Just to let you all know I’m going to be away for the next couple of weeks, as I’ll be visiting my family in Scotland – will catch up with you all once I get back! 🙂
One moment eveything is normal, and the next you can find yourself catapulted into a situation wholly unimaginable only moments earlier. Suddenly what was is no longer – that safe, comfortable previous place has gone, your world has shifted on its axis and instead you are faced with a different reality, forever changed. And all at once you know that nothing will ever be the same again…
Unrelenting city living leaves me feeling uncomfortably adrift. I grew up in a rural farming community on the North East coast of Scotland, where the cycle of life continued with reassuring regularity. Each year had four distinct seasons, and each season played its own clear part in that cycle.
I invariably find myself searching out nature within the city, knowing almost instinctively when and where to look for those welcome signs of seasonal change, needing something of that old life to ground me and keep me anchored to the living earth beneath my feet.
Without regularly grounding myself in nature I find myself hopelessly adrift in a soul-destroying never-ending tread-mill world of brick and concrete and paving slabs, artificially lit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, year in year out with no respite…
I’m not one of life’s natural drifters happy to be carried along by the prevailing current, wherever it may take me. I like the feeling of being anchored, emotionally and physically, to my mooring of choice at any given time, sheltered within a safe harbour. I enjoy the familiar, the habitual, the everyday rituals of time and place that hold me in a recognisable pattern of my own making.
If one part of my life is unsettled and becomes detached, I hold tight to the rest until the unknown becomes comfortably known again. When too many things break free from their moorings all at the same time and I find myself all at sea I batten down the hatches and sit tight through the darkness of the storm as best I can. And once calm returns I emerge blinking into the light, salvage whatever I can from the wreckage all around me, and set out to find myself a new anchor point in life… 🙂
From my dad I’ve inherited my love of the outdoors, of spending time in nature, but from my mum I’ve inherited my love of reading. Now in my fifties, I have to say sitting outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine with a good book to lose myself in surely has to be one of my favourite pastimes in the world… ❤
Four Which Ways in Bush Wood, Leytonstone, East London taken on my phone while out for a walk the other day 🙂
I am notoriously bad at attending social events. I don’t ever mean to be so flaky about it all, but although my intentions are generally honourable when I initially say to people ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll come if I can make it…’ I frequently find myself finding a last-minute excuse that allows me to back out of whatever it is I’ve agreed to, and I just don”t go.
The thing is I truly want to feel OK about large gatherings, whether formal or informal. So I keep agreeing to attend in the hope that this time it will all be fine. I tell myself that it’ll be OK so the thought of looking lost and lonely and stupid standing in the corner all on my own won’t freak me out too much. But usually I freak out anyway and avoid the risk.
Yet here I am for the second year in a row planning to attend the Annual Blogger’s Bash to be held in London next month – and I’ve even bought my ticket, so I’ve committed myself to putting my money where my mouth is. I stressed and fretted so much before going to last year’s bash, but in spite of my reservations once I got there it was absolutely fine, everyone was really friendly. I met so many lovely people, and this year I hope to meet many more.
One of the things I found most heartening was that everyone in person was just like they were on their blog – in one sense we were complete strangers, but in another we knew each other quite well. So blogging for me has become so much more than just an online space to explore my creativity – it has turned out to be not only about being an individual blogger but also about belonging to a wider blogging community, which is an amazing gift.
So hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you at the bash next month – you’ll easily recognise me, I’ll be the one standing alone in the corner freaking out, slightly flushed with nervous red blotches, waiting for the floor to open up and swallow me whole… 🙂
I don’t do Twitter (or Instagram, or Snapchat for that matter) and I must admit I’m not really sure what it’s actually used for – well, apart from bragging (or whining) on a daily basis about the wonders and woes of being US President – so this whole hashtag thing really confuses me. I mean, what is a hashtag for? I understand it’s a hash symbol (#), and it’s a tag like tagging someone in FaceBook except it’s a word not a person, therefore ‘hashtag’. I get that bit. But WHY?
What does Twitter actually do? My FaceBook account is bad enough – I have a personal profile shared only with friends and family, where I can post photographs and update my status and (through my newsfeed) catch up with other friends who also have FaceBook. And I use the term ‘friends’ to mean people I already know, as historically I’ve been relatively private about what I share with the world at large. It’s just a bit of fun, an added extra on top of other forms of communication between me and my real-life friends and family.
And now I have my blog here on WordPress, which is almost entirely virtual, and very much a public online space for me to share my poems and photographs and random musings on life. Through our individual blogs we are all seeking to make connections and build virtual friendships with other bloggers who we may then follow and who may also follow us. Strangers have become virtual friends. But to me there still appears to be a personal investment inherent in blogging that somehow seems to be missing in Twitter.
If blogging is more about the quality of personal interactions then tweeting to me seems to be all about the quantity – how many tweets, how many followers, however tenuous the links? Am I missing something? Am I missing out by giving Twitter a wide berth? Please help educate this social media dinosaur seeking enlightenment – hashtag confused… 🙂
When we were at school we read ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ by Oscar Wilde – a great big yawn for many, but I really loved it! It’s very different, reading a play rather than a novel, but all you need is a bit of imagination to bring it to life in your mind.
I certainly far prefer a farcical comedy of yesteryear to the farcical politics of today – at least the former was written with the intention of being laughed at…
Washing drying on a line for Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week 🙂