Tick Tock

Good morning Tash Appreciators,

I was struck this week by the reaction of many people to the death of Bob Hoskins. Overwhelmingly, the first reaction of people mentioning the news was to describe his or her memories of one of his roles. That’s true for me as I immediately thought of his portrayal of Smee in Hook – a film that many of us remember fondly:

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Remembering Hook started me thinking about Peter Pan and J. M. Barrie’s story more generally. I have to say, I didn’t think too much about the plot when I was younger. My understanding was essentially: boy v. Pirate = good fun. It strikes me now that maybe I should take a closer look.

Captain Hook (his first name was James, you know) was a swashbuckling and cruel pirate. He plotted and schemed against someone who was a good 40 years younger than him. However, he was terrified by one thing: the tick-tock of a clock in the belly of a crocodile i.e. his doom:

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Before he died, Bob Hoskins gave his daughter 11 tips to follow in life, which she then listed on her website. These tips were: laugh; be yourself; be flamboyant; don’t worry about other people’s opinions; get angry; whatever you do, always give it a good go; be generous and kind because you can’t take it with you; appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories; don’t take yourself too seriously; never, ever, ever, ever give up; and love with all your heart.

I think James Hook could have used those tips. Rather than using the tick-tock of the crocodile as a reminder that life is sometimes short and that he should get on with making the best of it, Hook became resentful and hostile.

As for us, regardless of whether we hear it or not, time is always ticking away. It may not be a crocodile that gets us but none of us will be here forever. I guess the dream we should all have is to move onto our last great adventure in the way which Bob Hoskins seems to have done. To do that, we should maybe remember something which J.M Barrie says in the book:

“Perhaps we could all fly if we were as dead-confident-sure of our capacity to do it as was bold Peter Pan that evening.”

I am aware that several Appreciators are having problems with confidence these days. They are wondering whether they should take the path which they know will lead somewhere safe (albeit somewhere where the may not necessarily want to go) or the path which turns away into the unknown. I would recommend taking a bit of both Peter Pan’s and James Hook’s attitudes into account when making that decision: hear the clock ticking; be conscious of the fact that we all grow up/old; but have the confidence in yourself to fly.

I think it’s time for the Tashes. The obvious example is Dustin Hoffman, in Hook:

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Usually, such an excellent example would suffice for one week. However, I was surprised to discover that J.M. Barrie rocked an absolutely superlative Tash, so this week is a double-helping of Tash-based goodness:

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Have a cracking weekend folks!

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