Ray’s ‘ONE’ writing challenge

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Been a while since I’ve taken part in any writing challenge, some bloggers refer to these as Awards (never understood that one?) But I prefer the idea challenges are answering cool questions with honest personal answers, they’re possibly more fun writing than reading but fun all the same, like I said Victoria’s dreamt up an interesting 11 Q’s. 

1. One person who inspired you? Honestly I really struggled with this one, my brother? No perhaps more truthfully my mother, she’s the bedrock of our family where no problem is insurmountable, and within minutes of speaking with a total stranger I’m in awe of her ability to appear that they’d been good friends for years, I was incredulous watching her at 12 as I am now at 50.
 
2. One moment that changed the course of your life? Age 16 opening the letter from an engineering firm offering me a four year toolmaking apprenticeship, truly the happiest four years of my life AND I was paid a wage to learn skills I still enjoy using today, not forgetting those friendships with thirty other young men my age, their laughter, humour, comradery and bullshit tales……. happy days.
 
3. One thing that you would change about yourself, your life, the world 

About myself? Better able to chat up women, truly I’m ok once in bed with them.

About my life? I’d do anything not to be living in a Country engulphed by a chaotic political madness known as BREXIT……….. the fallout will define the way I live until the day I die, thanks a bunch David Cameron you asshole!

The World? The honest answer is I’m weary and perhaps I’ve given up a little (Brexit is that bad), I’ve had enough of the constant bombardment of bad news, no horrific tragic news stories and wish the World never let them happen…………. A close relative many years ago committed suicide, still affects me now and perhaps will the more I get older?

4. One hero/heroine from past/or present? Easy, Elizabeth I, for some reason her reign captures my imagination more than any other person, I visited ‘The Tower’ last year, I remember climbing the spiral stone steps within on of the confined claustrophobic towers thinking to myself, ‘I am walking in the exact same steps as Elizabeth’, sounds pretentious? No completely true.
 
5. One cultural recommendation (film, book, song, painting)?

Film? As of now, Roman Polanski’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, one afternoon our O level English literature class went to watch a screening at the cinema, a gorgeous beautiful film that blew me away and also regrettably the ONLY thing I can remember from two years of studying English Literature! I’m a late bloomer.

Book? Easy! ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, without fail I read this ‘Ghostly Tale’ no earlier than two day’s before Christmas day, AND without fail I begin reading feeling like ‘oh no not again, do I have to? I know this story err like the back of my hand!’ HOWEVER by the finish of page 1, a gem of a beginning where Dickens has without question convinced the reader Marley is dead as a doornail that I am well and truly hooked (if you don’t believe he’s dead then the tale is un-believable). ‘A Christmas Carol’ is that good hence the many screen adaptations, yes reluctantly even the Muppet one. However the book is darker and more sinister than many might assume, the scene where Spirit three reveals to Scrooge HE is the dead man lying beneath the headstone is truly spine chilling……. Scrooge hadn’t suspected it was he after listening in to so many huddled conversations of people he’d known. So why read at Christmas? The ghostly tale is set at Christmas time therefore my own (now waning) excitement enriches the experience, but above all else throughout his book Dickens poses uncomfortable truths about my own failings prejudices, I haven’t given enough to charity that past year, I could have been more generous of spirit, ‘aren’t there tooo many children born into the world?’ ‘I pay my taxes so are there not enough workhouses to house the poor?’…………. a brilliant little book.

Btw I enjoy the concept of reading Hardy, but alas his novels get the better of me apart from his book of short stories………. hmm I think I have a short attention spans but I’m improving.

Song? Honestly Changes by the minute or the hour, I enjoy listening to BBC Radio 2 and I’m more than happy with their selections………. ‘The Sweetest Thing’ by U2 perhaps.

Painting? A day spent wandering around Tate Britain looking at paintings is my idea of a great ‘arty’ day, I know not a jot about art but I get satisfaction from looking at a painting that emotionally touches my heart and soul…………. pretentious? No we all enjoy art that speaks to us.

6. One challenge the world is facing? According to David Attenborough human extinction! This natural history guru expert and genius just days ago said mankind is facing extinction and I fear he may be correct.

7. One great thing that we have achieved? Sending a man to the moon, have him walk about its surface then returning him home safely again, I look at the moon through my telescope with awe and wonder because visiting seems so conceptually fantastical, in fact I near cannot believe it happened but I know America did, well done America.

8. One regret? I miss all four of my Grandparents still to this day, my mother married very young so I was blessed to be around them well into my thirties (we all live to a minimum of age83 in our family), perhaps mum’s father most of all, he took me to games of cricket as a child then years later I accompanied him as an old gentleman…………… wonderful happy days.

9. One nugget of advice for humanity? For Christ’s sake learn how to Govern yourselves with intelligence humanity and humility, devoid of greed avarice and selfishness, happily pay yourselves exactly the same wages, provide free healthcare and education for everyone……. ffs the list goes on and on!
 
10. One alternative career path you might have chosen? If I hadn’t been fortunate with gaining a toolmaking apprenticeship I’d like to have trained as an electrician, then again several years ago I happened across a genuine adult film company website, they were advertising lol for amateur male Pornstars………… no seriously, ordinary men were invited to apply sending a photo, you’d assemble at a hotel, the ONLY professionals were female porn models and well you get the idea!!!………. Ok I never ever seriously contemplated applying geez what if my mother had found out, also it’s disgustingy sordid and seedy but the temptation was definitely there, should I/would I is quite a moral dilemma? Lol ok I wasn’t tempted and then there’s the questions could I remain hard for 2hours and is six inches enough?

11. One thing that you could do better, but you don’t? Live a little.

Enjoyed answering.

©A. Shepherdson 2019

17 thoughts on “Ray’s ‘ONE’ writing challenge

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, Andrew. You have a beautiful mind and I enjoy your musings – though I still avoid your “adult” blogs 😁 only because I am old enough to be your mother. Today I must tell you, in all honesty, that I’ve sworn off Dickens a long time ago. I get depressed and cry when I read his tales – which just goes to show that he was a brilliant writer. But that’s me. I totally agree with your take on Elizabeth I and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, though. Sorry about Brexit. Read the South African news about lies and corruption – it will make you laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Hester, I’m unsure why challenges are called Awards? But the chosen questions are very good prompts to write about yourself, life whatever? ‘Old enough to be your mother’ made me smile, you have good taste 😀 I’d avoid my adult tales tooo!

      I’m not a great reader of Dickens however I understand why his writing affects readers that way, I can’t help feeling sublimely A Christmas Carol’s intention is to make one feel guilty! Oh and I did read a story along the lines South African Politicians are not adverse to buying themselves sports cars such as Lamborghinis’ and McLarens’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, there seems to be a bit of confusion with regard to challenges and awards. I don’t actually need these challenges to introduce myself – myself is all I write about anyway! People must be getting sick of my opinions by this time.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Many many months ago I noticed your blog is an award free website, several WP writers have err ‘nominated’ me in the past and I’ve declined, however good questions do often prompt childhood memories………………. as regards opinions, I think rather adorably ALL bloggers suffer this affliction and why not.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Hester, I’m unsure why challenges are called Awards? But the chosen questions are very good prompts to write about yourself, life whatever? ‘Old enough to be your mother’ made me smile, you have good taste 😀 I’d avoid my adult tales tooo!

    I’m not a great reader of Dickens however I understand why his writing affects readers that way, I can’t help feeling sublimely A Christmas Carol’s intention is to make one feel guilty! Oh and I did read a story along the lines South African Politicians are not adverse to buying themselves sports cars such as Lamborghinis’ and McLarens’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good answers. We may all be off to hell in a handcart (again), but with enough of your sort of humour and positivity, hopefully we can get through it. Haven’t seen the film version Tess in years, must give it another watch – Though seem to recall the bloke playing Angel Clare wasn’t very attractive, spoiling it a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We chat about Brexit at work, the consensus today is it’s turning into a farce!!! One voted Brexit three to Remain, we never argue but it’s interesting how all of us are erring to the side of ‘we’ll never leave Europe’, yes it’ll drag on but perhaps Bureaucrats in Europe will consider their salary’s and pensions more important than ideals? Who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

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