Tuesday, 28 August 2018

People (and sculpture) Watching

As writers we must look for inspiration all around. It's always important to read lots and lots, but taking influence from the real world, what we see and hear in our daily lives and environments is even more so. Overheard conversations can spark ideas, and the influence for your next main character could be just around the corner - literally!
Here I'm going to write about some of the curious people and things I have seen this summer, and the environments which I found them in, since I like to keep a record; the things I write are a mismatch of small aspects from everyday life, imagery and experiences found in dreams, and things I like in books and films - and I often like to write about young people, since it encompasses my own experiences, thoughts and feelings over the almost two decades I've been alive.

Football Match

I'm not usually a football fan, but since my younger brother is really passionate about it I decided to go see his match one sunny day in July. It's kind of interesting to see how kids interact with each other, especially in a competitive sport, which usually doesn't bring out the best in people... My brother's a good team player and I was pleased to see that everyone on both teams were pleasant too.

The surrounding area was quite unusual. Being a heatwave, the green fields were blazing hot and bleached by the sun, crunching underfoot. Behind me, where I sat watching, reading, writing and smiling, was the animal shelter where I volunteered since the beginning of the year, and an abandoned convent which was once the learning place of, shall I say "troubled kids" (I want to be nice about it because it's just one of those sad things, but working next door to that building I'd seen some kind of scary and unusual things!). The large metal crosses high up on the roofs would probably have burnt you if you were to touch them. Ants crawled over my arms and legs, over the picnic blanket and on top of my hat, trying to get near the apple which I did not want to share with six-legged friends.

The young footballers were red-faced and determined, sometimes getting accidentally tangled up with each other's legs on the pitch, being over-eager and clumsy. Babies murmured peacefully and spectators laughed, but what caught my attention was the repetitive, chime-like giggling of a group of siblings in the near distance.

Three girls and a small boy were playing with a flattened magpie, tossing it up into the air and laughing. Obviously it was dead - dead as a dodo, *coughs* - and they just didn't care or seem to mind. They threw it to one another and held it by its stiff, wide-spread wings as easily as a cardboard cut-out. The children were so innocent; death and bacteria did not bother them or send them scurrying away, but the latter notion scared me for sure. I wondered if I should get up and tell them to leave it alone, for it might've contained nasty germs and nobody else seemed to know of their game, but a parent beat me to it.
"Bye, dead bird," the children said softly as they went to go play hide and seek elsewhere.


My parents have told me that I seem to attract strange interactions with other people. Maybe it's true. I don't like speaking with people I don't know, especially if something seems off about them, but as a timid-looking girl I guess it can be hard to avoid them in public spaces... Liverpool is a busy place - not as bad as London, but there are certainly lots of people, and it takes all sorts to make the world.

I decided to visit an art gallery which I've been to a few times before, since it contains a rather striking room filled with Grecian and Romanesque marble figures, bathed in whites and cream and black, which I figured would be interesting to photograph on my new/old camera.
Well, my favourite statue in the entire room could be spotted at once. I do admire little Puck, the mischievous sprite from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". His grumpy face and devilish wings contrast greatly with his chubby-cheeked cherubic-ness, and despite the fact that he could not move or speak or do a single interesting thing, he was probably the best thing I encountered that day. I would have sketched him if I had time, but there was an 18th Century fashion exhibit in the next room!

One thing that soured the trip a little was the walk to and from the gallery. It was much longer than I remembered, especially since I'm battling some pretty bad fatigue at the moment, and with road works I had to walk a slightly different path. A man in an orange luminous vest was laid out across the narrow walkway, and so I had to step over him as there was nowhere else to go. Fair enough, I suppose he was tired too.
But walking that way, I caught the attention of a man on the other side of the road, who trudged through the traffic to approach me. He was drunk, and I was a little scared, though now I think back on it I find it a bit funny. When he spoke I couldn't understand him well, but I caught this:
"What colour are you?" I had no idea what he meant, since I'm obviously as white as a sheet and splotched red from embarrassment and exercise. "You can be any colour in the rainbow! Or all of them."
I ignored him since the only colour I could think of was 'leave-me-alone lavender,' but he continued to follow and pester me.
"Use your imagination. I'm sure you have one, don't you!" I ignored him more... then finally lost him at the crossing where he called me a "vampire" and then latched onto somebody else.

Well, that's people for you. When will any of this work its way into my writing? Probably not any time soon, but it was fun to write about my experiences!


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