Jack Frost

Trying to draw Frost from my memory. Not easy. I couldn’t get the feathery patterns that it makes. Drawn in ArtRage oils. Working between metallic and non metallic white on a blue background.

I remember going to bed in the cold. The Frost built up inside the windows. Our breath condensing on the glass. I was on the window side of the room (I shared with my sister) and the curtains were thin and yellow. Behind them a wide windowledge, then wooden window frames with curly cast iron handles to open them. I’d look out on freezing nights and see ‘Jack frost’ on the panes. If it was really cold we were allowed to put the one bar electric heater on until we got in bed under eider downs and our school macs to keep warm under. I’d often sleep with my coat over my head. Breathe warm air on my hands and try and stop shivering. We only got double glazing to our n family home after I’d left for college I think….

Life changes.

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Thinking about how much life has changed since I cooked toast on our gas fire.

In the 1970’s we had electric central heating installed downstairs in our house. This was installed by our council. But my mom would not have it on because of the cost. We used to sleep with our outdoor coats on top of our sheets, blankets and eiderdowns to keep warm. In the winter there was always frost on the inside of the bedroom window. Sometimes really thick ice.

Now my home has double glazing (single at my mom’s house till the 1980’s). Central heating. The water is usually hot, where we were only allowed to put the heater on for an hour at night at my old home.

Also computers were just coming in and calculators were introduced when I was a teenager. Now they are everywhere. “go online” is the mantra.

Electric cars? Maybe imagined in the 1960’s to be everywhere by the turn of the century, and people really thought there woukd be flying cars.

Bad stuff now… Too much plastic… Too much pollution. But there were shop wrecks like the Torrie canyon and the Exxon Valdiz that poured millions of gallons of oil into the sea and destroyed sea bird colonies.

What else? Our phone, when we got it was a big green one, with a hand held ear and mouthpiece attached to the phone body by a curly wire. The phone itself had a dial with holes lined up with numbers on it. To dial a number you put your finger in a hole then pulled it round the dial until you got to a stop then the dial turned the other way and you dialled the next number… Now, well we have mobile phones, hand held computers like in star trek.

Other things, better medication, more cures for cancer, more treatments, more, older people.

The thing is, the more we have, the more we want…. Catch 22….