Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fake It until you Make It! Right? Another Ramble in the Middle of the Night.

 "More and more I found myself at a loss for words,
and didn’t want to hear other people talking either.
Their conversations seemed false and empty.
I preferred to look at the sea, which said nothing
and never made you feel alone."

                         Paula McLain – “The Paris Wife”

‘The Paris Wife’ is on my To Be Read list.  It’s a novel based on the life of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley. She was the girl of whom he later wrote “I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her”. Hemingway has never really interested me and I don’t like his style of writing.  But from what I have reads of this book it sounds like a useful way of learning about the man through the experiences of his wife.  I only found out about the book thanks to coming across that quotation which is a way I often come across books and authors.  Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan and has been a resident of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. [For the non-American reader MFA is a Master in Fine Arts, a qualification which, so far as I know, we don’t have in the UK].  She is the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, ‘Like Family’, and a first novel, ‘A Ticket to Ride’. She lives in Cleveland with her family.

“Fake It until you Make It! Right?”
That is rapidly becoming my moral.  I felt lousy yesterday but tried to carry on as normal –a Florentine in the Woodlands, threatening to count the number of grains of sugar in a café sachet, doing crosswords, enjoying a delightful dinner (mushrooms stuffed with vegetarian haggis), watching the London 2012 Olympics on television….  In the supermarket I expressed concern about being able to shoot a haggis on a Bank Holiday (which it was in Scotland) but GB said it was alright because they didn’t count as ‘game’.  And so the day came to an end at 8.30p.m. having started at about 7.15 a.m. and with a lie down from 2.45 to 4.00 p.m..  “Why is Scriptor going through his day in even more boring fashion than usual?”, you may ask.  The answer lies in the fact that every inch of the day was fought for.  I was in unremitting pain – sometimes severe, sometimes ‘just’ pain. On top of that I had a background headache and twice a migraine threatened to come on. (Two more of my precious Sumatripan tablets consumed).  At home I would either have stayed in bed all day or moaned constantly at poor Partner-who-loves-tea.  Here, on holiday at GB’s I tried to adopt the “Fake It until you Make It! Right?” approach though I don’t know how successful that was.  Anyone any suggestions for a fourth approach ‘cos none of these are working right now?

Oh yes, and still it rains…

Ah well, that’s my moans out of the way, back to more cheerful matters for an aimless rambling post. 

Our day on Harris remains the best day yet from the point of view of photos and sunshine.

A few times on the road we passed masochists cyclists. 

We forget how foolish we ourselves were in our youth and marvel that anyone would want to spend their holiday being attacked by midges as they sweat their way up the hills of Harris with a month’s supply of equipment on the back of the bike. 

This is Luskentyre – an enormous beach on Harris.

The man with the Tilley hat is following me around (or vice versa). 

 19 across. Painting of clouds (7)  S_ _ _ C _ _ E

In need of a bit of TLC but someone cares enough to do this....

You get some idea of the scale of this Standing Stone when you see GB near it – it’s 2 metres tall.


Well, it’s 2.20 a.m. and I’ve only had five hours sleep so I’d better head back to bed…  I shall pretend I can smell the clover and hear the bees humming again...

 Have a good day!


  1. Beautiful scenery! I'm always amazed at seascapes because they are so different from my landlocked world. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I have no good suggestions - you seem to be determined to move on through the pain. I don't know it that's good or bad, but it's what I do when my back goes 'out'. I can't imagine living with such pain. I am amazed at what you get from a day, despite the pain.

  3. Sorry to hear you've been in so much pain, John. Although I have never such severe health issues as you do, my usual approach to when I am feeling less than brilliant is also just to stick to my normal pattern of activities, and I have found the sooner I get back into my routine, the better.
    Lovely, lovely pictures! I'd like to have a look inside the poor little neglected house...

  4. That beach, that sky, that lone upright stone (is it all alone or are there others?), the field of clover...all so wonderful. That first photo of the beach at Luskentyre? That made me inhale sharply! Don't you want to get a canvas and have a go at painting it?
    Hope you were able to get back to bed and get some healing rest!

  5. Oh and I meant to say that very first photo is beautiful too! And also that I have never cared for Hemingway either, but shhh...don't tell anyone, I really catch it from folks who love him so.

  6. A wonderful trip round.
    The first image is a cracker.
    I purchased a veggy haggis by mistake....it was surprisingly good but not a haggis.

  7. What is it about standing stones? Folks have always chosen to stand a big stone to mark some event. They are everywhere. I suppose it just tells the world 'I/we are here!' before writing and the internet how else could you do this? Lovely shots of open space and I want to do up that wee hoose!

  8. The photos from Harris are really breathtakingly beautiful. It's good to be able to preserve those moments. Hopefully when you look back, those photos will make up for some of all the pain and rain...

    As for the "fake it until you make it" attitude, I think sadly it's often hard to apply it all the way, when pain is involved. "Fake until you need a break" is often as far as it gets!

    Back in my working days (back in another century...) when things piled up on me, I used to have the motto "I can do it, if only I'm allowed to complain a bit". I find that one still useful sometimes, although in different context. Meaning that trying to keep a positive attitude is not quite the same thing as faking and never letting a moan past your lips.

    I hope you'll soon find yourself having a really good day again.

  9. So sorry about your pain. Migraines and headaches are the pits. I hope things improve for you soon. The photos are lovely. And I like the stream of consciousness writing. Makes us feel as if you are right here, talking to us.

    Take care and God bless, and hi to GB, xoxo Carol

  10. Hello Scriptor,
    You showed me two completely different seas. I feel more soothing in the first one because of quotation from The Paris Wife. Thanks a lot for introducing the great novel.

  11. Nice pix. I'm sorry you're feeling poorly. I suppose that's an understatement but it's the best I can do this morning.

    I occasionally write about my daily dose of frustrations, but it's only to satisfy myself. I neither want nor expect any sympathy from others. That said, here's something that happened to me several years back.

    My brother Shotgun Bob and I were visiting a local fair in Wisconsin. The fair was well-attended and for once the organizers had planned ahead for parking. Three huge pastures were reserved for fair goers, which was nice. Since we arrived early, we were directed to the back pasture, the place furthest removed from the fair. This made for quite a walk over uneven ground; I reckoned it to be about 3000 feet (914.4 of your meters) or a little more. The day was already hot, but we set a good pace without comment. After all, how else would we get to the gate? Along the way two other men of about our own age fell in a meter or so away from us, and I could hear their conversation.

    The taller of the two was complaining about the walk and the fact that he was forced to park in the back pasture with the rest of us. He went along in this vein for some time, and he allowed as how a close relative of his usually managed the parking and so he was allowed to park in the handicapped area. All he had to do was show up and this relative would just wave him over to the handicapped section without fail.

    I digested this and bit my tongue in half.

    I know people who would give ten years off the back of their life to join us on that walk to the gate just once. I, being an asthmatic, had to work hard to get to the gate - but so what? I can make the walk. Yet here was this perfectly healthy man complaining because he wasn't allowed to unlawfully park in the handicapped zone, thus taking up space reserved for people who can't walk, but who you can best believe would do almost anything to make that walk with us just once.

    So you hurt. I'm not trying to denigrate your condition; far from it. I'm familiar with pain, and you're doing your best to keep your situation to yourself, which is the very best way to handle it. I hope to give you something to think about from time to time - you're able to walk, and you have a gorgeous view that I'll likely never get to see in person.


    Have a better day today!

  12. Thanks for all the sympathy. There's no doubt that was what I was seeking when I wrote that. I try not to moan but sometimes I just feel people like myself try too hard to pretend life is normal. We don't seek disabled parking stickers or many of the special government cash benefits that are available. We grin and bear it. Whether we should or not is a topic for another day.

    I was feeling pretty fed up, as you may gather. The pain never goes away but my coping mechanisms vary and today is a better day - a good day. Weatherwise, the sun may not have broken through the clouds but my day was bright and that's what counts.

    1. Glad things are better today. Sending good vibes from Seattle. Hope that helps!
      Hugs, C.

  13. So sorry you have been feeling so unwell dear friend. I know how stoic you are - far more than I could ever be. I do hope you are feeling a lot better today.

    Something to cheer you up. According to the weather forecast there is a huge "high" coming over Scotland from tonight. Tomorrow will be sunshine and cloud and then after that for the next week it is going to be wall to wall sunshine and very light winds. We had a foretaste of it this afternoon at the Butt of Lewis - we sat on the beach for most of the afternoon in glorious sunshine - yes really.

    Probably see you some time on Friday afternoon. Lots of love x

    1. Glorious sunshine for most of the afternoon - you could have sent some of it to this side of the Island. I noticed that tonight you even got the late evening sun - when it finally got here - on your side of the valley fifteen minutes before we did!

  14. You know what they say - "The sun always shines on the righteous"

    Tomorrow we are off to Uig and Valtos - should be a good day and sun is promised. Hope it is good for you too. x

  15. Scriptor... One of the things I find most admirable is the ability to maintain some semblance of upbeatness (and/or normalacy) in the face of chronic pain (or even mortal pain). I've only been an observer (at least on the physical side). I'm glad so many shared their concern, and I agree with a song writer who said, "...sometimes it's getting it out that gets you where you want to go." So... insightful rant, and well deserved. Besides a sense of humor, I'm sure that you've also developed a sense of compassion that only suffering can bring. (And, your blog shows, a sense of appreciation for what what many take for granted.) Words fail... but I'm sending out my mine anyway. (And because I'm always on the look out for off-beat things that work... I'll send along a link that describes something my wife and I have used for sorting through various personal challenges as well. Perhaps it will be of some use to you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv8Ki9_Jk-w ) (Happy Thursday -- glad you're doing better today.)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Thanks Don and thanks also for the link. My wife is, inter alia, an EFT practitioner so I know it works for some people.

  17. Beautiful photographs, would love to be there.

    Haggis!! Reminds me of a time at Gillwell Park at an international Scout/Guide camp when a friend and myself had a few poor souls spending hours 'digging for Haggis!'


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