Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The beauty of the natural world.

I think these photos speak for themselves. I am not a wonderful photographer, I don't have a wonderful camera, and my hands are not always steady. But I love taking these snaps to remind myself of the wonder of this world which nothing but human stupidity can spoil.
 Sunset on the Lleyn Peninsula.
 These leaves looked so fragile.
 Sunset from the beach at Wallasey. If you click on the picture you get some idea of the scale of the view. The views are enormous and when I am away from the sea I long to be back, windy weather an'all!
Posted by Picasa

On not studying ethics.

I am having an argument with myself at the moment. It goes something like this...

Last year was spent happily doing the Introduction to Philosophy course at Philosophy Pathways run by the wonderful Geoffrey Klempner. I have been struggling to find the mental energy to do the next course which is an ethics course. I seem to have run out of steam.

 Partly this is because the Central Pain Syndrome, with which I struggle,  has become so much worse. The pain medication I take knocks me out - we have great days out, but without them I couldn't cope at all, as they serve as distraction therapy, as does dyeing wool, crafting, reading and just gently pottering around the house which is something I enjoy doing as well. Pottering is a good description. Some of this and some of that.

I feel that to study ethics is to study human nature. I am not entirely convinced that there can be any one conclusion about any situation - but then there has been so much lately that has been, in my eyes, morally reprehensible, from governments to individuals, and perhaps there is no point in studying moral philosophy as nobody appears to behave in a moral way.
If ethics can't change the selfish way in which we live, then what is the point of studying ethics?

And if the bad people always get away with it - whatever it may be - then is there any point at all in being good?

Of course, if you are Lance Armstrong you might not think that being bad has actually succeeded, but of course in some sense it has, because the whole sport that he represented has now been tainted with the scandal. Jimmy Saville's name is becoming synonymous with nastiness. Our millionaire politicians have no idea whatsoever about how people really live and our PM used the death of his own son (unbelievable) to make his party trust him whilst he and his fellows in government make the lives of disabled, sick and vulnerable people even worse.

Meanwhile the party in the Middle East goes on apace. And Barak Obama is fighting for his job in the USA and heaven help us if Romney wins.

Where does classical ethics fit in to all of this? And will it even begin to answer the question that always haunts me - how to come to terms with the Holocaust? What meaning can possibly be derived from the loss of so many people? And so many others who died in that war?

So I open the course material and I think - yes it is interesting, and yes I can understand most of it, but how does it actually help me to navigate the life I actually live? Perhaps it is not merely a lack of energy that holds me back but a growing sense of futility.

I will have to decide what to do soon. I would hate to give in or give up so I will have to find my way through all of this mental obfuscation.

A day out - and some wool.

 This was the rainbow we saw as we approached Castle Howard yesterday. I am sure the pot of gold must have been somewhere close-by. This was taken through the car window in a hurry so the quality isn't very good. The whole road ahead was shimmering in the light of the rainbow - I have never seen anything quite so magical.
 This is a view from the garden. The sun was shining at this point so we walked on into the grounds.
 This was the sky shortly afterwards...
 and here it is looking even more like a storm might be on its way. We managed to walk round, have a coffee outside and take photos in spite of the damp and the gloomy light. I always love photgraphing stormy skies. They look wonderful through a camera lens.
 I bought 400 gms of 4 ply and want to make a lace cardigan with it - I have the pattern. I dyed the wool simply by placing two colours into my dyeing pan and then putting the wool in. It is very random and I love not knowing how things will turn out. If I do more yarn dyeing I will have to weigh and measure, but I am not a weighing and measuring type of person. I have to knit some of the wool I have before I can justify buying more to dye!!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 15 October 2012

Some days out this summer

 We went to Gawthorpe hall - a beautiful house standing in some sad remains of a garden. It makes me want to get out my gardening history books and start making the outside as good as the inside. The best part of the visit was the opportunity to see part of  the vast needlework collection that it houses. Racheal Kay Shuttleworth started the collection and it has everything from historic garments and fine embroidery to contemporary pieces. I could spend the rest of my life in their archives if they but knew it. I wonder how I could get involved there? I will have to think about it.
Next is a view of the famous Liver buildings which face the Mersey. The photo is taken from the new Museum of Liverpool which turned out to be an absolute treasure trove of information about the city. What I finally like about Liverpool is that it is a city that wears its heart on its sleeve. I can't imagaine anyone in Leeds being emotional about the place!!  The museum manages to convey this quality - emotion - without being overtly sentimental. We spent two afternoons going round Albert Dock and visiting the tall ships and then the museum and then we found that we had only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. We will be going back .
 This photo was taken at New Brighton on yet another rainy afternoon. New Brighton has undergone a major transformation in the last few years and now has coffee shops, an ice-cream parlour (!) a cinema and a supermarket. I thought that New Brighton would be spoilt as a consequence but I was completely wrong, and it is fun to go there to walk Martha, and have an ice-cream watching the shipping come and go along the Mersey.
 Talking of Martha...
 We took J's mum out for the day and went to Ruthin craft centre where I took this photo. These days out are precious and will be a store of memories in years to come, something which sadly I will never have with regard to my own family, but which makes me appreciate these days on J's behalf. We went to Nant-Clwyd house . had lunch and finally made our way home via Moel Famau, yet another favourite place.
 I love the colours of autumn. I can never have enough photos of the trees as they almost defiantly put on their finery before their long sleep.
 Castle Howard was a surprise. We have visited twice, once to do the house itself and the second time to see the grounds and gardens. The house itself is wonderful - gaudy, overblown and yet utterly grand, although it spent a great deal of its life in a state of dereliction.

More to follow!
Posted by Picasa