Our Lived Perspective: Close Encounters 1.

The world is full of different people.Accept and celebrate our differences.

47 Stripey Socks

Today’s post from Our Lived Perspective is another old one. What brought it to mind was a thread in which someone had shared a negative comment they had either seen or received, posted apparently by the mother of an adult with Down’s Syndrome, who seemed extremely embittered with her life, who blamed her daughter for everything that was wrong in her life. Some queried what had happened to make her so bitter. Others, however, pointed out how much harder it must have been decades ago when parents did not receive the support that is available now, and we’re simply told that their children would never learn anything and there was nothing to be done.I’m sure it must have been.

But, if the encounters I have had with the parents of (now) older adults with Down’s Syndrome are anything to go by, there have always been families who thrived, regardless, even…

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Why What You Wear Matters

In my last blog I talked about how I see my characters. Part of that picture is, of course, what they wear. In “Picking up the Pieces” Liz is partly defined by her hippy skirts and un-tameable hair, Elsa by her designer outfits, while Bernie’s clothes come from chain stores. In “House of HOS cropped AShadows”, black is Jo’s colour. She is an artist and with her silver blonde hair, her black top and jeans and dramatic silver jewellery the image she projects of herself reinforces what she does.

Jo loves beautiful things and although she works with paint and mixed media, using her hands as well as her brushes to produce her paintings of Kingsfield, with their sinister implications, even in her studio she can wear her usual black and look elegant and very much herself.

Years ago, my sister, Anuk Naumann, said that she thought she ought to dress like an artist. She had just given up work as an architect to concentrate full time on her painting. Changing her way of dressing was both symbolic and practical. There is no doubt when you first meet her that Anuk is what she does.Anuk and book

What you wear is a signal to the rest of the world, for we all make instant judgements about the people we meet, and can lead to useful conversations, or at least when you tell someone you write then that does not come as a complete surprise.

It also shows what you think about yourself and how you are feeling. Not bothering, or even being able to wash and dress can be a sign of severe depression. Dressing conventionally, never daring to try anything different, can reveal a lack of confidence, as can,  choosing to dress in a particular role and taking on all the attributes that go with it.

This paradoxically can also be liberating, because dressed as a Goth or a biker, or a punk, you are free to behave in ways you could not before and to explore areas of your personality that would otherwise stay hidden.

On a deep level, what you wear and how you look reinforces your view of yourself. Being a writer is a solitary way of life. It is too easy to slop around all day in pyjamas or old jeans, but for me to look as I see myself, is vital.

We are visual creatures. As writers we use this in our work. In real life it matters too.

Question is, what does a writer look like/wear? I’d love to know your views.

Who Would I choose?


Some writers know from the start not only what their characters look like, but who they would like to play them in a film, or TV adaptation. As part of their character building, they find pictures in magazines and make character boards, on Pinterest, or paste photos on noticeboards.

I don’t work like that. Liz, Bernie and Elsa in “Picking up the Pieces” all came as ready made images.Picking Up The Pieces I could see Liz striding along The Downs with her long hair escaping from its pins and her flowing hippy type skirt, while Elsa in matching coat and dress, perfect hair do, nails and rings was waiting for her at The Grand. Bernie too came fully formed, in her slightly too tight best dress and uncomfortable shoes.

Poppy, Liz’s actress daughter, is based on my daughter Posy and I’ve taken the photograph of her clutching her cat from real life.

If I had to cast my characters in a film, however.

Kristin_Scott_Thomas_Cabourg_2013Kristin Scott-Thomas would play serious and self-analysing, Liz

Miranda Richardson, the fluffy, materialistic Elsa.Miranda Richardson

And Olivia Coleman, responsible and caring, Bernie.Olivia Coleman

Though if I could manipulate time, Zaza Gabor would be perfect for Elsa.

As for Ed. Well there is only one choice. George Clooney.George-Clooney

The Tigress’ Invitation to Tea

A lovely twist on a classic tale.


The Tigress? Invitation to Tea

Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was having breakfast with her mummy in the kitchen.

Suddenly there was the sound of a letter dropping onto the doormat.

Sophie?s mummy?s name was Lena. Lena said, ?I wonder what that can be. It can?t be the postman, because he came earlier. And it can?t be the newspaper, because today isn?t Sunday.?

Sophie went to the door. On the doormat there was a big, stripy, orange and gold envelope.

She took it to Lena. Sophie and Lena opened it together.

Inside there was a card. It said:

?I?m very sorry that my son the tiger ate all your food and drank all your drinks. He is just out of cubhood and is still very naughty sometimes. I would like to invite you both for tea tomorrow at my home to thank you for being…

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