Monday, May 11, 2020

Different types of conversation

In the past on the blog - B.C. (before Covid) - I felt I could express how I felt on here, whether it was sad, elated, angry, fed up, inspired, amused, whatever. After considering it myself and raising it on the blog to see what readers thought, I had decided this was fine, because readers like an honest blogger, not one who pretends that everything is unrelentingly hunky dory.

Since the beginning of lockdown, though, I've had a policy of trying to stay cheerful on the blog. Have you noticed? I thought of it as my contribution. After all, I have a lot to be cheerful about. My family are all well as I write this, my friend is recovering from Covid, I have enough to eat, I have a garden, Dave is here, I can ride out on my bike to beautiful places, I have loads of things I like to do at home. 

But I haven't always been cheerful inside my head. On Saturday, for example I was cheesed off and moaned a lot to Dave, who pointed out several times that other people are also fed up. It didn't help. And on Sunday in my weekly, early morning phone chat with my brother in Belgium, I spewed out all my petty irritations about living in lockdown. 

Then I joined our silent Zoom Quaker Meeting and the after-meeting chat, and I felt uplifted.

Since then I've been thinking about the fact that no matter how you look at it, with or without a pandemic going on, I am fortunate. In normal times I am better off than the majority of people on the planet in material terms and living conditions. And yet I have thought it OK to tell you I'm fed up with snow, or missing my best friend who died, or not being able to find a publisher, or dentists wanting to talk to me when they are poking things in my mouth. 

I don't know where this is leading...except to ask: should I be honest on here, always, or should I continue with the cheerful policy?

Another place to express what I'm doing and how I feel about it is the Mass Observation Archive. They are asking us to send in a personal journal for tomorrow, Tuesday May 12th. The Mass Observation project has been running since May 1937. It is interested in the ordinary daily lives of people across the UK. You can find the details here.

One of the things I've been doing in lockdown is painting and drawing. I've shown you some of my stuff, the last being a pencil drawing of my shoe. When my talented artist brother saw this, he said it was good, but I should have set the shoe on something in the drawing, not had it hovering in space.

So on Saturday when I wanted to draw a toy boat, I sat outside in the Adirondack chair, placed the boat on the arm, and began to draw. This is the result:

I thought it might amuse you.

Another thing I've been doing is cycling and walking most days, and trying to have a flask of coffee at a different place by the river, every time. I showed you a video of such a morning coffee spot the other day. Here is Friday's:

And here is where I had it today. 

I hope you have a good week, friends. 
I hope your lockdown difficulties are as petty as mine. 


Anita said...

I find most people - friends, neighbours, acquaintances respond well to honesty. I think if you are open and honest about good times and bad it does encourage people to open up and share a bit more. Let's face it we all have our issues! I for one consider that your blog hits the right note! I enjoy reading it.
Anita x

Unknown said...

Dearest, us readers come to hear your voice. Don't censor it, we all need your frankness and honesty.
Ps- keep the coffee videos coming. Today's was magical.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Anita and LRH.
I’m taking note.

marmee said...

I second all above! Otherwise one can get the idea that it's only me that struggles, only me that isnt cheerful every single day

Sally said...

I enjoy your blog just the way it is - entertaining, thought provoking, honest! Always a good read & I love your photos.⛅☕🚲🌱🙂 Sally

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Sally. 😊🚴‍♂️🌿