#514 theoldmortuary ponders

What activities do you lose yourself in?

A lovely coincidence today when my blogging platform made a title suggestion, I could employ easily. I have often lost myself in painting. Any spare moment in March will be spent creating paintings, prints and cards for a Spring exhibition. While procrastinating I found this unfinished painting in a pile that I had discarded. Discarded because I had painted it on a new paper that I have not used before. The underlying pencil sketch could not be rubbed out and I had discarded it, probably with a touch of grumpiness. More than a year later I covered the pencil marks with some coloured Posca Pens.

And then added some indoor palm fronds for the print version. Although there hasn’t been a lot of free time today I have spent odd moments losing myself in the water of Tinside Lido. Not the actual water but a watercolour, a far warmer pursuit.

Painting and cold water swimming both give me the ability to lose myself, painting just does it for a lot longer. On a really productive day I could lose myself in painting for several hours without any detrimental effects. Swimming or Bobbing are shorter periods of loss, more than an hour is about my limit and that is in the summer.

So if I am not ‘lost’ in water or painting, am I fully present? For the most part yes, but probably the biggest lost period of my life has been spent in books or reading. Currently I am in New York with an early twenties Stanley Tucci, the pasta and the company are sublime. I may not return.

Reading, painting, swimming and procrastinating. Sometimes I am more lost than found.

#507 theoldmortuary ponders

What is your middle name? Does it carry any special meaning/significance?

Here is another Jetpack ( My blogging platform) suggestion, that did actually spark a ponder. My middle name is Anne. To the best of my knowledge it has no special significance. However coupled with a first name of Juliet it creates a spelling minefield, perhaps less so in the digital age, but certainly as child and young adult I would say that at least 75% of the time I would have to correct peoples spelling of my names. Constantly removing an additional T and E from my first name and donating the E back to my middle name. Juliette Ann felt as alien as being called Geoffrey or indeed Jeffery.

A proper first world problem that I have only ever discussed with my friend Marianne ( Marion) until this week when I met a fellow artist called Norah (Nora) who expressed the problem in a different way to me. Marianne and I would agree that the wrong spelling feels uncomfortable, itchy even, just not right. Marianne has lived her life with a curious sentence. ” Marianne with any” meaning with N and E.

Norah went further , she said without her H she felt lopsided, and again the word, uncomfortable. Without her H, she said she cannot function effectively.

What’s in a name?

If I were an actor or musician I would likely have to have a stage name and that would be just fine, I could be comfortable with that. A completely different personna who did glamorous things in exotic places. While Juliet Anne returned home to do the prosaic things of Normal Life. I do not have an imagined stage name to hand.

Had I been a boy I was to have been named Noel after a much loved uncle who killed himself during my mothers pregnancy. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. If I had been a boy I would like to have been called Barzilian after my paternal great grandfather, with a middle name of  Zebediah. I would be known as Zeb. Heaping bad name spelling on my male self by the bucket load. The idea of introducing myself as Zeb is actually quite thrilling. Oh to actually be part of the boy gang with all the privilege that brings.

Names are prescient this week. We welcomed our third granddaughter into our tiny family on Wednesday.

Cecily Bea is one of  a trio of small girls who make up our next generation. Surely some spelling confusions there, especially as Bea is pronounced Be-ah.

She already has a small confusion she was born quickly on Tuesday evening, no time for any worries or concerns, but she was actually born in the early morning of Thursday in Hong Kong. The time difference making a date difference. Whenever, wherever and whoever she is most welcome.


#498 theoldmortuary ponders

Describe the last difficult “goodbye” you said.

The new-to-me blogging platform gives daily prompts to inspire. I have used one of them last week but more as a reaction to it than inspired by it. This one similarly made me think that some of the most difficult goodbyes are the ones that were not said. I would be loath to rank my many sad, difficult awkward or even life changing goodbyes. But the ones I didn’t get to have are poignant, raw, saddening at their worst and wistful at best. There are so many things that we do in life for the last time, without knowing. Experiences that we will never have again. A group of people or person we will never see again. A place we will never return to. Thankfully this is often a good thing so I don’t need to over think this, but in response to this prompt, I would say some of the most difficult goodbyes are the ones I didn’t have. Occasionally the non-goodbyes swirl around in my head, they are inconclusive thoughts, little whisps of love, happiness, familiarity or friendship, locations or experience. Insubstantial like clouds or candy floss there is a beginning but no end, just infinite regret, sometimes, and acceptance, eventually.