To post or not to post? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to woffle on interminably about nothing of any consequence or whether to wait until there is a story to tell, however brief, and preferably with pictures.
During the past couple of months I haven’t been anywhere and, worse still, I haven’t done anything that I imagine would be particularly interesting to readers of this blog. So I did not post for a few weeks though I continued to tour all my links at least every few days.
Autumn 08 was pretty miserable so far as I was concerned. It was a rather grey period in more senses that one as the days became shorter and colder. I have rarely caught colds in the past but made up for this in mid-September when I caught a cold which lasted longer than usual and then, with a few days off between each, was succeeded by all it’s cousins right through until early December. I might have kept cycling through the coughs, sneezes and runny noses and even despite the persistent tiredness but I have yet to figure out how to keep the legs going when the lungs just don’t want to know. So cycling was off the agenda and with it the exercise that was keeping the weight under some sort of control and, of course, the opportunity to see new parts of the neighbourhood, take pictures, and bore everybody silly by posting about it.
The vandal attacks on my car (about which I posted here and here) occurred during this period and did nothing for my sense of humour but I am hoping that they were isolated incidents rather than the beginning of a trend.
I gave up trying to paint when good daylight became a bit scarce some weeks before Christmas. I simply cannot cope with colour mixing in anything other than good daylight so it was better to stop completely and wait for conditions to improve, than to struggle on and become discouraged. I did manage a recognisable (but unfinished) self-portrait before I stopped painting. Mind you, it made me look rather angry (maybe I was!) and if my actual colours were anything like those in the portrait I don’t think the wonders of modern medicine could do much for me. That is not how I want to paint portraits.
Other interests have occupied the spaces vacated by cycling and painting and they might get a mention in this blog before long. For example, in the family history I have reviewed and re-organised most of the information gathered so far to help identify those lines of enquiry that need more work. Regular visitors may recall that I bought myself a guitar a few months ago and it has since kept me busy for many hours trying to see the logic (if any) in the standard guitar tuning and also trying to memorise a few scales and easily executed chords (“executed” being quite often a remarkably apt decsription judging by the sound) and even a few simple tunes.
And I have started reading books again or, to be more exact, buying and reading books that I have not seen before. My theme at the moment is animals, how they see and respond to the world and to us and what makes them tick. I have just finished reading “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson. Temple Grandin is a respected authority on animal bahaviour in the USA. She also suffers from autism, which has given her particular insights into animal behaviour because, like autistic people, animals see the world through pictures and in much greater detail than we so-called “normal” folks. To my way of thinking this is one of those exceptional, landmark books in the same league as “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. It should be read by anyone with an interest in animals (it was available from Amazon when I looked recently).
The book that I am reading at present is “Learning Their Language” by Marta Williams. It is about intuitive communication with animals and nature and I am keeping an open mind on this one while finding it fascinating.
It is fun being retired and able to do pretty much as I please, while wondering how I ever found the time to go to work. However, all this self-indulgent hobby activity is all very well but I feel the need to do something (with part of my time anyway) that will have a useful end product. As yet I do not know what that wil be but I am working on it.