Sunday, March 30, 2014

Goodbye to the blog

I had a wonderful holiday in San Francisco. This is Lux and me sunbathing at Dolores Park in San Francisco last week:

dolores park

And Cecilia and me reading We’re all Going on a Bear Hunt:

cece and me

And here I am with the Aging Hippie at the beach in the Big Sur:

karen and me big sur

But now I have some news. Just as Tony Benn left the House of Commons after 50 years “to spend more time on politics” I am going to take a break from the blog to spend more time on writing.

Maybe I should start from somewhere else. A quote from Joan Didion will help me explain:

“Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

This is true of me. But I find that I can’t do this on the blog, because there are things I want to write about that I can’t share with you, dear readers, often (but not always) because they concern other people.

This means that the things that I can and do share with you are what could be described as ‘first world problems.’ And I feel less and less comfortable in doing this.

When nine million people in Syria have had to flee their homes, it feels beyond inappropriate for me to be wailing about my car being taken for scrap. When every week Palestinians are having their homes demolished by the Israeli authorities, and when children in Gaza are seriously malnourished because of the Israeli blockade, and only ten percent of the drinking water meets WHO sanitation standards, it feels wrong to be complaining about my kidney infection. And when asylum seekers are being torn from their families and deported every week, it feels petted to complain that my grandchildren live so far away, because, after all, I am lucky enough to be able to see them for a month every year.

I want to be clear: I’m not saying that personal blogs are not valid or not valuable. I am just saying that I no longer feel comfortable writing mine. I may feel differently in a couple of months.

In the meantime I am going to spend my blogging time on writing a personal journal. I’ll continue with the screenplay. I might try to write a radio sitcom. And having just discovered a new (to me) and wonderful novelist in Anna Quindlen, I am newly inspired to write another novel (which I had sworn not to do.)

There’s also the garden crying out for attention, my patchwork quilt is still unfinished, and my new bike is calling to me from the shed. This week I am trying to design some striking posters to use in peace vigils this year, in the context of the World War 1 commemoration. I’m hoping that Dave will help with the captions – he’s so good at that kind of thing. I like this poster, but I can’t find where to buy a copy:

our world needs you peace poster

If you’re a newcomer here, and have only just found my blog, there is an awful lot to read about my daily life in the archives. 

Thank you for dropping by. It’s been great to have your company. I might be back in the future. Who knows?

Ooh, nearly forgot. I will still be on Twitter @suehepworth

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Last post

This will be my last post for a while, dear readers.


I shan’t be blogging again until I get back from my land of maragaritas in the sunshine:




road trips with bona fide Aging Hippies who hung out in Haight Ashbury in the sixties (specifically ones with fabulous hair):

karen aging hippie

handsome sons:

cece and ise dec 2012

fun-loving daughters-in-law:


and enchanting grand daughters:





Sunday, March 09, 2014

Done in

Jane asked me the other day if I was excited about going to California and I said, “Not excited, no. I’m on the other side of desperation.”

And I’m at the end of my tether with the blog, which is why I’ve been throwing poems at you.

I’m at the end of everything. I want to be away.

The current anti-biotics (or the tail end of the kidney infection itself) is making me not only washed-out, but a bit depressed. Chrissie drove me the mile to Hassop Station for a nice lunch on Friday, and I was so exhausted afterwards I had to go to bed.

Today there was a blue sky and a warm sun and I have spent the day in the garden, pottering and sitting. I just have to make it to Thursday morning, when I am flying away to to see these little beauties…



…and maybe get my mojo back.

Wet evening in April

The birds sang in the wet trees

And as I listened to them it was a hundred years from now

And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.

But I was glad I had recorded for him the melancholy.

Patrick Kavanagh

Saturday, March 08, 2014

In a station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

Ezra Pound

Friday, March 07, 2014

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

William Carlos Williams

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

My life as a cliché

The GP has given me a new antibiotic, as the last one didn’t do what it said on the tin. The new one has a list of possible side effects as long as your arm.


Some of these are life threatening, so I went to sleep last night, chewing my finger nails, a nervous wreck. But this morning I am alive and kicking: I slept like a baby, and I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (ish), hoping in the next couple of days to draw a line under my kidney infection and move on with my life.

For the time being, however, I am staying in bed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The best medicine

I had another bad night, after I thought I was better from whatever it is that ails me. Off to the doctor later.

In the meantime I found a quote I like from Kurt Vonnegut, about laughter. If they ever put me in Who’s Who I will list laughter as one of my hobbies/interests/pastimes. Maybe that’s why I can’t keep jokes out of my novels, even the serious ones. So this is what the great man said -


This is why when I am tired and discouraged, I watch comedy.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Different worlds

The children and young people are a vital part of our Quaker Meeting in Bakewell. I hope if the day ever comes when we have no kids, I’ll be dead.

On Saturday night they had a sleepover in the meeting house and watched the film The Help, and on Sunday morning before Meeting for Worship, they cooked and served a “Big Banana Bakewell Fairtrade breakfast” for the rest of us. This is a bunch of them -IMG_6900

The breakfast was fab, a very friendly, happy time, and I know the kids enjoyed themselves as well.

Meanwhile, last Thursday in occupied Palestine, some Bedouin children were excited to see playground equipment – donated by Italy -arrive at their encampment. But before it could be unloaded from the trucks, the Israeli authorities confiscated it.They have already issued demolition orders against dozens of structures in the encampment, including the local school. And yet two kilometres away, there is a Jewish settlement, built on occupied land in defiance of international law.

And somewhere else in Palestine, the Israeli authorities have destroyed this little girl’s home. Demolitions like this are an everyday occurrence.Palestinian Child Home Demolished

Would you consider joining the growing movement that is boycotting Israel until they abide by international law?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Two things to celebrate

I slept through the night.

When I woke up, February had gone.