It wasn’t easy being different

That was the original title of the inspirational exercise but on reflection it was easy. I was always perceived as ‘different’ in an era when different was not considered to be fashionable.

It wasn’t a question of choice. I am what I am. Who I am. I am like Marmite. Like me or not. No half measures. I have always been an individual and an ‘Outsider’. What you see is what you get. Take me or leave me. I don’t care.

I will ‘chase’ for a while after an interesting character but if there is no come back or interest professionally or socially, I will let go of the person or the lead and move on. I hate it when I send a WhatsApp text to meet up professionally, usually connected with the radio or my Spoken Word Salon and do not get a reply. If there are two blue ticks and no response, that irritates me as it is not ‘Netiquette’. I have limited time left in my life, so as my time is precious, having experienced four ‘lost’ years, I have no time to waste.

For me it was easy to be ‘different’. Looking back at my photographs, I always looked different. Influenced by movies, film magazines such as ‘Picturegoer’, ‘Picture Show’ and the glossy ‘Phitoplay’ and the ‘60s fashion Style’ as a teenager. However, I was not an academic and never went to university formally. This gave me a chip on my shoulder. I stupidly thought I had limited intelligence especially living in a middle class suburb in provincial but beatnik influenced Liverpool.

I was even told by my maths teacher, Miss Alan at Belvedere GPDST, school for young ladies, to go away and think! It took me decades to get over her stupid unhelpful comment. I learnt nothing at Belvedere GPDST school for young ladies. I had to go further than Liverpool, further than England, even further than Europe, to study and learn at the University of Life. Thus I have always had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and discovery.

My University of Life and individuality came about through Happenstance living in Paris beginning in 1977, an era which influenced my life forever. No one in the antique trade had a degree nor cared about your pedigree or past life. The ‘Now’ was all that counted. I quickly learnt ‘to be here now’ and my eventful life unfolded!

Written in the Hove Writers Group, Hove Library, UK on 6 July 2019.