Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Totteridge & Whetstone Effect

 So it's Day 1 of 90-day Creativity Course and I'm up an hour early, terrible rush. Have to commit an hour a day to the exercises, if possible before the rest of the day starts. Feel rather scared but know I'll calm down later. Terrible crush on London underground - a great crowd of us 'held on the concourse' of the Northern Line.

A Great Crowd of Us on the Underground

The Northern Line's one of the oldest on the London underground, so old that to my Nana's generation it was a euphemism for a certain (actually rather uncertain) method of contraception.  Many a north London gal recalls the elderly auntie's warning, back in the day, 'Be sure that boy gets out at Totteridge, (the penultimate station) not High Barnet (the last one on the line).'

The Elderly Auntie's Warning
Having left an hour early, arrive 15 seconds late at court, where I have business. Deep sigh. Get down to jotting over lunch. Awkward, as the barrister I'm working with keeps looking, but all danger of the Totteridge & Whetstone effect averted. Phew. High five!

High Five!

What we play is life ~ Louis Armstrong

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Last Resort

Today I signed a contract for what my Nana would have called 'The Last Resort'. I'm getting some creative counselling. In case you're wondering what's so strange about that, we don't do counselling much in Britain, even in the year 2013.

Admittedly, we've 'given in' to various practices that would have had my afore-mentioned Nana throwing her Advocaat snowball across the bar - for example, showing lots of soggy emotion, en masse, in public.

We definitely didn't do that, when she was a gal. There was a time it was considered fairly disgraceful to cry at the funeral of someone you knew, never mind at the death of a random but famous stranger.

Not Even at a Friend's Funeral

Nor did we walk such a delicate tightrope when it came to Health & Safety. Today in the Post Office, I was thoroughly reprimanded by a counter clerk because I'd used a staple on a jiffy bag. It could, she said, cause  serious harm and then the Post Office would send me a stern letter, possibly summons me to Court.

A Cause for Serious Alarm
'Reality check,' I replied, 'are we sure we're not exaggerating just a teensy bit?' However, by this time she was eyeing the sign which says 'WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ABUSE OF OUR STAFF UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES' so I left.

Anxious About the Weather
Don't even get me started on the weather. Ever read Charles Dickens, or George Eliot? All those sturdy little British types marching through snowstorms to reach the local hunt ball, at which point they damped their petticoats so as to show off just that bit more sturdy bosom for the likes of Lord Byron. Last Saturday, the venerable BBC contained a weather report in which a weatherman told the nation he was anxious - yes, anxious, about the coming thunderstorm.  Twitter was alive with anticipation and rightly so, because when it came it was - well, a thunderstorm.

Nana's Snowball

Anyway, I've nothing to report at present on the subjects of tear-jerker funerals, Health & Safety or weather, but I hope to be able to confess, shortly, that the Creative Counselling had me turning out fresh projects at a speed of knots. Or not. Watch this space...

You can find out about Creative Counselling here