Day 27: A Letter To A True Friend

Hi,

Have you noticed that whenever we talk or write to each other it feels like we are just picking up our conversation wherever we left it last? I guess that lot’s of people feel that way, but it’s one of the things I like best about our friendship – that, and Matt Damon movies, and Zoolander, and iPhones, and Apple products.

You were a bit of a surprise really, certainly not what I expected when I first met you. To be perfectly honest I don’t know that I had any expectations at all.  You just showed up and promptly turned my world on it’s head, kicked me out of my rut, and pushed me back into the traffic flow of life (thanks for that!). You did all of this, and I’m still not sure that you even realised you were doing it at the time! But that’s just the person you are, you activate people, you flip their switches and push their buttons, you get them onto the path they need to be walking in order to reach their goals – or find their goals – or think about finding some goals to reach. You’re good at it too, don’t ever doubt that.

I love it that our friendship hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns , or beer and skittles, or paddle pops and milky ways either (I made that last one up). We have weathered a few storms, and believe me when I tell you, I thought a couple of them were the end of us. Yet, somehow we managed to navigate our way through them. I like to think that Matt Damon would be proud, in a Jason Bourne kind of way – you know, we triumphed in the face of insurmountable odds and all that. Seriously though, I’m glad we did make it through, because those trials – those times when instead of communication it felt like we were hacking at each other with samurai swords – yep, those trials somehow managed to transform into something beautiful and strong. A friendship that goes beyond the pop-culture brand of friendship and becomes something closer to family.

Not many people can honestly say they have a friend who has seen them at their worst. Now, I’m not talking about 6am bed hair, morning breath and panda eyes worst, no I’m talking about full meltdown, tantrum throwing, I want to scoop eyeballs out with a spoon worst  – just raw unadulterated ‘ugly-you’. Well I believe congratulations are in order, we have both been there – and survived! (can I have my spoons back now please?). There are lots of warm and fuzzy inspirational quotes which are applicable to this sentiment, but since you spend even more time on the internet than I do, I won’t bother repeating them here. I know you understand where I’m going with this.

Essentially, at some point you went past the parameters of friend and you became family. I don’t know how you did it, I’m impressed you survived to be honest, but now that you are family there’s some things you need to know.

  • You can never escape – I will hunt you down and bug you till you come back again, because that’s what a family is meant to do – stick together.
  • You never have to go far to ask for help – with anything (except body disposal, you know how I feel about your  homicidal tendencies) I will always be there to give you my best, even if my best is completely useless, it’s yours!
  • You will never be alone, you will always have someone alongside you – now read that carefully because it doesn’t say I will always be on your side –  what happens if I have to play against you in Monopoly or Scrabble?

In short I guess what I’m trying to say is that alone we are awesome, but together… WE ARE FIERCE!!!

I love you

xxoo

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Day 26: A Letter To Bear Grylls

Dear Mr Grylls,

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you.
Now, don’t get too excited, because I’m sorry to say this isn’t the kind of ‘thank you’ that credits you with my miraculous survival. No, I just wanted to acknowledge your stellar ability to trigger my gag  reflex, and for changing the way I see sleeping bags (and sheep, for that matter) forever.
I have spent countless nights curled up on the couch surrounded by the 3 males I live with; my husband Shaun, my eldest son Jarrod (10 years) and my little man Sam (2 years). We have watched you jump, fall, dive, drop or swim your way into places the rest of us quite frankly prefer to avoid. But, in the name of entertainment, ultimate preparedness, I have never balked watching you eat and drink the most unpalatable forms of ‘nutrition’ (okay?) known to man – family bonding at it’s finest!
Although that one episode where you gave yourself an enema…Yeah, I could have done without the questions (and uncomfortable wiggles) that one bought up!

It’s my honest opinion that you’ve created a new yardstick for ‘disgusting’,  because let’s face it, if it makes you gag, then I’m fairly certain that 98%  of the rest of us would seriously consider starvation as a preferable alternative to ingesting it!

All that aside though, I seriously do want to thank you for some very real and very important things.

Thanks for being a good guy. I know you aren’t perfect, and I know that your show is edited to create a story, so don’t think I have you up on a big shiny pedestal, because I don’t. I do however know, that no amount of editing could ever hide a corrupt character, that’s why it’s been such a pleasant relief to have you come into our home, week after week. You entertain and teach my impressionable boys (okay mostly Jarrod, but Sam really likes it when you light fires and jump off cliffs) in a way that captivates and engages them. Even when you are shivering with cold and suspended 10 feet above a bear infested forest you talk about faith, family and friendship. You are a role model I am very proud that they have chosen to look to. Just maybe not on the food front!

You demonstrate that almost anything is possible (and edible) for someone willing to give more than their 100%. You’ve shown that sometimes things go wrong, bad situations can always get infinitely worse, but it’s the way we allow ourselves to think and feel in those times that will play a huge role in how we traverse them. You have made it easier for me to explain why I won’t be buying anymore electronic gaming devices!
“If Bear Grylls can make do with a backpack, a knife and a piece of rope then you do not need an xBox 360! No, I will not buy you a knife, Bear Grylls uses his to cut out fish eyeballs and eat them, are you going to eat fish eyeballs?”

Indeed, you are a great part of this family, you and every, bee, snake, worm, fish, spider and goat testicle you have ever eaten!

*gag

So, thank you for  doing what you love, for doing it with your whole heart and for doing it with integrity. Just please, no more enemas!

Amelia xo

Day 9: A Letter to Someone I Wish I Could Meet

Dear Mr Heston Blumenthal,

I just have to put it out there right at the start. In my book you are sautéed  in superlatives, caramelized in compliments and flambéed in flattery – in short I think you’re just dandy!

As far as calling myself a die hard fan – well, if I’m honest I don’t think I’ve ever been ‘die hard’ over anything, except maybe Kevin Bacon in Flatliners, but that was when I was 10 so I don’t think it counts. I’m not the type to line up for hours to get a book signed (sorry), nor will I stake out your hotel so I can steal a toilet roll from your room (reassuring). What I am, is an avid admirer of Heston’s Feasts.

The first episode I saw was your Victorian Feast – Drink Me Potion = GENIUS! I was riveted, but it wasn’t just the concept of bringing history into the present, or  your outrageous use of ingredients – a cows head? Seriously? No, what captured me was you, it was your unbridled enthusiasm for your vision, it was the joy you exuded when your imagination and your vocation collided. I believe in that episode you stated “I cannot resist the challenge of turning a fictional drink into reality”; I get that, I get how it feels when an idea takes hold of you. Suddenly it’s like there’s a map inside your head and you know it’s going to lead you somewhere really cool. Only no one else can see it, they can’t feel the anticipation that bubbles inside of you, they don’t understand that compulsion to jump in head first and see where the adventure takes you. They can’t always understand the fact that it’s not about getting it right, it’s about discovering what will come out of the quest, to get it right!

That’s how I feel about writing. I get an idea, an imagination, or a  thought, it’s ethereal, a possibility; but once I begin to tell the story, thats when the lightning strikes! Pathways open up inside my brain – choices, hidden doorways, chance meetings, a man with a wooden leg! I don’t know what’s going to happen next until I write it, and if I don’t like it I erase, delete, cross it out!

I was in England recently, I studied at Oxford University’s Creative Writing Summer Program (awesome huh?). Knowing how much I loved your show, some very special people booked me a table at your Hinds Head Pub as a surprise farewell gift. I caught the train from London, and then a taxi to Bray (excellent directions on your website -thank you). The whole experience was like a story. I was alone so it was a little bit scary, but I savored each moment: the journey, meeting your lovely staff, feeling like a bit of a loser sitting all alone in a crowded pub. Oh but the food! It was un-be-lieve-able! I felt like I was in a dream, a part of something that happens to other people, but not to me!

I guess what I’m trying to tell you, is that you’ve helped me to search out a bigger life, to embrace the joy in everything I do, and to just get out there and do something! I like to think that just a little bit of ‘Heston’ has come back with me.

So, thanks for being super – and as is inscribed on just about everything in England “Keep Calm & Carry On”.

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Sincerely,

Your non-stalkerish fan xo