Lara Silverstone is like Charlotte Bronte on Acid......
Charlotte Lott, slightly dizzy ‘Lady Diana' fan gets in touch with celebrity self-help guru Dr. Bedford and shares the ludicrously banal details of her surburban life in Dorking in the quest for his worldly advice.
It soon becomes apparent that Charltotte Lott's life is not quite secure as she thought it was, and Doctor Bedford is a philandering pig.
Charlotte's world is turned upside down when she becomes unlikely winner of the Turner Prize.
Amazon.com: The Phantom Tollbooth: Books: Norton Juster My eldest sister bought this book for me when I was eight. My sister was trully psychedelic and so is this book. Even though this is a story pitched to children, it's great and any adult who takes the time to trip to it will enjoy it too. The graphics have dated-obviously, it was made in the 70's (there will have to be a re-make soon) but the characterisation and journey remains so vibrant and optomistic.
Honore de Balzac - Biography and Works Anyone who looks to literature to gain an insight into the human condition should read Balzac. To me he's like Dostoyevsky, but French and funny and much lighter to pick up. All his characters ae so vivid. I'm surprised there hasn't been any shit BBC dramatizations of his work-or perhaps there has.
ABC Shop - Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid Bill Bryson What a great book. I listened to Bill Bryson tell a bit of 'Life ad Times of the Thunderbolt kid' and wanted to hear more. I got it as a down load audio book and listened to it 5 hours straight, when I was feeling suicidal. It was brilliant and optomistic in a beautiful untrying way. He's got a great voice too.
Post Office by Charles Bukowski i loved this book. I thought it was going to change my life, of couse it didn't. Instead it made me sneer at my own happiness and sentimentalize past periods of debauchery and self-destruction. Goes without saying, a damn fine read.
Blogs I hate
The Age Blogs: All Men Are Liars I found this by accident, and was quite depressed by it. The author is apparently like the character Sam from 'Sex in the City'. He talks about feeling estranged from Brad Pit's after his decision to settle down with Jennifer Anitston at a time when he could have had any woman he wanted. Wanting to remain unattatched is one thing, professing not to understand someone who wants something different makes him sound like an emotionally bankrupt wanker. Perhaps he's written loads of great shows for American TV but I suspect they lack an essential comic sympathy.
As I tap away writing this to you. I am staring at my new birthday present from Douglas, huge 5 foot by one fish tank. I was very disappointed when I got it but I didn’t let on, I pretended it was the best gift I’ve ever had.
There are about fifty fish darting around, Douglas said there had been more but some of them died on arrival. Douglas says, it will give me a chance to practise being a mum, and the fish can keep me company while he’s away. He said this while my mum was there which I thought was a bit insensitive; I had to reassure her that she would always come second place-after Douglas and before the fish.
Yes, I did notice some extra time last week and did notice your absence. You sound much happier. There is always enough time in the day to chant and rub your kidneys. You do seem to have a delightful way of reducing something huge to something tiny and something tiny to something huge- quite a talent. Enjoy your time away.
Hello Doctor Bedford,
I imagine you must have found a lot of spare time without my emails bombarding you every day. I’ve been very busy, Douglas has his review at the end of November, so I’ve been busy preparing business lunches and dinners.
In between running around after Doug, I went and got your other book ‘The way to healing and the other way’ which is quite fabulous. I don’t know what exactly I expected to gain by meeting you for tea Doctor Bedford, just hands on healing really, with some tea. Perhaps I just wanted to meet you. I feel like I get an awful lot from our conversations and we have been emailing each other for quite a while now and I thought we got on rather well- so why not?
Douglas and I are off to Brussels for the weekend; I’m very excited. When we get back Douglas will be off to Antwerp on business for the week so I’ll have a lot more time to do rub my kidneys; chant; and write letters, and do all the other things suggested in your book. I must say, I do feel quite calm.
The issue is not, as your neighbour suggests, whether you leave your husband nor whether you have babies or not; nor even whether he comes over your face occasionally - the issue is whether you love yourself. I detect a distinct lack of self-love going on here and suggest that that's where the rebuilding process has to be centrally focused to have any real effect. Also, it is sometimes hard for me to digest the specific problem because there is so much detail surrounding it.
As for the two us meeting for tea - I'm not sure how that would help you. Why would you want to meet, or rather what would you expect to gain from it? You do not need to see me in person to benefit from any of the things you have read about in my books. The healing, which you refer to is what's already going on - within you - triggered by this dialogue. The real question you have to ask yourself is do you really want to heal yourself or would you prefer to stumble along in this wounded state because you find it more familiar, hence comfortable. Hope that helps somewhat. Love, Dr. Bedford
"My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs."
Hello Doctor Bedford,
Douglas and I had breakfast together this morning and as he seemed so cheerful I thought I’d pop the question. I said, ‘Darling can we have a baby? He said yes, after Christmas, once he has had his annual review at work and hopefully promotion.
I was feeling rather jolly until I bumped into Sylvia (my neigbour from across the road) Sylvia does counselling for the Samaritans and some how you find yourself talking without meaning to. She’s that kind of person, just gets it out of you with a, ‘Hello how are you this morning’? I told her about the Ipswich Plaza and before I got a chance to tell her about our plan to have a baby she said ‘Leave Douglas’- just like that. Her directness took me by surprise. I thought that perhaps she was going to add something to soften it but she didn’t, instead she rushed off down the road after her dog, Poppet.
Ps. I was thinking Doctor B, do you think maybe we could meet up for tea or something? Maybe you could give me a little hands’ on healing like the stuff Sara says you wrote about in your book, ‘Being your Being’.
Is sex dirty? Only if it’s done right.
Pushing existing sexual boundaries or changing ways of expressing yourself can often lead one or both partners to experience discomfort or embarrassment-many people opt to stay in a tired comfort zone rather than risk disturbing the status-quo. The fact that you enjoyed your husband’s change of approach shows that you are open to the idea of experimenting, but understandably need the love and support of your husband to take away any feelings of unease, which the change engenders.
Introducing new sexual technique does not necessarily herald an affair- admittedly it can be a sign. The real problem here lies in the lack of communication prior, during or following the event.
As for splitting with a girlfriend in the pub, I wouldn’t recommend it; she screamed piercingly and had an epileptic fit on the floor.
Don't knock masturbation - it's sex with someone I love. ~Woody Allen
Hello Doctor Bedford,
What a cold thing to do Doctor Bedford, I suppose she must have been quite an awful sort of girl. How did she react?
I took your advice and have been trying to focus my attentions elsewhere. Things are not the same without a cat in the house and I have found myself talking to Rob the mini cactus plant Douglas brought home from Arizona.
Douglas and I made love last night. I say making love- in actual fact it was more like something you would see in a cheap pornographic film. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. Douglas and I have always had sex in much the same way so it was quite exciting to find myself in bed with what felt like a stranger. Perhaps there is a small part of me that took pleasure in the idea that Douglas may have been to bed with another woman, but it’s a very small part Doctor Bedford and it certainly isn’t the real part that’s writing you this email.
I think I was partly excited because Douglas wasn’t wearing a little hoody on his his little man. I thought he was either feeling so passionate that he couldn’t contain himself or that he wanted a baby. it wasn’t a baby that was on his mind Doctor Bedford, that was quite apparent when he pulled out rather suddenly and came all over my face. That’s when I got rather cross; I don’t mind a little love juice on my tum, but he got some in my eye and it stung terribly.
You say that I should listen to my instincts. Well Doctor Bedford my instincts are tell me, something is awry: First there’s the Ipswich scenario, now the spunk in my eye.
It’s not important whether I think your husband is having an affair or not. What matters is what you think, regardless of whether he is or isn’t. Maybe there is an element of you enjoying the thought of your husband having sex with someone, although if it is distressing you so much I would try and focus on something else for a while.
Try approaching the topic again when you have a little more distance. It’s possible that Doug senses your hysteria and is avoiding dialogue. Men can be terribly weak like that. I once finished with a neurotic girlfriend in a crowded pub because I thought she would be too embarrassed to breakdown or make a scene there.
"Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." - Rumi
You must have been disturbed! Your email arrived at two in the morning. Being momentarily disturbed is a requisite part of the healing process - like renovating an old house - you have to clear out all the dry rot before you can start plastering etc –so good that you are feeling something strongly about stuff now.
Good too, that you are practicing compassion, although you don’t need to kid yourself about your husband’s reaction, if he’s being a bastard and using the cat’s death to manipulate you emotionally then that’s what he’s doing- ask yourself why. You have to go with your instincts a bit in these situations.
I feel there is still much to dislodge in there that's not working for you. Just to set things straight - I didn't suggest it was ok to gouge out your cat’s eyes - it's clearly not. As for your husband fucking around, I wasn’t saying he was or wasn’t. I wouldn’t know. I was just pointing out that these things do happen and they are not life or death concerns. You can choose to create a great melodrama out of it or be mature and let it go
It is not necessary for you to explain or justify your relationship with T or E or Z or any other letter you might fancy. I am merely trying to facilitate healing and growth –I am not casting moral judgements on you one way or another-I will offer opinions but as I have said before, opinions are only opinions after all.
Sometime's i want to quite nothing ever seems to fit,
rainy day's and Monday's always get me down.
Dear Doctor Bedford,
Yes I do find it very helpful on the whole to have you to discuss things through with so please don’t take my last email as evidence to the contrary. Of course I know when I think about it, that my problems are not really huge; I go to Church quite often on a Sunday Doctor B and reverent Peter is always quick to point out the less forutnate. The last Sunday i was there, we gave money for starving children in Uganda, and my mind was full of images of starving African children the whole way home. I must confess though once Im faced with my own difficulties, I do forget about the problems further afield, which is not to suggest that if a starving African child did wonder into my kitchen that I wouldn't prepare him a little supper at once, I would make it my priority to fetch a little milk and toast above and beyond any
other pressing domestic commitmets.
No I have not been entirely honest with T about what I do and who I am, but that does not mean I am not completely loyal to my husband. Whilst I may have admitted a little chemistry between T and me –and some admiration on my part, for the fact that he lives the life of a painter, that does not mean that our relationship is not completely plutonic. Most of our emails are about very intelligent things, like art or recent television programmes. When I married Douglas Doctor Bedford, I told the Lord that I would stay with him for ever and as my mum says "if you can't keep your word to the lord who can you keep it for".
Going to Dundee is more about adventure than adultery; some times I worry that I don’t have any real independence. Do you know I met my husband when I was eighteen and married him at nineteen? I was the same age, as Lady Diana was when she married Charles and look what a mistake that turned out to be. I love Lady Diana Doctor Bedford but i don't want to end up the same way.
When I do think about things deeply, I worry that I haven’t got any skills; thankfully, I’m married. I feel terribly sorry for women who haven’t been blessed with health. I do sometimes wonder what would have happened if I’d been born in Birmingham or Yorkshire; Douglas would never married me if I’d had a regional accent. I hope that it doesn’t sound boastful for me to say that I was given looks. I mean it more in a thankful way than a vain way.
As for Douglas-I don't know what to do. He’s still not himself. I don’t believe it’s all to about Missy. Really, I’m the one that spent all the time with her and if I’m able to get up in the morning and carry on despite my pain then I don’t see why he can’t. He’s still manages to go to wort, but when I try to bring up the Ipswich thing which is on my mind the whole time, he looks up wistfully at the mantelpiece to the picture of me holding Missy and I feel too guilty to bring it up.
I have been trying to practice compassion, as it sounds like a very nice thing to practice. I’ve told myself that there is probably a good reason for Doug’s extreme reaction. It did occur to me that he may feel responsible for Missy’s death because he wasn’t there to save her, I think I would if I was in his place. Missy could still be here rubbing against my foot, had Douglas not have missed the last train home that Friday. Douglas can be very sensitive I do forget that sometimes. He’s the only man I know who listens to the music from ‘Miss Saigon’ at home and karen Carpenter in the car. Anyway, I just wish he would speak to me a as I’m feeling progressively disturbed.
"It is good to die before one has done anything deserving
I in no way meant ‘shut up’ or ‘go away’. Sorry if my tone was dismissive. Perhaps I am letting my guard down a little too much.
My intention Charlotte was never to offer professional style counselling. Although, I have done a sufficient amount of psychotherapy myself and studied with some very eminent practitioners in this field, it is ultimately not what this or I am about.
Truthfully, I don’t always know what this is about myself-I’m leaving it up to the Tao myself to uncover things for us. So if you are unhappy with the tone I take or feel patronized or disrespected by our friendly email dialogue, stop. If you want the kind of counselling where you can rock up and talk endlessly about real or imagined affairs with someone who is then prepared to dissect them with you detail by detail, then by all means, find one of those people-they're out there to be sure-charging lots of money I might add.
In short Charlotte: if you are finding my emails too difficult, stop emailing me. Really, My life does not depend on it. I would suggest though, Charlotte that my advice is helping you and you are getting a good deal from this correspondence of ours.
I do feel you are deluding yourself-in respect of your relationship with T. Maybe you are not planning to run off to Dundee with him, but neither are you honest enough with him genuinely to consider it an innocent friendship surely? Have you managed to tell him you are married yet?
I am sorry about your cat. Bless her soul and may her body nourish the ground.
Things are not very clear to me and I must confess that much of what you say disturbs me as much as it comforts; Which is not to say that I do not welcome your 'opinions' in the generous spirits to which they have been offered. However, I can't pretend not to feel at odds with the laissez faire attitude that it is only natural for "husbands to fuck around" or cats to have their eyes gauged by moving cars.
I don’t understand what you mean by saying I must be hard to be around right now or am in a heightened state-I’m no different from usual, apart from the fact that I'm in mourning over my beloved pet.
We have buried Missy in a shoebox in the back garden. Mum and Sara came to the funeral, and mum and Douglas both made a prayer. Douglas was very solemn and the only conversation that he entered was the one about Missy choking on a fur ball.
Doctor Bedford you have asked me if I’m aware if I’m making a melodrama out of all this and you have asked me once if I’m for real. In response I must now ask you the same. Can you be serious when you suggest that 'husbands fucking around' and cats having their eyes pulled from their sockets are all a part of the rich tapestry of life? Can you be serious to suggest that It is melodramatic to be get worked up over the idea that your husband is having an affair? Perhaps, you are right and it is nothing, and it is unfair of me to suspect it, however I do think it’s a bit strange when a counsellor who agrees to give you advice says something along the lines of ‘shut up and don’t worry about it’.
I leave off your assertion that it is also-‘par for the course’ for wives to run off to Dundee with lovers, as I know I haven’t ever given you the impression that running off to Dundee was ever my intention. As far as I remember I was telling you about how much I wanted to have children with my husband who I very much love. I’m a bit surprised by your tone, which seems quite different from your other emails. What a dark impression of me I must have cast. I have not ever seriously entertained the idea that he Doug might go off and have sex with other people and I don't say I agree with you that one should expect it, because I don't. When I think about it Doctor Bedford I feel physically sick.
Please email me back and put me out of this misery.
I’m really sorry to hear you're having trouble-though not so surprised-I thought you might be deluding yourself that things had just suddenly worked out – a couple of words with a bunch of flowers are not usually the solutions to all our woes. It’s just not the way these situations generally go - first there has to be some healing-and I don’t just mean ‘you’ when I refer to needing the healing.
As for Douglas's implied indiscretion when he was meant to have been at
the Ipswich plaza, I think you have to bear in mind that you're probably quite difficult to be around, right now-this kind of process can often result in a heightened or mildly disturbed state –don’t worry it will all settle again. As far as Doug goes –I would have compassion. He probably needed a diversion and some form of personal release - and as long as he's still coming back to you, you can't really hold that against him under the circumstances not that that's really any of my business. I’m probably a little bit out of line here, and way off professional limits but seeing as you make free to write to me practically daily, I will, in return, also make free to give the odd opinion, when I feel like it and hope you take it both in the spirit of good intention with which it's given and also with a pinch of salt –regardless of whether I’ve written one book of twenty or healed a million and six, opinions are only opinions after all.
I seem to have broken my own rule here and written an extremely long email. It's late and I'm tired, which is probably why.
Finally, are you aware you're making melodrama out of all this?
Cats die, husbands fuck around, married women dream of running off to
Dundee to be with ‘artist’ lovers - so what - these things happen to provide the thread for the rich tapestry of life. Are you aware of how you may be making mountains out of molehills here?
Love, Dr. Bedford
I am quite relieved to have you to talk to as things here have become a little strange.
This Friday-just gone, Douglas did not come home. He phoned late to say he'd missed the last train from Ipswich (where he had been attending a conference about shipping laws) and would not be able to come home till the morning. At about 12.00am Missy (our little kitten) was knocked over, and found her way back to our house with one eye falling out of her socket. I didn't know what to do and became quite hysterical: I phoned my mum who phoned the emergency vet-but by the time I could get hold of anyone, Missy was dead. I tried to get Douglas on the number for the 'Ipswich Plaza' but kept getting the wrong number tone then I tried his mobile but found it to be switched off. When I spoke to directory enquiry’s about getting the ‘Ipswich Plaza’, I was told there was no hotel in Ipswich of that name and should I want to find my husband there would need to find the correct name of the hotel.
As you can imagine I was quite beside myself with grief for Missy and a bit confused about where Douglas could have got to. Douglas tells me that he never said it was 'Ipswich Plaza', but I know that he did, and because I have insisted that he did, he is now very angry. He says he’s just upset about Missy. She was a beautiful Persian Dr. B and she went perfectly with the rug in the front room. In the short time we have had her, she has made a huge difference to the atmosphere in the house, plus it’s nice for me to have someone to talk to when Doug is away on business. Even my mum is upset about Missy and she is allergic to cats.
I got a postcard of a derelict looking building from T today-and on it he’d written ‘wish you were here’. I think he must be joking because I certainly don’t want to go and have a holiday on the back of a fork lift truck and watch buildings being smashed down. I had to stop myself emailing him about Douglas; telling you is one thing, you are a doctor and a healer who has written books but T paints pictures of naked women and broken buildings and denies things in emails he said in person earlier.
I don’t know what to do about Douglas-it feels like things were on the up between us -and now Missy’s death as put a chasm between us. I’m thinking all kinds of terrible things like- he deliberately had his phone off so I couldn’t get in touch with him. It did actually go through my mind that he was having an affair. Please don’t go and tell me to write down I respect myself a hundred times, as I don’t think it would be fair to make it all my fault.
You sent me a kiss Doctor B. That was nice, I have never had an x from a published author.
Charlotte. - by the way you spell my surname with two t's -it's 'Lott' not 'Lot'. I seem to have spent the entirety of my married life telling people 'it's two t's', perhaps Douglas should just change it to one T.
Learning how you inspire positive growth and well being in others is undoubtedly the most rewarding aspect of what I do. If your friend writes to me then of course I will make every effort to reply as I do with all people who make contact. I reserve my deepest admiration for those who have to work hard to overcome personal struggles- people who, like your friend becomes stronger and more interesting as a result.
I’m glad things are better at home, and good luck with the baby dialogue, it’s always better to discuss these things with a your partner rather than project a forecast without them
I don’t agree by the way, that you are not intelligent as you have suggested. I get over two hundred emails every day, and whilst yours can be enchantingly dippy they are never unintelligent. All the more reason to write a hundred affirmations on a piece of paper ‘I am Charlotte Lott and I am an intelligent being’
Thankfully, things are a lot better at home. Doug came home with flowers yesterday, and called me ‘Bumble Puff’, Sugar Bum’ and ‘plumb plumb’ about ten times in one evening.
Sara has been very excited about the success of her talk, she said there was a massive turn out. People working at the leisure centre ended up getting annoyed because the peole who turned up for their water aerobics class had nowhere to park the car. Sara quite rightly pointed out that all the ladies who went to water aerobics were overweight and would have been better off coming to hear her talk, or alternatively walking to the leisure centre. Sara wants to write to you by the way, I don’t think she wants counseling, as she pretty much counsels herself, but I think she does want to email you; i told her I'd have to ask your permission first-i wouldn't just give out your email address.
So you will have over 201 people emailing you instead of 200. Don’t worry about that though, I think Sara will write shorter ones than me, she is a lot busier; she used to work in the bank and is used to writing short letters which get to the point. She really is amazing, If you saw her now for the first time you would never believe she used to work at Natwest Bank and be 18 stone. She lost five stone in three years. She was winner of weight watchers of the year in 2001. Just think! She’s ten stone four now and travels all round the country doing talks that other people pay to listen too.
Having now read half way through your book ‘Being your Being’ I can see how she was so inspired by you. If she writes to you please write back to her, it would absolutely make her day. Just think Doctor Bedford, you inspired her and now Sara is inspiring Dorking. So in a way, I can thank you for Sara’s tasty low fat muffins and doughnuts, which she makes using Candarel spoonful instead of sugar.
I’ve decided to talk to Douglas frankly about having children again. |f he hasn’t enough time to get to involved we can always hire extra help and get a nanny. I have enough time to bring them up even if he doesn’t.
Hopefully that exercise reveals to you exactly how much we influence ourselves on a subconscious level with negative thoughts and feelings. The reaction got from the positive affirmations was, amazing thought this may seem a completely natural reaction. Most people spend a considerable amount of time beating themselves up without ever being aware of it. The hostile voices that told you were an idiot are always there-you just don’t always hear them. Now you can hear them you can do something about them. Take note of all the negative things that you heard inside your head and think of something positive to counteract them with. So, if you had a voice saying ‘you’re an idiot’ Write, ‘I Charlotte Lot am an intelligent being’.