Friday, March 19, 2021


I wrote a blog post on Wednesday and didn't post it, and I wrote a different one yesterday and didn't post that. They weren't fit to post.

It has been that kind of a week - full of halts and hesitations, a troubled mind and an untidy desk. The only escape I get from the stuff going round in my head is when I am painting, and I've not been able to get started on that. 

I wanted a painting of my dungarees and considered this photo:

I love those dungarees even more since I added the lime green patches, and 
my painter brother Pete had suggested I did a self portrait, so bingo!

But when I sat down to begin, I sighed, because it's not me that I am interested in, it's the dungarees, with their rips and patches and random splashes of paint.

I have been trying, and failing, to arrange the dungarees in a pose (on their own) which looked natural, included all my favourite bits, and that would fit on my canvas while showing sufficient detail. 

This is what I have painted in the meantime:

I've been fascinated by the patterns of barbed wire for a while, but it's an apt image for a week in which I've felt creatively blocked, and a week in which the UK government has been moving our country into a harsher, darker era.

It is the politics of now which has been swirling uncomfortably in my head and spoiling the view. Everything this government is pursuing is anathema to me...

  • they have cut foreign aid while selling arms to oppressive regimes;
  • they intend to increase our nuclear arsenal by 40% which is nonsensical and obscene and beside any point at all (and which, incidentally, would be illegal under the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty of 1970);
  • they have passed the second reading of a bill giving the police draconian powers over protesters, while increasing penalties; 
  • this same bill creates a new trespass offence that criminalises the way of life of nomadic Gypsy and Traveller communities;
  • they are planning to build new detention centres for women asylum seekers, many of whom have been trafficked or victims of sexual violence;
  • they are planning to send asylum seekers to places offshore, like Australia does, to its shame;
  • there is so much more to list but I am sure you get my drift.

I have written to my MP again this week about the Home Office's harsh and cruel policies regarding asylum seekers, (for example this) and I am signing an average of 5 petitions a week about this and that. What else can I do? 

I leave you with this quote from Andrew Boyd:

You are faced with a stark choice: do you dedicate yourself to an impossible cause? or do you look after your own, making do as best you can?

The choice is clear: You must dedicate yourself to an impossible cause. Why? Because we are all incurable. Because solidarity is a form of tenderness. Because the simple act of caring for the world is itself a victory. Take a stand – not because it will lead to anything, but because it is the right thing to do. We never know what can or can’t be done; only what must be done. Let us do it.

and this, from Sharon Owens:

1 comment:

Susan D said...

Thanks for the poem. I've posted it on Facebook.