Owly

Wh-ooo-oo you looking at?

My old handbag I just found in a box. I still like it and might uses it occasionally. I have a similar one with different eyes. Perhaps I should give them to charity shops. I like black and white photos and I chose a filter called impact which gives stronger contrast and less greys shades.

I think the decorations on the bag give it a sinister frown!

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!

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.

2000 emails

I finally got my email to work, not on my phone, but on my PC. Help! I found around 3800 emails..

I have deleted about 2000 of them. Mainly notifications from WordPress about all the wonderful blogs here! I think there are about 30 to 40 emails I need to action. Mainly to apologise for not getting back in touch.

A few times I caught the wrong bit of the line of the email (missing the delete box) that clears the ones due to be deleted. At one stage I’d got up to 200 pending deletions! I gave up then, my arm was too painful and shaking to be able to concentrate. Will do more tomorrow… First world problems… I will try and continue to be tenacious.

I need more stock.

I have a stall soon

I’m doing a craft fair soon but I haven’t replaced the paintings I have sold with new ones. I need to get my act together and paint. I just feel a bit down. This has been going on for weeks. I think its artists block? I know why, lots of thoughts on my mind and anxieties, so I prevaricate because I don’t want to get things wrong. I’m fine when things are going OK, but sometimes I let things get on top of me. I will try and sort my mind out this week! Then hopefully I will have new work to show you…..

Retired

How do you balance work and home life?

Balance, what’s that?

Retired: bored or busy?

Sometimes life sucks

Other times it’s lovely.

Time passes quickly

Flowers grow, and fade

Trees shed leaves

And bud.

Stay up late

Lose the daylight

A twylight time?

Prevaricate and regret…

Loss of what’s left…

I should work more

But my mind is tied

In gossamer threads

Of nothing…

Frustrated by

My lack of

Vision and

Determination

To do more…

Boat house

Picturesque

There it sits, down by the lake. How old is it? Are there boats still moored inside? A life belt is still attached to the back wall as the wood gently greens and rots… .

I’ve never been down the steep steps to the shore, it’s green and slippery and there is no handrail. If I was young I would explore. The reeds and rushes are starting to grow up, and no doubt moorhens or coots will be nesting there soon. Chicks still waiting to be laid in their eggs. There are Canada geese about. Life is renewing.

I was in it!

What was the last live performance you saw?

Our choir members sang at a celebration for the completion of a project a few weeks ago. We were involved with a performance at The Potbank hotel at Spoke in Stoke on Trent, which also included the Boat Band (above). Our choir leaders are members of the band. We sang sea shanties and some interesting pieces, like the Eerie Canal and A Wonderful World which Louis Armstrong sang.

Being part of a choir is something I would recommend for helping your mental health. I only sing a couple of times a week and wish I could do more. Singing takes you out of yourself. Singing at a performance boosts your confidence. I’ve sung many times over the years and I don’t get overwhelmed with nerves anymore. OK it’s usually only to a few people, but if I’m giving pleasure to other people then that’s good.

As to an actual performance that I saw, but was not involved in? That goes back a few years I think. We went to the theatre and saw a play about suffragettes. It was interesting, it brought out a lot of the issues women were affected by in those days. I wish I could remember what it was called? It’s so long ago that I’ve forgotten! I don’t know if it was during or before the pandemic? Life can be hard to remember!

Obelisk

By a lake, an old obelisk. No inscription except carved trysts, g+j, p+b? How old are they? The letters are neatly carved, so I would guess early twentieth century, when people were taught to be neat (even when defacing this!). I guess they will be related to the owners of the hall? I would have taken a close up but other people wanted to take photos. Perhaps we will go back and investigate more. There may be details on the websites. Whatever it signifies or memorialises, it is a strong statement on the hill above the lake….

Mostly scientists

List the people you admire and look to for advice…

Issac Asimov, three laws of robotics

Carl Sagan, pale blue dot, astronomer and scientist

Noel Fitzpatrick, exceptional veterinary surgeon

Marie Curie, discovered Polonium and Radium

Sir Patrick Moore, famous amateur astronomer,

Sir Oliver Lodge, invented the spark plug

Dr Jane Goodall, primatologist

Rosamund Franklin, jointly discovered DNA, British Chemist

David Attenborough, naturalist, broadcaster and environmentalist

Chris Packham, Environmentalist and broadcaster

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, discovered Pulsars

Mary Anning, discovered fossils.

Albert Einstein, General and Special theories of relativity.

Richard Feynman, American physicist. Wrote ‘Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman’ and other books.

Is that a long enough list? I like to try and understand basic science, I don’t know enough, but I try and get some understanding. I think Asimov got me thinking about science at an early age. He not only wrote science fiction, but books about chemistry and other sciences. So I found out about the early chemist’s, physicists and astronomers. By reading his books they introduced me to Carl Sagan, who wrote books such as Cosmos.

At the same time I used to (and still do) watch ‘The sky at night’ on TV. So I learnt a bit about astronomy, but also about people like Jocelyn Bell-Burnell who discovered pulsars, and other scientists including Issac Newton.

David Attenborough introduced me to gorilla’s, in his TV programme ‘life on earth’ and so I heard about Jane Goodall and her work with primates.

Finally in the 1970’s there was a TV series that dramatised the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie. Having read about her in Asimov books it was fascinating to see what she had been doing in the early twentieth century.

It’s a random list, but it helps me explain my interests…