"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Monday, 31 March 2014


The art of self-study can be mastered by anyone

I have my final lecture in college coming up, until the new academic year begins in September.  As I reach the end of my course thus far, I have been thinking about how I can prepare for next term.  One aspect of my Psychotherapy training is that of Personal Development - students are asked to become more analytically aware of their strengths, limits and shortfalls.  With this in mind I have decided that my handwriting and note-taking could use some improvement, particularly as we must keep a scholar's journal as part of the course.  I am a naturally tidy person and my handwriting has never been messy but it could benefit from being a touch neater. It hasn't changed much at all since my school days, so I need to put a greater level of maturity into my script. 

I am intrigued by the practice of Graphology where experts can analyse someones handwriting and divine their personality traits. It makes me wonder what my handwriting is saying about me. Does it portray a flattering image? I would hate to think that anyone is disappointed by my penmanship, or that they struggle to make it out. I want my writing to be in keeping with who I am, not a jarring contradiction. My main problem is that I think much faster than I write, which can lead to the lazy formation of letters. When I am in a rush to take something down, I do tend to scribble and I cannot for the life of me, write in a straight line on an unlined page.  The overall effect is that of immature presentation - Scribbling School Girl is not the image I want to put across!

When I think of elegance in handwriting, I think of thick sheets of notepaper covered in a flowing, cursive script. I think of Jane Austen heroines writing love notes and diaries at a writing slope.  I think of the great poet Robert Browning falling in love with Elizabeth Barrett's penmanship, long before he had actually met her in person.  Alas, as it stands, I am doubtful that anyone would fall in love with me due to my penmanship alone!

So, in true finishing school style, I have decided to work on developing a more sophisticated penmanship.  I like the idea of Calligraphy and italic lettering and I have gone through all my pens and notebooks to find suitable tools to use in the practice of refining my handwriting, so that I can incorporate a few elegant touches and flourishes where appropriate.  It will take some time to get out of bad writing habits, but practice makes perfect and Calligraphy is such a beautiful art form in its own right, that it will be a pleasure to learn more about it.  Of course I don't plan on writing class notes in italics, but a refined formation of lettering and a flowing script should make note-taking much faster and still legible. That's the plan anyway.
By the time the next academic years starts I am hoping to have developed an elegant, sophisticated cursive hand instead of a neat, but rather naive print.  There is always room for improvement. 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Kylie Tickets!!!

I'm going to see Kylie! 

It has been a very Kylie-ish week.  On Tuesday I bought her new album which is fantastic.  I've been listening to it all week.  It's very upbeat, sexy and cheerful.  Then on Thursday I was thrilled that I managed to get tickets to see Kylie live, when her Kiss Me Once Tour comes to my home town this autumn!

I'm so excited and I know I'll be fizzing over by the time the concert is in town. I'm going with my mum and we have seen Kylie before so we know we're in for a great night.  In 2002 we went to see her Fever Tour and in 1991 I went to see her Let's Get To It Tour for my 18th birthday.  It goes without saying that I have been a huge Kylie fan for years and years, ever since I was a school girl and Kylie and Jason were the super couple of the moment.

I feel very lucky that I have seen my idol just once, let alone three times!  This is one of the things I love about living on the edge of a large city, with an arena - I get to see some fantastic shows and it's not just Kylie; I've seen A-HA Ending On A High Note and Britney Spears Femme Fatale too.  I would love to see Evanescence at some point in the future.

I'm still trying to contain my excitement over scoring the concert tickets but I'm trying not to count down the weeks as I have a lovely short break in Strathpeffer in the Scottish Highlands to look forward to as well.  It's going to be a busy and exciting autumn for me.

If you are planning to see Kylie on tour this year I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I am going to!
BB Marie 

Friday, 14 March 2014


In my study; a quiet retreat, away from the world...

It is a dull and foggy evening as I settle into my study to write this post.  The daylight is giving way to dusk and I can hear the wind whistling down the chimney, mournful and melancholy.  For the past few weeks I've been lost in my writing and studying.  The psychotherapy course I am doing has gathered pace and as we head towards the end of another term, I am working hard to put together an interesting and informative Presentation, which I have to deliver to fellow students in a couple of weeks.

It is a nerve-wracking time.  Public speaking is far outside my comfort zone so it is not something that I am looking forward to -  I'm much better with book work.  I tell myself that I should be able to do this quite easily - I've done lots of media interviews and gone live on the BBC, so a night school presentation really shouldn't be a big deal. But the shy-girl nerves rattle me nonetheless.  I have approached this task as I would a journalistic assignment, so there has been lots of research and note-taking involved.  I have also conducted an interview with a leading therapy organisation, which I really enjoyed.  As an author it made a nice change for me to be the one asking the questions rather than answering them! Now all I have to do is write up the piece and practice my public speaking, ready for the presentation. 

Also it is a long time since I had to write academically, so I am a little nervous about that too.  I am a commercially published author, which means that my work is meant to be accessible.  Academic writing is meant to be far less accessible because it reinforces the aloof clique of the Educated, separating  them from the masses.   It involves the use of lots of jargon and lingo, which I do remember from my previous University days, but which I have always found to be rather pretentious and I hate that kind of snobbery so I am trying to strike a balance in my course assignments between being true to my writer-self and meeting the academic criteria.   

I wouldn't say that the course so far has been mentally taxing though...it's more my own unwillingness to conform to the ranks. I'm a Bruce, so I want to do things my way, but it doesn't really work like that and I have to abide by the rules, making myself sound like a super-smart-snob when I am anything but! I can see where people get the idea that certain professions facilitate a superiority complex - it is due to the jargon those professionals have been trained to use as normal language. I have to say though, that my vocabulary is being improved and that can only be good for my writing career!

When I haven't been writing for publishers, doing home-work or putting together the presentation I have been trying to enjoy some quiet me-time to help me relax and that's what I'm doing right now.  I have a lovely Glade Honey&Chocolate candle burning, with a Yankee Honey&Spice tart simmering away. My house smells warm, cosy and a bit like a chocolate shop! As soon as this post is up I'm going to make a cup of tea and curl up with a novel and my cat, Pyewackett, for a snug night in.

Whatever you are doing tonight I wish you a great weekend!
BB Marie