Saturday 16 December 2006

Queens Speech

This is the last entry in the blog for this year. We will be leaving for France soon and it won’t be easy to connect for a while. We’ll be back in the New Year and normal service will resume.

I’d like to wish everyone reading a Joyous Yule. I also have a few other things to say but if you don’t know me or feel you know me too well, go now, find your dear ones and treat them kindly. May love, peace and happiness walk with you always.


Still here? Well then, please indulge me while I make a silent scream in the echoing conch shell of cyberspace.

This blog, what’s it all about? After nearly two years of blogging I still don’t know. It started as the usual simple narcissism prevalent across the whole of the world wide web and was an attempt to provide me with an outlet for some of the words that bubble and won’t be suppressed. Naturally, that didn’t work out too well or I’d be standing on a street corner now spouting my stuff and scaring passers by. Inhibition, even in an empty room, is too deeply embedded to ever be stripped away.

Then came the French farm and some sort of theme was established. Having taken a few stats in the last weeks I am surprised to discover I get quite a lot of hits for the more practical entries with viewers from all over world stopping by for a few seconds to learn about medlars or coppicing. It shows potential for a good direction to take. I can share these experiences and my knowledge and that might be a contribution worth making, but that doesn’t satisfy my need to create – it is reporting, not invention. And it carries no scope for commentary outside of its subject.

Which brings me to my writing style – I hate it. It reminds me of myself at age 10 reading my first prize winning essay to the school. My teacher, the adorable Mr. Benny (was that his name? I forget but it fits) said I sounded like the Queen with constipation. It is only too true in this blog. It is constrained for no reason, pedantic, slow. A true reflection of me maybe but writing is like acting, it should be possible to assume a new persona for as long as it takes to produce an impression. Where has my ability to perform gone?

I had some correspondence recently about writing. During the discussion it became clear that for me the most successful moment to write is when I’m raging angry about something. And I have been suppressing anger for too long now. Temper gets the better of me but the injustices that really make me angry are too terrible to face, bring physical sickness and total despondency. Something like that happened two and half years ago and although it has no place in here it has been destroying me ever since. Can I write about that, no fucking chance. Even now I am incoherent in my mind, screaming hysterically, ripping myself to shreds. So it’ll have to stay sedated in the darkened padded room for a while longer yet.

There are things that make me angry in the open world of course. I was watching an episode of M*A*S*H last night, the show set in the 1950s and made in the 1970s was about a group of children in the care of the Red Cross. As I watched the actors, adults and children, happily interacting physically, tickling, cuddling, innocently depicting normal human relations my 21st century sensibilities were triggered. Surely it wasn’t right for middle aged men to invite 5 year olds to sit on their laps or offer them sweets.

The media and a few horrific cases have made all affection between adults and children suspect. Our children are suffering now from a lack of community love that must surely have adversely affected their connection with society. It was enough to reduce me to tears and fills me with dread for the way our world will develop. We need to fight the manipulation of our natural instincts by the greedy attention seeking press. We need to show our love for children and be worthy of their trust.

Future plans then are to continue here with the French blog, making it more practical and trying to capture some of the wonderful times we have there. Next year I hope to finish the cider making records and describe a year in the vegetable patch (words to conjure with ) but maybe I’ll also find the time and words to write something more fulfilling and temporally pertinent. That would be a good aim to take.

Manda Gwinn 2006


joker the lurcher said...

i've been reading your blog since you popped in on mine. i don't think your style is stuffy (or whatever it was you said - brain like a seive!) i have 3 blogs, the joker the lurcher one, which is the only one most people know is mine, one about my inner thoughts, which is frankly depressing, and one about my old job, which i hope to turn into a book. not one of them is my real writing style. i'm not even sure what my real writing style is...

Catofstripes said...

Thank you for coming by! I think I was just having a whinge really, something to do with not having found my writing 'voice' yet, but that does sound pretentious. I also have a couple more blogs, one entirely private which is supposed to be for the teenage angst so that I can keep things positive here but it doesn't always work.

I like your Joker blog a lot so I'm sure your book will be worth reading when it's done.