Monday, 22 December 2008

My cup is empty

My cup is empty...
Following on from the post of the lost bras, I was extremely relieved to go into work this morning to discover that my bolderholder was not taking pride of place adorning the company Christmas tree. Phew! Apart from my red face and a twittery facilities manager who couldn't look me in the eye, it would appear I had escaped unscathed.  I was even more relieved when no one else made reference to it, my secret was safe.  So there it is... my cup might be empty but my virtue is very much still in tact.

As Christmas eve is very nearly upon us all, I reflect on the past year with a degree of nostalgia and a modicum of infused impatience; not everything went according to plan.  My year has been blessed with exceptional new friendships, one in particular forged from some cosmic force pulling against the tide, and the trusted old unions seem to be strengthened.   I still remain undiscovered but manage to remain upbeat and hopeful. Although, with the help of some mentoring, I have unearthed a few technical flaws that I am attempting to improve upon.  My cook book has moved a little closer towards the finishing line and one of my rom-coms has attracted some interest by someone who may be able to turn the tide and who should know what they are talking about.  The freelance work continues to trickle in at a regular pace and I guess many would say all in the garden is Rosie, or even rosy!  My cups might be empty but in my own mind my cups are half full... 

In the words of the wonderful Anthony Minghella... who knew a good story when he saw it... Blessings on your head.. I wish you a happy, healthy and successful 2009... XXX Peace and Love from Foxi Rosie.


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Time Flies

Life in the fast lane:  
It has been one of those weeks, ten days actually since I last had time to blog. Life seems to have run away with me again and I have not managed to do half of the things on my wish list. On a good note the blood and the feeling has finally returned to my left foot, it no longer feels like I am walking on a wooden stump, this Christmas bonus has arrived early; it may just be possible I will be Jiving whilst stuffing the turkey on Christmas Day after all...

Last Tuesday saw me walking around work (my part time job) in the full garb as a Green and Black witch, (from that well known chocolate pantomime by Dawn French), for our murder mystery evening at Sway Manor.  We were ready for it, but was it ready for us I ask? Jennie, the payroll queen, managed to show off her ability to raise her leg vertical to her torso, which did raise an eyebrow or two from other diners, especially as she was still sitting at the table at the time and the waiter didn't quite know where to place her turkey, piggies in blankets and stuffing.  Four of the ER team went as Christmas Elves (from the other well know pantomime called 'Elf and Safety'), which just left Dracula (from the other pantomime whose name escapes me at the moment) and bringing up the rear were Hook, Prince Charming, Principle Boy, Peter Pan and Dick Whittington.  

I shall make no apologies for the stream of seasonal puns which may well follow, but it was a spellbinding night full of magic, mystery and hilarity.  My sides haven't ached as much from the peels of laughter, since my week in Devon in October on the Arvon Cookery Writing course, with none other than Tamasin Day-Lewis (sister of the infamous allegedly text dumping Daniel) the divine and lovely Orlando Murrin, along with my other foodie fancy fanatics.    

It is just possible that the organiser of this panto murder mystery event is now a gibbering mess banished to recovery at the Priory or locked away in an alpine Swiss clinic for his own safety, not to mention the safety of future gaggles of Murder mystery pundits.

But a most embarrassing thing happened to me on the way to the forum. I want to share this with you despite the fact that I may live to regret it as it rears it ugly head when I am rich and famous, but there is a seasonal message of goodwill attached... 

I misplaced my bra.  In the rush of getting ready in unfamiliar surroundings, I placed my clean bra, I thought, on the basin counter or it might have been on the hanger of my long dress, but somewhere in between work and the boot of my car it has gone walkabout.  You can imagine the hilarity as I phoned in to our facilities department next day to find out if anyone had handed it in.  When the laughter subsided enough to make the recipient of my call coherent, the uses for a lost bra are apparently endless, to date they are; a novel way of carrying your melons home from the supermarket; a medieval dual slingshot waiting to be hurled at other seasonal shoppers in an attempt to clear a path to checkout; ear muffs; support for one of the male cleaner's man boobs; an airline hammock for a newborn twins; dual nests for twin buzzards; a brake chute for the next speed trial car, the list is endless and will no doubt go on to haunt me for the rest of 2009, other suggestions on a postcard please.

My point is? When time is short we rush, we do daft things.  Misplacing one's bra is one of them, after all it is not as if it is a small matter. Furthermore, I have an awful vision of returning to work on Monday to find my twin cups have been suspended as an additional decorative embellishment on the Company Christmas tree, which is sited in the main foyer.  In addition, swinging from one of the straps will be an enormous tag, with big red festive letters scribed across it saying "Rosie's lost property".   

And the moral of this post?  Take some time out amongst all the mayhem and madness, treat yourself to a bit of 'you' time.  Indulge in some downtime.  Heed this warning which is born from my own painful experience.  

Monday will come and Monday will go, even though I am already bracing myself, no doubt there will be emails, puns, questions to answer.  Maybe I will keep them guessing as to how it could have ended up in the car park, or maybe my bra has gone to the place where bras go to die.  Who knows?  It may even appear in a Nativity coming to you, keep a sharp eye out as Mary enters on her donkey stage right, if you see a pannier swinging over the donkey's back it may well belong to a broad on the edge!!
Ho, ho, ho... 

Thursday, 11 December 2008


Finally I have managed to start putting up the Christmas decorations, but like all good craftsmen, preparation is all.  So the house has received a thorough cleansing in every nook and cranny.  With my blackened sorely foot, it seemed to take forever, but once the job was done and everywhere looked shiny, clean and stinking of beeswax lavender polish, out came the decorations.

This is the mirror in the hallway having received the treatment. Then it struck me that in less than one month it will all be coming down again.  The appeal of fleeing southward to a much warmer climate, to be pampered and spoilt over the festive period, seems to increase with age.  I am beginning to wonder why I do it every year and whilst friends and family always say the house looks divine and the decorations look as though they have jumped off a film or a stage set (don't go too close they probably have - I have a gold sleigh in the bottom garage that Santa left here when Jo was aged six or seven).  I don't seem to have a problem conjuring up the love, it is the continued enthusiasm I seem to have a problem with.  By Boxing Day I have fallen out of love with it all.

It can be compared to my approach to writing.  The start of a new project is just sooooo sexy and interesting and wonderful and so clear in my head, but by the time I've laid out the plot onto cards, jiggled around with some of the character arcs and sat down to write the fecking thing, I have gone off the boil.  I am beginning to think that as I was a child I slipped through the net, undiagnosed with some terrible personality affliction that is only surfacing now, or could it be I am only coming to terms with it now? I can write, I can go the distance, I can complete and to deadlines, but maybe I haven't met my story match yet or worse still maybe I haven't actually found my natural voice. Maybe, the perfect story is like the search for Mr. Perfect, it/he doesn't exist.   Like any worthwhile relationship you just have to darn well take the rough with the smooth and add a little tweak here or a little tweak there and morph the story around the characters like a piece of seamless knitting.  Storytelling is a little like playing with puddled wax, you have to be careful not to go in too soon or you get your fingers burnt, but if you leave it too long, you cannot mould it to the shape you want.  Hmmm...   Hey ho... 

I will be writing tomorrow as my maintenance man is here all day odd jobbing, the whole point of having him was so that I could be free to write rather than DIY (destroy it yourself).  It is true and I am full of shame that I have absolutely no desire to be the woman with the golden drill, or know or understand my AC from my DC, or wire a plug, or plumb in a dishwasher; cook a casserole a resounding YES, knit a rug, sew a pair of curtains in a couple of days and add the flourish of a pelmet YES, but put my head down a soil pipe and rod the drains, definitely not.  
Foxi - Over and Out and off to puddle her wax... 

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

There are no wrinkles on a balloon

This was a conversation I once had with Bobby Davro when he chose to insult me for a laugh, but at my expense.

He was referring to my youthful looks, that's what I like to think anyway, by noticing I hardly had any wrinkles.  There is a payoff.  I can only say that the extra padding came in remarkably handy this week as I missed my footing on the stairs at home; thankfully my airbags inflated as I went into full frontal free fall, I must have resembled a flying tree frog, because I could feel the sense of freedom as the rush of wind rippled through my tendrils.  With my tooth (gap) healing nicely and the appearance of the wide mouth frog disappearing by the day, I have now morphed into the next stage of frog evolution, by taking to the air.  As I mentioned, the air bags did break my fall but not before I had crushed and decimated 'my left foot' (good title for a play) which failed to release itself in time from the free falling body that was about to trap it. This was Sunday night, I was stone cold sober but possibly under the influence of the pain killers and the anti-biotics.  I had to snake crawl my way back up to my bedroom to assess the damage.  I figured at least someone could find me safe in bed with my gangrenous left foot sticking out of the bed, therefore making diagnosis much easier.

I was in so much pain and decided that Bobby was quite correct as the balloon like stump on the end of my foot did not have one wrinkle visible through the blackened stretched skin.  As the toes were pointing west of my body it did cross my mind that it might be broken.  I telephoned the out of hours service, described the scene and a very sympathetic woman did comment it didn't seem to be my week... but her advice?  A & E.  On a Sunday night, you've got to be kidding me.  I telephoned to enquire how long the waiting time would be and would I receive special treatment as I was returning to use there services within the same week, and the receptionist, who clearly didn't acquire her customer service skills from The Ritz Hotel, informed me NO, and it was 5 hours and growing.  The thought of sitting amongst the  drunks and reprobates of Poole did little to entice me to join the party.  My decision?  To grimace and bear it, wait until the morning and if the foot was still attached, I would shower, wash my hair, make up, apply a heavy dose of perfume along with  the full set of acrylic nails minus two (see earlier post) and wend my way down to A & E.  Clearly the ink had hardly had time to dry from my records on Monday.

After establishing the waiting time was only two hours, I telephoned for a taxi to take me to 
A & E.  If you were there, I was the one sporting a rather attractive pink cashmere bed sock on the blackened foot and a boot on the other.  I did consider wearing a high heel on the good foot but I had a vision of an amusing scene from one of Peter Sellers comedic characters, in so much as the rise and fall on the stride of my six inch mis-matched shoe would announce my arrival, and that the noise of the heel on the hospital floor would draw too much attention to the unfashionable footwear, making jumping the queue nigh on impossible.

Thankfully, it is not broken although I have ripped the tendons and ligaments in my foot.  My foot has been a source of light relief and entertainment in between the plethora of dross daytime television shows, as I have watched its changing kaleidoscope of colours on the hour every hour.

To one of my blog followers Brian K who has just undergone surgery, you have my full sympathy.  I will shut up about my woes as they are transitory and minor by comparison...

Tomorrow is another day as they say and I intend to shake off this spell of  misfortune by being more upbeat and chirpy.  I am going to apply for another freelance arts gig.  The decision will be made in the New Year, but it could be a step forward if I am at least shortlisted, or better still selected.

There will be no more mention of my medical woes,  just the usual things, like cooking, writing and credit crunch war shopping, for there are clearly advertised bargains to be had if the companies stay in business long enough for delivery.
Foxi - over and out...

Friday, 5 December 2008

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Webmaster, Tools and gobblydegook...
I am constantly in awe of some people's knowledge of all things technically weblymatical.  Take my Facebook friend Matt Smith for instance.  He never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge and insight of how to improve your web profile hits, or draw more traffic to your site and, furthermore, his patience in trying to explain it to someone who doesn't even speak the same techno language, is a tribute to the core of his character.  And, he always seems to pop up like an angel when life events or things are getting you down, as if he doesn't have enough of his own demons to cope with.  If you are reading this Matt, thank you my virtual angel.

I also particularly liked the article by Tom Green, or was it Lucy Vee, from the WGGB blog, about creating your own websites, webpages, Twitter or blogspots. I had thought Twitter was something to do with Ornothology, but I have been put straight on that one. One step at a time RJ, one step at a time, for a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and whilst I agree that my media degree (albeit in Scriptwriting for Film and TV) did help me to face some of my own techno demons, I am still at base camp when it comes to anything too technically demanding. The main difference post degree, is now I give the techno stuff a chance and stick with it as opposed to pre-degree when the offending items would have ended up in one of three places, 
1) charity shop 2) the bin 3) ebay, if only I knew how to use it.   However, I will get there with a little help from my friends; hmmm - thought bubble - good title for a tune.  My FB account is up and running and I have been using it for over a year now and am 'chuffed' to bits (can I say that, or is it one of those modern useage of words that is forbotten?) anyway you get the gist, I am beginning to be dragged into the new era, slowly but surely.

Getting back to my tooth extraction, I am going to milk this sympathy bit till it has worn thin with everyone including me, I have been on the jelly.  Last night I had to miss out on the first of the seasonal parties, on account of I still look like a cross between a chipmunk and a hamster.  When I left hospital and they said a light diet of jelly, I had KY in mind and saucy thoughts of endless nights of entertainment until the 'gap' healed... where is this going?  I am talking about the gap in my gums and NOWHERE else...  So whilst everyone was at TAPS enjoying the party by drinking bubbles and stuffing cake, I was pushing my jelly and ice cream around my plate sulking and that like Cinderella, I was at home imagining what fun everyone else was having. Then I had another ephipany moment (two actually).  Number One, the key to writing exceptional memorable characters is to get inside their skin and write from the inside out and Number Two, I just remembered that the anti-biotics I am popping, should not be taken with ANY dairy produce... damn... so half an hour later when the lactose intolerance kicked in, I was thinking back to one of my first posts which was RTFM... Some people never learn... I guess I am one of them.
Foxi over and out...

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I suffer for my art

Peath and Love, Love and Peath...
No this isn't because I am unable to spell, the Peath bit is on account of the fact that I now have one tooth less in my head.  In fact, apart from my wisdom teeth, this is the only other body part  I have ever intentionally lost.  The throbbing tooth, or rather gap, is similar to toothache, yet now I know how it feels to be in pain from bumping your gums.

Anyway, onward and upwards.  My writing has taken a bit of a back seat as mentally my mind has been planning my funeral, fixed in the belief that the anaesthetic would do for me, but in fact the only anxious part of the whole procedure was the removal of my acrylic nails.  It was so humiliating and when asked to remove the pair of furry gloves just before I went down for surgery, insult was added to injury further, when they informed me I need only have removed two of the nails; just so they can see if I'm turning blue and they need to get out the electrodes!  If that is the case then why did they print, 'all body piercings and acrylic nails need to be removed or we will not carry out the surgery'.  I bet this was written by a man who had engaged in an argument with his wife that morning, or a mistress who had just used his credit card for some immoral amount of frippery, or a matron with PMT.  Anyway  with no time to readdress the issue I decided to stay schtumm until after the surgery, my letter of formal complaint should now be with my local MP and the copy should be with Gordon Brown for a bit of bedtime reading material no doubt; he has probably sent his secretary on a quest to locate the make of the nails to cover up his nail biting excesses.  Anyway, Hint of the Day you heard it here first... if you find yourself in this situation, just remove two nails.

I would have been considered somewhat sad to take a cuddly toy into day surgery, so I chose to take my good friend and classic 'Rebecca'.  I know I have read this book beyond counting, but I truly adore the text.  It is like visiting an old friend as text and film image merge together seamlessly.  The pace and rise and fall of the language is, for me, exceptional.  I had forgotten how beautiful it is.  It was my comfort blanket to set my mind into a calm place, to forget about acrylic nails, starvation and funerals.

When I eventually lost the palour of grey frost, I managed to muster enough enthusiasm to watch a second rate film last night through the mist of the drugs.  It helped me to realise where I have been going wrong in my writing.  Another revelation, three revelations in one year must benchmark a good year.  It was clear to me that I am not allowing my characters enough time to get to know each other, so the writing of their relationship and how they interact is 'thin' to say the least.  One of my scripts I feel absolutely committed to is 'Repentance'.  The story of a forbidden love in 1804 between black slave and unmarried white socialite.  Nothing like the raunchy Mandingo for those who remember it, Repentance is essentially a love story in the true Love Story writing model.  My next project therefore is to rewrite my 102 pages into a tighter format cutting out as many unnecessary adjectives as possible and writing about the real emotion.  Wish me luck.  In addition, I am almost ready to send off a Rom-Com to my new best friend the heavyweight producer with access to Hollywood, although I won't hold my breath or I will be planning my funeral again.

Christmas looms, the parties and invites are starting, so I tally forth as an optimist, firm in the belief that a new story lies somewhere out there for me to develop.  
Foxi Rosie signing off xx