Share Your World: 6 May 2019

Do you believe in soul mates? If so, do you think there is only one person meant to share that bond with you, out there in the world?

Yes and no – I mean, I don’t believe soul mates come ready made, they need work to build that bond to a truly deep level. So there may be several potential soul mates across the world and over a lifetime, but only ever one at a time – to my mind soul mates are definitely always a 100% monogamous dynamic โค

Ice cream cone, shake, or some other ice cream concoction?

Ice cream just as it comes, no cone or sticky sauces or overly-sweet bits-of-stuff additions or frilly fancy fripperies – just ice cream… Mmmm…!

What would be the hat to end all hats? What could you wear on your head that would make people stop what they are doing and stare in awe and amazement?

Um, how about the St Edwards Crown, the centrepiece of the British Crown Jewels used on and off (no pun intended) in coronations of British Monarchs since it was first made in 1661. The incongruity of the seriously blinging headgear and scruffy jeans on me would look pretty awesome, I think ๐Ÿ™‚

What would be the worst ‘Buy one get one free’ sale of all time?

Coffins, or some kind of dodgy deal on multiple funeral services…?

Share Your World: 6 May 2019

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Share Your World: 29 April 2019

If you could interview anyone from your life, living or dead, who would it be and why?

My paternal great-grandmother, who I never met – she lived in Canada, and died before I was born. In fact, I didn’t even know she WAS my great grandmother until I was grown up – I thought she was actually my great aunt, my grandmother’s older sister, but it turns out she had my grandmother out of wedlock at a young age, and then emigrated to Canada leaving my grandmother to be brought up by her biological grandparents, who never really lived down the shame of it all and treated my grandmother atrociously (as if it was her fault for being born illegitimate). Old sins may have long shadows, but they make for the most intriguing characters… ๐Ÿ™‚

As a child, did you have a nickname? Did you carry that with you throughout life or was it only in childhood that you used it?

My parents decided to call me Ruth as it was a nice short name and no-one would be able to shorten it. So of course I went through childhood being called Ruthie. My father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law still call me Ruthie, as does my mum and sometimes my husband every now and again, but most people know me as Ruth. Funnily enough some times I get called Ruthie informally at work, and as I answer to it as readily as Ruth, it gets used interchangably, and to be honest I really don’t mind either…

Give us three words that describe you?

Mother, grandmother, introvert. I’ve been a mum since I was 18, a grandmother since I was 38, and an introvert my whole life. Although those three words have popped up first in my head, I can immediately think of a whole lot more I could add to that rather perfunctory description. I suppose I’m an accumulation of lots of descriptive words, not really one thing more than anything else, but am an oddly eclectic mix of everything I’ve ever been and ever will be, a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of hopes and dreams and hurts and healings and mass confusion… I keep thinking it will get easier when I grow up, but here I am at 55, still waiting for clarity…

Sneaking into a second movie at the theatre (if you go to a movie house) – is that wrong or just harmless fun?

When I was a kid, there was one movie screen with a huge red curtain and red velvet seats and fancy gilded decor all around and you paid once for entry and watched whatever series of stuff was on, until you got fed up and left. Now there are many-screened multiplexes showing only one movie on each screen and the cost is so extortionate I never bother to go any more. I’d rather watch stuff on TV in the comfort of my own home…

If you had a time machine, would you go back to the past of forward into the future? Why?

Well, apart from going back in time to interview my long departed great grandmother (see Q1), I firmly believe time travel should remain in the world of fiction. I mean, I remember watching HG Wells ‘The Time Machine’ as a kid (on TV, not at the movies – see Q4) and freaking out at the idea of the Eloi and the Morlocks being all we had to look forward to in the future. OK, so maybe Michael J Fox as Marty McFly had a better time in the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy but still… I learned that messing with the past is still playing with fire. And having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ where the poor guy time-hops back and fore with no warning I’m just glad that time for me moves one way only and at one steady pace, thank you very much…

Share Your World

Share Your World: 22 April 2019

Was the last thing you read digital or print?

Well the very last thing I read was a digital blog post asking me these questions! But the last book I read was an old-fashioned fiction paperback ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you more an extrovert or introvert?

Introvert through and through – I can be perfectly sociable for short periods of time but soon need my fix of quiet solitude to recharge my batteries

How is your life different than how you imagined as a younger person?

Hmmm… well I was always an anxious little thing, scared of my own shadow, and had generally assumed that once I grew up I’d automatically feel confident and secure like all other adults so would inevitably find life so much easier to deal with. Well, here I am at 55 with three kids and six grandchildren and still not feeling quite ‘there’ yet with life… but hopefully there’s still plenty time yet!

Do you think about dying? Does death scare you? Why or why not?

I have an odd relationship with the thought of death. When I was younger I used to think life would be so much easier if I was dead, but now I’m getting older and wiser (?) I feel more like I’d like to hang around for a lot longer! ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World

Share Your World: 22 October 2018

Name two books that have influenced you, and share how?

Hmmm… Choosing only two books out of a lifetime of voracious reading is really difficult – should I choose fiction or non-fiction? If fiction, do I choose those basic childhood reading books that originally kindled my love of independent reading in the first place, or those adult books that for a million different reasons remain most memorable to me now? And if non-fiction, do I choose history books or cookery books or self-help books, or all those extra-curricular academic text-books I read of my own volition while completing my degree? To be honest I think every book I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way or another, even if only to remind me never to read that particular author (or subject-matter) again! ๐Ÿ™‚

In your opinion, where is the line between art and not art?

Oooh, great question! I often ponder the ‘Is photography art?’ question – or more to the point for me, ‘When is photography art?’ So here is a visual explanation of my own personal understanding of art and not art…

This is a photograph of a cotton rug on my kitchen floor – to me this is photography, not art – it is a direct realistic representation of what I see before me.

zoomburst-mat-1

This is me altering that reality by playing about with creating a zoomburst image of the same rug – to me it’s no longer just straightforward photography, because I’m adding something I hope is a little artistic and creative: a deliberate motion blur by zooming the lens in from wide to tele while taking the shot…

But to me these resulting images still look a little dull for my tastes, so I keep on trying… To begin with I’m trying hard to hold the camera as steady as possible, but when during one shot as well as zooming in I accidentally move my position while the shutter is open, I discover I prefer the softer blurred effect of losing that sharp focus, so take some more experimental shots this way… much more interesting!

And finally, I wonder how it might look if I deliberately make an active steady swirling circular movement while also zooming the lens in while the shutter is open… et voila! The end result is no longer a photographic realistic representation of a rug, it’s a multi-colour abstract image made by me, and it is this uniquely creative response to what is effectively the same subject taken by the same person with the same camera that to me makes it art ๐Ÿ™‚

My favourite image is the last one in my slideshow – here it is again juxtaposed with the original – my personal vision of art vs not art…

What is something that really annoys you, but doesn’t bother most people?

The older I get, the more of a grumpy old woman I become – but I don’t suppose my grumps and gripes are that much different from anyone else’s at my age. But I honestly don’t understand why American dates are written partially backwards – I mean, either have year, month, day as a format or day, month, year – but month, day, year simply makes no sense to me at all  ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World: 22 October 2018

Share Your World: 15 Oct 2018

What’s the biggest screw-up in the kitchen that you were responsible for?

Um… I’m not actually a bad cook in general and tend to have an instinctive intuition about how to right things that start to go wrong along the way. But I do remember once my younger sister and I (in our early teens) deciding to make a fancy cheese and rice souffle for family and friends. It was… um… an interesting experiment, shall we say? Altogether too dense in texture, too solid, too heavy – just not anything light or souffle-like at all… but it tasted beautifully cheesy! And thankfully all the adults present smiled indulgently and stoically chewed their way through it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

What, in your opinion, makes people believe absurd conspiracy theories?

Hmmm… personally, I think that when the most glaringly obvious reality or truth of any particular important situation grates too far against the strongly-held belief system of someone (or a specific group of someones), they become over-agitated at the depth of the discrepancy and seek to find any alternative explanation that fits their own ‘truth’, however fantastical it may be to the rest of us.

In 40 years what will people be nostalgic for?

Privacy – I fear in the very near future it will become ‘normal’ for our every living and breathing moment to be photographed, recorded and shared either by ourselves or others, in our current personal ‘private’ as well as our social ‘public’ lives – hang on, does that maybe count as a conspiracy theory?

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Don’t care what they’re called, hot dogs for me come under the old Crocodile Dundee ‘tastes shit, but you can live on it’ label ๐Ÿ™‚

What made you laugh last week?

OMG last night my eldest daughter whatsapped me a trendy B&W arm’s length close-up pic of her partner on his knees sweetly kissing her 6-month baby bump. It was supposed to be all romantic and lovely but at first glance all I could see was what looked like him kissing her deliberately sticking-out butt, as if she’d just had a Brazillian butt-lift and was shoving it in his face! And after I pointed it out, once she’d seen it too apparently she couldn’t then un-see it and couldn’t stop laughing either! So there we we’re, either end of a phone 600 miles apart giggling our heads off… ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World

Share Your World: 23 July 2018

What is your choice of puzzle – jigsaw, crossword, wordsearch, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?

I used to try to do the three sudoku puzzles printed in the Metro (daily free newpaper given out at London tube stations) on my half-hour-or-so-each-way commute to and from work – they were labelled ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ and ‘difficult’. I usually (but not always) managed the easy one, generally struggled partially through the moderate one, and rarely even got started on the difficult one. However once (and only once, it was never to be repeated) I actually managed to complete all three in the one day – result!

List at least five favourite treats (and it doesn’t have to be food)?

A long, uninterrupted soak in a hot bath – long ago, as a young mum of three children born with 12 months between the first two and 15 months between the second and third, the peace and quiet of relaxing in the bath in the evening after they were all tucked up in bed soon became an absolute luxury I’ve never lost the feeling for.

Spending time with my much-loved children and grandchildren, who at the moment I’m unable to see as often as I would like โค

Expensive perfume – not because it’s expensive, but just because those particular perfume scents I seem to prefer tend to be expensive.

Good quality milk chocolate, creamy and smooth and melt-in-the-mouth… mmmmm…!

Having books to read to feed my curiosity and imagination – whether fiction or non-fiction, words digested in silence and solitude have always opened up the world for me.

What is your favourite type of dog?

As a family we had two labradors while I was growing up, first a golden lab and then a black one, so I suppose I’ll always have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for that particular breed.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

Seeing a grainy grey ultrasound scan image of grandbaby number six, who is due to be born early in the new year… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cee’s Share Your World

Share Your World: 9th July 2018

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

‘Outside Looking In’

Which do you prefer: sweet, salty or buttery?

Er… all of the above, depending on my mood. I definitely love the sweet sensuous sticky feeling of good milk chocolate melting gently in the mouth, but I also love the salty crunch of savoury crisps (potato chips in US), and what’s a better comfort food in winter than a steaming cup of tea and toasted teacakes slathered in butter or hot buttered toast ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s the finest education?

ย ‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling ofย  vessel’ – Socrates

I absolutely love learning – I really enjoyed my formal education at school, and as an adult have attended both college (attaining a practical healthcare qualification) and university (where I achieved a first class honours degree in psychosocial studies, and also later gained a post-graduate certificate in positive psychology).

But I also love informal learning – independent reading, practical experimenting, everyday life experience, deliberately developing creativity, building on basic common sense. To me, the finest education is all-inclusive, being a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. And above all, being constantly open-minded, open-hearted, and as non-judgemental of others as possible โค

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I’m struggling a bit with life at the moment, so find it difficult to smile at much right now, but I decided if I thought hard enough, I would find something. And I did. We’ve had a bit of a heatwave recently, so all have our windows open day and night, and living in close proximity in a city leaves not much room for privacy.

The other day I overheard our neighbours’ autistic 9 year old son having a strop in their back garden – he was yelling frustratedly at his mum ‘Who cares? I don’t care, I don’t care! Who cares?’ and when his very patient mum repeatedly replied calmly and lovingly ‘I care, I care’ his 4 year old sister, not wanting to be left out, piped up quizzically with ‘Uh… Mummy, do I care?’ That little snippet of family interaction certainly made me smile… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cee’s Share Your World