Saturday, December 31, 2011

Musings of a New Year

Each day is a new day. Not only is there a song about it, but when I was a child my father told me so. 

My father is a wise man so I believed him. What I wasn’t so sure about was what was NEW about a new day.  I wondered whether the trees on the new day were new too.  I used to stare out of my bedroom window wondering whether the cherry plum tree in the corner was there ALL NIGHT or whether the new day came with a new tree. 

I wondered what it was about the new day that made it new because the marker of the new day,time, wasn’t new – it was a continuous continuum. I decided, after much observation, that the tree probably was the same tree each day. 

What I wasn’t so sure about was whether the tree moved an inch or so in the space it stood in to symbolise the new day… the clock marked the passage of time and so, perhaps, as the sun moved around the sky so the tree moved around it’s space - a kind of slow dance, for trees.  I wondered whether, by the time I was really really old (which was probably 10) whether the tree would be in the rose beds place.

Of course, this is impossible to determine because if everything was a slow dance perhaps we were all moving and my window wasn’t in the same place as it was yesterday.  I decided it was all a bit too complicated so accepted every day was a new day, but the with same stuff and not necessarily in the same place.  It was probably my first brush with relativity.

So, we are about to have a New Year. I am not sure what is new about the year or why everyone persistently celebrates it for one night only and only half of that, the ‘old year’ half.

Lots of people are saying ‘lets hope next year is better than this one has been’ – the one we celebrated last year.. I don’t think we celebrate the New Year at all, but the end of the current year.  I am not celebrating the New Year, I am celebrating the end of this year. At the end of someone’s life I think of them, what they have taught me, how they touched me, how I might have touched them, and rejoice, mostly, not that they have died but they lived and I was privilege enough to meet them.  I think I will do the same with this year. What have I done, achieved, failed, learnt, sustained, developed and embraced.

The New Year isn’t a time for new beginnings it is a time to continue, but maybe differently.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Shopping in Oxford

On Sunday morning under blue skies I worshipped at the alter of commercialism in our beautiful city. I walked around looking at the skyline and it was utterly gorgeous. Here are some pictures.


IMAG0637 IMAG0638


IMAG0641  IMAG0644IMAG0646

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


My boss often brings me a piece of fruit from his luncheon fruit bowl at college.  This morning I arrived to find this on my desk


Another of my colleagues is rather creative and gave me this which I thought was utterly divine!


Back on the boat I have put up some decorations, a string of them this time:


Iced Over – Morning Light



Saturday, December 17, 2011



Thursday, December 08, 2011



Flour and water with a pinch of salt


Eggs and a bit of milk and a bit of butter for the pan


sugar, water and lemon.


This is what I had for supper last night but when I thought about it I realised that if I adjusted the quantities supper would be much more satisfying so I had pancakes with lemon and sugar.

Saturday, December 03, 2011



Have a great day!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Goth? An amble along the reflective morning of the rambling mind.


A friend of mine showed a picture of what looked like a lovely day out in a cemetery with some friends(it must have been lovely, days out in the cemetery are magic).  In the cemetery photograph there was  a red push chair (presumably undertaking the carriage of the new baby).  Another friend commented on the red pushchair. She didn’t say as much but it echoed something in my mind - the red had really jumped out at me. A Gothic – RED?!  I don’t see the problem red is neutral.

Do you really have to wear black to be a Goth?

But you wear black all the time – you MUST be a Goth said one friend to me.  I never said I was a Goth, nor did I deny it. Indeed, I don’t even know why the conversation came up but it wasn’t the first or the last time.  Someone said the other day, after yet another person had died, ‘no wonder you wear black all the time, you are in constant mourning’.

The thing is….I was wearing a red shirt. OK so red is neutral but how does that explain the purple in my wardrobe and the orange sock? OK so my wardrobe is mostly white, grey, black, purple, red and, if we include the sock, orange. BUT to most people purple, red and orange are not black. Nor loosely speaking  is white.

Am I a Goth?

I often wonder whether I am. I certainly appreciate the things my ‘gothic’ friends like doing and thoroughly enjoy the tales my friend shares of events, meetings and fun days out with his Goth friends. 

Although I have grown to love the people I have never met because of the joy they bring my friend I have no desire to be there and share it in person. It is his and I love it for that.  I suspect that were I to be there I wouldn’t fit in anyway.

As my soul gently died I dressed how it felt and it happened to be still be black but there was a bit more tights and a bit more chain

Many years ago now I spent quite a bit of time in a 'gothic nightclub’. I am not really sure it was a nightclub really; it was after 9pm and I made sure that I usually left before anyone ‘clubbed’ anyone else. Even there I could be seen wearing red, albeit big red and black striped tights, but it was red.  I wasn’t the only one wearing a ‘colour’ – the cyber Goths were quite something else; they had it everywhere even in their piercings. There is certainly more to Goth than colour.

Your clothes make you ill:

The way I dressed was often criticised, jeered at, shouted at, whistled at, and I was frequently lectured on the usual topic of ‘no wonder you feel ill – you should see how you dress’. (I never quite said their attitude made me more ill… but the sentiment was certainly there)

It isn’t unusual to come across depression in general society so it is hardly a surprise to come across it in the Gothic community. However I bet the depressed Goth is more likely to be told to dress in a bit of colour and THEN they will feel better.  Since when was dress code ever a medicinal practice? Is colour the new homeopathy of the material world?

I don’t think clothing makes a hoot of difference.

Your drawings are deranged

I recall showing someone, because they asked, one of my recent drawings it was of a skeleton. I don’t recall asking for their opinion, but they gave it to me anyway - they told me I shouldn't draw skeletons, I should draw flowers. So I did. I went home and drew a vase of flowers.  The person looked delighted until I produced my drawing of a bunch of  flowers. Their face fell. But I really really DO love flowers that have begun to crisp up, ones that have stood faithfully in the vase for a long time, aged and wise they wrinkle, droop a bit, but still hang on to life. Yes, they don’t need water any more, but they are beautiful. Stunning. Just becoming interesting.

I don’t think what you draw makes a hoot of difference either – it may show were your mind is, or where you interest lie, but it doesn’t tell you much more than you can glean from asking someone how they are.

As my soul came alive I dressed how I wanted and that was with little less chain, a little less tights and a bit more trouser

and the comments stopped.

So where has it come from that Goths have to wear black?

I have noticed that when someone doesn’t wear black they aren’t considered to be a Goth. My clothes may be dark, but I wonder now whether I would be accepted were I to walk into the Gothic nightclub looking like the civi I now look like? I suspect the prejudice would lie in both quarters and I would have trouble accepting myself being there more. I am more of a loner.

So who said you had to be a teenager to be a Goth?

Someone said ‘you can’t be a Goth, you aren’t a teenager’ but I probably am a teenager – albeit at 38 but who isn’t?.  If my 49year old friend can ‘redefine adolescence from a 49year olds point of view’ I think we can all be whatever age or stage we like. Actually, the last time I looked I think I was 5 with fleeting moments of being 100.

Goth isn’t about the youf. It is much more historical than that. There is a fashion phase of Goth, but it is just that - a phase; a bit like dressing up as an angel at Christmas, but longer. Goths aren’t a phase they are a state of being.

I don’t need to wear black to be a Goth. I emanate it. I must do otherwise people would notice my orange sock or my purple or red shirt.

Some people wear black clothes because their souls aren’t dark enough. Some people wear black clothes to mirror their souls. Some people wear black clothes to cover up the bright pink springy nature within them that dances around with bells on. Some people wear black to look smart – but I don’t see people saying ‘oooh I am not going into that restaurant the waitress’ are Goths’