Honestly? Honesty

What quality do you value most in a friend?

I almost said loyalty, but if I do something wrong I hope a friend would let me know. I do think that’s really important. I guess I need to think about it though. One person’s honesty might be someone else’s severe criticism. I would prefer to know what a friend honestly thought without it breaking our friendship.

What that means is that we could mutually agree to disagree if politics or some other belief was coming between us. For instance having mutual respect if you followed different religions. I can’t see why that would end a friendship. Unless of course one of you had inhumane ideas. In which case I don’t think we could be friends in the first place.

By the way I apologise for pontificating in these prompt posts. But they make me think about things, and they are here to be answered….

Why not loyalty? Because that might mean the friend backs you up even if you’ve done something wrong. I’d prefer them to nudge me and say they think I’ve made a mistake. OK I’d prefer constructive criticism in that case (what a polite world I want to live in)! Sometimes though I honestly need a serious criticism. Nobody is perfect after all…..

One of Those questions….

What jobs have you had?

OK, I will admit to having jobs, a few of them, but I’m not saying what.

Why? We give out a lot of information freely over the Internet. Stuff that only friends and relatives need to know. If you start telling everyone everything then other people can steal your identity.

People here know I’m trying to be an artist, and that I have done various jobs in my life. But to write it all down in a post asking what jobs you have done? That seems a little unsafe. Data protection is important and if I tell things that I don’t want people to know, I think I’m being foolish.

That said feel free to tell me all about yourself. I promise not to steal or use your data!?

Tell me everything that you do

So I can tell you my story too

And I won’t tell

Jobs you do well

I won’t lie, I will be true….

Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that want your information. Whether it’s your jobs, or bank details, what year you were born, your star sign. Where you went to school. How many jobs you had. We think of sites like this as a friendly forum, and in the main it is. But sometimes it’s better to be circumspect. X

Not exactly

Do you practice religion?

I was bought up as a Christian, and I still believe in some of the ideas behind it, kindness, helping others, charity.

But I’m not exactly religious, I think that we should love one another, turn the other cheek, try and show compassion and consideration. What missing in my world view is the need for a reward either on earth or in whatever heaven people believe in. I feel like needing that means that you are being bribed, in a way, to be good? I think people should care about everyone else. Maybe accepting a bit less if it means others can be looked after or ‘saved’. Life is hard enough without selfishness….

So my answer is that I don’t practice religion, but I try to live by some of its rules. I am as hypocritical as the next person though as I don’t follow all the ideals of Christianity. For instance there are commandments like not eating shellfish. Perhaps in the past that was more important because they might be tainted and dangerous to eat in hot weather? There are lots of other rules I don’t follow, like not eating meat on Friday. But in the end surely we must not be tied up in strange rules but consider others and show we care?

I would say I am an agnostic, not sure what I believe in, not an atheist and totally irreligious. The universe is such a vast place that something might exist. But whatever it is would be so large that I would be like a gnat to be swatted by it. But if ‘it’ is infinite, perhaps it has infinite knowledge and understanding too?

A long time ago…

I couldn’t find a photo of an old PC

Do you remember life before the internet?

I do remember, but it’s a long time ago. I even remember the time before PC’s. I can remember seeing them at school just before I left. Obviously there were computers before that but they were massive things with rotating discs of tape, or before that mechanical calculators that could be used to work out enemy codes for combating attacks in war.

I think the “Internet” was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I’m not sure exactly when, but he came up with the idea of the “World Wide Net”. The idea of a Web of knowledge was often talked about in science fiction stories as I was growing up. Computers had strange names like “multivac”? They would become sentient over time and would decide to take over how humans ran the world, realising the damage we were doing. Often only being foiled in their plans by some ingenious human.

I guess what they were talking about fifty or sixty years ago is what could come from ChatGPT now. And the Internet, which could be seen as a huge web of synapses, might allow that spark of genius to ignite.

Would the Internet have emotions? Or would it rather be senseless as it has no way really to experience them. So many questions that have been investigated in the old style of science fiction stories. Not the “cowboys in space” sort, but old fashioned storytelling by people like Issac Asimov, or Arthur C. Clarke, or others of their era. Literature may have some answers for us.

I remember the time before the Internet. It was good to do adventurous things, and we had to learn things from books. Sometimes it was very boring. But I do remember the moon landings. So exciting!


What are you good at?

Paintings on display yesterday.

If I had to say what I was good at number one would be painting and art. Fourth years ago I went to college to do Fine Art, then I recently completed a course in illustration.

Art makes me happy. I love to paint acrylics on canvas and also watercolours. To me art is manipulating liquids or solids on a flat or shaped surfaces. I am good at using paint, pastels, ink, wax, pencils, felt pens. I also enjoy creating images digitally. I’m lucky to have good hand eye coordination. So I can copy most things, I’m also fairly good at creating abstract images. I am very lucky to have art training. There are lots of skills that I have been privileged to learn.

Whatever I do I will always create art. It is part of my DNA I think!

Having all what?

What does “having it all” mean to you? Is it attainable?

I’d rather have happiness than ‘it all’ whatever that is? That could be money or personal belongings. But if billionaires aren’t happy or fulfilled why would I be. When I think about having it all I generally think of a lottery win, then I think about sharing my winnings, and whether there would be enough money to go round. And it’s not just family and friends, what about charities and support for other people. Why can’t they share in ‘having it all?’

I know about 80 men (not women) are richer than half the world’s population. That means 80 people have the same money as 4,000,000,000 men women and children. That’s insane. I don’t understand how they keep their money and don’t share it out?

Everyone seems to want ‘it all’ but what about fair shares? I can understand why if you have never had anything it might be attractive to have it all. But selflessness is surely a better way of living.

Life is difficult or almost impossible for a lot of people. The majority of people in the world¬† have almost nothing to live on. Who considers their needs? When political systems are more interested in corporate profit and money for shareholders than their citizens it’s not a good place to be…

And for me? I doubt it’s attainable now. I’m too old and grouchy to have it all!

The Green Man?

Who would you like to talk to soon?

I would like to speak to a mythological person. The Green man. I would ask him how he manages with leaves growing all over him including out of his mouth? Is he rooted to the ground or can he move around like Treebeard the Ent from the Lord of the Rings Story by Tolkien? I would also what literature he appears in so I can find new things to read….

It’s a weird question though, I could say a relative or friend, but no one here would know them, so I could say anything. I could make things up. The same goes for famous people, how would I know what to say to a rock star or a TV personality and of what relevance would my opinions have for them, or theirs to me?

I would like some answers about insurance or council issues, instead of having to deal with a bot or an answer machine. At least when you speak to a human they can understand nuanced ideas and arguments. Having to talk to a chat bot can limit communication, particularly if it can’t understand your accent. Sometimes I talk to a AI voice on the phone and it will think I said No when I said Yes. When I rang up the cinema for local showings of films it thought I asked for Edinburgh! So yes, the Green Man, why not?

Mom’s wedding ring

What personal belongings do you hold most dear?

My wedding ring holds mom’s in place. Her hands must have been bigger than mine, hers would fall off without it. My ring is cheap, soft gold. I bought it myself for ¬£27 from a jewellery store when we were getting married. Mom’s wedding ring is heavier and I’m sure higher quality. It’s slowly wearing mine away as they have rubbed against each other for about ten years. It was her bequest to me when she died, and every time I look at it I am reminded of the strong supportive woman she was. She allowed me to go to college when she could have insisted that I found a job. She helped me with my spelling when I was younger (I was in a low stream at school because I couldn’t see properly). They tested my eyes and I got glasses, mom helped me catch up by helping me with spelling. 100 words at a time! I got put up into the top stream at school. Mom encouraged my artistic endeavours. She would even show people my drawings.

She raised me and my siblings after our father died and went out and did two jobs to support us. She learnt to drive so she could transport us to places. She even took us out to Chinese meals and taught us how to use chopsticks. So many good and odd memories! She raised us to be polite and thoughtful. I am forever in her debt.

Too many!

A green stone

Do you have any collections?

Stones, rocks and crystals. Glass paperweights. Books. Plants (mainly Christmas cactuses). Cat ornaments. My paintings and art.

One small terraced house. Two bedrooms, one living room. Cluttered. I’m trying to declutter a bit, but it’s hard when you collect (or is it hoard?) things.

I tried counting the books once, but when I got to 1000 I gave up. I collected Terry Pratchettand and Ann McCaffrey books, also Ellis Peters (Brother Cadviael books). I might have spelt it wrong. I like science and biography, novels and history, too many…

Cat ornaments range from sculptures to small home made clay objects. I have most of them in the living room, sitting on the mantlepiece.

I also collect too much art supplies. I have lots of felt pens, brushes, paints, canvases. Yes it’s cluttered. So I need to organise everything. Have a spring clean. Dust off the glass paperweights, the cats, my paintings. If something happens to us goodness knows what my relatives will think!


Lost mural of Burslem Riot that was destroyed in a fire

My legacy is my art. I have painted for years. I hope that someone wants them when I’ve gone.

I was involved in painting several murals over my time as an artist, but sadly most of them have been destroyed in one way or another. I painted a mural in the stairwell of the Unemployment action centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent just after I finished college. Then we found the building was going to be demolished. So myself and a friend got permission to go in and take photos. Unfortunately the photographs came back blank. The film had not been attached to the spool and was not exposed!

Then I painted some murals with a council art group. Over a few weeks we worked on a school canteen (alien/ sci-fi landscape) a ward at a hospital (images of Stoke-on-Trent to aid elderly patients memories), and a memorial for the 1914 to 18 war. All of these were demolished.

Finally I did twelve murals at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. This took me the good part of two years on and off. The painting above was a mural I did of the Burslem riot of 1842? I researched it and a lot of the characters were based on local Burlem residents and people who worked at or frequented the Leopard. All of the murals were destroyed in a fire that burnt down the hotel.

I have also painted scenery for the local pantomime and Mystery plays, but I don’t know what has happened to them.

What is the legacy you want to leave behind?

So if this isn’t my legacy what is? All the paintings and artwork I have created over the years since I was a child. Not all of them still exist. Art turns out to be quite ephemeral in some ways. But I’ve sold enough that, if no one wants the ones I still have, the rest have gone to new owners. Even if they were to appear in charity shops, I hope that some do find good homes.