A whisper about Halloween…

And it IS a whisper, because I am so uncomfortable with expressing a belief that to a great many people, will seem ridiculous, horribly humbug-ish, off-puttingly evangelical, or just plain crackpot!

I hate the idea that I am in any way an ‘over serious – too prescriptive – fundamentalist’ Christian, and so often this leads me to stay quiet on the subject of evil. But this is the truth about a belief I hold somewhere, deep down, embedded in my sense of spirituality and given the deathly, festive feel to a lot of blog spaces at the mom ent, I am going to give my two pennyworth!

I don’t celebrate Halloween in the supermarket sense. (Had you guessed already?)

I should probably explain (in an off handed manner) that I “don’t mind if OTHER people want to dress up as witches and ghouls and zombies and devils”.

“That’s FINE. It’s just not for me”.

But actually, I DO mind.

I do mind that every year, we make a joke of something that is really very serious. I do mind that while we while away hours playing with ghoulish things and partying with blood and fire and all kinds of whacked out representations of the devil, ‘real’ evil is creeping round, enjoying the kudos, harming people who playfully open their minds to it.

What I most object to about Halloween, is the fact that in our preoccupation with the paranormal, and our laughter at the concept of all things ghoulish, we make a mockery of an evil that is so fearfully real, that were it to be unveiled before us, we would quake and cower and beg for mercy.

Okay.

Now I’m stepping down from my (non orange) soapbox.

I know it’s controversial but… any thoughts?

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The Impossible Dream: We all have one!

I came across this quote today and have to admit, it’s tempting to take it on face value. As I read it, I can imagine the rush of warmth from the sense of  triumph as it pours from my head into the rest of my body!

Ah! the satisfaction of achieving something someone has branded, ‘impossible’! Nothing quite like it!

The idea that you can’t do something can be a negative thing. What’s the point in trying? No point in reaching for that goal, no point in even taking the steps that might just lead to the foot of the stairs you haven’t the heart to climb. How many dreams have I turned the extinguisher on before they even properly caught..? I daren’t think!

On the other hand, being told you CAN’T do something, may strengthen your determination! It might make you grit your teeth and set out to prove them all wrong! Achieving the seemingly impossible, can often be the result of sheer grit and perseverance.

Today I continue to strive for something that seems impossible.

I have been given mixed opinions on how realistic it is. Some have said ‘yes’, some say ‘no’. A lot have said I’d need to settle for less.

I hazard a guess that most impossible, implausible and unrealistic achievements have been battles hard fought and won by people who refused to listen to anyone but that inner drive. The hunger inside that won’t be deterred. And when it gets too tiring, they’ve stopped for a rest, but then they’ve got back up and carried on.

I want to be one of those who keeps focussed on the end prize and not on the whispers of others’ opinions. I want to be motivated by the impossible, not defeated.

Anyone with me? Are you fighting too? If so, it can really help to remember a time where you’ve had that feeling of triumph!

From BST to GMT in minus 60

As I drive through the valley, I get glimpses of the panorama of this county and the hills beyond. Late amber sunshine gathers in pools on the landscape, drenching the patchwork of fields and houses.

It’s the last day of British Summertime and the sun that has followed the light morning drizzle, is an apt way to end British Summer time. It’s been an unusually hot season in Britain this year. A welcome warmth and a VERY welcome change!

Tonight we lose and hour. Such a bizarre concept to a stubbornly non-mathematical, unscientific mind like mine! Losing an hour. Where does it go, this mysterious hour that we just carelessly drop from our needle of careful, knitted stitches.

What happens to those sixty minutes as the tick hits twelve? Where does it disappear to?

Just wondering.

Success

As part of my Art and Design course, I had to redesign a book cover. I chose one I can quote from in my sleep.

 In the UK, this book has been on the curriculum for the past three hundred years and has been loved and hated by countless students and English teachers. However, because yet another education secretary is determined to stick his dirty, great paw print on the history of education, (Michael Gove puts out another light in the darkening sky) a recent reshuffle has removed it.

 Out of my desire to see teenagers continue to pick up this novella, came the idea for a bold, new cover for Of Mice and Men.

Today, I tested the design on a group of bored looking teenagers.

I laid out different covers, including mine and they voted with Starburst sweets.

Mine won by a large majority.

I’m not boasting.

(I’m British).

But, for once, I am celebrating my achievement.

Perhaps because I so rarely taste success, or perhaps because I am trying to counterbalance my terrible tendency towards perfectionism. Either way, today I have done something I can be proud of.

 And it’s only for a silly part time course that doesn’t even matter in the real world. And it’s only me who will ever really know about it.

But that’s okay.

I smile on the inside.