Monday, 18 December 2017

Be inspired

As I walked along the field while the sunset broke, it dawned on me that all the great artists were made great by the inspiration they received. This sunrise evokes Monet and van Gogh for me. I can just imagine them sipping a dark, bitter coffee and gazing towards the rising sun and almost immediately reaching for their brushes. Those dramatic grey strokes in the sky are clouds. The square shadow is the village church. Slumber, awakening, promise of a new day and especially, wonder at the privilege to behold the stirring of the birds, the retreat of the badgers and foxes. Beginnings. And endings.

Be inspired today to observe, to be grateful, to reach for the paintbrush which will define your life.

This morning at 6.45am. Photo copyright SvD.

Friday, 15 December 2017

God is dead

I was quite surprised to learn that the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry Prince Harry and his divorcée fiancé in a house of God. As a divorced catholic, my priest could do no such thing as there would be too much hell, fire, brimstone and damnation to deal with. Until recently as a divorced woman I was not allowed to take communion and certainly at mass on Sundays, I clearly stick out like a sore thumb when I attend on my own with no cherubic horde of offspring or husband on my arm. Yet the outward appearance is superfluous to me. You see, my relationship with God is extremely personal. There is an understanding evolving between my inner being and God every single day and I live according to the basic tenets of my faith: 'Love one another as I have loved you.'

I admire my faith tremendously and what it stands for. Roman Catholicism does not move with the times and remains intransigent on many issues- abortion is one of them. I rediscovered my faith in later years by then too old to be ridden with guilt over sex outside of marriage. Having been married and divorced, I take a different view to the vows of marriage than would say, an adolescent with stars in her eyes. Finding God is a personal journey within the embrace of a faith. I follow Catholicism out of an instinctive pull towards the church doors. I cannot ignore the need I feel to commune with something greater than myself and frankly, had it not been for the solace of the church I might not be typing this at all. Sunday mass is an important part of my life simply because it is a calming experience- I like listening to the gospel and occasionally I feel inspired. Who does not weep at the parable of the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son? These stories express a goodness that must guide us at all times and to me, the opposite of goodness is an option I choose to reject in how I live my life. And therein lies the rub at why I object to Ms Markle and Prince Harry exerting their influence to bypass all that their aspiration towards God should represent.

I have never been a fan of the present Archbishop of Canterbury who seems to stand for whatever the flavour of the month is. But to give consent for a divorced woman to marry in a church of God shows the finger to many followers who take their faith seriously. No one is saying that a faith should not support those who deviate from the teachings of the Bible and to be fair, I am not a practising Catholic as it would be too hard and constraining for a strong-willed character like me. I do however like the idea of respecting the tenets of a particular faith without wanting to kill anyone- the case with misguided individuals calling themselves Muslims.

Why therefore do these two want to have the fairy tale wedding in a church? Any woman who has clearly been living with a man should ditch the white wedding dress. I married in a silk taupe suit as I felt the white dress would be a tad too hypocritical while repeating sacred vows in a house of God. I also made sure the wedding didn't cost a fortune as I was reminded by my father who whispered in my ear as he walked me down the aisle that I could always get divorced if it didn't work out. His words were indeed prescient.

The hard truth is marriage isn't a fairy tale but hard work which requires a mountain of tolerance and compromise and ultimately neither person ends up living the life they want. The previous Archbishop refused to marry Charles and Camilla in church and by doing so sent out the following message: the church does not condone divorce and adultery and never will. Unfortunately we live in an age where the misguided rabid Left want everything their way. Like strawberries in Winter, if they want it, they must have it. Out of this new extremism of entitlement will be borne an atmosphere of fear not dissimilar to Orwell's 1984. We are already seeing the witch hunt of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey et al where finger pointing and screaming accusations destroys lives. Flirting, assault by innuendo, rape and sexual discrimination are not the same thing. Soon men will be completely emasculated to the point of preferring masturbation over sex with a woman as the consequences will be too terrifying. Cue to the sex robots which some men don't even think of as robots! The disconnect from real relationships with sentient human beings is already in progress. No doubt the Archbishop will encourage the feelings of the robots as he has done recently to assuage the transgender community.

I truly have no interest in the monarchy beyond the Queen for whom I have the greatest respect. I don't begrudge the cost of the Queen who should even be sanctified for carrying out her duties with humility and determination to serve her country. William and Harry are indeed the children of Diana who wanted to be more touchy feely and rock and roll which led to the unravelling of her own life and will be the undoing of the monarchy. There can be no doubt that the values of William and Harry are at odds with the fustiness of an ancient institution. The Left are unwittingly smashing down the relics of tradition to make way for a new world order where they must ultimately have it their way while everyone else will have to take the highway, including God.

My daily walk. Photo copyright SvD.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Our dark winters feed the soul

My daily walk in a vast open field with nothing but the sky for company. This is what I see morning and night while our winter has forced the sun into hiding. The short, dark days where our eyes are dazzled by the faintest ray of sunlight, are the perfect time to commune with our inner being- that true self which is concealed beneath the façade we present to the world. I LOVE my solitary walks where I can distinguish the crows, finches and wrens from the sparrows in the dark as they rustle branches on their return to roost. I feel safe despite being alone or perhaps my age means that I am prepared for anything. A lack of fear is not courage but a knowledge that the universe is more in control than I will ever be.

Photo copyright SvD.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Freezing Brrrr..itain

Age has caught up with me- rheumatism in winter which gets worse when temperatures dip below zero. Last weekend I felt so cold out walking in open frost-covered fields as unrelenting biting wind stung my face that I actually contemplated abandoning exercise altogether. My favourite thing in the whole wide world is walking which I could do forever and the prospect of not being able to cover ten or fifteen miles a day for fun over the weekend especially, has sent me into a morose, 'poor me' state. I can't say that I am looking forward to my rheumatism getting worse as I age. I don't mind the grey hair, the sagging bits but I do mind not being able to walk. The other option is to emigrate to a hot country where my rheumatism all but disappears. The third option is to become a food terrorist like those rabid left-wing vegans who want to save the planet as they shuffle around farting in a breathless state of malnutrition. I have no desire to save the planet at my age because I'll be long gone when it begins to implode.

Photo copyright SvD.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Just the way you are

Yesterday I popped into London, the center of the universe, inhabited by the Gods of all things historic, materialistic, fast and furious. I had plans to meet old friends- two who I hadn't seen or spoken to in 16 years and another who I had last clasped eyes on 21 years ago (and who I have known since we were both four years old). Wow! None of us had seen the time fly or our feelings change for one another. We reconnected as if the elapsed time had been so fleeting we hadn't realised we were older and very much greyer, the children were all grown up and the usual dramas of life had never even happened. None of was particularly interested in material accomplishments to brag about but all of us fused with the heart of the person sitting opposite after a long, tender embrace. I had the best time of my life to love, feel loved and thought of so fondly by old friends who had not disappeared forever into a pea soup fog of time. There can be nothing more wonderful in life. In fact there isn't.

My friend from primary school remarked that when she looked back at her life she could see how fortunate she had been. We all were. We just didn't know it at the time.

Photo copyright SvD.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Sexual harassment and the sheer hypocrisy of it all

I've written before about being sexually harassed. I can recall several separate incidents where men behaved inappropriately towards me. Rampant inappropriate behaviour was all the rage in my salad days where the flush of youth, a heady combination of throbbing hormones and plump lips sends men sniffing around hoping to strike lucky. I was able to extricate myself from unwanted embraces and tongues down my throat and on each occasion the men reluctantly albeit gracefully backed off. One of my bosses made it plain that if I didn't sleep with him I would not get promoted. I resigned and went off to explore life and eventually found a new job. When I look back on all these experiences all I can think of is poor them. Men who consider women fair game and use sex as a way to barter a promotion or a starring role in a film are pretty low in the food chain but forgive me, the women who accept that they need to remove their knickers in order to get ahead are no better.

The media has suddenly gone stark raving mad since Harvey Weinstein was accused of being a monster. The media thrives on a feeding frenzy and poor old Harvey however grotesque he may be, must surely be suicidal having seen his stellar career in tatters. Don't be fooled, Hollywood has always been a cesspit of vipers and debauchery. And if you think that the stars of days gone by did not indulge in the occasional leg over in order to advance their careers, you'd be wrong. I know quite a few people in the movie business and the combination of huge money, fame, notoriety and an easy life are worth paying a high price for and the way to survive is to convince oneself that it is only sex. Not love, not making love, just sex. And let's face it, sex is pretty forgettable unless there's a mental connection. The expression 'sleeping one's way to the top' didn't originate last month when Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a rogue. Sex as a means to an end has been going on since time immemorial. The history of civilisation if filled to overflowing with adultery, for example- Cleopatra was Caesar's mistress in a strategic move to obtain power, she then aligned herself to Mark Anthony but was LOVE involved? Prince Charles married his mistress who interestingly has never had a day job. Power, money and motivation are irresistible aphrodisiacs. A very crude joke goes like this: for every 0 in a man's bank account, add an extra inch to his d...k. Harvey Weinstein made a lot of great films and advanced a lot of careers. Oh, the irony as they turn against him!

So SPARE ME the complete and utter hypocrisy of everyone running for the hills screaming molestation, inappropriate behaviour and sexual bloody harassment. Rape is wrong but a man placing his hand on your ass is hardly going to be a seminal moment in your life. Really? Is an unwanted kiss going to send one into a spiral of despair and ruin one's life? Is a man saying that he'd like to shag you so truly terrible that it is worse than a kid having their legs blown off by a landmine or the fact that one quarter of all children in the UK live in poverty? Did that actress who claims harassment when it was consensual sex, which just happened to catapult her into the Hollywood stratosphere, is she just remorseful, bitter or jumping on the bandwagon in order to be seen?

I blame the left, a rabid bunch of holier-than-thou hypocrites, plotting over their soy lattes who needs to be destroyed so they can advance their agendas. Where are we heading in this? Now we learn Westminster is full of gropers all speaking in double-entendres. Welcome to politics where every politician lies once they open their mouth. They can't help themselves. Didn't Boris have a carry on but his wife stayed with him? Now I'm told Theresa May must do more to top all this lusting- is she to go around slapping errant parliamentarians with a ruler and shouting 'Naughty!!!!'?

The latest claim (and they're never going to stop) this morning involves Kevin Spacey accused of molesting someone.  Mr Spacey promptly (and strategically) claimed not to recall the incident. He took the opportunity to announce the bleeding obvious about his sexuality which has been known in inner circles forever. Hence my point exactly: everyone has always known that the casting couch is a probable gynaecological examination and those who were hungry enough accepted the rules of the game and were prepared to sell their souls. The current feeding frenzy is pretty despicable considering what a mess the world finds itself in. Personally I'm more concerned about ISIS or that nutter in North Korea than being groped by a bloke. But then again there is far more in life that interests me and every incident of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour I have ever encountered in my life didn't define me and was utterly forgettable (because I have better things to think about).

The current climate of far right political correctness is a dangerous trend towards complete intolerance; what therefore is the difference, you tell me, between tolerance and intolerance? Just someone telling you what to think. It's worth remembering that much about life is an illusion. Like the photo below.

Photo copyright S. van Dalen