Learning Curve

A single green pear with a partial red hue, set against a turquoise blue background.
Image by Geraldine Dukes from Pixabay

Feeling reflective. And I don’t mean because our current hot weather is making my face so shiny, others are using it as a mirror. It’s down to The Lockwood Echo heading full-pelt towards its second Birth-ersary. I already have a post planned for that. My first Birth-ersary was very much in the ‘looking back, taking stock, fill it with so many metaphors people won’t understand what you’re trying to say’ camp, therefore I’m changing tack and will be making this coming celebration an all-out smorgasbord of self-promotion. That’ll be fun, won’t it?

In the meantime, it’s been a while since I’ve had the itch to say something, so I thought I’d poke my head above the parapet, bringing my reflective mood with it, and offer you a peek at Planet Lockwood. I have learnt SO MUCH about myself in the last two years. Some people have come into my life and shown me how to be. Equally some people have come into my life and shown me how NOT to be. Only my epitaph will reveal how well I fared.

But rather than a mundane list of strengths and weaknesses, I’m going off-piste in search of total randomness. I doubt I’ll need to travel far. Here then are a few completely disconnected, out of context and utterly without value things I’ve learnt;

My Writing Curve;

  • I cannot do satire. Humour is my go to. Humour with Heart is my ambition. But to put in writing something which is effectively a personal attack, deserved as it may be, I baulk. I love acid wit. Sarcasm? Bring it on. But I can’t go through with a satirical submission if names are named. I’ve tried and failed. A more generalised assault on a group of people. That I can do. It comes down to what that person can or can’t change, and so often satire targets what can’t be changed – personal looks – and I struggle to separate that from, for example, skin colour or disability. Of course there are jokes under that umbrella which wouldn’t be classed as offensive, those from/by kindred, or a joke ABOUT race rather than against race. So satire is something I laugh at, before my conscience says ‘shame on you’, but I can’t deliver it. I think there’s a word for that; Hypocrite? Yeah, that’s it.
    This was not supposed to be an essay! Anyway, potted version; If you were born without eyebrows, that is not to be joked about unless YOU deal with it by joking. If you were born with eyebrows but have chosen to shave them off, then used a Crayola crayon to draw slugs in their place well, I’m sorry, but you’re fair game.
  • I will never not trip up over USED to. Use to? Used to? Once did but not no more?
  • Before I post anything I’ve written, know that I have been through and edited out on average forty-seven ‘that‘s. There was one, right up there look. Could I have done without it? Probably. Did anyone teach me this stuff? No. Will I always use ‘that’ before omitting it or changing it to ‘who’ or ‘which’? Yes.
  • On the plus side, I have learnt the trick for ‘practice’ or ‘practise’, ‘licence’ or ‘license’ etc. Next week I will learn what a pronoun is and why professional writers read.
  • I can’t have food around whilst composing a publication. Because I keep stopping to eat. I can’t think and eat at the same time. Eating will always prevail.
  • And I start WAY too many sentences with ‘And’.

My Personal Curve; (is classic pear-shape, but that’s not what this post is about).

  • I’m odder than originally feared.
  • I have led, and continue to lead, a fairly sheltered life. I think I’m reasonably streetwise and people-smart (that which is why I aim to spend as much time indoors as possible), but I haven’t done much ‘life’. That’s not to say my life has been dull. Anything but. I just seem to have spent so much of it waiting. For permission, for confidence, for fear of being pushy, for fear of usurping others. For fear of fear.
  • I don’t tan well. My DNA is that of Freckly Celt. I can tan if I take the slow road. But as they say; ‘No tan is a safe tan’. I’m not so white I glow in the dark, in some places my freckles meld to give a distant illusion of ‘taupe’. I would love to have the type of skin that which glistens with the golden glow of sunbeam kisses, however the sun doesn’t kiss my skin, it punches it then makes it look like I’ve been playing in dirt. Unevenly. And after a shower, what little bronze I’ve excitedly gained usually turns out to be just that. Dirt!
  • A recent excursion reminded me I have a natural talent for finding staircases; even ones that which aren’t there. I have a gift for ascending a staircase, be it in a mansion, a hotel, a hospital, and then confidently descending what I believe to be the same staircase, only to find myself in a completely different part of the building. My partner was once left very perplexed at a friend’s wedding, patiently waiting for me at the bottom of what we’ll call Staircase ‘A’, as I went in search of the Ladies Room. On my return, I flounced towards him, from along the corridor, slightly aggrieved;

    Me: ‘I thought you were going to wait for me.’He: ‘I am waiting for you.’

    Me: But I, clearly wrongly, assumed you’d stay at the bottom of the staircase that I went up.’

    He: ‘Uh huh.’


    In our mission to then solve the mystery, we were unable to find what we’ll call Staircase ‘Doesn’t Exist’. And I then spent the rest of the wedding with my legs crossed, in fear of ascending any stairs in case I never saw anyone ever again.

  • I am not a comedian, but I believe I can churn out an amusing anecdote. Some of you have been kind enough to agree. Those who don’t, well, maybe this is not your rodeo. But I enjoy this SO DAMN MUCH, I now have the confidence to keep churning.

If you did indeed find yourself amused here, please look out for that aforementioned Birth-ersary post coming soon to a screen near you. If you found yourself BEmused, you’re confused. You’re actually experiencing amusement. Trust me. If you were none of those things then, like I say, it could be that this is not your rodeo. So give me back my horse, don’t go near that bull and take your cheap spurs somewhere less interesting. You’re more than welcome to stop by the Twitter corn dog stall on your way out, but if you didn’t get any kicks here (though the horse did try), you’re probably not gonna get any over there. So beat it, Kid. (I’m British. I have no idea what a corn dog is nor why I thought this was a good ending. Forgive me.)


  1. I love satire. I’ve learned that’s an excellent defensce mechanism and a great (only?!) way to fight unscrupulous people, that is politicians ( did I say people?)
    I was very outgoing once but love my sheltered life now with a small group of carefully chosen friends.
    I tan like crazy. A friend asked me once – did u go to the sea. No, I said, just to the supermarket. When in Turkey, they think I’m ‘theirs.’ And yes, I love freckles and reds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, political satire is a great skill, not one that I possess or one that I’d be brave enough to try! A small but true group of friends is just perfect. As we get older we find our true selves too. My partner has some Italian heritage and he tans readily and to a beautiful colour without even trying. I’d just like evenly coloured skin, regardless of shade. We always want what we haven’t got! Blending in with the locals could provide some advantages. Thankyou so much for your visit and comment. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. 🙂 I really like your off-beat and funny blogversary. 🙂

    I like political satire and have no problem seeing it applied to someone as foolish and idiotic as DT, for instance. Imho, he deserves it and has opened himself up to it.

    Happy Anniversary! 🎂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankyou! So happy that you use the words ‘off-beat’ and stayed around to comment. And look, I stuck in a superfluous ‘that’! No hope for me. As for satire, you bring up a perfect example. DT absolute deserved target. And here’s where I wince;
      Orange hair. Yes.
      Hideous persona. Yes.
      Offensive language. Yes.
      Small hands. No.
      I know a caricature would emphasize every physical aspect (nose shape etc), but to make THAT the feature of the joke makes me uncomfortable. It’s not like there’s a lack of other fodder 😉! We are about to be led by our own odious buffoon. Fodder galore! But I’ll leave that to the skill of others. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • My next churning will be my official birther-versary post, so you’re guaranteed at least one more in 10 days time. Thankyou so much for the visit and comment. Hoping to pop over to reciprocate shortly. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore you, Ms. Echo! You always make me laugh and I often see myself in so much of what you write, which may seem nuts given my writing is hardly humorous, and yours is hysterical, but I promise I am not all gloom. I can’t wait for the 2nd birth-aversary post! Corn dogs, by the way, may be the only american thing Joe is glad I introduced him to. He and I might even miss them when we return to your part of the world…but that may be all we miss!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a fabulous comment and thankyou! Tapping in to shared experiences is what makes our interactions here so special, it’s all about real-life, whichever creative route we take to express it. Everything you write has your heart stamped all over it and often hits home, so I completely get that kindred spirit vibe. I’m so glad you connect with it and get a giggle. You say return as though it’s a permanent move? Did I miss an episode? I don’t think corn dogs are on the menu in Ireland, you should start that trend. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very enjoyable post on many levels here: 1) I share a staircase memory problem of sorts. I think that staircases exist, but they don’t. This has happened to me in two places: A) a former convent I lived in as a college student in exchange for rent–I’ll have to tell that story another day, but there was this staircase that went up one side and I swore it went down the other side as well, but it didn’t. Or maybe it did. My memory is failing me again it seems. B) Nate and I had a beautiful house built in Ohio once. The focal point was a staircase and I would consistently get lost on the second floor–even though I helped design this house and lived in it for 9 years or so. I just kept thinking there should be a staircase on the other side of the second floor, but there wasn’t one. I spent many hours wandering around the second floor and no one helped me. 2) Birther-versary is hilarious. I’ve probably butchered the spelling here, but the word you invented is one that sums up the joys and rigors of blogging, year, after year, after year. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your staircase story beats mine hands down. After 9 years, still getting lost looking for a phantom staircase in a house you designed? I think this proves stairs are actually portals to another dimension, and maybe only we have unlocked this secret. Wait till everyone else finds out! As for the Birth-aversary, there is no correct spelling. I used a different selection of letters on my first one. It’s a celebration with a free-form alphabet at its heart. You may have won comment of the day here, thankyou so much for giving me a laugh, frequently! And please write that convent story. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always enjoy your posts and am so glad I found your ‘blog. You definitely have a talent. Do you find the american WP spell checker confusing too? It makes me doubt myself so often!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, what a lovely comment, thankyou so much! Happy to have been found, and likewise. As for spelling, I use artistic license. As you can see! I sometimes forget to check! I used to write my posts in Word, then copy them over, but now I write directly here. The spellchecker on the toolbar seems to have disappeared, so I highlight the lot and my computer offers a check. Any doubts I have, I Google. As I have several American followers, I sometimes let an American ‘way’ ride!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, firstly, based on the comments preceding mine, it’s clear that you have readers who adore you, and that in itself is a fine and wonderful thing. Celebrate! Secondly, I think you are selling yourself entirely short. You have a writing quality that I greatly admire, in that you can veer from whimsy to honest truth to complete sarcasm, but in such a manner that the journey feels entirely real. This is a gift that many do not possess. You can write anything you want and it will be just fine.

    By the way, a well-made corn dog is delicious, just like your spirit…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Mr Lageose, my heart jumps with joy. You beautiful person you. What a fine string of words you bestow, my blushes may never recede. Know that (THAT!?) you have been key in the bravado of my voice. When I started here, I was lucky in that (I think that one’s needed. Oh Good Lord, there’s another) I had enough confidence to present my ‘style’, for want of a better word, I just wasn’t sure if there’d be an audience. I equally adore those above, without who I wouldn’t be here. My voice really is MY voice, so your comment about it feeling real means so much. Especially coming from someone who I have a bucketload of admiration for. Ok, gush-fest over. Excuse me while I go fan my face in a demuring manner.

      Liked by 1 person

      • P.S. I meant to address the corn dog element of your comment. I have sometimes let slip, much to the chagrin of my street-cred, that I’m vegetarian. I won’t knowingly eat anything with a face. Therefore, as delicious as a corn dog may be, I’m unable to culinarily partake of anything containing the word ‘dog’.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Satire is overrated. Ever hear Vonnegut’s reflection on his own effectiveness? No shiny forehead involved. Meanwhile your own brand of humor – sorry, humour – is brilliant, as is everything else. I’ll gladly read whatever you choose to write. For realsies.
    Side note: pay no attention to Sir Brian. On this one issue he is mistaken. Corn dogs are gross. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I shall investigate Vonnegut. I think satire is brilliant if done well, but some of what passes as satire is often just childish playground stuff. I like my satire to be clever and cutting! And thankyou for also causing me blushes. Again, from someone who has penned many a favourite and one of my ALL-TIME favourite reads, I’m delighted you enjoy my brand of humour – in all its spelling incarnations! Truly thrilled 😊. Although I’ll never try a corn dog myself, I’ll take your word over Brian’s. Though I do like trashy food! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s what I’m referring to: “During the Vietnam war, every respectable artist in this country was against the war. It was like a laser beam. We were all aimed in the same direction. The power of this weapon turns out to be that of a custard pie dropped from a stepladder six feet high.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha! I guess it equates to what many of us try to do, find humour in the dark. It may be ineffective, but it might help us cope. It’s the basis of my whole blog! There’s nothing funny about war or our current politics, we’re all just searching for a way to make sense of it. My partner says ‘some things are so awful, you have to laugh at them’, what else can you do to stay sane over something hideous you can’t change. We’re more powerful if we can stay sane ;). Interesting insight, thankyou.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Hooray for wit and sarcasm! They make the world a more bearable place. 😛

    And don’t worry about being ‘odder than originally feared’.

    Or about starting sentences with ‘and’.

    But getting back to being odd- It is much better to be odd than to be blah. Normal is soooo boring. So embrace your glorious oddness! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your experience with staircases is mine with streets. I’m torn between alternate dimensions and glitches in the Matrix. I’ll have to think long and hard about which one it is…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Shh, that might get people thinking we’re old. XD But I like alternate dimensions. It’s better than admitting I get lost pretty much following a straight line. Apparently “turn left after 100 meters” is rocket science (in my defense, I’m great as long as I have a point of reference to look for!)

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve just found you in the Spam! What in heaven’s name were you doing in there? Let’s rectify that immediately and get you back out into the daylight where you belong. My sincerest apologies on behalf of the WordPress Gods. Back to business; I love many different styles of humour, but humour with humanity at its core reaches us all I think. Pathos, tragicomedy, it’s all about the human condition. And if we don’t laugh at THAT, we’re truly doomed. Never punch down is a good rule! And only punch whilst wearing a nice soft pair of mittens, that helps. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        • It was a long time before I learnt the spam box existed and I so rarely check it. And rarer to find a real comment in there. Must just be something about the way you type 😉. Glad I was able to set you free from there. Some dodgy bedfellows in that folder!

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy blogversary. You are one of the first ones I started following on here and I love seeing when you have a new post as I just Love your style of writing . Thanks for being so authentically you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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