Sunday, 6 November 2011

Are you a 4p Worker or a Papillon?

Plus some more photos of Israel!
I've made up the phrase 4p worker so please don’t rush for the dictionary. It stands for perseverance, persistence, pertinacity and patience. I do love alliteration. So a 4p worker is someone who has:

      Perseverance – plain old-fashioned hard work
      Persistence – sticking with that hard work
      Pertinacity – stubbornly sticking with said hard work and
      Patience – the ability to not be irritated by and so not be distracted from the hard work.

These are valuable skills, especially if you’re a writer, and I must mention all those people who have just launched themselves into this year’s NaNoWriMo (write a novel in a month) challenge. I admire you all. I couldn’t stick to the strict regime, but then I’m not a 4p worker. So good luck everyone [assuming you’ve got time to read this blog post!]

Last week I saw two amazing 4p workers. [Did I mention that we were in Israel last week? Oh, you read my last blog post? Sorry. I’m still on a high!]

4p Worker Number One

We were visiting an Italian Synagogue in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful, gold leaf-adorned Synagogue.

The Synagogue had a small museum for tourists and there we met an antique restorer. She worked constantly while we stood and gaped.

This is said to be one of the oldest Arks in the world. [The Ark is where the Torah Scrolls are kept in the Synagogue.] It had once been very beautiful and the restorer was working hard to recreate that beauty. What a job!

4p Worker Number Two

Masada is in the Negev desert and when we visited it was steaming hot. In the heat of the midday sun we were taken on a guided tour around the ancient ruins.

We ended up at what had once been a Synagogue. The tour guide pointed to a small structure in the corner of the ruins of the Synagogue and said, 
      “There’s a scribe in there, writing out Torah scrolls.” But it was getting on for 90o up there! Surely it must be a museum dummy-style mock-up, but no! There really was a man writing each letter of the Torah with perfect precision.

Now that’s what I call a 4p worker. I only hope he had air-conditioning!

If I was a 4p worker I wouldn’t have five half-finished manuscripts on my computer... or an ironing pile that keeps falling over. I guess I’m one of those people who are destined to flit from one thing to another, like a butterfly... or rather a papillon! [I do love alliteration.]

So, what are you, a 4p worker or a papillon?


  1. I wouldn't have said I was a 4p worker, but I am about to complete my first novel, so maybe I am. It's taken me a while though, so sometimes I've let that determination slip.

    Love the photographs!

  2. It must have been a great experience. I could not attempt to do these intricate things I would have neither the patience nor strong enough glasses. If I enjoy doing something or it's something that needs done I stick with it, but I do like flitting around. A post that makes you think.

  3. After those 4 p's, exhausted. Need to add a fifth: pooped

  4. I have a different version that says it all for me.
    Pack up
    Note the last line begins and ends with 'p'.

  5. Loving the photos of Jerusalem Ros....but confess I'm a papillon like you.
    My husband has many sayings (!) but his favourite is (and please excuse one of the words here but it has to be included)
    pre planning prevents piss poor performance...

  6. I think I'm a little of both :) I'm a 4P worker in the general scheme of things because I'm still banging my head against the proverbial wall :) But day-to-day I do tend to flit from one project to another.

    What amazing examples of 4P workers. How painstaking that work must be.

    And I love the word pertinacity - it's fun to say :)

  7. Ros, that picture of the scribe could have been my hubbie - that's what he does.
    We always joke that we're both writers but he has it 'easy' as he knows what he's going to write, whereas I have to make it up first.

    He explains away the fact that he isn't very computer savvy by saying "What do you expect of someone who still writes with a feather quill and ink?"

  8. I think I'm a 4p worker. Either that or I'm just delusional. I do usually push on to finish the job, despite knowing if it will ever amount to anything.

    What a great trip!

  9. I'm a papillon trying to be a 4p worker :-)

  10. I love your new phrase, but sadly I'm neither a 4p worker or a papillon. I'm more of a 3p who putzes, pouts and plotzes. I wish you were my tour guide and photographer in Israel. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

  11. Hi Rebecca, congratulations on completing your novel and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I have more. I may well blog on for quite a while about this holiday ;-)

    Hi Cassam, it was an amazing experience and glad my post gave you food for thought.

    Hi Nick, thanks for adding a fifth p ;-)

    Hi Bob, I did note that the last line began and ended with a p! But do you really panic and pack up with your tasks or was it for the sake of alliteration? ;-)

    Hi Totd, another papillon, welcome, and I will excuse your husband’s use of words because it made me snigger ;-)

    Hi Susanna, I rather suspect most of us are capable of a little of both if we’re honest. Pertinacity was the first word that came to my mind when I saw those workers. It’s a good one, isn’t it? I may try and use it next time I’m in company!

    Hi Ann, what a fascinating job your husband has. Was it him who we photographed?

    Hi L.G., well done for sticking with your task and don’t ever say that it’ll never amount to anything because you never ever know. If everyone said that then nothing would ever be done and no new creative works would ever find their way into the shops. [rant over!]

    Hi Sarah, you and lots of others I suspect :-)

    Hi Julie, I love your 3p version. Lol :-)

  12. I'm so loving these photos. I thought nothing could beat the restorer (what a job!) until I saw the scribe. Oh my!
    I've always considered myself a 4p worker (love that phrase) but now I'm not so sure. :)

  13. That synagogue looks incredible. I could spend all day gawking.

  14. Oh, I don't know. I do have finished novels, but my ironing pile is falling over, too! I guess I can be 4p when I want to be. LOL! I'm inspired by your Jerusalem pictures. What an amazing place!


  15. LOVE those photos!!!

    I'm working at being a 4p writer. At this point between life, nano and report cards, I think I'm just a tired one! :)

  16. I'm not always a 4P worker. I go in spurts, but constantly make that effort to do better! Great photos! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip.

  17. I missed your last post. Love the picture of you lost in old town. What a heart-warming trip.
    I'm not much of a 4-P worker. At first I was thinking dog papillon not butterfly. Maybe I am more of the dog one. Ha
    I've always loved looking at ruins.... maybe because I can conjure up the people who once lived there.

  18. Hi Shirley, those pictures certainly can make you feel a bit inadequate. I guess it takes a very special and dedicated kind of a person to do that sort of work.

    Hi Robyn, the tourist guide marked it down as the most beautiful of synagogues and they were right.

    Hi Amy, so glad that someone else’s ironing piling is falling over [must go and get some of it done in a minute!]

    Hi Jemi, I remember report-writing time and I’m overwhelmingly impressed that you’re doing NaNo at the same time. It’s no surprise that you’re tired!

    Hi Karen, it’s interesting how we keep putting that extra bit of pressure on ourselves to do better, isn’t it!

    Hi Manzanita, your point about loving looking at ruins because you can conjure up the people who once lived there is inspiring. Thank you for sharing that.

  19. Oh, gorgeous photos. I've always wanted to go to Jerusalem.

    I think I have all the Ps, except for patience!

  20. Love this post! I think I'm more of a 4p worker. It gets tiring sometimes, but it does get stuff done!


  21. I love this post! WOnderful pictures, for sure. I'm definitely a 4p worker. :)


  22. Love your post and the interesting information. I could qualify for all the 4p's, but not patience. I am a little short in tat area.

  23. I'm probably a bit of both! Those pics look lovely.

  24. Hi Ros .. gosh how fantastic to be able to see - and like you I hope the scribe had air-conditioning .. hot - it looked it!!

    Another P - procrastination .. but I think I fall in a little of all four - particularly the 4th .. patience while I'm with my mother .. but that can lead to many beneftis along the way.

    Lovely day today - hope you're enjoying it .. cheers Hilary


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