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September 13, 2017

Bombarded from all sides by bleakness, despair, anger and bafflement.  And that’s just my facebook feed.  I try to stay away, but it’s hard when my work involves a lot of social media action.  Also, does staying away from it, and from the news in general actually mean I’m opting out of taking action?  Letting the apathy reign?  I suspect so.   I know people who say they don’t watch/listen to/read the news as though this is some sort of higher achievement.  Perhaps it is, but from where I sit to ignore the news is to condone what is happening in the world.  And there is a lot happening in the world.  It makes me so mad that my auto correct gets overheated and I end up typing completely unreadable sentences.  Then I correct each word individually and you get the sentence above.  Nice and righty tighty.

Where to begin?  America & Trump?  Hurricanes (not the cocktail version)?  Floods?  Fires – forest or tower blocks? Brexit? Nazis? Refugees?  Human traffickers?  Ethnic cleansing?  Shall I go on?  Do I need to?  All these questions, I do apologise – be reassured they are rhetorical, for the purposes of this blog anyway.

Nitty gritty then.  Let’s begin with facebook.  That thing that brings old friends and new together in cyber space.  (What is cyber space?  Is it a cloud?  If so is it in Alaska? I heard THE cloud is in Alaska)  I wouldn’t be married if it wasn’t for facebook, at least, not to the person I am married to .  I have hooked up with old school pals, some not seen our leaver’s weekend 38 years ago – sometimes that proves to be very odd, sometimes it’s magic.  I see pictures of kittens, I posted pictures of kittens, I see things that make me laugh and make me cry, sometimes both.

But. But.  All this, the good and bad, feeds this hunger in us for connection without actually providing it.  It shows us pictures of other people, mostly friends or friends of friends or complete strangers that some how pop up on your feed, having a fabulous time, often with blue sky and the odd yacht in the back ground.  It can make me feel bad things; anger, envy,  f.o.m.o (fear-of-missing-out, if you didn’t know), inadequacy and sadness, because look at those lovely, jolly lives – why isn’t mine like that?  Forgetting of course that mine is, actually, like that, sometimes, and theirs isn’t, all the time.

Photos, those clever little reflections of non-reality create the illusion of of these perfect worlds where it’s always sunny, and Prosecco runs like amber streams through the lollipop country side.  Or something.  It used to be just magazines that you had to actively choose to buy, spend hard earned cash on and read that would make you feel so inadequate.  Now you can’t move for images designed to bring you to your miserable, baggy, unattractive and elderly (how very dare you?!) knees at the foot of the god of shiny stuff  mumbling ‘I am not worthy oh shiny one, please forgive me and take all my money’.

Facebook also streams political opinion from within one’s own political bubble – feeding the fury but offering no way to actually DO anything except sign another bloody petition and create feelings of impotence and despair.  (Are all the petitions stored in Alaska too?)

I am also presented with un-asked for visions of animals being skinned alive, brutalised by numb, inhuman humans.  Am I better off knowing about this?  I can’t un-know it, or un-see it.  Who is this person skinning a dog?  When, where and why was this done and why was this picture taken (and no, I am not going to put it on here)?  What do I do with that? Do I fact check it?  Do I write to the purported government?  If so, who within that government?  How do I follow that up?  And do I do this with every awful thing I see on this site? If so who will pay my bills while I do this, and who will look after me as I disintegrate into a frothing heap of wide eyed bafflement at the awfulness of the world?

Here’s some good stuff that is going on, you know, for a little balance.

One of my neighbours, and good friend, helped another much less fortunate neighbour to get his life if not actually back on track, then at the very least standing up and facing the track, fuelled by cheese on toast and tomatoes and some very practical help.  Cheese and tomatoes provided by me so I feel a tiny percentage of ownership .  Tiny.  Very proud of her.

Myself and another neighbour, and good friend (it’s a great street this, you should live here) are doing a sewing project together.  It’s an experiment which could lead to all sorts of exciting stuff, and at the very least will hopefully provide some much needed Christmas pennies and some laughs as we rediscover the ancient art of tacking, tailors chalking and how to remove blood from precious fabric while simultaneously holding up pricked finger to avoid spilling more.

My son offered to finance my next business project – best laugh I’ve had in weeks!  It was offered in jest but just the thought… and then again – you never know what the future holds.

Me and my man are heading across the pond to Trump land very soon for a holiday and family visit.  We and an unexpected and very welcome offer a bed for three nights in New York with a friend I don’t know awfully well but look forward to getting to know better.  Knowing she is there, and the other truly lovely and generous souls that we will see and celebrate the good stuff with balances out the dread in my heart of seeing this wonderful country in the grip of such a maniac.

My Mum and her partner Nancy had their 90th & 80th respectively birthday celebration. It was a fine family do, with all the great traditions of our family do’s and none of the drama.  And Yorkshire is just glorious.

I am walking my talk and making changes to my business structure that will allow me space to work on new plans and ideas.  Well done me.  Onward indeed.



4 Comments leave one →
  1. sophie Walters permalink
    September 13, 2017 3:15 pm

    Go my little friend with a big heart xxxxx

  2. Alison Clarke permalink
    September 13, 2017 3:31 pm

    Love this darling.

    When are you off to America?

    Can we come and see you soon?

    Poor darling S back in hospital today.

    And today the divorce papers came through.


    Sent from my iPhone

  3. September 13, 2017 3:45 pm

    BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN. Soulful and insightful and funny too in parts. Thank you, as it is also a slap-me-and-wake-me-up call to pay half as much attention to that which gathers daily as an impenetrable miasma of ‘too much, too loud, too often, too awful’ and begs an internal review of an important life question ‘Exit, Voice or Loyalty’? (Hirschman … but in a different context). I bow to your observations and your perfectly-honed and admirable writing skills.

  4. September 13, 2017 9:12 pm

    Well ranted darlin. The news is bleak, but small things like the neighborhood, meeting together with wine and food and family shine a small light through all the murk. And when do you get the first cheque from the boy?

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