I read lots of non- fiction books of course, lots of inspiring science etc, But The company were quite amazed when I told them that if I read fiction it is very hard core stuff! Nordic Noire, serial killers, thrillers, even Ku Klux Clan!
We got to talking about how we make so many assumptions about people, the music they might like the way they may feel about stuff, and it was quite a revelation.
I for example, don't do maudlin sentimentality! It makes me cringe.
I don't listen to slow "meaningful" songs, I like loud rock music - anything that makes me want to dance!
I wouldn't thank anyone for expensive chocolates, but having grown up by the sea I would almost do murder for a stick of rock!
I don't do sickly sweet posts on facebook, I don't enjoy tear jerking christmas adverts or sloppy films!
Does this make me cold heartless bitch? I certainly hope not! !
I love so many things and people, I care passionately about many causes, I just have a different way of thinking about it.
When I was young, I was bombarded with hypocritical over sentimental religious crap, the "beatific" pose of my mother and her sainted sisters concerning all things vaguely catholic The sickly veneer designed to show piety, when underneath there was judgmentality, cruel criticism and abuse. The imperitive to preserve the face of the church, the lies and the threats. Smiling at everyone and yet at home praying for someone to die because they didn't measure up.
Every time I did anything wrong I was told that it was "like going up to the baby jesus in his pram, and SLAPPING him really hard until he cried, and then doing it again and again"
I felt lower than a snakes belly in the grass, which of course was the whole idea!
Emotional blackmail and psycho-terror was what was underneath that pious sickly sweet veneer.
So I don't do it, I don't trust it, and it makes me feel hypocritical.
But I DO have meaningful "talsimen"
I am wearing a silver necklace that Ton bought me when we were in Geneva at the UN.
I wear a ring that I got from Gary's brother at a fete when I was in Boston .
I wear some earrings with the Happy Humanist symbol
Although I left behind the AA programme many years ago, I wear a
bracelet with the AA symbol on it, to remind me how my life was saved.
I have a tattoo on my arm which says "Nicholas" in Chinese , reminds me of my beautiful son who died, and also that I practice Chinese medicine.
My car has a "Darwin" sticker on the bonnet.
I have a clock in the wall of my office made in Nepal of `Bamboo, a treasured memory.
A " Coldstream Guards" shield on another wall to remind me of one of my son's army carreer.
I wear a watch that my very close friend Kim bought me for my sixtieth birthday, Cartier, far too expensive for me but he is so like that1
On the back of my bedroom door, I have all my scarves, although I have never bought a scarf for myself in my life.
There is the one that my beautiful Italian friend Paola gave me, the one that Alda gave me, the one my grandaughter brought back for me from Bolivia, the one that my Nepalese Humanist visitors brought me from Katmandu, the wonderfully finely knitted one that John and Sally Shuster brought me from the US. Others that the children have given me for presents over the years.
My house is full of the wonderful paintings that Gez has painted especially for me. And everywhere I turn there is a memory of someone or something that means a lot to me.
Love is what drives me and what sustains me, I just wouldn't feel my heart was safe if it were worn safe on my sleeve!