Friday, 30 January 2015

Normal is an abyss or a bun

I view my life as though it's almost at its end: holding it under review and finding myself anxious that I made no mark. That can't be normal. One should be out there doing stuff. My habit of introspection is ingrained, and while it's far from being a despicable thing it probably shouldn't be one's default position. When one reviews one's life and finds little in it, then it becomes like staring into an abyss. Its emptiness becomes attractive, drawing one in. There's everything to be said for having a short attention span. A jam doughnut (among many other things) will infallibly draw me away from the edge.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Self and ourselves

I remember! The proposition was that I've forgotten how to blog. My posts used to be quite open about myself. I've been re-reading some of them and find that I'm surprised by how much I revealed not just about myself but about my life and the people in it. Even a little scared by the potential harm that might have done: or perhaps did. Too late now, but I don't see me recapturing that person. Much too wary. My then self revelled in telling more or less all. Perhaps it's a better way to be. Now I might be hurt less, but maybe I miss out on, what? Experiences? It's ironic, but you might say experience teaches some of us to resist experience.
At its most basic living is no more than being alive but we qualify living as though there are different ways of being alive, and arrange them in a hierarchy of worth. Sitting in a shed all day some consider a life style less worthy than going out and having fun. And then again these two styles, that of the hermit and that of the hedonist, are considered less worthy by some people than a life spent in public service. I try not to take this view, since I generally have a problem with censoriousness, but perhaps I am a bit more inclined to it than I like in myself. The trouble is we don't know what we're meant to be doing. Naturally some of us embrace beliefs and creeds, either worked out for ourselves or adopted from somebody else, which tell us what to do with our lives; some of us think pleasure's good enough; some of us think to learn more about ourselves will eventually satisfy us. Many more of us don't think too much about anything, and are seemingly happy enough. But all this is a luxury of wealth and leisure. In many parts of the world people's lives are spent struggling with or fighting against poverty or oppression or both. In too much of the world the luxury of debating meaning is subsumed into an effort to stay alive.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Funny thing 

I've forgotten how to blog. Wrote to my MP a little while ago about fracking and got a courteous reply which didn't give an inch on the Government's intention to amend the law of trespass so that frackers can excavate around our houses in order to wash the gas out of shale. Apparently the Energy Department says everything will be alright. That age old principle of natural justice that one can't be a judge in one's own court doesn't apply to the Energy Department. If they say there's no problem then there isn't a problem. I was talking to a friend who signed a petition to his MP on this matter and he got precisely the same answer, word for word. The defences are up, frackers have paid the money, and fracking is what we're going to get. Apparently it's all so deep we won't feel a thing. So water, sand, and chemicals will be blasted at the rock under our homes in order to extract the gas. More shit left in the ground for future generations. My MP says we've already allowed other people access to the ground under us, so what's a little fracking between friends. So far as I know gas, electricity and the Underground (his examples) don't extract stuff, or pump chemicals in.
The real problem, of course, is the political system. It's incapable of facing up to the fact that fossil fuels are finite, and eventually we'll be forced to put more effort into finding alternatives. Politicians find it difficult to take decisions which will affect their chance of being re-elected. Which of them is going to buck the vested interests, persuade electors that they will have to cough up more money for new power projects, and take unpopular steps to restrict energy use?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Taken to lunch in Tom Kerridge's two Michelin starred pub in Marlow today. You have to book ages in advance to eat there but I was the lucky beneficiary of somebody having to drop out because of a book launch they'd forgotten they were supposed to be at. Not a real book, it turned out, but an online book about elearning. Don't really understand what that is, and nor did any of her friends, so at least I didn't have to spend the time being puzzled by arcane technicalities.
The food was okay. Well, mostly alright, sometimes beautiful. Can't say I took to Portobello mushroom puree, and the halibut was fairly tasteless, but then the ultra fashionable salted caramel filling in the chocolate cake had me marvelling, and the pork crackling was such as I can only dream of producing. Anyway my point isn't about the food: and only tangentially about its (silly enough) cost. I'll say for the place that it has gone a long way toward knocking the stuffiness out of this sort of experience. I was expecting it to be trying to make me uncomfortable, which is my experience with some places not remotely as good, but it's relaxed, friendly, with nice staff. It did make me uncomfortable, however, but in a different way. The conspicuous consumption, which such places represent, leaves me with feelings of unease. They embrace the conspicuously privileged and mask the disparity between those with money and those without, perhaps to the point where we are able to forget it. I'm not so sure I'm yet ready to do that.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Further to my last blog, I found this report on the Boko Haram outrage:

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The terrorist attacks in France have been shocking. More than that, one also worries that in their aftermath governments may use the resulting panic to extend their intrusion into our lives, thus giving an extra measure of success to the attackers. It's a concern, however, that we seem to allow each succeeding horror to expunge from our memory those which went before. Sometimes we rush from one event to another, apparently avid for sensation, apparently happy to lose our perspective. Have we forgotten, for instance, those schoolgirls abducted by the inhuman, wicked Boko Haram? And where are the reports of this group's latest, reportedly biggest, massacre? Alright, so we can't keep everything in the forefront of our minds, but nor should we forget.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

This is quite strange. My first blog since September 2012. Marked my change with a new typeface. A lot's happened. Lost some treasures to death. Lived in Spain, first in Cadiz, then El Puerto de Santa Maria, for nearly two years. Found a boyfriend; lost a boyfriend. Worked in bars, and for a sherry producer, and a tour company. Rested a lot. My CV isn't rivetting. Usual emotional ups and downs. Gained years but probably not wisdom. Realised that everything I thought I knew about people is crap. The more sane I got the more I realised how boring I am (and always was) but couldn't give a fuck. Sold a few paintings; wrote appallingly bad poems while remaining convinced I was the new Manley Hopkins (without God - which, of course, is impossible); corresponded with people; propped some up, and kissed quite a lot of others.

That's me. I'm just leaving an alive trace, not craving attention, but I hope you're all well. xx
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