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… 🙂
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…
How many languages do you speak?
English, and a smattering of French – oh, and bad. I must admit I’m a bit of a natural when it comes to bad language…
What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?
I’ve just finished reading ‘What She Lost’ by Susan Elliot Wright – a fictional story about the relationship between a particular mother and daughter that inevitably made me cry – and I’m also working through the non-fiction self-help book ‘Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers’ by Karyl McBride, PhD 🙂
We’re currently watching ‘Long Lost Family’ on TV as I write this post, and we’re about to eat some piping hot bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice-cream… Mmmmm… 🙂
What was the last photo you took with your phone?
Well apart from the pic of the books I took to illustrate the previous question, this is the view from half-way along the top deck of an everyday London double-decker bus – actually the 257 taking me from Leytonstone to Stratford yesterday afternoon, and I only took the pic because I was bored and I was wondering how my phone camera would manage the difference in exposure between the inside of the bus and the outside…
What is your favourite time of day?
Either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, when I’m tucked up safe and warm in my bed. I’m feeling a bit vulnerable just now, and it really shows in anwers like this…
For more answers for this week please see Share Your World: 15 May 2017 🙂
TV News, when I was younger, was something you only ever received in tightly-scheduled one-hour fixed slots at lunchtime, tea-time, and bed-time. And the news was… well… the news, not some 24-hour lifestyle-magazine conveyor-belt consisting of a continuous series of soundbites, suppositions and pseudo-scoops interspersed with the odd snippet of actual, factual information.
In the old days it seems to me that headline items were chosen with care and filler items added or discarded as necessary; prurient points took precedence and everything else followed in descending order afterwards. Basically all the fancy fluff and guff we have to wade through to find the bare bones of the story these days was missing. News was a serious business, delivered in a serious manner – well, mostly.
I have many fond memories of the final item of the Ten O’Clock News every night – the lovely Trevor Macdonald with his ‘And finally…’ story right at the end, usually something light-hearted or amusing or just plain silly to report to lift our spirits from all the inevitable doom and gloom of global daily disaster that we had been informed of over the preceding fifty-something minutes.
But nowadays it feels like the opposite occurs – we have multiple so-called ‘news’ channels streaming non-stop light-hearted nothingness all day with any news of real worth being slotted in randomly around the rest. God, I’m such a grumpy old woman these days, I seem to be turning into a real dinosaur, truly out of place in the modern world! 🙂
Sometimes life feels a bit like a maze, and at others it feels more like a minefield. And right now it feels like both at the same time… a bit like being in the maze from the Tri-Wizard Cup where untold threats lurk ominously around every shape-shifting corner, and nothing is quite what it seems…
So however tempting it may seem to rush headlong into the fray and simply thrash about until I can force my way through, instead of haring about hither and thither I’m going to take my cue from the slow and steady tortoise and plod onwards step by step, taking my time and picking the best way forward for me, in the hope that wherever life takes me, I’ll get there in the end one way or another, and that the journey does indeed matter as much as the destination…
Far too many mixed metaphors in this post, but that’s probably a clear sign of just how confused and muddled my brain is at the moment. Come to think of it, my mind can be a bit of a maze too! 🙂
When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?
Never shoes indoors, I find them too uncomfortable, but other than that it depends on how cold it is at any given time – so in the winter usually slippers, in the summer generally barefoot, and through spring and autumn most likely socks 🙂
What was your favourite food when you were a child?
I don’t really remember a favourite food as a child – but I know I loved the mobile baker’s van that came round every Saturday morning in our rural farming community. The buttery-yeasty-sweet smell of baker-fresh bread and pastries and cakes is all blended in my memory with the wood-smell of the paper-lined trays displayed at an enticing angle in purpose-built racks on each side of the central galley-way within the van, coupled with the smell of the grease-dotted crisp paper bags filled with goodies we clutched in delight after each making our individual purchase 🙂
Are you a listener or a talker?
I was a very shy child and so used to be mainly a listener, but studying for my degree in my late thirties taught me to speak up and speak out about topics I feel passionate about, so now in my fifties I’d say I’m probably a bit of both – but even when I do have something to say I’ll usually listen to others first.
Favourite thing to (pick one) photograph, write, or cook?
I love all three, so for me I’d choose:
Photographing – landscapes
Writing – poetry – haiku, limericks, sonnets
Cooking – do I have to choose one thing? Hearty stews and big family meals in huge pots…
If you want to read everyone else’s answers for this week, or join in yourself, please see Cee’s Share Your World