Friday, October 21, 2022

Batten down the hatches

I'm coasting to the end of a favourite good-time read - Mary Wesley's Part of the Furniture - before moving onto something more serious (Do not say we have nothing by Madeleine Thien). 

The Wesley book is set in WW2 and it's reminded me of all those non-fiction books about life at the home front in WW2 that I read at the start of lockdown. I was reading them to see how ordinary people coped during desperate times. I thought they might have some tips for me.

We are still in desperate times. 

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 

22% of the UK population are living in poverty

Of these, 8.1 million are working age adults, 4.3 million are children, and 2.1 million are pensioners.

31% of children in the UK are living in poverty.

Raw sewage is being pumped into our rivers and our coastal areas, the NHS is collapsing through lack of funding, public services are threadbare because of austerity cuts, 90% of schools say they will run out of money within a year, the economy has shrunk because of Brexit, millions of people are having to choose between heating and eating, and the government is bringing in draconian, authoritarian measures to stop the public from protesting.

Yes, the country is falling apart and the Tories are about to bring back the shambles of a leader who left in disgrace in July. 

What's to be done?

Up donations to food banks and to refugee charities, protest as much as you have the energy for, and batten down the hatches until we finally get a General Election. I am not a fan of the current incarnation of the Labour party under Starmer but anything has to be better than the chaotic shambles of the nasty  party in power at present.

And...I refuse to be miserable. The Trail is as lovely as ever:

The Monsal Trail this morning

Painting continues to be an engrossing occupation:

Acrylic on canvas board 42 x57 cms

Yes - I am still obsessed with grasses. 

And I don't care if people think:  

"the grasses are too much in the foreground "in your face", for want of a better expression, with no depth to the picture and secondly, the whole painting draws the eye to the bottom right hand part and out of the picture.  Everything is leaning to the right - the hill in the background, the grasses behind the wall, the wall and the grasses in front of the wall."

which is what a talented artist said when I asked for his honest opinion of the panting above. I don't care because I like the grasses and I like the light and the energy and I think the fact that it's all moving right and downhill emphasises the energy. And I am pleased he could be honest and will always be honest when I ask his opinion. What's the point of anything else?

He likes this painting I finished recently, and I'm rather 'meh' about it, though it was huge fun to paint.

Acrylic on canvas board
46 x72 cms

I'll leave you with this, which I saw on Twitter

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