Imaginary Friends

“I still think most writers are just kids who refuse to grow up. We’re still playing imaginary games, with our imaginary friends.” Ian Rankin.

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?

I’m not sure if I did. I certainly can’t remember one. I do remember exploring rock pools, building cubbies, and pretending to be pirates etc so I guess I channeled my imagination into other things? And I had a brother and a pet cocker spaniel that would be my partners in crime whenever I needed accomplices. If I had had one (an imaginary friend), I’m pretty sure it would have been a girl (because sometimes I missed having a sister) but I wonder what other characteristics she would have had?

Many imaginary friends in fiction are bad-mannered trouble-makers (Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and Fred from Drop Dead Fred), bad influences (Tyler Durdin from Fight Club) or downright demonic (Tony in The Shining). I wouldn’t want a demon, but someone with a bit of sass, and a cool bad-ass laugh would be great (Incidentally, it was the Pastafarian ‘laugh like a baddie day’ the other day, 2nd of June).

Anyway, I hope that in an age of helicopter parenting and social media, our kids haven’t stopped making up imaginary friends.

“Children need stimulation and stability. … There are also times when children need to be left alone to learn to be independant and to encourage their imaginary friends.” Tony Buzan.

Spot on, Tony.

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Life’s Big Questions #1

Sometimes, life’s big questions just pop into my brain. Like this one: if you were a circus performer, which one would you be? I think it came to mind because I’m listening to the audiobook Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I watched the movie with Reese Witherspoon and the vampire guy ages ago and enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give the book a go.

Anyway, back to the question at hand. Which performer would I be? I have considered the pros and cons of each and narrowed it down to a shortlist:

  • Ring Master. Starting from the top, the big guy. I have a bossy streak, so I could definitely see myself with the top hat and microphone, but then, it’s probably the most boring of all the jobs, and too much responsibility!
  • Lion Tamer. I love animals, but cats aren’t my favourite. And I’m not super-fussed on handling lots of red meat (and giant lion poops).
  • Trapeze artist or acrobat. This is a good option. I did gymnastics as a kid, but I’d have to find some of that flexibility again (and I’m not sure that’s even possible).
  • Human catapult. Um, getting shot out of a cannon? Pass.
  • Fire-eater. Pyrotechnics are cool! This is another potential option. Strong contender.
  • Strong-man. I’m not (strong). Pass.
  • Snake-charmer. Snakes are freaky. Pass.
  • Clown. I like to think I’m funny, but I know deep down I’m not really. Although dressing up in a colourful wig and bright red nose every day…
  • Roadie crew. Setting up then pulling down the big top every few days? Sounds like way too much hard work.

So, I think the winner is … fire-eater! A big life question answered!

What would you be?

 

Fear. Bravery. Courage.

“You only have to be brave for the first twenty seconds”, We Bought a Zoo

This week’s coagulation of ideas is about fear and bravery. The seed was planted when I rewatched the feel-good movie, We Bought a Zoo. I love Matt Damon movies. Throw in Scarlett J and lots of animals and you have a winning combo! But the opening premise of the movie is so true: you do only have to be brave for the first twenty seconds. Take a deep breath and … go for it!

My thoughts started to take more shape while I was reading possibly the worst memoir ever written: How to amputate a leg, and other ways to stay out of trouble, by Nathan Mullins. I applaud people who serve in the military and emergency services, but this guy was a self-serving tool who exaggerated stories to try and sound heroic. A particular low-point was the chapter on shark attacks, which was little more than a few interactions with a reef shark and a wobbegong! Anyway, I gave up reading it about halfway through, but I did flick through the chapter on fear. Mullins thinks he may be an expert in the field: “I suppose I have experimented with fear many times in my life. Maybe I’m an expert.” But he was right about one thing: being brave and being unafraid are two different things. Bravery is being scared about something and doing it anyway. If you aren’t scared, it isn’t bravery. This was also a point drawn out in the audiobook I just finished listening to: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. A novel based on historical fact. Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator who was the first person to fly non-stop from the USA to Europe was unafraid of flying. In contrast, his wife Anne, who he taught to fly in order to be his co-pilot, was sh*t-scared of flying, but was brave enough to do it anyway.

From all this stimuli, I’ve noted a few ideas for the sitcom. (If you are new to this blog, I’m collecting ideas for a sitcom. Read more here). In each “episode” the storyline will include different house guests at the health retreat. One of the guests can be a Nathan Mullins-inspired know-it-all idiot. He’ll be called Mac (an unflattering acronym which I won’t spell out here). And another can be an olympic athlete. Maybe of a really obscure olympic sport that noone has ever heard of. Or maybe it could be a cameo from a real olympic athlete, like Hussain Bolt.

Anyway, I traded in the crappy memoir for Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – still sticking with the themes of courage, survival and resilience. I haven’t seen the movie version yet, but I’m keen to.

I’m also:
-catching up on the Mamamia Out Loud podcasts
-up to Level 1853 on Candy Crush, and playing 9 people in Words With Friends.
-and trying to live by Eleanor Roosevelt’s motto:

“Do one thing every day that scares you”.

Anyway, that’s what’s happening in my world. Hope you are enjoying yours!

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