Tag Archives: Winston Churchill

Things I’m Not Going to Do . . .


Now that I (if not Mr. Armitage) am well and truly middle-aged. (Thanks to author Wendy Reid Crisp’s 100 Things I’m Not Going to Do Now That I’m Over 5o).

I’m not going to:

1. Override the afternoon window of sleepability. After all, if it’s good enough for my felines Thumper and Callie, it should be good enough for me to stretch out languidly in some sun-warmed spot and relax, too, n’est-ce pas?

2. Eat cheap ice cream.  It was another cat who taught me the importance of this. Blue Bell, baby, Blue Bell. Thank you, Puddie.

3. Stifle the giggles.  Apparently, nobody has ever actually died from laughing.  And it is supposed to be the best medicine. It must be good for you!

Richard guffawing on the set of VoD. Screencap courtesy of RANet.

4. Allow worry or despair to mist over gratitude.  A young co-worker of mine blessed with a wonderful old soul used to say, “Remember, it could always be worse. There is always something to be thankful for.”  And he was right.

5. Quit.   Winston Churchill told us to “never ever ever ever give up,” while Janis Joplin sang that “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”  Crisp advises that “somewhere between Winston and Janis is glory.”

6. Grow up. As Crisp says, may I be “spontaneous, but not impulsive, tenacious, but not obsessive, caring, but not controlling, awed, but not naive.”  May I never lose that sense of child-like wonder along the way.

I would share more but it’s getting late and we middle-aged people really need our beauty sleep. I am going to hit “schedule” and hope for sweet dreams, my darlings.

Happy Monday to all!

OT: Timothy Spall–Beautiful in his own way


“You have to come to terms with what you are. There’s no point in hankering; you should try to be beautiful in your own way. Beauty to me is about being someone who has something to offer the world.”   Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall, one of my favorite Brit character actors. He’s appeared in more than 90 films and a number of television shows.

Timothy Spall, OBE, does not have matinee idol looks. He’s short (5’7″), dumpy, with a weak chin, wonky teeth and pop eyes. But he’s never let that be a detriment to achieving success in his chosen career.  In fact, he’s said he’s wanted to be handsome only once. He was watching The Birdman of Alcatraz and wishing he could look like Burt Lancaster for just one day.

Spall knows there’s a big chunk of the planet that are ordinary middle-aged blokes who are overweight, “and they deserve to be portrayed, too.”

I love Spall as an actor; I’ve seen him a number of roles, from a shaggy-haired 80’s roadie in Rock Star and a Victorian light opera performer in Topsy-Turvy to Pettigrew in the Harry Potter films and Winston Churchill in both The King’s Speech and Jackboots on Whitehall.  I’ve never seen him give less than a solid performance.

But beyond enjoying his talents on-screen, I admire and respect him as a human being.

Back in 1996, Spall, a married father of three, was diagnosed with an advanced form of leukemia and given a poor prognosis. He and wife Shane would talk of a shared dream, to take a boat and explore Britain’s coastlines. It was a dream he held fast to during some very dark times.

Ultimately, he did beat the odds against him.

While in remission, Timothy and wife Shane purchased a boat to live their dream of sailing around the British coastline.

It’s 2012 and he’s still in remission.   He and Shane are still together. Timothy’s flourishing career has taken him on location all over the world,  but he and Shane still take their boating trips when his schedule allows it.  He tries to maintain balance in his life and keep things on an even keel.

“I didn’t know what made me ill but stress had something to do with it and the point is now to head off stress at the pass. It made me aware of things and become more selective. I am less worried about employment. I really do my homework so I am not getting stressed on the set because I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall: a man who’s come to terms with who and what he is, a man who has beaten the odds. And he really is beautiful in his own way.

English: Timothy Spall at a Hudson Union Socie...

English: Timothy Spall at a Hudson Union Society event in February 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)