Saturday, March 12, 2022


A family member rang me up in tears this week because of the war in Ukraine. 

Friends and family have told me they can’t bear to watch the news. One person has even stopped reading it: she is reading ‘around’ it - about the history of Ukraine and Russia and NATO and how we got here.

All of these people care deeply about what is going on and have done their best to give succour to refugees - through donating goods, giving money, signing petitions about refugees and writing to their MPs. It’s like a letter writing factory at our house: Dave and I are both at it. The response from my Tory MP so incensed me I wrote back immediately pointing out the untruths and the ridiculousness of her arguments.

But I don’t think it is helpful to allow ourselves to be in constant torment about the suffering. We have to do what we can and as much as we can, and stay informed, and then live our normal daily lives. It’s OK to have fun and enjoy ourselves.

This is a tweet this weekend from someone in Lviv:

So I went to a wonderful exhibition at the Buxton museum called ‘Treasuring Trees - Celebrating Derbyshire Trees.’ It is largely the work of three people: watercolourist Sarah Parkin, visual artist Valerie Dalling, and environmental storyteller and artist Gordon McClellan. 

I don't know Sarah and Gordon, but Valerie lives in the next village to me and it was she who took the photograph for the front cover of EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU.    

These are the two photos by Valerie from the exhibition that I liked the best. They’re both taken on the eastern moors of the Peak District.


Birches at play

The exhibition is on until June, so if you can - go! If you do, check out the super photo exhibition on the ground floor, which has been put on by a group of local photographers. 

Another small pleasure this week was meeting Chrissie Poulson at Hassop Station for lunch outside. Chrissie has written many crime novels (e.g. her latest is An Air That Kills ) but she is also a prolific short story writer, and we had huge fun discussing an idea she has for a new really gruesome story. Her mind is way darker than mine. 

Wordle is a daily small pleasure and I like it best when I get the answer in 4, because it means I’ve had to work for it, but it still feels like a success. I am one of those people who shies away from fads, but I investigated Wordle and I’m so glad I did.

Last thing at night I watch something comforting, and recently I’ve moved back to Virgin River, but I am still baffled as to why anyone should want to be friends with Hope, the most annoying and selfish character - who is nevertheless loved by lovely people - that I have ever met on screen.

Back to refugees and Ukraine...

The following event is taking place next week but I hope to be in Colorado so unfortunately I won't be able to go. Please, of you're local, it would terrific if you could support it.


Helen said...

Yes to all of this! Am reading "around" the news as the actual news is too horrible to contemplate. Love trees so might have to trek up to Buxton to check that out - particularly love Birches at Play, so moody. And yes why would anyone be friends with awful Hope? I haven't watched it for ages but she was such an interfering, untrustworthy busybody that it baffled me that they were all so forgiving of her. Mainly watched it for the scenery really.

Sue Hepworth said...

Nice to hear from you, Helen. And I’m glad it’s not just me who is baffled by Hope.