Sad Endings…and New Beginnings

To me, life can be a little bit of a tease, and turn things around when I least expect it.

I was speaking to my Mum on the phone earlier, as I do on Sunday evenings, about the coming month and all that arrives with it. There was good news to be shared; I have a baby cousin on the way very very soon, I’ve got my Dad’s birthday weekend off, so can visit my parents at the end of February/beginning of March, and had a surprise visit from my good friend Jason, whose parents were kind enough to buy me lunch this afternoon at Zizzi in Bournemouth town centre (yay free food!).
What we also spoke about was the fact that January was an incredibly slow month.

I had arrived back in Bournemouth after my 19th Birthday celebrations, and…it was sort of an ‘ugh’ feeling. Of course, I was very excited to see my flatmates and start working again at Dylan’s (student campus bar), and get stuck into shorthand after procrastinating and eating over the festive period. But for some reason, the four Fridays of which January was filled with did not seem to arrive at all quickly. I start work at 8am on Monday mornings and finish at 1pm. At this point in the day, it feels like I’ve worked my arse off and am ready to sit down, curl up and…wait a minute, I have the whole afternoon ahead of me. That’s pretty much, in a nutshell, what the entire month of January has felt like. So my Mum and I are looking forward to February, because the arrival of my baby cousin and the obligatory visit to see said baby will most certainly occur in the middle of the month; not two weeks away.
February is also the “New Year’s Resolutions: Take 2” month (if you don’t believe me, I’ve genuinely already been to the gym more times in February than January).

So it saddens me a great deal to hear of the great actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death, which was announced this evening. Having read the report, and a short biography of his personal life within the report, I now understand he previously struggled with drug abuse and the police announced that he is believed to have died from an overdose.
I cannot begin to imagine what his family and friends are going through, much how I could not imagine what Paul Walker’s family and friends went through last December and the holiday season. Not to mention the loss of Nelson Mandela.
John Hurt, who starred alongside Hoffman in Owning Mahowny, and most recently known for his portrayal of the Doctor in the 50th Anniversary Episode of Doctor Who, said he’ll be “greatly missed”, and that he was a “great member of the film and theatre community”.
It is Hurt, and countless others who Hoffman has touched throughout his life through art, love and friendship, who will find this month and undoubtedly this year, very difficult. And just as I thought I had a positive start to this month, there is this horrible feeling that the film industry, as well as the family and friends of Hoffman, is missing something. Personally, I only know Hoffman for his work in The Master, Mission Impossible 3 and more recently his role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. But reading the respects online, including respects from Jim Carrey and film critic Jason Solomons, I can see that he reached out far and wide with his work, and I can see he was a truly great inspiration who will be missed.
So, as ever, I try to end on a positive. This month will be long for many, but I feel that as it progresses, I will certainly look forward to new things, to new life, and to new opportunities. I truly believe light always comes after darkness, and while that may seem impossible for those close to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, I can only wish good things to come their way this year.

2nd February 2014


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