OK I’m not itching for a rematch if you’re listening God! I am still being good like I promised I would be if you kept me alive, I’m even going to bed in a minute!

All the best for 2012 and if you have any plans or wishes for this year, I truly hope they happen.

With love from me, Jess X

 

A thank you to the NHS and the amazing people who work in it! Blog post revisited :-)

7 Comments

007

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

From WIX 31st December 2011

 

Dear all,

This is just a mini post as there is something here and now I would just like to share.

I would just like to say that the NHS and the people who work for it are awesome. At the end of 2011 I collapsed twice and couldn’t breathe. I spent the day in hospital having scans, ECG’s and bloods, while the professionals feared I had a clot on my lung or a heart attack. Everyone who took their turn at looking after me, breaking difficult news when the ECG said there was something wrong with my heart and the nurses who administered care were exceptionally talented, and I was especially thinking of them as the New Year came in.

If I’d had one I would have raised my glass to the NHS staff who got home in time to celebrate before 12am that night, as well as to the ones that continued to work through all of the fireworks and singing to look after those less fortunate than me.

The hugest thank you to all the people who watch over us day after day.

With love from me, Jess, X

 

Poker Face Launch Party! Blog post revisited! :-)

Leave a comment

007

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

From WIX 26th November 2011

 

The Poker Face launch party!

 

I have a huge thank you to make to all of the people who attended, helped out, wanted to come but couldn’t (and left fab supportive comments anyway) the weather (that might have been freezing and windy like you wouldn’t believe but kept from snowing or raining) the drivers who got my deliveries to me on time and the companies that dispatched them just like they said they would, to the print company that put all of the elements of a book together and made it look fantastic (on a stupidly short time scale) to Ivan Waldock for the cover design that makes the book look so beautiful, to the decorations for going up like I wanted them to and not falling down and to all the people who have bought a copy of my book – THANK YOU!

Right that’s my speech, speech bit done and, I have to say, it’s much better than my wedding one. That went something like this: “Thanks to everyone for coming. We appreciate the effort and lengths that some people have had to go to to share this beautiful day with us.” That’s where I should have stopped, not too bad you’re thinking, except that I didn’t stop I went on…and on…and on. “Some people flew…some people didn’t. Some people had to drive a long way…some people didn’t. Some people walked…some people didn’t!” Ugh shoot me now! Give me time to put words to paper and I can knock up something not too bad, but ask me to try and think while I’m speaking and I panic. I’m going to mess up, say something offensive, babble, bore and torture with my verbal impromptu use of the English language…and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

Anyway, I held it together for the party after successfully keeping myself from doing a runner when the first four guests arrived. Once I got through that bit and started chatting the time literally flew by and I handled it all quite well…for a semi agoraphobic person! I had one Malibu and coke to settle the nerves and not being a drinker (I probably have about four a year) I would usually go full circle in 45 minutes with the heavy limbs, giddiness, giggles, red face, loss of all spatial awareness, drowsy, weepy then sleep…and it doesn’t matter where. However, on this occasion, I handled the alcohol well (anybody could have been forgiven for thinking I was a grown up) and I survived and lived to tell the tale.

Good friends joined us after for coffee and toast, huddled around the breakfast bar (we are like soooo sophisticated) and my earlier headache returned. I insisted that I would never sleep so I made my husband put The Inbetweeners on DVD and I was out like a light within twenty minutes. Unfortunately the underlying stress manifested itself into horrible nightmares and I crashed our heap of a car into a really expensive one (with the driver still in it), my son was sick everywhere and the mafia didn’t like my story and came to get me. I woke in the early hours feeling really sick with a pounding head and just a touch of panic attack. I refused to do any more launch parties or publishing ever again. Four hours later someone in America bought my e-book and suddenly I started to feel capable of considering well…maybe just once more then. Having babies was a bit like that for me but I definitely plan to stop at two where that’s concerned!

Anyway, people enjoyed themselves, the atmosphere was great and the children loved it. Sunday night my son told us how proud he was of his mum and said he would like to get both me and his dad a gift. “Daddy,” he exclaimed “I would like to get you some moves.’ We looked at each other and thought we’d misheard. Had he gone all American on us and started calling films movies? Was he confused and struggling to explain himself? We scrunched our noses like it was sweet and encouraged him to go on, to tell us what he really meant, but that was what he really meant. “You know,” he willed us to understand, “Moves. I would like to teach dad some moves…so he can dance.” Oh how we laughed! (OK in truth Oh how laughed.) My husband had just been dissed by his seven year old son and I think it’s very funny because, last week, apparently I was boring. Ha ha ha!

So, back on track, the books sold very well and the comments are already coming in on the first few chapters. I can say at this stage I am still happy and nobody has demanded to have their money back…yet! They can’t have their money back anyway because dancing lessons cost a blooming fortune and, according to my son, we’re going to need quite a few! The launch also provided some very good contacts so I’m keeping my fingers crossed at this stage, which is very difficult when you’re trying to type.

The books have been born and sent into the big wide world and for the foreseeable future it’s all about the promotion. At the end of last week I opened up a Twitter account and I have 4 followers and not a clue as to what I‘m doing. My youngest brother-in-law helped me to set it up and said, “Right, you’re ready to go. Just harass famous people and ask them to re-tweet you.” So that’s what I’ve been doing and guess what…yes…they all ignored me! Anyone would think I wasn’t the only one bombarding them with messages. Twitter is not as easy as Facebook in terms of ‘making friends’ (the Twitter equivalent being to attract ‘followers’). If you’re feeling low about yourself then Twitter is probably not for you. Opening up to find only 4 people care about what you have to say, (and 2 of  them probably followed you by accident) and everyone you messaged has ignored you, is quite soul destroying. Almost as soul destroying as submitting your work to agents only to be continuously rejected. I’m familiar with that one too. On Facebook you can make a friend, look through their list of friends to see who else you know and poach them. Before you know it you have hundreds of people you can connect with and, more to the point, they interact with you. On Twitter you stare at a blank search box and thinking I know lots of first names but the only people’s surnames I remember are famous, and we’ve established that they aren’t talking to me! I might give up on Twitter. I do have a slightly obsessive personality but heavy stalking isn’t really my kind of thing. I think it would need to be for me to get anywhere with the re-tweet thing.

Finally, as a last little shout out, I would just like to let you in on a story about my good friend who works in a cafe (that serves fab bacon butties and pukka cups of tea). She is steaming ahead with the sale of my books right now. I am genuinely wondering what her sales pitch is, but I’m guessing it goes something like this: “Here’s your jacket potato, Sir. Can I get you anything else to go with that – extra cheese, tuna, a side of coleslaw or perhaps a copy of Poker Face?” I am half way through my collection of books and I’ve not yet had them a week! I no longer need to worry about my home looking like Rodney and Del boy’s flat! Keep it up, Heather. How you’re doing it I just don’t know but what I do know is, I’M LOVING IT! X

Cheers for the support, and for reading my little rambles, and take care from me.

Jess x

PS I stuck with Twitter and it’s turned out to be pretty awesome so, if you’re just starting out, keep it up. I’ve met some fantastic people, had opportunities to appear on other people’s blogs, been nominated for awards, carried out interviews and shared experiences. If you  need a hand getting started, give me a shout. My Twitter button is to the right of this screen…I think…yes it is…I just checked 🙂

Stand and deliver…Blog post revisited :-)

Leave a comment

007

 

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

From WIX 17th November 2011

 

Poker Face Amazon

Dear all,

OK, so I promised myself that I would keep blogging away on a weekly basis and I have failed this week but, in my defence, I have been a little bit busy. Let me update you.

I have sent my work off to a print company and it is currently being printed, bound and boxed as I write! Unless something self destructs Poker Face should definitely be ready in paperback format by 26th November 2011. Do I deliver on tight deadlines or what??? As for the e-books, they have beaten the paperbacks to it. By the time you read this post, Poker Face will be available on Amazon for Kindle and many other devices and, as if that’s not a huge buzz alone, it will also be available across the world. I am like soooo excited!

This was a mission I must confess and to make matters harder my laptop is officially crap! Every time I ask it to do something it needs to prepare itself, psych itself up a bit, think about it, mull it over, weigh it up…and then eventually it disconnects from the internet and pushes me that little bit closer to insanity. I wonder when I’ll start laughing and not caring anymore. Or maybe I am and I just haven’t noticed. I better keep a record of the time, any unaccounted for lapses could be an indication that I’ve been singing or dancing in public.

Emotionally it has been very hard at times, trying to pull myself in so many different directions. Just a few days ago I went looking for reassurance from my daughter (big mistake). She was playing with her dolls (they have American accents – how did that happen, she’s just turned four! Quite good they are too!) I asked her; who is more beautiful, mummy or Barbie? Do you know what she said? Hmmmm yeah don’t pretend you don’t know what she said. But I bet you can’t guess the reason why Barbie is more beautiful than Mummy. No, it’s not because she has great assets. No, it’s not because she doesn’t have a mark on her body or any hair on her legs. No, it’s not even because her legs are long or her hair is blonde and perfect. You are frowning now and wondering what on earth could it be that gives Barbie that edge?  Here it is, brace yourselves, it’s because her arms go all the way round in a big circle without her having to turn her hands! How can I compete with that? Even plastic surgery would fail to bring me up to that standard of womanliness!

As if that’s not enough, this week my son told me I’m boring. No matter how hard I try I am never going to live up to the 360 degree lifestyle their dad offers them. I’d say they have probably spent most of their young lives upside down! I need to work on a more exciting way of serving meals, cooking, cleaning, doing the school run, trips to the park, Wacky Warehouse and sweet shops, whilst fitting in a bit of writing here and there! Clearly I’m not doing it with enough enthusiasm. Bless him he does feel guilty for saying it…now. I forgive him.

So, anyway, I have a party to organise with a mafia theme and I’m looking forward to that bit. I’m avoiding picking up my proof of the book because it’s already gone to print and I know I will spot an error and then beat myself up over it. I must keep myself busy in other ways. I think a very good place to start is peanut butter on toast and a nice cuppa. In a strange way I feel like I can relax, everything is out of my hands now save for the promotion (that I’ve got my son doing as a punishment for calling me boring). Kidding, I haven’t, but he’s very excited and keeps telling people, like his teachers at school, we are having a book launch party and you can come if you want. I have told him it’s not his job, he doesn’t need to worry about it, he’s young, free, and should be wearing that damn sandwich board I made him!

Right I’m off and the next post will probably be me acting like a child, sitting on the floor, refusing to put my dress on or do my hair because I can’t face all the people I have invited to the book launch. They might ask me something and I will probably crumble! I can shout from the rooftops for other people but, for myself, I can’t even climb the ladder! People say to me ‘Wow you’ve written a book! What’s it about?” I respond with “I don’t know, sorry, better go my son is holding up traffic with his sandwich board.” Perhaps I should spend my tea and toast time researching how to sell myself. Probably better not type that into Google though.

See ya guys and take care.

Jess x

 

Tick Tock! :-) Blog post revisited :-)

Leave a comment

007

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

28th October 2011

Dear all,

The time has come, blog 3!

When I started this blog business ohhhh…two weeks ago now (she says distantly like she can only just recall that very first click of the ‘post’ button), I made a promise to myself that I would hit that post button at least once a week. Ugh who pressed fast forward on the remote control of life? No, seriously who did it and can you please just press stop…or pause…or something! Anything but play or fast forward would be good because while writing this I only have two days left to keep from breaking my promise and nothing seems to be funny anymore! This is catastrophic because, unfortunately, I don’t know anything useful or knowledgeable and so I can’t part with any pearls of wisdom. That’s why the blog is supposed to be funny! OK breathe, count to ten and start again.

This right here is blog three and, as you might be able to tell from my opening rant and ramble, things are hotting up a bit, well actually quite a lot. So much so in fact you could probably fry an egg on me but I’m not saying that out loud else my husband will try it. He’s very practical minded. My current position is this; I have declared to a small fraction of the population (I like to refer to them as my friends and family and their friends and family) that my book will be available to e-books via Amazon at the beginning of November 2011. I now have four days to go until the said beginning of November 2011 and I have an 86,000 word novel to read through for like the millionth time and approximately ninety-six hours to get the hang of this damn punctuation business. Oh how I wish I’d listened in English…as well as French, and maths, and geography and…Oh how I wish I’d listened! It’s strange because my theory behind not listening in maths was, ‘When am I ever going to need algebra? For French my theory was, ‘How am I ever going to afford to go to France, I can’t even afford the bus home from school?’ As for English language, what was I thinking? Your guess is as good as mine on this one. How about, ‘When will I ever need to know how to construct a sentence and punctuate it correctly?’ No, that doesn’t really work does it?

So, basically, it’s too late to look back now and I’m running out of time! On Sunday a good friend said to me, ‘Why don’t you self publish and get some paperback books ready for when you upload to Amazon?’ I nodded trying to do maths in my head and failing miserably. I looked kind of like I’d been given some very bad news and I was trying to come to terms with it whilst only just keeping from crying. On Wednesday another friend said ‘Why don’t you have a launch party where the paperback books can be available and then sign all the first copies? The money you make can pay for the first print run and probably cover some of the second print run!’ let me tell you I was excited. In my head I’d opened up my own Waterstones! I repeat, I have four days and it is 4.45pm on Thursday already. I still need to go to Wacky Warehouse before dinner because I promised the kids! Where’s that blinking remote?

I sat down and thought long and hard about what I was going to do yesterday morning and the long, short, thin and wide of it is that I’m going to go for it (not opening my own Waterstones that’s just silly, I’ll never get that done before the end of November! Come on be realistic!) No, I’m going to push back the upload to Amazon to perhaps the middle or end of November but the aim is still definitely for November. I have enlisted the services of my friend, Tracy, today. Poor her! She was the woman I worried sick with my annoyingly laid back and eleventh-hour attitude when she served as my maid of honour. Bless her, I recall that look of shock and the slight protest she made when I insisted on arranging all of my own flowers and bouquets the evening before the big day. She paled when I insisted on decorating the venue the very morning of the ceremony but she absolutely and unmistakably drew the line at preparing the buffet. Try as I might she just wouldn’t budge on that one! I am pleased to say that she has once again agreed to help me, with the arrangements for the launch not another wedding, and I can’t thank her enough. This evening I am also going to try and talk another friend, Heather, around. She has no idea (he he) she thinks she’s coming round for dinner but I’m buttering her up with a curry (not literally that’s just plain kinky and wrong).

I must confess I felt a little overwhelmed for a time yesterday and then I thought…and what about the blog? By the way I’m trying for as many different ways to corrupt and abuse the laws of punctuation so keep note all those avid English language enthusiasts for whom my errors are glaringly obvious. I know they’re there I just don’t know where they are!

In true ‘me’ fashion, and those of you who are friends of mine on Facebook will already know from my status updates, I decided that struggling for time, inspiration and sanity, seemed like as good a time as any to paint my bedroom. I have a book that needs to be ready for publishing in a week’s time and rather than read it and make sure everything is where it should be I decided to do some DIY. It’s like being at uni all over again! Hmmm I have an essay to do, the deadline is in two days, but that kitchen cupboard really needs organising…like…right now! Bedroom looks fab though, deep purple and…some other colour. Looks well sexy! I was really pleased until my husband said ‘that’s brilliant, Jess, I’m really proud look you didn’t get any paint on the floor!’

And yes of those of you who are wondering I did manage to get accepted into a university having left school with only two GCSE’s, an ‘A’ in drama and a ‘C’ in English Literature. Even more surprising, I graduated three years later with an LLB Law degree. Am I a mystery or what? Do I challenge every school of thought out there? Yes I am and yes I do!

As for the blog, I thought why not keep everyone updated of my progress towards the ‘Live November’ deadline, which I have only just labelled my impossible mission.

PS this kids play area I am currently writing my blog in is manic, man! I’m getting a headache. Some child keeps shouting ‘Mum, mum. Look at me. Look at me.’ I wish her mum would pay attention and answer her and then she might stop yelling and distracting me! Oh I just realised she’s my child and if I don’t get her down from the huge pink suspended ball she’s currently hanging from all the blood is going to rush to her head. It’s time for me to go in, in my knee high boots and fairly short dress. I’m so not dressed for this. I think I might get arrested. What’s the sentence for indecent exposure these days, does anyone know? I should know really as I studied law but then, once again, I don’t appear to have been listening.

I know what you’re thinking (no not that it’s rude and not very friendly). You’re thinking I should be watching my children in the play area and I am, honestly I am, but I am also writing my blog at the same time. It’s that or watch the play area constantly being careful not to watch someone else’s child for too long and seem like a weirdo. Alternatively I could read the complimentary copy of the Sun newspaper but I don’t feel much like being panicked into believing that aliens have just landed and they are now trying to claim benefits unfairly. Neither do I fancy being made to feel inadequate by the newsworthy spread on page three, just my roast chicken on a Sunday can do that. I’m sure those birds have had work done you know. They regularly feed five adults and six children on a weekend at my house, people would go hungry on mine!

Anyway, enough about chicken breasts and page three models I have a book to publish. Let the countdown commence!

Take care from me,

Jess x

Come on! Let’s get honking! Blog post revisited :-)

Leave a comment

007

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

Dear all,

I messed up! Guilty as charged! I was supposed to be going back to the very beginning of my blog, Lock Stock and Barrel, but it seems that I jumped from my first ever post to my sixth ever post and so now I’m getting it back on track. The following post was supposed to be the next in line but, it seems, ‘Two for the price of one’ pushed in. sorry about that!

21st October 2011

Here it is, my second ever post and it’s all about honking. I hope some of you can relate.

I have done a few things in my time but there are still a lot of things I haven’t done. I must confess I am a bit of a scaredy cat (OK so I am a lot of a scaredy cat, but I have my reasons). Anyway, recently my husband and I decided to take a trip by scary Eurostar (derailing under the sea rates about number 4 on my ‘Worst Ways to Go’ list) but I was feeling brave so we went. I handled the tunnel very well, considering how wrong it is, and we were sat on a table of four with a couple who had recently married. They were lovely and taking their first break away together, a long weekend in Brussels. We chatted, they shared their food with us, they laughed at how freaked out I was about tall buildings, staying in a room above the 7th floor, travelling full stop and the possibility that I might starve to death because I couldn’t speak the language.

So, in conclusion, the Eurostar was pretty great, our travelling companions were great and I would definitely do it again. However, when we reached Brussels I was tired, it was dark, I didn’t know where I was and I’m not too hot on French. At that point I began to regret having spent most of my secondary school years sitting with my feet on the table singing the theme tune to Only Fools and Horses whilst checking out the fit lad on the desk behind…who incidentally was not checking out me!

We left the station and joined a taxi queue, the kind that you would expect to see at 3am on a night out, except it moved much quicker. I never would have had time to finish a bag of chips or a kebab (if I liked kebabs, which I don’t, but it’s just an example so you get the idea). Taxis were crammed about five cars wide onto a roundabout as they edged bumper to bumper to get closer to the people standing in the queue. When it got to our turn a man jumped out and shouted at us “Get in! Get in!” as if a tornado was about to strike and he was going to save our lives by giving us a lift…to our hotel. Suddenly he stopped and checked us out like he’d thought better of it and we had the following conversation:-

“Where are you going?”

“Sheraton, S’il vous plait,” we confirmed. He threw his hands into the air and gasped like we’d said, ‘to the moon and back and make it snappy’.

“That is too far! In this traffic we will get stuck. It will take ages. No I can’t take you. It will cost you 20 Euros! You want to go or not?” We looked at each other, smirked and agreed to pay the 20 Euros to take a journey that took us only twenty-five minutes to walk back a couple of days later…with our luggage, blisters and a broken toe.

Once in the car we weaved our way off the roundabout and moved into more traffic, braking suddenly and beeping the whole time. I must admit I was shocked. When I looked to my left and saw a car full of men staring back at me that we had only minutes before honked at I slid down in my seat out of view. I wondered whether it would seem rude to lean into the front, right across our driver, and slam my hand down on his central locking system. He beeped at people who were sitting for too long at lights, people who cut across the lanes and I’m sure sometimes he just beeped out of habit because I couldn’t see anyone doing anything wrong…but then I was on the back floor of the car hiding. I couldn’t see very much of anything.

I don’t think I need to tell you but despite my concerns we made it to our hotel in one piece and lived to see out a romantic weekend. But as I woke the morning after our taxi ride, twenty floors above ground level (again very wrong), with the windows open (don’t worry we couldn’t fit through them. I checked) I soon became aware of the combination of sirens and horns living in harmony with each other. In truth by the end of the weekend I was getting used to hearing them, and when I woke very early on our last morning I felt reassured when the silence made way for the tune of a busy and beautiful city.

What struck me upon our return was how quiet London was in comparison. There was still the noise of traffic, building, shouting and the occasional beep but other than that it was peaceful. I concluded, therefore, that the reason the beeping was so shocking to me was because I’m not really used to it. I haven’t been exposed to it on a regular basis. Usually beeping one’s horn fits into four categories as far as I’m concerned (1) Trying to point out that the lights have just turned green – but usually after waiting a while to see if the driver notices for themselves (2) To say Hi to someone you know (3) You’re passing a picket line and someone’s holding up a banner that says ‘Honk your horn if you support us’ and you do or (4) Because someone is so impatient or damn rude that they think it’s OK to bully people into doing what they want them to do from the safety of their own car. Thankfully people who fit into the fourth category are fairly rare, but if I do happen to fall victim to one of them it stays with me for hours. I rant about it to everyone I know and I just can’t seem to let it go.

When someone intimidates me my instincts kick in and I want to cut in front of them, slam on my brakes, pull their door open and throw them into the ditch, while ranting something that rhymes with where I’ve just put them and begins with ‘son of a’. Instead I bite my tongue for fear of making matters worse and seethe internally until I think I’m going to burst and I’ve got a headache.

I believe that what I experienced in Brussels was a slant on the first of my categories, giving someone a nudge with an added continental ‘just letting you know I’m still here’ and minus the ‘perhaps if I wait a few minutes they might realise the lights have turned green for themselves without anyone having to do anything uncomfortable’, which leads me onto my next observation; expression. We don’t tend to embrace our neighbours like we haven’t seen them since…oh god…how long has it been…yesterday? Big groups of teenage males don’t tend to kiss and hug like they really do love each other and when someone annoys us we simmer rather than explode. Perhaps if we expressed ourselves more openly and on a more regular basis category (4) people would be less offensive and less likely to be chased and threatened with a crook lock or put in the ditch, even if it is only in my imagination.

We could all beep at each other constantly and to the point that our streets would sound like the checkouts at Tesco the day before Christmas. We could all relax more and say ‘I don’t give a monkeys that I’m still at the lights when they’ve just turned green, you’re not the first person to beep at me, you certainly won’t be the last and for your information I’m checking out the sexy knee high boots in that window, so you’re just going to have to WAIT!’

Take care and safe driving.

Jess x

Older Entries