ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

JOIN YOLANDA RENEE ON HER BLOG TOUR!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

From the Couch returns! Today I have dragged Hilary Melton-Butcher onto my couch.

Hello everyone!

It's been awhile with one thing and another, but today I'm thrilled to have the wonderful Hilary Melton-Butcher reclining on my most beautiful couch. I'm sure it's where William Wordsworth penned his poetry. Haven't we all missed Hilary's fantastic historic blog posts? Before she took her blog break, she promised that she'd be back...and back she is!


So take it away, Hilary!

Thanks Denise. Here I go, and I'll try to keep it under 1,000 words! 

On the Couch with me!

Denise asked a while ago if I’d come to her couch for a consultative visit … to get some background about little old me … soooo without further ado ….

This blogging world has turned my life upside down … for someone who was definitely considered not academic … ending up as a typist – though now that’s an advantage.   It seems I’m a very late developer, but now loving the learning and the possibilities that blogging throws open to us.

Denise has given us some prompts about our early lives … one of the ghastly ones that I still laugh about, yet visibly cringe! as now, but which absolutely horrified and upset my father (as he wasn’t that well then) … was when the three of us raced around the garden on our bikes or tricycle singing ‘Three Old Ladies’ Locked in the Lavatory’ – as the leader of the pack being the eldest – I am quite sure I was not popular.  My poor mother had to deal with the aftermath!

Despite growing up in the Flower Power era I was pretty conservative and restrained – sadly lacking in musical ability … yet I loved A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum which haunts me from those teenage days … and the others … Dylan, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Otis Reading … to name a few …



Who couldn't help but love these very pretty British boys of 
the 1960s when British music rocked the world!

I love British movies and watched Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines more often than necessary, as too The Italian Job … they took me away to other lands.  For some reason in London I hardly went to movies … playing too much squash I guess and being away at weekends.  Once in South Africa and divorced movies came into my world again (around squash), and now the excellent film society here has kept me abreast of new and old ‘refurbished’ films.

Books – we had lots around as children and I used to read vociferously as I grew up … but mostly novels which have a degree of history in them … but am surprised at the books I do read, that I’m sure 10 years ago I wouldn’t have thought about reading: shows you what blogging can do …

More will be revealed over at Positive Letters as time passes and I blog about some of them.  I think what has surprised me, and I’ve only recently realised, is that life is not divided into subjects or categories … everything overruns and melds in …

My time frame covers 65+ years from the late 1940s to today, the earth’s time frame covers 4.5 billion years of evolutionary history, while I also enjoy learning about our planet and its occupants … yet so often there’s a reference back or forwards in time … my brain is there and looking and noting so it gets blogged about!

Perhaps here I do myself down … as those early blog postings went off in those directions … a little of this and a little of that with some history, storytelling and ‘whatever’ thrown into the mix.

My letters home from South Africa, where I emigrated for 14+ years, were of a similar nature – and people encouraged me to write about my experiences.  The same when my mother was ill and I was writing out to family or friends … the response came please don’t stop your lettersthey are so positive and a joy to read … here cometh the blog name: Positive Letters.

Yet at school I was useless … put down about it … I certainly wasn’t encouraged … but perhaps that’s a blessing – to have something to grow with later in life and to be here … giving me a purpose as the later years come along.

Writing … I prefer to write using a machine … Now that I’ve found my metier … I’ll be putting my A-Zs into a series, along with other posts (partial probably) into other series and so on … I’d like to do one with Hardwick on his travels … and I have the family story to tell backwards – as there’s no reason for me to go forward … there being no children within the immediate family.


Inline images 1This is getting long … and Denise asks about scents and aromas … I love flowers and would endeavour to bring in scented flowers for my mother … she was an exceptional gardener; she was also a very good cook and we enjoyed cooking together or trying out recipes etc.

 I relax by walking – now I can, going off to museums, lectures, talks, cinema … as I can’t play sport any more: my squash days are over.  Anything that intellectually challenges me – and that surprises me too …

The point of life – is to love, live, enjoy and learn – and then leave this planet for others on a happy note.  Do your own thing – be your own person … but give back and care.



So from this independent minded bod on Denise’s couch I love you and leave you … and I’ll be seeing you all at your blog or over being Positive with me …

Cheers to one and all … and to Denise for inviting me to her couch …


My PhotoHilary from that blog full of Positive Letters and Inspirational Stories is a lover of life--who after London spent time in South Africa. She is an administrator and sports lover, who enjoys cooking and entertaining. Through her mother's illness she found a new passion...writing, in particular, blogging. Curiosity didn't kill this cat - interaction is the key.

  • Did you enjoy Hilary's visit today? 
  • Do you share any of Hilary's favourite songs from the psychedelic '60s?
  • Do you love any of the books or movies Hilary mentioned?
Footnote: 

Over at Write...Edit...Publish today we have Elephant's Child, the winner of the Spectacular Settings WEP challenge telling us about her writing journey. Come on over and say hello!





45 comments:

  1. So good to see you here HIlary! I've followed your blog since I discovered it on one of those A to Z Quests, I'm sure. History, food, tips about London and other UK destinations - right up my alley of interests. I like the details about museums, the images you select and your great sense of humor. I like your big smile, your caring nature and your inquisitive mind - all great attributes for a blogger. Will look forward to seeing those blogposts again whenever you deem it so. I appreciate knowing you as a blogger and a friend. Take care.
    Bravo Denise, for featuring Hilary, the ever adventurous blogger digging up facts for us to chew on. That chair looks like Oscar Wilde could have posed on it too.

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    1. Hey D G. Oscar was my first thought then I remembered he was American and Hilary epitomises Britishness. Agree?

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    2. Hi DG - thanks for coming by and welcoming me back ... it was great to tie in with you ... the A-Z Challenge has been a huge boon for many of us. Your words are so special to me - much appreciated. I'm back and ready to blog and roll!
      Denise the chair is great isn't it ... I probably could easily retire into that and read some more books ... thankfully we've cleared up the Oscar lineage in the comments below! The pigeon toes I'm not so sure about! Cheers to you both - H

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  2. Nice to read about Hilary, a fellow Brit although I live in Canada. I too was never any good at school but became more curious as I got older. Not as curious as Hilary though. I love her Positive Letters along with many others and look forward to reading them again soon. By the way Denise, Oscar Wilde was an Irishman, not an American.

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    1. Eek. How could I forget that?

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    2. Thanks Jo - yes I am curious ... sometimes way too curious! I love reading about your recipes and ideas you pose on life. And I'm glad you cleared up the Oscar origins! Cheers to you both ... H

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  3. Jo, I was about to come to poor Oscar's defense, too. But I do love to read about his travels in the Old West: "Please don't shoot the piano player -- he's doing the best he can."

    It was great to get to know more about you, Hilary. You and I share a love for history and travel -- though I only get to roam through books. :-(

    I think every young child gets to go wild with songs at one point in their youth. I hope your father didn't get too upset. Love hearing from you. :-)

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    1. Hi Roland - I hadn't realised Mark Twain had travelled so much, or had so enjoyed the Silver Swan automata, which is still exhibited today. I must read his travelogues at some stage.

      You introduced me to a fascinating book - which I mentally scorned Cowboys and Indians I though - but totally grabbed me - I'd no idea Louis L'Amour was such a great writer and so well informed. ... the book "The Walking Drum" is brilliant and I highly recommend it.

      I haven't travelled as much as I might - one day I hope to catch up ... and yes my father was distinctly off!! Kids ... and thanks it's good to be back ... cheers H

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  4. Love those movies, and I'm glad to see that off-beat British movies are still going strong, from The Full Monty, A Fish Called Wanda, to Hot Fuzz and many more...

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    1. Hi Ian - oh that's good ... someone appreciates those old British movies. I totally agree with you re the others .. though I've not seen Hot Fuzz ... I'm going to write about movies too ... thanks for being here - H

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  5. Hi Denise - thanks for dragging me back into blogland ... I'm looking forward to being around ... I obviously should have got up much earlier ... but Procul Harum is gently rocking my world!

    It's great to be back around old friends ... I shall wake up shortly! Cheers for now - off to get my post up ... Hilary

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    1. I couldn't remember how to add photos ... and the comments here are lovely ... thanks so much to one and all ... cheers and see you all at your blogs shortly .. H

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  6. So lovely to have you here Hilary. Sorry for my Oscar Wilde clanger. I must have had a brain snap seeing as The Picture of Dorian Grey is a favourite of mine. But I know you're kind and will forgive me. :-)

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    1. Thanks Denise for having me here .. I regret to say I'd never have realised Oscar Wilde was Irish! I'm not educated!! But I bet we'll remember now - after Jo told us?!

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    2. There's no excuse for me other than a moment of inattention. I teach him every year and so knew he was an Irishman! Jo never misses a trick. I should proofread more!

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  7. Hilary enjoys history? I never would've guessed!
    Lived in South Africa for fourteen years - that I didn't know.

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    1. Strange but true ... had you not realised I'd lived in SA for those years ... love southern Africa ... always draws me in.

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  8. Hi Hilary! I looked up "Old Ladies’ Locked in the Lavatory." It was hysterical.

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    1. Hi Holly - that's a brave thing to do ... looking up Three Old Ladies' Locked in a Lavatory ... I'd better look ... good to see you ..

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    2. Hi Holly - I listened to the You Tube Video on 7 Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory ... it was gently fun - old fashioned humour. Thanks for sending me over ... H

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  9. Love the music of the sixties, Hilary. Enjoyed reading about your journey and find your positive personality and adventurous spirit breathtaking and inspiring! My hats off to you and your A to Z zealousness, I've only done it a few times and admire those that seem to have conquered it with a flair!
    Great interview on the couch, Denise, Hilary! Happy blogging/writing!

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    1. Hi Yolanda - thanks so much ... the music of the sixties seems to resonate with so many of us. I'm listening to Seven Old Ladies Locked in a Lavatory - and they get named! I don't think I've ever listened to the song ...

      I do love doing the A-Z ... and thankfully seem to have cracked it - with my themes of Aspects of British ... BUT we are lucky in this country - lots around for us to be inspired by ...

      Cheers Hilary

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    2. I'm listening to it too. Interesting ways they get caught! Funny!
      Well, at least the janitor rescued them! :)

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    3. Yes it's a great YouTube clip .. the American version one ...
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJG_qmYL_4M

      Yes at least they were found eventually ... cheers H

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  10. Hilary's blog is one of my favorites. She mixes history and modern travels together in such interesting ways.

    Susan Says

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    1. Thanks Susan so much ... it's good to be back ... cheers H

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  11. Hilary! So wonderful to hear from you. I had wondered if you were on permanent hiatus, but I'm glad to learn otherwise. =)

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  12. Hi Crystal ... I haven't had a baby! But I've had a good break ... and no permanent hiatus .. just a slow return ... lovely to see you too ... cheers H

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  13. ' life is not divided into subjects or categories … everything overruns and melds in …'

    so true! I have followed your blog Hilary since I came across it some years back and I love your take on life..and blogging :)

    and thanks Denise for this awesome series!

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  14. Hi Nila - your book certainly added to my view of life ... I'll write about it anon. This thought process became so apparent over the summer through the books I read, the talks I went to, the aspects of life I looked at and also many of the things I wanted to write about.

    Really appreciate your thoughts here ... and am so pleased you enjoy the blog .. I love posting about different subjects ...

    Yes - Denise does do a great series too .. I must get back and read yours on the couch again ... cheers for now Hilary

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  15. "life is not divided into subjects or categories … everything overruns and melds" I really like this quote too! So true!

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    1. Good to meet you Madilyn - I just hadn't realised how much everything is interlinked ... needed a summer for it to wander into my psyche. Glad you agree with me - thanks for reading ... cheers Hilary

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  16. What a delight to find you on the couch Hilary. A dose of history in which you're the main character is fun indeed.

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    1. Thanks Deborah - it was a very good way to re-enter blogging .. being here with Denise ... and I do love my history. Cheers H

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  17. Lovely to hear more about you, Hilary. I love reading your posts, they're always so informative, interesting and... yes, definitely positive. Keeping writing :-)

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    1. Thanks so much Annalisa - I really appreciate your support and it's good to know a Cornish girl is reading my posts: also they pass muster as to being interesting to read - thanks! Cheers Hilary

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  18. Hilary and I are about the same age, so I can relate to a lot of what she says. But, for sure, she's one of the most knowledgeable persons I follow. So much to learn about other people. Thanks

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    1. Hi Richard - that's an amazing comment .. thank you so much. The trick to my 'knowing' a fair amount, is that I teach myself as I go - I have learnt lots through blogging.

      Denise's couch visits always do let us find out more about others don't they - it's a great way of digging a little deeper behind the facade of the blogger we feel we might know by reading about them.

      Cheers and so appreciate your thoughts here ... Hilary

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  19. Hilary, it's always a delight to read a post by you. If I'm not smiling to begin with, I usually am by the time I finish. There's just something about your writing that inspires. Enjoyed the song you shared, one of my favorites.

    Denise, thanks for inviting Hilary to your couch.

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    1. Hi Mason - thank you so much ... it amazes me that my writing inspires ... but bloggers' comments really give me a boost and encourage me on.

      That song is 'terrible' .. one of those you can't forget ... I've been singing three old ladies locked in a lavatory ... not sure why I think of three - but the seven old ladies certainly tell a story.

      Thanks so much for commenting so positively .. cheers Hilary

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  20. Hi Denise,

    So lovely of you to invite Hilary over today. I always loved reading her posts.

    Hello Hilary,

    So happy to read more about you and the chance to get to know you further. Thanks for sharing about yourself. All the best!

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  21. Hello, Hilary! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  22. @ New Release Books - thanks for coming by.

    @ Nas - great to see you here and I'm so happy to see you enjoy my postings. I hope I didn't give too much away! But it's good when we can get to know our fellow bloggers.

    @ Armchair Squid .. great to see you here ...

    Thanks one and all - cheers Hilary

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  23. I'm rather late to this party!
    Love the couch. It reminded me of a FF piece I wrote, about an old couch which probably resembles the one above (to some degree) but mine was an imbuia couch.
    I love Hilary's eclectic posts. They're always choc-full... overflowing with all sorts of wonderful snippets...

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