Share Your World 2013 – Week 14 &15

The lucky Cee took a well-earned holiday so I thought I wouldn’t have to feel bad about being late by happily adding both week 14 and 15 to the same post.  Goodness, how radical.  Anyway, it transpired that illness intervened in my cunning plan.  Again.  So I am late, again. Luckily for you I can still answer questions (!) so here we go again.

Week 14

If a movie was made based on your life, what actor/actress would play you?  Julia Roberts.  I don’t look anything like her but I love her acting.  Otherwise Sandra Bullock perhaps – she’s often a bit mad in films.

Show us a couple of your favourite photographs?   If you are not a photographer, think of a favourite scene in your life and tell us about them.  Ok, I don’t have a photo of this but one of my favourite scenes in my head is a view from the edge of a beach cafe near where I live where I sat with a cup of tea for several mornings last summer.  The sea was blue, calm and glittering in the brilliant sunshine and the sky was totally cloudless.  All was at peace, even me.

The other is an actual photo: the Rockefeller Center at night.

Rockefeller Center - tourist snap (L Taylor)

Rockefeller Center – tourist snap (L Taylor)

It was taken on my first ever trip to New York and almost literally left me breathless with its size and grandeur. I’m not normally one for buildings so its sheer power surprised me.  But then everything about New York amazed me.  It was all so big, so exciting and so real.  A trip of a lifetime.  Except, can it be a trip of a lifetime if you plan to repeat it?  Either way, this photo reminds me of that glorious late night arrival and my first ever view of this glorious tower.

What do you like most about home?  Being there.

Week 15

What is one of your quirky traits?  I sing all the time (especially when I’m stressed out) and have a weird habit of putting my hand or a book on my head when I’m thinking.  I suspect it is to keep my brain cells in my head.

What has surprised you about blogging?  It is a lot more fun than I thought and I’ve opened up a whole new side of me.  Not as messy as it sounds.

Which do you prefer sweet or salty?  Or both at the same time?  Tee hee.  It depends on the day and the weather.  Salty when it is cold, like a big bag of hot chips (fries for you lovely people across the water) in a paper bag, or when it is super hot but then only for something like olives or salty crisps.  But sweet if I’m grumpy.  Oh, I love all food.  It isn’t fair to have to choose.

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Share Your World 2013 – Week 13

And so to sharing once more.  It has been a tough old week; this time I really do have a real excuse for my lateness in responding to Cee’s latest questions.  More to follow in another post…so you’ll have to check again if you want to find out what’s been going on in my world…cheeky, eh?

What one word describes you best?  Mad.

If you were to treat yourself to the “finer things” what would you treat yourself to?  An interior designer to just get the house sorted the way I want once and for all.  And perhaps an apartment in NYC, a house in the Seychelles or St Lucia, and a wonderful place in Italy (maybe two!) and maybe somewhere to lay my head in Bali.  And a never-ending round the world ticket.  And very early retirement so I can just do stuff that I love.  Ah, bliss.

Is there a language you would like to learn?  Italian.  I have some CDs, I just need to find a break in-between performances to make time to learn.

Your favorite blog post that you have written?  Goodness.  Too many.  I couldn’t possibly choose just one so I haven’t.  Never been much good at decisions.  So here you are, I’ve chosen three:  This is my most read post.  I wish I knew why.  Perhaps we all need space or have a thing for a cuppa.  This is one of those that I am proud of because I’ve tried to embody it in my own life.  That’s a bit deep…  This is the second in my series about directing the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  I love this whole series as it was the first time I really felt I’d found my voice and I was rather passionate about the subject matter too.  I might have listed the final post as that is probably the one I love the most but then I wouldn’t be able to encourage anyone to start at the beginning and experience the build up, would I?

Thanks again to Cee:

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I Give Up

Oh sod it.  I give up.  Today is the day I finally recognised what I’ve tried to put off for much, much too long.  I am a procrastinator.  Give me a task to do and I will happily put it off.  Show me something fun to do and I will find reasons why I can’t.  No more.  I refuse to procrastinate on this issue.

And this is me, refusing.  Instead I am grabbing the bull by the horns.  I am creating ideas.   I am writing this.  Not for you (sorry) but for me.  This will be a reminder of the day when I turned round and said: ENOUGH.  Enough putting it off, enough researching, enough of spending time my closest friend analysis paralysis (I love that phrase) and enough talking myself out of every idea I’ve ever managed to have.

I refuse to be put back in my box.

I will take action.  I will move forward.  I will change.  I will set myself free.  I will live.

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Share Your World 2013 – Week 12

This last week has been full of sinus issues.  You really don’t want to know.  I blame the exciting lifestyle of travelling here and there over the last few weeks.  Bound to take a toll.  And a toll it took.  But, I am on the road to re-recovery now so all is well with the world.

On to Week 12!

When anniversaries of unhappy times pop up, how do you handle them and what makes you turn your mood (attitude) around?  I am extremely thankful in being able to say that I haven’t faced any unhappy times that could be attached to a particular date, or at least my wonderful brain blanks out the dates so I cannot attach them, so I have nothing really to add.  That isn’t to say I haven’t had my share of difficult and unhappy times before everyone goes away thinking I’m all wrapped up in cotton wool.  In general terms, if I feel blue then a good lively song/soundtrack tune or a night with the girls, or almost any time with my other half, will usually sort me out.

Are you a cat, dog, goat or prefer the zoo person?  Dog.  Can I say dogs, plural?  I love them.  Their little wagging tails, their big eyes looking up at you so faithfully, their crazy tail-chasing moments…bless ’em all.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?  That would be telling, wouldn’t it?  A couple of years younger than I am now.  And only a couple.

Are you left or right-handed?  Right, always right.  I was almost tempted to show you my best left-handed hand-writing to prove it…

Thanks as always to Cee for the prompts!



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Spring is in the Flowerbeds

Today I noticed my first daisy and my first grape hyacinth of the year. Why is this significant? It proves to me that, despite the insanely cold weather and the heavy snowfall we had only last week (in Southern England, in March, I know), spring has finally arrived. Oh yes, winter is officially over.

The perfect follow-up to this report would be a pleasant increase in temperatures and the absence of snow, wind and rain, even if only for a few days. It might happen, it might not. Either way I’m grateful for the opportunity to see spring happily bursting forth again today.

Happy spring 2013!

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An Adventure in Paint

[Painting photo]


We all know I am not an artist. I cannot draw. I do not count the ability to form stick men or coloured shapes as an ability to draw. End of. You may remember that I do like splodging great dollops of paint onto paper. Creating color and vibrancy from nothing warms the cockles of my heart and sparks off inspiration and happiness like very little else.

To this end I asked for some canvasses for Christmas. Duly received I quickly realised I had forgotten to ask for paints so out I headed to a craft shop to obtain some. I returned home a few pounds lighter armed with acrylic paints, brushes, scrapers, a practice pad and a painting by numbers picture of hot air balloons.

Hot air is about all I usually end up with. With past craft projects I have been known to rush out to buy “the stuff”, get really into it for about five days and then never look at it again. My half-forgotten attempts at sewing pretty hearts and making up a scrapbook are included. The lucky thing is that I still rebound to them from time to time so the money and effort are not wasted. However, in 2013 I am not letting my limiting thoughts do their worst. I will play with these painting goodies from time to time fully anticipating that I will not create beautiful landscapes but I will have fun with colour and create something vibrant, beautiful and mine. I have no pretensions of grandeur – I just want to have fun. To play. And so I shall.

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Share Your World 2013 – Week 11

Every time I add my thoughts to the “Share Your World” questions, I think to myself how nice it is to be writing.  I even come up with great ideas for another post.  And somehow the time flies by and I never quite get around to it.  This week is another example.  In fairness to myself, I have been travelling a lot in the last two weeks and I suspect that is the real reason.  Whatever the excuse I am disappointed that I haven’t shared more with you.  I hope this little list of thoughts will suffice for now.

If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?    Don’t worry so much about what other people think.  Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  Live in the moment and don’t fret so much about the future, it all works out in the end.  Don’t be ruled by fear.  Just go for it.  And don’t procrastinate about the important stuff.

What is your favourite TV show that is currently on TV?  Doctor Who (well, it comes back on in a couple of weeks and it’s probably on repeat somewhere) or Masterchef.  I’ve said before how much I love Doctor Who.  I won’t go on.  Most of my few cookery skills have been developed after watching the various Masterchef series and I’ve used the flavour combinations appearing on the show many times in my own random dish ideas.  Sometimes it even works.

Jello or Pudding?  And what is your favourite flavor?  Treacle pudding and custard.  There isn’t even a debate.

What is your favourite flower?  Daffodils.  Bright, cheery and beautifully aromatic.  Like little bursts of sunshine bringing in the spring. 



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Share Your World 2013 – Week 10

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are into double figures!  Oh, yes we are.  Unbelievable how quickly time flies.  Admittedly it helps when you are jet-setting around the world and exploring new things left, right and centre.  Jet-setting?  Moi?  Absolutely.

And so to the questions…

If you could be any animal, what would you be?  A dog.  I like food, I like hugs, I like going for walks (especially sloshing through a puddle or leaping in snow) and I like dozing on the sofa.  Happy days.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?  What an excellent question.  This is one I’ve really had to think hard about.  If there was such a thing as a “no speed limit” sign I’d be that for always being on the go and rushing from one thing to the next.  In it’s absence, I’ll be a green traffic light (for “Go, go go!”) or a sign warning of multiple bends in the road (for all the new things I have a tendency to take up and drop at short notice).  Or one of those big signs showing how many miles to the next destination except mine would have lots of exciting places like Rome, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Milan, Mumbai…the list can go on and on.

What was your most memorable birthday?  My 30th.  Oh dear, I’ve given the game away now, haven’t I?  I had a wonderful big birthday lunch with all my family in my favourite restaurant after which my husband and I (and the dog, of course) drove up to the borderlands of England and Wales for a lovely long weekend in a perfect, remote country house with wonderful food and walked miles in the beautiful countryside.

In what do you find the simplest of joys?  Living in the moment.  Watching birds fly overhead.  A rainbow.  The ripples of water on a lake.  Listening to beautiful or inspiring music.  Watching the tide ebb and flow.  Enjoying a plate of beautiful food.  Blue sky.  Chatting with a good friend over a cup or glass of something yummy.  Listening to the birds singing.  The feel of a warm breeze against my skin.  Curling up under a big soft duvet.  I have to stop.  There are too many to list.  You get the idea.

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Find Your Song

Finding your song is not about finding a cheesy romantic song about how you and your partner met, or about finding a song that reflects something about you or about your mood, although that is always fantastic to do. Finding your song is about discovering who you are and then living your own life as that person. Yes, living as the real you with all your hopes, fears, dreams and anxieties. Scary, isn’t it? But, what amazing fun it is to live as you. No-one else can.

“Find your own song
Write your own lyrics.
Find your own melody.
Create your own soundtrack.
Make your own movie.
Live your own life.”
– Patrick Lindsay, taken from “Now Is The Time”

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Decide what life you live

There are times when things get on top of you. When you are bored, tired, disappointed or “fed-up” as any 3 year-old might tell you. In short, you are desperate to make a change to your life. Any change.

Start today. Make a decision that you wouldn’t normally make. It can be as simple as trying something different to cook for dinner. Choose a different route home from work. Make the decision to walk outside your front door, no matter how hard. Call that relative you haven’t spoken to in years. Buy that book on an obscure subject. Watch a documentary if you would normally choose soap operas.

There is no guarantee that you will like it. Life holds no guarantees. But you will have set off on a new path. You will have succeeded in changing the way you live, no matter how small.

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~Flora Whittemore

Open a new door today.

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