Posts Tagged ‘joy’

It’s a family wedding this weekend and I have just finished packing all my bits and bobs.

Being me, I was all sorted, had my outfit ready and knew exactly what I needed until a few days ago when I decided not to wear the planned outfit because it wasn’t flattering…

In my defence a. It’s a wedding so the photos will be seen. A lot and b. Both outfits will be worn multiple times, so neither is going to waste.

It’s nearing three years since my own wedding, so I can imagine how the bride is feeling now.

I mostly remember that calm feeling of the day though, when people expected me to be stressed.

I wasn’t.

Alll that passed and I was just happy.  I hope they both get that feeling; it was perfect.

Because of the associated family gatherings I might not write a post on Sunday – time will be pretty limited and I want to get the most from seeing people we don’t always see!

So for today I will just say see you soon

Happy writing,



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I am back from lovely Northumberland – it was too short a break really, but we squeezed it in between various things and were lucky to get any time away, to be honest.

I said I’d tell you about my theatre trip when I got back so here goes…

The Royal Shakespeare Company have been touring the UK with a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and we got tickets for 23 April, which was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. ¬† The performance has used local theatre groups to fill certain roles around the country, and the performance we went to see was no different.

Except that it was: for the first time ever recorded, a woman played the part of Bottom.  Not only was this historically significant but the part was brilliantly performed by an amateur, not a member of the RSC cast.

The local performers were great – I wasn’t sure when I heard about it how well it would work but for our performance they were brilliant, and had the audience in stitches. ¬†Interesting phrase that, by the way: current usage is relatively modern but an earlier version was used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night, so it seems appropriate!

The staging was completely different from any other version of Midsummer I’ve seen – no trees, forests, flowers but what looked like a bombed out building. ¬†Reading the programme I understood why but it did give the performance a different feel from normal.

So there you have it, in a nutshell.

I find myself reflecting on elements of a performance long after the play has finished. ¬†There is generally one scene or image that floats in my mind and settles into the memory bank more strongly than others. ¬†Sometimes it is obvious why – Idina Menzel rising over the stage¬†singing ‘Defying Gravity‘ was a pretty theatrical image! – but sometimes it is a simple gesture that tugs at my emotions in a powerful way. ¬†The intimate nature of those moments only works in a theatre for me: even when we’ve been in the cheap seats I have felt connected to the scene before me.

One of my earliest live performance memories was seeing the ballet Swan Lake performed. ¬†It was at a beautiful moated castle and although I was probably only about five I can still close my eyes and see (or imagine I see) the shadows of those dancers pirouetting across the stone walls. ¬†It was magical and dreamlike, and it’s the feeling I am searching for every time I see a play, ballet or show. ¬†I think it’s why certain images stay with me too – they reflect that first memory.

We are all inspired by, or brought joy by, different things Рbe it music, dance, football, golf, films, gardens.  What is the same is that it makes our lives richer.  We can be transported to another place and we can be genuinely removed from the trials and tribulations of day to day life.  We can be inspired to try things ourselves: I am sure my am dram life is related to my love of the theatre.  We can expand our horizons.

All that from a couple of hours is a pretty good return on investment, don’t you think?

Happy writing,




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Having been ill, and having had a less than stellar week, I have fallen behind on the work front, and this post is not about writing much at all…

I have a lot to do before the Listening Lunch, and have to get some work done before my next writing group (which was deferred by a week and I’m still behind!) so I’m feeling a little under pressure. ¬†I also have a number of tasks to get done by next weekend that are to do with other events¬†so I should have worked really hard this weekend.

Instead, I spent Friday and Saturday evenings huddled under a blanket on the sofa, with honey and lemon, throat sweets and crisps, watching Strictly Come Dancing.

Here’s a bit of fun for you from Saturday’s show – I enjoyed it immensely, and it was just what I needed!

The professional dancer here is Karen Hauer, a previous World Mambo champion no less.  Her celebrity partner is Dave Myers.  They are being judged in the studio, and being watched by millions Рand they are laughing like drains.  It is unbridled pleasure in what they are doing.

This is what I want to feel when I write. ¬†Whether it’s gone well, or badly; whether the pages are flowing or I am trapped in a cul-de-sac of plot devices, I want to remember this joy in what I do.

I am hoping that next week I’ll get back on track, and that the rest of this year will be a little smoother – but whether that’s true or not, I’ll be watching this video and remembering that joy is about how you approach a task, not whether the outcome is perfect.

In other news – I saw this gallery of Chinese paintings and it’s so beautiful it needs¬†sharing. ¬†I love Chinese art because there is something in it that I find both beautiful and tranquil. ¬†It’s not just the art I find so inspirational though; I have tried to emulate a style of poetry I found in books of Chinese verse (and indeed in the novel ‘The Silk Road’) – I’ve tried twice now and I love the feel it gives to my work.

And finally – writing has barely been mentioned this week, so I thought I’d better introduce it here! ¬†I read this article¬†about people not being able to name authors, and it got me thinking. ¬†Does it matter – other than for the author? ¬†If I’ve bought, read and enjoyed a book, does it matter if I can’t remember who wrote it? ¬†I did the quiz linked in the article and got full marks (for once :-)) but I haven’t read all the books; I read regularly and even if you just take the reading group books I can probably only remember the authors I’ve suggested – even after buying and reading the books. ¬†By all means read authors you enjoy, but that isn’t the only way to decide on a reading choice, surely…

Happy writing – and dance-watching!



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