A blog about living in Corfu, Greece, and living in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada; getting older and enjoying the perspective it gives you,being grateful for family, finally having time to sort out the photographs in the boxes under the bed, and having the freedom to flirt outrageously with younger men.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
BLOGGING IN THE NEW YEAR
New Year’s Eve – this year in particular it feels rather like this
Where do we go from here? Well we cannot go back, we can only go forward. But it does feel rather like being poised over the abyss. We just have to make that leap of faith.
Many of us are looking into a future that holds none of the certainties we have come to take for granted. For the first time in many, many years, I am without paid employment to look forward to.Being told that my services are no longer required has been a huge shock.
My first instinct, as always, was to put pen to paper, though of course that is now an anachronism, and in fact I simply switched on the computer and opened a Word Document.
I started ‘scribbling’, as I have done on so many occasions in my life. I find that writing is therapeutic. The result is this blog.
As I am sure you know, the verb ‘to scribble’ comes down to us from Latin – scribere, meaning to write. Somewhere along the way, scribbling came to mean hasty and careless writing or drawing. Now that I have reached a certain age, I can’t even read my own scribble, and I recently threw away reams of paper on which I had written down thoughts and feelings and plot outlines for stories, articles and novels. I felt that if I can’t read them, no-one else will ever try. What a waste - or was it?
I ‘did’ Latin at school by the way, was very good at it, and I have found it echoing through any subsequent acquisition of language skills. Now that I am going to have so much time on my hands, I could take it up again.
‘Why’ I hear you asking. Why not, I reply. Keeps the brain healthy, like doing crosswords and playing Mahjong, and completing those fiendish puzzles that look like crosswords but have three letters displayed (usually j, x and w) and leave you to fill in the rest. I've thought about learning calculus too. Or car maintenance.
Today’s blog is an example of what happens when you have an active brain, time on your hands and nothing pressing to do. In my case, I scribble.
My first serious scribble was a novel. Perhaps we should call it The Novel. It covered pages and pages of scrawl and scribble, and was stored in an old black suitcase under my bed. I was writing the novel together with my two best friends from grammar school, Gill and Roz, and we spent many hours on it. The hero was a divinely handsome Greek slave called Dimitri. He was the much mistreated slave of a high-born Roman matron, and was constantly falling foul of events from which we had to invent dramatic rescues. He had black curls, was lithe but muscular, had golden limbs and green eyes.
I must have had a crush on Victor Mature at the time.
This teenage dream actually materialized once during my life – too late I fear, but this teenage fascination with a Greek slave clearly influenced the outcome of the rest of my life.
I continued to write; won a competition run by the great Art Buchwald and had a piece published in the New York Times. I wrote an article about Corfu that was published in The Lady. As you can see, I have been a real high-flier in the journalistic field.
I used to entertain my work colleagues with rhymes, written to order for birthdays and special events, often accompanied by a little cartoon.
Later still, living in Corfu, I started a monthly column for our English-language magazine, The Corfiot, in which I adopted the persona of Auntie Nora, a harridan employed in the travel business with few good words to say about anyone or anything. I suspect she was my alter ego.
Enough of the rambling reminiscences. We must look forward, not back
But standing, or, in my case, sitting, at the threshold of a new year always makes me introspective.
Many people have pronounced words of wisdom on the New Year, amongst them Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde, Ben Jonson, Ben Franklin, Benjamin Disraeli, T.S. Eliot and Oprah Winfrey. Oprah?
Oprah said: “Cheers to New Year and another chance to get it right”
That’s good enough for me. I wish you all a Happy New Year.
You could do as the Greeks do, and pin a sea-squill up on the front door for luck!
Two would be better - every little helps, as that irritating Tesco ad says!