In Search Of The Best Daisies

When I saw Teresa’s writing prompt today, I wondered what realistic fiction meant. I think my fictional stories do perhaps veer towards realistic settings. I am not great with dragons and unicrons and the like.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore your creative but not fantastical side and write your best Realistic Fiction tale and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/27/daily-writing-prompt-27/

This little realistic fictional account is very much inspired by the photo Teresa gave us.

Girls, Children, Kids, Friends, Young

Olivia and Saffron walked together towards the edge of the hill, for it was at the edge of the hill where all the best daisies grew. They had no idea of the distress their anxious parents would experience, when it was noticed that the two little girls were missing.

It was Diana, who first raised the alarm that her daughter Olivia was missing. After the service was over, Diana chatted to other members of the congregation, catching up on the friendly gossip that was passed on freely by other church-goers. It must have been a good half an hour before she was ready to head home to feed her small tribe of children.

saffronsThere was no sight of her youngest daughter anywhere. None of Olivia’s older siblings could remember seeing her since the end of the service. While rushing around asking their friends, she realized that Dwayne and Felicia were equally anxious about their young daughter Saffron. They said they had not seen Saffron since she had gone to find Olivia after the service.

The pastor was alerted to the disappearance of the two young girls and quickly appealed for an organized search. Everyone who was lingering at the church was eager to help. Parties of parents spread out in all directions calling out the names of the two missing children. “Olivia! Saffron!” was heard echoing around the streets and parkland near to the church.

It was a whole hour before a young man named Alec came running back to tell the pastor that the two little girls had been found, and that they were being walked back to the church by his wife.

Daisy, Flower, Blossom, Bloom, WhiteDiana, Dwayne and Felicia were relieved to see the little girls. Diana knelt down to embrace her beloved little girl. With tears streaming from her eyes, she cried, “I was so worried about you Olivia. Where did you go honey?”

Olivia seemed surprised that her mother was making such a fuss, “Saffron took me to find the best daisies. We wanted to make daisy chains.” She proudly held up her floral creation, patiently strung together during the last hour.

“Oh honey, you mustn’t wander away like that without asking me. It’s too dangerous.”

Olivia’s face expressed her confusion, “It’s just daisies momma!” she objected.

Diana looked at Dwayne and Felicia. The three parent spoke together quietly. After discussing what had happened, they sat down with Olivia and Saffron. Dwayne began to try to explain their concerns.

Child, Girl, Little, Young, Small, Play“Girls, it’s so lovely that you wanted to make daisy chains. But you must never wander away to where we can’t see you. We don’t want to lose you. Do you understand?”

“But poppa, we wasn’t lost!” declared Saffron, “We knew the way back here.”

Felicia tried to reason with Saffron and her little friend Olivia, “We just want you to be safe. We want you to be happy playing together and to enjoy the beautiful flowers, but we have to be realistic. There are some people out there who do bad things. It’s our responsibility to keep you safe. So when you want to go somewhere, you must ask one of your parents. You are too little to wander off alone.”

Olivia and Saffron sat with their faces blank. Olivia whimpered “But momma, you were talking to Aunty. I didn’t want to be rude when you was talking.”

Diana appealed to her daughter, “Honey, it’s really important that you remember this. It isn’t safe for you to wander away without me knowing. Do you understand why?”

Olivia shook her head. Saffron shrugged her shoulders, “We wasn’t doing nothing dangerous.”

stealFelicia responded, “Oh sweetie, I don’t want you to be afraid either. But you need to understand why we are so worried about you. There are some people who try to steal children. We want to keep you safe. So we need to know where you are. We need to make sure that nobody harms you.”

Saffron suddenly sat up, “Like they said at school. Some people might want to show us a puppy or give us sweets. We have to shout no! And scream really loud.”

“That’s right Saffron. It’s our job to look after you and keep you safe. We don’t want anyone to trick you or take you away from us. So from now on, we want you to promise that you won’t wander off without us. Always ask first before you go somewhere else to play,” requested her father.

The two little girls were holding hands as they skipped along towards the car park.

isa“It’s really sad when you think about it. They are so innocent and full of dreams. It’s such a shame we have to warn them of all the dangers out there,” lamented Diana.

Dwayne sighed, “We have to be realistic though. These are dark times. There are some very sick and twisted people out there.”

Felicia was thinking about everything that had happened, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring our children up in a world where there is no one who would commit such evil acts! I would love for the girls to grow up without fear. Like that passage the pastor read from today:

The wolf will reside for a while with the lamb, and with the young goat the leopard will lie down. The calf and the lion and the fattened animal will all be together. And a little boy will lead them.

The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull.

The nursing child will play over the lair of a cobra, And a weaned child will put his hand over the den of a poisonous snake.

They will not cause any harm or any ruin in all my holy mountain, because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of our Creator as the waters cover the sea.”

Jack Crying On My Shoulder

This might sound daft, but I had the chance to actually feel I was being supportive of Jack during a stressful experience he had recently. It was not long before he went away that he had a very emotional situation explode on him.

support.pngHe helps a lot of young lads from pretty mixed up backgrounds. Something terrible happened with one of the lads who has been doing really well. So sad. Huge loss for Jack, to see someone get involved with trouble and crime again. So sad. It upsets Jack to see someone he has come to care about and has invested so much time and encouragement in, make such a silly decision.

Jack is such a gorgeous person. He cares so much. I saw Jack in tears when he heard what happened. I loved being the person he could turn to for some loving words. I loved being the shoulder he could cry on. I do love being with him. I love what he does. I love he man he is. I am so glad that he and I are close again. Well…right now there is a big distance between us because of his current assignment. But we are in touch every day.

In A Parallel Universe…

HH1Being in Hampstead always makes me thoughtful. It is a place I associate with wonderful happiness, but also traumatic events from the night I was attacked. While we were walking their dogs across the Heath (a place which is particularly poignant for me), I chatted with my friends (Liam and Holly) today about everything that has happened with Jack.

I looked at Teresa’s prompt early this morning before I went up to Hampstead for the day:

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to explore the flipside and write your best Science Fiction Alternate/Parallel Universe tale and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you.

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/daily-writing-prompt-26/

I interpreted this as the kind of scenario from the Gwyneth Paltrow movie “Sliding Doors“. My head is too heavy to make up a tale, so I have opted for more bad poetry! My awful poetry is steadily advancing from worse to worse!

Street, Pavement, Urban, Building, OldThe picture Teresa supplied us with made me think of the cobbled lane where I crossed paths with Jack late last summer. I remember coming home that day and writing about it in this post called That Was Me. Within a fortnight, Jack made contact with me. I wrote about that too, I Will Never Ignore My Phone Again, and the rest is history.

But I asked Jack a question during one of our deep conversations. I asked if he had not seen me that day when we both happened to be on the same cobbled lane in North London, would he have called me. He said no, he wouldn’t have. Seeing me reignited his desire to heal the breach, to end the silence. He had wanted to for a long time, but as silence persists, things become more awkward.

estFor a long time, he didn’t know how and when to contact me. I had changed my phone number, I had moved several times, I had stopped using my old email address. I had asked those of my close friends who knew my contact details not to give them out and not to tell Jack where I was living. But after seeing me that day, he went straight to Liam and Holly (who I was with today) and told them how he felt about the silence between us. Liam and Holly gave him my number. I am glad they did, even though I had previously asked them not to.

Anyway…sometimes I think about that film “Sliding Doors” and how things may have ended up very differently. What if Jack and I had not been on the same cobbled lane that day? What if I hadn’t have changed my plans? What if I had been walking along that lane five minutes earlier, or five minutes later? I have expressed some of my thoughts in the terrible “poem” below!

In a parallel universe there’s another me

She’s wandering blindly through her life, lost as can be

In her heart a battle wages, hope against despair

Always pretending, she hides away her anxious care

 

Her lover in Australia, felt so far away

She’d been with him all summer, but knew she couldn’t stay

She’ll work overtime in the hope she can see him soon

Saving every penny to afford a flight next June

 

Not a word from Jack, her ex-flatmate, these past four years

No one she can confess her pain to or share her tears

Fearing family or friends that might blow her cover

Can’t blame her clinging to her long distance lover

 

With Goldfinch’s arms around her Caramel escaped

Suppressing the memories from that night she was raped

Will he ever understand how he helped her to heal?

How he made love, joy, peace and hope become something real?

 

However, I think she knew from that very first kiss

Goldfinch was reluctant to make her any promise

Although she may have dreamed of one day being his wife

She knows that we don’t always get what we want in life

 

Her realizing things could be an awful lot worse

Helps her be content with her place in the universe

Don’t forget this is about the other Caramel

I’m just imagining the make-believe parallel

Oh Beautiful Night Of Love

duetThere is a song I did not want to miss out today. It’s something I have been looking forward to sharing every since I saw this theme on Jim’ list weeks ago. Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: DUETS

The thing about duets is…some of them are a bit cheesy aren’t they. I can think of lots of duets, but not a lot of them work for me in all honesty. I think partly because two superstars sometimes team up to sing a song, but there is sometimes a certain cohesiveness lacking. It sometimes seems like they just wanted to do a duet for the sake of it. But hey, duets look like fun, so I don’t begrudge them having a little fun.

duetHowever, when it comes to opera, duets can be rather spectacular. So I have decided to feature one of my favourite duets, “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”, (The Barcarolle) which is from The Tales of Hoffman. You may already know this stunning duet. If you don’t, you are listening to a beautiful melody from Offenbach’s final opera. Apparently Jules Barbier wrote the lyrics.

Prepare to be dazzled!

Oh and I forgot to mention, I first heard this gorgeous music in the incredible Italian film “La Vita È Bella”. That scene when he is looking up at her and willing her just to look at him.

English Translation
Lovely night, oh, night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night much sweeter than the day
Oh beautiful night of love!
Time flies by, and carries away
Our tender caresses for ever!
Time flies far from this happy oasis
And does not return
Burning zephyrs
Embrace us with your caresses!
Burning zephyrs
Give us your kisses!
Your kisses! Your kisses! Ah!
Lovely night, oh, night of love
Smile upon our joys!
Night much sweeter than the day
Oh, beautiful night of love!
Ah! Smile upon our joys!
Night of love, oh, night of love!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!

 

French Words

Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour
Ô,belle nuit d’amour!
Le temps fuit et sans retour
Emporte nos tendresses
Loin de cet heureux séjour
Le temps fuit sans retour
Zéphyrs embrasés
Versez-nous vos caresses
Zéphyrs embrasés
Donnez-nous vos baisers!
Vos baisers! Vos baisers! Ah!
Belle nuit, ô, nuit d’amour
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
Ô, belle nuit d’amour!
Ah! souris à nos ivresses!
Nuit d’amour, ô, nuit d’amour!
Ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!

 

And My Heart Is Set On You

dupJim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: DUETS

I have am going to start my Sunday on a lively note. There are many duets out there. Lots of them are beautiful ballads, some of them are more on the fun side of scale. I feel in need of some fun. There have been a lot of emotional challenges at work and in our own life. I might write a bit more about it at a later date. But for the moment, I need to switch off a bit and relax. I am spending the day with some wonderful friends, who I am sure, are just the company I need when there is heartbreak all around me.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (aka Danny and Sandy) provide one of the most iconic duets of musical history, in the form of “You’re The One That I Want”. Such fun! Young love! I do love that sentiment “You better shape up!” It’s so no nonsense, “don’t mess me around!” – isn’t it!

I love my Jack, but when he first made contact with me again in September and not long after that made his move…I do believe my words were not dissimilar to the lyrics in this song. Especially the lines “You better prove, That my faith is justified”. Well, Jack is doing great so far! He so thinks he is John Travolta when he hits the dance floor!

I got chills
They’re multiplying
And I’m losing control
‘Cause the power you’re supplying
It’s electrifying!

You better shape up
‘Cause I need a man
And my heart is set on you
You better shape up
You better understand
To my heart I must be true
Nothing left
Nothing left for me to do

You’re the one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, honey
The one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, honey
The one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, the one I need
Oh, yes, indeed

If you’re filled
With affection
You’re too shy to convey
Meditate in my direction
Feel your way

I better shape up
‘Cause you need a man
I need a man
Who can keep me satisfied
I better shape up
If I’m gonna prove
You better prove
That my faith is justified
Are you sure?
Yes I’m sure down deep inside

[3x]
You’re the one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, honey
The one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, honey
The one that I want
Oo-oo-oo, the one I need
Oh, yes, indeed

Written By: John Farrar

THE CARAMEL CRUNCH #4

CARAMEL CRUNCH1

WHEN IT COMES TO THE CRUNCH – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Your boss wants you to tell a difficult client or a customer something that is clearly misleading. It feels dishonest, but your boss suggests you find a way to couch your words so that you are not telling a blatant lie.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

CARAMEL CRUNCH2.png

What is THE CARAMEL CRUNCH? Well, it’s all about decisions. When it comes to THE CRUNCH what would you do?

One of the definitions of the word CRUNCH is:

a crucial point or situation

 – generally involving a decision with weighty consequences

  • Your response can be a quickie. Please feel free to send a comment to say what you would do, and if you have time or are inclined, please feel free to explain your decision.
  • If you would like to create a post with a longer explanation of your decision, please pingback to THE CARAMEL CRUNCH post. (Or copy and paste a link to your post in the comments section – please feel free.)

If you know anything about CRUSHED CARAMEL, you will probably realize I am a gentle soul, so my questions are not supposed to be terrifying! What I am hoping for really is to see a variety of responses. Afterall, it’s pretty obvious that WordPress bloggers are from a huge variety of backgrounds and cultures. It would be fascinating to learn more about how we as individuals make decisions.

Some of the questions I am going to ask are questions I have discussed with friends when we have been having coffee or dinner. I often find there is no clear right or wrong. It can be so much a matter of our individual experiences and outlook. I find it fascinating how very different some of us are when it comes to decision making.

We all have different outlooks, and may make different decisions. I am really looking forward to learning WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

One Way Street, Decisions, Opportunity

 

 

 

As If There Wasn’t Enough To Worry About!

traBy the time this post is published, I should be travelling back to London so that I can be at work. I do hope everything goes according to plan. But I am chilled. Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. I am going to stay relaxed and not allow myself to worry. Why worry on a Saturday?

There’s enough to worry about…the news, household chores, the weather, earning my bread and butter. Would you ever have thought that my Saturday post would touch on all of these worrisome subjects! Oh, but as always…I am going to add a bit of fun to the mix!

Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, has provided us with a lovely list of questions, as you can see from her original post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/01/20/share-your-world-1-20-20/

QUESTIONS

Where do you get your news?

Are we talking about official “news”. What is going on in the world or locally kind of news?

nesMostly from the BBC. Most mornings I wake up with pain in my head. I have done ever since the severe blows I received to my head in the summer of 2015. So my morning routine involves have a little something to eat so I can have my ibuprofen and then sipping my coffee slowly, waiting for my headache to clear. I usually put on the BBC Breakfast show. Sometimes I watch in silence until I see something I will be interested in.

Other than that, I come by news more haphazardly. Sometimes, there will be a copy of a free newspaper on a bus, and I will curiously read the headlines. Or I hear people talking about something at work and I decided to google it when I reach home. I would usually seek out the BBC News website.

What ‘old person’ thing do you do?

Ooooh – I don’t know. Does ironing my tea-towels count as an “old person” thing? I iron everything that won’t melt.

Goldfinch laughed that when he allowed me near his laundry with my iron and ironed everything he owned, including handkerchiefs. Am I crazy for loving ironing?

What else do I do? Hmm. I have told people off about their colourful language on public transport. Or rather, sweetly asked them to “tone it down”.

I can’t think of anything else right now. Maybe that’s because in my head I am only nine most of the time. It’s only when I want to have adult fun that I decide to be twenty-one.

When was the coldest you’ve ever been?   The warmest?

collapsed in snowTechnically that was when we were in the North of Sweden. Except that the minus fifteen celsius temperature was not too hard to bear, partly because it was a “dry cold” and partly because we were all dressed up in our ski gear. We didn’t feel the cold.

There have been occasions when I was not prepared for the cold at all. The cold in England (especially the North West of England, where I grew up) can be “damp cold”. That kind of cold is hard to bear, especially if you are not properly dressed. It seems to penetrate. Cool damp air gets into every gap in your clothing,

So many early mornings, I ended up in tears as I stood waiting for a bus in the winter, wondering if it was ever going to come. Oh I have so many cold stories for you I could cry!

Street, Africa, Ghana, City, StreetsThe warmest – I think that was when we were in Ghana. It was hot! I still remember the plane landing in Accra and the door of the plane opening up. It was as if a wave of hot humid air washed over us. It was hot as soon as we woke in the morning and I don’t remember feeling cool any of the evenings we were there.

I loved my time out there, but I felt as if I was sweating from dawn to dusk. I drank at least four litres of water everyday.

I think I especially felt the heat when we were in packed areas. It was nice to escape the heat when we travelled out of Accra and visited Aburi Botanical Gardens, Kakum National Park and Cape Coast.

Do you eat food that’s past its expiration date if it still smells and looks fine?

dazNot dairy. Never dairy. I am not very good with dairy anyway. But I don’t worry too much with fruit and veggies.

I am vegetarian, but if I did eat meat, I don’t think I would want to take risks with meat.

 I was a bit silly in Australia. I was making a fuss about using a spice in Goldfinch’s cupboards that was over ten years old. Spice and dried herbs don’t last long in my kitchen. He said that they may have lost some of their pungency, but they are safe to eat.

GRATITUDE

If you’d like to, please share some gratitude from your life.  

Camellia, Flower, Pink, Spring, CamelliaThis week, I would like to express gratitude for camellias!

At this time of year, everything is grey and murky. However, this week there are camellias in the prettiest shades of pink appearing outside my front door.

As soon as I saw them, I began to feel excited. Winter is nearly over! Spring is on the way. Then summer! That means sunshine days with Jack. Picnics, long walks, relaxing in the park, going to the beach! More happiness is ahead!

A Comedy Crisis

Oooooh – Teresa has asked us to try out comedy today. This comedy has ended up kind of dark I will warn you now! Not my typical style.

Your challenge today, should you accept it, is to find your funny bone and write your best comedy and see where it leads…or whatever/wherever the picture takes you. 

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/24/daily-writing-prompt-24/

Well…I had a little idea this morning. As soon as I saw the photo, it said to me failing comedian. But when I started working on it, I found it ended up becoming kind of macabre! You’ll see what I mean! Just remember Jeff and his wife, and all the other characters are pure fiction. Don’t have nightmares!

Comedian, Face, Performance, Comic

“Sorry Jeff, but tonight is your last night on stage in The Coco Comedy Club. Your gig just isn’t going down well with audiences.”

“I don’t get it Frank, my jokes about Trump and Pence are awesome. People used to lap that stuff up. What’s changed?”

Frank scratched his head, “I can’t answer that Jeff. I think some of the audience might actually support him, and those who don’t, well, they are just beyond laughing anymore. They seem closer to despair.”

jeffsJeff sat in his dressing room feeling depressed. Everything seemed to be going wrong in his life. In all honesty, he didn’t feel like standing on stage for half an hour to tell jokes about the POTUS. He had too much on his mind. Losing this gig was the last thing he needed. As he sulked, his feelings intensified.

At 8:55pm Mindy knocked on his door to remind him that he was on stage in five minutes. Jeff hauled himself up from the chair he had been glued to for the last couple of hours wallowing in his misery. For what he thought would be the last time, he walked out onto the tiny stage at The Coco Comedy Club and started his set…

Only tonight Jeff gave up on his normal stand-up routine. Something had snapped within him. Jeff started to bear his heart to the audience and voice all of his problems.

“So last week my wife came home and told me she wanted a divorce.”

Microphone, Stage, Light, Show, MusicPerceiving a murmur of laughter, Jeff stared out into the dimly lit seating where the audience sat. He wondered who on earth found what he had just announced as funny. “I asked her why she wanted a divorce after eight years of wedded bliss. She’s had the house all to herself for the past five years. When I’m on the comedy circuit, we don’t see each other for months, and when I am not working, I stay out late so she can have Netflix to herself and when I come home late I sleep on the sofa, so I don’t wake her up. I asked her what the hell was wrong?”

Jeff was taken aback when a ripple of laughter erupted and few people whooped. “It turns out she has been having an affair. With a lad half her age who comes to clean the pool. So she wanted a divorce so she could take half my earnings. She reckoned that without her, I would never have made a cent!” Jeff raised his eyebrows, “Well, she had a point there. Most of my sketches have been about her and the cretans she calls Mom and Dad.”

Yoga, Group, Fitness, Exercise, FemaleThe audience laughed heartily as Jeff continued his outpouring, “Do you know what she said? She said I am selfish. Me! Selfish! She’s the one who has maxed out two of my credit cards paying for her botox injections, silicone implants and her pilates classes.”

A couple of men were heard guffawing while the rest of the audience cackled. Jeff was baffled by the reaction he was receiving. “Guys if any of you have annoying wives, take this advice from me – send her to pilates classes. It will pay off big time. After I strangled her it was so easy to fold her body up and stick her in a suitcase.”

There was a roar of laughter from the audience at this point. Jeff looked over at Frank who was grinning and had both of his thumbs up. Scratching his head, Jeff announced, “All that botox and silicone turned out to be an advantage too. I pushed the suitcase over the top step of the stairs and it bounced all the way to the bottom.”

jefsSome of the audience were rocking backwards and forwards with laughter. Jeff looked out at them as if they were all insane, “So I’ve been driving around all week with the suitcase in the back of my car. Has anyone any suggestions about how to dispose of a body?”

People were crying with laughter and cheering Jeff. He didn’t know what to make of it. He put the microphone back onto the stand and backed away from the little stage.

As he headed back to his dressing room, Frank popped up in front of him, “Jeff, that was absolutely cracking! The audience loved your new content. Scrap the political satire. Just do exactly what you did tonight. That was flippin’ hilarious. If you do exactly that, I’ll book you in for the top spot at The Coco Comedy Club for another three months!!!”

 

 

Bills To Pay And Rules To Break

It is so Friday! At long last! What a long week this has been. I am sad, real sad that Jack will be away for the next few weeks. Can you imagine how I am feeling? There is so much I want to say to Jack.

hwpHowever, not one to wallow in the dust, I have plans! Big plans! Bills to pay, rules to break, risks to take and things to say! I will be seeing a lot of friends in my free time (not that I have a lot of that at the moment) to keep me busy and lively while Jack is away.

It all starts tonight. One word for you: PARTY! Well, why not? It is the weekend after all! I am breaking my early to bed rule yet again!

One of my friends has just bought a house with a big garden. Before the furniture and carpets arrive…they are throwing a party. Best way to have a party, before the cream carpets go down! It’s a bit out of town, so I am staying with another friend tonight and then I have to catch a train first thing tomorrow to be back in London for eleven o’clock in the morning.

worslWhy do I have to come back to London the next morning? Paid work. I have bills to pay! South West Trains are a bit unreliable of late. I am taking a risk in leaving it until the morning to travel back for work. But you know what…it will be ok! We got love! I wonder what my supervisor would think if I said that after having to ring and late!

Nah! Why am I worrying? Life is not all work and no fun! I am going to make sure I laugh and dance and sing with my friends. Then I am going to head into work with a smile on my face as I remember the fun we had!

Oh this song is such fun!

Cameras Are My Kryptonite

content1This post is about a subject that could be misinterpreted, or even misdiagnosed. I do not generally have low self-esteem. I am secure in myself. More than that I am happy with myself. I also have a lot of confidence in public, social and other settings. I don’t become shy or nervous without a very good reason.

I have a healthy amount of self-esteem. I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses. I am happy with me. I know what I am proud of, I know what I need to work on. I have a very high appreciation for others, which helps me to keep a balanced view of myself.

Fundamentally, what I like about me is that I love people. Like my parents, who trained me and whose example I imitate, I have learnt to be patient, mild, a peace-maker, forgiving, kind, tactful, sensitive and graceful. I like that I am joyful and cheery, but I can change my temperament according to the needs of others. I like who I am.

poseingHowever, this post is not about my strengths. It is about one of my weaknesses. I have more than one weakness. But this particular weakness is frustrating. It is a ridiculous irrational oddity. But it has a powerful effect on me.

I hate seeing photographs of myself. I don’t mind posing for photos. But I literally hate seeing the photograph after it is taken. If you don’t have a similar reaction yourself to seeing photos of you, you might find it hard to comprehend the extreme feelings I have. I cannot bear to see myself in a photo. My eyes immediately focus on the less admirable parts of me, or how tired I look, or the lumpy bumpy parts of me, of my hair or eyebrows looking a mess, or my tummy sticking out…I find what I see repugnant.

mirosStrangely, I don’t have those feelings when I look into a mirror. Mirrors are fine. Perhaps mirrors are kinder than cameras. But what I see in the mirror is pleasant, even attractive (lol – if I do say so myself!)

I know I can’t really be repugnant. Neither Goldfinch or Jack are in anyway desperate for attention, Either of them could attract beautiful women. If I truly was as ugly and horrid as the creature I see in photographs of me, they would not be interested in me.

If you point a camera at me, I instinctively switch on the entertainer in me. I can pose and prance and pout all you like. But when I catch sight of myself in a photo, I become depressed, and very very upset. Recently, poor Jack had to calm me down when I became inconsolable about some pictures he was taking of me.

dress2It all started when I mentioned to Goldfinch that Jack and I were heading to our first public event together. I told Goldfinch I was going to be wearing a lovely dress. Goldfinch asked me for a photo of me in the dress. Oh boy! A simple request, you might think. Not in my case.

I asked Jack to take it. I cannot do selfies. It would drive me to despair. But I was happy to pose as Jack took several photos. He liked the photos a lot. He wanted to post one on Instagram and comment that I had found the dress in a charity shop. Jack has been extremely keen for a long time to post photos of us as a couple on his Instagram account. He sees it as a way of making sure any critics realize we are not intimidated. (Although, the truth is I am intimidated!) I saw the photos he took and was devastated. Absolutely horrified by how awful I looked.

That’s always the way I feel. I hate seeing photos of myself. I truly literally detest what I see. Jack tried to contradict my self deprecating statements. He tried to calm me down. it didn’t work. I was inconsolable. That was the night before we were going to our first public event. Jack was tired that night. Perhaps I was too. In the end, he gave up and went to bed because I was in such a major sulk.

poserThe following night, we had an amazing time. All my confidence came back at the event, because I was focused on other people, both Jack and everyone else. I had no shyness, not low self-esteem. But people took photos. Some of those photos on now on their Instagram accounts. Jack says we look great, but I have begged him not to let me see them.

Poor Goldfinch. He has no idea what he started when he asked me for a photo. Poor Jack! To him photos are part of daily life. As a celebrity, he can’t avoid photos. He is always taking selfies and pictures of people he meets and places he visits. He repeatedly poses for photos with people who recognise him. But he has a girlfriend who has something between a phobia to a paranoia when it comes to seeing photographs of herself.

annie disappointedI don’t like that Jack saw me so upset about something that must seem so ridiculous. He has now seen a crippling weakness and how it makes me crumble. He wants to “cure” me. But he will have a battle. I have felt that way since I was a small girl. I have always hated to see photographs and video footage of myself. It hasn’t stopped me from being on stage, on television, and in fashion shows. Neither has it stopped me posing for cameras. But I can only do and enjoy any of that on the proviso that I don’t see the images the camera has captured afterwards.

I am fully cognizant of how much it doesn’t make any sense, Nonetheless, it is a powerful feeling. I am repelled by photographs of me. I find them revolting. So it is best, to let me carry on dancing, singing, posing and generally lighting up the room. But please do not show me the pictures you took. Because I will be on the floor in a puddle of tears, hating the abominable creature in those photos.

As I mentioned, it doesn’t effect how I feel about myself. The inner me is delightful. I know that. I get to walk around with a heart full of joy and warmth and smiles. There is no sinister unkindness lurking. I don’t have these intense feelings when I see myself in a mirror. But nonetheless, photos of me are a problem. They crush me.

Anyway, Jack is going to be away now for a while. I don’t think I can be on my own with a photo of us on his Instagram account. It’s something I am going to need his support to endure. Sigh.