No to a ticky tacky life

By Sue Trollip

I’ve been watching a lot TV. Netflix. It’s free movies and TV shows for a nominal monthly fee. Fantastic! (You could argue that the nominal fee makes the free part inaccurate but I disagree, it’s almost free and that’s good enough for me.)

Weeds is where I started. It’s an oldish show, but I’ve never seen it before. Series One is all I needed because I’m not really enthralled by the family drug business. What I loved most about this series was the theme tune. Little Boxes it’s that 1960s song we’ve all heard before by Malvina Reynolds:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes all the same.

And the people in the houses

And they all look just the same.

And it got me thinking, then worrying about how to make sure I’m not living a ‘ticky tacky’ life, a life that’s ‘just the same’.

Then I turned to a series called Life. I tuned in because it has Damien Lewis in the lead and although he’s not handsome, what with being a red-haired dude and all, he is an excellent actor (see The Forsyth Saga et al) and he has a lovely mouth. Kind. Anyway, his character in Life, Detective Charlie Crews, said that every day should be a celebration, and I like that idea. (Charlie Crews had just been released from a 12 year prison sentence so he needed to celebrate in all ways.)

I hope that if I celebrate each day individually it will make my life more substantial and less ‘ticky tacky’. Now there’s celebrating with chips and salsa, or ice cream, or even margaritas but I’m not talking about that kind of celebration.

I’m suggesting a20140715_090300 few minutes to stare at the moon, or to watch the wind dancing with the leaves on the trees, or the sight of a dandelion shimmying in the late afternoon sunshine.

So this is a reminder to appreciate what’s around you.

Dare to live differently!





7 thoughts on “No to a ticky tacky life

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you for this, Sue. I don’t want a ticky-tacky life either but recently I’ve felt a bit like a hamster on a treadmill. And as anyone who’s ever seen me in the gym (a rare sighting indeed) will tell you, I’m not fond of treadmills! However, I am quite fond of Damian Lewis. I’m not sure why you don’t fancy red-haired men, or maybe I’m odd because I do, but I’ve liked him ever since I saw him in the movie “Brides” a few years back. I might just start my daily celebration by looking online for the series “Life”…

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Susan, I’ll look out for ‘Brides’ and the thought of you being a ticky tacky hamster is rather amusing. I know your brain is whirling with story ideas, whereas the hamster is just huffing and puffing. So stay warm and eat chocolate and before long I’m sure the treadmill will stop long enough for you to get off.

  2. jacky says:

    Sue, you are so right – we just don’t take time to sit back quietly and enjoy what’s around us – for free. There’s a poem I read as a child: Leisure:
    What is this life?
    So full of care
    We have no time to stand and stare.
    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare……………………………….(something about sheep and cows!)

    But you’ll get the gist of it. Wish we could swap our tacky tv film options for yours! and, I love The Forsyte Saga, particularly ‘ The Indian Summer of a Forsyte’ sums up so well the essence of your blog Thanks.

  3. jacky says:

    I guess it also depends on what you’re staring at!!! you could N E V E R be tacky Sue – and it’s summer in your hemisphere so that’s got to be good. Saw the first whales yesterday, shunting up and down along the rocks; didn’t feel a bit bad about staring! funny thing is, when people gather down there to watch them, they’re all totally quiet, and almost everyone has a smile – the people that is; so maybe the whales have the answer.

    • Sue says:

      Thank you Jacky!
      Do enjoy the winter whales, it is the most magnificent thing and I shall go hiking in amongst the wildflowers and report back.

  4. Penny M says:

    Hi girls – I had forgotten this song. I used to sing it in my youth and get that restless, hopeless feeling; a bit like having a ham-string caught in Sue Roberts’s treadmill.
    Now I have nothing in common with hamsters. I can definitely identify better with Jacky’s winter whales – beautiful creatures, who must have to make such an effort to get out of the water. They manage it so gracefully. I, on the other hand (foot, fin or whatever) struggle to get out of my bed (my water – not water bed) in the mornings. Once up, I can quite easily sit and stare for hours. Before I know it, it’s eleven o’ clock and I haven’t done a thing.
    I look out at the sea and remember your flat, Sue, and the view from there. It’s a little sad when I reminisce, but glad you are managing to savour the moments. None of our lives are ticky tacky – I doubt there’s anything normal about them; we’re writers after all.

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