Sad to say, I've been struggling to find a meaty bloggable morsel of late. There have been some rambles, but none of them have made it online before the shutdown point that my rather flawed portable computer (or rather my backup system) imposes on me, when roughly every time I think 'better copy that file before the stupid machine wipes itself again', it wipes itself. Again.
Finding material to blog about is a bit difficult since I have a few rules in my head about what not to blog about: friends (unless I feel they are part of the blog conversation and regular readers, but that’s more to them rather than about them, otherwise I think there’s something unfair about it), work (except in sweeping terms about Friends, Clare doesn’t want to be sacked), feelings/lovelife (not that sort of blog). I must pay tribute to Ooh Pretty, by my oft-partner in creativity who had a healthy disrespect for blogs but has now landed on the topic of Pretty Things from her collection – a topic that is both easy to maintain and beautifully executed since she has a great eye for Pretty Things.
Until I find something as wonderfully simple, I shall stick with popular favourites like counting fields and ranting in a simultaneously local and international peace and hatred sort of track. So what were some of those fragments, lost forever to the ether, all the less to bore you with? As far as I can remember, there was some horror at my first direct contact with one of my local elected representatives. It's not the first time I've seen them a-rabblerousing and a-scaremongering, no, they do that every Saturday in Tunstall as they fight the elected mayor system (sigh), but the first time I could see the whites of his eyes and feel, perhaps unnecessarily, uncomfortable about the union jack flag pinned to his lapel. It's not a direct relationship I feel with the councillors that represent me locally. More like a group of bubbles that float on their own, never to be pricked by any real contact with the public. Or at least not by the public I know.
A very interesting meeting in the Westminster Arms of London, learning about the separation that exists in Burnley, a Northern mill town with many similar issues to Stoke-on-Trent and also a certain love for the BNP. It emerged that two of the major issues for some communities in these places is lack of education - particularly when only a few people in the community speak English which gives a few people the power to read, write, interpret for the rest - and the spread of rumours. What is so striking about this is that Rwandans cite exactly the same problems in their society. And they see the consequence of these problems as manipulation of youth towards violence. The challenge for both of our societies is to stop it going into the cycle, to break down separation and fear and create connection. Which is what I will be trying to do the next time I peruse Burslem's bars and curry houses. Every little helps.
And an embracing of the joys of living outside the most glamorous places. My city may not have year-round sunshine, tax free living, high rise towers, a film industry, Lindsay Lohan, no, not even a Starbucks. But it is my home, bathed in Autumn colours, a place where I can build my home. It is full of dreams and visions for the future and imaginings of the past. I can be involved in its future, and it doesn't involve a big Olympics plan which if it really goes for it will cost more than the Iraq war (which will at least give us something to say instead of 'but you spent that much on the Iraq war last month'). Fruit that costs no more than a tenner, no matter how much you put into the basket.
Then there's movies, Flickr, Skype and relaxing tilting train journeys to type long muses that will later be lost.