Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Can't Read, Can't Write

Whilst hubbie has been away in Japan, I've been watching tons of crap TV to fill in the lonely hours, but one gem I happened to stumble across was Channel 4's 'Can't Read, Can't Write'. This is a three part documentary, where Phil Beadle is trying to teach a class of adults how to read and write. The class age ranges from 28 to 56 and is devastating watching. Here are a group of adults that have gone through life without two standard forms of communication and have been failed by our education system. Their tales of school life differ from being labelled the class dunce, to being termed lazy and being handed word searches to complete instead of having vital time spent with them to overcome their difficulties. It made me feel sad. Sad to think that the two things that I feel most passionate about in life are something that so many people will go through life and not experience.
If I couldn't read and write, then I wouldn't have this blog, I wouldn't be able to write my novel, I wouldn't have made all my lovely blog friends and I wouldn't have been able to trudge my way through the BBC's Top 100 reads, but more importantly I wouldn't be me.
I think these people are fab to finally have the confidence to learn, it couldn't have been easy to make that initial step and agree to do this. So I feel really humble when I think I gave myself a pat on the back for ticking another task off my list, but I guess everyone has their own challenges to achieve in life - it just so happens I have 40 of them!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Drive A Ferrari

Some people like Lamborghini's, others prefer a Porsche - I'm a Ferrari girl myself. I love the stylish exterior, the rev of the engine always makes me switch down the radio, whenever one is near me on the road and I love the luxury that surrounds them.

Choosing this task to do was quite easy. Finding the track in Leicestershire where I was to drive one, wasn't! When eventually we found it, everything seemed fairly straight forward. You registered on arrival - check. Got ripped off by the waiver that covers you if you have an accident - check and then went out in the practice car - check.

Then the waiting and the panicking, what if I can't drive the thing? Then along came the Ferrari 360 Spider, a 2 seater car with the roof down and suddenly it was my turn!

I slid into the luxurious leather seats, that seemed so low down, it felt like I was touching the floor and got to grips with the controls of the car. The pedals seemed so close together, it took me a couple of laps to get used to them.

Then I was off on the first of my three laps and having to navigate the course, which made absolutely no sense to me and put my foot to the floor, whilst trying to change gear. All I kept hearing from my instructor was that I kept taking my foot off the accelerator. Well it was bloomin' scary approaching a bend going that fast!
Thankfully I didn't stall the thing, but I kept getting the wrong gear, when changing into 5 and 6!
No accidents either (good job I paid £25 to cover me then!) and I managed to successfully navigate the car back into the aerodrome where I started from.

I did enjoy the experience, but the three laps just wasn't enough time for me to get to grips with the car. I also felt very pressured to go faster than what I felt safe driving, although I have to admit on the straight, I did in excess of 120mph and loved it!
I did think perhaps I should have just hired a Ferrari for the day and just pottered around, but where is the fun in that? These cars are built for speed and where on the open road, would you have to chance to race them at that speed? It was amazing to see just how fast these cars went with little effort.
If I ever won the lottery, then a Ferrari would definitely be on my list, but for now, I will just have to make do with my good old Ford!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday's Blues

It's Tuesday evening, I've just watched someone get their nipples waxed on TV and it will be another three days before everything is back to normal and my husband is home. I'm bored. Bored with a capital B. I hate Tuesdays, well that's only half true. When husband is home, I usually quite like Tuesdays. Tuesday is our date night, when we usually go for a meal, followed by a movie. Tuesday works well for us, less busy in town and less amount of drunk idiots, than there is at the weekend (I'm sure someone would have been saying that about me ten years ago!) but Tokyo is a long way to come to take your wife out for something to eat, so it's just me on my own, watching the guy with the nipples.
I'm not in the mood to write any of my novel tonight, although in a blog search today, I found an article about 'free writing'. I did a night class in creative writing, a few years ago and we always used 'free writing' at the start of the session to get our creative juices flowing, so to speak. I used to love doing this, as I was in a stressful job at the time and I found it helped get all my anxieties out, plus it helped with my writing of course. So it may be something I introduce back into my life, anything that can help me with the completion of my novel has got to be worth it, don't you think?
PS the guy with the nipple wax says goodbye too, or was that ouch?!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Read All of the BBC Top 100 Reads Part 4

I love doing this task, purely because it's one I can do in the background and although time consuming, it's one I can just keep chipping away at, without too much hassle.

My latest reads have been Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I'm so glad I saw my friend Frenchy Phil in a play adaptation of this the other year, as it gave me a good insight into the plot and the passions involved. Although a little long and over analysed in places, I did enjoy my first Russian novel. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - I put Dickens with my Austen appreciation - I can quite happily watch any film adaptation, but the novels themselves, I struggle to get to grips with. The Tale of Scrooge visited by the three ghosts, is so well known that I felt that helped me through the reading, instead of appreciating the text by itself. The Colour Of Magic - Terry Pratchett - my first ever Terry Pratchett novel and unfortunately due to this list it won't be the last. I don't get it at all. It feels like he's just thrown a load of characters and text on paper and hoped for the best. Couldn't even tell you the basis of the plot - just couldn't get my head around this one! Dune by Frank Herbert - I don't do sci-fi and this one was exactly how I would imagine a sci fi book to be like. Dull and very boring! The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton - I'm slightly biased in the fact that I loved Enid Blyton growing up, yet for some reason I'd not read this one! Reading a book filled with saucepan men and magical trees feels almost drug induced as an adult, but there is no denying that Enid was the queen of story telling in her day. The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot - this one really surprised me as it's nothing at all like the film, in fact it's probably alot more grown up than the Disney version. The tale of a young girl that discovers she's a princess is still one worth reading. Tess Of The Durbervilles - Thomas Hardy - I love Hardy with a passion - his women characters are always so strong and well written. This story is so heart rendering - a young girl that tries to better herself by immersing herself into the heritage of noble standing where she meets the man who will be her down fall. She later falls in love with another man, but has the dilemma of not knowing whether to divulge her past - I loved it.

So I'm just over half way there now, the only problem being, that the majority of the reads left are the big ones, but I'm still going to try and push for this one to be finished this year if possible. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What A Feeling!

This lonely Saturday night, I've been watching Flashdance, a classic 80's film, if ever there was one. Alex Owens is a welder by day, dancer by night, a bit like Hannah Montana, but not quite. The more I watch this, the more I think I'm like Alex. No, I've not suddenly taken up welding, or in fact dancing, but Alex has a burning desire to fulfill a dream and although her confidence in her ability holds her up in parts, she manages to overcome her self doubt and push herself to go for her dreams. So the next time that I'm struggling to find time to write because I feel what I'm writing is a pile of poo, I'll think about Alex and what she achieved and when it's time to meet agents/publishers, inside I'll be doing the 'Flashdance' minus the leotard and leg warmers of course.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Well The Boss Is Away.....

Meet the other Rick in my life and whilst I'm still waiting to see him in concert - this will have to do - a new album and my does he look very hot!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Bit Deep This One...

There comes a time in every ones life when something happens to make them stop and pause, re-evaluate and re think where they are going. Sometimes it's something major that happens, other times, it's just a break from the usual routine, that gives you the breathing space to work out where you are at. I'm currently off work with a back injury, a recurrence of an old injury, that I foolishly thought had left me for good. I should be back on my feet, literally, by next week, but the last couple of days off work has given me time to concentrate on where I'm going with this blog amongst other things.
The first thing that sprung to mind was, am I achieving what I set out to achieve so far? Yes, I know I have a tick list of sorts, but this list has always been more than just ticking a box. There was a definite moment, when I sat at work and thought, is this it, is this going to be my life, just passing a piece of paper around and the blog was born around that thought. My idea for the blog was not only to accomplish all the tasks listed, but for it also to have a knock on effect, for me to try other things. Since writing the blog I've managed to get a couple of my photos in a exhibition and I'm just preparing an entry for a children's story competition. I'm also going to climb Snowdon next year and I've got plans to film a documentary about my Grandad, Eric.
So when I see it all written down like this, then I feel that I'm on the right track and I don't feel that I'm wasting my time. Now to get a few more ticks in those boxes and I will be a happy bunny!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Pity The Fool

The Internet is an amazing thing, don't you think? You can randomly be thinking about anything, at any given time and there you have it, the whole world at your fingertips. For the past hour, I've been doing my usual blog catch up on all my fave blogs and then staring into space at my own blog, deciding what to write about and then it hit me - a random blog task - meeting Mr T!

Mr T, or should I say BA, was not my favourite character in The A Team, when I used to watch it in the eighties. That accolade went to Dirk Benedict (The Faceman), who I had a serious crush on. But Mr T was always there in the background, drinking his milk, shaking a few gold chains and refusing to go on any damn plane. It's only now when I look back that Mr T tends to stick in my memory - an iconic figure of the eighties and watching the old reruns on the cable channels, Mr T is definitely the star of the show, outshining all of the other characters.

So how do I get to meet him? Well, unfortunately I don't know anyone with Mr T connections, so the Internet is my best method of finding out. I've checked all the conventions that are happening in the UK, but no joy there. I've searched for any fan sites and the nearest I get to is a site that occasionally sends out any questions to Mr T's agent. Well you have to start somewhere I guess, so I'm going to e-mail them and tell them about my list and how I want to meet Mr T. A bit geeky, fan girl type of thing to do, I know, but unless Mr T decides to drop by Nottingham one day, I can't think of any other place to begin.
I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Name's are funny things, don't you think? The other day at work we were talking about nick names and abbreviated versions of our names - Emmeline (named after Emmeline Pankhurst no less) prefers to be called Em, Dave C is called Cheeky, 'cos well he's cheeky and I mentioned that I only like close family to abbreviate my name. Then Wendy, staying quiet until this point suddenly blurts out "my nick name was Loulabella, when I was younger.......but my stage name was Loulabella De Fonso", which neatly beats the name of my sister's imaginary friend when she was little - Madam Caleegy from Ethiopia!

So, when it came to starting this blog, I wondered about my own name. Should I just use my first name? If I did use my full name, my maiden name was out of the question, as no-one could ever pronounce it and it always got miss-spelt and at that point I wasn't married, so I didn't feel I could use that name. Any way I reckoned my married name was way too long to fit on my BAFTA award! I'm waffling now, but what I mean to say is Jones is an invention, something I chose to hide behind at first perhaps, but it kind of stuck with me and is here to stay now. I'm hoping that the peeps at Radio Nottingham didn't think I was too barmy, when I tried to explain that I prefer to be known as this, when I go on the radio, otherwise people would just get confused when they went to my blog site and saw a different name. The blog content is very definitely me, I don't hide behind that, but Jones is like having an alter ego. Imagine me donning a Wonder Woman suit whenever I come to write a blog entry and you wouldn't be far wrong!
Confessional hour is now over.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Sign From The Gods?

It seems like hidden sources may be at work for me to pick my next task. For the last two nights, I've dreamt about the same thing.....babies! In the first dream I had a baby daughter called Alyisha, who I completely forgot I had given birth to and was about to walk out of the door until my husband pointed out, that wasn't I forgetting something? The second dream, again a baby daughter, this time I was busy showing her off to all my blog friends, that I'd never met before and I was at a Dirty Dancing type location??!
Now my friends at work made me consider a couple of options. What was I more afraid of, the fact I had a baby, or the fact that I called her Alyisha? Or perhaps these set of dreams are more metaphorical, which may mean the rebirth or something new coming into my life? Who knows, but my husband is looking mighty worried at the moment!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Turn Left?

I've got to the point again in my list, where I'm just about ready to complete another task - I'm driving a Ferrari on the 26th July. All the documentation has finally come through, so it's in the bag, so to speak and I'm restless. I've got a couple of things on the go at the moment (reading the BBC Top 100 reads and writing my novel), but I feel a fresh challenge beckoning and I'm not sure what direction to go in. Do I learn a new language? Do I start to learn how to play Chess? Do I learn how to use my video camera and load a clip onto You Tube? So many different routes I can take, but which one do I really fancy?

I've always been quite adamant that I wouldn't over plan my list, that I would just randomly pick a task and just do it. Of course, some have required planning, such as the Ben Nevis challenge, but most of the others, I've just gone for and done. Decisions, decisions!

What strikes me most about my list is the fact that he reflects my life so much. I can plan a few things and get those finished, but then I'm always eager to know what's round the corner, that's the impatient person in me I guess.

So, I've no idea what's coming next to tell you about, but I'll guess you find out soon!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Would it be wrong to write into DIY SOS to ask them to build me a tardis? Yes, I know that they usually help deprived families or people struggling to complete home improvements themselves, but I've got a bad back at the mo and my husband is due to go to Japan again on business and I really want one to help me write my Doctor Who script. Do you think I stand a chance? Go on, be honest, what do you think??

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Heart Russell T Davies

I couldn't let a blog post go by without mentioning the awesome end of season finale for Dr Who. If there were any Dr Who story that I would have loved to have wrote, it would have been this one. Torchwood, Sarah Jane, Martha, Rose, Donna and K9, all helping the Doctor fight against the evil Daleks (have I mentioned before that I have a childhood fear of these things that still continues to this day?!) There were so many twists and turns to this story line, that my head was spinning with it all, but it was a fantastic episode and I'm sure Russell sat on Saturday night with his battenburg feeling mighty proud of this one.

I would love to know where his ideas come from and how he creates such vivid story lines - hopefully I might just well find out, as he is booked to do a literature festival in October. I will be first in line to buy those tickets!

In the meantime, with only the Christmas special left this year to look forward to, it may be the time to get into a Dr Who state of mind and begin writing my script.
I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Flying High

In a former life I used to be an estate agent, the one job that I have truly loved doing, but the one that caused me possibly the most stress and strain. One thing to lighten the mood when staff were stressing me out, was to tell them I was running away to join the circus. I don't quite now where I got that statement from, but it used to make the staff laugh, so it served a purpose! Now years later, when I began compiling my list of things to do, my mind was full of memories and thoughts of circus performing came to mind!
I decided I wanted to do something challenging, so juggling was dismissed and I didn't quite fancy flame throwing, so the trapeze came to mind. I have to say at this point that I'm a tincy bit afraid of heights, which only seems to rear it's head when I don't feel I'm in a safe environment, so when I attempt to complete this task, it will be quite a challenge. Oh and one more thing I forgot to say is that just by chance, there happens to be a trapeze school in New York, the one that Carrie Bradshaw used no less. So I'm hoping that it will be open when I'm there for the New Year and then I can score a hat trick of tasks off my list (fly a trapeze, be in Times Square for New Year and visit a USA state) I'm going to e-mail them in the next couple of days to check and PS I won't be wearing any lycra star covered costumes when I complete the task thank you very much!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Where I'm At....

This week I've been busy:-
  • Finishing Anna Karenina (806 pages!)
  • Reading Terry Pratchett for the first time (strange!)
  • Getting my holidays approved at work so I can go to New York for the New Year (yipee!)
  • Chasing up confirmation of my Ferrari experience day
  • Awaiting a receipt from Marie Curie so I can claim cash match from my employees for the money raised for my Ben Nevis climb (it arrived yesterday, but now I can't find my cash match letter!)

and now I'm currently:-

  • Watching The A Team (I love it when a plan comes together!)