Maybe You’re Just NOT THAT Creative !

Sorry. But it could be true.

But hey, it doesn’t matter if you don’t mind.

Just don’t try telling other people what to make, write, draw, design, sew, compose.

Maybe you think you have something special going on. Maybe you think you have something to sell. Maybe you’re going to be the next big thing. That what you do is ‘my creativity’. Maybe you have urges to make things. But where does true creative talent end and hobby craft begin?!

I know some people are going to read this and think ‘You sanctimonious bitch’, and you may be right.

This is going to be harsh. Look away if you have a weak stomach.

Top 30 Boo Hoo GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat
Fat Bastard says ‘Boo hoo’.
From gfycat.com

1. But my mum said my voice/painting/ is great

That’s wonderful, but don’t confuse parental praise with real, honest, healthy criticism. Of course your mum would say that, she’s your mum! And friends are, often, no better. They don’t want to HURT YOUR FEELINGS.

If you’re thinking of going professional, semi-professional, or exhibiting your creativity in public in any way, shape or form- you’re going to need a thicker skin.

I once spoke to an art student about what she was going to do after college. Sell my work in a gallery, was her naive response. HER WORK WAS SHITE! And what if they don’t like it? I asked politely. She stared at me as though I was saying something in a foreign language. This young woman had no idea how talentless she was.

Stop living in fantasy land. It’s just self-deception.

Be brutally honest with yourself.

Otherwise, things are going to get painful somewhere down the line.

2. Your creative endeavours are original

Are they? Really?

Nothing is original. Everything has been said before. We just try to find a unique way of re-purposing the original message. It might be that the wonky-eyed portrait of your pet poodle looks unique, but is it really creative. And let’s be honest, should you even expose the world to it?

Please don’t set up an Etsy shop, and proceed to fill it with tat. It is quite simply embarrassing. Don’t do that to yourself.

Why would anyone want to buy your shit?

Why do you think it merits equal attention as someone who has worked seriously and with total dedication for decades?

Look at it – it doesn’t!

3. You love being free and Bohemian, surrounded by tubes of paint/paper/fabric/instruments

You think this is the 60s? You want to remain in a student state of mind forever?

Time to grow up.

For most artists, creativity does not come from flopping around in silk dressing gowns, traipsing through a mist of linseed and oil paints. It’s fucking hard work.

You must work at honing your skills on a daily basis. You must practise your craft – and I use this word in it’s true sense; ‘skill, dexterity, strength, talent’. You must learn that what you created last year, is not as good as what you will produce this year. It is a never-ending striving to reach something over there.

Art doesn’t make itself. The tools of your trade, whether they be brushes and pens, electronic devices, piano, fountain pen or keyboard, will need to be used on a regular basis for you to learn what they can do. After that, your brain needs to be trained, put into gear and applied to the problem at hand.

One doesn’t simply wake up one day and dash off a masterpiece. Your painted stones with hideous dog and cat faces are NOT ART!

One does not simply. Made on imgflip.

4. I’m an introvert, therefore I must be creative

No. Not necessarily so.

Stamping INFJ, or whatever the fuck, all over your social media pages doesn’t make you a better person, or more interesting, or more thoughtful, or creative!

And then you get upset if someone passes a remark that doesn’t fit your idea of yourself. And weep copious tears so your ‘Followers’, or whoever, send hugs and kind thoughts, and tell you to ignore the vicious bitch in the corner, because you’re a ‘beautiful person’.

Bull. Shit!

Just because you class yourself as introvert, doesn’t mean you have to affect a delicate flower demeanour. Introverts live in the real world, we just need time to recoup energy away from other people.

Plus, just because you’re a ‘beautiful person’, doesn’t mean you have a ‘creative soul’.

5. But isn’t creativity whatever I say it is?

Well, if we’re sticking with creativity as meaning using one’s imagination to create something – to invent, then yes.

But simply painting from a photo is not using one’s imagination!

Making fan fiction – I hear a gasp of horror – is not true creativity. The honest truth is that most fan fiction is fucking awful, and why?

Because it is the soup of the soup. It can never be as good (or tasty) as the first/original.

Why is it that we can all spot a truly gifted sportsman or woman when we see them in action? We know that Serena Williams is one of the best tennis players, and that Usain Bolt cannot be beaten at his game.

Because we can see the evidence with our own eyes. When a footballer scores repeatedly, that tells us they’re one of the talented ones. We know who is the best, the talent oozes from gymnasts and boxers and cricketers.

But art is another thing. Most people won’t have a clue what makes Turner fucking amazing, whilst Tracy Emin is shite. Many will say that’s my personal opinion – and there’s the rub!

People today simply don’t have the ability to determine what is good and what is bad. Should we say that someone who has been practising their craft for over 30 years can have the right to make this decision?

But newcomers don’t want to know. And the talentless get mardy and whinge and whine because, “I have a right to make art as much as anyone.”

Yes, you do.

But don’t try telling an experienced and ‘time-served’ creative that you know better than him/her.

Maybe listen to criticism once in a while.

Perhaps give the experienced people the benefit of the doubt, and look at what you’ve created, and say ‘Shiiiit, I really am bad at this, maybe I ought to go and do something more useful with my time.’

And stop putting it on Etsy for fucks sake!

“There’s Something Terribly Wrong…”

V’s revolutionary speech – V for Vendetta

Many of you will be familiar with the graphic novel, or film of aforesaid, ‘V For Vendetta’, by Alan Moore. Moore is an English writer, primarily known for his graphic novels, who has written for ‘2000 AD’ and ‘D.C Comics’.

I thought, like the antagonist revolutionary; V, I’d take a moment to have this quiet rant…

V: Allow me first to apologise for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquillity of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, where upon important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this…day… by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.”

You see I’m going to reference V quite a bit! Many people at this time of year – Christmastime, claim to feel the joy of the season. Their sense of goodwill to all mankind lights up, and they feel better in themselves. But isn’t this all hypocrisy? How can one feel a sense of obligation and empathy for one’s ‘fellow man’ for a day or two, then disregard it for the rest of the year? How can those who follow religious doctrine claim to be caring and giving when they do not open their doors to the poor and homeless at this time of year? How can any of us claim to be feeling the ‘true meaning of Christmas’ whilst closing our doors and curtains against the bleak truth that there are thousands – if not millions, suffering right now?

“V: There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak…Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?”

And not just England – which is where V is set and to what he is referring. Take a look at where you live. Be honest. Is it truly a place of equality? Do all people really avoid the truncheon? Do those who speak out maintain their freedom? Or is your government frightening you into a state of impotent paralysis, whereby you feel unable to speak against it, or act against it? Or vote against it? Is your government smothering you with platitudes? Is your government telling outright lies that seem so unbelievable that – you simply cannot bring yourself to believe them?!

“V: Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.”

Is there a nation on Earth that does not have a system of surveillance anymore? In 2016, China had a reported 176 million surveillance cameras in operation, with plans to increase this number. The U.S. has approximately 15.3 cameras for every 100 individuals, followed by China with approximately 14.4 and the U.K. with 7.5. Other top 10 countries include Germany (6.3), Netherlands (5.8), Australia (4), Japan (2.7), France (2.5) and South Korea (2). So forget about your ‘western freedoms’; you are being watched, counted, surveyed – spied upon on a daily basis. And how do they get away with it? Because we let them. They say it is for our security and protection, but one has to wonder at the increasing level of CCTV’s around the world. And yet the ‘cruelty, injustice and intolerance’ are rarely recorded by these CCTV’s. These crimes are exposed by the people who happen to pull their phones out the fastest. And when these people stand up for what is right, and honest and true – someone somewhere silences them – or attempts to.

“V: I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. They were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic, you turned to… He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m innocent, no, far from it. I am as guilty as the next person. I am as complacent and self-serving as anyone who feels they should keep their head below the parapet of politics. I am comfortable and lazy with it! But our turning away is as bad, if not worse, than the act itself. We know these things are happening and yet….
We know the seas are choking on our plastic – OUR plastic, and yet…
We know the President/PM/Chancellor/Governor lied, and yet…

And yet…
…there are sparks of light in the darkness we all create. Individuals who shine so brightly, speak so passionately, hold up the truth to anyone who will look and listen, that they just cannot (or should not) be ignored.
2019 has seen a rise in young people calling out their governments. Youngsters who have revitalised the people’s passion in a variety of subjects. From gun laws, to education. From female empowerment to climate change.
I raise my glass; and invite you to do the same, to those brave individuals who have not been cowed, or restrained, who have spoken out with fierce determination against systems of oppression. They deserve our support, our thanks and most of all, our cooperation.
Some of them are familiar, some not so; depending on where in the world you live. So let us say ‘Thank you’ to:-

Hong Kong protests – Joshua Wong, age 23 years, helped organise the protests and the Umbrella Movement, criticized the oppression of protesters by the Hong Kong police, and the extradition draft law as pro-Beijing and called for the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam to resign.

The #NeverAgain movement – David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, Emma González, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind. The center of a massive youth movement for gun control after surviving a massacre that killed 17 of their classmatesat Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Jihye Yang, 22, is one of the leading youth feminist voices in South Korea, which was rocked this year by protests against a spate of illegal filming cases. Women have been recorded in their homes, on the streets, and even in toilets. Tens of thousands of women have marched in protest under the slogan “My life is not your porn”.

Alexandria Villaseñor, 14 years old – the founder of Earth Uprising, a global climate change movement, and one of the youngest organizers of the historic Sept. 20th Global Climate Strike, is on the front lines of the climate change movement.

Youth Climate StrikeGreta Thunberg, aged 16 years, was first pictured sitting alone outside Swedish parliament in a strike that she hoped would raise alarms among lawmakers. Soon, she had spurred an international movement of students striking on behalf of climate change.

V: So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of… government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the… [year] to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”

Well, I’m not suggesting we all gather around our parliament buildings on the 5th November or to conduct V-like Vendettas. But I am inviting you all to join these; and other, young people across the world in making things better, making things right. Forget slogans like ‘Make….Great Again’. None of the countries who use this phrase have ever had a decade which was great for all it’s citizens.
But they can be made great for the first time in their histories!

Have a peaceful holiday season wherever you may be. And remember, we can make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

Wishing you all a Very merry Christmas!

And a happy, healthy New Year.

V for Vendetta Christmas

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?!

I felt a strong urge to update this post – it’s currently the summer vacation time in UK for schools. (sigh) If you visit here regularly, you should be used to my irate rants by now, for newcomers; in the words of April Ludgate ‘Welcome to the terror dome.’

Image result for april ludgate welcome to the terrordome
April Ludgate from Parks and Recreation

So…..

If you don’t like profanity – stop reading.

If you don’t like being told what to do – stop reading.

If, as a parent, you don’t like other parents berating you – stop reading.

ETC. ETC.

*This primarily refers to the UK, parents from other countries are ‘available’.

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?!

I cannot tell you the number of times myself, a friend, or colleagues have said this.

First of all – once a parent, always a parent. It never stops, EVER, get that straight first off. Christ, my mother is 82 – and still worries about me and my brother! (Dad died this January 2019). She still has parental concerns. Still hopes we are managing okay.

Related image
New Parents Don’t Have a Social Life!

Secondary schools are busy telling 13 year olds that their GCSE options are the most important decision they will ever make. NOT TRUE!!

Listen up – There are only 2 – yes two – decisions you will make in life that have great importance.

1. Do I spend the rest of my life with this other person?

2. Should I/we bring another human being into the world?

That’s it. Everything else is gravy.

Assuming you, reading this, said ‘yes’ to number 2, then I hope you have thoroughly prepared yourself for a life devoted to another human being’s well-being until said being is a fully independent adult – (this might extend to 25 as the new scientists are saying this is the age of real maturity for humans today!)

Question – What do you think IS the role of a school teacher?

I recently read a comment on Twitter from a young mum. It was in response to a thread about young people today not being able to tell the time on an analog clock. What? she asked, were teachers doing these days. Why weren’t they teaching her daughter to tell the time? She was vaguely outraged. I responded – as you do on Twitter, without engaging my ‘Do you really want to get involved in this?’ brain portion as follows:

Me: My mum taught me how to tell the time. I taught my daughter how to tell the time. Not teachers. Why is it always the teachers fault?

Her: Good for you. I’d expect my kid to learn time in school considering she’s there 8 hours a day.

Let’s break this down – she expects her kids to learn to tell the time in school – because she did. Plus the Maths, Geography, History, English, General Studies, etc that teachers are required to teach. When have they got the time?(No pun intended). What is she doing with them herself if she cannot devote 20 minutes a day to play with her kids and incorporate time-telling?! Second, her kids are in school 8 hours a day?! I thought school day went from 9am to 3.30pm. A 6 1/2 hour day is usual, so unless they attend after-school clubs, I’m not sure where these 8 hours come from.

But the point is – teachers are now being asked to take on a bigger workload, why can’t you, the parent, do some of the work? It’s your child! You chose to have it!

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?!

Do you realise that in hundreds of primary schools across the UK, teachers are having to –

a)Teach children how to tie their shoelaces.

b)Teach children how to use a knife and fork.

c) Teach children how to blow their noses.

d)Teach children how to use the toilet.

e)Teach children how to write their own first name.

f)Teach children to be nice! FFS!

This is basic stuff folks. Your child should be able to do all of the above before he or she begins school. At this point I will say that in some instances, some kids aren’t going to be able to do these things, because they may have a physical difficulty; say cerebral palsy, which vastly reduces their co-ordination skills. In my experience, mostly, these parents have found ways to help their kids deal with this – so it’s not those parent’s I’m talking to – it’s the dolts who don’t give enough of a fuck to make an iota of effort to do something to help their own kids!!!

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?!

Then there’s the little maggots who are apparently so darling, that mummy and/or daddy will cosset them to the extent that they cannot do or cope with anything by the time they hit their teen years. They even got their own moniker – ‘Snowflakes’, think they’re special and unique but emotionally melt if challenged or made to feel ‘uncomfortable.’

‘Entitled Parent’ and ‘Entitled Children’ are yet another breed. YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO WHATEVER YOU WANT! GROW THE FUCK UP! Makes me puke!

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?!

1. Forget about ‘rights’ – we all have the right to have a baby, I hear someone wail – really? You think? What about the child’s rights to be nurtured and loved and fed correctly and clothed and schooled and nursed and so on and so forth. You do not have to have children. It is NOT ‘what you do’ because everyone else does it! I see so many young mothers with multiple offspring who complain about their kids! You made a choice – get on with it! And use contraception next time!

2. Children come first. YOU hold sole responsibility for your child before he/she starts school. YOU are the primary carer – ALWAYS! Get over yourself if you think that your interests are more important than your child’s well-being.

3. Stop handing over responsibility! Teach your child something before he/she goes to school – for Christ’s sake!!!! It is NOT the schools job to teach your child how to – use a knife and fork, tie her shoelaces, blow his nose, wipe her bottom, fasten shirt buttons, tie his school tie, pronounce his name correctly, write her own name, recall own home address, learn some manners. All these, my daughter could do before attending Nursery school aged 3 1/2. No, she isn’t a child genius – she was prepared. It’s what parents used to do in the ‘good old days’ before teachers even had the massive additional workload they have today.

4. If you annoy me is it okay for me to punch your lights out?! At work, we can often spot the teen who has been smacked by his parent/s. Stop it. Just, stop. There is absolutely NEVER any need to smack a child. You are the grown-up, find a way to deal. Babies and Toddlers are not naughty, really; they are exploring the world around them – so you’re going to make them angry at the world from an early age – just because you are?! Grow up.

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – WHY DID YOU HAVE KIDS?

Parenting is hard fucking work!

But the rules are easy – so long as you stick to them. Here we go –

1. If you aren’t prepared to put yourself second – don’t have kids. No exceptions to this rule, nope. Stop right now. Go get a dog, better still, a mouse – they only live for two or three years.

2. Assuming you agree that you are, in fact ready, prepare. Like military preparation, stock up on knowledge – that’s your weapon stash. Read stuff. Inform yourself. Take classes. Whatever it takes for you to gain knowledge about parenting, do it. (*Pssst…as a side note, but not to ruin it…you can never be prepared for the reality.)

3. Get them out of the damn nappies before they start school. FFS! And teach them how to wipe their bums – why should someone else have to wipe your kids arse because you were too damn lazy to show them how?! And blow their own nose – who wants to see all that green candlewax?

4. Let your child have fun – that’s what kids are meant to do. You did not give birth to your own domestic servant. Praise them when they try. Everyone likes to have their efforts recognised. Your kids do great things too, so tell them.

5. Have rules, and stick to them. Regular bedtime. Regular mealtimes. Consistency is key!

Take responsibility. Sure, we all make mistakes at times, we can all get stressed and make a cock-up of a situation. But if you’re not making the effort in the first place….

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD – DON’T HAVE KIDS?!

If you made it to the end of this rant, congratulations. I don’t have a prize for you, but I do offer my gratitude and delight that you stayed the distance.

Now go be the best parents (or non-parents) you can be.

 

World Environment Day 2018

Image result for only when the last tree

Rant time!

Today. One day. There are 365 days in the year and we are dedicating 1, one, ONE! to raising awareness of our environment.

I find it completely and utterly mind-blowingly stupefying that we can treat our planet the way we do.

Image result for plastic on beaches south pacific
The captivating South Pacific

If you were given a lovely cottage, on a green plot of land that provided you with EVERYTHING YOU WILL NEED FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, would you scatter your rubbish across it? Would you get rid of all the flowers and grass to be replaced with tarmac or concrete? Would you systematically kill off all the pollinators like bees? Would you – to put it bluntly – shit in your own bed!?

And yet, that is exactly what we are all doing. We are all complicit in the plastic-poisoning-deluge-traffic-jamming-exhaust-choking-animal-suffering-I-couldn’t-care-less attitude that embodies humanity today. Our view of ourselves is so ego-centric, so utterly selfish, that we allow our children to die in the thousands because of chemical pollution, we crave money and ‘stuff’ so much, that the consequences of our actions do not even register in our reptilian brains.

WEDblogspermwhale
Sperm whale that recently died from plastic consumption

I know, I know, you and me, the ‘little people’, can’t make huge changes, and I so want a mobile phone to keep in touch with people, even though it’s made of plastic and tiny pieces of metal that will never decay when it is eventually disposed of. And I really, really need my plastic laptop so that I can write this nonsense. And I need paper to write on, for work and home – and I do like soft white loo roll to wipe my backside on. And on. And on it goes.

I know people who have said things like, “Well, what can I do? And besides, everyone else is doing it.” ! What a stupid comment! Didn’t you mum say to you when you were a kid, and you copied something daft a friend had done, “If he stuck his finger in the fire, would you?”! ‘Course you bloody wouldn’t – and if you answered yes, then you need your head feeling!

Image result for plastic on beaches hong kong
Hong Kong in the Summertime

My old mum always wonders why we spend so much on sending ships to explore space, when we don’t even know, for sure, what is in our seas. We get medicines from the rain-forest, and so we’re busy hacking it down, for what? We have things we haven’t even discovered in our own back yards. What’s that saying, ‘The grass is always greener’? Well at this rate, children of the future will be saying, ‘The soil is always redder.’ as we speed off to populate another globe, so we can simply shit all over that.

Related image
Was the five pence charge worth it?

There are things we ‘little people’ can do. We have something that the governments and corporations don’t have – voices in numbers. If we all shout out together, we can deafen the fuckers. I’m not expecting you to go plastic-free-stop-using-your-car-sow-seeds-everywhere-recycle-everything-and-share-your-shower-with-the-neighbours, BUT, you can do your bit.

You can make a change. You can clean up and thus save the ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE. And if we all don’t stick our finger in the fire at the same time, then maybe there’s hope for us yet.

WEDblogReduce Reuse Recycle

Visit the World Environment Day web-page –                          http://worldenvironmentday.global/

Learn how to make your own household cleaners (and much more) –https://www.goingzerowaste.com/

Recycle your old bras (yep, someone can use them) at some places around your community, or visit –                                                                            http://moralfibres.co.uk/bra-recycling/

Next time you go shopping, don’t use plastic bags for you fruit and veg, and, at the till, unwrap these items and ask them to dispose of the wrapping (I have started doing this, the staff are surprisingly compliant). And sign this petition – https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-stop-supermarkets-from-selling-raw-fruit-and-veg-in-plastic-packaging

Get your children to walk to school, instead of packing them into your fumy car – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/12/children-risk-air-pollution-cars-former-uk-chief-scientist-warns

Read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, about the appalling effects that pesticides have and continue to have on our land and our selves – because of corporate greed.

Be like David Sedaris, American humourist, writer, Radio 4 infiltrator; who regularly picks up litter from his local area, for nothing other than keeping the landscape beautiful.

To steal from actor Michael Sheen’s 2015 speech on the NHS:-

“…what sort of society do we want to be? What is our vision for ourselves? What are the qualities and the principles that we aspire towards, and choose to defend?”

and to misquote from the same speech:-

“There is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right. You must stand up for what you believe. But first of all – by God, do something.”

 

How Do You Not Know That!?

We all read, see or hear stuff that makes our mouths drop. Common sense in society in general, seems to have taken a holiday. My daughter used to regularly come home from school and then college, with little quotes from her friends – and we would have a jolly good laugh at their expense – how did they not know that? Here’s a couple of things that bug me (what, another Alex? I hear you say) Yep!

Clothes need washing regularly. You filthy beggar! That’s what my mum called us when we had grubby kid hands. I was brought up in a time when laundry was done daily (I still do) and it was shameful to be grubby and/or smelly. There was a thread on Twitter a few months ago asking people how often they washed their jeans. Some responses were gag-making. ‘Once a month’! ‘Get them out laundry if nothing else to wear.’! Seriously, you’re going to shower your body and hair clean in the morning, and then put on dirty clothes?! I have seen people wearing coats with greasy streaks down the front; where they have wiped their hands. Coats needs washing too people. Fabric holds odours; cigarettes, food, you! Wash your clothes!

blog1
The laundry was becoming seriously unmanageable!

 

Take Vitamin D in winter This is a potentially serious issue for some people. Winter is a time when we in the UK see less sun than usual. Sunshine = Vitamin D. If you have darker skin and you live in Europe, chances are you’re going to need to take Vitamin D supplements – or you may be putting yourself at risk of rickets. A recent tragic news story in UK news, told us how a baby died of rickets at less than a year old. He was black of black parents – I do not understand why her GP had not recommended she take vitamin D supplements during her winter pregnancy. Black skin does not absorb D from sunshine as readily as white skin, and in a dull place like UK, precautions should be taken.

blog2
Take care of your beautiful self during times of little sunshine.

 

Clouds move – No, seriously. The conversation went something like this:-

Girl(looking out of window)- “Oh my God, the clouds are moving!”

Staff (raises eyebrows)- “Are you kidding?”

Girl- “No, the clouds are moving. I didn’t know clouds move.”

Staff – “You’re telling me, that you’ve lived on planet Earth for 16 years and never noticed the clouds moving?”

Girl -”No.”

Staff – “…”

blog3
‘Cumulus Nimbus’ Big Moving Day – and other stories.’

 

Crisps and Pop for breakfast = BAD. I am sure I’m not the only person who has seen the kids on their way to school in the morning eating crisps. When my daughter was in Primary school, there was a kid who I saw eating a bag of crisps and drinking a small bottle of pop at least once a week. College students have freedom to buy whatever they want with their money, some do fine, but others just buy crap. And who is feeding them? The parents! How does anyone, in this day and age, not know that salt and sugar are bad for us – especially everyday for breakfast. How can any parent not know to give their child a good start to the day in the form of toast or porridge or cereal or fruit? There is plenty of information for parents these days – I’m sorry, but there is no excuse.

blog4

 

Spitting is not only disgusting – Its a health hazard. I’m getting quite pissed off with asking then telling people not to spit. It seems to be a growing habit in the area I live; especially amongst young males, and the occasional female. Spitting carries disease as well as germs. We had eradicated TB in this country – now it’s on the rise again! People might want to put their bags on the floor, and there’s gob everywhere (especially in smoking shelters). Guide dogs walk in it! Wheelchair users get it on their hands! It moves at speed spreading droplets into the air as it flies to the ground. It is gross! And unhealthy! And offensive to see and hear!

blog5
Footballer, Jamie Carragher, spitting at member of the public. Dirty boy!

 

Smaller birds aren’t babies of bigger birds! This was one of my daughter’s friends things. Walking at the beach one sunny day watching the birds peck about, the friend made a comment about the ‘baby birds’. Turns out she thought that the pigeons were the gull’s babies!!!!!! I seriously wondered what was going on in her head.

blog6
What!? It’s not my baby. It’s dinner!

 

Slugs are NOT snails without shells! Overheard small boy and his friend.

Boy – “Look! There’s a snail without a shell.”

Girl – “That’s a slug, Jake. They don’t have shells.”

blog7
“Morning Gary.” “Morning Simon.” “On you way home from a late night again!?”

 

Seriously, I can’t believe some of the things people just don’t know!

Can the Brits ‘do’ Hygge?

Friends sitting by the fireplace

The Danes have a word we do not have in English – Hygge.

How do you even say it? I hear you cry (if you’re British, or American, that is). Check out this YouTube lesson by Broendsted –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSXiH_0HgwI

Hygge is not just a word meaning comfort, cosiness, togetherness and more, it is a mindset; a way of living. Is it an accident that five of the worlds Nordic countries consistently come in the Top 10 of Happiest Countries?

Britain is a strange place. Over the centuries we have had an influx of invaders that have added to our culture. Our southernmost coast is not far from France; geographically warm in summer, whilst our northernmost tip of mainland is neighbour to Norway; not necessarily warm in summer! English is a Germanic language, however, we have absorbed the Romance languages as well. We are a fantastically glorious mash-up from across the globe. We generally don’t show our emotions too often; we rarely cry in front of others, but we do like a good barny (fight) now and then, and some still believe in keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’. An ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’ and snuggling with his pals in fluffy socks with a cocoa is probably the last thing on his mind!

So with our Viking/Nordic inheritance, why don’t we do Hygge; or something akin to it?

The closest I can come is Christmastime. Sure, some people are not overly excited by it, but for most, there is a sense of hygge. Lights, candles, fluffy throws and wraps, being with family, baking together, friends, long walks in the park through crispy ice-coated leaves. Everyone says ‘Hello’; even to strangers. We are enveloped in a feeling of well-being. But as soon as the season is over, it is tossed aside like an unwanted sock received from a great Aunt one rarely sees.

hygge-1150x1000

Images of hygge environments show carefully selected knick-knacks arranged artfully – church candles, pine cones, wooden boxes, or – clean minimalism with pockets of lovely things like hand-knitted socks, cream coloured sweaters, open fires and old books. It seems like hygge is for those who can afford it.

But you’re missing the point! Read the first paragraph of this article again – Hygge is not just a word meaning comfort, cosiness, togetherness and more, it is a mindset; a way of living. And it doesn’t just happen in wintertime.

We Brits need to learn to ‘live in the moment’. To see comfort in the simple things. We need; in other words, to alter our mindset if we are to get ourselves happy, healthy and in that Top 10 of Happiest Countries.

To that end, I bought myself a copy of ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ in which Meik Wiking (is that surname pronounced as Viking I wonder!?) offers us suggestions on how we can make our lives more satisfying through hygge. He works in the Happiness Research Institute (yes, it actually exists!), Copenhagen, so I imagine he knows what he is talking about. I’ve long been a fan of candles – now they’re everywhere in our house!

0004996_the-little-book-of-hygge_450
Image from
https://arcadela.co.uk/the-little-book-of-hygge

 

So come on Britain, join me in a huge effort to be more hygge!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report

You’re Never Too Old For Premiere Pro

Adobe_Premiere_Pro_CC_Screenshot
Premier Pro Screen

I think I may have mentioned before I am not a young person. I have a grown up daughter, I have some grey hairs coming through, middle-aged spread, oh, and arthritis down the right hand side of my body.

But…

I will not slow down and I will not stop learning.

You think because you’re a ‘grown-up’ you don’t need to learn anything else? Think again. Life is a series of lessons and the best bit about being aforesaid grown-up, is, you can choose what you learn – I am talking here about the none esoteric, none spiritual learning here –

Currently I am learning how to use a digital camera (Nikon D3400 digital SLR) to film; yes, I know that doesn’t sound like much, but to someone who grew up taking a roll of film to Boots in order to get poorly framed photos from ‘my summer holidays’, it’s a big deal! Plus, I am compiling said shots into one whole piece! Yay, go me!

I am attempting to learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro; video editing software. If you have ever read the About page on this blog, you will realise what a leap I have made. I am sure Premiere Pro is pretty standard stuff for the young ‘uns, but for me editing is a complicated, brain battering,multi-layered, sneaky (the frame is open but you can’t see me!), eye aching, time-consuming process.

frustrated woman.

However! It is a new skill I am acquiring, and if there is one thing guaranteed to help you feel younger than your years, it’s being able to use new technology.

I have all my shots in the timeline. I have inserted frames made in After Effects. I have added music, titles, credits. I am never going to be employed in the movie industry, I’ll never get a job as an editor – BUT – I can now make a short film should I want to. I think!

To mis-quote Irvine Welsh: ‘Do it for a job. Do it for a career. Do it for your health, Do it instead of sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.’ Do it for the enjoyment of learning something new. Do it for fun. Do it to show you can. Do it to keep your mind active. Whatever you choose to learn…just do it!

To paraphrase Kafka – It’s better to know something and not need it, than to need something and not know it.

RuthFlowers68DJ
Ruth Flowers became a DJ at 68

 

 

Follow me on Blogarama

Who’s The Best Mum In The World?

Okay, I’m going to get this off my chest once and for all. I have not spoken about parenting before. But I can’t bear it anymore; so many stories I hear about child rearing infuriate me! Really make my blood boil!

But I’m no expert, I’ll tell you that right off. I know someone is going to say, ‘Who does she think she is? One child?’ Yes, I have 1, singular, an only, child.

It was a choice we deliberated over – did we want to have a child? Could we afford to bring a child into the world? Were we going to be a burden on the state? What skills did we have to look after another human life? Were we mentally and emotionally mature enough to bring up a child?

Who knew it could be so hard, so demanding, so exhausting, and heartwarming?

My ‘child’ is now a 20-year-old; a young woman. She is studying away at university. I feel I have done a good job (with some assistance from the hubby). On her 20th Birthday, I thought, ‘I did it. I got her to adulthood confident that she is a pretty well-rounded human being with a strong sense of who she is and what she wants from life. Job done’. I have worked with college students for almost 13 years. They tell me their problems, I see their physical, mental and emotional development on show daily, so I have a pretty good idea of what the results of parenting can be. So you want to be a parent?….

1. Forget about ‘rights’ – we all have the right to have a baby, I hear someone wail – really? You think? What about the child’s rights to be nurtured and loved and fed correctly and clothed and schooled and nursed and so on and so forth. You do not have to have children. It is NOT ‘what you do’ because everyone else does it! I see so many young mothers with multiple offspring who complain about their kids! You made a choice – get on with it! And use contraception next time!

2. Children come first. YOU hold sole responsibility for your child before he/she starts school. YOU are the primary carer – ALWAYS! Get over yourself if you think that your interests are more important than your child’s well-being.

Child-Blowing-Her-Nose
Give everyone relief, by teaching your youngster how to blow her nose!

3. Stop handing over responsibility! Teach your child something before he/she goes to school – for Christ’s sake!!!! It is NOT the schools job to teach your child how to – use a knife and fork, tie her shoelaces, blow his nose, wipe her bottom, fasten shirt buttons, tie his school tie, pronounce his name correctly, write her own name, recall own home address, learn some manners. All these, my daughter could do before attending Nursery school aged 3 1/2. No, she isn’t a child genius – she was prepared.

Parents who avoid teaching children how to tie shoelaces are ‘hindering their development’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/11843223/Parents-who-avoid-teaching-children-how-to-tie-shoelaces-are-hindering-their-development.html

teach-child-tie-shoelace
Don’t let your kid be that one at college who can’t tie his laces – everyone will laugh at him!

4. Do not leave it all up to the schools. It is your job, as the parent, to prepare your offspring for the world at large. It is your job to make an independent human being. It is your job to ensure your child has the confidence and where-with-all to go forwards without you. I think our society, media, needs to stop blaming teachers when something goes awry with a child. We also need to stop blaming Social Workers, when a childs life is in danger – I notice with astonishing regularity that blame is laid heavily on the Workers and little on parents. These people do the jobs they do because they are excited and driven to help young people – your children, not theirs, yours!

‘Teachers can only ever have a small impact on their students’ results – yet they are judged as if they are 100% responsible’ https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/teachers-can-only-ever-have-a-small-impact-their-students-results

children-who-eat-too-much-sugar-are-developing-diseases-that-only-alcoholics-used-to-get
Remember what happened to Augustus?!

5. What are you putting in your child’s mouth?! Come on really? You didn’t know that sugar was bad for their teeth? The number of Primary School aged children in the UK having multiple fillings and extractions has risen dramatically. It is frankly shocking that anyone could allow this to happen to their child. Fizzy drinks and chocolates and shitty kids cereals. All the information is there – read the ingredients dumb ass. SUGAR BAD. OKAY? Buy a recipe book. Get online recipes. Sit down as a family for meals. It isn’t that hard, you can’t afford to be lazy if you’re going to be a parent.

‘The number of children aged four and under being hospitalised for tooth extractions has risen by almost a quarter in the last decade, new figures have revealedhttp://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/tooth-decay-teeth-remove-children-hospitalised-numbers-up-10-years-quarter-25-per-cent-a7640031.html

progression_tooth_decay4
This is a form of child abuse. Stop it!

6. If you annoy me is it ok for me to hit you?! At college, we can often spot the teen who has been smacked by his parent/s. Stop it. Just, stop. There is absolutely NEVER any need to smack a child. You are the grown-up, find a way to deal. Babies and Toddlers are not naughty, really; they are exploring the world around them – so you’re going to make them angry at the world from an early age – just because you are?! Grow up.

‘Children who are smacked by parents ‘more likely to grow up to be ABUSIVE’ https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/889028/Smacking-child-abuse-parents-more-likely-become-abusive-domestic-violence

7. And finally, young folk – Take no notice of those teachers who tell you that your GCSE choices will be the ‘most important’ you will ever make. I tell my students – “There are only two decisions that you will make in life that are the most important. One– should I spend the rest of my life with this person? And Two – should I bring another human being into the world? That’s it, all the rest is gravy.

wellbaby-tmagArticle
There’s going to be a lot of this; buckle up.

So in the words of that 1970s advert – Think before you drink, before you drive, Think before you bring another human into the world!

Best Mum In The World? Well maybe not, but my daughter thinks so.  smileyface