About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Come Dine With Me By Holly Searle




If I could choose who to invite for dinner, living or dead, I would ask the following people; Albert Einstein, Stewart Lee, Charles Darwin, David Attenborough, Banksy, Amelia Earhart, Robert Shaw, J. D. Salinger, Maya Angelou, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, Billie Holiday, Kathy Burke, Truman Capote, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Bill Hicks, Dorothy Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Hawking, Hillary Clinton, Harper Lee, James Stewart, Judi Dench, Stephen King, Dawn French, The Dalai Lama, Gene Kelly, Maggie Smith, Steve Martin, Russell T Davies, Nat King Cole and Mark Ruffalo.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're going to need a really big table Holly.

What I find interesting about this list, is it says more about me, than it does about them. All of these people share certain traits that I find both appealing and interesting. And they have all influenced my life thus far with their intellect, humour and because of their sense of adventure. And Some of them are connected by knowing each other, or would have known each other. And some would have shared, and still do, similar passions.

They are also people who have dared to follow their beliefs regardless of what others may have thought, and were and are all incredibly talented.

And above all else, they are a creative and a innovative bunch of individuals that I would certainly welcome with both an open heart and an open mind.

Imagine the conversation wouldn't it be great? The stories they would tell? The different perspective that they could share over a three course meal? The commonalities that they would have, and the unlikely friendships that would be forged across time and space all in that one evening.

The Friend Requests that would be sent out post dinner party via Facebook, and the increased followings on Twitter, I can see it all now. Although Darwin may be quite a reluctant Tweeter, or he may welcome it with an open key pad safe in the knowledge that he could conduct an online Natural Selection Tweetfest on The Contemporary Behaviour of the Human Race.

Picture the after dinner game of Charades. Or that game that my family and I always play during Christmas when you write the name of a well known person on a piece of paper, and then stick it on to the forehead of someone else without them seeing who it is. If you haven't played this game it is great, as each person asks the rest of the group one question that can only be answered with either a Yes or a No, until the person has asked enough questions to have worked out who they are.

Imagine the comments and the questions? And I wonder who would be the most competitive. The hilarity would be tenfold, and in all probability the flirting as well.

There would be copious amounts of laughter, entwined with smattering of serious conversation, and differing opinions and ideals. And at the end of the evening, I would pretty much come to conclude that some of my guests were more than I hoped they could ever be, whilst some were less.

But that is a risk that I would be willing to take to be able to spend an evening with all of these people.

My one worry would be Vincent, but I came to conclude that the other artists in residence that evening would be on hand to enlighten him to the joy that he brought to they own collective mindset when they first loaded up their own brushes with paint, and stood in front of the daunting plain canvas that was waiting in front of them.
And Russell could tell him that Richard Curtis had penned a beautiful episode of Doctor Who, that had made a whole new generation aware of him.

Bill, Albert, Stewart, J.D and Stephen King, would no doubt be the rebels of the evening, sharing tales of social dystopia, and the Kennedy assassination. Whilst Maggie, Judi, Katherine, Bette, Dorothy, Kathy, Dawn and I would pondered about Kevin, but not before all agreeing how charming he was and asking him to re-enact the line "And like that... he's gone."

The situations we would all find ourselves in that night would be both unimaginable and beyond my wildest dreams.

Looking at the stars with Albert and Stephen Hawking, whilst they both explained their theories, with Nat singing Stardust in the background, and Bette making a joke about only ever having asked for them.

I can't possibly imagine that it would be boring for one moment.

And being able to ask Amelia what did happen to her on her last flight? Or to be able to tell Billie that her voice contained all the emotion that every lonely women has every felt, when she sings Lover Man.

And being able to say “Sorry, who are you?” When I open the door to Banksy.

And being able to thanks J.D and Truman for their books, and to confessing to Robert Shaw that I fell in love with him after he played Quint, but not before telling Bill that I and the world will always miss him.

Maya would comfort Billie, and they would no doubt discuss Oprah. And I would tell Hilary that she must run, and Kevin could give her some Frank Underwood toptastictips of how to gain the upper hand in The White House.

And I would tell Gene that he blew me away when I was a kid when I saw him tap dance on roller skates. I would tell him about The Artist, and ask him what he thought.

And Harper, I have no doubt would have to see Truman home.

And at the end of the night, I would whisper in James Stewart's ear that I make a point of seeing It's a Wonderful Life every Christmas.

I have no idea what I would serve. But I am sure that the evening wouldn't depend upon the food, it would rely on the company.

And I am sure I have missed someone off, but I can't for the life of me think who.

And then there is the fictional dinner guests I would ask on another night.

But that's another story.

A girl can only dream.

RSVP.

Friday, 25 July 2014

This Woman's Work By Holly Searle


I used to find it quite difficult being a women. But now that I am well into my, what I like to call, wisdom years, I have been enlightened by the epiphanic realisation, that being a woman after all, is actually a fantastic state of being.

Yes, yes, I know, there are all these social embargoes that have impacted our final destination. But, the journey there has seen us become a powerhouse of ingenuity in the process.

Attributed to this onwards and upwards journey, the very apt idiom 'necessity is the mother of invention'. And you have pretty much captured the essence of that said journey. And you may well roll your eyes and shout Well of course she is, for all of her daughters and their daughters before them, have had to pave the way for a greater space of recognition.

And whilst this recognition may still be horrifically mutilated and abused by some cultures, we have witnessed an array of raised voices of those women who are no longer willing to stand by an allow this to go unnoticed and unheard. And I applaud those women who have stood their ground and have spoken out against such atrocities .

I used to dismiss my role in society as I felt the burden of its weight on my narrow shoulders. But now I realise how lucky and fortunate that I am to be the product of so many women who have fought for my rights in this crazy world that all of humanity inhabits.

My happiness derives from all of the confidence that I have gained from my life as a women, simply due to all of the other women that I a blessed to know.

All of them are and have been supportive, strong and intelligent. They are able, smart, funny, creative, and this makes them all beautiful creatures in my eyes.

All of my life I have pined for my place in society to be defined by a man. But now I realise that my seller social identity, has been determined by the relationships that I have established with other women.

And I am a stronger and better person because of these relationships, and on top of that it has been quite a revelation for me to have this realisation, and, I might add an absolute personal pleasure.

So thank you all. You all play an important role in my life, however big or small, and I wouldn't be who I am without each piece of the jigsaw that your combined impute brings, and creates when it constructs the picture of my life.

Let's all embrace each other and all of the other women we meet. As it is so important that we do just that, as so many women have had (and continue to do so) enough struggles in their lives.

I am a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a mother, an aunt, and a grandmother. I have welcomed and have been blessed in all of these roles.

But I have never been a very good wife. However, this is a not due to my lacking, it is more due to the fact that I have yet to meet a man who was able to match my characteristics. For along my way, I have become an independent force of mother nature.

I have raised two extraordinary children. I have kept them safe from harm, advised them, nurtured their ideals and expectation, gain a degree, risen like a phoenix on more than one occasion as the ashes cooled around my feet, never missed a mortgage payment, fixed my home, filled my world with information and experiences, welcomed change, and have spun plates and juggled balls like a boss.

Men sometimes find this a threat as I have left no space for them.

But, I am a woman, and that has been and is my woman's work. And throughout it all I have been part of a connected network of women who have shared their lives with me.

I couldn't stand still lamenting like Tammy Wynette singing Stand By Your Man waiting for one to arrive as there has been too much life to live in the meantime.

Besides, I replaced that tune with one by Helen Reddy instead, and never looked back.

And anyway it isn't hard too be a women. It is simply marvellous as you can have a good time doing things that he doesn't understand. And you'll enjoy the process.

Life moves pretty fast. Love yourself, speak up, and tell those women in your life how much they mean to you, even if they sometimes drive you crazy. That is also allowed and perfectly normal. But above all else, keep on keeping on.

And as a quite astute innocent once stated, that is all I have to say about that.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Hiding in Plain Sight By Holly Searle



When I was a wee nipper, everything, or so it appeared was much more simpler.

But looking back, it would seem that I was conned. For now most of those whom we were encouraged to have faith in, were in fact nothing more than a band of malevolent tricksters.

So maybe simpler isn't the right word. Maybe the correct word to use would in fact be naïve.

And of course, whilst my childhood may have had access to a much more sophisticated array popular culture outlets than that of my parents, or theirs before them for that matter. I now feel as though I have to discounts a large proportion of it as if it had never existed, or that I was even a willing participant in it.

And I wonder how many others of my generation felt a rush of envy at those boys and girls who were selected to appear on prime time shows and Christmas specials to meet their telly idols, or who got to tick off one of their wishes.

I know I did.

I can remember quite clearly writing a letter. Dear Jim it started. Of course, when the program that featured the heartthrob was screened on the box in the corner, I couldn't help feeling really quite disappointed that I hadn't been chosen.

Why not me I thought? I felt pretty rubbish and came to conclude that I just wasn't special enough, and sloped off to distract myself with something else to do in my bedroom.

Oh well, never mind. All it had really cost me was a minor upset and the price of a stamp, and a fast track in the educational stakes that idolatry didn't pay.

And whilst if I had been one of the chosen few, I would have remembered it for the rest of my life either with great fondness or immense embarrassment, depending of the age I was at the time of my point of view. In retrospect, having not been chosen probably saved me from something much much more sinister.

And whilst we spent a majority of our childhood playing outside. Today parents worry endlessly and quite rightly so about Stranger Danger and the like, and allow their children much less freedom. Whatever you do children, do not speak to an adult that you do not know. Never get into a car with someone however good their intentions may appear. For it is better to be safe than sorry.

So I am not sorry that I wasn't picked.

But there is an irony here, for whilst there have always been good and bad people in the world, a majority of those from my childhood were hiding in plain slight. There they all resided in the box that beamed their faux persona’s into the living rooms of our formative years.

Can you guess what it is yet? Do you want to be in my gang? Your letter was only the start of it. It's getting better and now you're a part of it.


How prolifically self mocking at all of our expenses those words now become.

It was as though they all knew exactly what they were doing and getting away with it without ever being questioned.

And even though this is not a remote historical occurrence, you can read either of Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon books to discover that the abuse of the innocent under the shadow of stardom is nothing new. It would appear to have bottled necked in this portion of my childhood. Or maybe it was always there and that the chosen few decided to collectively speak up as they were no longer willing to hide in the a remote hinterland as those in plain sight began to fade.


And I bet there is more to come. More vile unadulterated revelation from witnesses about those that you never would have suspected.

And hopefully our children having been spoon fed the media's own guilt will be wiser than we were.

The question that remains though folks, and one that we should all maybe ask ourselves, is who has replaced our malevolent tricksters?

Bet you'll be more shocked than your children.