Friday, 3 November 2017

The essence of me





Chilly autumn days are really here now aren't they? Everything is dripping in the mornings, including the dog by the time he's had his walk. I've spent happy hours wandering the lanes and by the streams around here with dog-owning friends and dog-owning new friends. A nice contrast to the busy time that is everything else. Somehow time slips away when I'm out walking him. Legitimate pootling.

I have a little website for my writing endeavours (daren't call it a business). It was horrible. I found a supposedly wonderful website builder thing and deleted the whole website so as to start again afresh. And then proceeded to spend two and a half days in absolute fury when I discovered that instead of being really simple it was actually ABSOLUTELY FLAMING IMPOSSIBLE. This afternoon I deleted the whole thing again. And then it all got worse and I couldn't find the right bit to start again and I got dangerously near the point of having to be certified. Then the biggest boy came home from school and offered to help. I told him he wouldn't understand it, it was a whole new, different thing and all sorts of tricksy. He had a go anyway. I wandered off to rock and hum to myself a bit. And lo and behold he has put together a couple of pages. Not exactly what I had in mind, but at least it is something and it has brought me back from the edge of madness. Do you think it's possible that the children might actually turn out to be useful? It hadn't occurred to me before, but I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities opening up now. The middle boy made something he was very proud of in Design Technology today, which has me wondering, could he knock me up some bookshelves? A coffee table? A new kitchen?

What I really need for the website are some delightful photos of me. An oxymoron, I know. I have asked the biggest boy to take pictures of me on a couple of occasions and they've been absolutely ghastly. I worked out what was wrong with them in the end, it was the daylight. Too much of it. So much in fact that my face was visible.

I also need to be photographed somewhere, I don't know, edgy. Or booky. Or at least not round the back of the garage which is where I usually go (plain pale wall, daylight, yada, yada, yada). Maybe in a cool café, looking clever while sipping a latte with something fancy on the top of it. Or in an antique book shop, frowning slightly while I study the pages of A Treatise of Human Nature. Or with my head thrown back in laughter as I chat to beautiful people at a conference of clever beautiful people. Obviously the real me will not do at all. Wellies, dog, boys, mud, frightening hair. This is not what people want to entrust their writing projects to at all. It must all be hidden, and a squeaky sanitised version scrubbed up for their delectation. So, that's why I don't have any suitable photos.

I do have rather an excellent one that the middle boy took of me. He has fish-eye on his camera and oh, we've had so much fun with it. We have laughed and laughed at the pictures he's taken. My personal favourite, which I think completely captures my essence, is below.


I have a sort of contented serenity about me don't you think? Eyes closed, clearly in the zone. Practically a poster child for mindfulness. If I don't get to have a decorative latte in an artisan café this weekend I shall almost certainly use it on my landing page. 

Wishing all a good weekend. CJ xx

PS I could have made it bigger, but you know, enough is probably enough.

30 comments:

  1. Pretty scenic pictures and your dog is so adorable.

    Sophia

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  2. You're so funny. I happen to think you look great in that photo, a little mysterious. Kind of a Cyrano de Bergerac thing. :) I wouldn't even know where to start with a good business-like photo of myself. I don't think I could even pose right at this point. I'm so glad to hear your plans are coming together for your work. I think you'll be very successful.

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  3. I haven't laughed so much all day, thank you! Children do have their uses, on occasion. My godmother had to get her picture taken for a residency application in Turkey. She showed me the tricks of the trade to look blooming marvellous: clear sellotape for an instant facelift. Also useful to tuck the chicken wattles away I find. A stiff G&T helps with the radiant smile. For my online teacher persona, I go mysterious. A bit fuzzy around the edges, soft and glowing. I have an alternative persona, which is the real me in false colours. I accidentally discovered this app on my laptop a while ago and now when I am bored at work I take selfies and distort them beyond recognition. Have a lovely weekend, hopefully a dry one with lots of dog walks and little standing beside the football pitch. xx

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  4. Gave me a good giggle. I was thrilled when it turned out our daughter was smarter than either of us, she's a gift that keeps on giving. I never let anyone take my picture, ever.

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  5. Good job on your son figuring out the website biz. I do websites but use an old outdated program.. so I have to keep an old laptop with the old operating system on it to use for the website updates. Hang in there.. you might just have him show you how he did it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  6. Completely lovely post, made me laugh and nod in recognition

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  7. Couldn't stop giggling.....you are so funny.....I do feel sorry for you at times with all boys and no girls, but there you are, they have the potential to be very useful.... Please don't stop writing. Robyn

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  8. Fantastic photo -I really think you should lead with that one! I find that children are very useful when it comes to IT matters; mine are always sorting me out when I get myself into difficulty. Happy writing and dog walking. xx

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  9. Oh CJ you have me laughing into my coffee here - tears running down my face. I've been trying to get a good photograph of myself recently, but have given up! Too much light is definitely the problem. And children do turn out to have their uses as they get older :)

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  10. absolutely laughing out loud. You were SO made to be a writer, that is the essence of you for sure xxxxxx

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  11. I think I would have been confiscating the fish eye at that point.
    Sympathies re website. I've spent the last month tweaking mine and it has driven me to the point of certification too. At least when the men with the funny jacket arrive I know I shall have some good company.

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  12. A slightly exasperating post by the sound of it. I like the picture of Bertie but as for that other picture...
    Thanks, and you too. xx

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  13. Ha ha, brilliant! Such a great post, CJ. I'd love a good photo of me – they're rare – maybe I should try this technique! Children are incredibly useful when they want to be :-) In the right mood, they can take care of most things. Good luck with the website and the writing (not that you need it). Sam xx

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  14. Will we be able to see your writing website? I'm intrigued by your new business! Loved this post, Claire, one of your best I think - really hit the spot. I definitely prefer pics of me taken with the 'effects' on Photo Booth on my imac; they hide a multitude of reality. I'm working up to getting a passport photo taken; the last one for my renewed driving licence makes me look like a mad stalker. PS. Grown up son v useful for carrying shopping upstairs. He has his moments. Cxx

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    1. Got a new driving licence photo just two weeks ago. A real shocker! CJ xx

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  15. Just a tip from my experiences. I had to recreate my website three times when the companies that provided the web creating facility shutdown. The problem was that the website was not transferable to a different system. In the end I now use web creation software which is housed on my computer and then upload new pages and edits once constructed It’s a good idea to keep copies of you text and photos in such a way that if the same happens to you you can recreate more easily. My website has lots and lots of pages and so,recreation each time. Was a nightmare although I did make improvements every time.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Sue, I hadn't considered that. CJ xx

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  16. Marvellous! Useful children: all that hard work pays off! I think you should have a photo of you up in those lovely Cotswold hills, or just stick with the fish eye xx

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  17. Wonderful! Don't ever stop writing, your blog always makes me smile and more often than not laugh outloud. Looking forward to more in the future - a novel maybe?

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  18. Your puppy is gorgeous - is he one of those mixed poodle breeds - Cockerpoo? Just caught up with your blog and really enjoyed it - you write so well and make me laugh. Love the photo!

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    1. Yes, he is. Mum is a working cocker, dad's a poodle. Thanks for your lovely comment. CJ xx

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  19. That is a hysterical photo of you CJ! You are so funny and full of fun. Have a great week.

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  20. i don't know - wellies, dog, mud, boys, frightening hair -- i would absolutely choose you for my writing projects, although perhaps i'm not your Ideal Customer. :)

    at least you're contemplating posting photos of yourself...i'm still using the sun-behind-me-glare-half-face photo from about three years ago...all in good time, i say, all in good time.

    i'm still giggling over the laughing-latte-beautiful people....xoxo

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  21. Oooo hello! I have just discovered your blog and devoured many of your posts-thank you for sharing your wonderful humour. I came here from Attic 24 if you’re interested. Just thought I’d post to say hello!

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    1. Hi Josla, thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment. CJ xx

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  22. CJ you are wonderful as you are. Do you have any friends handy with a camera who you'd feel comfortable enough with to just let them snap away? But then I don't think any of us really like the way we are captured on camera, perhaps it's our generation? God I sound old. Just do a selfie. :-)

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  23. Your posts always make me smile! Sarah x

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  24. Oh my... I'm playing catch up here and didn't see that coming. You are so funny.

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