Beautiful Soul


I saw Burt Lancaster today. He was in the amusement arcade. He even had Burt’s famous smile but without the teeth. He only had a couple of front teeth. It was a toothless smile, but still, he had a beautiful smile and a beautiful soul. Sometimes, I like to observe people, but only people who stand out, by the summer day that is shining through their soul.

When you see someone physically attractive, you can’t stop looking at them. Maybe you’re a deer in the headlights and maybe they’ll catch on and get all big headed and egotistical. Even if you just glance in the direction of a man or woman who knows they’re attractive, they’ll catch on very quickly, and then they’ll get all smug and stupid, but, when their soul is pleasing to you, they are oblivious. That in itself is immensely telling. It’s not physical attractiveness that’s important, but something on a much deeper level. I’m sure others have been frozen in time and feel like they just want to sit in the darkened cinema of life, with that bag of popcorn, just to observe someone’s beautiful soul on the big screen. Coming to a street near you.

Well, for the record, I observed Burt. He was with several people, a woman, three other men and a teenage girl. While the others were taking turns to use the public bathroom, he was laughing along with the girl because she was having so much fun on that dancing game. What’s it called now? It’s big in Japan.

Hang on, I’ll just google…

Oh, Dance Machine. Is that it? I thought it would be something more… I’m  a bit underwhelmed.. Well, if that’s what it is, then that’s what it is. A Dance Machine. 

So, she’s on this dance machine and having fun and Burt is laughing, but mostly smiling…genuine laughter and fun. Laughter can sometimes be a bit maniacal, a bit crazy. We have to be careful with laughter. Unfortunately, there’s a time and a place for laughter. I wish it wasn’t so. Well, this was the time and the place but it was mostly smiling, the benign type, so it’s allowed.

So these guys had rucksacks as well. Signs of a tourist. They were  wearing waterproof coats. The proper expensive ones, not the shower proof ones for £1.99, which can sometimes be a compulsion to buy. Burt was tall, like Burt. Maybe a bit older than we remember him in say,  Trapeze. And maybe he didn’t have the muscles Burt had either.

I wanted to follow him for a tiny bit. Not so that they would ever know, or get uncomfortable. They never know, these beautiful souls, because they are always in another world, the world of the people they’re with. Now that’s sanity. I’m careful not to burst that bubble. 

When I say follow, I mean watch, just to get some of that joy, by osmosis, but it’s never premeditated. It’s always very natural, spontaneous. Spontaneous. me? Ha! My husband just said ‘don’t make me laugh, so that I have a heart attack through laughing’.

So I just watch them go off into their happy world. I watch them leave. They were all blissfully unaware. They never know. They never feel it. They have too much to give. I just observe the beautiful aura that surrounds them. I’m like a rabbit in a headlight and just have to snap out of it. Sometimes, like my friend Mike says, the rabbit needs to be restrained.

Burt was holding a plastic carrier bag. I have a soft spot for people who carry plastic carrier bags, especially if they are the resilient, environmentally friendly ones, the ones that last a lifetime and look a bit worn and are full of stuff. My heart just melts. I’m not sure why. 

So I said to my husband, very seriously. ‘Look, there’s Burt Lancaster’, and of course, he ignored me because he’s known me for twenty years, and because it happens sometimes, not a lot, but enough. It’s not just men. It can be women, animal, vegetable, mineral. If you feel it, you feel it. I’m not even sure if, in real life, the real Burt was a beautiful soul, but the one in the arcade certainly was.

So I watched this lovely little troop leave the arcade. I blessed Burt and his friends/family and wished them a great holiday.


How Quote Of The Week Changed My Day

American actor Paul Newman.Handsome…inside and out.

People say the most amazing things sometimes. A lot of the time, us ordinary folk say the best things, the most encouraging things, the most enlightened things. Those wise words get spread around like rich, thick verbal butter. It’s yummy and greasy and once you get that quote on your hands, it’s difficult to wash off, so we’re better off just licking our fingers really.


Why, just the other day, my friend Mike said to me, ‘A trouble shared, is a trouble doubled’ and I thought that was absolute genius. He has been called a genius before interestingly enough, of the musical variety, but that’s another story.  But back to the point, I thought I should catch up on the Friendship Book before getting down to sorting out my Quote Of The Week. The Friendship Book is one of those thought-for-a-day books, full of philosophical musings, spiritual insights and the occasional uplifting quote thrown in to make a point. Things to warm the heart on a daily basis. It never works out like that and I end up reading two or three weeks worth, all in one day. My heart is toast by the end of it.

Anyway, the first day to catch up on was 15th June or something, so I wasn’t too far back. The first words were ‘What are the ingredients that make up a man? And how are they best shown in his words and actions?’ followed by a quote from Tennessee Williams about the deceased actor Paul Newman, ‘You never really know what he’s thinking or what he might do but it always ends in kindness and fairness. A mighty recipe produced this man.’

What I found out, is that  Paul Newman wasn’t just a ‘Hollywood Great’, as they used to call movie stars from the forties to the seventies. He was much more than that. We don’t seem to have ‘Hollywood Greats’ anymore and when he died, he was one of the last to go. (Hold on in there Kirk).

I was never really paid attention to Paul Newman, he was a very good actor but in a way, just seemed like just another pretty  boy to me.  What I learned about him is that he wasn’t like most of the other Hollywood stars, he was different. That’s what turned him from just another pretty boy actor, into a man.

‘He was a philanthropist, who had distributed more money – in relation to his own wealth – than any other American during the 20th century.’

The Guardian. Paul Newman Obituary

He burned his tuxedo in his driveway and that was the last time he went to a black tie dinner event. He began making his own dressings and sauces in a washtub in his barn. He would tinker away for hours like a mad scientist, until getting the right combinations, flavour and taste, then he would bottle them up, wrap them in ribbon and give them away as Christmas presents. They were an absolute hit with the neighbours and Martha Stewart, now a famous American television personality, was actually one of them at the time. She once did a blind taste test on one of his relishes.

He called up his friend, A.E Hotcher, American playwright and novelist, and he came over and helped him with his mixes. ‘Newman’s Own‘ was born. The sauces went from the barn to the supermarket but that’s not what makes this special. I mean, it’s all very nice and interesting but it’s what he did next, it’s what Paul did next that I love. He started selling his sauces commercially and every cent of the profits went to charity. In 1988 the first Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was set up, helping 288 seriously ill children. By 2012, the camps would reach 384,700 children globally .Paul has been gone from this world now for eight years but the one hundred percent charitable donations continue. It gave me chills when I went to the website for Newman’s Own and it has a countometer thing, counting up the money made from the profits, in real time. Four hundred million dollars and counting. It goes up while you watch! Gave me shivers, but in a good way. The profits of Newman’s Own’s products go to charity , ALL OF THEM, and it made me go in search of the product and buy it. It just makes me feel all warm and gooey inside, a bit like his sauces.






Quote Of The Week

‘You never really know what he’s thinking or what he might do – but it always ends in kindness and fairness. A mighty recipe produced this man.’

Tennessee Williams talking about Hollywood actor Paul Newman, sourced from The Friendship Book 2016