Starting Book 11 with a new friend

Of Women

In the 21st century.

Shami Chakrabarti


Rob Riemen – To fight against this age.

I feel this is such a valid point and I think if children (and adults) were to see their education as the former more there’d be so much more personal impetus for them to engage. The book is about so much more than education but this is a point that resonates with me and what I have experienced and seen.

It also pleases me to see a lot of my friends who haven’t fallen into a trap like this and I look at their educational choices and attitudes and it at least leans further towards their moral and individual development. It feels like they’re saying ‘what can I study in order to further myself, enjoy my time on earth and therefore offer more to my fellow humans?’ rather than a market based, ‘what can I study in order to appear to offer more to those who have the prime positions in this capitalist society?’

There are elements of Riemen’s arguments that make me feel like a fool for falling into some of these traps of the world we live in. I’ve never wanted money or a business based measurable success, but my attitude to certain aspect of our society has at times been lazy and unchallenging and I think education is a prime example of this.

Interesting causal link he makes between this, the loss of (spiritual) values, lack of absolute truth / rise of deceptive appearances, increased perceived importance of someone’s “market value” and the dissatisfaction and resentment that, what he calls, the ‘mass-man’ harbours which leaves them open and accepting or indeed just blind to the rising and damaging fascism.

Dented like a little bruised plum

My mother brought me a photocopy of the first chapter from Laurie Lee’s I Can’t Stay Long and it’s wonderful so I’ve ordered the book.

‘To have for her horizons the banks of woods… and to be accompanied on her walks by the coloured squares of fields…’

‘Have an antenna for the responses of others, and learn that though animals are much easier to love than men…’

(I’m reading men as human beings…)

There a couple of longer posts in the pipeline but for now I just need to record somewhere that it’s 2335hrs and I got into bed at 2100hrs and I’ve basically been consistently quietly crying while finishing reading A Little Life. When I started the book this is not what I expected and I think that’s what’s so good about it. There aren’t ‘twists’ or ‘cliffhangers’ just the unexpected waves slowly churning by in a complicated life. The idea of the loss felt by so many different people from different angles but so keenly portrayed by the loss of a loved best friend and ‘comrade’ through it all, I imagine, is a prospect that cuts deeply into the fears of the majority who have read it.

I want the roads back to me to be safe.

“…And hope it isn’t me whose left behind…”

Patron saint of hope and lost causes

Book 7 is wonderful so far but I’m only a third through on my kindle. It’s long, which, now I’m further into it, I’m pleased about. I think the quantity ahead is one reason why I’m so ready for holding a heft of paper again. (I almost bought a hard copy too!)

I knew nothing about the author until I read a bit about her today and found this photo. I really like the colours working next to the second version of the cover (this cover is another reason I came close to buying it 🙈)

To satisfy my need for a tactile experience of a book I broke my rule and bought two (there was a deal) for once I’ve finished this story and because they were on my mind.

Book 4

John Sutherland just medically retired. I’m sure, like all of us, he never imagined that the wear the job would put on him would show in his mind rather than his body.

A lot of coping is not thinking about it too much, but that goes against the way I try to process the rest of my life and the planet we’re on.

Someone good at work recently commented on my ‘thoughtfulness’ which I took as a compliment. Although, someone was on hand to remind me that it’s this quality that supports my tendency to ‘kick the arse out of everything’ and knowing that cannot last, I only do that while I’m actually there and I’ve found I’m not bad at balancing work and life.

After my first few months of taking everything home with me and deeply feeling the responsibility we have, the risks we take, the bleak future under this government and the faith or lack of it that many people have in us, I started to just stop thinking about a few of those things to the extent that I was. ✋🏼 head buried in the sand.

I’m lucky enough to have a few people (of varying independence) who I can talk to about work at the right time and who will challenge me and the systems we work within and our actions and associated consequences. It feels great to push the boundaries and stretch my brain sometimes. But when I’m alone and turning up for the job everyday, I think it’s alright not to think on the responsibility and the risk. I want to keep turning up and I hope my nerves can take the next 33 years.

I’ve always liked the idea of ‘keeping the peace’ and having the option of Breach of the Peace in your back pocket is a useful tool. This past set has heard a few warnings and another few arrests of that kind. Some people respond quite well to it, others’ll tell us to fuck our peace.