Flight of fantasy

I went on a cruise round the Med last week. But before you start saying, 'Cor, what was it like?' it was actually all in my head. You see, I spend most of my life in a world of fantasy and make-believe.

I went on a cruise round the Med last week. But before you start saying, 'Cor, what was it like?' it was actually all in my head.

You see, I spend most of my life in a world of fantasy and make-believe. And that doesn't include imagining hubby and myself as Brendan Cole and Kelly Brook off Strictly Come Dancing - well, only sometimes.

No, I've been picturing lots of people getting up to all sorts of activities. Purely fictional characters, that is! And I'm not the only one by the looks of it. Going by the numbers who've signed up for a local creative writing course there are lots of us who long to be another J.K. Rowling, or whoever. And why not? It's a great way to occupy yourself.

If you're such a person you'll know it's impossible to ignore the urge to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard once you've been bitten by the writing bug. It got me back at high school when the Great Fire of London took hold of some of my history lessons.

'Imagine you're there reporting on the scene,' our fantastic teacher Miss Curedale said to the class.

Well, talk about sparking me into life - couldn't resist, sorry! In an instant it was1666 and I was in Pudding Lane, notebook and quill pen in hand, with sensational headlines as well as flames leaping before my eyes. And I haven't looked back since. Oh, I may seem to be absorbed by the price of carrots etc. when I'm wandering around supermarket aisles, but while hubby's merrily doing a waltz or fox trot with the trolley I'm also away in another place entirely. In fact it's a wonder we manage to come home with any groceries at all!

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Today my shelves, drawers, and computer memory - if not my own - are crammed full of tales. If only some would-be Freuds didn't insist works of fiction are related to authors' own lives. I can't help it if my stories frequently feature dastardly villains, treachery and murder!

It's also a bit unnerving when others read into your compositions things that hadn't even crossed your mind. I don't know whose face was redder when a tutor advised me to tone down a poem. I was totally dumbstruck. I thought I'd only been waxing lyrical about a flower!

One of the best bits about writing though is watching people discuss your characters as if they're real. Two of my fellow students once had quite a heated debate about what they'd have done had they been in my male lead, Neville's shoes. Believe me, I did try shouting, 'Hey, hang on, he is only a figment of my imagination', but they didn't give me a look in!

Now I'm taking a gap year from college studies I've started writing with a vengeance.

I hope those of you who are doing the same enjoy it as much as I do.

I mean when else can you daydream for England, stare at passers-by, and eavesdrop on conversations for interesting snippets … all in the name of art, of course, darlings!

To me the video cassette recorder must rate alongside the mobile phone and chocolate fountain as one of the most significant inventions of recent years.

Oh, how I could have done with one of those back in the 1960s when The Monkees TV programme was on at the same time as Magnus Magnusson's Chronicle - the VCR that is, not the mobile phone or chocolate fountain, although all three would have been rather nice!

I'm afraid I didn't share the same archaeological leanings as some of my family so I

quite often lost out and was totally inconsolable. It would also have meant I could have

had a life as well as keeping up with all the soaps, Dallas and Dynasty.

Nowadays of course we're lucky enough to be able to 'timeshift' to our heart's content and it's a jolly good job too. I hate to think how hubby and I would cope on a Saturday otherwise what with the X Factor on one channel, Strictly Come Dancing on another and a night shimmying away at a local dance school also calling us. Come early evening we're rushing around like bulls in a china shop making sure we've set the necessary equipment correctly.

Okay, having two VCRs may seem a luxury or over-the-top to some, but when your world revolves around soaps, reality TV and dancing, take it from me, they're a necessity. I just wish I too could be rewound sometimes instead of being permanently set to fast forward.

You know how it is. You've got a list of things a mile long to do, you know no-one will ever do them as well as you, but you realise you're going to have to eke out the load if it's all going to get done.

At least you can comfort yourself with the thought that it will be less for you to remember, right? Wrong! Take last week for instance.

Having completely overlooked the need to buy some washing powder on our supermarket run I packed hubby off to get some from our local shop.

He was going out on another errand anyway so I knew he wouldn't mind popping in there en route. 'Goody,' I thought as he drove off, 'I can forget all about that now.'

Trouble is so did he!

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