​‘An honest man’s the noblest work of God.’
An Essay on Man, Epistle IV, Alexander Pope.
There endeth my lesson for the day …
I shall leave you to ponder that thought while I declare that January is the pits!  Yes, I know it is finally over but it was so long, so dark, so cold and so expensive, with all policies seemingly having to be renewed this month … and Brexit.  As I said, the pits!  So, here I am sitting at the computer complete with my Michelin Man layers and I have even had to put on my fingerless gloves.  I am freezing and we don’t even have any snow!  Guaged my mood yet?  Actually, my mind is in absolute turmoil following yesterday and the revelations of my accountant.  To think I believed my legal battles were behind me.  Don’t be ridiculous!  Suffice to say, the ending of my book is ongoing and, as my life continues to prove anything but simple, so the forthcoming little hardback is developing into a tome worthy of a film script.  A friend did comment that all things are meant and the turning of each different corner in my life has merely provided me with material requiring of a voice.  By jove, I believe she is right!
‘Ruin is a gift.  Ruin is the road to transformation.’
Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert.
Such a great film.  I haven’t read the book – yet – but Becca takes it everywhere as though her right arm.  A 2006 memoir by American author, Elizabeth Gilbert, it is a story of self-discovery.  Married with a beautiful home and thriving career, it would seem to the world that she had everything … but contentment.  As if that piece of the jigsaw one desperately wants to fit, she endeavoured to live the lie but the constraints of the material world proved suffocating.  She broke free and, newly divorced, travelled first to Rome where, stripped of all but herself, she slowly began to learn about the person within.  Unable to speak the language and knowing nobody, she had little choice but to rely on the only resource available to her: herself.  She made friends, learned to speak Italian and, in so doing, realized her inner strength.
The cinematography is superb and Rome is vibrant in its glory as Liz, steeped in its history, slowly comes to see the ancient ruins as a metaphor for her life.  The Augusteum – once a magnificent mausoleum built by Octavian Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome, to house his remains and that of his family for eternity – lies buried deep beneath the ground seemingly forgotten by the thriving city of today.  Augustus could never have envisaged a future when, trashed by barbarians, his monument would undergo several metamorphoses including that of a bullring and a fireworks depository.  Silent and lonely it may be but ‘the building still exists, holding its Roman ground with dignity, waiting for the next incarnation.’  (Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert).
The protagonist leaves Rome with newfound courage and an acceptance, I suppose, that nothing stays the same.  Nobody can predict the future – not even Augustus – but change is a part of life and its one’s ability to cope with that change which is paramount.  The Mausoleum of Augustus endured great hardship but, even in ruins, the heart remained. 
‘Just remember, no one can take away from you what you’ve put in your mind.’
The Choice, Edith Eger.
Self-belief.  Two words embodying strength, courage and survival.
Words.  Not just a necessity but a luxury so often taken for granted.  I couldn’t live without books and reading, not only a source of knowledge but a means of escapism; a catalyst for the imagination.  The same, too, can be said of music and, while watching Eat Pray Love, I was very much aware of the power of the score, evocative of the mood, sharpening the emotions.  How different would be the overall impact without music?  John Barry comes immediately to mind, the composer of unforgettable soundtracks such as that of Born Free, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves to name but three.  No mean feat, the success of each film was synonymous with the score.
On my second gin and tonic, I feel a little as though I am hibernating in these freezing temperatures.  With no pressing need to leave the house and a wealth to be achieved within, I have only ventured out briefly today to post a birthday card.  Reclusive tendencies?  Definitely.  A misanthropy inherited from Pop, I am discerning in my choice of company  preferring of quality rather than quantity.  The past seven years have taught me so much and, though never lacking in self-belief, I have become more cynical – or maybe just more realistic.  Honesty.  That was my opening shot and it has been very much on my mind over the past 24 hours for reasons I, myself, am still trying to digest.  Actually, why attribute it only to the last 24 hours?  The point is, for my part, honesty is non-negotiable.  Real honesty, that is.  Of course, in everyday life, it must be tempered with tact requiring, from time to time, white lies in the name of sparing feelings but dishonesty manifested in lies and cheating …  Why? 
I believe honesty is synonymous with courage.  Too often, people are scared to own up to their actions, their misgivings, their desires, their fears – all embedded in self-worth.  Does that, however, excuse lies?  Lying is a form of cowardice borne out of guilt, in turn, borne out of self-justification; selfishness.  Look up ‘Honesty’ in the dictionary (a large book filled with pages of words and their definitions) and one will find ‘Free of deceit; truthful and sincere’; the words ‘integrity’, ‘morality’, ‘principles’ …  My question: where is Tom Cruise when you need him?!  ‘We live in a cynical world, a cynical world …’ (Jerry Maguire (1996)  No, seriously, what sort of person is incapable of adhering to these values?  Rhetorical.
On the plus side, I have finally committed to the design of my new website and, hopefully, it will be up and running within the next month or so.  An organic process, everything seems to have been leading up to this although I, for one, am not oblivious to the huge irony: my hatred of technology!  For the greater good – or so I convince myself.  Similar to when I used to volunteer to accompany Manny or Becca’s class to Edinburgh Zoo thereby giving me the opportunity to decry the captivity of wild animals for human entertainment.  Invaluable – and, strangely, no further invitations were forthcoming.
On the subject of my new website I, originally, envisaged posting photographs until a wise old friend persuaded me otherwise.  I have, regularly, over one thousand readers weekly, posting only on facebook with friends (discerning!) amounting to 30.  Do the maths.  That leaves 700 or so (including my friend, Tom, of course and the entire Edinburgh legal profession) who have no idea who I am or what I look like (well, Tom does despite the fact that we were all under the influence and the presiding Judge in the Court of Session may remember but …).  In short, the majority of Trish-Trash readers have created an image of me in their minds based on my weekly ramblings alone.  God knows what that image may be but who am I to deny them?  It would be tantamount to telling a child that Santa does not exist!  So … in the words of Art Garfunkel when he stopped to sign autographs after his concert at the Usher Hall … and then didn’t … ‘No photos!’
I am exhausted!  It has been snowing outside – finally – and I need to refill my glass.  Time to sign off.  January is over, thankfully, and February is alive and well …
‘Good night, thank you … and may your God go with you.’
Courtesy of Dave Allen, a much-loved Irish comedian of the 70s who would always end his BBC 2 show with these words.  I can still hear Pop’s laugh …
This is Trish, signing off.