Posts Tagged With: Patrick McGoohan

Day 472: “M” words

I’m about to make a momentous confession*,  my readers.

I think of myself as messy.

Am I messy? Maybe. But what does that even mean? Am I too messy? Compared to whom?

Most people might see themselves as messy, if they had a mother like mine, renowned for her neatness, tidiness, and meticulousness.

So it’s difficult for me to measure my messiness.  Am I moderately messy? Mucho messy? Just a mite messy?

My guess* is that on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is maximum messiness, and 0 is no measurable messiness at all, I’m a …

Man! I really resist being numbered (or otherwise measured), much like Mr. Patrick McGoohan’s character, in The Prisoner:



(I found these images here and here)

I don’t know … if I MUST choose a number … it would definitely be a number that has a six in it, maybe somewhere between a 60 and a 65?

Hmmmmm.  With those kinds of numbers, my messiness is WNL — Within Normal Limits, as we say in the therapy biz. While I might modulate towards the messy, it doesn’t interfere with my functioning.*

Yes, I’m not remarkably messy. Since I’ve been an adult, nobody has

  • refused to live with me,
  • given me ultimatums,
  • done an intervention,
  • gotten mad at me,
  • suggested I get help, or
  • otherwise made any kind of major fuss* about my measure of messiness.

However, I feel like they might, at any moment.  That’s because I have labelled —  filed, stamped, indexed, briefed and debriefed — myself as


and that has made all the difference.

Well, I’m working on taking a different road through the woods, now.  Maybe I can replace the “too” in that label with a more modulating word, like:


But you know what? When you are trying to rewrite an old script, it doesn’t make sense to restrict your vocabulary. Let’s open up the alphabet, for this portion of the post, shall we?

As I was saying, maybe I can replace the “too” in that label with a healing, more helpful word, like


or even better:




Let’s see if Google Images has anything to contribute* for the word “messy” at this point:


(I found this image here)


(I found this image here)


(I found this image here)

And let’s see if I can use any of my own photos* to end* this post.

Well, if you were to ask Michael which of our two cats is messier, he would definitely choose the one on the left, Harley.


He still looks pretty neat to me.

Thanks to my mother, to Patrick McGoohan and The Prisoner, to Robert Frost, to the Berenstein Bears, to Justin Boyd at, to Mark A. Hicks (for the pig illustration), to people and other creatures ranging from 0 to 100 on the neat-to-messy scale, and  — even though my thanks have already included you —  MAJOR thanks* to you for moseying, moving, materializing, or otherwise making it here, today.

* has no suggestions beginning with the letter “m” for this word. Believe me, I checked.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 226: Parting is such sweet sorrow.

I’m writing this on the morning of the last day of my son’s and my trip to London and Edinburgh.

To honor the wonderfulness of this trip, and to allow myself more time to enjoy our last day here, I’m going to include just one photo, which some short comments.


I took this snapshot of the Greyfriars Bobby statue very quickly last night, as my son and I were on our way to one of the venues of the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh. We were going to see Greg Proops, from one of our favorite TV shows, the American version of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Before the show, we also wanted to stop at a Patisserie recommended by somebody at our hotel before the show. Because we’d had a stressful 10 minues in London, earlier during this vacation, when we were late for our third show in 28 hours (“Phantom of the Opera”) after stopping at a Patisserie and having difficulty finding that show’s venue, I didn’t want to linger on our way to the show last night.

So I noticed the statue and the little girl, but I barely aimed my iPhone while I took that photo. I didn’t stop and think, at all.

Later that night, after we returned to our hotel room (by the way, after we WERE about the same amount late for the Greg Proops show as we were for “Phantom of the Opera” in London), I took a closer look at that photo.

And since then, I’ve looked at it again. And each time, I’ve noticed something new.

This is what I’m noticing on this last morning in the lovely UK, as I look at that quickly-snapped photo of a statue commemorating the loyalty of a dog to its owner after death:

  1. That little girl looks so happy and secure, perched on high.
  2. One of the creatures in that photo seems like it’s looking right at me.
  3. The sign in the background reads “Established in 1772,” which brings to mind one of the first things I said to my son when we decided to visit London and Edinburgh this summer, “You may think that buildings in Boston are old…wait until you see the buildings in London and Scotland!”
  4. Directly above that sign, there’s an olde-fashioned bicycle on the wall, which reminds me of another one of my (much earlier) favorite TV shows:


I’m sure if I look again, I’ll see something else in that photo.

For now, though, I’m going to finish this post, so I can bid a proper adieu to the United Kingdom.

Thanks to Patrick McGoohan, Greg Proops, the little girl in that photo, improvisers everywhere, loyal pets, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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