Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I know nothing about art.

I know nothing about many things but despite not knowing anything about art or artists, I know what I like, and I suspect that you do as well.

To me, art is a very subjective thing. If I see two lines on a blank canvas and hear some ‘expert’ proclaiming that these two lines depict the ‘internal struggle between order and chaos’, I laugh and think they’re taking the piss. It’s two lines on a blank canvas. That is not art.

Except it is. Some people will rave about lines, splotches, paint spatters, squares and other shapes and they will tell you how brilliant it is and how the artist struggled and how they fought and how…this…and that. And I think it’s bollocks. In the same way that food critics and book critics talk about food and books, much of what come’s out of an art critic’s mouth is twaddle.

We are all different and we like different things but to me, art is beauty. Art is the construction of something imaginative…and I don’t find two lines imaginative. I could draw two lines and I bet you right now, you wouldn’t want to buy it because you could do it just as well yourself.

I may not know about artists and schools and styles and paints and techniques, but I know what I like. I know what I want to see. Like modern classical music, I find modern art to be something I have no feeling for; something I can’t connect with. It’s cold and inharmonious and I feel a sense of detachment from it. What has an unmade bed got to do with me? or an installation of lightbulbs? How do I feel some sense of awe rather than a ‘That looks like my bed’?

I only write this because I recently purchased a picture. It’s bright, it’s colourful and it’s big. It appealed to my sense of awe. The colours, the combination, the technique that is, on close inspection, so mundane and yet so clever, so skilled. It looks easy to do but when I understand how each stroke, each placement of paint interacts with the next, I find myself deeply admiring the artist. It’s something I couldn’t do.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and perhaps they are right. But come on, several million dollars for a squiggle and a drop of paint? That must be more money than sense?

What day is it?

Every day is now blurring into one continuous day, punctuated by shopping, a bit of tv and restless sleep. The weekend seems simply to be an extension of other days and there is little to distinguish one from the other.

I’ve been writing. Three books published, a fourth completed, a fifth in idea format and other works hurtling about like dodgems in my mind, bouncing off one another and each demanding attention. So many ideas, so much time, so little…not enthusiasm for writing as such but the desire to spend a lot of time writing in an environment that isn’t conducive to comfortable writing.

I have been good though. Everyday for 2 hours or more, anything between 2-5K words, plus some research. I’m trying to be dedicated but it is so hard. I have so many ideas and I want to write them all, at the same time. I need another six arms and three computers.

My better half always asks how I’m doing. What are you writing? She will ask, hoping I’ve written a poem. She likes my writing but enjoys my funny poetry more. My other poetry, the poetry full of angst and suicidal ideation is not her cup of tea, but to know me, know my work. Even my stories have Death as the main character.

I’m making progress. My travel book is about a third of the way through and I’m enjoying reliving fond memories. I don’t know if it’s as funny as I’d like but the editing will reveal more. It’s going to be quite a big book I think but there’s a lot to cram into it. Lots of planes, strange travelling companions and disorganisation.

So that’s my update; how I’m doing etc. Now, what day is it?

That sinking feeling.

I gave up yesterday.

I gave up and threw all the holiday brochures in the bin. I don’t see any point in tormenting myself anymore. I don’t want to see pictures of places I want to see but know I will never visit. It’s all become too upsetting.

My new suitcase will find a use as a dumping ground for clothes and I needn’t renew my passport, which saves some money. And I feel terrible.

I’m so tired of hearing my other half have this plan and that plan and then give up and do nothing because they lack confidence. We have talked it through time and time and time again. I try to encourage her but it’s no good. Does she think I am confident in my books? I’m not. They are in the public domain but if somebody hates them then what can I do?

She doesn’t want to lose weight or get fitter or take any exercise. She doesn’t understand how important travel is to me yet she should because I have told her so, so often. She doesn’t want something to aim for. She doesn’t seem to care.

And I’m tired.

Living here because it’s all we can afford. Can’t have a dog, can’t travel, can’t do anything.

I’ve given up.

What’s the point in going on?

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

I’m in the shadow

Hot isn’t it?

I’m writing this whilst my shirt clings to me like a second skin. I’ve already changed it this morning but the heat seems determined that it should stick to me like some ardent lover, afraid to let me go.

I love heat. I travel to hot countries at the hottest times and yet this heat, this ‘British’ heat, seems almost more oppressive than that which I’ve experienced overseas.

I’ve had breakfast in 45 degrees in Luxor, sitting on the terrace of my hotel just feeling pleasantly boiled. Of course that’s a dry heat with very little humidity in the mix and your skin just crisps like pork rind in the heat.

I’ve been out in the desert in over 50 degrees in Jordan. Again, that’s a dry heat and your clothes stay mercifully dry.

Mexico was hot but humid. I recall the days of walking out of my hotel, dry and fresh, smelling sweetly, only to find that my shirt instantly stuck to me, I was no longer dry and fresh and that my deodorant was fighting a losing battle.

But everywhere I went, I coped.

In fact I did more than cope, I revelled in it. I loved it. I seemed able to adapt to the requirements and heat became an afterthought. It was there but so was this and that; distractions from the blazing sun.

I’m doing okay. Yeah it’s 36 in the sitting room but there’s a breeze and when it blows it’s lovely. But I do feel tired, sapped of energy. And that’s odd because the nights, although warm, haven’t been as cloying and close as they were earlier in the year when we had those two or three days of really hot weather. I’m awake early but that’s not new so it’s not that.

Perhaps it’s a combination of things. Work stress, leaving work stress, benefit stress, life stress, fibromyalgia stress and a whole lot more that’s making me feel it this time around. Maybe I don’t have the nice distractions to occupy me and so the heat becomes more noticeable. I wish I knew.

I love the sun. I love Summer. But this time, I wish I was ready for it.

Technology is my enemy!

Started yesterday with my Chromebook playing silly buggers! This is when, because it has a life of its own, it will give an almighty shrug and close down or cause the programme you are using to stop working and then you will lose things. Like I did.

First it saved, then it didn’t. Then it tricked me into thinking it had before blowing me a raspberry and telling me I sucked because yay, it had lost it all. Really lost.

Not misplaced, not put in the wrong folder, not dropped. Lost, gone forever, to the accompanying laughter that my Chromebook likes to torture me with.

I thought I had it. I was certain I had emailed it to me before the great shrugging of 2022 but nope, not there, not anywhere. Even the programme I was using that saves stuff automatically hadn’t saved it automatically and where it should have been there was just a space, as if I’d not written it at all.

It was calling me a liar. It was telling me that those 2000 words were all in my imagination. But they weren’t. I hunted high, I hunted low, I even contacted one of the companies support desks but no, they said, you’ve screwed up totally, your work is lost. Get over it bud, suck it up, it’s gone and you can’t have it back.

So I rewrote it this morning; very cautiously and saving often, emailing myself the document after each 200 words and checking constantly that it was there. Such a waste of time. Write. Stop. Check. Email. Write. Stop. Check. Email. Bollocks!

I hate it. I hate technology. I hate not knowing why things go wrong or how to fix them. I don’t understand technology or how things work so I’m like a tiny mewling kitten the moment something throws a wobbly. Technology is my enemy and I can’t see that changing.

Bringing it all back…


Strange how you forget things. Things that were once so vivid seem to fade with time and the sights and smells become distant memories. A photograph can only do so much. I remember Luxor but now I can barely recall the heat, other than it was very hot and the sounds and smells cannot be replicated by a still or moving image.

You need words. Words can convey so much that when taken with a photograph, brings fresh impetus to memory and you recall more vividly what you experienced.

I’m writing a book about my travels and the words I scrawled from years ago have allowed me to relive experiences I’d long forgotten. Flights I took, hotels I stayed in, people I travelled with and the sights and sounds of countries I loved. The words, written in much closer proximity to my travels and often from diaries kept contemporaneously, are a window on what actually happened rather than the sometimes misremembered sequence of events and places.


I recall some parts quite vividly and yet others seem to drift into one another. Places I’ve been to before become a collage of images and memories that might not be from the correct trip but, because the background is the same, they blend and become from that trip and not that one, the right one.

But now, armed with my notes, I’m reliving the past in more vivid detail, seeing afresh my travels, seeing them with fresh eyes, laughing and being moved once again. And that’s it, I feel moved. My words move me. My feelings are raw and specific to that time and I feel enthused to write about what I experienced.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Will I ever be free?

I’m waiting again. Waiting for the phone to ring.

I had a call earlier this week about my claim and its left me rattled. For a start I don’t like calls from unknown numbers that just happen without warning. I want to know if there is a possibility that I will be called and a rough time frame in which that call will happen. Not some random out-of-the-blue event.

And if people want to call me and talk about important matters, will they please listen to me? There is nothing worse than someone repeating what you say but twisting it to meet their own ends. Listen to what I am saying. If I didn’t use that word then don’t use it as a way of interpreting my meaning.

Things are made worse by the fact that my details are now with someone else and they are going to ring me. But I don’t know when? Will I be out? Will I be home? Will it be convenient? Will I be prepared? Will I answer their questions in the way that gets me the right outcome? What happens if I make a mistake or say the wrong thing?

That is the difficulty in dealing with so many faceless agents. They don’t know you and have no appreciation of your situation. To them you are just a name or a reference number and your medical conditions are just words without meaning; without context, and so they blunder on, ringing you out of the blue, uncaring if they upset your delicate equilibrium.

I want this to end. I want this call to be the last. I want to get it done, get it over with so that I can rest, knowing that everything is taken care of. Here I am, waiting for the phone to ring…and I hate it.

New Beginnings

Photo by Pixabay on

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Sure, every day is the first day of the rest of your life but today I am moving on, putting the past behind me.

Work is now done and dusted. There is some paperwork to take care of; P45s and last payslips and all that jazz but once that’s all been signed off I will consider that chapter of my life over and look forward.

I don’t have any plans. I’m not itching to get back into work. I feel battered and bruised and exhausted by the last six months and I need time to recover; to recharge spent batteries. I’m not going to be idle although anything requiring effort will have to be introduced slowly as I really don’t think I can face another burnout; another meltdown.

I am going to write. Yes, it might not be to your taste (or even mine at times) but it has to be done. I want to write about hopes and dreams and moving forward and I want to continue to write my books and get them out on Amazon. They may not sell but at least they will be out there, in my own voice, telling tales that I want to tell. I don’t think they will make me rich but if you don’t try, you don’t get.

I am going to take better care of myself. I need to take better care of myself. I need to think more seriously about my diet and my diabetes and look after myself because nobody is going to do that for me. Sure I am still horribly depressed and I am still Autistic and still have ADHD and all the associated trauma but I am going to do my best.

Today is all about new beginnings. Tomorrow will be about more new beginnings.

Now let’s find out where those beginnings will take me.

It’s finally over!

After several long and painful months, it’s finally over.

I have a couple of things to sign and then I will be free and perhaps, just perhaps, I will sleep at night. Leaving work has been difficult. It’s been difficult for a number of reasons that I can’t talk about but suffice it to say that my health has suffered as a result and now, with that behind me, I need to start looking after myself more and look to the future.

Boldly, I’ve purchased a new suitcase. I may never use it but having it gives me hope, if you can understand that; hope that we will travel again and therefore it was a reasonable thing to do.

I don’t have any immediate goals. There will be benefit applications and things like that to do but now I just want to chill; sort my life out and try and get myself back on an even keel. I have books out and I do want to write more or at least write regularly so that I don’t lose touch.

Work? is an unknown quantity. do I want to? Perhaps but only if it’s right and being conscious of the difficulty in finding posts that are suitable for Autistic people. Home working would be great but I am not jumping from the frying pan into the fire and will be patient and see what comes along.

But I am glad that it is all over. I look back on ten years of doing my best with some pride because I know that I fought hard to help a lot of people in that time and that I was able, in some small way, to make their lives better.

Until next time then.