Donald Trump is headed for the White House and for the second time in a matter of months the world is reeling from a vote that no-one expected. Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election is all the more cataclysmic because it is a result that was so unexpected. Admittedly the pollsters had been saying that the gap between Hillary Clinton and Trump was a narrow one, but few doubted that Clinton would carry the day. As the results emerged on Tuesday evening, and it became clear that Trump was set to pull off a staggering victory, there was a sharp intake of breath across the world.
What a very appropriate daily prompt I see today. A one word prompt that sums up my summer. The fact is that I have been so crazy busy for the last four months that my blog has taken a back seat. My dilemma has been that something has to give and sadly paid work has to take priority over writing for fun.
There is a great deal of irony because it was this WordPress blog that directly led me into the world I now inhabit. I began writing here to give myself a creative outlet after being forced to take early retirement on the grounds of ill health (depression.)
I now find myself writing and photographing for two music magazines and an USA based news agency. All of that, my drift into creating art and becoming a professional photographer began right here on WordPress. As a consequence I feel that this little corner of the internet is a part of me, it is largely responsible for me being in a totally creative world and for my current happiness and sense of well-being.
As a bit of fun I present you with another Dilemma. On Saturday I attended an all day photoshoot with four other photographers and six lovely models. During the first part of the day I was shooting a beautiful model dressed as an autumnal Poison Ivy. By coincidence the adjacent room also had a Poison Ivy so we all got together to shoot a slice of double trouble. The Dilemma? How do you choose your favourite Poison Ivy from these two beautiful lady’s?
Every window tells a story.
Tyneham Schoolhouse Interior
Tyneham Church interior
Today’s daily prompt is called “Sentimental.” I really wish I had more time to engage with these prompts as they are always interesting and fun.
On this occasion I thought I would simply share a couple of my photo art pieces that I think fit the bill. What do you think?
Todays daily prompt asks who did you idolize as a teenager?
Sadly I don’t often find the time to participate in Daily post prompts these day but I couldn’t miss out on this one.
I was born in 1961. My dad was a cabaret singer and I grew up with the music of Neil Diamond, dads favourite artist. I love Neil’s music to this day but it was the early 1970’s that saw we stretch my musical wings.
The first album I ever bought was David Bowie‘s Aladdin Sane, it was my introduction to alternative music, a love that lives with me to this day. I still have that LP, carefully preserved in my collection of vinyl.
It was however the late 1970’s that threw up my real idols. bands I love to this day include the Clash, the Ramones, Sex pistols and a host of other punk bands. It was however Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers who actually changed my life.
I grew up in Northern Ireland during the height of “the troubles.” It was Stiff Little Fingers that helped me to see that there was another, better way of life. The bands breakthrough record “Alternative Ulster” is to this day the best song I ever heard.
Why on earth would I want to be anyone else?
I’m not rich or famous but I have a loving family and a good life. I wouldn’t swap it with anyone at any price.
There that was easy.
It has been quite some time since I have written a piece as a result of a daily prompt but todays prompt grabbed my attention.
The prompt asks what question we hate to be asked and why? It’s a great question and there is one question that I dread being asked and its a fairly simple one. I dread being asked “How are you?” More specifically I dread being asked that question by people who don’t actually want to know the answer.
My abhorrence for this particular question began back in 2002. I had just returned to work after a period of sick leave with a major bout of depression. As was customary in my organisation I met with my boss for a return to work interview. As you might expect the interview began with the customary question. “How are you?” Rather than answer with the customary “I’m fine” I decided to tell the truth and thats where it all went wrong.
After I had been talking for about a minute I noticed that my line manager had broken eye contact and was looking everywhere but at me. He looked at his hands, at his feet, at his watch, out the window, everywhere but at me. As I continued to talk my line manager became increasingly uncomfortable and tried on a couple of occasions to change the subject and I realised that he wanted to simply tick the boxes on his form and get me out of the office as quickly as possible. He had not the slightest interest in my or “How I Was.”
As the years have gone on I have come to realise that the majority of people who ask this question don’t actually want to hear the answer, they just want to hear “I’m OK” and move on. My mischievous side wants to tell the truth when I am asked that question but frankly I would just rather not hear the question at all if you don’t want to know the answer.
Todays Daily Prompt asks when us to describe when we last wrote something substantial by hand.
Wow, what a question! In truth I have absolutely no idea. It has certainly been over a decade since I last wrote a letter by hand. When I travel to gigs and do not take my laptop then any notes I want to write are recorded on my iPad which I clip into a bluetooth keyboard.
Before I retired I would write down the notes of meetings in a book, but as a result that would probably amount to no more than a list of bullet points. I have never kept a journal or diary so nothing to draw on there.
In truth I do not miss long hand writing things. I can type more quickly that I can write, my computer auto corrects any spelling errors and helps with any grammatical errors. The digital world means that you do not have to keep folders full of hard copies and storage is so much easier. There is another reason that I don’t miss hand writing things and it is my deep dark secret! My handwriting is appalling, akin to the wanderings of a drunken spider dipped in ink crawling across the page.
So, no thanks, you can keep your pens and pencils. I will keep my keyboards 🙂
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All Grown Up.”
I did laugh when I saw this prompt and I thought I really had to respond. Some of you are aware that I retired from my job last February as a result of ill health. Since then I have taken up blogging, taken a serious interest in photography and attended many more gigs than I ever thought possible.
I have recently taken a keen interest in politics and have even joined the Green Party and ‘Green left’ the more left wing part of the party. On Christmas day during dinner with my extended family we were discussing our plans for 2015. I said that I wanted to do just as much musically and wanted to attend the Green Party Spring Conference and to attend some environmental and anti Fracking protests. Most of my family think this is hilarious and accuse me of being an ageing hippy, a description I cheerfully embrace.
My response though was a very simple one. The image sums it up perfectly.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”
At the risk of sounding like Mr E Scrooge I shall start by saying that I am not usually a big fan of Christmas. I dislike being force fed a diet of how it is the most wonderful time of the year, how everything should be perfect and the struggle to try to find the perfect gifts for people in overcrowded shops. The stress of trying to create the perfect meal on Christmas day and so on. I also detest the fact that these days Christmas is more about how much shops and retailers can get you to spend than it is about a religious holiday.
This year however things are different. Tomorrow my wife and I are off to a little one day festival. Eight live bands over 12 hours in a heated marquee, a range of cask ales and over 30 ciders on offer 🙂 .
On Tuesday my wife leaves her job ready to have three weeks of before taking on a new challenge in the New Year. On Christmas Day we are going to visit my sister so no cooking to do. On New Years Eve we are going to my other sisters, again no stress or no cooking to do. In short all the pressure is off us this year and that is why I am looking forward to christmas for the first time in years 🙂
Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all of you.