An Update.

Summer is ending.

I haven’t really seen that much of it this year. 5 Weeks in a hospital bed, 2 weeks in a hospital bed, but not in a hospital.

I tried posting a couple of weeks ago, about a day, but WordPress lost the post, and didn’t even save a draft copy, which was annoying.

So instead I come to post again.

I don’t know if I’ve changed much in the while since the accident. People tell me I’ve lost weight, and maybe I have, but that’s just a bonus really. I’ve done what I always do, which is to take things as they come, after all, once they’ve happened, I can’t change that. All I can do is get on with it. So since this injury, which according to the consultant and medical journals is classed as “life-altering” I’ve just gotten on with it.  From waking up with an external fixator on my leg, and being told it would be there for six weeks, and would need a second operation the day after to fix the artery which was damaged beyond repair, to being told the frame would be taken off a little early due to the recurrence of an infection in the pin site, to the realisation that Iwouldn’t be able to go home after getting out, or for some time after that.

I’ve had moments of being angry, definitely. At myself, at the hospital for not diagnosing me correctly to begin with, at the hospital for being stuck in an environment which does nothing but destroy your spirit and will. At objects being in the way, or out of reach even, but those moments have passed quickly, and I’ve instead made the best of it.

There’s frustration too, a hell of a lot of that. Mostly for the simple things I can no longer do without help. I can’t just get up and go get a drink if I’m thirsty, or go to the toilet unaided. If it’s not within my immediate reach I have to ask for help. THAT is frustrating, especially for someone as independent as I am. But I know that it will pass. I may never be able to run again, maybe I won’t be able to walk any kind of distance anymore – which in itself, for me, would be soul-destroying, but at the end of the day I’ve survived, and I’ve made it through this event.

I see people around me getting frustrated – I don’t necessarily have a lot else I can do – and when people come to see me, I can often see what else is going on, and I  know full well, there are lots of people who are having their own battles with their own frustrations at the moment. I can’t say anything though a lot of the time, because unless you can accept that you are struggling, angry, frustrated, annoyed, or anything, then you are stuck there. Whether you’re convinced that you can’t handle much more because you’re trying so hard to keep everything going, or if it’s because you’re trying to be strong for someone else who is fighting their own demons. Whether it’s that you’re not moving forwards with work as quickly as you’d like, or that a business is going through a dry patch. Until you actually accept that, you’re not going to be able to move yourself out of it at all.

And that can be the hardest thing in the world.

It’s only when you do this you can plan – when you can accept that you’re terrified of flying because you’re scared of heights, or enclosed spaces, you can begin to work to overcome that, starting small, and working up to something challenging – of if you accept that it’s a dry patch in your business – you can begin to look at alternative strategies for marketing – adding something new, or networking, just to discover it’s not just you. The thing is you’re never as alone as you think, but unless you communicate that, you’ll be stuck in the dark shady world of can’t, and noone else can get you out of there.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, far from it. I get frustrated over not being able to do stuff every day, multiple times a day, but I do see what other people go through and feel and think, and wish they could be as pragmatic as I am sometimes. But we’re all different, and that’s a good thing. We all have different strengths, skills and weaknesses, and the right combination of friends will cover all bases – and you never know, if you actually acknowledge your struggle, there’ll be others struggling too, and probably someone who is able to help. But you have to take that step. And sometimes the hardest thing of all is waiting for someone to realise that for themselves, and knowing until then, there’s nothing that you can do.

 

I’ve got a long hard road ahead of me and it will be full of frustrations, and at times, it will feel impossible, like I can’t possibly do it all, but it will just be temporary, and I’m lucky to have people around who are able to remind me of that when I stumble and fall. And I will be that person for those I care about as much as I am able, but the one thing I cannot counter from experience is pride.

 

but that’s another story for another day. I just wish people were able to lay it aside and admit when they’re struggling before things blow up and come to a head. Then the rest of us can help.

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Bit of a catch up…

well, I haven’t posted in a little while… mostly as I’ve been busy!

The last while has seen me undertaking crazy-ass length weeks whilst exam period approached for my students, and I have had other things going on too.

However I have managed to fit in some other things too… and also had a few interesting bits…

I’m just going to recap on the interesting things I think… as I need to document them for reference, and I don’t really have the time or inclination to really go through a big recap.

So first thing is that I got a new set of Tarot cards- I found them on offer on Amazon and went for them. So far it’s been fun learning how to use them, as well as how the deck wants to be used. I’m getting better at record keeping as well, so that’s another bonus.

Second thing is that I found a staff. We went on a tree walk – with the intention of looking to communicate with trees. Unfortunately, external influences meant that that wasn’t something I felt able to pursue on that day, but it *was* good to go out into nature and spend a bit of time out of the city. I went and found a nice place to sit in some OLD woodland, and after a while I turned around and found some sawn beech, the top piece of which was the perfect size. I could swear that it wasn’t there previously! This has now been stripped back to a layer that wanted to be revealed and is drying out a bit while I look towards what and how to use it in the future.

The third thing happened on Sunday, at the drumming circle I’m a part of. We’d started to undertake some slightly less simple things, and one exercise was trying to beat an alpha wave rhythm, and then seeing where it went from there. The first attempt was someone else going off to somewhere they needed to be, The second attempt, after a while, I found myself drumming a new rhythm. What it was I couldn’t really tell you now, but it fit at the time, and it felt like someone was tickling my neck… I started moving my head a bit to try and dissipate the itch, but to no avail, as it spread down my arm, and suddenly realised that my arm holding the drum and shoulder were rather furry. The itching was hair sprouting and as my arm moved with the beat, I could feel the fur moving, and the breeze running through it. I wouldn’t say that I was terrified, but certainly didn’t expect it, and there’s a bit of fear there. As to what the fur was I don’t know, as I didn’t see – I could only feel, but when we stopped, I got COLD. And by cold I mean arms (both of them) going blue. I had to go and warm them up with the heater in the bathroom. 
So yeah… I guess more change on the way, and where I go from here…. not sure, but I guess it’s time for the next steps… whatever they may be… 

 

What we have here….is failure…. to communicate….

I’ve found it hard to write recently.

Mostly down to lack of time, as when I do feel able to write, I’m inevitably in no position to be able to do so. Then if I do sit down, there are no words. Something that happens a lot lately.

I’ve learnt and realised an awful lot of late. Too much to list. Some of the things I don’t know I know yet… but I know them… if that makes sense?

And I’ve been the busiest I’ve ever been between students and other commitments, work, and those I care for. I knew that it would be a struggle, but all of a sudden, mid June, and the end is in sight. I’d joked a while ago that I’d scheduled the weekend everything finishes as being the weekend I fall apart and break down. I’m not sure that isn’t too far from the truth to be honest. More and more I feel weighed down physically as well as in other ways by the weights I tend to bear. The world would probably be an exaggeration, but sometimes isn’t too far off.  The thing is that balances out the forces pushing outwards from the inside. Well, that’s usually the case. There’s an imbalance of late. Which is why I’m feeling it more. Maybe I will need to look at both sides to try and sort them out.  I’m still finding myself unable to express myself, and to speak about things, or write, or anything really when it comes to some things. I’m beginning to understand that a little more on that front I think… and it was always going to be an issue at some point – I found my sneaky little birth chart going through some papers yesterday and re-read it and for the first time realised just how… different I am in some ways to others. Most of the charts I see are generally spread over a few things. Mine isn’t. At some point I might post it up… but I think come mid-June, there will be changes made.

Recently started helping a very very good friend, who has helped me a lot of late. It’s nice to be able to reciprocate in some small way as I like being able to show I care by being able to help, not just so I retain a modicum of usefulness and therefore a reason to be kept around…so this is good.  Reminded me I have stuff I need to sort too. And of course we have some plans made,  short, medium and longer term..and it’s kinda nice to have a partner in crime and things to look forwards to.

First thing I need to do though, ultimately is get through the door that’s appeared and has been making itself more and more known of late. Just let me get to mid June first… or at least a point where I get enough time to actually spend looking at it….and then deal with the inability to talk…. and then… well… there’s a whole list. But one thing at a time eh?

 

time to fade away… it’s better than burning out.

On a good day I sometimes see myself as a fixer. I turn up, facilitate what is needed, whether it’s networking, encouragement, revealing a truth, or something practical…storm in a teacup if you like, and once the ripples settle, and things are moving the way they should, it’s time for me to move on. Little bit like Nanny MacPhee I guess… (!)

Today is not a good day.

Today I see myself as the hindrance to progress. I notice that I remove myself from the picture and things go better. Days like today it’s very hard to fight the idea that maybe I would be better off removed. That maybe I’m holding people back from their progress by being around.

Mostly though I’m angry. At myself more than anything. For listening, and for not listening. For pushing myself that bit too far, when I should have listened to the voice telling me to turn tail and flee. I’m angry at everything the last day or so though, and I DON’T like that. Last night I was hesitant about venturing into town because of St Patrick’s day, and the potential crowds and rowdiness.
I’d spoken to a friend about it, who’d said I should try to see my friends and not worry too much about what might not even happen. So I sucked it up and decided to go. I didn’t even have to get into town before encountering what I didn’t want to meet. They got on the bus. But, I decided I would push through and be able to calm down and would be OK. What I should have done, was got off the bus and turned around and gone home. Instead, I managed to calm down a bit, got the admin I needed to do out of the way, and realised that I wasn’t feeling brave enough to really talk to anyone. I ignored another point where I could have chosen to go home. Instead, telling myself it’ll be OK… and then some rather loud people got to playing some game, which set me right on edge again…and it was all downhill from that point. I came across as awkward, and I don’t know what… because I ended up feeling a bit interrogated when I asked a question, which made me want to RUN. I sat on it, but I was glad to be able to escape, and that isn’t right. I went home and went to bed. Not even an episode of QI helped, so I went to bed.

I woke up again covered in bruises. Second day in a row, although not the same place this time. Yesterday I’d blatantly been held down by the chest, as I can make out the handprints (there’s no way I could have done it to myself without removing my arms and switching them round… ) this morning, it’s my arms and shoulders that are suffering. Thank goodness for long-sleeved tops is all I’ll say about coming to work today. I don’t know what has happened while I’ve been sleeping – I remember struggling against being pinned and the bed being a mess upon waking up, so obviously been tossing/turning/writhing, but who or what I’ve been rallying against, I don’t have a clue. I’m not sure I want to either to be honest, although I also don’t want it to continue either. Ironic really, that normally I’m wanting to not remember what I dream about, that the one time it might be a good idea to have a clue is the one time I don’t. I’ll admit to being a bit uneasy about it, maybe even a little scared.

It’s certainly not the first time that what has happened in my dreams has spread into the real world, and it’s not even the worst occurances. The worst was being sliced in the ribs by a sword in my dream, and waking up to find my side opened up – 6″ long and a good half inch deep. No blood or anything, and nothing I could have done it on. And witnessed. I’ve woken up covered in scratches across my face and arms from being raked by claws, when I have no nails able to do that. And I’ve had bruises before I have a photo of the giant one in the middle of my back which a friend had found after I’d complained of back pain. A couple of weeks ago, I had a scar appear on my right arm overnight, including the ridge. The ridge has gone, but the scar is still there, and if I’d had the corresponding injury to it, I would have known. Why it happens, and why it comes through to waking life, I don’t know. Wish I did! I’d like to understand it… but this feels different. I can’t explain why or how, maybe it’s because there is a definite handprint, or maybe it was the feeling of being pinned down and the panic associated with that, I don’t know…. but there is a point where it starts to sound a little crazy, even to me. And I think this is getting to that point. I don’t have a clue where to begin as to understanding it, let alone being able to do something about it… any any suggestions would be welcomed, cause I’ll consider anything as an option, even that I’m just losing my sanity. I’m sure plenty think that… and maybe they are right. I don’t know… but this is a bit odd, even for me…. are alarm bells ringing for anyone else??

lazing on a Sunday afternoon.

This is the first weekend that I’ve had completely off in a while. I always try to not pack my weekend out because I’m so busy through the week, and a typical weekend now usually consists of Saturday mornings being filled with admin/chores/housework, and soon, thanks to exam season fast approaching, extra tutoring, before heading out for roleplay/catch up with friends, and more often than not, staying over on Saturday, and heading back on Sunday. This works quite well, for a lot of reasons, one being that it motivates me to get the boring stuff out of the way by Saturday lunchtime, otherwise I have to tackle it on the Sunday evening, which just leaves it hanging over the weekend. It also means that I don’t just become a hermit, and hide, which would be a bit too easy for me- especially of late, and it means I actually have some downtime factored in, as well as a ready excuse for the inevitable contacts of “oh its the weekend, you can help with….” Which if I only have my own stuff to get done gets the response of “oh well, you can move that around, squish this in…” And because I’m a pushover, I usually say yes, and then end up without the time to do the admin/housework/my stuff afterwards, whereas plans with others are a lot more difficult to dismiss out of hand.

This weekend though, I went away to visit friends I haven’t seen in a while, which has been a really nice change, although it has been really really weird to have a weekend with such a slow pace, as I feel like I haven’t “done” anything. I arrived on Friday evening, before I would have gotten home had I been tutoring, and got a sandwich, watched a gameplay video and had an early night. Yesterday, we went out for a walk around the centre of the town, had lunch out, and then got ingredients for me to make cake (as I always make something by request of my hosts) and watched a fair bit of River cottage, whilst trying to work out how I would make said cake. I succeeded with the cake, which was a berry topped chilli chocolate cake, and watched some random quiz stuff before bed. Today I’ve gotten up, read a bit, and will probably go for a little walk, to take advantage of the sun before heading home later.  Seems like nothing really, but actually, I’ve had time to think about stuff that’s been going round my head, as well as plan out a little more of my book, which I’ll probably get on with on my way home, and generally have a little bit of time to REST, and therefore, heal.

I’ve still had a fair amount of pain this weekend, but its not been all over, and its been manageable, and has lessened over the time in proportion to my inactivity. Now, my shoulders and upper back are what’s causing trouble, along with my arms, and that to be honest probably has more to do with being hunched up in pain the last few days than anything else, and I daresay a good massage would go a long way to sort that out too (I should be that lucky though), although that’s something I can put up with.

I think I need to look at my time management again, and plan in small patches of downtime through the day. I manage this quite well at work, but I could make better time of it in transit, for example, which might help things along a bit. I also need to try and get back on top of sleep, and eating properly, which means I just need to give myself a good kick up the arse more than anything! Because I’ve been feeling really crappy in general and tearing myself to pieces I stop caring about it, but I need to just do it, even if it means setting reminders on my phone, or notes on the fridge. I also need to go through food groups and make sure I’m planning enough of things in said foods, and generally make it so I try and look after myself a bit, even when its the last thing I want to do.

This week I’ve had to face up to the fact that I simply can’t get away with doing things I had done in the past, when I’ve ended up feeling that bad, and, again, having to challenge myself over the fact that if it was someone else doing that to themselves I wouldn’t stand by and let them. Whether I outrightly challenged it or tackled it by stealth would depend on the person, but I wouldn’t let it stand, so I should let myself do it either.

So, yes, I have screwed up recently. A lot. I don’t think it would be helpful to explain the various how’s and why’s right now, as I’d just end up more annoyed at myself, and lo and behold we’d be starting it all over again. But I can always hope that next time, I will do better, and spot myself falling before I am forced to acknowledge I fell a while before. Not just talking about not looking after myself here, but the same goes. Its just easier for me to talk about that context, than all the other things.

Possibly time to make a few lists as well, and then discuss how best to tackle them…. As well as try to realise that i may not have to try and do this all by myself, and that i dont have to shut myself away until ive fixed things…But one step at a time I think, at least until I can learn to walk again….

 

2013… The Roundup… and the post that’s been wanting to exist for some time..

Okay, so I’ve been a little bit remiss with the blog for a while, I admit, but for once it’s not without good reason!!
It’s not that I have just gotten to that can’t be arsed anymore stage, or just found more interesting things to do, which has been wont to happen in the past.
I started tutoring earlier in the year, which has kind of exploded a little, to the point of having 5+ students on the books going into 2014, so as you can see, my time is limited, however, I am now back to the top of my organisational game, so am free to juggle many plates, or some such mixed metaphor.

2013 has very much been all about learning and changing for me. From moving back to Sheffield, changing job, starting up A Cinderella Fable (my more girly blog) to exploring new cultures, to just working out stuff about myself, to tutoring, and everything else that’s happened along the way it’s been one hell of a ride, and I get the feeling it’s only just starting!

I’ll likely forget stuff that’s happened in this post, and I’ll probably ramble on so few people will fully understand what I’m talking about, but that’s the joy of being me I guess!

So, back to January, where having secured a new job, after seven years in retail banking, I made the move back to Sheffield.
I was ambivalent about this to say the least, and wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing by returning – in some ways it felt like a step backwards, and took a lot of sheer willpower to remind myself of all the reasons it was actually a step forwards, and then it was happening and there was nothing that I could do to change it!

February was the start of the new job, which my seven years of accumulated knowledge meant I had a good understanding of the work, and I began a new. I actually really enjoyed just the process of learning – from a new perspective for somethings, and just learning new stuff in general! I started to reconnect with more people I’d known from my life in Sheffield previously, having already worked to establish a new core group around me and started looking into what had changed, and what had stayed the same. I realised that a LOT had changed. Over these two months, I began to feel a bit more at peace with my decision to move back to Sheffield.

April saw me looking for my own space, so I could get my stuff out of storage, and get some structure back. I found a flat at the end of the month, and with help, got my stuff in and sorted, achieving a new thing of finally living in a truly unfurnished flat. This will make things easier in future, as I now have everything I need to be self sufficient. It’s not much by most peoples standards, I’m sure, but it’s home to me.

It’s at this point of writing that I stalled somewhat… and today – the 30th I pick up having realised why. I have been very left brained about it – putting events into boxes, when actually I’m ambi-brained – or to quote a cliche, a bit of an Indigo Child… So this is where, dear reader, you may need to gather your wits to keep up and connect the strands of the web I’m about to weave…. for if only my life were able to be fitted into neat little boxes… it would turn out to be so ridiculously boring that I would bang my head on a wall where paint was drying at intervals to check the rate!

This year has seen an unbelievable amount of change happen in my life – not just in the tangiable physical and material things, but on a more personal level too. I’m by no means the best person to talk about that though, as I know I have a skewed perspective when it comes to myself, but even I can spot some of these… I guess if you wanted to know more, you’d have to speak to those who know me a bit better than just as an acquaintance. So why am *I* talking about it? Well, this is my story, and no-one else is going to tell it. It’s my path, and my journey…not someone else’s.

Very few people actually understand and ‘get’ me. So I don’t expect you to. You’d need to know so much more than I am willing to share with all but a few very close friends to even try in any detail, but I will always give enough to explain something. So here, I guess is the need to know stuff…

It’s commonplace knowledge that I had a hard time of it growing up. Being told repeatedly, and having it reinforced in numerous different ways that I don’t deserve to exist, and that I was the scum of the earth etc etc, had me believing that. The evidence was irrefutable. It’s also no secret that a few years ago, I put myself into the hands of a psychotherapist to start trying to pull what had become a huge mess to pieces in an effort to try and find the truth, as finally, I’d managed to prove ‘them’ wrong. I’d escaped, and managed to move away, and successfully make things better. I’d survived a (still unknown) illness which had been supposed to be the end of me – which of course I felt I deserved, so what was going on? The therapy certainly didn’t fix things, but it did help me to understand the whys of things, and also to an extent some of the values I had.
Skipping forwards to this year, I’d made the decision to once more throw caution to the wind, and make things better. Serendipity had provided a person who challenged me with enough aggression to break through certain mindsets, but not too much for me to respond instinctively in defense, and all of a sudden the time was there. No turning back. I was back in Sheffield.
Still not convinced it wasn’t a huge mistake. But nowhere to go except forwards, and if all of my life experience to that point had taught me *anything* at all, it was to be stubborn!

I’d started preparing for the move back since the middle of 2012, when I’d first sensed another shift coming, although at the time, I wasn’t aware what it was… and I’d reconnected with people from Sheffield who I’d known before I left, though not to a great extent necessarily, as one of the things I’d really had time to contemplate in the time I lived by the sea, was my own beliefs.
Like in so many aspects of my life, they don’t fit neatly into boxes, either. And I simply can’t believe in commercial religion. Having voluntarily immersed myself in a Christian upbringing in church in my Teens, for several years, it wasn’t for lack of trying… It’s not that I don’t believe in a god figure, or figures, but I certainly have no faith in organised religion. Nor do I strictly fit under the Pagan belt of belief. Mostly because I can’t be neatly classified as being Norse, Celt, Native or other. I take the things that make sense, and build my own system. I don’t rule anything out as possible, because I can’t prove or disprove it…but in the big overall groups, this is the best place – where I fit best, although never exactly.
Anyway… I’d tried to find a moot up in the North East, which proved impossible, for reasons I found out later, and looking back, I’m extremely glad no-one had responded to the tentative emails I’d sent to the groups I’d found. So instead, in my frequent flyer visits back to Sheffield I’d been attending the Sheffield moots when they coincided with my travels. Having known a fair few of the people since before I’d left, and not really being in the same circles as Ben or his friends, it was one of the few places I still felt welcome. As last year had progressed, more and more I was able to get to the moots, and so I knew at least I’d have one bunch of people to see when I got back.

Another big fall out of my life experience to date was my issues with people. See people can’t be trusted. You let them in, you let them see you, and you care, and it’s taken away from you. Which is why people very rarely really see me, or know me. I don’t make myself unlikeable, to the contrary, apparently, I’m very likable (even if I don’t see it), but you only get the surface. But enough experience of that, meant that I can’t open myself to be knocked back like that anymore.

So the start of 2013 saw me back in Sheffield, knowing I could at least do the things I’d set out to do – having already done them when I moved away, but with little to no confidence in myself, or others, for that matter. However, I learned the hard way that no man or woman is an island, so I would have to at least build some bridges, even if they were never particularly embellished.

As the year progressed, people began to identify themselves as those who I could trust a little more, and my confidence had grown as the new job had started and was going well, and I’d achieved the things I’d set out to do. I gathered a small group of people I could count on, people I could confide in, and some of those had already seen more of me than I’d perhaps intended to show, but it was safe to do so, and somewhere I knew that. There are three in particular who have stood out. Two are a couple – whom I value as friends, and count them in my chosen family, and the third is someone who I met very randomly, but we appreciate one another I think…

I am starting to ramble now, so to try to bring it back… I think the easiest summary I can make is that thanks to these three people especially, I’ve reached a point where I’ve been able to work out who I am, and that actually it’s OK to not necessarily fit into a box. It’s OK to know the more complex things, and not the simple things – I don’t need to know the very basics unless it’s fundamental to my understanding. I’ve learned a lot from these people, and have managed to start breaking down some of the walls that have stopped my understanding of myself, the world, and my place in it. It’s complex, it’s not easy, but paradoxically, it’s actually as simple as I make it. Now that I have a little of the perspective I should have had over the last thirty years, (as yes, I turned 30 this year too!) it’s now time to take that, grow it and move forwards.

Finishing the calendar year off, I have people. For the first time in years, I have people I can trust by my side, who I know won’t abandon me for something shinier, and will tell me when I’m being an idiot, encourage me when I need encouraging, and help me along when I stumble. I couldn’t ask for anything better than that, as it’s something I’ve lacked for SO long. Not the false people who want someone who is broken, to try and fix, or someone who is broken, so they can feel better… but people who don’t care that you’re broken, except to care that you are broken, not to do anything about it, and the people in question that I have now, are NOT *those* types of people,and I can and will do anything I can in return. I know that I am small, and I’m not even a tenth of what I could have been by now if things were different, but next year is going to be about growth. Taking what I have gained and learned and moving forwards, and helping those I call my family to do the same. Bringing ideas to fruition, and lending what skills I do have to making things better.
Like I said earlier, I can’t really tell you what’s changed – you’d probably have to ask those people, but I know that as the calendar turns in two days time, I have so many ideas that I could explode, and as sod would have it, less time than ever. All that means though is that I need to be more organised, because by George, Dick, Tom, Harry, or Cheesus, there’s very little that will stop me if I have any say in it!

I’m finding that, as I grow into my skin a little more, things that have seemed far away suddenly make more sense, or seem to work – things are finding the right place. I am an avid believer in Serendipity, and also I believe wholehearted that what is meant to be will find a way, regardless of the obstacles in it’s place. The tutoring is one example of that – for a long time people said I’d be a fabulous teacher and I denied it. I was right to deny the job, but not the role. I am a good teacher, but only with a willing student. I in turn have found a teacher as well – someone who is like me, who’s helped me realise a lot of what I’ve learned this year, and I’m sure will have more to show me – without even realising it. But most do their best work without realising it.

There is so much more that I wanted to say – I’ve haven’t even touched on my plans ahead, or drumming, or Denmark, celebration or anything else. But I’m done writing today. If you’ve kept up, I applaud you, because this is probably as disjointed as heck. But this blog was never meant to be perfect…. Those who know me though- if you’re reading this, then Thank you.

Art: A reflection of a perception, or the baring of the soul?

Today (6th August) has seen me head out into Newcastle. Not a place I go to often anymore, as, quite frankly, aside from the people living there that I know, there isn’t really a great reason to go. If I want to go and see things, then I’ll go out to Durham for the day, as I feel like I’m going out somewhere else, and if it’s just generic window shopping/picking stuff up then Sunderland has most things I would need (and those it doesn’t have, Durham does, for the most part).

However, there was a reason behind today’s trip and that was for culture. First stop was the Laing Art Gallery – where we had a look round a couple of exhibitions, but in particular had gone to see the Quentin Blake section (http://www.quentinblake.com/en/). Forgive me if this is patronizing, but for anyone who doesn’t know – he’s the chap that illustrated for, most famously, Roald Dahl’s books, and is still going strong, even now he’s 80. For me, he’ll always be a bit of a lesson in life, I guess, as he doesn’t conform to ‘conventional art’. It’s been said on more than one occasion that his influence is seen in some of my sketches (although it’s VERY rare I’ll allow someone to see one of my sketches in the first place!)

For me, I’ve never had much confidence in my ability when it came to art. Surrounded by friends, and family members who were absolutely amazing at more traditional forms of art, where I, quite frankly, sucked at it, was not a good place to be…. I never really knew that there was more than one way to ‘do art’ – until I stumbled on this chap’s work. He certainly didn’t have the finer features of the face down perfectly, or everything in proportion, and no-one seemed to mind…

So basically I got to thinking about the way in which society perceives art – what classes as ‘good’ art? I don’t think it’s the same thing that I, or a fair few people I know would say it is. For general society, conventionally ‘good’ art is aesthetically pleasing, neat, coloured, safe. Occasionally you’ll get someone like Banksy come along who upsets the status quo and becomes the darling of the media for a while, but over time we return to the conventially accepted norm.

For me ‘good’ art is anything which I can see has something of it’s creator in it. Whether it’s a particular method used, or just the perception you get from it. No more more less. Art, for me, should be a reflection of your perception of life, whether it’s a portrait, an abstract, a landscape or something of the imagination – for why should the realm of imagination be any less real or valid than those things we can see!