Arts? Do We Really Do Enough?

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Today I want to talk about the ARTS and how I think there almost the most important of all the curriculum. I don’t know about you but my interests stretch between writing, (very important to me) photography and music. (playing the guitar) All of these are from the arts. So you could say Im artistic or at least creative.

I went to a special school event where a number of schools had joined in a singing venture. Each school were taking a part to play in the production. It is probably obvious that one of my children was taking part. I have two children, both boys and both in school. When it comes to the arts i.e. Music, Paint, Dance, Writing, Singing, I’m not sure we get how important these subjects are in our schooling. Both my children have preformed in school plays and to be honest until today I thought they were brilliant in what they had done. Only with this joint venture there was a team of five who are covering the country spending what amounts to three hours with these schools, if I can be honest Blowing the current teaching out of the water. In just three hours these wonderful women have made these children into a pleasure to listen to. One year seven student sang like a professional she was fantastic.

 

Only it does lead to the question, should we not be doing this as an everyday thing? Shouldn’t our schools put as much resources into the Arts as they do the three R’s. I know its very important to be able to read and write and preform arithmetic. I also know that there are resources for the Arts already but and it’s a big BUT. If five teaches can transform many schools with only three hours tuition, shouldn’t we ask if were doing enough Now!

 

When I went to school the three R’s were everything. I began writing on a more serious level only seven years ago. Thats almost twenty years after I had left school. To be clear I’m writing from the UK and I know there are much better places in this world that prioritise the arts much more than us.  If anyone would like to comment on how good there schooling is then please do, I would love to have another countries comparison.

 

 

Remember Enjoy! And Please, Please comment.

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Christmas cheer

snowman holding a box

snowman holding a box

Well Christmas is finely here and never mind the goose I’m already getting fat.
What a great time of year this is. That’s if you can avoid the hype and take it for what it is. And that is a time for greeting and meeting and making merry. Catch up with family, friends and the odd stranger.

I met two polish guys yesterday, they came to buy my old car. They were hooded and spoke broken English like they just stepped out of a modern day thriller. It took one look at my Christmas decorations and hopefully a smile in my face to bring the conversation away from cars and clutches, brake pipes and bushes to the merry Christmases we had when we were young. They told me of twelve course dinners that they had to endure and fish not turkey as the main on their special day of days.
So meet and greet and be kind while remembering that a smile and a little sharing can change a novel book villain to really nice guys. Merry Christmas to all and I will blog again soon.

Reflection!

When we reflect I cannot help but wonder why. People I speak to seem to reflect back on there life with the filter of  regret. I can honestly say there are only a handful of friends and family in my life that follow my interpretation of reflection.

Above is a collage of words from my tags of the last year. I can say that these are the most important words from my last year of posts. When I look over these, it makes me reflect with in, I see happy, sad and great social times. The last year has brought me the death of my father. The finish of my book. The realisation that I need to do more. Also a great growth within my self. My first blog almost a year ago was (and you can look this up in my archives if you wish) To Van Dyke or not To Van Dyke That is the Question. Since than I have posted fifty seven times subjects ranging from information about my writing  to family holidays, great social events such as the Royal Wedding and some very personal events too.

This is the past and we should learn from this, not repeat it.

We hold onto the past with notions that to persist and repeat will bring better results. It will not.

Most conversations I will have over the next twenty four hours about the future, will involve the past. Trying to make a better future by clinging onto a changed or modified past.

The glory days are just that.

We anchor ourselves with Memories but we set ourselves free with Dreams.

We look forward and shape the future, use your glory days, don’t repeat them.

On this I wish you all a very happy and productive New Year. I look forward to the new challenges it will bring.

 

Emotion’s part 4

Affection, Love, Happiness. (all the good ones)

These emotion’s seem really hard to write about.

I think its because where as the other emotions can be broken down I find it harder to break this one, when I do it kind of breaks the magic behind love and happiness.

I do believe in the magic that comes from caring for someone close to you, when you give over all you are. If you are as fortunate as me to have found the one person who you truly care about above and beyond yourself. (I think I will get some stick for this post)

Maybe this is it, we give affection to others in the hope that it will be returned. The problem is that sometimes it’s not returned and we start on one of those other emotion. This is what’s hard about the good emotions, they take an effort to keep. Were as the bad ones like hate and anger these take an effort to get rid of. It’s easy to stay angry. It’s harder to be happy.
Which in its self is kind of cool because most people you will meet are happy. I know a lot of people who are in love with someone. So at least we can take joy from the fact that most people want to smile and be your friend.
This is a quote I like from Albert Camus

Do not walk in front of me; I may not follow.

Do not walk behind me; I may not lead.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

(like I said, I think I might get some stick for this post, showing my softer side I think)

I do like that that Albert Camus has written. It basically says be my friend, not by boss, nor me yours.

When I decided to write about emotions I did a bit of research. Did you know that there are 48 separate emotional states. I won’t cover all of them, that could get boring fast. But I do find the emotional state very interesting, how we mix and match them depending on who we are interacting with. How some people can be angry at one person then turn and be nice to the next. while others get into an emotional state, no mater who they see, that state will not change, it has to run its course. (heart on there sleeve comes to mind)

This variety in the Human emotions makes for very interesting discussions. Me and my wife will talk and when out eating at a restaurant we people watch. It soon becomes apparent that people are all the same, we all have the same worries and problems while at the same time we all have the same desirer to be connected and wanted by others.

Life is good if we understand that deep down we all want the same.

The Day Before The Day After

I am no gardener, I know nothing of flower, foliage or tree. Whether it be a berry or a nut, fruit or veg. This for me is nightmare land.
Give me a patio to lay or a garden wall to build. Mowing the grass is the one I like. I mean I can plan this, where to start and where to finish with the least amount of passes. It’s a constant challenge to improve the route taken by the mower. You can see every Summer weekend men all over the world mowing grass and doing it there way because there way is always the best way. The man next door mows wrong.

After drinking far to much the night before. A morning of mowing the grass was (once the headache had been subdued) a pleasant pass time I would have loved to under take.

People with in the house that I live had other ideas. Ideas which were two ether side of the path that leads to the front of my house. Namely two 30+ year old hedges/bushes. It was time for these to go to the garden in the sky and spend the rest of eternity over growing gods front path.
I don’t like gardening, no really I don’t. Mud and insects is not my seen.
All morning and most the afternoon on two hedges, 3pm I finish. With mud and bits of worms under my finger nails.
This was not the worst of it, the worst was I had to watch my wife mow my grass, and yes she mowed it wrong.

Emotions

Recent events in my life have left me thinking a lot about emotion. On the 10th of may 2011 my father passed away and like every one who has ever lost a parent, it kind of hits you hard, or maybe I should say harder than you think it will.

He had been ill for many years, I thought I had prepared myself for the eventual outcome. The one thing I could not prepare for is how my emotions were going to act.

Because I write it seemed only right that I write something. The first night after his death I found myself writing about me and my father, mainly about him and the kind of man he was, the thing is that its all very personal and not suitable for a blog post. This left me with a dilemma. Do I follow the rule of;

“you must always write the truth no mater how painful”

or do I hold on to the personal info and find the middle ground. I just kept on writing what came, after two days I stopped to check what I had written, I noticed a pattern. That is I had been moving from who my dad had been to how I felt about him. His Stories and Poem’s have always effected me, eventually making me write stories for myself. As you can see its happening now I’m beginning to get personal. If unchecked I will probably pour out all over this macbook air.

I am a father, I have two boys. I also had a father of my own as you will have and every person who has ever lived will have.
My roll as the father of my children is quite traditional. I believe I should be a provider and protector to my family. Of course this also includes my wife, (she if really wonderful) as a father I’m to sacrifice my wants for the good of the family. This was my interpretation of the things passed down to me from my father.

My father passing away has lead to me reflecting back on my life. Being that I have known him all my life It stands that eventually I would reach my childhood. This was in the seventies as I was born in 1972. Things were different then. For example no Internet, no video films, never mind cable tv. There were only three tv channels and definitely no xbox or play station three, Just mum and dad and marbles.

I salute parents everywhere we are a result of them and our children will be a result of us.

Rest In Peace DAD, Love you always.

Photo of Keith glenn

Emotions part two

I thought, so I write.

Today while having a break at work I looked on what I had posted last night. People say I think to much, I might agree and promise what I have written below will be the last on my emotional state. (for a while anyway)

Grief Can be the most destructive of the emotions; it’s more like a lucky dip, depending on what part of your life your in. when you are in your younger years it’s all about working out how to deal with such loss.
As children we all look at our parents and regard them as invincible. Mum and dad will be there for ever. Then we have our first pet or relative pass away and the wall of safety is shook.
Like all things experience makes for control and composure. The more that pass away the better we deal with it.
Personally for me I sometimes feel I’m a bit to composed.

On the other end of the scale people who don’t except loss tend to have a hard time coming to terms with the person that has pass away. This can lead to all the bad emotions like anger and regret.

In the end it all comes to control, no one wants to have control took away from them. When we lose loved ones in my experience it’s when I felt at my most helpless.

There is nothing we can do to change this. No amount of wealth or power will bring that person back. In the end we all have to give in to the overwhelming power of death.
When we say that someone needs time to except the death, what we are really saying is we have to except that there is no mistake and no second chance and we are never going to see this person alive again.

How to deal with grief for me (and we all deal differently) it’s all about memory’s. We have this wonderful brain that holds everything we have ever seen, smelt, heard and touched. So take advantage and make what I call a memory box of the loved one who has pass away. Take any personal items you might have, place them in the box. Then in the years to come when you feel you might be losing there face or voice in your mind, take out the box and like a miracle it all comes flooding back. Sometimes with overwhelming results. But usually welcomed.
I have done this now more than once, each time I learn a bit more on how I deal with loss. The overwhelming lesson is that we should never be scared of our own memory’s. It’s this ability that sets us apart from all other life. We play things out in our minds so that we can learn and love from people who came before. To me this is a wonderful gift that we give when we die. My father was a great story teller and when he died I just searched in my mind to find all that he had told me. I now have enough material to last two life times. Thats mine and his, thanks dad.
This would not be if I shut of the memory’s.

To end this I will try and some it all up in one sentence. It is simply to remember and grief will become joy.

Day three at Butlins

7:37am Wrestling, that’s all I can say. If dreams mean anything see what you make of this, I was wearing a wrestling mask like the one my son wore in my last post. Running round the streets and slums of Rio, beneath that great wonder, Jesus Christ the saviour. I was being chased by a gang who wanted to do me harm. The reason for this escapes me. There maybe a short story in this some were who knows I’m never short of ideas.

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On a more related topic, the plan today is to have a day trip to Brighton beach. I checked on the satnav and it’s about a forty min drive. We should just get there before the kids start asking the dreaded “are we there yet” over and over. If you are wondering the Seagulls were quiet or I slept heavy, ether way all smiles here.

16:47pm set off to Brighton about 10:30am and arrived 11:42am. Took a little longer than I thought it would be. Finding a parking space became desperate about half way down the sea front. We pulled into the next car park in fear of not finding one. This was a mistake for the charges were £4 first hour £8 for one to two hours and £16 two to four hours. If there wasn’t a car behind me I would have reversed before going thought the barrier.
All had a great time walking down the front, then finishing off with a. Bowl of Chinese vegetable noodles. Weather had been slow to start but very warm by 1 o’clock.
I had my picture taken with Kate Middleton (see below)

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Got back to the resort, headed to the pub for my ritual afternoon pint of guinness. A young child managed to cut his face open on a play frame next to where we were siting. A little bit of a commotion then all was good again.
Back to apartment for a chill then shower and change.

23:30pm Centre stage tonight and watched Street-life a dance/singing group. They are very good, we highly enjoyed the show.
My youngest son wanted a Bubble gun. Thats a plastic gun that shoots bubbles. He had the best of times, until the bubbles ran out then he hands it to me. Nothing said just that look to say fix it. He turned and went back to whatever he was doing. I’m left with a bubble gun with no bubbles. To avoid disappointing him I will take a trip to the shop first thing.
Once again a good night had by all. This is turning into one of the best breaks we have had as a family. If it wasn’t for the sad news we had it would have been perfect.

R.I.P. Katerina.

Life certainly knows how to throw them. This week had kind of turned into a dairy blog. I’m not sure if this will continue or not. You see placing two or three notes to blog about later, seems to prevent me from writing other things. Time will tell as it always will.

Please comment or email me .