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literature is love
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Writer's Block: My Wintertime Escape

What is your dream winter escape?

Alternative presents

I knew R would marry J long before they did the deed. He went all round the houses telling me and seemed quite deflated when I told him I'd anticipated this for ages. Third time for them both. They picked 7.7.07 and were surprised loads of other people had too (LOL). Told him I'd even though of a present - a tree planted in their name. That was too expensive though, and he understood.

Now I've hit on the perfect thing from World Vision £9 buys 10 fruit trees for farmers in Senegal. Or £28 buys a scholarship for a child. This will do for Tony too, especially the scholarship. What do you give the couple who has everything? Nothing.

Bereavement Counselling

Dr W was a hard act to follow, and the only counsellor I've ever found to be of much help. I would leave the surgery feeling so much better. JH was a sad replacement. She didn't want to read Dr W 's notes but preferred to start from scratch. I told her that everyone around me was dying. She swooped on that like a vulture on a corpse: "What do you mean, everyone around you is dying?" she said. I thought immediately that the silly moo thought I had delusions that I was able to cause death by some sort of telekinetic process. I told her I meant exactly that, and listed all those I loved who have died in the past few years.

She said we would have to work on my self-esteem, but by the time she had finished, I felt more inadequate than ever. She dismissed my intelligence as if it was of no matter and said that common sense was important - from the way in which she said it I inferred she thought I had none. I have a good deal and told her so, but it was obvious she had made her mind up.

I feel that many counsellors have self-esteem issues themselves: they've been helped by counselling so think they'll share the love [yuk]. What came across in that first session were her own self-image problems. And I found her method of taking notes obtrusive. Oh well.

Yes, my self-esteem needs work, but I want help to comes to terms with all my losses. So I decided to do something about it myself and on 26th November contacted Cruse. I don't know why I didn't do it before. Now waiting for my first appointment, but in the meantime they've sent me a booklet.

All change

My new theme is "Firefly Night" by Teresa Jones. I also like "Hannukah" by Lilia Ahner. I have to say my user pic looked better against the green background of "Urban Dawn", though.


Writer's Block: What's Worth Reading

How do you choose which books to read?
When I was at school I had a friend who chose books according to whether or not there was dialogue on the first page. If there wasn't, she didn't bother. That girl is now Professor of something-or-other scientific at Cambridge, so it just goes to show. What it goes to show, I'm not entirely sure, but it must show something.

I on the other hand, was, at that time, a dreadful snob when it came to matters literary. I can't remember learning to read, but I could read when I started school at four-and-a-half, that I do know. Books were my life, and if I wasn't reading, I was writing. I read anything and everything that happened my way. Then I hit puberty, and went through a terrible period when if it wasn't a "classic" I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. While other girls at school were reading Georgette Heyer (Regency Romances, very chaste and proper by today's standards, but frowned upon at my school), I read only "literature". It introduced me to some wonderful writing, but it made my focus rather narrow, and I think I may have missed out on a good deal of fun along the way.

Nowadays? I'm tired, in pain, isolated, and grieving. I need something that doesn't require much thought but lifts me out of the everyday. You'd think I'd opt for the humourous, but if it doesn't involve a serial killer, I'm not interested. Occasionally, despite my best efforts, a piece of "literature" will find its way onto my bedside table; for a brief while my heart sings again, and I remember those lost days when I had dreams and aspirations, and above all hope. But I cannot come into that beautiful garden again. Like Adam and Eve, I mourn for my lost paradise.

Writer's Block: Like No Other

What makes you unique?
I am me

Writer's Block: Warning:

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

Urban Dawn

The new "theme" for my journal. Still wavering between this and "Urban Sunset", both by Tiffany Chow (what a difference day makes!)


A word about schools lists

The Ursuline Convent School for Girls, Westgate, Kent, was an Independent Boarding and Day School for Girls founded in 1904 by nuns fleeing anti-clericalism in France. In my day there were about 300 of us including the Preps. Everyone knew everyone else. We were taught by nuns and secular staff (all female).

Ursuline College is a mixed comp. There is, as far as I know, only one nun on the staff, the Headmistress, Sister Alice. When she retires there will no longer be any nuns on the teaching staff. It occupies the same physical space as the Ursuline Convent, but it is a completely different school.

The Ursuline Convent is no more, except in the hearts and memories of we who were fortunate enough to go there.