Sunday, 29 December 2013

Trees Nº2

I took this photo yesterday. The bare branches against the blue winter sky are quite striking. It's a perfect example of why I love trees.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Me and my selfie

This year I, like many other people, learned what a selfie is.
I was a little concerned to enquire what such a thing was when I first heard the term, as it sounded like something that might render one blind. And perhaps occasionally it can. But it turned out to be, in the main, a harmless manifestation of the social networking age.

On winters days, like today, when the sun shines bright, long shadows are cast. The perfect conditions for a selfie with a difference:


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Oh happy day

I’m a grumpy old bloke. I moan about the modern use of language. It’s my prerogative. It comes with the territory of age.

Yesterday was Human Rights Day apparently. Not entirely sure what that means but I think it may well have been the anniversary of the UN charter on human rights being introduced. Which is of course a very good thing. Anyway someone on Twitter said ‘Happy Human Rights Day’. I questioned the ‘happy’. In my opinion it just makes the whole thing a tad frivolous or trivial. It’ll be ‘Happy Remembrance Day’ or ‘Happy Holocaust Day’ (if there is such a thing) next.

Doing my usual rambling thing brings me onto the subject of Facebook. A service I use, often reluctantly. I find it frustrating that you can only ever ‘like’ something on Facebook. There are no other options apart from a comment. If someone says their dog died you ‘like’ it. Why would you do that, unless you are a cruel bastard? I suppose on Twitter there is a similar problem in as much as you can only ‘favourite’ something. What’s needed at the very least is a solidarity button/flag. Beyond the capacity of American Social Media Moguls? Probably.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Consumed with passion

Passionate is the new awesome. It’s one of those words. Words that superficial people use when they want to put some emphasis into their justifying their existence, their mediocre lives. People claim to be passionate about nebulous stuff, like customer service, vintage wedding jewellery, contemporary dance or cupcakes (whatever the fuck they are). It’s all bollocks really!

The only thing that most people do with anything approaching passion is consume!

This afternoon whilst wandering around my local supermarket, acquiring a few essentials (these things are relative you understand) I returned to my thoughts about happiness and what it might be. I looked around at my fellow shoppers. I may well have been deceived by my perception and it is hard to tell a person’s state of mind by the way they look but the vast majority of my fellow shoppers gave out the distinct vibe of being unhappy with their lot; every man woman and child-thing. Obviously supermarket shopping is not a love of many at the best of times but this time of the year it is most definitely shite in the experience department; more joyless than normal.

This time of year!

Convention, imposed upon us by the ruling classes and then reinforced by the blinkered and brain-washed masses, dictates that as part of the Christmas ‘celebrations’ we must embark on a frenzy, nay orgy of consumption. Consumption designed to rapidly reduce our bank balances and life expectancy simultaneously. And why? What is it all for?* How many people ever really question the whole process and how absolutely unnecessary it actually is?

So many people get stressed and upset over Christmas. It causes friction between loved ones and rarely does it live up to the false expectations that are built upon the myth that is Christmas. So why do so many people persist with it? I can only assume it is perpetuated by peer pressure with people not having the courage to put their heads above the parapet and say, ‘this is all nonsense!’ We don’t have to gorge ourselves and get into debt over some giant commercial confidence trick. Set yourself free. Be happy.

Part of being happy is about to freeing yourself from the restrictive and nonsensical social norm that the sheep want to immerse themselves in. Dare to be different. The world wouldn’t end if you didn’t celebrate Christmas in fact the world would be a better place.

I don’t like Christmas. Can you tell?




*please don’t insult your or my intelligence by trotting out some religious mumbo-jumbo.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

In search of happiness

The questions:
What is happiness?
Can we each achieve it?
Is it about managing expectations?
Why would anyone be unhappy?
Are expectations a good thing?
Does having low needs and low expectations leave you open to exploitation?
Are our needs and wants really what we think they are?
Are we being honest with ourselves?

The answers:
I don’t have many answers to these questions but that doesn’t put me off searching. I have sort happiness all my life and rarely found it. I think I may have been looking in the wrong places.

I have decided to double my efforts and look again. If I find it I’ll let you know.

Monday, 2 December 2013

No longer playing it safe

It’s possible that I’ve made a very big mistake. I think I may have come very close to getting a new job. A job with more money doing what I know best. Doing what I can sort of do with my eyes closed. I have decided against it!

Am I mental?
Possibly!

I’ve done purchasing type jobs for over thirty years and quite frankly I’ve had enough. I think I’d rather stack shelves in a supermarket than carry on in supply chain solutions. Virtually all my life I’ve played it safe. Safe is no longer an option. Not enough of us take the risky option I fear. Sometimes we have to take risks. Sometimes it’s the only way to get what we want!

When I’m finally made redundant (sometime early in the New Year) I’m going to head north. Well north-ish. I’m no longer a young man so going west is out of the question.

I’m heading north in search of gritty creativity.

Life begins at 58!

Because you can never have enough pictures of cats on the internet!



I’m not 100% sure when I drew this but it was probably around the year 2000.
To see more of my art please visit www.paulgarrard.com