Above: Jane Fonda, actress, political activist, fitness guru and all-round inspirational role model.

Montreal

Extracted from an e-mail I wrote today…

“I have to confess to still being slightly mystified by the effect that my blog has had on people – so many people have taken so many different types of inspiration from it (and yes, some people have hated it, with 3 or 4 writing in to tell me so in no uncertain terms) – so it is a great help to get some kind of sensible analysis of what it is that appeals. This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for.

I don’t have time to do full justice to your input at this stage, but I’ve copied your mail into a document called ‘Helpful Advice’, which I should be able to sit down and analyse at some point in the next couple of weeks, and will then attempt to define some kind of a strategy, although as you very accurately point out, my general strategy in life seems to be to zigzag around in some kind of Brownian Motion until I stumble onto something that makes sense, usually more by luck than my judgement!

But I reckon that the more zigging and zagging I do, the more likely I am to hit on something – isn’t there a theory that a monkey hitting piano keys at random might in ten thousand squillion years accidentally play The Moonlight Sonata? Well, that’s me! :-)”

And here is an example of the kind of email that brings a warm glow to my heart (or is that indigestion after my 3rd choc chip cookie?):

“Dear Roz, I am the dyslexic student who contacted you when I was in meltdown in the middle of exams to thank you for your piece in the paper that got me through a bad patch. You emailed me back with good luck which was an enormous lift. I am emailing to let you know my results are in and my degree will be a 2.1 and I have a 1st for my Project. I am over the moon. Thanks for your response and good luck with your projects. I have some of my own in the pipeline so it is good to have inspirational role models.”

Frightening to think that anybody might regard me as a role model, when I am so much more aware of my flaws than my virtues.

But when I think of my own role models – e.g. Madonna, Michael Palin, Anita Roddick, Jane Fonda – how much do I actually know about them? Does it actually matter if they’re far from perfect human beings? Provided that I can find something in what they are or what they do that inspires me to live my life just a little bit better, it doesn’t really matter if in reality they are as human and as fallible as the rest of us.

Other stuff:

The nudity attention-grabbing tactic seems to be attracting a certain amount of support. Shots of naked rowing have been added to my must-get shots lists for the Pacific, although I will have to figure out how to add the ‘fuzzy effect’ to preserve my modesty before anybody else gets to see the footage. And I will make sure I film it towards the end of the row once the spare tyre has diminished.

I have been seriously struggling to get to grips with the pro-sumer editing software Final Cut Express – a huge step up from friendly old iMovie. But maybe the ‘fuzzy effect’ project is the incentive I need to conquer the learning curve.

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