Tag Archives: emotions

Don’t Be A Spectator In Life – Be A Participator

A couple of days ago I took part in a funeral cortège with several other members of the Harley Owners Group Great Western Chapter. Around forty of us rode our Harley Davidsons through a tiny Welsh village near Tonyrefail to pay last respects to Charlie, a former member. The sight of all those powerful machines roaring through valley communities brought many people to their front doors.

HOG Great Western Chapter UK

HOG Great Western Chapter UK

I felt privileged to be honouring Charlie’s memory as it was his express wish that his fellow bikers join him in this, his last ride, and afterwards be with his family for a curry. Although I’d never met Charlie it was evident from the turnout and the many funny stories that he was a popular character in the chapter. His wife and family were clearly moved to see so many of us there.

It was another funeral a few years ago, when my friend and work colleague Uwe died unexpectedly, that led me to buying my trike. I knew Uwe owned a Harley but the entourage of Harley’s that followed his hearse took me by surprise. I was waiting with others outside the crematorium when an incredible roaring sound like an approaching thunderstorm filled the air long before we could see them. It was a thrill for me to see all these fabulous machines and reminded me of a life-long ambition to own one. I was also reminded by Uwe’s sad death that none of us know how long we have left on this earth and how important it is to try and enjoy every precious minute. So for me to be honouring another biker by riding my own Harley as part of the same group that honoured Uwe was a very special moment indeed!

Our Trike

Our Trike

I wish that I could have known Charlie and ridden with him and also with Uwe but we can’t turn back time. It is sad that it was the death of a friend that prompted me to follow through and finally buy the dream Harley – especially as it has given me and Mrs D so much pleasure already and introduced us to a whole new bunch of friends. So, if this strikes a chord with you, please don’t put things off! Seize the day and follow your dream, whatever it is, while you’re still able – don’t be a spectator in life, be a participator. Because participating is so much more fun than just watching!

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Dinner with an Ex-Lover = Food for Writers

Apparently, research by scientists from Cornell University, New York (published in PLoS ONE, the Public Library of Science’s online journal) found that dinner with an ex will make your lover most jealous.

Jealousy is one of the most fundamental and destructive of human emotions and so it provides an excellent foundation upon which fiction writers can build a story. It takes so many forms, ranging from envy of others’ success to dealing with a loved one’s betrayal. Toddlers often display signs of it even before they can talk properly and it can turn otherwise peace-loving folk into monsters that perform the most despicable and spiteful things ranging from deliberate sabotage to murder. It can crop up between lovers, siblings, friends, work colleagues, families, neighbours and even whole nations and can lead to feuds and wars that span generations.

In one of my stories, I describe a wife’s lover emerging from the shower room ‘clutching the towel to stop it riding down over his paunch, his bald patch clearly visible through his wet hair’. “UCH!” said one of my friends, before asking: “Why don’t you describe the lover in more flattering terms to make the husband even more jealous?”

But let’s think about this from the husband’s viewpoint: which would make him feel worse? His partner going off with someone fit, attractive and half his age? Or with someone older and uglier? I know that if the person I love ran off with Michael Bublé, I’d be hurting badly, but I could ultimately (and sadly for me!) make a list of all the things he’s got that I haven’t (looks, money, talent) and console myself with the belief that I never really stood a chance. (Come on girls, be honest, which of us would you pick out of a line?) On the other hand, if she left me for some toad up the road, you could add to my hurt feelings: anger, incredulity and a need to know what the toad has that I don’t! I’m going to stop now because it’s damaging my self-esteem but I hope you get my drift. Remember, the more you make your characters suffer the more they will reveal about their true selves.

You can read more about the scientists’ research by following the link below. Better still, why not sit down and start writing a story about jealousy?

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040445

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