I will always be grateful for my mother’s encouragement for me to go to art college. She had to work to support us all and when I finished school she might have insisted that I work full time.
Instead she let me go to college (though I had a couple of part time jobs). I initially went on a preparatory course, then left home to do my degree.
I was aware that my cousin who was also artistic had to go to work in a factory and forget her dreams. I don’t know what happened to her after I moved away. But in my case I was always welcomed home in the holidays.
I’m glad my mom gave me the freedom to do art. Learning has always been something that I enjoyed, and to do a subject that I love? I will always be eternally grateful to her.
Going home over the years I realised how proud she was of me. She was always encouraging us all to do the best we could.
It was very cold last night so I left the central heating on low. The sky had cleared and I think it was down to – 6°C last night. I was reading in bed, propped up under my moon nightlight, but I was sleepy. Suddenly Thud! The book had fallen on the floor and I had woken with a crick in my neck. I was cold and achy. The moon was clear and bright up in the sky, shining in through the window. Apparently last night there was a 20°C difference between the the coldest place in the UK, about – 16°C and the highest 4°C, so we were about a middling temperature.
Then I thought about anybody in an unheated house, or who are stuck outside in a tent or on the streets. What about them? I was in an old bed, in an old house, but I am so much luckier than a lot of people. Why is there such inequality?
After I drew the laburnum arch I looked through the photos I took at the weekend and realised I could have drawn this instead. I don’t remember seeing it before, but it is quite striking. One thing about the UK is the greenery. Once spring and summer arrives the greens burst out. Yes we do get drought conditions, but we are very lucky compared with many places.
How lucky to have glasses, to be able to see. I didn’t always wear glasses. My poor eyesight was only picked up in eye screening at school. I don’t remember things being blurred or hard to see. Did I sit at the front of the class? I don’t know. I remember my first glasses. They had beautiful blue frames. I learnt to be patient as the optician looked into the back of my eyes. Shining a light so I could see the blood vessels reflected somehow onto my retinas.
Rugby ball shaped eyes were the diagnosis. Short sighted. Suddenly I could see the world clearly. I felt freed from a struggle I did not know I had been going through. I only realised how bad my eyesight was when I learnt to swim. I couldn’t wear my glasses in the swimming pool and I could not recognise my friends unless they came close.
Now I understand why I got lost on a beach a few years before! I could not see my family when I wandered off. And why I got lost on a caravan site. I could not see the numbers on the vans…. Yes I am lucky. I wish others could be too…
We had a Thai meal tonight. Look away if you don’t like prawns. Very tasty, low carbohydrates. With mussels, squid and scallops.
Sometimes it’s good to try something new, rather than having the same food every day. But then I am lucky to have that opportunity. Its difficult to know how the first world can do so much when so many other people in the world have nothing or next to nothing….
We visited a pub in September 2017 called the bleeding wolf which is on the A34 pub just North of Stoke on Trent in Rode Heath.
This is something I’ve missed doing in lockdown, just going out and visiting places outside the city. Enjoying the countryside. The feeling of freedom.
But even now I’m luckier than many people. I do have a home and food and water. I can afford to pay for things I need. I keep reflecting on how things could be so much worse here. I hope you are all safe and well.