Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Another post in two parts

This post has two parts. In order to get to the second part I had to get the first (brief) part out of my system, but you are at liberty to skip it.

First part

The holiday was a real break from reality, but now I am home I am assaulted daily by the bleak political news, and I am struggling not to sink.

First there is the passing of the illegal immigration bill, which means individuals and families fleeing war and persecution will be treated like criminals. The reprehensible U.K. government could speed up the assessment of asylum claims (which would mean, incidentally, that refugees could work and help solve the labour shortage) but they prefer to incarcerate refugees in detention centres and then deport them.

Three quarters of people whose asylum claims were processed last year were found to have a valid claim, and if you just consider refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Eritrea and Sudan, at least 80% have a valid claim.

I am ashamed of this government.

And there is no hope of an improvement when “Labour” wins the election next year. No-one would recognise the current Labour Party as a socialist one that cares about the living conditions and welfare of ordinary people. They look set to keep all the austerity policies of this last despicable administration. I despair. 

Second part

Since getting home I’ve been picking and processing fruit - making jam out of blackcurrants with Dave’s help 

and freezing (and eating) raspberries. As an aside, has anyone got a recipe for raspberry and white chocolate tiffin? I saw some on sale in a cafe in Wales, but I failed to find a recipe on the net yesterday.

We’ve had rain every day at home for a fortnight and the garden looks a mess. Full of colour, but a mess. I am bamboozled as to how to make the crocosmia look more attractive. This picture shows it/them AFTER we tried to tie them back.

Back in the studio I finished this painting 

and although I am half way through one of ferns on a rocky outcrop, I feel in dire need of a break from all kinds of vegetation. This morning in bed I had an idea for an abstract, so if it rains again today that’s what I’ll be working on.

Lastly - books. For a month or so I have not been able to find a novel I want to read*  so I turned to my huge collection of Anne Tyler and chose Ladder of Years to read again. It’s been at least 25 years since I read it and I’m enjoying it immensely. One of the few perks of age-related memory loss is forgetting the plots of novels, though it’s not plot that is the real delight of a Tyler novel. As far as the plot goes, I still retain a sketchy knowledge of where the main character ends up geographically but not how she gets there emotionally. And isn’t that what really matters? 

*all recommendations welcome - no crime, no violence, no child abuse, and no nature writing. Apart from Anne Tyler, my favourite writers are Carol Shields, Helen Dunmore,  and Kent Haruf, but they're all dead now, so I need of some new favourite authors.


marmee said...

Re read Ladder of Years in the recent past, planning to read some of the newer Anne Tyler novels one of these days. I have ( with much guilt ) kept my face averted from what has been happening in Gaza but then it suddenly hits home and it hurts. Oh Sue I don't know about a new favourite it possible? I always suggest The Proper Place followed by The Day of Small Things written by O Douglas but I reckon its marmite, you like it or you dont Ancient books. Oh man , your paintings !

Anonymous said...

Your paintings are superb! Hope the sidestep to abstract inspires you back to your perfect interpretations of the beauty around you
Have you read Mary Lawson? A Town Called Solace is her most recent and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her earlier works are all gems set in Canada Sadly, I think I’ve now read them all . of course there’s always re reading to enjoy

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you Ana..
I have read A Town Called Solace and liked it very much. I have also read Mary Lawson‘s other books, but actually maybe it’s time for a reread of her early ones.

Someone anonymous from overseas commented on the painting in this post but their comment appeared at the end of my exhibition post. (Early June). I have answered there but to repeat in brief - Thank you! And the Latin name for cow parsley ( which some people call Queen Anne’s Lace) is Anthricus sylvestris. I will be selling the painting but not yet.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Marmee. I must try O Douglas. You have mentioned them him/her before.