Accents and Assumptions

Sometime last year my husband and I were walking along a perfectly ordinary street in Marylebone (here in London) when we saw a perfectly ordinary bloke sitting on a bench outside a pub. I glanced his way, and thought he looked a bit familiar but immediately dismissed the thought and carried on walking. But when my husband said ‘Hello Shaun’ I figured it was someone he knew and so I stopped too.

And to my surprise, it was none other than British actor Shaun Evans, who is probably best known for playing the young detective Endeavour Morse in ‘Endeavour’. In fact, he was even sitting reading a script for the next series being filmed, and said he had just been at a rehearsal. He was very polite and friendly, considering we basically interrupted him in his own private time, and happily chatted with us for a couple of minutes.

The strangest thing was, in all the times I’ve seen him on TV I’ve never once questioned his decidedly non-regional English accent, never picked up any hint of anything in his acting voice to show it was an acting voice. And so my assumption and expectation was that he probably sounded like that all the time. But here he was in front of me, same eyes, same smile, yet when he spoke he was very clearly a proud Liverpool lad with an easily recognisable scouse accent!

I have to say in person he was absolutely delightful to meet, very down-to-earth and not at all show-bizzy. If he was irritated by our intrusion he gave absolutely no indication of it, and as we left he stood up and shook our hands and we wished him good luck with the next series of Endeavour. I’ve been watching an old recording of Endeavour tonight, which is what prompted this particular post, and however hard I try to hear it, I have to report I can find no trace of his own accent anywhere! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Assumption 

Collateral Damage

The most important thing when dealing with a narcissistic person, so I’ve found, is not to take the hurtful things they say personally. Because it’s not about you, it’s about them – it’s never about you and always about them, no matter what. Knocking you down is never about keeping you low but about keeping them high – your feelings are incidental, nothing but collateral damage in their interminable quest for puffed-up perfection.

They need to feel good about themselves, and so you must be kept forever not good enough in their eyes in order for them to facilitate and fulfil their own fantasies of grandiosity. And so it’s never about deliberately hurting you, it’s more about salving their own suffering, ironing over their own inecurities, denying the desperation of their own delusions of grandeur. You are a mere inconsequential bit-player to their shining main protagonist.

To have an ongoing familial relationship with a narcissist, you must remain steadfastly strong enough to refuse to see yourself through their compassionately deficient eyes. Instead you must recognise their inherent weakness, pity their perpetual inability to see the reality of anyone or anything as existing outside of their own distorted worldview. Only then can you be free…

Daily Prompt: Narcissism

Complicated, but never Empty

Sometimes life just feels like one long string of complications, one after the other like individual links joined in a chain, each complete ‘O’s of disbelief in themselves but together making a whole new incoherent mess of my own making. But at least it never feels empty: Hollow at times, but never empty.

I’ve survived complications with my birth, with my physcial health, with my mental health, with relationships, with work, with education. And I’m still here after fifty-four years, still sorting out complication after complication in life, full to the brim with confusion and emotion and living as best I can…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Empty

Daily Prompt: Complication

Arse Before Elbow

I was born a month premature, in early December 1963. My mum went into labour several weeks before I was due, suffering with the exeedingly dangerous extreme high blood pressure of pre-eclampsia.

To add insult to injury, I then presented as a transverse breech, literally trying to enter the world bottom first, and so in the end I was born unceremoniously by emergency Ceasarian Section in the middle of the night. I was immediately whisked off to whatever the 1960s version of the Special Care Baby Unit was called.

I remained in an incubator for however long it took to stabilise me, while mum remained dangerously ill in a different part of the hospital. Not the best bonding experience for either of us. Mum always said she didn’t feel like she’d had a baby – she felt more like she’d had her appendix out.

My dad always joked I tried to come into the world in too much of a hurry, arse before elbow, and have continued through life in the same vein. He’s probably quite right, even now I’m not one for biding my time and doing things in the ‘right’ order… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Premature