The Fun Factor and Photography

The other day I took an ordinary photograph of a small area of white graffiti stencilled onto a grimy plain-rendered wall, simply because I liked the message. Once I got back home, I pondered on what to do with it to make it a bit more interesting, more creative to look at – what would be the best way to add the fun factor to my basically boring image?

So I first made it into a negative rather than a positive image, which gave me black writing on a blue-greyish wall. Then I went back to my original and created three more negatives, chosing to invert the image first through Red, then Green, then Blue channels only to see which I preferred. In the end I couldn’t decide which colourway I liked best so I found myself a simple online image-stitching programme and instead constructed a four-sectioned multi-coloured collage a la Andy Warhol… et voila!

Ta-daa! I’m really pleased with how it turned out πŸ™‚

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Factor

Friday Fun – Construction

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Scapegoat

Incase any of you hadn’t noticed, Britain is currently in a bit of a mess over Brexit. And just so you know in advance of reading this post, I don’t have a Tory bone in my body and have never voted Conservative in my life.

So suffice to say I’m not a natural supporter of Theresa May, and to be blunt, I think she’s made a bit of a hash of things all the way down the line. She’s basically tried to negotiate what amounts to a private deal (within Cabinet, entirely outside of Parliament) one hundred percent along party lines, maintaining a strict political division when the whole question of Brexit has never been neatly divided strictly down party lines. And having had the initial early General Election? Big mistake… huge error of judgement there…

I do feel it was a bad call on her part not to prioritise being inclusive and starting to try to heal the huge post-referendum rent in the country right from the start. A serious split pretty much straight down the middle of the population meant they needed careful bringing back together, not cack-handedly left to their own devices in growing discontent and disillusionment. But honestly, to be fair Theresa May definitely inherited a poisoned chalice in having to sort out such a major political issue not initially of her own making.

The person I blame fairly and squarely for this current political civil war is our previous Prime Minister David Cameron, who has pretty much disappeared off the face of the earth politically since stepping down and out of the parliamentary arena. He originally called that damned referendum as a gambling play to bring his recalcitrant back-benchers into line, then when the country actually called his bluff and voted out, he turned tail and ran.

There was never a proper political plan previously in place for leaving the EU, because there was never any intention in David Cameron’s mind of Britain choosing to leave, so in that sense whoever had the misfortune to take over from him didn’t ever really have a hope in hell of doing well with their Prime-Ministership. In this particular case, to my mind failure was always the only option.

So however much I deplore her defective decision-making and insular negotiating stance, I can’t help but accept that in many ways, Theresa May has been a bit of a scapegoat in all of this mess. Granted she’s not necessarily handled it well from the start, but it’s a situation that in my mind should never have been needing to be handled in the first place. Not in the way it initially came about, anyway.

If there was to be a genuine choice put to the people of leaving the EU or remaining then ALL political options and consequences should have been properly discussed openly and candidly BEFORE the vote went anywhere near the public. Realistically set out on spreadsheets and flow charts in advance, not reliant on the emotionally-charged, diametrically opposed sensationalist spin of unkeepable pie-in-the-sky promises versus project fear doom-mongering, but laid out logically with proper factual planning and belt-and-braces preparation.

Anyway, as to date we are still currently a full member of the EU, today here in the UK we are all voting for our next tranche of MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) even if they never actually need to take up their posts – these elections were arranged at very short notice but I must admit we’ve had plenty of leaflets through the door from pretty much everyone except the Tories, so no lack of information issues there. (Even if in our household the UKIP leaftlet went straight in the bin!)

A selection of leaflets arrived through our door…

By the way our polling station here in Leytonstone is in our local library, and I really liked the way the coloured lights caught my eye as they gave a soft sheen to the polished stonework at the entrance. Personally our votes have now been cast, so no doubt we’ll start to see tomorrow what the overall results are like across the country. Although at this rate, with the upheaval in Parliament it seems it’s all effectively going to turn into a practice run for a General Election soon enough… What a bloody mess! 😦

Our local polling station entrance…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Scapegoat

Disingenuous

I’m trying to think of an alternative example of ‘disingenuous’ that doesn’t involve mentioning Donald Trump, but his big arrogant bully-boy face with its big ignorant alpha-male mouth just keeps on pushing its weaselly way into my thoughts – ok, ok, I get it, Trump it is – so, which example to use? How do I choose just one of so many?

Hmmm… Not too long ago Trump was all over the merits of Julian Assange, considering him (and Wikileaks) to be the best thing since sliced bread (I’m paraphrasing here, of course). So much so that Trump triumphantly tells an entire rally full of people how great the guy is. Fast forward a year or so (or whatever) and the tables have turned politically, and suddenly Trump magically has no idea who Julian Assange is, or Wikileaks. Amazing!

That, in my world, is Trump being truly disingenuous – he clearly knows full well who Assange is and what Wikileaks is when it suits him, but as he thinks it benefits him right now to pretend NOT to know, he prevaricates obfuscates lies through his teeth about the extent of that prior knowledge… And we all believe him, of course – not! (Liar, liar, pants on fire…!) πŸ™‚

Internal Juke Box

A couple of days ago my husband woke up with a specific song going round in his head. He was humming it to himself quizzically while preparing his breakfast, and between us we soon recognised it as ‘Give a Little Love’ by the Bay City Rollers, way back from 1975 – a real blast from the past, especially as the Bay City Rollers were not really on the radar of any 14 year old boys at the time – Rollermania was definitely more my teenage domain!

We had such fun looking it up online and finding loads of other similar songs and bands from our teenage years we haven’t thought about in decades – a proper trip down memory lane courtesy of whatever random brain waves came crashing to shore as he slept. The weirdest thing for me is, how can I (decades later) remember most of the lyrics from a teenage tune but sometimes struggle to remember what I had for dinner yesterday?

Then this morning he jumped forward a decade and woke up with Whitney Houston’s ‘Wanna Dance with Somebody’ from our late twenties bopping along in his head – another completely random track with no logical explanation behind its overnight resurgence in his musical memory banks. As he says himself, God knows what’s going on with his internal jukebox right now… πŸ™‚

Here they are for anyone who doesnt know the tracks in question…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Quizzical

Anomaly


β€œFortunately, some are born with spiritual immune systems that sooner or later give rejection to the illusory worldview grafted upon them from birth through social conditioning. They begin sensing that something is amiss, and start looking for answers. Inner knowledge and anomalous outer experiences show them a side of reality others are oblivious to, and so begins their journey of awakening. Each step of the journey is made by following the heart instead of following the crowd and by choosing knowledge over the veils of ignorance.” ― Henri Bergson

Often I feel that I am the anomaly in life, I am the one who is out of step with the rest of the world, unable or unwilling to fit my firmly square-edged peg into the restrictive round hole alloted to me. But then I read words like these, and feel reassured that perhaps I am, after all, philosophically on the right path for me, and feel glad of my different outlook to the accepted norm… πŸ™‚

Fandango’s one Word Challenge: Anomaly

You’re Welcome!

I get really annoyed when people don’t have good manners – particularly living here in the ravenous dog-eat-dog world of busy London. If I hold open a door for someone, or step to the side to let someone walk past, or give up my seat to someone on public transport, I expect at least a smile of recognition or maybe a ‘Thank you’ in return – after all, good manners cost nothing, right? And of course some lovely considerate people do smile and say thank you, like polite people should.

But when I invariably DON’T get a thank you or any other acknowledgement of my action, I have a really bad habit of smiling and saying loudly ‘You’re welcome!’ as if they HAD said thank you. Sometimes I get an embarrassed ‘Oh, er, thank you’ mumbled in return, sometimes I get an insolent stare, to which I smile sweetly and say ‘thank you’ expectantly, and sometimes I just get completely ignored. But whatever the response, for some reason I get great satisfaction in not allowing such basic rudeness to go unchallenged.

I’m not usually a get-involved-in-dispute, rock-the-boat person in public, but I honestly believe that one little consideration – a polite recognition in some form or other that someone has gone out of their way to do something nice for you – is an important line to hold, however busy your day or stressful your journey or otherwise preoccupied you may be in your own insular self-importance to the exclusion of all others.

And I think probably the best response I have ever received was from a little boy holding his mother’s hand, who, when I held open the shop door for them, smiled and said thank you to me even when his mother just barged past and didn’t even acknowledge me. She looked down at him when he spoke, and he responded quite critically to her ‘Mummy you’re supposed to say thank you!’ – It absolutely made this grumpy old woman’s day πŸ™‚

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Welcome

A Mess of Stress

So, apparently this week Fandango is curious to know how I deal with stress? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… oh… well… um… maybe laughing maniacally at my on misfortune isn’t exactly the level of response required here.

Historically I’ve always dealt with stress by comfort eating. Currently though, due to recently diagnosed problems with my digestive health, I’m having to be VERY careful about what I eat – including eating minimal animal fats, salts and sugars, which I must admit pretty much make up the bulk of all my usual comfort foods… sigh 😦

So right now on top of the stress of everyday generic life stresses AND being menopausal I’m also trying to deal with the stress of NOT comfort eating by distracting myself wherever possible from my cravings for comfort food. Colouring in, listening to music, walking, crying and feeling sorry for myself… And when that doesn’t work I’m stressing myself out even more by beating myself up for not coping, creating an even bigger internal mess of stress.

But I’m determined I’m not giving up on it all, my ongoing internal health is important to me so I’ve decided to try to help reduce my external stress factors by giving up instead on all news of Donald Trump messing about playing chicken with China and Iran, Theresa May messing about playing chicken with both the European Union and her own parliament, oh, and America making itself even more not-great-yet-again by banning abortion…

My blood pressure just can’t handle it all any more, I feel like I need to ban all news coverage for a while. So I think I’ll take to sitting here with my fingers in my ears going la la la la la la la… a bit like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, but at least hopefully my digestive system will be happier πŸ™‚