Robert Court

Robert Court

Retired in 2006. Interest include financial investing and meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds. I am determined to write a book and get it published within 12 to 36 months.

Location The tiny island of Gozo, Malta, E.U.

Activity

  • @GrahamMorris Hi! I didn't go to University until I was 35. I was very lucky in that I had both a basic grant plus a mature students grant. On top of this I had a part-time job from my second day at University. I was supposed to go to either Canada or the U.S.A. in my third year but an opportunity came up to study in Denmark and I took it. It was an...

  • Dear Elisabetta...…. I believe that the European Parliament is beginning to have more powers and voting for M.E.P.s shall gradually mean that the voice of us ordinary people shall be heard. At first the E.U. Parliament was a farce as it had zero powers but now it has.

  • @S.W. Hello there! One of the saddest things about leaving the E.U> shall be the ability of ordinary students (not from wealthy families) to travel abroad to study under the ERASMUS scheme.

  • @AndrewWebb I agree to a certain extent, but the U.K. is/to be was one of the strongest economies in the E.U. (after Germany but of a similar size to France and Italy). The loss of the U.K. to the E.U. will be substantial and looked upon with glee by some people such as Putin. A weaker 'western' Europe will increase the influence of Russia.

  • A very good analogy :)

  • I have to admit that the diversity of cheese within the E.U. has brought me a huge degree of pleasure and enhanced my feeling of cultural identity within the E.U. It seems that not many people appreciate the contribution that cheese has made to economic and social integration. I cannot imagine living in the UK devoid of good cheeses (I don't live there...

  • I think that each country sees history from a different perspective. A German cannot perceive WW2 from the same perspective as another country that has been bombed or over-run by the Germans. All we can do is agree that what happened was evil and that by coming together in 'An ever and ever closer Union' (as per the Treaty of Rome [1956?]) we can define what...

  • @MarjoleineH My palette is very cheese orientated. Sorry, I had felt an overwhelming urge to say it! :)

  • Maybe. We share conflicts between different European countries. These have sometimes united yo and sometimes divided us. Where one European country has overthrown another European country it has often imposed its own culture on the defeated country. Borders have also changed dramatically, though the beaten people have tried to retain their own culture. A...

  • By the way I look at both the UK and the E.U. from a slightly different perspective to most Europeans. My 'roots' are genetically European (English father, Welsh mother) but I was born in Kampala, Uganda. I spent my formative years, in Uganda and India, a short time in the UK, then the Congo, then to Malta, then back to boarding school in England etc. I do...

  • This is true. In the U.K. for example, England has to help support Wales. If Wales had its own currency it would fall in comparison with the GBP. However, Wales has benefited by direct regional aid from the E.U. which makes Wales 'free' from any constraints as direct aid from Westminster (the UK's seat of power) The USA is split into states that can raise...

  • There is definitely a difference of culture between east and west and north and south. We can compare this to England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland. Each has it's own culture and identity but each country is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The same goes for the E.U. We are firstly what are nationality dictates...

  • It sounds like a very interesting course but I've already found that doing more than one course at a time doesn't work for me - it's just too much and means I get overloaded!

  • The accountant who spends most of his time engrossed in figures and appears to have a boring existence who also loves water-skiing and sky diving in his time away from work.

  • Robert Court made a comment

    I found that being the narrator made it easier to build up the character I was interacting with.

  • My character became slightly different as I used the different methods to describe him.

  • It's probably because some of us haven't completed the exercises and are getting behind!

  • Maybe science fiction allows one the luxury of not doing much research as you can change the historical facts and social norms to suit yourself. Science fiction based on some sense of reality can be quite interesting as one can place a character(s) in unusual circumstances and see how they react.

  • I suppose that writing about something in the not too distant past could cause some problems if we forget what life was like without mobile phones and no internet. I remember having to use something called a telephone box!

  • Research frightens me. I lack any solid feel for history apart from the 20th century and when I was taught some American history it didn't exactly go back that far in time. I prefer the snippets of history that have had a more direct bearing on my own life. Where would I start my research? I suppose using the internet is a good tool to pick up some...

  • I'm not using a note book at the moment but trying to jot down the occasional thoughts in a word document. I know I should be using one but not in the right frame of mind for the moment. I've struggled just to write the short assignment but was cheered up by the reviews and constructive criticism.

  • Kate D'Alessandro. Thank you for the time you spent on my short piece of writing. Your comments were most helpful.

  • Thank you Kate for the time you spent reviewing my short piece. I entirely agree with your comment about the ending - I should have left the main character in a different state of mind.
    How dare she barge into his home and order him around when he only wanted to be left alone!?

  • Over the past few years I have 'lost' my ability to write. I now know that this isn't true; I only have to make the effort to write and what I write shall gradually improve.

  • I enjoy writing succinctly so I enjoyed the edited version. I want to get on with the action of the story and not get bogged down in too much detail.

  • Robert Court made a comment

    The edited version immediately gets to the point. The weather adds a sense of foreboding while the reader's interest is grabbed by the fact that Hilary has a concealed gun. Why? We don't really care about a detailed description of the weather or what the commuters were wearing. My version was almost identical to the suggested version but I added a few...

  • It was rush hour. It looked as though it was about to pour with rain on the multitude of commuters. As she looked up at the darkening sky Hilary felt the loaded gun under her voluminous coat.

  • I've never used a blog before and feel a little intimidated. I opened an account with tumblr as suggested but have no idea how to use it! This will become a problem with the 500 or more story for others to see it and comment on it.

  • John said: "I remember that in about 1984 there was a violent thunderstorm......"

    *****

    There was a violent thunderstorm the previous day that blew a tree onto his car; luckily he wasn't in it. Nevertheless, he wasn't too pleased with the damage and wondered how he was going to get to work. That was the first time he met Anna. They got on the same...

  • At the moment I am lacking inspiration so just writing anything down. I have no plot in my mind but hope that by writing any old thing something will eventually happen. I've enjoyed most of the exercises to do and have felt good about one comment I've had on what I wrote.

  • John felt nervous as he walked up the road leading to the manor. It was beginning to get dark and the friendly sunset was turning into the wolf of darkness. He shivered as the overhanging trees turned into rustling monsters. Why had John been summonsed? Did Sir Frederick know of the feelings he had for his favourite daughter Elizabeth? Surely not as John...

  • I think I'd like to start a story about how a character would feel about going into an unknown situation. The location and time of day and weather would be important to the beginning of the story. As the plot unfolded I would gradually introduce aspects of the personality and description of the character but I'd like the action of the story to hold the...

  • The twilight descended between dog and wolf slowly changing from the familiar into something sinister. The trees turned from green-leaved friends into creepy rustling monsters towering over him. John quickened his step as he made his way home before the dark starless night swallowed him up.

  • Jargon can often use simple language that is specific to a particular group of people but excludes those who are not in that unique 'infoset'. To use this sort of language in a story would mean explaining the phrase in the context rather than explicitly giving the meaning. Two forms of jargon I can think of are those used by lawyers and members of the...

  • John didn't notice the way she looked. He didn't notice what she wore or what shoes she was wearing or the colour of her eyes that might have been or not been behind glasses. Her hair might have been grey because Sheila was no youngster but what shone through was her character. This was no lady to mess with; she was on the ball and not going to miss getting...

  • Greene describes 'Spider' slightly in both a physical and as a character that makes the reader wonder what has happened. Atkinson makes absolutely no indication as to the appearance of Victor but lets you know a lot about him very succinctly over what must have been a fair period of time unless he got engaged to Rosemary within days of meeting her. One...

  • He didn't notice the way she looked. He didn't notice what she wore or what shoes she was wearing or the colour of her eyes that might have been or not been behind glasses. Her hair might have been grey because she was no youngster but what shone through was her character. This was no lady to mess with; she was on the ball and not going to miss getting her...

  • He sat down with a fresh cup of coffee in the peace of his study. Quiet soothing music played in the background. He began to write.

    She was on the underground squeezed into a seat with barely enough room to move her elbows. She managed to get out her pen and notebook and pen and started scribbling. At every stop she had to give up as people shoved their...

  • Thank you Delly. I agree that the author probably has an ulterior motive in such a long description but I still found it to be too 'flowery'. Kathy - I don't like to be deliberately irritated!

  • I prefer to work at home as I find too many distractions if I'm in a coffee shop as somebody is bound to engage me in conversation. . I seem best to be able to concentrate at home and let my imagination run free.

  • I'm trying to remember when I used to write. I think it was late at night and I just couldn't stop until I was totally exhausted. I'd then get up early in the morning so was burning the candle at both ends. I think I can write at any time of the day if I feel inspired. I desperately need the inspiration to get going so probably writing any old rubbish in a...

  • I tried to avoid him as he was obviously drunk. His scruffy beard was wet with whatever he'd been drinking and his good humour was that of a sad person pretending to be happy. Later I looked around the bowling alley where a crowd of friends had been playing. He had gone; slipping away knowing that nobody wished to speak to him.

  • I liked Orwell's description. It allows the reader to imagine the character and appearance of Flory without going into too much detail. I have to admit that I found Heller's description of Sheba too long and rather irritating. I prefer a story to move more quickly and find a long description of what somebody looks like to be rather boring.

  • He was an ex naval officer wearing a rather scruffy beard. He smiled a lot and tried to engage people in conversation but it seemed that people did their best to avoid him. His face seemed red from sitting in the sun but also was an unhealthy blotchy colour. It wasn't just the sun as one could observe the fact that he drank too much. His good cheer masked...

  • Feeling really stupid. How do I find my previous posts?

  • I admired the adventurous lives that my mother and father had. They are now both deceased and it has left a hole in my life. As a youngster I lived with them in Uganda and India and the UK and the Congo and Malta. Later in life I lived in poverty in the UK while they continued to make trips to exotic locations on holidays. I supposed I lived in my...

  • I had a financial background although I found it so boring that I quit and joined the Army although I later became very interested in investing money! At one stage in my life I taught an aspect of finance and found it very dry. I later went on a few creative writing courses and ended up teaching creative writing which was much more fun. It was a long time...

  • One thing that surprised me was that I didn't particularly notice that any of the authors felt the NEED to communicate; maybe it was an unsaid underlying theme?

  • She was polite and said all the right things but her body language gave her away. She was bored. He could tell that she was trying to find an excuse to leave as soon as possible.
    'Don't forget you have to go home and get changed to go riding'.
    'Yes' she said and they got up to go. The old man felt sad as they left as he had nobody to talk to.

  • He thought she was quite an attractive woman until he saw the huge rings on her fingers. She would be his next victim and he'd enjoy cutting off her fingers one by one before making himself a nice cup of tea.

    Whoops! That's not me - honestly!

  • I was very strict with myself and just wrote three of one and one of the other. I hadn't treated it as a creative writing exercise. Many posts were very interesting but provided many factual or fictional inclusions.

  • 3 facts, 1 fiction:

    I live in a small terraced house. I have two children. One lives in the UK and one lives in Berlin.

    1 fact, 3 fictions:.

    I live in a large detached house in Gozo. I have been married twice. I have three children and they all live in Australia.

  • Robert Court made a comment

    I was brought up and lived in various countries and ended up retiring in the little island of Gozo. I used to write a lot and did an OU creative writing course years ago and recently an OU course in Philosophy (I did ok but it baffled me and can't remember a thing!). I've just moved back into my home which has meant I've missed most of the first week and...

  • I agree. For some people the hard work can seem very daunting but must be done to improve mental health. For some even taking a dog for a walk requires a huge effort!

  • I agree. The five things to do make good sense but the energy to do even a few of them makes them seem like mountains to climb. One thing at a time and I am sure that progress can be made. It's good to hear that doing courses can help one's mental wellbeing.

  • I've always believed that living in overcrowded urban environments is not good for mental health. I remember as a youngster reading about an experiment where a few rats were put in a large cage with a constant supply of food and water. They bred. They continued to breed. Soon the large cage was packed with hundreds of rats. They became aggressive and...

  • I feel totally torn by the question as to whether one should take psychotic drugs or not. I feel that I have to if the drugs help prevent another manic phase occurring. I hate to be on medication and do not like the side effects which, I believe, cause me to feel like a zombie. I know the drugs only deal with the symptoms and not the root cause but feel...

  • For somebody who is mentally ill getting the right medication is important but it doesn't solve the causes of a great deal of mental 'unhealth' - it merely deals with the symptoms. Once the individual is in a fit state to exist without any overt symptoms he/she needs to get involved in activities that promote good mental health - whether this is achieved by...

  • I don't know if this is the right place to post this but on the 'nature versus nurture' side I was speaking to a lady who had twins. They were NOT identical twins. Their personalities are very different although they had the same upbringing so this seems to indicate that their genetic makeup played a big part.

  • Biomedical 22
    Psychosocial 30

    I suppose I feel that one's biological make-up has an important impact and that one's environment can reinforce how you feel about yourself and the world we live in.

  • Labelling can help in certain circumstances. I am not ashamed to say that I am bipolar although I'd like to be in a position not to have to take any medication. For many people it can be dangerous not to take medication - they feel 'fine' and stop taking their meds. and then go into another manic phase which can be dangerous to themselves and other people. ...

  • I've only read the executive summary so far but if you read all the suggested material it shall surely take over the indicated 3 hours per week!

  • I also agree that the term 'normal' should be broadened; somewhere I read that over 60% of people have suffered some form of clinical depression at some point in their lives so that must make them 'normal'.