Voting: back to basics

I’ve put the cross in my little box. But for those still undecided this could just well help:

(Perhaps in the future our politicians could bear this in mind too it would definitely help.)

[X]

Cogito Ergo Mum

The kids have been asking questions about the elections. With so much hot air and hype out there, it’s hard to find a way to explain how I decide who to vote for.

It’s made harder still because I still haven’t quite decided who I am going to vote for. The clock is ticking!

I’ve read the manifestos, listened to the TV debates, and watched Newsround with the 6 year old. So many words, opinions, and commenters. It’s clouded my thinking. So today, I am going back to basic principles.

As far as I can see, the cornerstones of modern democracy in the West are Freedom, Equality, and Community. Think the French Revolution motto “Liberte, egalite, fraterinte”.

We are lucky, in many ways, that all political parties are mindful of these values that the vast majority of us hold dear. Some of them lean more towards Freedom, some Equality, and some Community to…

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Gluestick Awards 2014

2014 is nearly done. And, as the Quiz of the Year type things on TV/in the papers keep reminding me, I remember almost none of it. But then, until they show the news on CBeebies that’s largely the way things will remain.

Still, we were very definitely on board with the whole Frozen and Loomz things. Boo is more than happy to jump on a bandwagon as it rolls on by. The Ice Bucket Challenge passed me by though (at the time I didn’t know whether to be relieved or to feel offended that I hadn’t been nominated) as did having a thigh gap. In hindsight, maybe there was a correlation. After all, who wants to watch a non-celeb with thighs that touch (not to mention muffin top and double chin) wear not many clothes and get doused in cold water?

But, whether for the history books 2014 is remembered for Ebola or Isis or George Clooney getting married, for me, it will be the year that WordPress opened my eyes to blogging and it wouldn’t have been the same without you. And not just the relief at having people laugh at the absurdities of my life (although I shall probably use it in my defence in court/as they try to commit me one day: ‘But they agree with me, m’lord! I’m not insane, but quite justified…’). But also to seeing the world through others’ eyes, be they the beautiful refraction of West 517, the ever-punny Little Miss Menopause, the nod-laugh-nod-laugh of Lifeloveanddirtydishes and Louisa Simmonds, awe-inspiring awesomeness of Surgery at Tiffany’s, heavenly creatures from Katie MorningStar or the views of The Dancing Professor who broadens my understanding of worlds both ancient and modern and also provides goats. 2014 has been a better year for discovering them and more.

But I wouldn’t be here without my crazy, frustrating, funny family. And thus I would like to thank them for the past year with the inaugural Gluestick Awards.

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Best Newcomer: Teddy

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The starting point of the whole blog. Nobody else could possibly come close in such a category.

Prize for Cinematography: Indy

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Hopefully in 2015 she’ll realign my old iPhone to her Cloud. In the meantime I keep receiving her photos on my feed. There hasn’t literally been a picture of her gazing at her navel yet, but it’s surely only a matter of time!

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Best Dressed: Indy

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However, she’s a student, so should surely be stepping away from the changing rooms of posh shops. At least until she’s not inadvertently sending me dressing room selfies.

Award for Hair & Make-Up: Eve and Indy

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Indy’s eyes and Eve’s lips both seem to have been drawn by Disney animators. It’s not fair.

Best Acting in a Dramatic Role: Noodles

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Particularly commendable for the Tantrum Trilogy: Tantrum in a Supermarket, Tantrum in a Café and Tantrum So Loud at Home It Could Be Heard Down the Street.

Best Supportive Role: Eve

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Not only is she a great helping hand, her hands are also beautiful.
Whereas Teflon Man and Grandy will grumble and snipe, Eve is the one person who will accept a situation for what it is and get on with it. Although she may well be grumbling and sniping about it on her phone that’s perma-attached to her hand. Still, it’s a deserved win for not making me feel perpetually guilty. Without her, my life would be a mess.

Best Song: Frozen soundtrack, performed in the car by Noodles and Boo.

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With it being the soundtrack of choice in the car, 2014 saw many repeat performances, but to see Noodles throw his arms in the air as he sang ‘love is an open dooooorrrrr!’ was (just about) worth the onset of insanity. (Sadly, though, no pictures of this exist as it only happens when strapped in the car and driving at speed. #NotAGoodTimeForPhotography)

Best Performance in a Foreign Language: Boo
Yep, we’re still giggling about ‘sechs‘. Sehr gut, Boo.

Blue Sky Award for Creative Thinking: Boo

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Whether arguing why it’s best to only ask for lots of small presents for Christmas (‘because then you’ll not lose everything if you’re just a bit naughty and probably won’t even notice’) or why being a panto actor has to be the best job in the world (‘you only have to work during December and get the rest of the year off’) you can’t argue with her thinking.

Lifetime Achievement in Suffering Award: Grandy

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Ok, he grumbles and snipes (and still does the thing he used to do when we were kids of singing/humming after he’s just sworn under his breath to cover it up). But he’s still remarkable. When others his age are retired he’s still working, but then the alternative of being perpetually around small children is probably enough to keep him in work forever. I can’t say I blame him!

Golden Raspberry: Teflon Man
He nearly redeemed himself with the best Christmas present ever: membership to the V&A in London (which I’m guessing comes with permission to go to London as much as I like…although that remains to be seen). BUT, the house is still falling down, he’s the only one still suffering from the Christmas lurgy and there was the incident of the green plastic ring that very much wasn’t a Pandora bracelet. Thus the raspberry belongs to him.

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Without them all though I wouldn’t have half as much to write about. And without you reading I’d have lost the will to keep it up. So thank you.

Happy new year! Here’s to a fantastic 2015!

A Peek Behind the Door

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I’m so excited about today’s post, as I invited one of my favourite bloggers, West517 to take part in the Blogging Process tour and I was thrilled when she agreed.

I adore West517’s view of life. Always stunning, she captures the most amazing images, seeing beauty in everything from vintage signs to nature, expressed in the most amazing colours. Her posts never fail to make me feel a sense of longing that I could look at life through the same lens. Utterly gorgeous and inspiring.

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Here are her answers. West517, I’m so flattered that you allowed us a peek behind the door.

What am I working on?
I’m rather spontaneous with my blog posts, but consistently what I’m focused on is creating vintage filters in Adobe Photoshop… and experimenting with “free lensing.” J

How does my work differ from others of its genre.
I think that what I create is unique because it’s mine. Born out of my life, my experiences, my perceptions, my influences and abilities … and most of all my loves. I hope that everyone who reads my blog or glances at one of my images feels a little sunnier, a little warmer and a little lighter when they leave.

Why do I write what I do?
I feel that life itself creates art in me every day… Feeling the sun on my face, exchanging “Eskimo Kisses” with my niece, swimming in the Ocean, running in the rain~ or buying a new pair of high heel shoes. I like to think that the action releases the voice and a poem is born, a song is written, an image is created or a story told. Thomas Merton said that, “Art enables us find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” In this process of creativity I am found and lost, born and reborn. Everyone needs a medium of expression and my blog, my images and words are just a small part of mine.

I can’t implore you enough to add West517 to your reading list and add her distinctive sunniness to your day.