Money….

Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised.

George Orwell.

Well, I wanted to say something about money (or the lack of it), and then I saw this quote. I also found the map of deprivation in and around the area where I live.

I don’t mind admitting this area is poor. Lots of jobs have gone over the years as local industry has closed. Families that had three generations working in the same industry together have lost such a lot. Not through their own fault, but through lack of support and outsourcing of work. Factories have closed, and been demolished, when perhaps they could have been reused. With global warming they wouldn’t necessarily have been able to keep going, but something could have happened to make people’s lives better.

What is missing? Money, investment, something more substantial than the short term, selfish, unfair world that we seem to live in. When governments fail to help and support their people, and rely instead on charity we have come to a bad point in life. The poor become the despised for not ‘getting on’. People start to identify undeserving poor, and blame them for their miseries instead of seeing that the system is broken. When people who care are called snowflake or whatever other derogatory comment that can be hurled at them, we are in a bad place.

Trying to explain meditation.

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When I tried to learn to meditate, first I bhad to breathe in and then breathe out, to try and concentrate on my breathing. Count your in breathe for four seconds, pause, then breathe out for three, pause. If you start to feel dizzy just go back to normal shallow breathing. Counting helps take your mind off other thoughts. When you feel calm tighten and then relax your toes, then your calves, thighs, back, belly, hands, arms shoulders, neck and head. Each part of your body is hopefully then relaxed. If you fall asleep that’s OK. If you feel like it, you can imagine yourself walking down ten stairs, they are covered in nice carpet, you choose the colour of the walls, you are safe and can hold on to a stair rail. At the bottom there is a door with a crystal handle. You open the door and go into a warm room with an open fire and a beautiful sofa. There is a cupboard where you can put your worries in. The worries will have disappeared if you open the cupboard again. You can sit or lie on the sofa and relax. For a really deep meditation as you sit on the sofa you can go through relaxing your body in your minds eye again. This was the first meditation I ever did at a yoga class. I try and remember it when I am feeling stressed. If anyone here knows different methods please share?

Cooking toast.

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When I was a child I used to cook toast-on the gas fire!

I would come home from school and warm up in front of the fire, warming my toes, feet, hands and face. We didn’t have central heating, so only the living room was warm. I was older than my siblings so this was my job. Slices of white bread hooked onto the bars on the front of the gas fire with a metal fork. A few seconds and you turn the bread over. Delicious hot toast and I guess margarine because we couldn’t afford butter. If it was a Sunday I sometimes cooked crumpets. They are like a savoury bread like a muffin but full of holes  through the middle of them and at the top of them so when they have butter or margarine spread on them it melts right through the middle of them.

I remember the lovely smells of toast and margarine, together with a hot cup of tea in small cups with orange and brown patterns on them.

This memory was prompted by a question on the Alchemists blog page which asked for memories of being cozy. It’s good to uncover old memories like this.

X

Hoping for rain in Australia.

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I have been thinking of friends over in Australia that are being affected by the wild fires. I’m not religious, so I don’t say I pray for them, but I do hope they get rain, even though its the height of summer.

I saw a photo yesterday from the international space station, it showed the extent of the fires. It looked as if the whole country was burning, all at the same time. The photo was a composite over several days and weeks, but people were misunderstanding it.  I think that was wrong. If people are going to combat climate change they need accurate data, otherwise reports could be classed as fake news. That would effect the credibility of reporting. The world needs to forget about starting wars and get on with helping the environment.

Pareidolia

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Had to look this up….

“Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in a random stimulus.”… “This often leads to people assigning human characteristics to objects. Usually this is simplified to people seeing faces in objects where there isn’t one.”

I definitely have this, whether it is a positive or negative thing. I see patterns in most things. I’ve drawn over this picture which I’d mirrored from a photo, so you can see the images I could see in it. I haven’t drawn everything I could see, and I’ve used a bit of artistic licence.

Brain fizzing..

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It’s a few years old and I’ve used various drawing apps, so I can’t remember exactly what I used to get these effects. Does it matter? I guess if I want to replicate it. I feel my brain fizzing as I look at it, what was I thinking when I drew it? Some thoughts about illustration, about science, come to mind. I like it!

Merry Christmas x

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You may or may not be celibrating Christmas, but can I wish you a happy  and peaceful Christmas and send seasons greetings. It may not be the best time of the year for many of us. But at least if people take a little time to think about others then things might improve in the world.

Not everyone is religious and the season does not have the same meaning for everyone. That doesn’t mean that anyone should be excluded from good wishes.

It’s difficult to write about this as I am agnostic, I am not sure what I believe, but I think respecting others is what I am getting at. There are too many wars and fighting. Sending love.