I am conscious of the fact I haven’t posted on here for a while. I suppose the reason is that because work continues to be pretty tough and unsettling, I am immersing myself in my first (and yes, it will be my only) attempt at a novel. The book has had more false starts than a really crap sprinter, mainly because some of the content is quite difficult, dark, deep and probably quite a few adjectives beginning with “d”. Next year, it will be ten years since I tapped out the first words and hopefully that anniversary will give me enough determination to complete the job.
I’ve resurrected my Desperately Seeking Susan Foreman page on Facebook and all book-related stuff will be posted on there. I’d love it if you had a look and clicked “like”..!
Anyway, after waking from the second of the two incredibly vivid dreams I had last night, it was a real effort to get up, ready and set off for work at something past five this morning. I get recurring dreams, some of which I’ve had on and off for over twenty years, but although other dreams might be totally random, they seem so real and usually result in feeling mentally drained when I should be rested and raring to go – well, rested at least.
Due to the fuzzy head, I did allow myself a few extra minutes Facebook time before venturing into the obviously dark, but surprisingly warm morning air and the first thing I saw was this picture of the Australian twins Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, who perform as The Veronicas. I’ve attached a link to a live performance of a song called Heavily Broken to hopefully demonstrate they are as talented as they are attractive young women. What really impressed me though was the fact that one/either/both had replied to most of the comments posted by fans and will probably have made a lot of people’s day in the process.
My love of music is still strong, some three and a bit decades after The Sex Pistols first turned the heads of a generation. I still listen to new bands, just like I did all those years ago, because it remains my belief that the very best music and musicians are unlikely to be found in the top 40. In fact, I couldn’t name you one song that’s currently in the charts – although I do know a couple of lines of Icona Pop’s I Love It, proving that you can remain trendy despite advancing years!
The biggest difference between then and now is definitely my perspective on the artists. Back in my teens, I would gaze longingly at the poster of Debbie Harry on my wall in the vainest of hopes that we would one day be an item. Now, I have two daughters in their twenties and when I see young performers like Jessica and Lisa, I think: “Ooh I bet their parents are so proud of them!”
Well that’s my official story and I’m sticking to it!
Time to get on, but work and bad dreams permitting, I’ll be back soon.
I’m not sure what both my regular readers think, but I will admit to feeling slightly uncomfortable about the trial of the Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell.
Don’t get me wrong, anyone who has committed crimes such as those of which Mr LeVell was accused deserves everything the British justice system can impose, and whilst I can only assume that the Crown Prosecution Service believed they had grounds to proceed with the charges—they were only on the same balance of probability that Mr Le Vell was later acquitted.
For me, the process must draw into question the strength of a prosecution case, especially for the kind of crime that essentially demands one person’s word against another. To refuse a defendant anonymity —a decision I understand, but with which I’m not sure I totally agree—and attempt a prosecution that is deemed in the public interest is all well and good, but where is the tipping point for the balance of probability?
During the trial, Mr Le Vell’s personal life—his admitted alcoholism and affairs—were laid bare, yet ultimately the jury found him not guilty of all charges: on the balance of probability yes, but not guilty nonetheless. So in the eyes of the Law, no crime has been committed, yet the media vultures were never going to miss the chance to rip away the last scraps of flesh from the carcass of Michael Le Vell’s private life.
But now as one man begins the outwardly daunting task of rebuilding that life (and I'm sure reality will swiftly replace the post-trial euphoria), as well as a shattered reputation, the complainant enjoys the benefit of the anonymity denied to an innocent man—and therein lies my problem.
I’m sure there will be many of you who are far better versed in all matters legal, but to me there seems to be a very thin line between being denied anonymity and a popular presumption of guilt that brings a stigma which even an acquittal cannot totally remove. I would never want to make light of the charges —the alleged crimes were disgusting—but is it really right to retain a secret identity when the legal system has ruled that your accusations could at best not be proven?
Does that anonymity encourage victims to display incredible bravery in revealing the most horrific violations; or can it just as easily offer an avenue for believable fabrications? I certainly don’t have the answers, just concerns...
This may sound strange and it’s hard to explain, but there is always a moment around this time of year when I sense a definite change from summer to autumn. It’s not as simple as the cooler temperatures or the fresher breeze; I actually feel totally different.
For a short period, the sensation is almost one of euphoria—it’s a brief trip back to the innocent days of collecting conkers and kicking a football around the garden. But as the nights draw in, those feelings are soon replaced by symptoms of what is now commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it wasn’t until I was well into adulthood before I realised this had been part of me and my life since my teenage years.
Of all the recognised symptoms, I do feel anxious (hardly something new), and often feel the need to withdraw—I was tempted to say suffer in silence, but I don’t really class SAD as something from which I “suffer”. It’s simply something that I have, and after so long, I have my own ways of coping when the clouds of negativity gather.
Down the years, I’ve tried various supposed cures, although I’ve never gone down the light box route— St John’s Wort probably had the most positive effect, but it doesn’t mix with the other medication I now take, so there has to be an element of recognising the symptoms and just getting on with it.
I’ve heard the condition can have quite debilitating side effects and SAD is now recognised and classified as a type of depression, but from a purely personal point of view, I’m miserable most of the time anyway, no one would probably spot the difference that September brings!
The good news is I’m feeling reasonably strong at the moment. I’ve got a few things on the go that are keeping my mind occupied, but when the darkness does descend (as it inevitably will), I reckon all I need to do is go and find a horse chestnut tree. It might not solve every problem, but surely SAD
is something I can conker?!