Friday, March 30, 2018

Dreams and Situation Comedy

I have had a super stressful time lately. I know this as last night I was lucid dreaming.

Some people find lucid dreaming a source of pleasure. This has never been the case for me. Usually, they bring out my deepest fears and yesterday was one of my most frightening. Sleep paralysis, evil spirits, the chill of death.

If you have never lucid dreamed, let me tell you it is a very unusual state of mind. You are aware you are dreaming and therefore have some degree of control over your dream. In mine, because they are not pleasant, I use the power of prayer to bring me out of the dream. It might be because I was raised as a Catholic my lucid dreams are never joyful ones. They usually delve into dark places and have a spiritual or religious overtone. Last night, when I finally pulled myself out into a fully conscious state I found myself singing a hymn, my face covered with tears.

I have been under a lot of stress lately and this is the cause. I have had an exceptional amount of unpleasant job-related stress, long hours commuting, vicious and upsetting communications from my husband’s relatives and one of my closest friends has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. In addition to dealing with all the crap and responsibilities I now have as a single parent.

My brain is in survival mode. That’s for sure. They say people who lucid dream have a greater power of observation and self awareness. Possibly, this is true. I feel I know who I am and I am very sensitive to those and situations around me. Which is why I know I need to get out of my present job which is damaging my emotional well-being. I don’t need that type of negativity in my life when I have other issues to contend with.

They say stress is a valuable tool for writers and some achieve their greatest work in times of stress. This has never worked for me. Until now perhaps. And I not sure how or why but out of the misery of the last few months a new idea, based upon some of my experiences, has come to the forefront of my mind.

And no it is not a psychotic thriller as you might have expected. But a pure slapstick comedy. Think Are You Being Served meets Fawlty Towers. I think it will work best as a TV sitcom. I have already sent off for some scripts for Dad’s Army and Porridge and two guidebooks for writing situation comedies. And when I have digested the format I need I will begin.

For the last 3 years my writing abilities have been frozen. For many reasons, rather than writer’s block, I have chosen not to write. But now, for the first time, I have something which really excites me. Which is fresh and inspiring.What’s more, I am going to write a lead part in it for someone who I met through work and has supported me through some of my toughest times over the last two years and become one of my best and dearest friends. He is also an actor and I know I have a part for him.

So I finally have the motivation to write. Maybe there is a small light on the horizon.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Name Dropping

I was on a packed commuter train last night and the guy next to me who, at a quick glance, was probably around thirty-years-old started to have a Skype call with his father.


If you’re familiar with our British commuter trains you’ll know there’s not much room and passengers are pretty much on top of each other. In other words, it can be pretty intimate and feigning total blindness and deafness during someone else’s conversation is not always easy. 

So, this fella was ringing his father on his journey home. Once the usual pleasantries were over, I kinda expected some manly talk: business, cars, politics, football ....which is a little stereotypical I know but it was a public place so I didn’t think it would too personal.

Anyway, it transpired that the young man wanted to tell his dad the names he and his wife had chosen for their soon-to-be expected baby.

Edward Oscar Simon Seymour Surname.

I nearly gagged on my water bottle. Talk about a mouthful. It took all my restraint not to burst out with something highly inappropriate on the lines of:

“What the *uck?"

“So something simple and non-pretentious then?”

“Are you crazzzzzy?”

"Why don't you just call the poor kid Jesus?"

Now one mustn’t be too judgemental as obviously these could have all been family names and maybe a first grandchild etc etc. However, there were the girl's names to consider as well....

Lillian Florentine.

Luckily, they’d only decided on two at that point. Phew.

The rest of my journey was filled up thinking what might come after Florentine.

I liked Garabaldi. It goes well with Florentine. (I was working on the biscuit theme obviously.)

Lillian Florentine Garibaldi Jaffa has a nice ring to it.

Anyway, the young man’s conversation finished off with a gushing “I love you, Dad.”

Seriously. In a way it was kinda sweet and then there was another part of me thinking “Get a grip, man. You’re on a packed commuter train!”

Anyway, I’m thinking it would be good fun to pretend to have a conversation on my phone one night about having a transmittable disease and see what happens. Maybe a few coughs and splutters too for added effect.

Recommendations for diseases sought please.

I’ll think I’ll start off with....

“Hi dad, I’ve not been feeling so good since I got back from Africa.....”

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


God, I am exhausted. Three nights with almost no sleep. 4 hours of commuting a day, a nine hour working day for which I spend 8.5 on my feet, propping up my kids with all their various issues, sorting out the huge financial mess my husband left us, trying to carve a career again at 53, sorting out all the housework, all the DIY.

On top of this as I no longer have time to look after myself at all. Not that I did that much before but at least I found time for an occasional swim and to write. Now my writing career which was on the rise has plummeted and because I can’t find time to swim and I’m on my feet all day my knees have frozen up. I now have the knees of an eighty year old.

Life sucks. But I’m not sorry my marriage is over. That would have killed me quicker than all the stress I am under now. So hurrah for freedom and goodbye to all that.


My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...