- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Monday, 31 December 2012
I never really make New Year Resolutions.
I just really go with the ebb and flow of life and accept what arrives in the post.
However, this last year has been a bit of a learning curve for me. And so I have decided that on the strength of all that I have learnt in 2012, I shall be making a few changes.
First of all I have decided that time is quite important.
It is ruthless in its continual ticking.
I should imagine this is due to the fact that I will be hitting a landmark birthday this coming year. And knowing that, makes me realise that I do not want to waste any more of it with people whose company I find quite irritating.
Like a reversed New Year's Honours List, I shall be rewarding myself by veering away from the company of those energy vampires whom I feel I have given enough of my time too without any personal rewards.
I think I may call it The Epiphany of My Dotage.
Come on, you have to admit that there are people in your life that you just get to a point with where you mentally throw your hands in the air and roll your eyes.
They wear you out, but you forgive them time and time again, until it just becomes a little dull and boring.
Well as 2013 begins, I will be whacking Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli's Time to Say Goodbye on my stereo and theatrically waving farewell to them all.
I shall find this process very liberating.
The second thing I shall be taking on board my ship a lot more often as it sails through 2013, will be those that I love.
I shall also follow my instincts as far as prospective suitors are concerned and keep my wits about me.
Although as the years are passing by at such a hectic rate and taking their toll on me, I doubt that this is something I shall be having to worry too much about.
And that is fine too.
I am kind of giving up worrying about it all now.
I have been carrying the possible relationship albatross around my shoulders for so many years now, it has passed away and has been stuffed by taxidermist for good measure.
I think I shall get rid of it now and just pop that bubble for good and forget about it (as I practically have).
For me 2013 will be all about me and mine and new beginnings and working towards the possibility of finishing my book.
In the spirit of the expected norm in the resolution stakes, I shall try not to eat as much and take better care of myself.
I shall endeavour to make better choices.
I shall smile and laugh more often and not let people upset me too much.
I shall read more books.
I shall write more often.
And I shall resist the temptation to make self-depreciating jokes at my own expense.
I shall say 'Yes' and mean it. And more importantly, I shall say 'No' and mean it.
On New Year's Eve just after Big Ben has sounded out the last of its twelve chimes, I always let the old year out through the back door and the new one in via the front door.
As I walk from one door to the other, I shall take a moment to have a ponder within that space in which no year yet exists.
Within those few moments of that as yet to be dated space, I shall strengthen my resolve for all that is ahead. And then, when I am ready for it, I shall open the front door and welcome 2013 with a big smile upon my face.
Happy New Year to you all.
Friday, 14 December 2012
Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Well, here it is, Christmas is upon us all once again.
And I have to admit, I rather like it.
I like it because even though I have absolutely no money with which to support the capitalist ideology of what Christmas has become, I am rich beyond my wildest dreams, because I have realised what Christmas is really all about.
I have a family with whom to spend Christmas Day with.
And no amount of cash could pay for that.
And whilst we all drive each other mad at best of times. At the worst of times, we all bond together like a small impenetrable gang watching each others backs.
That's us. All a bit bonkers, but all armed with the very best intentions for each other.
And I think that most families are just like mine.
All of this puts me in mind of my favourite Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life.
It is a tradition in my household that we all watch that movie every year roundabout this time.
Last year, I took Child Two to see it at the cinema as a treat. We were fortunate enough to be part of an audience in a proper cinema where a very nice man gave a talk prior to the beginning of the film.
He spoke about all the films that embodied the spirit of the Christmas season and we were spellbound by his words and by the choice of clips he had chosen to illustrate this.
Child Two and I sat there nodding in appreciation.
It was Christmas film heaven for both of us and set up the main feature to perfection.
What always surprises me about It's A Wonderful Life, is that each time I see it, I notice something different about it that I hadn't seen before.
I laughed with great affection one year, when I realised that the cop and the cab driver are called Bert and Ernie.
To understand why, you just need to see a few episodes of Sesame Street.
And every time I see this film, I always cry when Clarence Odbody, Angel Second Class takes George to the cemetery where he shows him his brother Harry Bailey's gravestone and tells him that Harry died because George wasn't there to save him when they were children.
It is the pivotal point of the film and one that embodies what its overall message is all about. Not just for Christmas, but for all the other days, weeks and months of each and every year that we are here. We are vital to those that we are connected too, even if at times we may think that we aren't.
In his dystopian Pottersville reality, George witnesses the alternative lives of those he loves and cares for, had he never been born.
I find this segment of the film the most harrowing to watch.
And it always makes me take stock.
So here is what I think.
I think that even though we are all up against it at the moment, we should all take stock of our lives and focus on all that we have, as opposed to all that we do not.
Do not feel bad and go and spend money, that you do not have, on items that you do not need.
You will all be richer for it, in more ways than one.
Try to spread the cheer that is evoked throughout the Christmas season, throughout the coming year and beyond.
And on Christmas Day itself, just be grateful for all you have and for those that you have to share it with.
And go and watch It's A Wonderful Life.
And play that Slade record as much as possible.
And be more George Bailey and less Henry Potter.
And from me and mine, to you and yours, Merry Christmas one and all.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
A few years ago, I was travelling on a bus in London, just looking out of the window and zoning out like I tend too do, when my ears honed in on a conversation that was taking place between two elderly men sitting near the front.
One had boarded the bus at a later stage to the other one and had recognised him with delight and as such, had sat down with him on the same seat and began a rather interesting chat.
They were both what I would call "Old Boys" of a certain class and background, who shared a commonality in their experiences and in their history.
They were discussing health and life and what was on each others agenda for the day. One was off to see his doctor in Harley Street, followed by a reunion in Soho with some old friends.
It was a joy to overhear their conversation and I was disappointed when after a far too short a time span, they bid each other farewell and went their separate ways.
I travelled on alone with a smile on my face recounting their interaction, the warmth of which accompanied me all the way home.
The residue of this event stayed with me for some time and I began to wonder why.
And then it dawned on me.
I couldn't recall the last time I had heard an exchange like it whilst travelling on public transport in London.
Mostly, my travels on buses are subjected to assaults from overbearing persons who do not speak my Mother tongue, but choose to speak in theirs at the tops of their voices.
And I have to admit, that because I do not understand what they are saying, this starts to grate on my nerves after a while.
The latest Census has revealed that I am now part of a minority in the city that I was born in the very heart of over forty years ago.
During those years London has welcomed people from all over the world and a majority of those people have decided to make her their home as well as mine.
But like all of the guests, I would welcome into my own home, I would expect them to respect my ways of doing things as opposed to theirs, while they are my guests.
If they didn't, I would consider their behaviour to be rude and ask them to leave and wouldn't invite them back again.
That is just the way I am.
And if the roles were reversed, I would certainly behave myself in their home and act accordingly.
That is just the way I am.
It is how I was brought up to behave as a guest in other people's homes.
But, it appears to me that there has been a shift in the society that we all inhabit.
It has nothing to do with race or creed, but everything to do with differences in culture and how we deal with that.
I get the distinct impression that I am now part of a minority that has overtly made allowances for these cultural differences, without it being reciprocated, by those the allowances are being made for.
I know that I am not alone in drawing these conclusions as people often depart with this information far too frequently.
And that makes me sad.
It makes me sad because I feel like I am in a cultural void. One which has no foundation of its own.
A culture that was based on muck in, make do and mend, that is no longer recognised by the powers that be or by those that the allowances are made for.
I exist, but I have to shout louder than those I am assaulted by during my bus, journeys to be heard.
When what I would really just like, is to hear more from those two elderly gents who made my day, for a brief moment on a bus, in London, as few years ago.
Sunday, 2 December 2012
When I was a youngest, I erected a wall around me. I erected it due to all the men that I had ever allowed to detract from my sensibilities.
It was hard for me to sustain and maintain that wall, because at my core lies a person who believes in people and all that they have to say.
As I got older, I dismantled that wall as I found that I had to be true to myself. It is who I am and I cannot change that.
Not having the wall means that I am open to everyone and anything. It is my default setting. I will take you as you are and act accordingly.
I have no idea what the events of the last week were meant to mean. I just welcomed them and responded to them as I saw fit.
Of course within any two way relationship, we can only take it at face value due to what we are told and how we are treated whilst it last.
It was all very odd.
The old version of me would have struggled with the impact of it all and possibly considered rebuilding that wall. But, I am happy to say that I looked at it all and decided that I wasn't going to allow that to happen.
I did nothing wrong. I was just being me. I trusted the situation and the person, as I was told by them that they were honest, truthful, didn't play games and like me, also wore their heart on their sleeve.
Unfortunately, due to this statement, I gave away far too much of myself and then became embroiled in some unfolding chaotic drama that was not of my making.
Even though I have ever sympathy for those affected by an unfortunate series of events, I felt used by all of those concerned. And that hurt me a great deal.
It affected me quite badly as it was like an explosion in a ticker tape factory. From the very off it appeared to be too good to be true.
Although, if I am honest about it, from the very off, I sensed that something wasn't quite right. The person was very self centred and the revelation that on top of their recent split, that had also been in receipt of counselling, led me to assume that they would have to have the constitution of a battle ship, to be able to encompass a new relationship.
I was obviously a sitting duck distraction.
When the dust had finally settled and reality bit, they did a u-turn and headed out of Dodge before the sun had set.
Initially I was heartbroken that someone should come baring so much and create illusions with promise of delivering more, only to then discard me like a like a toy that they no longer favoured
I had a choice. I could let it upset me, or I could say to myself, what a complete idiot and move on.
I chose the latter.
I do not need to lower my expectations of who I am, by allowing myself to spend my time slumming it with someone like him.
I cannot stand those personalities who are so complex and intense they demand the attention of an unwilling audience by wallowing so openly in self-pity. And your self flagellation was the most unattractive thing I have ever bore witness too.
It isn't attractive and if I wanted to put myself through that, I would have just watch Krzysztof Kieslowski Three Colours trilogy.
Like I said, I have ever sympathy, but do it on your own time and not on mine.
We all suffer varying degrees of upset, lost and transition at some point in our lives. If we didn't, we would never be able to appreciate all the good things that happen to us.
And you very nearly had me there, but this lady isn't prepared to put up with street magicians and their sleight of hand trickery or court jesters with bells on their hats.
No, I am more interested in reality and the brightness of my future. I am more interested in my own well being and all the genuine people in my life and all of those I have yet to meet.
And I like the way my life is, without you in it.
I hope that no man ever does to your daughter, what you did to me. But chances are, while there are men in the world like you, they will.
And so, with one more joker ejected from the pack, my default settings are fully restored.
And for my next trick, I am off to a happy place and you're not invited.