Inspiring Envy

What do you do when someone’s achieved your dream? Does a Kelly haze descend? It encompasses wanting what another has, not wanting them to have it or thinking that because they have it, you won’t get it or it will be taken away from you. Is it any wonder that jealousy is compared to murder in the Bible? Complex and negative, it’s a step too far along a ruinous road. Then there is its olive toned cousin, envy, which still covets what another has but can have a redeeming quality: inspiration.

I don’t like to admit to these most human of emotions but I confess yesterday I was envious. I’d just finished reading ‘From Pasta to Pigfoot’. I’d like to have a written and published a book too! Not fair! Or is it? Frances had talked about writing a novel when I worked for her briefly 9 years ago. I don’t know her very well; she’s my sister-in-law’s friend. However, she perseveres as can be attested by anyone who has witnessed the growth of her presence offline and elsewhere.

So instead of marinating in my envy, I chose to be inspired. This morning when there are a million things to do before we leave for the UK later, I decided to revisit my almost 15k word manuscript : critically rereading the appraisal sent by my tutor from the Faber online writing course I completed in May, noting the feedback from my course mates and making notes on how to rework and take forward my story. I plan to use the ‘bodyclock con’ to my advantage and do some writing while on holiday.

How can you make envy work for you?

Flowers for forgiveness

The floral display in Carrefour is to the eye what water is to a parched mouth.  I want to drink it in, to dive in. Others feel the same way it seems. I witnessed two men compelled to take photos of themselves stood amongst the flowers.  The first one succeeded but in the switching of places they alerted the security guard. What ensued then was an exchange reminiscent of ‘Candid Camera’ or ‘Beadle’s About’. The security guard kept saying ‘La La La.’ He was not humming a tune but telling them no in Arabic. The men were insisting that it was only a picture and asking what was the harm. Throughout this exchange, the second man positioned himself and got his friend to take his picture and then they thanked the guard.


The commotion came to the attention of a manager who rushed over to reiterate that it was against the rules. One of the photographers looked at him and said ‘Salam (Peace)’ and he and his friend walked out. I silently cheered them.


La, La, la is an oft heard refrain here. It’s about authority. Often that sphere is no bigger than the eye of an ant and maybe because of that, authority is wielded without discretion.  Sometimes I don’t ask for the simplest of things because just the thought that a person could say no, as in the situation they have more power than me, is more than my soul can bear.


Yet this Radio 4-worthy farce reminded me of  the credo ‘it is better to beg forgiveness than to seek permission’. I wondered if lately, I had been seeking permission too often.  Consequently, I’ve identified some areas which may leave me eating humble pie or, maybe just maybe, I’ll get what I truly desire.



What would you rather beg forgiveness for?




Censure&Censor not Sense&Sensibility

Buying a magazine in this desert place can be a risky business especially when summer issues are full of women in swimsuits. All images like this have a censor’s thick black felt tip mark covering the pubic and breast areas. And last month when I bought O magazine, 3 pages were missing. The colouring in makes me chuckle but torn-out pages incense me as I’ve paid almost 10 quid – yep double –  for a magazine.

It’s annoying as you can see lingerie, swimsuits and other clothes displayed on mannequins as you walk through the mall. La Senza, M&S, Victoria’s Secret – they’re all here.


Here’s what I’m thinking:


What’s the gender of the person doing this job? – I’m guessing it’s a man and my thoughts go tangential

What’s the job title?

What’s the job description?

What are the criteria?

And is there someone quality checking?

Does he (I’m convinced it’s a he) have a quota?

Does he get danger money?

Does he have job satisfaction?

Your thoughts?