Well, hello again. It’s been so long since I wrote something that anyone who visits my blog probably thought I was dead. Ahem. Well, you’re not far from wrong. I am obviously still alive, but the reason why I’ve been absent from blogging recently is something I’d like to save for another time.
*takes a deep breath*
You know those niggling, annoying things which send you straight up the wall of apoplectic rage as soon as they’re mentioned? Well, smush all of them together in a big angry mess and you’ve got a taste of how I feel about certain “Christians” and their horribly well thought-through attitudes regarding the LGBT plus community. I could name names. I’m sure you could too. Michele Bachmann for one, who is portrayed most wonderfully in this caricature by Cole Dixon of Chronicles of the Nerds fame.
However, I don’t want to talk about my anger or indignation. I’ve done it before and I’m sure anyone who has read this far without closing the window will already know what I would say about the above. I want to write about the things that I’ve done that I’m ashamed of.
The first question the people of this land ask of me is my name. They give freely of theirs, as if the free knowledge of it were not dangerous. They say this is the reason why the lands of Caledonia (of old our neighbour) became the barren and lawless wastelands upon which the monster and the slaver prowl, indistinguishable from one another.
If you must know my name, then I will give it: Sable. This is not my true name.
It is not the fear of magicians which imposes such secrecy; magic is not true knowledge and thus does not frighten a student of the Seeker. Mages and priests alike bleed and die when run through by the blades of murderers. I was barely a woman when the sea-borne raiders barged into our peaceful homes and laid them to waste; taking all they could find a use for and discarding the rest without care.
Much time has passed since then; but I have not been able to drive the memory of that evil day from my mind.
My review of March and April’s books has been unfortunately delayed due to a gallavanting around the southern counties, which I must apologise for. As a consolation, I was carrying a copy of Philip Pullman’s The Tin Princess on my travels to keep up my comfortable lead on the 50 books challenge. You see, by reading one book per week and thus four books per month, I would succeed. Given it is May now and I’m on my 22nd book, I’m pretty pleased with how this is progressing!
In March I looked back at my list and realised that the vast majority of it was taken up by male authors. I then decided, henceforth, to read more books by female authors. This resolution drew me towards a collection of wonderful writers I hadn’t read before: famous, not so famous, exciting fiction, history and autobiography. All in all, a most enjoyable two months’ worth of reading.
The excitement was almost too much. The sun dawned bright and… sunny; today, finally, at last, was the day I was to bless twenty-four neighbours with twenty-four copies of one of my most favourite books as part of World Book Night. From the word go the experience of being an official ‘giver’ had been one of personal fulfillment and righteous pride. For once, I was actually making a difference!
That was, of course, how I felt until the slightly uneasy feeling of last night emerged fully-grown into some kind of twenty-four-copies-of-Good-Omens-shaped nightmare. What was I actually going to do with these books? Who would I give them to? Oh, crap… and then, it sunk in. Not only had I no idea where I would offload my precious charges, but I had entirely forgotten the fact that I would be approaching total strangers to do so.
Yesterday morning my grandmother-in-law passed away. It was half 8. I found out yesterday evening, when my mum came to tell me. I was sitting here, in my room. No tears, just sadness. We all knew it was coming.
It’s funny, how I seem to be in the same place every time I discover that another one of us has gone. Us, as in my family – the ‘ever-dwindling’ group around the proverbial fire. 2007 was a year for leaving. Three of us faded into the shadows. I remember sitting in this very spot when my mum told me about dad. I had known that was coming, too. The weight of the news didn’t settle immediately. For days, even weeks I sat staring out into the darkness among the trees. I couldn’t quite yet accept that it was final, that he was gone, that he wouldn’t be coming back. He left so quietly that his shadow still roamed out there, just beyond my vision, just beyond where the flickering light could reach.
My regular readers (thank you, all of you) will remember my post from last month about the 17 members of parliament who have been supplied with interns funded by the homophobic charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education). I’ve since been on a little mission in persuading the most local of the MPs, Sharon Hodgson (MP for Washington and Sunderland West) to sever ties with CARE.
I am more than overjoyed to announce that both Ms. Hodgson and Catherine McKinnell (MP for Newcastle North) have withdrawn from the scheme, making statements denouncing the views of the charity.
You know, one thing I reckon bloggers don’t do often enough is read other people’s blogs.
If you come at blogging every time with the premise ‘What Eternal Wisdom Shall I Impart To the Ignorant Masses’, then the chances are the so-called ‘ignorant masses’ will realise how ignorant you are and avoid you like the plague. It is probably a blogging rite of passage, that moment when you realise that you are not the elite intelligentsia you think you are but rather just another run-of-the-mill mind with a WordPress account.
As a blogger you put a lot of effort and time into your own posts. On occasion I’ve spent whole days writing something because I really believed in it and wanted everyone to know what I thought about that something; and because of that, all I wanted was for others to read my blog – and oh my – even commenting! I didn’t even think about doing some reading myself to ‘share the love’. Perhaps I should’ve done. I might have learned something.
The fact that I chose today to do some reading and the positive results of that choice are illuminating.