Monday, September 20, 2021


I was having a chat with my GP the other day about why I get so tired. We went through all the possibilities and came up with nothing, which was reassuring. Then I found myself telling him about my daily life, and heard myself say '...cycling, creative activities, thinking...' 


Thinking? He probably checked my occupation to see if I was down as a philosopher.

But I do think a lot; and thinking is tiring. I've just checked the science, and brain activity accounts for 20% of calorie expenditure, so there you go.

And there is so much to think about. Even before you start reading the paper, look at the bumph that comes with it:

How can I even think of buying a new jumper that I don't actually need, when there is so much real need in the world?

But there are so many other things to worry about. What's troubling me at the moment is the fact that every single thing the current government does is anathema to me. Just one example is the upcoming cut in Universal Credit, which does not affect me personally but which will affect nearly 3.5 million children.

Here are some other things  -  privatisation by stealth of the NHS, the collapse of the care sector, the demonisation of refugees and asylum seekers and the criminalisation of those who arrive by "illegal means."

The second reading of the Nationality and Borders Bill was backed by a majority of MPs in July. It included provisions for people who have fled war, terror and oppression to seek asylum here to be arrested and prosecuted under a new offence - that of arriving in the UK without a valid entry clearance. Such vulnerable people could face up to 4 years in prison.

What can I do about any of this? It feels as though there is nothing apart from writing to my (Tory) MP to say: 


And it's not as if there is a decent opposition. I'm 72, and it feels that for the rest of my life the UK will continue to go downhill.

A friend who shares my feelings said it was very tempting when feeling powerless to effect change to simply disengage and turn one's back, but that that felt wrong. 

When I asked the family-member-who-declines-to-be-named about it, he said: 'Violent revolution, but it's probably not a good fit for you.' Very true. Apart from being a pacifist I wouldn't have the energy.

Hey ho.

The good news is that I finished a painting I am pleased with:

Acrylic on canvas board 59 x  42 cms

And the other good news is that it's a sunny day.

I will leave you with this:

by William Stafford from the anthology ASK ME, pub. Graywolf Press 2014

Go gently, friends.


marmee said...

How very proud you must be of that lovely painting!! The grasses, the little flowers !

Sue Hepworth said...

I am quite pleased with it, Marmee, thank you.

Anita said...

Really like the grasses painting - always fascinated with all the different varieties when out walking.
I too am so angry with the current government I can hardly bring myself to talk about it - have written to my (also Tory ) MP several times and have not even received a reply- she was a new MP at the last election & basically is only interested in furthering her own career.

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Anita, This summer I have been obsessed with grasses and the beautiful lines they make. I have a huge variety standing in jam jars on my painting table, shedding seeds everywhere.

I also feel unwilling to talk about the government. It's bad enough reading about what they are doing. Unfortunately Dave does like to talk about it.