Whatever people think of me, they are probably right.
As part of a training session with work I had to find out what my work colleagues thought of me by giving them a set of twenty words, and for them to choose ten words that best describe me.
The work colleagues who really know me well practically chose the same words as I chose for myself. The others would choose words which didn’t surprise me, as I am quiet, shy and can appear intense with people that I don’t really know. But, those who know me well, know that I am not like that with those I feel comfortable with.
My neighbours in the street probably think I am rude and ignorant, as I avoid making small talk or engage in conversations. It’s not that I am either, it’s just whenever they see me outside it is usually either going to, or coming home from work. Working 12 hours on 3 days a week, the last thing I want to do is start making chit-chat about the weather. Some people like that sort of thing – not me!
My close friends think I am focused and lead a busy life. They are right, and that is how I prefer my life to be. In my twenties, I was raising children and didn’t have much else going on in my life. This lead to low self-esteem and arguments in the house, through my frustration. Towards the latter end of my twenties I lost a very close friend suddenly and it made me re-evaluate my life. I wasn’t living, I was merely existing and it was time to discover the things that I enjoyed doing. Just because I was a mother didn’t mean that my life had to end. So, I started playing netball again, began to write, developed friendships and found a job that I felt passionate about. The rest is history!
This semester’s module on my MA TV and Radio Scriptwriting degree has been a collaborative project in Radio Drama.
Having never written for the medium of radio before, I was looking forward to a new writing challenge commencing in my second year of the course. Not only are radio scripts a slightly different format to television scripts, but they also require a lot more thought about how to make dialogue audibly visual instead of pictures on a television screen. It is certainly a skilful craft to master, but not one that I would shy away from.
The second challenge to this project was finding out that it was going to be part of a collaborative project. Once I have my masters under my belt I will endeavour to co-write something with another fellow writer. Although I think the relationship has to be one that you seek, rather than it being forced upon you. James Corden and Ruth Jones met on the set of ‘Fat Friends’ and that relationship grew from there. Damon Beesley and Iain Morris worked together as producers before they crafted the hilarious ‘The Inbetweeners’.
What I am getting at is that chances are that most co-writers know each other before starting on a writing project together.
You have to be able to tolerate each other firstly, but I also think it’s extremely important to share similar writing styles, and in this case which was a radio drama – to at least have a similar sense of humour.
So, to find myself thrown into the lion’s den with seven other writers as part of my collaborative writing project sent me into a cold sweat when it was announced in class.
In the first year, all my stories were my own. They were my characters that I had created, a storyline that I believed in and of course the dialogue was believable because it was written by me. If I got a less than average mark, then that was my fault too.
So, to be thrust into a group in my second year when these grades really matter to me was out of my comfort zone. And, to write a script for a series that I hadn’t created was also difficult to digest at first.
Call me old fashioned but I believe there is a certain etiquette which should be followed in the world of dating. The etiquette being that verbal communication is king and only the weak hide behind texting and messaging.
However, the use of social media and instant messaging has changed how we interact with each other and particularly with the opposite sex.
I recall in my dating days actually phoning boyfriends up and talking verbally on the phone. To me, it was always nice to hear a voice on the end of the telephone. Nowadays, it is all about texting and blackberry messaging as the preferred form of communication.
Okay so its been quite a while since I actually dated, having been in a relationship for many years. And yes, I do text and email the husband throughout the day. However, if we ever spend time apart with work or through leisure we always make sure that we have a voice to voice conversation every day.
My teenage son has reached the age where he is now dating different girls. I don’t think he has ever phoned any of his girlfriends up to have a conversation with them, but he always has his blackberry in his hand.
The other week, he wanted to finish the current relationship that he was in and asked for my advice on how to do it.
Not claiming to be an expert on such matters, I did try and make sure that he did what I considered to be the right way of doing it, which was to see the girl face-to-face to end it. I believe that dumping someone by text or instant messaging is bad manners and a cowards way out of a situation. Apparently its common place to do this, and maybe I am just old-fashioned and need to get up to speed.
He did however, try to undertake my method after messaging the girl to meet up that evening. She must have sensed something was wrong and messaged back stating that If he was going to dump her, she would rather he did it over text.
Thus, maybe my old-fashioned views should stay where they belong – back in the 90s.
Very often when I get to know new people either through work, my class at university or through other social gatherings such as sports – I often get a surprised look when I tell people of firstly how long I have been married and secondly, how long the relationship has lasted.
We got together at the end of our teenage years, which looking at that now seems very young. It certainly doesn’t feel like we have been together for nearly eighteen years, as we still enjoy each others company immensely. As we have matured from the love-sick, sweet nineteen year olds we still enjoy spending quality time together and are still the best of friends.
I never take anything for granted, my relationship included. Often I think I am really lucky to have found the perfect person for me. We are like two peas in a pod, but he made a comment about our relationship last week which summed up to me what makes a good relationship great.
He had been talking to his work colleagues and telling them about the training schedule that he has for his sport. It generally takes him out of the house four evenings a week – with two of those being late into the evening. It’s never been an issue for me, he was that person when I met him and I have never tried to change that person. After all – that is one of the reasons I was attracted to him in the first place.
So, the work colleague was amazed that he “was allowed out four nights a week” and “doesn’t your missus try and stop you”. My husband responded to that by saying that we don’t have that sort of relationship where we would ever stop the other one from doing anything.
And I think that is what makes our relationship not just good, but great! In the eighteen years that we have been together we are both really supportive to each other. As a collective we have undertaken undergraduate degrees, coaching qualifications, run sports teams, played competitively in our chosen sports and currently postgraduate study. Did I mention that we have two children too?
That is what makes our relationship unique. We both have our other interests, circle of friends and careers which we agree are extremely important to uphold. After all the relationship would be really boring if we never had anything but the kids to talk about. I think the reason a lot of relationships break down are through over protective partners (either male or female) although in my experience it is usually the woman who does this.
And why? Well for some women once they become mothers they think that their lives are over. They do their living through their children, and then find that their lives are dull, meaningless and they lose their identity. I have kept up with all of my outside interests, as just because I became a parent doesn’t mean that my life grinds to a halt. After all, a child has two parents so my children have both their parents raising them, and not just a miserable mother fetching and carrying for them.
It is also really important that the relationship is still exciting and loving. Obviously in the early days it is tough to do this constantly when we are busy changing nappies and all the other caring duties that come with a new born baby. But, now that the kids are older we try and spend a lot of time together as a couple and often go out – just the two of us.
Husband is participating in the Movember moustache growing exercise for a cancer charity, and although I did try and put him off doing it he has grown one. So in my supportive role I spent a huge chunk of Saturday night painting his face so he looked like Gene Simmons from Kiss.
After all, for a relationship to survive you need trust, patience, the wife rolling her eyes and facepaint.