England Stuff

Okay, yes, this post was scheduled. Right now I’m probably – literally – leaving on a jet plane. But I figured that as close to the end of my time in England as possible, I should say something about what I’ve learned living here.
If – unlikely – you follow my other blog as well, and have seen this post there, don’t bother reading this one too. It’s all the same stuff.
However, there is a lot of stuff, so I’ll have to categorize.
So, without further drabble from me, in my two years in England I have learned about…

Movies, that:

  • A nice character is rarely or never played by a nice actor.
  • You can get yourself into a lot of angst by assuming otherwise.
  • Some of the big blockbusters really are all they’re hyped up to be.
  • Qui-Gon dying in The Phantom Menace still gets to me every time.
  • The Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones still gets to me every time.
  • Obi-Wan losing Anakin in Revenge of the Sith still gets to me every time.
  • The carbon-freezing in The Empire Strikes Back still gets to me every time.
  • The movies Lord of the Rings are really good. Not always true to the books, but good.
  • Back to the Future II is really corny in 2015.
  • Hiccup has a lightsaber in HTTYD2! How cool is that!

Writing, that:

  • Even a sky-blue Mary-Sue self-insert, given two hang-ups and a hobby, develops as an independent character surprisingly quickly.
  • Collaboration can be very satisfying, because it gives you another author’s idea of your characters and settings.
  • Kicking ideas back and forth with another writer is incredibly good brain-food.
  • A muse is not necessarily a figment of your imagination. I seem to have two in real life – one of whom isn’t even talking yet. (Or is she?)
  • Coffee is to traumatic/cathartic/beautiful stories what vanilla is to chocolate cake: not necessarily necessary, but it sure improves the flavor.
  • If you have tearstains and coffee stains in roughly equal quantity in your ideas notebook, it just means you’re using the notebook right.
  • There is a big difference between a kid who writes because they were told to write and a kid who writes because it keeps them sane.
  • Every idea has potential – it’s just that some have more than others.
  • You have to put yourself into your writing, or you’ll never get anything back out of it. Sure it hurts. It’s worth it.
  • Your mother will worry when you show her the extremely excellent and finely-crafted torture scene you just finished.

Fashion, that:

  • I don’t really care what anybody else thinks of my clothes.
  • Or my hair.
  • Weird is cool.
  • The Star Wars socks I got for Christmas are very cool.
  • An op-shop/charity store is not a junk store. It is a store selling unique and quirky items only available (read: visible) to the discerning.
  • If you wait long enough, and look hard enough, you can find anything in op-shops.

Music, that:

  • Uncool nowadays or no, Billy Joel made some very good songs back in the day.
  • So did ABBA.
  • A girl can like Billy Joel and Tchaikovsky, Flanders & Swann and Keith Green, without being a contradiction in terms.
  • Music composed for movies is not always a lower quality than music composed for the sake of being music. In fact it’s often better.
  • I still think that You-Know-Who has a wonderful singing voice.

Friends, that:

  • Sometimes less really is more.
  • Someone who tries to change you before they’ll think about liking you isn’t a friend; they’re a wannabe reformer.
  • Email and Skype rock.
  • Sure, attachment leads to fear of loss, but that’s no reason to avoid attachment. Accept that the loss will eventually happen, then go with it.
  • “Friendship is a mess worth making.” – Chris Bennett
  • Whoever said you had to be friends only with people your own age was an idiot.
  • “Darling, you will find friends in the unlikeliest places – if you only take the trouble to look for them.”
  • Knowing you’ve got a limited time in a place forces you to actively go out of your way to make friends with people, instead of idly hoping for whatever God happens to send your way.
  • Rachel, Grace and George; Nat and Lucie; Aunty Muriel, Uncle Terry, Caitie, and Jono; Josh and Sarah – I’m really going to miss you. Who said family means blood ties?

Life in General, that:

  • Biking in the rain without a coat means you get a free shower, and clear streets to go really fast on. This leads into my next point, viz.
  • If you earnestly seek for good in any person, place, item, or situation, you will not go unrewarded. There’s always something.
  • Giving up, when it’s blatantly obvious to all that no satisfactory outcome will be reached, is not quitting; it’s conservation of resources.
  • Around nice people, if you must swear, do it in Huttese or Bocce.
  • Nobody I’ve met in this country can pronounce my surname correctly straight off.

My close family, that:

  • Dads with a sense of adventure are absolutely priceless.
  • Favorite uncles who make trans-world phone calls to numbers I didn’t know they had, at strange times, for no apparent reason, are much appreciated and brighten the day no end – you know who you are. Brainiac to you too.
  • Mums who can have long philosophical and theological discussions, in the middle of making pizza, really exercise one’s powers of logic-on-the-spot.
  • Brothers who answer to character names, ship names, gun names, etc. and still let you bounce ideas off them afterwards… well. I love you, pal.
  • Sisters who play piano by ear can be remarkably useful if you want the music for a tune but can’t afford it.
  • Grandmothers… words fail me. Only one of ‘em reads this, so I’ll take the opportunity: you’re awesome. Thanks a googolplex. Granddad too.

Religion, that:

  • I am definitely not a Roman Catholic.
  • I am definitely not a Pentecostal.
  • Otherwise I’m pretty flexible.
  • I’m not sure I know exactly who God is or how a lot of stuff about Him works, but then, I’m not sure anybody else does either, including the professionals.
  • I know perfectly well that the Force is not God, but I think the analogy holds good in a lot of areas.
  • These Muslim extremists are crazy.
  • A lot of these Christians are crazy too.

Politics, that:

  • I’m not sure I didn’t waste my first ever General Election vote.
  • They let me vote in the local-body elections here. Awesome.
  • The British Government is nuts.
  • The New Zealand Government is nuts.
  • Passports are way too expensive for the amount of use you get out of them.
  • The Phantom Menace is largely a political thriller. Nobody ever notices this, and then they complain it’s boring. Work out that you’re watching a clever parody of this-world politics, and it instantly becomes fascinating – and worrying.

While that’s by no means all, I’ve now wasted your time for 1055 words, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

Thanks for reading.



About coruscantbookshelf

"A writer is an introvert: someone who wants to tell you a story but doesn't want to have to make eye contact while doing it." - Adapted from John Green
This entry was posted in Author's Prerogative and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to England Stuff

  1. The Phantom Menace is a political thriller: YES. There are a lot of movies that, coming back to re-watch them, I realize that there are politics in there that I didn’t recognize when I was little. Makes things very interesting… I’m writing a sort-of-like “The Horse and His Boy” type story that is really mostly a political thriller; the hero is the neglected heir-presumptive to the throne. What makes it interesting is that he doesn’t know that.
    Also, in regards to LotR: 😛 I still complain about the differences. The only scene that they added that I fully approve of is what my family calls “Foresight”: Frodo stands by Anduin, the Ring in his hand, tears streaming down his face. Effectively foreseeing how this war will go out.


  2. familyofrose says:

    Really sweet, Rosalie. Plenty of smiles (not grins!!) were caused by your list. Hooray for writing and films and music! We shall miss you, your humour, friendship, and fashion. “Adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered,” as Gilbert put it, and I hope two years here have proven that to be true for you. God bless you and all the adventures in your future. ~ W. Mitty 🙂


  3. rachiep86 says:

    And I heartily agree with bullet-point no.6 on the Friendship list.
    And she’s not reeeeeeally talking yet, although she always knows exactly what she’s saying…


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