Sunday, February 03, 2019

Letter from home

It's been a funny old week.

On two days we had fabulous sunshine on snow that bucked me up hugely, and we went for walks round the village and I said to Dave - 'Imagine if we lived in Boulder and had weather like this all the time instead of the wall-to-wall grey of an English winter - wouldn't it be fabulous?' 

And he said 'No. I don't like the cold.' 

Our lane

In the picture below, you can just see two locals meeting on a path between two walls, having a chat. Zoom in and see. 

And on another day we set out for our constitutional on ice and in thick fog, and the air was so unpleasant we cut the walk short, and the only thing I brought home was this photo:

On another day I decided to tackle a job that's been on my winter to-do list for a couple of years: sort out my father's suitcase of papers. He was a successful agricultural journalist (amongst other things) with a regular column in Farm and Country, and he also wrote poems. My task was to whittle down his papers to a tiny pile, keeping examples of the best of the writing, and then to get rid the ancient suitcase. 

So I went up to the attic to fetch said suitcase and couldn't find it. I went up again. No joy. Dave went up. Nada. It's a puzzle. It's definitely there somewhere, but you wouldn't believe our attic. It's so disgusting there's no way I'm showing you what it looks like. Amongst other things it contains six large packing cases of Isaac's stuff that he left with us when  he emigrated to the USA. That was 2003. Who knows what's in those boxes? I guess he'll find out when we die and he has to clear them out. I couldn't deal with the suitcase, I turned to another winter job: processing wool. I'd already unravelled a home made cardigan and rolled the wool into balls, but I needed to get out the wrinkles, so I wound it all into hanks and then washed it. 

It's good wool - Rowan felted tweed - and I like the colour, and I'm a frugal woman.

Another thing I've done this week is start a list of food to stock up on before we crash out of the EU and the UK becomes an even darker place to live.

Tomorrow I'm going to London to stay with my friend H, and we're packing in the culture - going to the theatre, the ballet, an exhibition of Michelangelo's drawings and the video artist Bill Viola. The theme of the exhibition is birth, life and death. Phew. 

And we'll be talking. That will take up a lot of time.

But I need to fill Wednesday morning before I catch my train home, and I'm dithering about whether or not to see the Don McCullin exhibition. In case you don't know McCullin's work, he's a celebrated photographer, now in his 80s, who has specialised in war photography. I like photographic exhibitions as much as exhibitions of paintings, and McCullin is such an iconic figure, it feels like an exhibition I shouldn't miss. On the other hand, when I am still teetering on the edge of hopelessness, is it a good idea to go? 

I just read an interview with McCullin and another photographer, Giles Duley, who takes pictures of the aftermath of conflict. Giles Duley said their work couldn't stop war, or change the world, but maybe it could inspire other people who could. And he told the story of a letter he received from someone in another country who he'd never met, who was inspired to become a doctor by one of Duley's photos, taken in Afghanistan. The man had a copy of that photo on his wall and would look at it every day to remind himself.

That's a very encouraging thought. We never know what effect we have on other people and thus on the wider world. That's why we need to keep going, following our path, being ourselves, doing our best, even if our efforts seem small and insignificant. 


Sally said...

Beautiful photos Sue, especially the spiders web one - just Wow! Wondering what foods you need to stock up on before ##*😭!% brexit actually happens? (I may need to copy)
Hope you have a happy uplifting few days with your friend, it sounds fabulous.😊

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Sally.

I might post a list later.

Anonymous said...

I started last month (- useful space behind kick boards under kitchen cupboards) as is mentioned in the article below it can all be donated to foodbank if its not needed


Sally said...

Thank you Jenetta!😊

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Jenetta.
Jack Monroe has stuff on her list I hadn’t thought of.