COURAGE! HONESTY! AND TRANSPARENCY!

I thought long and hard about what to write in this article. Then I read a recent article in the Daily Mail online. A piece by a fellow lady of words on her personal debt struggle, the reasons behind it and the resulting capitulation into near desolation this has brought about. My residing feelings towards her piece were that of great respect and warmth towards the author, for her resounding strength of character, and transparent honesty in having the gumption to put pen to paper to tell her story. 

Laying out my stall

With this being the last published article before Christmas I felt I would follow suit and try to appease any flailing misgivings or inertia one may feel about the forthcoming onslaught of false smiles and excessive joviality in the name of jolly Christmas.

Having recently given up alcohol and coffee – in the name of clean living - I have found it a tedious and drawn out process seeing the looks I now get at various functions, when my drink is something less than exciting. An orange juice or at best a mocktail. There seems to be a socially innate feeling of mistrust when someone orders a soft drink when champagne flows and wine glugs from a bottle to a glass. Certain events where this is a complimentary pleasure laid on to schmooze clients - us - I find particularly uncomfortable, often resorting to then making some quip about a lack of hangovers. It usually goes down like the proverbial lead balloon or sinking ship.

Coffee shops I can get away with. After all, I post here in this article that time is ticking before  ordering coffee at a coffee shop is ‘so last year’. It’s all about healthy smoothies, fragranced herbal teas and frappachocolates. You read it here first ©@RJ Wardle 2014. I think this is because as we are all living longer, and pleasurably so, (there is hope for me yet), as a result of this our health becomes an ever increasing point of concern. All the coffee we consume will no doubt lead to raised blood pressures, raised cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart failure or strokes. Cheery I know. Well, it is Christmas soon. As we are by and large a canny species, if a little foolish and blinkered to our own impacts on the world, I summise we shall ‘wise up’ to this and forego the morning pick-me-up double espresso for a more energising ginger and ginseng tea. Or maybe not. Although through my abstinence, for the best part of six months now, the biologically innate peaks and troughs of inducing caffeine and aforementioned alcohol (itself a poison) into the blood stream  I do find myself to be less afflicted by ‘troughs’.

So why am I abstaining?

It is quite simple.

I choose to.

As a man who has spent many of his late teenage, and most of his twenty something years playing music in various bars and clubs, hosting a radio show and promoting several prominent London- based club nights at sought after venues, whilst also holding down numerous office-based jobs, the overriding thread to this life was the inducement of both coffee and alcohol to keep the engine, that is our body, going.

Well, alongside this, and some sporadic yet studiously trained acting roles, I also wrote. I have always written. I was the child of our village in the 1980’s/1990’s tucked away in a room listening to everything from Motown, The Rat Pack to Elvis Presely. Immersing himself in the biographies of Hollywood film stars such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, reading the Carry On stars’ auto/biographies such as Sid James and Kenneth Williams inc. letters and diaries. Avidly watching films of both Ealing and Hollywood black and whites, mesmerised by Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly and so very many others. Then writing a biography of a made-up Hollywood film star from the 1920’s to the 1960’s (my favourite eras).Purchasing costumes from a nearby WWII event each year, so as to take ‘in character’ pictures to complement the words, as I skipped off to drama school on Saturday mornings. Then pranced about on a stage of a local theatre company in the evenings whilst all my friends were being ‘cool’.

Then I discovered cigarettes. Hip-hop then Trance and House music and increasingly joined them in the bus shelter to smoke rather than staying in my room reading or writing everything from comic books to aforementioned biographies to a detective story for children. A friend at that time and I even used my little sister’s cassette recorder - complete with microphone – to record songs from the radio adding our voice overs so as to create our own radio show. I was 13. As a young teenager being told by my peers ‘not to bother learning to mix as I wasn’t any good at it’ to finally finding London and the life I loved there (not that I was any superstar DJ).

But,  I was good enough and fortunate enough to bring pleasure through the decks, clubs, bars and speakers to many millions of listeners over the years. Memorably feeling exhilarated watching the staff of one known bar in London’s Great Portland Street dancing on top of the bar to my NYE midnight set. 

Having decided some years ago now to embrace the world of words with as much gusto as I had previously conditioned myself to the party scene here in London, I have also decided to cut away false stimulants (and one depressive) in favour of a clear mind and a steady pen.

So, have courage in your passions and you will succeed is the overriding lesson these years taught me. Do not pay much attention to those whose motives for saying you are not good enough come from a desire to control or belittle you.  Stride forth into Christmas and 2015 with as much gusto as you see fit. For You! Stay amazing!

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More Articles by R J Wardle

Courage! Honesty! and Transparency!
A Testament of youth
Are we really alone?
What does it all mean?
WW1 - The Lesser known elements
Heroines of war
Where are our female artists?
We will never surrender
Dear old Vic with her new voices
Wherefore art thou dear old vic?
Wherefore art thou?
Spare Rib? Yes please!
Female author's fight to flourish
Beryl Cook
Global food in your fridge

"A life-long pacifist - encouraged by her wartime experiences -  writer, journalist, prolific speaker, lecturer, Vera devoted the majority of her seventy seven years to feminism and peace."

 

 
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