Influences In Land Of Make Believe! ~NationalWomansDay

It has recently been National Women’s Day, on March 8th.
This global event is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
This has given me an opportunity to think about women who have influenced me through out my life.  There are women who have changed my direction or have impacted on my life, but is that influencing? I am not too sure.

I came to realise at an early age that I am happiest living in a fantasy land.  It took a while to admit but mundane every day life does not excite or really interest me.  Yes, I like a gossip like the best of people but talking about people’s weekends or even worse, people’s dreams, then nope sorry, bored face already!
I do not mind funny anecdotes but keep them snappy! Some of my lovely friends are amazing at the funny stories and the sparkling conversation. To me this should include sharp wit, laughter and mad, insane dialogue! Throw in the occasional show tune, dressing up and dancing and I am away!!

The main women to influence me where from the television.  Living in fantasy land meant that I acted out these peoples lives 24/7.  I would decide who I was going to be and then would act it going about my daily life!! (This is when I was very young, I am not doing it now! Well, not all the time!!)
If I watched a television show, film or read a book then I would change my personality to that character.

In my early years it was Samantha from ‘Bewitched’, an American TV sitcom. Samantha played by Elizabeth Montgomery was beautiful and smart.  She was a 1960’s housewife but also a witch! I even remember calling my doll ‘Tabitha’ the name of the baby in the show.  I was very disappointed that I was not good at the nose twitching!!

Jennifer Hart, Stephanie Powers from ‘Hart to Hart’ was a strong women.  Again, very beautiful with luscious red hair and a very handsome Mr Jonathan Hart, played by Robert Wagner.  This sent me off on my crime fighting stage.  I was even a member of a spy group and everybody was under suspicion, including the school lollipop lady, who I was convinced was involved in a smuggling ring with secret passages under the large field, next to the school!

‘Cagney and Lacey’, Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly was another crime fighting duo.  I remember trying to dye my hair blonde but did not know that you would have to use bleach to dye brown hair blonde! This stage involved me shouting a lot! I also had to write down car numbers in case there was a crime! I was always prepared. I remember going to the caravan with my Dad and on the way back playing ‘Catch the criminal’ pretending to follow the cars! That was such a fun journey and sticks in my mind, even now! I also remember the drama when we got back home, which was not very pleasant, but that is another story!

My main influence was ‘Dynasty’ This was not too bad but meant I was wearing shoulder pads and clip on earrings at far too young an age! Dynasty was quite grown up and where I learnt most about life. No wonder everything seems boring in ‘real’ life!! I wanted to be either Krystle Carrington or Kirby Anders. As it was such a huge impact on my life I still adore it and now have the whole series on DVD.  Now, as I am older, appreciate the character of Alexis Colby. She was a strong woman and held her own in a boardroom and bedroom. She was in control!

My influence of a strong woman from books was reading ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Little Women’.
Both these books developed my love of reading and writing as both Anne and Jo, my preferred character from ‘Little Women’ wanted to and became an author.  They also had close female friends or sisters, something as being an only and odd child, did not have.  It was around this time that I started writing a diary.  I keep a diary now and at the end of every year for over the past ten years I write a summary of the events that happened in the months of that year.  At Christmas time I usually re read them as I add the next instalment.  I do not write them for anybody else to read and some of the things, looking back, are difficult, such as losing members of the family.

Musicals featured highly in growing up.  ‘Sandy’ from Grease was a particular one, but it could just be a film that caught my imagination and I wanted to be them.

This influenced how I dressed.  Before I became interested in ‘Neighbours’ and ‘Eastenders’ I do not think I owned a pair of jeans.  I loved ‘Coronation Street’ and adored ‘Elsie Tanner’ played by the amazing Pat Phoenix. It must had been hilarious watching a young girl dressed as the characters!
I do recall a friend passing me in the street and asking what family occasion I was attending going dressed like I was.  If I recall I was wearing a long pink vintage dress and cowboy boots! I did not like to tell her I had just been to the local shop!
I also remember wearing bright make up and huge chiffon bows in my hair and a neighbour telling my Nana that she would not let her daughter walk around like I did!!

Looking back now I realise I was a little freaky!! I guess I was just lonely, living with all the imaginary people and having an amazing time!  I could write my story.  I could have a happy ending,
The programmes and films were older and portrayed adult relationships and so I was not really that bothered with people my own age.

When I discovered ‘Judy Garland’, ‘Liza Minnelli’ and ‘Lorna Luft’ that seemed to tower over the rest.  I was getting older but I still wanted to dress like them and tried to glean any information I could.

I am still a HUGE fan of these women.  Again, not many women my age inspire me but I forget that a lot of them was at my age, or younger, when I was influenced by them!

I still love to ‘dress up’.  I am still working on ‘me’ but if the women that influenced me are anything to go by I may be small and I may be emotional but I can be one tough cookie!!

Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza

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