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Pelzer, Ballard and poorly children

The RGS School Pool, Newcastle. (Where I learnt to swim)

The kids had school off yesterday; we’ve all been grizzling for days, not quite well enough to give up; they went to school though I didn’t swim. Yesterday we gave up. I’ve not swum for a week, I’m getting behind with my swimming training. Set backs. Dealing with them. I wont give up, when I do get back in the pool I’ll have lost some of my gains. My writing schedule has gone out of the window too, not only because I’m writing so little during the week, but my planned ‘writer’s week’ has been consumed by Darlingest’s clients who have failed to stick to any of their promises. Such is the life of a freelance, I keep telling her.

I’m up at 3.15 a.m. Or was it 4.15 a.m.

I found a couple of media jobs I could apply to. I write a covering letter and CV that could take me back into a London producing job. I spend a year saying this is the last thing I will do, but end up doing it anyway.

I take solace in Dave Pelzer, ‘A Boy Called it’ and his tips on sticking to your plans; Darlingest supports me in a move to Cornwall where we can live on less and I can write for a few more years.

Life Lessons

Dave Pelzer

I like this book for its simplicity; it is also very short. Five or six ideas are enough to keep in your head at any one time; I’m going to pick through the following, chant them, put them in a prayer, remind myself each day what I want to achieve.

1. Be resilient

2. Learn to fly

3. No one is perfect

4. Let go of your past

a. ‘You cannot move forward until you free yourself from the shackles of your past.’

5. Deal with everyday problems

a. ‘Settle your problems as promptly and as thoroughly as you are able.’

6. Rest your mind.

a. Get a good night’s sleep.

i. I go to bed early.

7. Let go, let rip daily.

a. I go down to the sea.

8. Purge your soul

a. I do so in a diary, often in Diaryland.

9. If you have been subjected to negative surroundings, use them to make you strive for something better.

a. I don’t want to be an absent father, not away all week or for weeks at a time, nor a divorcee.

10. Limit your response to negative settings and, if necessary, make a clean break.

a. I got out of TVL, I got out of Worth Media (or did they push).

11. Overcome your guilt. Make amends and move on.

12. Don’t give yourself away in the vain hope of appeasing others.

13. To help yourself, be yourself.

14. Never go to bed upset.

15. Resolve mattes before they envelop you. Compromise.

16. Hate no one. It is like a cancer.

17. Forgiveness cleanses.

18. When life’s not fair.

a. ‘Before you quit on yourself when life isn’t fair, exhaust all your options for making things happen.’

19. How badly do I want it?

a. Resolve to make things happen to you.

20. What have I accomplished?

a. Ask yourself what can you not accomplish when you truly commit to that one thing?

21. Know what you want and determine to make it happen.

22. What is truly important to me? (us)

23. Attempt the so-called ‘impossible’ until it becomes an everyday part of your life.

24. Don’t give your best away.

a. ‘We allow self-doubt, time, situations or whatever else to erode our dreams. We quit on ourselves. We carry regret, regret turns into frustration, frustration into anger, anger into sorrow. We’ve lost one of life’s most precious gifts: the excitement, the fear, the heart-pounding sensation of taking a step outside our protective womb.’

25. Go the distance.

a. ‘Part of the thrill of success is the journey of the struggle. If it were easy everyone would be doing it.’

26. Be happy.

a. The older we get, the more complacent, hopeless and despondent we become.

27. A consistent, positive attitude makes a world of difference.

28. There may not be a tomorrow to count on, so live the best life that you can today.

29. Start saying positive, rather than negative things about myself (and everyone around me).

30. Focus. If you have no goal or the self-belief that you can accomplish them, you will end up going nowhere.

a. A little bit of adversity can help to realign you, make you humble and make you want it more.

i. Darlingest asking me why I turn to write whenever I’m up against it is highlighting my hearts desire I’m not entering a cave.

31. Deflect negativity.

a. Flush it away and replace it with something positive (from a positive environment).

32. I wallow in my own abyss of doom and gloom.

33. Every day see the brighter side of things.

Super-Cannes J G Ballard

With a six and four year old sick at home I do little else but supervise their activities, ensure that they are warm, safe, fed and entertained. I snatch at J G Ballard’s novel, ‘Super Cannes’ from which I exhumed the following quotes. I’ll chew over them another time, when I feel better and I don’t have a four year old having a tantrum.

‘Relaxing on the coast highway, I changed down to third gear. For the next thirty minutes I drove like Frenchman, overtaking on the inside lanes, straddling the central market lines on the most dangerous bends, tailgating any woman driver doing less than seventy, my headlamps flashing, slipping the clutch at traffic lights as the exhaust roared through the muffler and the engines wound itself to a screaming 7000 rev, swerving across the double yellows and forcing any oncoming drivers to skid their wheels in the refuse-filled verges.’ J G Ballard.

It sounds like my brother driving on the A1 up to Beadnell from Gosforth.

‘Senior policemen are either philosophers or madmen …’

So I have heard; it gives me a way ahead in my novel.


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