Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Always be Yourself or Don't Give a Shit!

*A big soft sigh

It's good to be back! Back in the comfort of this familiar blog, its layout, its history - my history... and yours. I've recently realised that I'm not finished with this and so it's time for us to have a long overdue chat my friends.

So, in true The Less than Private Diary style, I have a question for you? 

Have you ever tried to impress someone so much, that you lose yourself and the very essence of who you are in the process? 

Let me tell you a story:

It has been a long eight months since writing here, whilst I tried to clamber up the ladder of success and professionalism with sparkly new websites and fancy designs. Big things have happened but not without consequence. My problem is (and I'm sure you may be able to relate to this, just give me a moment to settle back into my stride here) I've lost my voice.

Oh, don't worry - I can still yack on like a good 'un but:

In my attempts to gain recognition from editors/agents/publishers, I went all, well, serious. I forgot, whilst trying to be all grown up and professional, why I began writing in the first place. Which was to try and make sense of this crazy, orbiting world and hope in the process to connect with you - in moments when you also feel a bit confused, or lost or meh. 

I have been an official Try Hard, an arse-licking-grape-feeding desperado, trying to be what I thought other people wanted me to be, in this case 'other people' are publishers, but yours could be friends, boss, not-yet-boyfriend - you can fill this gap with whoever you God-damned want - but generally speaking, this gap is filled by someone who you feel (and I feel) we can't live up to.

Hail the Gold Standards of inadequacies! 
Hazzah to never filling them there gold plated shoes!


Bollocks to that!

I am back here on this blog because I want  need to get real. Perhaps you are here because you do to.

Every time we change ourselves for someone else, we lose that very special thing that makes us unique. We shouldn't have to mould ourselves into someone else's idea of who we are, be it our family, employers or society itself.

We are all frikkin unique
We are all frikkin amazing
We just need to find the people who love our kind of crazy!

And just like our best friends, who like us (as Bridget Jones once said) just the way we are: despite drinking too much, swearing too much and general bullshitting too much, the best results in ANY relationship we ever have, is when we are being truly ourselves.

(Gosh, I've missed my own awesome advice!!)

So, who are you at your best, what is the very best version of you? Basically speaking, who are you when there is nobody watching? Strive to be that person when you feel under pressure and never fucking ever try to be someone else.

In the purest form: Don't give a shit what others think - it's not their life you are living!

I'll answer my own question here and why not answer it yourself in the comments below? It's extremely liberating to do so! (In fact, perhaps we can now refer to the comment section as the Rants of Truth - suggestions for better titles gladly accepted!)

When I'm myself, I'm fun, I'm frikkin God damned hilarious actually, I'm cheeky, a little bit risque, I'm extremely loving, sensitive, compassionate and a realistic balance of totally professional and completely unprofessional all rolled into a one delightful and slightly messed up individual with a thirteen year old boy's sense of humour.

When I'm a toe sucking desperado, I am none of these things and basically as bland as school semolina! 

So dear friends, let's throw off our fancy dress costumes of who we think and others think we should be and let's get real, let's get raw, let's get naked!

Now dance in this game called life mo-fo, like there's nobody watching!

*Rant Over

Friday, 6 June 2014

If You Could See me Now...

In that one moment, that perfect moment, when I had never felt so abundantly happy, so full of life, love and nature - a million miles away from strain, materialistic desires and emotional pain. In that one moment I whispered reverently,
"If you could see me know."

Let me set the scene with simple words that could never truly encapsulate my surroundings and the feelings that they evoked deep within me. The sun was setting a velvet crimson red behind the rouged backdrop of mountains and tall forests, where blue hues and  mists rose mysteriously from the fresh smelling eucalyptus, evaporating like a whisper against the warm, golden skies. Turquoise water tainted with liquid gold caressed the shoreline as tenderly as a mother kisses the skin of her first born, and although the daylight still fought against the darkness, the moon bravely shone in her defiance and inevitable victory, as her own children began to appear, slowly, one by one, ceremoniously celebrating dusk's surrender to the night.

A solo boat bobbed on the horizon and I recollected that I once knew that loneliness, I once felt that insurmountable emptiness and vastness of travelling alone in a world that cannot be understood when hovering above the surface. I do not hover above the surface anymore, in fact, I have become submerged and immersed in a love that has more depth than the unexplored Ocean Herself,  the very ocean that delicately washed away our footprints from the shore as we walked along the virgin sands hand in hand.

"If you could see me now." I whispered again as we made our way to our candle lit camper van, parked at an unmapped coastal location of the East Coast of Australia. Smokey Barbecue aromas filled the night time air along with the nighttime sounds of wilderness. We drank wine until we were merry, watched the show of rainless lightening that nature displayed in the far distance,                                                                                                                                                                                                   we made love under the stars as our own thunder roared. And as we fell asleep, entangled in a mass of sweating bodies and love, I whispered to my past self one more time: one more time to the terrified girl I use to be, one more time to the unknowing, constantly searching and emotionally wrecked women I thought I was, one more time to the hurting, lost and fearfully soulless individual that hovered above the surface of life,
"If you could see me now, if you knew how incredible life would become and always has been, you would not waste a single second on remorse, fears and insecurities. if you could see me now, all the pain would be worth it, happily endured for this one moment, for this one perfect moment..."

Monday, 26 May 2014

Search and Rescue

“Would you ever decide to kill a human being?” He asked.
“No, of course not! I replied, silently questioning the truth behind my words, would I? Would I if it meant saving or protecting a loved one?
“Ah – A perfect decision,” he said with a subtle degree of melancholy in his world-weary eyes, “I’ve made decisions that have killed many human beings.”

Strangers – those mysterious and unknown individuals that we encounter every day. Often, we join an entire herd of them, walking among the crowded streets feeling like the odd one out, a vulnerable gazelle between the hungry lions perhaps. We pass them by as if their lives mean nothing to us other than a moving landscape within the city. We forget that they have lives too, that they have dreams, ambitions, secrets and regrets.  

But occasionally, if the mood is right and the moment is taken, we can converse with these strangers and sometimes, if we are open enough, we may end up having a conversation that makes us question our entire world.

The conversation and indeed my day had started quite innocently. I had woken up with the sun shining through the window, penetrating my thoughts with the happiness that only an abnormally warm winter’s day can produce. Sea fret hovered on the golden horizon and I happily whistled out of tune as I cycled to a seafront cafe, imbued with the enthusiasm that witnessing day break inspires, as my scarf and worries fluttered behind me with the gentle breeze.

It was time to get a coffee and put my feet up

“Blue toe nails. Interesting.” he stated and I bashfully smiled in acknowledgment, removing my bare feet that had been resting on the cafe’s bench, allowing the lion to sit in the only available seat whilst he began checking his emails on his laptop. Unlike most people who turn up to begin their day’s business with extra skinny mocha lattes and business calls, I was there simply to enjoy the view, my full fat muffin and my book.

“I’m intrigued, what are you laughing at?” His thick American accent soon drawled with a tone of heavy seriousness.

I explained that the book I was reading was beautiful, dark and haunting and that a light hearted moment had taken me quite by surprise and made me laugh in only the way a wonderful story can.

“The only stuff I read is legal documents and binary codes, like processed food for the brain.” His words carried a hint of a long worn burden.

“I’m sorry for you. I hope that changes someday.” I remarked. He snorted through his nose indignantly yet a trace of a smile appeared on his thinning lips. I was sure I smelt the whiff of stale alcohol briefly overcome the coffee stained aroma of freshly ground Colombian beans. I raised my eyebrows and his grey eyes momentarily held my gaze in recognition and confirmation, his stare searching for the innocence of a world that he had left long ago.

“If you are wondering, I’m looking for the Malaysian Airways plane – well, Australia is. And they need my technology.” He stated from nowhere, maybe reading my inquisitiveness as I tried to read between the lines of his apathetic face.

“Search and rescue.” I remarked.

“No, just search. There’s nothing to rescue. Not with the plane and not with the whole world. Although I still try for what it’s worth.”

And this is what led to the opening conversation. He asked me what I did for a living and I dutifully replied with the same amount of unease and disparagement as any undiscovered artist who disbelieves in the credibility of the work that they create.

“I am a writer.”

(Another stale beer smelling scoff)

“What drives you to waste your life writing, why would you spend your time agonising over penning your words and thoughts onto paper for other people who may not care, agree or question your beliefs, especially in the realm of fiction? You are essentially just making things up, life is either true or false, yes or no. It’s like binary – 1 or 0.”

Although these words may be mistaken for hostility, there was only curiousness and intrigue in his hushed tones, as if he was trying to understand something that didn’t quite fit into any of his black and white categories just yet.

“Well, I believe in colour. I believe in the magic that lies between the yes and the no. That’s where we learn to discover the world and I write because it helps me make sense of my place within it. And before you ask why,” I quickly added, already savvy to his American Movie type of interrogations, “the world is an incredible and imaginative place, where we have to accept that are things very rarely as we perceive them. There are answers we will never know. I keep searching too.”  

“I’m sorry, but that is where you are wrong. I know exactly how the world works and my place, your place and everyone's place within it. I have been involved in surveillance for most of my damned existence, I make technology that can see through horizons, see through snow and ice - I have been into the callous heart of the CIA, worked alongside senators and congressmen who have no level at which evil can stop. People who want to change the world, really change the world get squashed, smashed into pieces. My cheques are written in blood. Tell me, would you ever decide to kill a human being?” The prominent frown lines on his forehead displayed the torment that lay beneath the surface.

There is nothing sadder than reading the story of remorse written across the face of a disbeliever, a person so laden with the evils of the world that they fail to see the colours that surround them.

“Tell me, why do you do this?” I asked.

“People need me, no, they need my intelligence. I save lives, I’ve taken lives too – But I need to keep trying to save people.” he said with seemingly no passion or belief in his touching ideology.  

“But what about you? What do you want to do, with your life?” I asked him, turning the interrogation around.

He began to share with me as he grasped at all the things he has in his life, amazing property's, wealth beyond my comprehension, all with graying eyes and a faraway look of a wounded child who had just discovered the illusion of a magic trick, his possessions suddenly exposing themselves for what they really are. He shook his head incredulously.

“You win, I guess I would love nothing more than to paint this beautiful view, or build homes, beautiful homes,” he smiled looking over the sea that had become a lake of liquid gold under the warmth of the rising winter sun, “but people need me and I need to save lives.”

“What about your own life?” I questioned, as I packed up my belongings and offered my hand to shake, “It was a pleasure meeting you. I hope you find what you are searching for.”

“I’m not searching for anything.” He remarked, shaking my hand and smiling with a hint of warmth, a crack appearing in his icy exterior, "Other than this bloody plane, of course!"

“Oh, I think you are,” I smiled, “I hope that one day you too will be able to see through the snow.”

I left him with my parting words as his gaze transfixed on the little bit of summer that had momentarily brought some colour into his life.

Funny, I thought as I cycled towards home, taking with my a glimpse of another soul,  that we can spend a whole lifetime searching and rescuing others, yet most often, the very person needing the rescuing, is our self...

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Ambition - The Prologue

And now for something completely different!

Many of you are aware that I have been quietly and sometimes not so quietly, working my novel Ambition. I won't go on about how much this story means to me at this time but I will let you have a sneeky peek at the prologue. Here is a little intro, read on my friends... (formatted as a blog post)

Ambition is a story of champion jump jockey, Sean O’Dwyer who loses everything when he and the nation’s favourite mare Ambition, take a career ending fall when only seconds away from winning the Cheltenham Gold cup. Sean is forced to rebuild his life and is determined to nurse himself and the sick horse back to health but other’s ambitions begin to get in the way. With lust, passion and deceit against him, he soon realises that some people will fight to the death for Ambition.


“Do you know that a mare’s performance on the race track can be significantly improved when she is in foal?” Charlie asked as wisps of his breath escaped from his mouth and danced in the frosty morning air. He ran a hand along the mare’s sleek, amber neck, her skin warming his December cold hand and the thought warmed his heart.

“I have heard,” Henry replied, smiling tightly, “I know as Ambition’s trainer you want the best results Charlie, but running my mare in foal just seems terribly barbaric if you ask me, especially in the top class chases we have aimed for her this season.”

Charlie’s eyes sparkled in response as Ambition’s hooves crunched against the golden straw - her muscles rippling in her lean body as she chomped on the hay that filled the air with the aroma of musty cut grass, a hint of a long ago summer.  

  “The top class chases are exactly why we should put her in foal - she would be unstoppable, she’s already incredible. Can you imagine the extra edge she would have?  She would lose those temperamental mood swings that she suffers from when she’s in season, you know, the ones that have a tendency to affect her performance, the bloody madam! What with that and her natural flight survival instinct that will be heightened to protect the unborn foal, we could guarantee her success. Our success.”

 Charlie turned his attention to Henry’s wife Felicity who smiled demurely, a look Charlie had grown accustomed to when his eyes held the gaze of any female.

“Think about it, if we act now, she can run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March just a few months in foal, win...” Charlie gave Henry a gentle nudge, “and you’ll have the added bonus of having a Gold Cup foal being born in the following January.  It’s a win-win situation!”

Charlie rubbed his hands together and blew on the tips of his fingers, wishing he had worn gloves, while Henry’s pensive silence created a stampede of derby horses galloping around in his stomach as he waited for the owner’s response.

“I’m sorry Charlie, but no, no I am not interested in the notion at all.  If she wins the Gold Cup we’ll retire her and then we can breed from her.”  Henry’s usual booming voice became quiet and deliberate as he folded his arms tightly around his robust chest, shaking his head resolutely to confirm that the conversation had ended.

Charlie, well aware of the art of seduction in both lust and business was far too astute to agitate or harass his owners, but he could not help thinking as he bolted Ambition’s stable door behind him, that Henry and Felicity had just let the best opportunity for success slip right past them.

to be continued...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A General Whinge or If You Are Not Enjoying Your Life, You Are Doing It Wrong!

It would be a fair assessment to say that lately, I have been stressed as fuck.

Which smacks as ridiculously ridiculous as I am writing this on my balcony over-looking the harbour and coast line, with the sun shining, shore lapping and all those other things that months ago I wished to have when I described what it would be like to have a dream life in previous blogs.

In fact, I have been so stressed that I have become ill for the first time since ever (because I am a kick arse, roughty toughty Welsh bird who doesn’t do ‘sick’), yet my body has screamed at me this lovely little message:


Okay, message received loud and clear thank you very much.

And we all do this – run around on the treadmill of life, ticking off and adding on to the never ending To Do List and sinking into the guilt ridden feelings of ‘I have to work hard in life to achieve.’ Well, after several more days than I would wish to spend sprawled out on the sofa with snot filling my entire brain space and dribbling from every orifice and sounding like Darth Vader after performing vocals at a 48 hour death metal concert, I have had time ponder and to come to this poetic conclusion:

If you are not enjoying your life – you are doing it wrong!

I have written a monumental list of things I have to achieve that has been consuming me from the inside out like some low budget horror movie monster. My dreams have become my nightmares and the biggest villain in the movie of my life has been me.

Life should be simple. We over complicate. We over analyse. We over think.

And I’ve got to the stage where I am so over that.

Forcing your dreams by working yourself to stress and illness, where so many thoughts are going around your head that having one single coherent thought needs a weekly planner white board complete with bullet points is NOT working on your dreams. It is working on the guilt that we have been brought up to feel that we ‘must work hard.’

The thing, you know, the one that is stressing you out – just delete it from your life. Simple.

Now I am not saying that your dreams will come true by bumming around in the sun and doing nothing (unless of course your dream is to bum around in the sun and do nothing... which sounds pretty nice to me), but they are also not going to come true by forcing them. You have heard that old quote from the person whose names escapes me that goes something along the lines of, ‘happiness is not the destination that but how we travel’ well, I think it is the same with dreams:

If you get there via the ‘stress and strain, snot and impending doom highway’, it’s not going to be very fun to say the least.

So cut the crap, cut the guilt, cut the incessant need for the devil’s to do list and go with the Universal flow. See where the ride takes you!

If something seems forced, it is. Forcing doesn’t work and it makes you feel crappy, not happy. So maybe it is the Universe’s way of saying, ‘Girlfriend, you are so on the wrong road. Turn around baby and get back on track.’

And that is exactly what I am going to do. I am cutting out all the things that seemed forced, all the things that are causing me stress and getting on the fast track highway to my dreams by means of the very best transport – being myself.

P.S By the way, the book in the photo, The Shadow of the Wind - I read this whilst being sicky sick sick - it's the best book that ever ever happened to me. Read it!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The One Thing that Stops You...

There comes a time in life when you have to stop and ask yourself this question,

“What the hell am I doing with my life?”

Can you remember your childhood dreams, the ones you had before the brutal world of false hopes, bitter disappointment and the responsibility of adulthood fell upon you? Can you remember a time when you believed that anything was possible... Can you remember what it was like to imagine?

Imagination is a powerful life tool and mixed with a cocktail of confidence and belief – it is unstoppable. This is the elixir of life if you wish – this combination is what allowed Sir Richard Branson to create his global brand and for the Wright Brothers to make a vehicle fly in the sky. Steve Job's imagination created Apple and where would we be without our Iphones?

Belief – small word, huge consequences.

I have known people, brilliant people, talented beyond comprehension – people who are capable of achieving anything they want out of life. But they lack belief. It is a direct result of this that you don’t know the people I am talking about... but I am sure you have met your own:

The incredible singer whose voice surpassed anything you have ever heard on the radio, ‘You should be famous’ you say, when you occasional overhear her when she thinks nobody is listening.

The writer whose words will go unseen, despite their desperate need to be heard and understood, despite the readers who are desperate to feel that very connection to help them find their own place in the world.

The natural life coach who can inspire and motivate everyone around her to achieve what he or she wants from life, except of course, her own life. She believes in others but not in herself.

Perhaps you know them. Perhaps you are one of them.

There is nothing sadder, than wonderfully gifted people with a curse of self-doubt that will never allow them to step out of their comfort zone and live the life that they secretly dream of. Sound familiar?

Ask yourself:

“What have I got to lose?”

I’m not talking about becoming famous or inventing something that changes the lives of many – I’m talking about changing your own life into the life you truly desire, the life you imagine when you are staring out of a window watching the storm rage past you, wishing you could harness that power to get off the treadmill of mediocrity.  

But that power already resides within you. It is the little voice you hear in the lonely midnight hours that begs to be listened too. It’s the goose bumps on your skin when you feel inspired, it’s the storm that rages in anger and frustration in your lowest moments because it knows, that you can do whatever you dream of doing if only you will imagine it and believe in it.

Listen to that voice. Listen to that storm. Imagine, imagine, imagine...

And most importantly - Believe x

Thursday, 3 April 2014

This one's for my Lover - The Artist

The Artist

I laugh at what I thought was love -
Tiny insignificant feelings, 
Just floating dust within
The best room caught in the
Sunlight -
Pretty, yes,
But not in comparison to the
Depths of the ocean, and
Just like the hidden world
That lays in the deep blue, 
You introduced me to an entire
new world. A World where
Everything is gilded with crimson
And gold - secret feelings of passion
And hope. Exquisite pleasures.
You took me from a world that was once
As if looking through a darkened 
Window, images outlined but no 
depths. No colour.
Ah! That is the greatest gift you give,
As if you painted the rainbow
On my blank canvas with your bare 
hands, whilst you caressed my skin.
Like an Artist, 
You expertly bring flowers
To life, and create colours that never 
Compose songs within my heart that have 
Never been sung.
Ah! You may say my poetry brings
Joy to you heart, but you heart brings
Joy to my poetry. And what were once words
Are now fragments of my soul.
And this is return,
Is my gift to you.