Saturday 1283 – 2.01.2016
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Well hello everyone. It has been nine months since I last posted on this blog and Nooooo I haven’t had a baby in that time, in case you were wondering !
I would like to share some thoughts about my 2015, what I’ve been doing since I posted here last and what I’ve been thinking
1 – It’s been a difficult year personally because of ill-health both physical, with heart disease, and mentally, with depression. The first is mended the second is influenced by all the stuff that follows, but I am getting there. Anyone who has visits from the “black dog” will know how difficult that can be as it steals your motivation and self-belief, saps your energy, and affects concentration. Mental illness is still not talked about enough and many sadly still feel they have to hide it because of stigma. It is an illness just like any physical illness and people who suffer it should be treated with understanding and empathy.
From the World Health Organisation (2012)
“Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, an estimated 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men.”
I’m sure I will be writing about this again!
2 – It’s been a helluva difficult year internationally and has certainly not helped the above – Hate and destruction seem to be running unfettered, across the world, whipped up by the media, xenophobia and fear mongering by many who have vested interests in keeping people in fear: after all people are easier to manipulate and control when they are fearful; are they not? ( there are several posts in here but I have been too overwhelmed to write them yet!) It is sometimes difficult to remember that the majority of people want peace and harmony to enjoy their lives with their families and friends, but I still believe this to be the case.
3 – America has to contend with Donald Trump, who taps into that fear and magnifies it 1000 fold. Need I say more? America led by Donald Trump would be a very scary prospect indeed!
4- Here in the UK we have to contend with Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP ( United Kingdom Independence Party ); some might say a watered down version of Trump.
5 – I’ve always been political but this year, faced with what seems like a cruel and heartless Conservative government, I have put my money where my mouth is and joined the Labour Party, since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader. I intend to be much more politically active in 2016 so I’m sure I’ll be writing about this as the year goes on.
6 – I lost my Mojo for photography and indeed for blogging but I am gradually rekindling my love of the 1st, hoping to share both my photos and my thoughts by way of the 2nd.
7- The world is getting smaller as social media gives us the opportunity to be connected with each other; and in real-time. I discovered twitter this year ( I have been on it for a couple of years but not actively ) It gives you unprecedented access to makers and shakers, nationally and across the globe. It is both exciting and terrible at the same time. It brings out the best in people when they share Missing people’s names or campaign against something unjust but it also brings out rank bigotry and hatred in too many people. It is easy for some people to hide behind anonymity and quick to type something without thought for the effect it will have on others. A double-edged sword indeed!
8- Many of you will know about my passion against injustice, fighting it wherever I find it, but in the 2nd half of this year I felt I should give that up for self-preservation. Then I got impassioned by a Campaign here in the Uk called #WASPI – Women Against State Pension Equality who are fighting against unfair changes to state pensions for women born in the 1950’s. All have had their pension age increased from 60, not just once but in many cases twice, with up to 6 years added on; in my own case 5 years and 5 months. The issue has been no or little notification of the change so no time to plan financially. It has caused real hardship for many, most of whom are not against equality of state pension age between men and women but feel they have suffered dis-proportionally. You can find out more about the campaign on twitter or on Facebook . Main issues Here and if you live in the UK you might like to sign this Petition to the Government. There will be a debate in Parliament on 7th January.
I am always reminded of what Nelson Mandela said –
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Throughout my life this has always been so very important to me. So the fight goes on and I suspect I will still be fighting against injustice when I have one foot in the grave. I just cannot help myself!
9 – Part of my fighting injustice in the world continues to be my support of Kiva which I have written about before in a post called A Hand-up not a Hand-out which you can read here
10 – Some things I have been particularly thankful for this year – My beloved children Katy and Steven, my dear friend Helen and many others. The beautiful,natural world of trees, water, animals, birds and insects. How healing it has been to get outside and into nature when I have not been feeling the best. It is reliable and constant. ( and mostly wet at the moment!) I am truly thankful I am still alive and for our wonderful National Health Service which effectively saved my life; an NHS under threat by our Tory government as it is gradually being sold off to the private sector, service by service.
Finally I would like to wish you all a 2016 full of hope, passion, laughter, love and above all peace and freedom. Please click on the photo below and watch the 3 minute Video. I am sure it will make you smile. Thank you
More here – Human-the Movie
Your thoughts are very welcome as ever.
Saturday Girl signing off.. I promise it will not be 9 months before I post again!
You can find my photography blog Photomania here