So as Summer draws to a close, what is it we ought be doing to help ourselves at this time? Firstly stop bothering your head with what the media has to tell you, in fact and if you possibly can ditch news media altogether, especially newspapers. Do this and you will soon be delighted with the money you start saving by not indulging Rupert Murdoch and his kind and you will soon find your household has far less rubbish in it. Which is better for you, your mental health and the planet too. That’s a winner whichever way you look at it. You can also help yourself by turning the TV off or at least not watching so much of it, do you really need to watch endless repeats of property programmes and stuff about war? No I did not think so, this stuff is not good for your brain or for much at all when you consider things. Don’t drink too much alcohol, if you can, ditch the stuff entirely and see the difference this makes to you, your relationships and bank balance. The stuff is sold to make people stupid, the glamourous image is just a marketing mans trick to make you think otherwise.
Take up some new positive and affirming activity like gardening, if you don’t have a garden then get some house plants or find an allotment, you will soon benefit from all the joys that working with plants and the land can bring you, not too mention the physical exercise it provides. If gardening is not really your thing, then take up something else, let it be relaxing and at the same time interesting, it should stimulate your brain and provide plenty of scope for learning more, treat the brain as a group of muscles that if exercised on a regular basis, reward you with clearer thinking and expanded awareness. If you can get out every so often and enjoy nature, go for walks and get fresh air in your lungs they too will reward you with greater longevity and more energy. Soon you maybe thinking why wasn’t I doing this previously? if you smoke, cut back or ditch the habit altogether. Smoking is best left to Dragons (mythological + fantastical ones)
In writing these words I do not want to sound like some kind of New Age purist that would be a little hypocritical, however I can testify to the benefits of abstaining from Alcohol. I quit smoking several years ago and you can still laugh and dance and make jokes whilst drinking Tea, be it herbal or the normal stuff whats more you can remember what you did the next day. Most importantly don’t worry about what is out of your control, how is bothering your head ceaselessly going to help? the most it will do is give you wrinkles, raise your blood pressure and upset your bowels. Do you want any of that? Neither did I , so I stopped worrying, did what I had to do and let the rest flow naturally.
So I gave the new mower a test run today, that is a day after putting it together and making sure it stays together,I actually found a couple of little bits that needed clicking on today. The long grass is now short. also the stinging nettles and brambles got their revenge for me pulling them up and otherwise getting rid of them, I don’t mind.
I have even found some time to do some painting and have completed a couple of pieces, they shall be posted soon and then hung up to dry out. Ninja the Tomcat is busy washing himself on the terrace, he will be scrounging for food soon as is his thing, even though he was fed only a few hours ago. He is greedy! The weather is being nice today, quite mild with a bit of cloud, I am getting hungry.
Hunger assuaged to some extent, the pastries are a bit stale and dry but otherwise quite tasty. This small repast is made all the more tasty by listening to the case of some woman in South Wales who was murdered by Gooseberry Tart, naturally it was her husband who had bumped her off. (He was having an affair and wished to be free of her) Arsenic was the method of poisoning in this case. The couple had a large house with servants, like wealthy people did back in 1919. Actually the wine, a Burgundy carried the poison.
Happily for Harold Greenwood, he had a good barrister and proposed to a new lover before his wife’s body was cold, though not literally. My eyes have been giving me a bit of trouble these last days, I have been screwing them up as if they do not like the light or some other factor, perhaps it is artificial light or too much computer time. I have spent more time in the garden today and the symptoms seem to have calmed down a bit. I hope it all clears up very quickly.
Does anyone know how to remove annoying plaque from behind your behind your front teeth. Yes I know, don’t let it build up in the first place. But this is really getting me and having tried everything else including the electric toothbrush as a kind of chisel, I really do not know what else there is. The dentist is closed to non urgent work, so I guess I shall have to get creative.
The man next door is drilling and making the house shake with his vibrations, I wish he would hurry up and finish. I am considering whether to go and dig dirt or leave it all for the time being until later on, actually writing this is part of that exercise. it’s quite simple, shovel dirt up and do a general tidy around, there is not much I can do about the dirt that covers the grass, just let it grow and then mow later.
I may well just do some painting interspersed with little bits on here. There again it’s not as warm as the last few days, and from a gardening perspective that is good, especially if you are doing the heavy lifting variety.
The garden centre has relieved me of some of my income
The last few days have been spent learning, building and developing. I have also installed a second pond and the cloakroom is now done bar the gloss work. This I thought would be wasted time and not needed, but the old work looks shabby and shabbiness has no place here.
Creating the new website took a lot of swearing and shouting and several moments of $%^& THIS, however training in the martial arts if it teaches one thing, is that of perseverance and so I did. I have to say, this is the best looking site I have built so far, it still requires some work but I am happy. It has also required me to sort out and sift through a whole load of artwork and remind me my photography skills need to be brushed up on. So many things need to be polished and perfected.
Such a short life, so much to do, we are born knowing so much and die knowing so little.
The pond now has a lily settling in and some friends for company and the garden looks like a bomb site with all the excavated soil, Now I just have to move it, happily it has a new home.
Needless to say, there is still quite a bit to be done website wise, happily the most part is done. Now I must write and paint and paint some more.
Tonight I shall rest and sleep in my bed and not on the couch.
So the garden is probably going to have a day off today, it will still be there come morning and my various physiological ailments need to rest and repair. However the temptation to pick up a shovel and watering can, can be most overwhelming so I may do a little bit in the greenhouse. The rest of the time I would like to spend doing something at least half way worth while and bearing in mind this is the day of rest aka The Sabbath I shall do all I can to avoid servile labours, Like nothing has changed since I last did some servile labour.
There is now a near complete image in my head of what I would like the pond end of the garden to look like, perhaps it is time to commit this image to paper and expand on it to encompass the whole space, them square paving slab things, anybody want them, call me. The edge of the pond has kinked though it is quite easy to fix, it just needs leaning upon and soon goes back into shape.
I just moved a bit of soil and did some pond like I said I would and it hurt. I imagine decorating work will do the same, if the aching bit has not fallen off in the meantime. As my Sensei once said to me. ” It is not a race, it is a journey.” he was speaking about Karate and it is all the more important to think like this, we learn to be calm, and to get things right which saves the bother of having to go back, to correct ourselves and unlearn bad habits which only slow us up and cause frustration and pain.
One of the things about being an artist is that you may well find yourself at times with a pile of work that is incomplete which is known as (WIP) This can be something that is sat on the easel or tucked away behind the cupboard drying out, awaiting some more work. if you are working in oils then it is more of the drying out, which can often take ages. Sometimes a piece just sits there for ages and gets treated like some tiresome task that is always being put off.
Sometimes this tardiness is mistaken for procrastination when it is in fact lack of motivation, a difficulty in getting started and needing a break from that god awful chair downstairs that belongs in a torture museum, it is so uncomfortable even the cats ignore it. actually the chair is only part of the equation, I suspect there is a change in direction in the offing, involving greater preparation and better draughtsmanship. Learning how to draw noses.
The garden and pond site are also in need of attention as is the cloakroom which gets done when the weather is really wet, the pond can only be done properly when the bottom has dried out properly and stops being squelchy, squelchy bottoms do not make for stable solid platforms upon which to work.
Recently I finished doing the pond and making it look nice, with wood chip on the ground and flowers all around. I even had dragon flies and Damsel flies and other kinds of Pond related bugs and beasties.
Before anybody starts worrying, no Frogs or Toads this year, However upon staring into the green depths of the not very big or deep pond I took the rash decision to move it and get something bigger. Baling the pond out with a bucket and subsequently digging a new hole out front, negotiating utilities, Gas and Electric pipes the new hole was dug and said pond ( it is a rigid pre-formed one) was duly installed and filled it is sitting there looking quite nice if not desolate, I have not planted anything in it or around it and have in the meantime been digging the worlds biggest hole to install a new 3×2 metre affair, which is I think the biggest hole I have ever dug. The next stage of the operation will be to level out the bottom ensure the depth is even all around and get the pond in the hole, this is after getting it through the house and across the garden negotiating various cats and other impedimenta.
I have this horrible feeling the other pond might be on the move again. (But not yet)
Other things j thinks I have been playing with Poodle spit ( paint stripper) I have been cleaning the doors up when resting from hole digging, the first door is due to be sanded off and will awaiting undercoating and top coating in due course. the waste pipe through which all the house hold nasties go to the drains is coming in for some close attention it is going to be cleaned up and re-painted something more pleasing with the whole surrounding area re-done and given a new lease of life. And finally the boring old paving slabs are going away to be replaced by nice round stepping stones across the garden and by the washing line, Jackie wants to help and I know she is a good hard worker, the trouble is she is still in the US and aside from painting and writing it can be quite boring and I have too much energy to know what to do with.
The angle of the photo does not do real justice to the depth of the hole and not having any shoes I do not want to go traipsing around in the sticky muck down there and take photos which has steep sides and is approx 8ocm deep in most places. This project is keeping my MH in check and I feel good if not a little sore at the end of each day, who needs a gym when you have a garden to play around in?
Though the weather has been sunny this last week or so it has also at times been rather on the cold side. The sort of cold that makes you want to stay inside and do warm things.
I could have been doing a lot more of the warm things but was lazy, procrastinated and now have to start again. Procrastination is a beastly thing and results in wasted time from not doing stuff which is probably beneficial to ones well being and security. Today it was in my plans to do a load of internet stuff uploading artwork and editing artwork, that sort of thing. However the weather has been nice and warm, J suggested I go do some garden and work off some energy so I did, the only thing I did not do was mow the lawn, that can wait it gives the bugs somewhere to do their thing and feed. I am leaving the dandelions alone again, the Bee’s like them and I like Bee’s. The soil has been raked through and the rubbish has been dumped out of the way. The garden is looking nice and will I am sure be a picture come summer.
It looks a bit tidier than a few years ago when all I had growing was a big bunch of weed, now there is grass and more grass and a pond and a couple of fruit trees as well. This patch of land provides a great amount of comfort, it provides peace of mind and is in a state of constant change, it beats anything in the papers,on the news and is a little haven to escape too.
There is an almighty big fat Pigeon that comes down in the early morning, that my old lady (Lulu the cat) tries to catch, the bird is far to smart and swift of wing. Lulu has to content herself with the thing on a string instead, she is waiting for J to come back and fuss her more than I can.
To say we are living in Interesting times would be an understatement. I do not think I have ever spent so much time on virtual lock down since I was put in isolation during my school days, and that was due to the punitive regime in force, not any contagion or disease. You could say Public (private) school taught me a couple of valuable life lessons, the other being making use of whatever it is you have at hand and occupying every moment you have with something to prevent madness setting in.
If you are lucky enough to live by yourself like I am and are by nature a bit of an introvert then you may well know where I am coming from, for someone who likes his dinner at a regular time and would rather go to the library than out clubbing I am in my element. I have the cats, The garden, my art and the laptop. Bingo! my only complaint is I am rather low on the Pasta front so may have to go out and look for some in the next couple of days.
Throughout this last week of shutting myself away, the weather has been kind and the sun has shone. Despite the cold breeze it has been nice and I am glad it has not been wet and grey cause that would be no fun whatsoever. Some good news I started doing my annual planting of the seeds a few years ago with the idea, that some of them will turn into food, I now have baby plants sticking their heads up through the soil. The kitchen windowsill is working its magic again. I am using Greenhouse magic as well, but Beans and Peas take a little longer. Everything is well wrapped up in Muslin so ought be snug and warm, the sun shall do the rest.
J is doing well and bearing her load with the fortitude and resilience of her people, she is in safe hands and we speak several times a day. She is largely absent of the news at the moment, so we laugh about politicians and family members instead.
Meanwhile I must give thanks for my continuing good health, my international dialling card and the multitude of stuff I can occupy myself with until such a time when things get back to normal, or should I say Less interesting.
It is nearly the second week in my new career. I can at least say I am happier than I have been in a long time. Did I say that last time? So what if I did. I managed to drill though a pipe today. (Again) and to top it all the hedge cutter blew up, it gave out a big bang like crack a shot of electric light and the smell of smoke. I think it is now broken.
I miss not being at work, but am enjoying the warm weather and have been doing stuff about the garden. J is doing well, this makes me a lot happier and puts a lot of stresses to bed. I can at least sleep peacefully,even if I do need to get up at some unearthly hour to pee, I am at least sleeping properly.
perhaps I am drinking a little bit to much right now, but a lot less than I used to, Should I drink more tea. The administrator in the office is married to my manager. They are both nice people and I have bruises from training.
Jesus was a black man, anything else is ridiculous.
To bury the dead is one of the corporal acts of mercy.