Polite Company

Polite Company

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

I want to say disagree, as this can sort out really quickly those cuckoos that you think are reasonable people and invest time and emotions into becoming friends with them. Then later you find that their views on certain important moral points is so far round the compass from you that you cannot believe that this person is the same person you really like and have a laugh with.

I don’t know if it’s been coming across in my writing so far but I’m left-leaning and atheist, neither of which precludes me from accepting and liking people who are not of that ilk.

Tolerance is a great virtue and I have friends of right political leaning and friends who are theists, but the one thing we do share is a respect for each other and a tolerance to accept other people’s beliefs, to a certain extent.

There are some views that are so radical I just cannot see how a person who believes those can be accepted as a functioning member of our society.

Racism, sexism, and any other form of outright bigotry, whether based on a religious or political belief is just wrong, very wrong and no written words can justify any person’s belief and practice in these areas. So if the discussion get’s around to that early you can ensure that you do not associate with bigots and such.

If left to a later date these revelations can really sour a person’s outlook on the human race as bigots are just like the rest of us; eat, love, sleep, work and make friends, so that bigot could be us.


One plus One

Daily Prompt: Singular Sensation

If you could have a guarantee that one, specific person was reading your blog, who would you want that person to be? Why? What do you want to say to them?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ONE.

It’s been a long day so I though I would wear my photographers hat today – this is from the Sage in Gateshead

One plus One

One plus One

Ripped from the Headlines: part two

Ripped from the Headlines – 365 Writing Prompts E-book

“Head to your favourite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.”

Egyptian referendum day arrives

A long line, snaking along the corridor, and in it Karim was waiting for his turn.

The soldiers were making sure that there was order in the line, Karim knew that nothing untoward would happen here.

They had been waiting for this moment for a long time now, ever since Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by the military.

The line shuffled forward as another person at the front was processed through.

Karim knew that it would be his turn soon as there was only two more in front of him.

Another was processed, this seemed to be getting quicker as the couple at the desk seemed to get used to what they were doing.

It was now Karim’s turn, he knew that the jailers would make his time here difficult for protesting at the military coup and the changes to the society that he and his brotherhood had fought for.

It was now another person’s turn as he was walked through to the cells. It was now another turn at the chance of a non-military government in Egypt, one he would not be part of.

Being there

As I was commenting on another post for yesterday’s Zero to Hero task, it developed into a bit of a conversation.

The post I initially commented on was Weekly Photo Challenge: One on Preeti’s blog LenzExperiments.

It was an example of a reflection of a duck on water, the reflection was well captured, with a lovely stillness to the water and the exposure was perfect and any post-processing was light and unobtrusive.

My initial comment was along the lines of ‘love the clarity of the reflection, well captured’, and as all photographers (myself included) are wont to do Preeti’s reply was quite self-depricating and modest and went on to describe the external circumstance that lead to her ‘lucky’ shot.

Like a lot of photographers, especially non-professional photographers, I also had a habit of talking myself down, but the more people said that I had a great camera and that I was lucky in getting that shot, the more I actually thought about the creative process. Like all skills creative skills are learned, the more you practice a skill the better that skill gets, until it is an unconscious activity and you forget that you are using a learned skill.

I had to reply to Preeti with something far more positive than her accepting her luck and said ‘But some of the biggest things is actually being there, having a camera with you and then having the skill to take advantage of the circumstances that present themselves – again well done’

As Thomas Jefferson said, ‘I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it’.

Ripped from the Headlines: part one

Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headlines

Click over to whatever website you visit most frequently to get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that headline is in your post.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us a CURRENT EVENT.

Don’t know if people could guess yet, but I’m a Guardian reader 😉

The third headline on today’s front page is Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending that makes flooding inevitable.

This article goes on to posit that we as a nation are subsidising the very actions that are making the likelihood of flooding grater. Rather than listening to research that has been done worldwide, we continue to pander to industrialised farming practices that have been the cause of our previous floods.

After the 2007 flood work was being put forward to reverse the disastrous effect that tampering with the natural courses of rivers had caused, levies were being breached so that farmland rather than urbanised areas were getting the brunt of flooding. This was less disruptive, both financially and emotionally. Only land was affected and the loss to the farmers were much less than the loss to multiple families in towns and cities further down the river.

It’s disgusting that farmers in upland Wales who have found a way to farm sheep more sustainably and more ecologically by planting trees on the land will lose their common agricultural policy grants due to ‘unwanted vegetation’ and to qualify for the grant (an increased on at that) would be to clear the trees that they were given a grant to plant.

The obviousness of this governments policies in regard to wealthy landowners and entrenched privilege gets greater every day, this bias toward large farm owners who will get grants and protected status over the individual is disgusting. The individual has to sort their own problems out and get increased insurance premiums for an ‘act of god’ which could be alleviated with some effort and joined up thinking.

The governments response to all this? Cut the people that can monitor and measure what was happening, so out with Environment Agency staff so that they can do what business wants without interfering busy0bodies kicking up a stink.

I work in education and the obviousness of wanting to cut money from public services was shown there as well, before they started to cut money from the education system they ‘fixed’ some of the problems. The biggest problem was that the previous government had put in place a lot of different programmes that schools could be measured by; Health Schools and Every Child Matters being two that I was working on. Within months of this government getting in they were scrapped and replaced with extremely wishy-washy alternatives without much teeth and with local standards rather than national standards. Then the cuts began and it was hard to say what was happening as most of the systems of measuring performance had gone.

We need to realise what is happening and act as without this every scrap of equality and social good that has been fought for over the last hundred or so years will be gone and we will be back to living in a society as bad as the Victorian era.

Clean Slate

Clean Slate

“Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?”

I’m sitting in a small room, two walls are lined with books and objects in bookcases. Another wall is all window and on the little bit of wall there is a large tray with lots of little compartments full of objects. The last wall has a table and drawers set against it, above these are pin boards and white boards.

The main feature of the room seems to be the profusion of books, four large bookcases full of books. Art and art history dominate, then social care and outdoor pursuits, especially walking. There is then a profusion of fiction, but a real mix from historical romance to hard sci-fi.

Also on the shelves and in the type tray on the wall are lots of small objects, ephemera from different walks, souvenirs from holidays and gifts from various people.

Looking in the drawers/filing cabinet they are well organised as well. There is also drawers of art materials and sketch books in various degrees of use.

The people who live here are obviously readers and they read a wide selection of books though the focus is on art and the humanities. They also seem quite sentimental as they have lots of keepsakes and mementos. The room is well organised with different sections for each type of books and the boards for organisation of notes and ideas. They seem to practice lots of different arts and crafts and like to push themselves outside their comfort zone and learn new things.

They do seem to enjoy the outdoors as there are lots of books and personal pictures regarding the outdoors and there are collections of pine cones and stones around the shelves, bringing the outside into the house.

The room is also quite comfortable with a small chair for reading in and low lights, though right now during a bright day the sun shines through the room as it is south facing with no obstructions.

A nice room for living in, for people who like books and comfort.

Quirks and Fancies

Daily Prompt: Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us QUIRKY.

I really do know what quirky habit (or pure bad manners!) gets to me the most, it is when people chew with their mouths open. A most vile and villainous quirk, which really should be punishable with death by car crusher…

Now that I’ve got out of the way I know which quirky habit of mine gets on the goat of someone I love, playing with my beard… It distracts her no end 😉

Quirky habits I love, mainly Goths and other Cosplayers, they are brave to put all that out there. What also fascinates me is the amount of effort and planning that goes into each costume and in their meet-ups.