Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Monday, 21 November 2011

feeling the strain

Reading through the blogs I follow and spending a very hectic weekend with a whole lot of different people I’ve noticed a common theme – the women are tired, worn out tired. A lot are poorly, many blogs are lonely and post less and many friends are wilting. The customers at my art fair this weekend were a subdued lot, hard to engage and listless compared to the bouncy sparkly people that came through the door at the same venue in the spring.

This is always a busy time of year for women, we trudge along full of the worry of a million and one things to do before the big day, while children buzz with excitement and men pretend that nothings happening. But is it just that this year seems different, women seem more strained, more desperate for a rest and actually more un-happy.

Maybe the men are feeling it too but just don’t show it the way we do. The debate at our dinner party on Friday evening about public sector workers and their pension cuts got very heated between the men. This has never happened in the ten years our group have all known each other. Firstly I’ve never known a political conversation to take place, talk is normally of a jolly, superficially great fun nature and secondly I’ve never know the group to turn on each other.

Don’t get me wrong there were no fisticuffs and everyone left as friends but I was squirming in my seat at the rising voices and increasingly aggressive tones. This is the group that’s jollied along through endless airport delays over the years, endured with British stiff upper lip and a lot of giggles bone shaking coach trips, terrible ski chalets and once, three nights without sleep while our children ran us ragged. I guess the men are feeling the strain too. Theres a strange atmosphere in the air.

At our local garden centre yesterday, where we have every year the most amazing Christmas display you will ever see, the place was heaving but the tills were empty. You could walk straight through to pay for your item rather than the usual endless queuing but no-one was. It was surreal. The decorated halls and small shops were full to bursting of people who had come along for the feel of Christmas but the credit crunch has really hit now and no-one could afford to buy. I noticed on Remembrance Day, the amount of people who took the time this year to attend services, wear poppies, far more than usual and I’m wondering if now that we are all under more strain finically, have we developed a greater capacity for ‘feeling’, for sympathy and understanding. Or maybe it was a chance to pull together, the huddling together for support that the nation does at occasions like that. Maybe both. I’m reading a book at the moment that talks about the way everyone rallied around in the war, when times were hard, communities pulled together and theres certainly been some of that, more people than ever before at local events with everyone looking for the chance of a bit of frivolity amongst all the doom and gloom.
Theres is an air of tension though, how quickly the riots irrupted in this country a few months ago was frightening, so the worry is it could swing either way. I have no conclusion to these ponderings yet, I’m afraid they are just a collection of thoughts but I will have to sit down quietly with myself and figure out why I’m on edge, genuinly worrying about my fellow man.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I think a lot of people are feeling tense and uncertain about the way things are going. It is worrying when you see more and more shops closing down, and those that are open don't seem to be doing much business. To begin with I thought this recession might not be all bad as I reckoned maybe it would make people realise that happiness doesn't lie in buying lots of things, and that being with people and doing things is much more rewarding. But I'm not sure that's what's happening in reality. I don't have any answers either, or even a clearly thought-out position, but I can relate to what you're saying.