Archive | August, 2012

Do the Olympics inspire you?

4 Aug

Proud to be British? With olympic fever grabbing the nation its hard not to be. Watching the athletes compete not just for their country, but for their own personal hopes and dreams, you can’t help but feel inspired. Watching that final push to gold, you feel their desire and it catches you in the throat. What an honour for us to be able to experience their moment.

I have spent time with people recently that perhaps aren’t part of my usual crowd. this has led to variety of conversation, and ultimately talk of where we hope to be in the future. An example of this would be the question posed to me, ‘What needs to happen for you to be ready to retire?’

Ok, so I am only 30 so that is totally a long way off, and maybe somewhat naively, not something I have ever considered. Having at this point in the evening been in receipt of one or two (OK that would be a blatant lie) cocktails, my flippant response was, ‘oh, ok, ultimate dream would be to be featured on Richard and Judy’s book club.’

Now, calm down. It was a flippant response, and I am sure even just to complete a novel would be a nice thing, but for an off the cuff answer, it made me question how  hard am I working towards that?

Woah. I’m not. Not even slightly. I am however, and this is the crazy realisation, working towards my day job.

Whenever I think about my future, my end goal, the point of happiness (like im not crying into my corn flakes each morning but you get what I mean), I am the proud author of a bestselling novel. When I sit down to write each day, I am working on my scripts, my thoughts are consumed by how I can portray my idea within a script, how I will be different, a bit clever, what twist I can add to make it stand out from the crowd.

I am, a script writer. And that is just fine.

But fine is not enough. I can do scripts, I really enjoy doing scripts. I would love to have a script commissioned, but the dream was never to be a scriptwriter. It was always about the novel. the cheesy photo on the back cover, and yes, the well turned dog-eared corners of the pages.

A novelist I may never be full-time, but I can be a scriptwriter. That doesn’t mean I can’t still work towards the dream. It will just be allowed centre stage once I have the day job. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Little steps and all that.

Watching the olympics, I have no idea who these athletes are. I mean, on the first day I had a call saying watch the BBC, your cousins in the rowing race. Really? (fact!) I have not been part of their journey, many I know, have competed in the olympics before, but it never registered on my radar. What is registering is the end of their journey. I feel heartache for them when they go out, and absolute joy when they win. I am screaming at the TV, I’m swearing at the athletes that try to challenge the British (Like seriously, step back guys), I am playing ‘olympics’ in the garden with the kids…I am stealing this enthusiasm and keeping it for my own dreams.

So what about you? are you proud? Regardless of nation (apologies for my step back comment), are you behind your athletes? Can you understand their determination sand apply it to your own dreams?

Taking a side step from your greatest dream is nothing to be ashamed of. I am certain many coaches are supporting the athletes, having never been able to realise the dream for themselves. Side stepping doesnt making you less of a person, side stepping shows you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Self belief is vital for your determination, denial will fail you.

The Witches Coven in the Playground

2 Aug

Today I wanted to share with you my experience of the school playground, as mentioned in Sundays post.

This is a situation, I am sure many of my readers are familiar with. If you have never experienced it, ask your friends, better still ask your parents, they shall share similar stories.

It is a common theme to talk about school run mums. their big cars, their inability to drive, their no nonsense approach even when a bus is blocking the road. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will stop a mum getting her kid to school on time.

First off lets address that issue. It would be a rare thing for a parent to say that they are in that mad dash to get to school because they believe in punctuality. More likely, they are desperate for sanity, something of which can only be achieved once the child has been safely delivered at the gates. I have heard many parents competing in the I have the busiest day conversation whilst their child hangs at their ankles. believe me, when that kid walks into school, suddenly the mum has oodles of time. Trust me when I say trying to walk away from the gates is nightmare. It is, officially, time for a gossip. The dishes are forgotten, the food shopping can wait, as for that cake for the bake sale, well there is always tomorrow.

But who are these mums? What makes them tick?

If only I knew.

The attitude is worse that a year nine group of school girls. the bitching, the gossiping, the dirty looks. I thought we were grown ups. (OK so this post isn’t that grown up but just indulge me)

My favourite group is the ones I call the witches coven.  A group of about six or seven. they stand together, meeting on the road before entering the playground. They do not speak to any others, and huddle in a circle. Even as the kids are ‘set free’ from the classroom, they stay huddled, leaving their kids confused as they do not spot their parents immediately (I stand there waiting anxiously waving like crazy – I am far from perfect, but I like my kids to know I am there).

When breaking from the circle they will look the other mums up and down, never uttering a word. their kids have parties, and it is rare another child from the class will receive an invite, despite their kids always being included as the other mums do not want to be ‘like them’. Whats worse, is several of them send their kids to the parties, without an RSVP, and certainly no present. Is it just me or is that just rude?

I digress.

We also have the ‘older’ mums. many of which at a guess are in their forties. They shy away from the younger mums. Preferring to remain aloof, pulling up at the front gates with their big posh brand spanking new cars. they speak to the other children with disgust, and often tell other kids off in front of their parents.

And now let me introduce you to the professionals. Now this is a classic bunch. These are the ones that are just like you or me, but someone somewhere once told them that because they have a title (and by this I include teachers and nurses – apologies to all for this judgement) that makes them somewhat better than the rest. They do not speak to anyone, not even their fellow professionals. They smile politely, nod their head, but they are in control of everything.

In the playground I visit on a daily basis, we also have the Welsh speakers. they are, the only group that make me feel inferior, and I will explain why. My son goes to a Welsh speaking school. I am English. I do not speak Welsh. Welsh-speaking mums huddle together chatting away in Welsh, and that is fine. Well, it was. I took my son to a party, where all the mums were speaking English. Following the Welsh version of ‘happy Birthday’ the mums started speaking Welsh, completing excluding me from the conversation. Needless to say at this party, I was the only non Welsh speaker. I do not expect anything different, I placed myself in this situation, but it did make me feel uncomfortable.

What makes me laugh about this, is I am judging in my own way. I am just as bad as the rest. Yet when we send our children to school, we teach them not to judge. We encourage them to be friends with all kids. Something is wrong with this picture I think.

So go on then, tell us about your worst experience.

***this post is written tongue in cheek***