Tuesday, 13 February 2018

No man is an island.



Life can be quite a sad old business sometimes.

Even though for the majority of the time I feel like singing hallelujah; there are occasions (especially in Winter) when I feel quite 'down'.

We all have our sadnesses, they are an essential part of living. A well-loved pet dies, our parents desert us, our children leave home and concentrate on their own lives. Life is peppered with events that leave us feeling empty. None of us is immune.

That overused old adage 'Life is not a dress rehearsal', has been at the back of my mind ever since I was quite small, and I have heeded its message attentively. But now that I'm slowing down somewhat, I am pleased to be able to ignore it. I have time to look back over the decades, and see them more clearly. I'm also over all the urgency, the panic, and the responsibilities. I can now sit back, relax, and watch as others make their own mistakes (just as I did).

In John Donne's poem (of my title) he reminds us not to ask 'for whom the bell tolls', because as we all know, it will eventually toll for us.

Could we have done more? Of course we could.

Could we have been kinder to our fellow man? Of course we could.

Could we eventually have left the world a much better place? Yes again.

It's cold, we've had some snow, it's damp, and Winter is really getting on my nerves!



60 comments:

  1. Maybe there peninsulas if there are not islands. There are those like the late Howard Hughes, also doubtless some sects of monks and hermits who barricade themselves inside their fortresses real and imaginary and refuse to communicate with the outside world. I heard of a man living in a cave in a remote region of the Himalays. It's ok in theory, a kind of desert island discs it is not, it can destroy most people. But if one had for example a nice dog or two for companionship I think it would be survivable.

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    1. At my people's beautiful thatched home in Sussex, there was a door knocker on the main bedroom door. The previous owner used to hibernate, and the knocker was there for his maid to bring up whatever he desired!

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  2. My mum often tells us this proverb "we do not inherit the earth from our parents but we are renting it from our children"
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I like that; and of course it is true!

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  3. Good morning Cro,we have here one of the rare days of winds and rain,I like it.I can be sad at sunny days with 25c,it is always the mind,never the weather.

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    1. -2 C here this morning. Crisp cold air, and crunchy grass. Sunshine.

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  4. But it’s Shrove Tuesday and pancakes to make and eat and then only six weeks to Easter. My down in the dumplings always occurs in November/December. This time of year feels like downhill all the way and yesterday I left work in the light and came home off road only switching on my bike lights one mile from home. I see the self-portrait by Stanley Spencer is one of your Desert Island pictures. Did you see the rather sad programme on BBC Four about his two daughters, Shirin and Unity, and the way their lives had been devastated by some bad decision-making by Stanley. There is also an excellent gallery and museum devoted to Stanley in his home village of Cookham. I adore his self-portrait too.

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    1. The portrait used to be on a staircase at The Tate, and I used to stand for hours in front of it. I didn't see the programme, but it doesn't surprise me. A lot of painters are self absorbed, and ignore their children. At least they have their portraits as 'good' memories.

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    2. p.s. I don't really eat pancakes, but I have just made a couple of Pork Pies!

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  5. Friends came to dinner last night. It was postponed from Sunday because the roads were icy and ungritted. As she walked in last night she said. "I'm done with winter now: well and truly bored. I want to get into the garden." I haven't quite got to that stage yet but if the ferry were to be cancelled next Monday (for the umpteenth time this winter) I might change my opinion. No man is an island nor does he want to be stranded on one!

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    1. I hope you noticed that my illustration showed the 'hermit' beside his unused garden fork.

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  6. I have felt like I am an island a lot recently. It is not a good feeling.

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    1. I was feeling quite low, so I've now started my winter drawing/painting campaign.

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    2. good for you...may we see more of your work please?

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  7. You certainly have the glues.
    You know what helps me at times like these?
    Get a dog to lick your feet

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  8. Replies
    1. Bok's just this minute been licking my hands. I feel better already!

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  9. I think you have a touch of the winter blues (or glues). I prescribe a large glass of red wine and a slice of pork pie.

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    1. We're just about to have some Pork Pie for lunch, but the wine will have to wait till this evening. I hope your prescription works.

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    2. A daily dose of vitamin D is needed by many people during the winter; I call it my happy pill.

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    3. Is there any Vitamin D in red wine?

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  10. Do what Lady M does and have some time out in the UK. Your favourite pub awaits your visit. Come and see us in Hythe. It’s blooming wild here, that would blow your cobwebs away.

    LX

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    1. The idea is quite appealing. Unfortunately I have commitments here.

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    2. Would be interesting to know . I thought you live à lazy country side life . May be you do not like to travel.

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    3. Chloe, I do remember you telling me in no uncertain terms, over at Rachel's blog, that you are not talking to me. No disrespect that doesn't stop me from talking to you. Communication not being a one way street. In your case more of a cul-de-sac.

      As you suggest, maybe Cro doesn't "like to travel". Say, you are right, I am sure he has his reasons. Someone dear to my heart used to abhor lifts (he has since grown out of it). Another dear to my heart (my mother) once upon a time freaked out when visiting us (in England). We were doing one of those bracing cross country walks. Unfortunately (for her) that same Sunday a neighbouring hunt was on. Yes, Chloe, all that audible shooting brought back memories of her mother, siblings and herself fleeing the advancing "Russian", doubling her over. Don't mock people until you have tried their shoes for size.

      U

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    4. I really do not understand what you mean. I have a near friend who doesn't travel cause he feela ok in his environment and has no Desire to go elsewhere. That's what I meant when I said maybe Mr. Cro does not like to travel. You suggestive things which have nothing to do. A Libanese friend hate the French 14h Juli Parade with Military planes flying in a lot distance over Paris ,it reminded the Beirut bombing, I think you're mixing up my simple question and your personal experiences.

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    5. Sorry for the writing mistakes.

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    6. Those who plead innocence tend to be forgiven. Even for their "writing mistakes". Pull the other one, Chloe.

      Try not to "think"; leave that to those who do and can. As to "mixing up": Flour, eggs and milk will do.

      Shrove day greetings, may your pancake be flat,
      U

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    7. I thought you were a bit smarter I was wrong. Sie scheinen nach Anerkennung zu lechzen ! Und Ihr Denkvermögen kann man in Frage stellen. Pfannkuchen esse ich wie es mir paßt und nicht zu festgesetzten Daten. Spielen Sie nicht die Besserwisserin , Sie sind auf dem Holzweg.

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    8. Touched a nerve, did I, Chloe? What you think of me is immaterial. Unlike you - by hook or by crook - I don't need others to validate my self.

      "Know all"? (Besserwisser). Spare me, Chloe. You thought me "smarter" and were "wrong"? Think again, Chloe. And, this time, try not to get it WRONG.

      "Holzweg"? Really? Want a bet? You don't even know which way you are heading.

      U

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    9. Sie amüsieren mich im höchsten Grade, Sie kleines Dummerchen. Pflegen Sie Ihr aufgeblasenes Ego.Sie nennen sich bitchontheblog , bitch bedeutet nach meinem Wissen Nutte oder liege ich da falsch ? Also tschüss Nutte.

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    10. "Nutte"? As in "prostitute"? Well, Sweetheart, not only are you reduced to scraping the barrel of your own making, your English is, after all, not as good as you make yourself believe.

      You want bitching? I'll give you bitching. In fact, little, other than NOT bitching, gives me more pleasure.

      I "amuse you"? Chloe, come on, you hate my guts.

      "Dummerchen". How generous, the dimunitive; whereas you come across not so much as "dumb" as a bastard WITHOUT a cause.

      Let me give you some advice: Back to the drawing board.

      Kiss, kiss,
      U

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    11. Blablabla Ursula. Sie sind bestimmt eine alte Schrulle. Gute Nacht.

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    12. "Schrulle"? "Old"? Sure, whatever you say. Your imagination somewhat limited as, when you want to insult someone, it doesn't reach much further than accusing them of being old. Never mind. Give it a few years and you'll be not so much eine alte Schrulle or male equivalent of, as even shriller than you are now.

      Anyway, as amusing as you are, we mustn't outstay Cro's willing and welcoming blog.

      Sweet dreams,
      U

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    13. Well that is half an hour out of my life wasted

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    14. Just see what happens when you leave them alone for a while!!!!!

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  11. We are feeling a little blue about old age for various reasons. Only the strongest survive old age. We'll give it a shot.

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  12. I think that this Winter has affected everyone much worse than before, for a variety of reasons. It'll soon be Spring.

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  13. A daily dose of vitamin D is needed by many people during the winter; I call it my happy pill.

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  14. The darkness of winter is now lifting and the days have grown longer which usually makes me feel better. However, the political climate of the US gets more troubling by the day and many of us feel so beaten down by the barrage of news that comes out of Washington on an hourly basis. It is taking a terrible toll on us all.

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    1. You have more to cope with than most of us. I wish you luck!

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  15. I know just what you mean, Cro. I've had a rough winter, too, and I'm ready for spring. We'll all feel better then! Hang in there. ❤

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    1. There's no consistency in our weather, we don't know what's coming from one minute to the next!

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  16. Your post today sounds like it is getting you down Cro - I think we all feel the same. My post today might cheer you up.

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    1. It's been getting steadily worse. I want to hibernate.

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  17. Come February, everyone here is suffering with a bit of cabin fever. The days are getting longer and I think spring can't be far behind.
    A thoughtful post.

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    1. We usually open the pool on June 1st (maybe a bit before). I'm counting the days.

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  18. I actually like the idea of being an island. As long as there are enough passing boats briefly anchoring, their passengers to be watered and fed, to then continue their journey.

    U

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    1. Most would say that I'm a bit of an island. I certainly have hermit credentials. Just the occasional contact would suit me.

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  19. The sun is shining, the snow melting, and I remain unsettled.

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    1. This afternoon we've had snow and sunshine; and now it's raining. Whatever next!

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  20. Beautiful post, Cro. Your best I have read outside the posts about food of course!

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    1. Thou dost flatter Sire. Good to see you here!

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  21. Good sign unopened bunches of daffs in the shops today!. Had to buy some!. A sign spring is coming!

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    1. We have a few unopened Daff buds in the garden. Yes, a good sign.

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  22. Cold, wintery, rain, winter gray days... I understand your sadness but for me it is just the opposite we are living a tourist dreams blue sky and warm to hot temps... but we need rain and snow. Our winter is only two months (about 30 days over two month) and it did not happen. We already have had Fire warning with two wildfires near Tucson in February !
    I posted some photos on my blog yesterday.

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

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  23. How you feeling now Cro? Any better?

    LX

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    1. It's now a new morning, and I always wake HAPPY.I believe the weather will be milder too.

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