To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.
Kirsty had no idea why Monica insisted on the annual event. Christmas was a busy time as it was. Monica’s dinner party obsession had started in the third year at uni, just after she’d met Daniel. Now Dr. Reynold-Bowles. It was Kirsty’s little joke to rearrange the order of the last few letters on any card or gift-tag she ever gave to Dan. The post-graduate dinner parties had been a great way of meeting people, but now, two decades later everybody was married, with children. Everyone, that was, except for Kirsty.
Monica will have invited some other outrageous single friend and wear herself ragged playing speed dating cupid all ruddy night. Kirsty decided as she gathered up her skirt to manage the step up, this would be the last year. What all couples failed to realise is that being single is fun. It isn’t a substitute or disease, it is a status that needs no appeasement. She wasn’t worried, she didn’t want children anyway, so she had a good decade left to find Mr Right and enjoy her amazing life along the way. Kirsty was a firm believer it in happening when she wasn’t looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to… like a mugger she thought, smiling to herself and catching the driver’s eye in the mirror. He smiled back.
‘Anywhere special?’ he asked pleasantly.
Kirsty looked down at her skirt and pearl embellished jacket, ‘Yes, fancy dress.’ she chuckled to herself.
‘Oh.’ the cabbie replied uncertainly.
Kirsty rolled her eyes, ‘it’s my friend’s annual dinner party, she fancies her chances as cupid!’
‘You don’t sound keen.’
‘Don’t get me wrong. It’s sweet and all, but honestly I don’t know where she finds them. There are two types of single in my book, those that want to be and those that have no choice. She dips into the pool of no choice a lot, I think they are her mother’s friends sons or something. Never my type. It’s painful.’
The cabbie laughs ‘so why do you go?’
Kirsty stared out the window at the snow and thinks about that question. ‘I don’t really know.’ she says honestly, as no answer sprung to mind.
‘Well the roads are bad tonight, so your prayers may just be answered.’
Kirsty didn’t feel comfortable talking to cab drivers, she preferred silent journeys where she could think about things and get lost in the dark world behind the window. Tonight she was being treated to a snowstorm brewing. She felt as if she was inside a snow globe.
She murmured a noise of agreement and hoped the driver would take that as the end of the conversation.
He did for a few miles and then he piped up again, telling her his name was Ian that he was divorced and had no children. He told her about famous people he’d had in the back of his taxi when he was working in London. How he had moved up here for the quiet life. How that was just a myth he thought now. He asked Kirsty so many questions that she was oblivious to how personal they were getting.
It was half an hour into her ride when the roads began to get really slippery and Ian stopped talking to give his driving his full concentration.
Ten minutes later he was outside the snow globe desperately trying to dig them out of a snow drift.
‘It doesn’t look like I will be going any further.’ he told Kirsty, ‘I can call for a 4 by 4 taxi or something. I would wait with you.’
‘No it’s okay.’ Kirsty replied. ‘Do you think you can get us out?’
Ian was back in the cab explaining that the road ahead was far too treacherous to manage and that he had no choice but to turn back before the snow fell any heavier. He apologised, rather unnecessarily as Kirsty hadn’t wanted to go to the dinner party anyway and explained that she was his last passenger. Ian seemed eager to get them back safely, he didn’t chat much on their way home.
Kirsty thought a lot about fate and men and Christmas, she even dosed off at one point and woke up to a dull pain in her forehead from leaning against cold glass.
When she got out of the taxi, Ian refused to take any money for the fare. He claimed not reaching ones destination made it devoid. Seeing his full face now Kirsty realised how attractive it was.
She went in and made herself a hot chocolate in her favourite big mug and collapsed on the sofa. Sometime later she was about to get up and get changed when the phone rang.
‘Hi…. it’s Ian, your taxi driver.’
‘Oh hello,’ Kirsty replied her eyes darting around the room for anything she may have forgotten.
‘I hope you don’t mind, I took a look at the dispatch records and found your number.’
Silence on the line, he went on.
‘It seems a shame that you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go and wondered if you maybe… fancied popping out… for a drink or something-it-doesn’t-matter-if-you-have-got-changed-or-if-you-don’t-want-to go…’
Poor Ian, Kirsty thought, he sounds so nervous.
‘Yes’ she replied needing to put him out of his misery quickly. ‘Yes.’
She hummed to herself as she brushed and re-styled her hair. What was it she always said? Love will happen when you’re not looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to. Well calling a taxi earlier on she had never imagined. Not in her wildest dreams.
This is un-edited – posted in a hurry – I will come back and tidy it up soon. Taxi/ Cab & tenses…
I thought I would manage a post a day for Jenni’s Blogtember challenge, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I have decided as I missed so much of last week and the first few days of this week I will dip in and chose those that appeal to me and make a montage of Blogtember The Missed Bits.
I have been quite busy this week getting life in order. I have another interview tomorrow and more exciting writing life news to share. For now I am leaving myself the updates to link posts tomorrow night quickly and easily. If you are a fan of Blogtember then pop back tomorrow night for all my catch up posts.
I missed the Blogtember post yesterday as I was busy with an interview and also I was thinking about how to approach my self portrait.
Initially I was going to treat you all to a bit of hand-drawn artwork but I have decided on a montage of words and images.
Friday, September 13: A self portrait
is at the centre of my being, I believe it is the only way to map your journey here.
when you are on the right track the breeze will carry you, I travelled on God’s whispers to a new place.
A place where adventure settled in the centre of my heart
I yearned to discover more of the world. I found beauty in small things and realised that the road I was to choose was not paved with Gold. In fact, it was not paved at all. This soul was meant for rougher terrain. Unspoilt by man. God’s Country.
Like an unexplored ocean bed it is my new territory that I have opened myself up to discovering.
Life is too short to wait, I only hope I am in time. I now know that this is what I look like, truly. This self portrait of mine.
Playing with layout (same images, text amended)
is at the centre of my being,
I believe it is the only way
to map your journey here.
From Stage to Page,
I took my first steps
opened my wings
when you are on the right track
the breeze will carry you.
I travelled on God’s whispers to a new place.
A place where adventure
settled in the centre of my heart
I yearned to discover
was not paved with Gold.
It was not paved at all.
My soul was meant for rougher terrain.
Unspoilt by man.
I hold the pieces together,
the invisible construction
There is more to me
than what you see.
A layer of me running deeply,
Hidden from myself for years.
As I take these first leaps
Into unchartered waters.
Half way through my lifetime.
it is new territory
I have opened
Life is too short to wait,
I only hope I am in time.
I now know that
is what I look like,
This exposed self portrait of mine.
I know it is cheating really to do a daily post and then not fill it in daily, I was just so tired when I finally got home last night. I even rain checked a night out with friends because I knew I was too tired and needed to prepare for my interview today. That’s why I am in here. Getting everything up to date – because the next time you see me will be on the flip side…
Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
WOW – that’s a big one. I don’t think either have changed me (other than being even more conscious of my body issues) but they have both changed the way I live my life.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND ME
Firstly let’s deal with social media – as with the rest of the advances of the 21st century, I dug my heals in and refused. Seeing it as another global tracking devise and being very jealous of yet another multi-millionaire twenty something! Dang! Why hadn’t I thought of that! (Because I was still letter writing with stamps!)
I resisted signing up to all of them – then my friend moved to Australia and after a few emails she begged me to join up as for her it was quick and easy to update her travels – we could all see she was safe, well and happy and she could communicate with all her friends back home en mass. It was a nice idea because some of us knew each other and once that common thread has gone, lives drift… we have all stayed in contact (if only online!)
So my social media self was born – true data – true image – not pretending to like sports or be anybody that I wasn’t. Before long the friends requests were filling up and I loved collecting all the people of my past circles of life. Like butterflies. School friends, now living all over the world, college friends, thesbians, dancers, Uni friends, teachers, my mum’s friends who I called ‘Aunty’ growing up…. relatives (all over UK – this one I find lovely – we are a close knit family but tend to see the wider family only at big functions) because they are all on my friends list, I get to see their lives and read all the in between bits, leading to lively and closer conversation than the good old days – when you would spend the whole party repeating the last 12 months of your life story to any relative willing to listen!
And because we have family all over the world and I have friends all over the world it is a great way to stay in touch. And I wouldn’t be without it.
I have so far managed not to advertise which one it is… but here are the downsides too;
- I once spent a whole summer obsessed with my beautiful farm!
- It can eat hours up like minutes.
- You have to train yourself to be disciplined (I could facilitate a workshop on this one!)
- You can get requests off people you never liked in the first place – awkward.
- You have to censor yourself…
- They OWN your photos?!
I didn’t use any other Social Media, until… a friend and I went to watch Eddie Izzard – life dream – so random and funny… only took 15 years to catch a tour in this country. Before the show he had screens of tweets … we signed up the next day so we could tweet the audience of the next night’s show.
I don’t often update my twitter account – I spent 11months without accessing it at all. I regularly link blog posts through twitter and love the way completely random followers get involved.
In my former incarnation as a full time teacher I had no need to network or create any business stream through social media. As a freelance writer that is the next thing to incorporate, I know that I will be creating a website and it is tempting to open a 2nd Account using my full name as the business network. (For clients and /or fans!) 😉
I think the weirdest moment with social media was walking into the small town library for public access computer use and all 22 machines were in use and on a particular site… the demographic of the users was mixed and I was like – Oh my – the whole world’s on it!
Now my blog has changed my life. It has helped me focus on this new chapter (which was the original purpose for starting one!) I still cannot believe all the years that have passed that I resisted or even feared starting a blog. I don’t know why. I ran a website for 3 years that was open to a whole community of writers. I guess until I stepped back into my writing skin I had no theme or reason to blog about!
I love everything about blogging.
I love chatting so it stands to reason!
I have been inspired by so many people I have ‘met’ through blogging, I have learnt so much, I have ordered books and looked into authors and found out about publishing opportunities. I have shared my heart and soul and sometimes my writing.
It has been fun … and the only slight worry is some note in the general managing area that suggests WordPress has a limited life span and I am already about 7 years late…
apart from that I have no concerns about the future of this site – it is growing as well as my farm a few summers ago 😉 and I am on it and in it for the duration of my 16 year Olympian challenge!
Of course, by then technological advances will mean we don’t even need to type we can just think our blogs onto the internet!
This is a hard challenge as I have only recently started to shop online. Other than booking flights and travel I tend to use Amazon for most other things (by other things, I mean books!)
So I thought about my favourite stores and products, here’s a selection:
Shabbychic Wood Blackboard £18.00
Beautiful wooden black board with a soft distressed finish.
Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
I graduated university where I trained in Performing Arts, I dreamt of becoming an actress. I worked as a Performance Poet and started writing for small shows. I was in theatre productions, earning equity rather than working from it. Life was tough. I rented a house, I could barely afford the weekly food bill. I took up a full time retail position with a photography firm (vaguely arty) and earned less than I had at 16. I was unhappy.
The thick skin required for a life in the Arts was something I had not grown very well (see my ENFJ type -post from yesterday… sensitive) https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/blogtember-9th-september-day-5-johnny-depp-is-my-type/
also I was good, dang good, at home I was one of the best so had no need for the thick skin. Directors loved me, people wanted to cast me, it was all good. Here in the big city I was a tiny, eeny, weeny fish and their were plenty of actors with equal talent and all seemed ready and willing to stab me in the back. I retreated from the spot light and sourced solice in my notepad. It was at this point I decided to be a writer. I was 21, I had been published as a poet throughout my teens in small press, magazines and print anthologies.
This dream was a sudden one.
I was fully passionate and enthused and signed up for creative writing classes at the local Adult college. It was a great course! Divided into modules covering different genres and with facilitators who are actual practioneers in their field. Writers, radio broadcaster, journalists etc. invaluable. It stood me in great stead. Every ‘tutor’ encouraged me in their genre and recognised my talent, for my ego and my mind this recognition equalled the reality that I could write anything for anybody.
Shortly after this (months) I was still struggling with the artists life (a penniless one) such a long gap between publishing and royalities. I was working as a penniless freelance writer when I came to the same bridge (crossroads) as JK Rowling! Her Harry Potter manuscript was her final attempt at making it as a writer, her next plan was to train to teach … we were both in need of the same thing, money. Just enough for a roof, look at us now – she went right, I went left. Not that my ideas or writing was anywhere near Harry Potter, but…
Still we both got what we wanted, and decades later I REALLY have it, beautiful house, wonderful partner, regular salary, lifetime job…
I am at the crossroads again – this time I am turning RIGHT, listening to my creative spirit and stepping into the writers shoes. It isn’t always that you get the chance to revisit a turning point. I tried the one road. I did it for a long time. I can still use the skills and make some income from it. But happiness… that is found down the road to my right, whether I make it to the final destination or not.