Turn the noise off

It’s a month since I wrote a blog.

I’ve run out of things to say.

The old activism has been squeezed from my arteries, as my world has closed in.

The desire and drive to make change happen and to address unfairness have diluted, and I more and more watch from a distance.

Meetings and conversations used to trigger thoughts and reflections, and blogs.

Now, listening to the radio’s many really interesting programmes lead me to write from time to time.

But I just looked at the Pathways young onset dementia facebook page. I saw that many of my dementia friends use it, or are mentioned there. I find Facebook very hard to use. With only occasional visits, I have never quite got the hang of it, and unlike some apps, the logic of navigating the site just does not work for me. It’s mot intuitive, at least not for the way my brain works.

I also have found that much of what gets posted on many pages is, well, plain boring and of no interest to me.

So what should I write about?

It occurs to me that not meeting people frequently, just in the daily trivia of living, means we have lost the opportunities to loose out our frustrations with what we read or hear, in the course of those ‘morning…you all right?’ type casual conversations. So we can be tempted to let off steam in blogs or tweets, or Facebook posts instead.

I enjoy playing around with words, and creating sketches out of the absurdities and sheer hypocrisies I witness, in government and in wider public life.

This morning I listened to Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother speaking in the silken tones of arrogant, self satisfied wealth, about the conditions of his sister’s custody. Torture? I don’t condone such detention, but let us not forget the appalling reasons why she is in custody.

And yesterday a Lord health minister spoke about nurses being well paid and in secure jobs, so they don’t deserve a pay rise.

We are governed, both directly by government and indirectly by the ‘establishment’, by people who are in a different universe from 95% of us.

Remember the apocryphal image of Chancellor Lamont lying naked in his bath, singing ‘non, je ne regret rien’…after the ERM disaster in the 80s.

Covid has increased the wealth of a few, and wrecked the lives of many. Covid has also distanced decision makers from the reality of our lives, and from face to face challenge.

And yet, and yet…test and trace has 2,500 ‘consultants’ paid on average of £1,100 a day, for at least a year, ie continuously, as if employed. They’ll be paying tax at company director rates on their ‘dividends’, rather than the PAYE the rest of us pay. £250,000 a year; effective tax rate probably less than 20%.

What is going on? The world of cash machine government and financial services has gone mad. And they just go on taking and lying, because they can!

There’s always another fiasco round the corner to take focus away. The royal ‘family’, that increasingly appears to be totally dysfunctional. Another pointless press conference. The daily PR shot of our prime minister smiling and glad handing during a 5 minute drop in. Funny how he has an hour or two for a trip to a hospital, school or dockyard for publicity. Keep the good news and smiles on front pages.

And there I go again…You see how easy it is?

My reality is walking around fields and meres, along canals, spotting emerging signs of spring, hearing birds returning in a week or two, and preparing the garden for summer.

My reality is carving shapes into wood, standing at my bench, and working out how to create something. Carving is taking away, rather than adding. You have to think in reverse. What will be left after I cut this? And every time that intense focus slips…you make a mistake.

My reality is talking to, and seeing, the wonderful friends I have through DEEP and Zoom.

And all the rest is just noise which I can choose to turn off.

One thought on “Turn the noise off

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