Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Turbulent times

Did I really blog that I'd detected seeds of change and I was feeling rather more hopeful? Well that feeling bit the dust.  

Also, my last week was full of stress, and my brain was whirring round and round, impossible to channel into calm thought, while my emotions were impossible to discipline. This is why I haven't blogged. I didn't want to splatter my feelings all over the screen.

Now I feel calm: last night I slept for 9 hours and I haven't read the news yet and I feel more like myself.

Tell me...would you say you are more emotional the older you get?

This morning in the Guardian there is a long article about peoples' television habits, with a subtitle 
"We are in an era of 'prestige television' with unprecedented choice and quality. So why are so many of us streaming endless reruns of 90s sitcoms?"

Do they really need to ask? The Guardian itself needs a health warning before you even glance at the headlines.

Television can be a great escape. Recently two separate friends recommended Summer of Rockets. I began to watch it, and was enjoying it, but twenty minutes into the first episode a 7 year old was sent away to school (bad enough) but then was being cruelly grilled by the headmaster and I couldn't take it and switched it off. 

Since then I've been rewatching Grace and Frankie, and Call the Midwife. I never saw the latter when it originally aired on telly because we didn't have a telly then. I've since caught up with it on Netflix and now I am watching it again. Yes, there is darkness in many episodes, but it has everything a Sue needs - engaging stories, emotion, kindness, humour, hope, satisfactory conclusions. Above all, though, it's deeply moral, and this I find reassuring. Everywhere in the media there is aggression, vituperation and argument. Even people on Twitter whose politics I agree with come out with statements full of hate. What disturbs me more than anything about current politics, though, is the moral vacuum. 

Yes, I've become an old fart. 

There is other evidence supporting this. I have stopped sending presents to young people who do not ring or write to say thank you. 

You know I said I'd been brushing up my French? I am using a language app/course on my phone called Duolingo. It's excellent, but it's American so if i translate Je suis dans la pharmacie as I am in the chemist's shop  I am told it's the wrong answer. Pah! It's galling, and I rail about the American English. This never bothers me when I'm visiting the family in Boulder. I accept they use different terms. So why does the French course make me so mad? Because I'm an old fart.

And lovely gardens send me into ecstasies - more evidence.

Here is a photo of my front garden (which is irrelevant) except that it gives me pleasure every time I go out there, and now the cosmos are all out and so are the white Japanese anemones.  I should go out and take an up to date photo, but the light today would not do it justice.


Helen said...

Your garden is beautiful. The news is depressing and the best TV antidote for us at the moment is Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing. It's beautiful to look at and gives you a warm feeling inside.

Sue Hepworth said...

Well, thank you for the recommendation! I’ll give it a go.

marmee said...

You raise so many issues! For myself: yes , as I have aged, I have become much more emotional. And now that I think of it, talked to my sister in law recently and she was saying that she has gone from never being a "crier" to now dissolving into tears all too readily! Oh and I laughed at your Duolingo troubles! I am using that app as well and at one stage I had become very obsessed at my points rate ( managed to get to the top end of Ruby league) and would fume at having my english incorrectly corrected! Now I have calmed myself down and just soldier on. I have NO background in French whatsoever so it is a struggle, I am also using audiobooks and cd's in my car. And indeed , your garden looks stunning! The tv stuff I have been taking refuge in is so not mainstream: Scandinavian family drama called Bonus Familjen ( loved the interiors and the clothes and the quirkiness) and a French series Zone Blanche ( witty crime series set in ancient forest what lurks there??)

Anonymous said...

Sue - I’m with you, old farts together - knowing who we are, valuing simple pleasures, abhorring that screaming moral vacuum.

We’ve gravitated to almost exclusive BBC4 viewing now - real people sharing real stuff, and expertise.
Not sham people masquerading as competent, all over the news.

Who wouldn’t thrill to your beautiful garden? Speaking of which - a must watch inspiring film ‘Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf.’

And in case you’d welcome a morale boost...
You showed up as number 17 in my sister’s ‘Lifetime List of Top 50 Inspiring People’ - people who have actively inspired her, personally.

When I asked her why, she said it’s because you put your money where your mouth is, stand up to be counted and do things for good.

Not such an old fart, then.

Thea xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh Thea, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the encouragement of knowing I inspire someone - someone I have never met, to boot. (Now, that's an old fart expression if there there was one.)
BBC4 eh? I will have to investigate.

Hi Marmee, I will try to find the Scandinavian series you mention.
It's hilarious that we both get cross when we're given a wrong mark for something that's right! I'm looking forward to showing the Duolingo Feench - particularly the pronunciation - to my French speaking brother who is married to a French woman. I have a feeling that the man who speaks the French on Duolingo is terribly mannered.