Thursday, 27 January 2011

seasonal shift

Did you know that things have changed? Did you realise that the seasons have shifted like tectonic plates or old industrial machinery covered with spider webs, material parts and dead skin? Winter came and everything grinded to a halt and snow came and everything was so unbelievably still. So still that no-one thought movement would come again. Then the ground turned to caster sugar, then demerera, and back to moist black and brown. Winter threatens each year to linger, damp fog clinging and never willing to relinquish it's grasp on all in existence. But inevitably the old grinder cranks and clunks back to life, with the impatient gradual increase of a steam train pulling away. Winter is the industrial age, devoid of colour. An acromatic world of tones and metallic textures. Silence and white noise.

It changed though, and you didn't even notice. All caught up in your own era of change. Things are moving now, so slowly, but moving. You will notice it too, once it is apparent to the surface senses. I noticed it a few weeks ago, in the senses below. It is a feeling. It is in the air, at first not to see or to smell. It is like a chemical reaction to the change in daylight. It is a colour; a tinge that alters everything light touches. It is there already.

I tried to smell it this morning, but it is too immature yet. I openend the bay and all I could smell was the city. It is a transition. I couldn't smell winter, yet spring was still too far away. I smelled food, drink from the shops. I tried the back, hopeful for something more normal. I imagine I smelled it, the smell of the air affected with sunshine and growth. I smelled the same diluted. It's soon though. It's on its way.

I love this time of year. There is hope and knowledge that change will come gradually and upwards as things open, emerge, warm and sprawl. Soon it will be seeds and loungers, water and colour and heat.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

control freakery

I am a control freak. And I don't mean this in a 'I prefer to be the driver than the passenger' kind of way. It's not like those tests you can take and they tell you what kind of personality group you tend towards. I tend towards nothing. I AM the personality group. I'm the red, hot centre of control freakery and I can't help it. That is why when I have not been keeping my resolutions or totally 100% up to date on university work I get agitated and disjointed. I feel like the world is askew and everything is tinted a slightly different colour. A nervous and vaguely wrong colour. Like anxiety, where something is not right but you can't say what and you get more nervous because the logic needed does not exist. Once I am a little less than in control of something than I would like to be I get even more antsy next time. It's an upward trend to becoming someone who can't do things in different ways to normal. I am such a creature of habit and routinised being it is unreal. This has gotten worse over the past few years. I need to stop it though. I am trying to. Just now I have lost a bit of control and I'm sucking it up. I haven't kept resolutions to the letter but I am going to update on the ways that I have progressed.

I ran last week. I will again this week.

I went to Mary-anne today and gave her a wee beauty treatment and a ride.

Stuart and I cooked our January 3 course meal. So things have been a bit hectic around here this weekend and it wasn't exactly a big reach in terms of ability on my part, but we did it. And it tasted good. Now I am going to go to bed having not done some of the things I would have liked to have done today - and I'm going to be okay with it.

Starter, by Me - Italian Tuna, Bean and Sundblush tomato Salad

Main, by Stuart - Pan Fried Pork Loin in Smoky Tomato Sauce

Desert, by Me, Yes, that's right it's just tea/coffee with ritter chocolate and a Fox's Caramel Chocolate Biscuit, but it was great.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

black and white

Sometimes people say that some people are 'black and white' (aka devoid of shades of grey). My brother is someone who has been described to me as this before as he stands by his own view of the world. And why not if you beleive it to be true? This can be irritating for sure (see the time when he lived with me, if you happen to be in my head encyclopedia) and can manifest itself in stubborness, but I think that in general I am proud of anyone who is like this. I am proud of my brother for saying when he was young that he would not befriend a smoker because he did not approve of smoking. Some may think that is a bit harsh to rule a person, or potential friend out, for doing something you disapprove of, but I disagree. Then again, he has a lot more friends than I do. He's a likeable person for sure, so maybe that trait can be reconciled easily with other aspects of one's personality.

This blog is not about my brother though. It is about there being truths, and stances, and no shades of grey. Today I read a post on the blog of someone I do not know that made me feel so scared and sad and worried about the people we co-exist with. This stranger outlined how she was conned/ripped off and severley intimidated by a cowboy locksmith. Not only that she was failed by those who are meant to help you, to save you from such - the policeman who attended. You can read her story here.

I am someone who beleives in good and bad. I am also someone who doesn't beleive in quite good or a little bit bad. I beleive that there are two kinds of people in the world, good people and bad people. Good people are those who try to do good, try to help, try to treat others well and act responsibly. Bad people are those who do not care for other people, who will degrade and ride roughshod over other people to acheive their ends. Bad people are also those people who will do bad things to other people. The reason doesn't matter; they do it.

It's not like I walk around saying 'good, good, bad, good, BAD, bad, good...' when I see or meet people. People have a way of disguising their true identities. Anyone who has ever met someone who has changed after some time knows this to be true. People are always acting. Nearly everyone is acting good. It is so tiresome to have this black and white view because not only do you have to assess each person on their personalities, but you have then to be sure that you have not fallen for their act once more.

I suppose people will think it is childish and naive of me to think that people are good or bad and that's it but it isn't; it's realistic. I do admit that sometimes good people can do bad things. I think that you can judge this yourself to find out the reality though. Anyone who is a good person knows the feeling of guilt, of conscience that they have deep down if they misbehave. Have you ever lost the rag and shouted at someone and then felt that pang of regret as your anger dissolves. Did you ever do something bad when young, steal a sibling's toy or go somewhere you weren't allowed, and then feel guilty and unable to keep it to yourself that you misbehaved? Certainly though bad people can do good things. They do them to build a facade.

There are a lot of bad people out there. Functioning liars exist, spinning elaborate webs and stories where they are the saint and you follow them with staring eyes and an adoring smile. Selfish, careless people steal. They don't insure their cars, they spray paint people's property and they abuse others for a living. Hardskinned, emotional attackers put people down, and trick their friends, and lie and tease and harass day in day out.

I feel sorry for the good people out there battling against this. That's why people always question why bad things happen to good people. But who else would it happen to? Those who aren't good don't let bad things happen as they will take any route possible to get what they want.

The stranger who wrote of her expericence with the locksmith had no hope. In one fail swoop two horrible, disgusting, lowlife, poor excuses for people managed not only to make her feel sick and scared and depressed, but they made her home and her city and her night seem unsafe. We try and make niches for ourselves where we can control the inputs and outputs and keep the bad out and put the good in. When someone tries to ruin that you know that being black and white about people isn't pie in the sky.

I could tell this person that everything will be alright, that she will feel safe again and she should forget about these horrible people, but surely that is bowing down in the face of badness. Anytime I see a person who is hurt or killed for defending their people or their home from intruders or robbers or thugs it makes me so sick. People keep on surrendering to these people and badness spreads like wildfire. Soon it is accepted that I cross the street when I see a bunch of youths in tracksuits. Youths who offer nothing to society, nothing to any single living person yet take all they need from those who do. And I am crossing the road for them? It drives you crazy.

I used not to be able to deal with it. I find it easier when I consider the idea that it's not just that good people are damaged by the bad. I have posted before about my beleif that your outcome is based on what you put in. I know that this offers no comfort to the good harassed by the bad. They have to put up with constant pain and slaps in the face with the knowledge that these horrible people will not end up having what they might have. And it's not fair. Life isn't fair. You can't control these people and you can't control life. The good people out there are outnumbered, drowning in a sea of darkness. What you can control is your own existence and your own influence on the good around you. It's not coincidence that fat parents have fat children and it is even less of a coincidence that good parents have good children. For me the idea that parents out there, good, honest people, are teaching their children to be good - that keeps me going when people piss in my close and break into my husband's car. That these children can take these lessons and hold their own through bullies and teases, let downs and lies, from their own peers, and still manage to remain essentially good.

I remember having an debate with my Dad. It was in the car driving home through the back roads from Edinburgh to where we used to live. I must have been around 17 years old. He argued that the horrible, worthless people of the world were taking over society gradually and the good people, the people who put effort in to keeping our country functioning and a decent place to live, would gradually migrate. They would move to other countries and re-plant and our homeland would be over run with awful people. This was his fear, and his view of the future. I told him that it wouldn't happen. That trends are always cyclical and that there would be a peak and then a gradual fall back to the way it was. I don't think he was persuaded by me and that's okay. But I think that it will happen. As long as people keep standing up, and keep on passing on the goodness. The worst thing in the world that could happen would be for people admit that "if you can't beat them, join them". If you think yourself a good person I want you never to do that. Never let the bad people win. Never admit that those people can control you and more than anything else never let the car-robbers or verbal abusers or conmen out there stop you from living your life by the view of the world you hold.

There are no shades of grey when it comes to humanity.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

you're the birthday, you're the birthday, you're the birthday... boy or girl

Bobbenblog is ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD (in 2 days) !! I would have waited until my first official post but I may forget and a pre-emptive post is way better than a belated one (same rule as birthday cards and buying a new diary - note to self: need to buy a new diary). Yes, so it turns out it has been 363 days since I created this blog. The background to starting it has luckily already been covered in my new year's resolutions post so I'll neglect that and focus on this being my first post of 2011! Happy New Year to the one or two people who read this blog (maybe an exaggerated estimate there).

This isn't a cohesive post and is really the kind of content I reserve for Bobbenblog lite but I felt the need to ring in the blogging birthday here. So firstly, I managed to kind of swipe right over Christmas and straight into the new year before the bells had even rang or the fireworks had kablamoed. I choose to now illustrate Christmas in photographs. My brother and I scrobbled Mum's camera when people were opening presents and got some delightful candid (aka stealthy) shots. So these illustrate the larks of Christmas day and will also introduce you to some of my family.

This is my brother, Jamie. He took a lot of pictures of me looking like a cow on christmas day but it was all okay due to the wonderful camper van slippers he got me.

This is me and my dear Mum posing for a photograph. Oh and my Dad not posing for a photograph.

This is Jamie and my Gran, who I call Jeer (since young). I don't know what was so funny but as you know candid photographers such as myself can't let such trivial matters take away their focus. Eye on the prize baby.

This is my dear Dad. He looks happy in this picture which I like but also a bit like Tony Soprano which is worrying.

Mum was very misguided to think she could lean her way out of a photograph taken by me.

This is my aunt Fran having present evny.

This is my grandad having crisp envy.

J and G Dudes

The group photo

Mum = brilliant.

I also would like to quickly update on my new years resolutions. So I have been trying to ride Mary-anne more... actually at all. Every time I try to go the weather seems to attack with freezng conditions, pouring rain, or snow. Thanks weather. I also have endevoured to run once a week. I have not. To be fair the gym at university only reopened from christmas on Wednesday and I've been housesitting, attending birthday bashes and working on my masters so y'know. I will go this week. On the plus side though I have continued baking bread not buying bread and today made a fine pair of spelt loaves.

Tomorrow I am invigilating exams all day for work which will be pretty fun. Not being on the 'please let this be over' end of an exam will make me fell pretty smug.

Anyway that's all, I'll make the next one back to old form, this patchy rambling style makes me feel uncomfortable.