Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Oxburgh Hall books

Some of the many books at Oxburgh Hall, a National Trust property in Oxborough, UK

You can see other entries for today’s Daily Prompt here.


Daily Prompt: The stage

When I was 10 I wanted to be an actress (women were actresses then not actors).  When I told my parents about this they discouraged me but I am not sure what their reasons were. When I told my grandmother she was appalled and made it sound like I wanted to be a prostitute.

Being the good little girl that I was, I tried to forget about my dream and in my teens I found some excuse not to join a theatre club that friends were setting up.  I remember not wanting to disappoint my father.

Over the next few years I had several career interests – fashion designer, interior designer, international truck driver, photographer, civil engineer and architect.  Eventually, after several random jobs, moving abroad and a University degree, I ended up with a job in a large global corporation which has no connection whatsoever with the creative career dreams of my childhood and teenage years.

Photography - indulging in one of my creative interests

Photography – one of my creative interests

Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?

Daily Prompt: Fantasy… or not

Daily Prompt: Fantasy

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

When I was growing up in Portugal in the late 60’s, early 70’s there was no such thing as ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Santa Claus’.  In a Catholic country whose government motto was ‘State, Family, Church‘, most celebrations and holidays were tightly connected to religion.

At Christmas, the focus was on celebrating the birth of Christ with the main characters being Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men.  We did get presents, only most kids were told they were brought by Jesus.  Thankfully my parents never did tell us that but, to try and keep with the spirit of the season, they told us that Jesus allowed them to earn the money to buy us the Christmas presents.  Sweet!

Some of the old traditions remain but today Father Christmas represents Christmas in Portugal as much as anywhere else. In UK, where I live, all these characters (Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny…) are an integral part of a child’s life.  Maybe because I never believed in them while growing up myself, just as well I don’t have kids because they would be brought up without these fantasies and would probably be considered odd by their friends and schoolmates!

There are so many fantastic stories that kids learn growing up that can stimulate their imagination.  I don’t see the point in lying to children, having them believe that all these fictional characters are real and bringing them something.

Related posts:

“You Can’t Handle The Truth!” | The Jittery Goat

Daily Post: Fantasy | tel-uh-vizh-uh-ner-ee

Fiction Isn’t A Lie,But Maybe You’re Liars. | Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Toothfairy Tales | Living Young & Wild & Free

Fantasmagorical | Hope* the happy hugger

Harmless childhood fantasy or blatant lying? | Being Special

Daily Prompt: Fantasy | My Atheist Blog

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel 2007

Today’s Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel sounds like a fun challenge that had me reaching for my purse just to see what year the coin I randomly picked was from. It was 2007.  As I actually remember what I was doing then and as that was one of the most exciting years in my life I felt inspired to write about it.

Hungarian Parliament as seen from my balcony

Hungarian Parliament as seen from the balcony

In 2006 I went to Budapest, on an expat assignment. My department was moving around 40 jobs from the UK to Hungary and I was one of the supervisors who had the job of setting up the new teams.  There were 14 people in my team doing about 5 or 6 different jobs and they were all new! Anyone who has worked for a large company can imagine the logistics of getting this number of new people all at the same time, getting everyone trained, dealing with cultural differences and then to top it all off actually move countries too.

The people we selected for the jobs were highly educated, multilingual and for the most part in their early to mid twenties.  After a few months we were starting to feel more comfortable and established but still had to deal with a high number of issues such as resignations, lack of expertise and maternity breaks.  We were never quite sure what surprise each day would bring. In 2007 I had three of my team go on maternity leave within a few short months of each other and I had the first resignation towards the end of the year. It was a very challenging time but that was what made the whole experience so rewarding.

On a personal note I was loving life in Budapest.  We lived in an amazing big, old and almost empty building, very close to the Parliament and the river Danube.  Budapest is a vibrant city and living so centrally I did not need to go far to be entertained in some form or another.  From my balcony I witnessed marathon running, film making, political demonstrations and a miscellany of other events.

For the first time in my life, I went to drawing classes and started painting. I was also walking a lot and exploring the beautiful city.

I was enjoying my job, making friends, learning new hobbies – I can truly say that 2007 was one of the most memorable years I had on both a personal and a professional level!

Daily Prompt: Musical | Reminiscences

What role does music play in your life?

Here are my random musical connections in response to today’s Daily Prompt:

– Apparently dancing on top of a café table when I was about three years old as folk music played on the TV

In my teens

– Singing so loud in the shower that my sisters would come back from the bus stop across the road to ask me to shut up so I wouldn’t embarrass them

– Singing “Stayin’ Alive” at the top of my lungs in our apartment’s balcony

– Singing ‘Flash’ for a whole day as I was sightseeing and visiting museums with my sister and a friend

– Pushing my parents until they finally bought me a guitar.  Then finding all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t play it

– Refusing to go out with my parents and sisters and instead spending winter Saturday afternoons, alone at home, watching operas on TV

– My dad often reminiscing about playing the concertina as a young man and dreaming about playing again. Eventually in his sixties he bought one – he couldn’t really play and the concertina rarely came out of its box. The good thing is that at least he fulfilled his dream.

As an adult

– For over 10 years, ‘singing’ and ‘dancing’ ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ to entertain my nieces ad nephews every time I visited (they kept asking for it after my first ‘performance’, honest ;-))

– Choosing the radio station on my car journeys, according to my mood – from pop to classical and often dancing (as much as it is possible while seated) and singing at the top of my voice.

– Having at least one song playing in my head most of the time – sometimes 2 or 3 at the same time!

Long live the music!