Friday, July 26, 2019

Friday round-up

It's been an up-and-down week.

On Monday I went to Bakewell market and smiled and said hello to a woman who looked familiar, but I still don't know who she was. She looked like a plumper, blonder version of someone I rarely see these days. I'm wondering if she only smiled and said hello because I smiled first. Or do we actually know one another??

On Tuesday I cycled early, setting off at 7.20 to beat the crowds and the heat but it didn't suit my body clock. I struggled to get back home and then when I did, I felt dead.

Later, Chrissie came over to eat lunch outside in the shade and it was very pleasant because we never once touched on the current political fix we're in. I had zoned out of the news about our new PM, until the aging hippie woke up in Redwood City, read the news and messaged me with this. (Thanks, Karen):

In the evening, Dave and I could manage to watch only 3 minutes of the news before switching it off in disgust at the "election" of a man promising tax cuts to the rich when millions of people in Britain depend on foodbanks. (Please note my focus on policy and my abstention from indulging in a string of insults about the man himself.) 

Then there was the lightning storm which woke me at 2.30 a.m. and I couldn't sleep after that, overwhelmed with despair about the plight of our country and what the future holds for the most vulnerable in society now a right-wing coup has taken place - the people on inadequate welfare benefits, the people with multiple poorly paid jobs who still can't afford to pay the rent and buy enough food for their families, the asylum seekers in vile substandard rat-infested accommodation or banged up in indefinite detention, the special needs kids not getting the help they need in school, etc etc etc, I am sure you could add more to this list. I know I can.

So I chatted with Isaac in Colorado on Facetime. He was putting the kids to bed. After that, I managed to get back to sleep.

On Wednesday morning, I tried to play the glad game but all I could come up with was feeling pleased that people I love who have died are not here to witness what's going on.

Later, a friend came over and told me all about her work for ASSIST,  a Sheffield based charity that supports destitute asylum seekers. We agreed how lucky we are, how sheltered, how fortunate, how privileged.

Dave came home at teatime with a present for me from his sister, which made me feel even more fortunate:

I opened the foil packet inside and the truffles were liquid. I ate some with a spoon, and they were delicious.

Later, I found a review of my new book, EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU, hidden away on Goodreads as a response to someone else's:

That cheered me up for a while.

Thursday was sax lesson and then 'looking after' my teenage grandsons. They are fabulous. 

Today, Friday, I woke again and thought about who the PM had chosen for his new cabinet, and decided the way to cheer myself up was to pick sweet peas very early in my pyjamas... a favourite summer activity. But it didn't make me feel any better until I asked Dave to take a photo of me in action, so I could put it on the blog.

It's well known in our family that Dave is better than me at 80% of practical activities, but one thing he is totally crap at is taking photographs. I handed him my phone, nevertheless, and told him yet again -'You only have to touch the button. You don't need to press it.'  Was the instruction effective? Was it buffalo. I could hear click click click click as he took burst after burst of multiple photographs, so much so that I couldn't stop laughing.

Now I've had a bike ride, written this, had two mugs of great coffee, ate some more truffles which after being in the fridge have formed a solid lump of deliciousness, and I'm feeling pretty OK. I hope that you are more than OK, and that you have a really great weekend. 


Kristine Hammond said...

Hi Sue,
I totally understand your anguish at the state of politics in Britain. We here in Australia are not much better off and all the things you listed as causing you concern could equally apply here - cutting taxes for the wealthy while refusing to increase welfare benefits for the poor, attacking unions who are trying to help the powerless, terrible treatment of asylum seekers etc etc. The galling thing for us here is that our Prime Minister and a number of the people he has put into his cabinet are all "practising Christians" of the Pentecostal church. He fails to understand that attending a church doesn't make you a Christian any more than attending a symphony concert makes you a violinist! I know it doesn't help knowing that the situation in Britain is mirrored in other countries like Australia and the US and other parts of Europe, but please know that there are many of us out here who feel what you are feeling. For me, I bury myself in my reading,spinning, knitting and knitting podcasts and just hope there will come a day when people in power learn how to be kind and govern from this standpoint and not from the standpoint of a narrow based, self-interested section of the community.

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Kristine, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry that things in Australia are as bad as they are here. I keep up-to-date with news in the US but not so much with the news in Australia. The problem for me is that I don’t feel able to switch off and get on with my own private activities. I feel as if I need to keep aware of what’s going on and do something to make the world a better place. After a completely silent Quaker Meeting for worship on Sunday I felt more positive and I’m looking at ways in which I can volunteer regularly to help people who are suffering from the policies of an unfeeling government.

Kristine said...

Hi Sue,
Yes, I think we would all benefit from the quiet contemplation provided by the Quaker form of worship. Like you, try as I might, I do find it hard to ignore what is happening.
But I did enjoy the photos of your garden. Have a great trip to France.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you! I will!