Tuesday, 10 July 2012


I loathe having my photo taken. There are very few of me taken when I was younger – I used to make a conscious effort to stand out of the way whenever a camera was brandished anywhere near me. Recently I saw a picture on Facebook with the caption, “I wish I was as thin as I was when I thought I was fat.”

How true that is. I wish I could speak to me in my twenties, when I weighed eight and a half stone and felt like a hippopotamus. Perhaps I felt like a hippo because that’s what someone called me – someone I loved, trusted and respected. There was more, but that’s the one that sticks in my mind.

It is so easy to erode someone’s confidence with a few unkind words isn’t it?

Writing is the same. How criticism can sting! And how easy it is to believe unkind critical words whilst not hearing the positive.

I have only read one book since May. That was Briefs Encountered by Julian Clary which I enjoyed very much.

I have started a couple of paperbacks by authors new to me. I got halfway through one and decided life was too short and gave up. I got one chapter into another and couldn’t have cared less about any of the characters so I put it in the charity box. Both had a mixture of reviews on Amazon, some good, some bad.

Would I write a bad review? No. I paid my money and took my chance. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Would I tell you which books they were? No. Chances are, some of you would read the same books and enjoy them very much and it would be a shame if you missed out just because of my opinion.

At the moment I am catching up on magazine reading while I await delivery of my latest Amazon order. Stephen King's 11.22.63, Jill Mansell's A Walk in the Park, Colin Cotterill's Slash and Burn and I have pre-ordered Liane Moriarty's The Hypnotist’s Love Story. I have the feeling I shall be back in the swing of reading again very soon!

And I have just remembered I have several books on Beloved’s Kindle waiting to be read so it looks like it’s going to be feast for a while as far as reading goes.

But back to photos. Here’s a chap who has never had an image problem. Taken when he was a tiny pup with his beloved toy spider – which he eventually ripped to shreds.


  1. A lovely, thoughtful post, Teresa. I’m so with you on the photo thing. I always hide when the cameras come out. But I don’t know what you’re worried about. Judging by this lovely photo on your blog – you’re gorgeous!

  2. Oh, Teresa, how insympathiseL I too hate having my photo taken as I never know how to arrange my face when it's being done. I avoid whenever possible.

  3. Sorry about the misprint. Have just had acupuncture and it feels like a large dose of morphine. Mmmmm!

  4. Thank you, Rena, you're very kind - I'm not fishing for compliments, honestly :-) x

    Glad it's not just me, Frances - I think you look lovely in your photo though. The acupuncture sounds good :-) x

  5. Happy reading Teresa. I've always said a good book and a glass of wine and I'm happy!! You look gorgeous, My Little Indy looks fabulous (not as distinguished as now, however!) and what a thought provoking blog. Yes unkind words can so hurt especially at a young age. Confidence can be so eroded. If only everybody could live by the philosophy 'Be Kind to One Another' What a happy world it would be, eh? :o) xx

  6. Teresa, you almost made me cry, how dare anyone talk to you like that. If I'd been anywhere near, they'd have had a telling off to say the least. You remind me of Sharon off Please Sir, you're fab fab fab, look at all the happiness you've brought with your stories. I always thought you would be a lovely person, now I know you are. I'm going on a bit now, so I'll stop.

  7. Aww cute photo of the puppy. Happy reading - there's nothing like a good story to lose yourself in! Caroline x

  8. Hi Teresa,
    I'm not a big fan of having my photo taken, either. Just slap up the occasional old young photo of me and that's about it. Actually, nobody in their right mind takes my photo these days :)
    It's amazing how insensitive remarks can impact upon us. And a bad review? That is something I've never had. Then again, I've never had anything reviewed :)
    Poor spider!
    All the best and happy writing.
    Gary x

  9. I have to admit I usually run the other way when a camera appears. mmmm perhaps that is why 'those who are dear to me' insist on taking my picture. Tormentors! (I am easily tormented) lol

  10. This is a lovely post, Teresa. I so agree with you about the sting of a few unkind words. They can echo forever. I still torture myself remembering remarks that were probably meant to be light-hearted or casual, but left me cut to the quick. I worry so much if I think I might have inadvertently hurt someone. Words have such power.

    Good luck with your new books. It sounds like a fantastic stack of reading. My husband really enjoyed the Stephen King. He normally reads non-fiction only, so it must be good.
    I've just finished reading a novel that I had stopped really caring about halfway through. I didn't hate it enough to discard it and I kept hoping it would improve. But, looking at all the books waiting for me in my pile, I wish I hadn't persevered!

    I love the picture of baby Indy. He looks so lovely. And so do you. x

  11. I totally agree with the points you make in this post.

  12. Yes indeed, Sue. I always think of "Do as you would be done by." x

    That's lovely, Susan - Sharon off Please Sir - I wish :-) x

    Absolutely agree, Caroline - a joy to lose yourself in a story x

    I used to glare and moan if anyone tried to take a photo of me, Gary - now I have to ask nicely and then they have to put up with me moaning about the results. I can't imagine anyone ever giving you a bad review :-) x

    Trouble is, Diane, when you're a tormented subject it shows doesn't it and that just makes you less likely to want photos taken x

    Thank you, Joanna. You are right there, it can be just as horrible thinking you might have said something to hurt someone else.
    My Stephen King arrived and I got stuck straight in - it felt like putting on comfortable clothes. I do try if I can to stick at a novel, hoping like you that it will improve, but I don't think it's ever happened that I've felt it was worth the time and effort x

    Thank you, L x

  13. You have a lovely face and a kind heart, so ignore anything negative. Thanks for recommending Colin Cotterill and Liane Moriarty to me in your last post. I will look them up. I am desperate for a good book.

    Sadly, Stephen King is not for me. I didn't fancy being kept in a room with his heroine tied to a bed for the rest of the book.

    I love the photo - he looks adorable.

  14. I had wondered how you got on with Gerald's Game, Maggie. I know what you mean when you feel desperate for a good book. I wish I could be more help - Colin Cotterill though, his Dr Siri books, absolutely brilliant read, the characters are wonderful x

  15. I have read kings book and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I know what you mean about criticism if you get enough negative comments it us easy to believe it no matter what.

  16. If I keep a straight face for a photo I look like a convict. If I smile I look like a smug git. So I can't win.

  17. I am enjoying it too, Pat :-)x

    Ha ha, Keith - but you definitely don't look smug or like a convict in your profile picture. I always think if I keep a straight face I look like a grumpy mare and if I smile I look too manic - can't win can we ;-) x

  18. I completely agree with you Teresa.I know everyone's entitled to an opinion, but sometimes i wish that they'd keep it to themselves!They don't realise how damaging it can be to a person, not just regarding books either!
    I've never left a bad review and never will, as you say it's our choice to read the book and one man's meet and all that.
    Phew, i've got that off my chest! :)
    Love the pic of Indy.x

  19. Thanks, Debbie. You are right, it can be very damaging x

  20. Well I think your avatar is totally gorgeous and perfect! Oh to be able to tell one's younger self that one day you will not only accept yourself but rejoice and celebrate who you are and will always be! I think that's why I enjoyed Gok Wan's transformations shows - these were women (and one or two men) who should be enjoying the peak of their lives, i.e. late 30's onwards!!!! but just couldn't see how beautiful they were already!

    Anyway!! I wish wish wish wish people thought and act like you re: books they don't enjoy rather than venting their bitterness and negativity publicly (yes, I am looking at YOU- Amazon, Goodreads, etc, etc! LOL)!! I repeat myself infinitum in many comments I leave but here goes again: I do not see the point of posting bad reviews for books ever. If you don't like the story you are reading then for heaven's sakes move on and go get another!! But if you really enjoy something then of course share!! Shed some sunshine into the darkness!

    Take care

  21. Thank you, Old Kitty. Oh if we could speak to our younger selves.
    You are quite right - spread some sunshine, goodness knows we need it :-) x

  22. I agree with Rena and the others who have said that you're gorgeous.


  23. Thanks, Suz, I wasn't fishing for compliments, honest - blush :-) xx

  24. I used to write book reviews for my local paper, but only ever reviewed books I'd thoroughly enjoyed as I couldn't bring myself to write a bad one. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all as my mum used to say. Someone should have drummed that into the person who made the 'hippo' remark. Horrid.

    Molly's thoroughly sick of having her photo taken, and turns away when the camera comes out these days!

  25. Your mum was right, Karen.
    Aw, lovely Molly - they're so like us sometimes, not wanting their photos taken, but they always look beautiful :-) x

  26. Ah, sometimes animals put life in perspective!
    What you say is so true in every way.