Horrendous Adverts Alert

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Hey there,

So I have recently been warned of the fact that adverts have been appearing at the bottom of my posts for awhile. I had not seen them, been warned about them, and actually have a wonderful extension called Adblock which means I don’t see adverts ever, at all, I like it this way.

However, for those of you who have seen them I do apologise, I do not endorse them and many of them repulse me. I would suggest Adblock, or a similar service, so you don’t have to deal with any of the rubbish anyway, but otherwise I have a few plans to deal with it: Continue reading

Travelling Toddler: Edinburgh; Part 1.

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It’s been a while since I properly wrote on here but whilst wandering around Edinburgh with our now-toddling-toddler, Cub, I realised that perhaps refreshing a few reviews from the perspective of someone with a child wasn’t a bad idea. Overall we had an incredible time, if exhausting, in Edinburgh and the people were a large part of that. We miss Scotland often and a lot and being in the company of friendly smiling faces and lilting accents was a huge blessing… plus, y’know.. haggis and such things, YUM!

This is a brief review of a few places we visited, discovered, and slept.

The view from my bed, early on a July morning.

The view from my bed, early on a July morning.

 

Continue reading

Still Learning

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This time last year: even my own knowing smile tells me I was clearly being silly.

This time last year: even my own knowing smile tells me I was clearly being silly.

Over the last month I have learnt quite a lot about myself, particularly in the 30 Day Self Portrait Challenge, but sometimes life lessons come in smaller pieces. Mine surprised me in hindsight. I thought I would share them with you as I can imagine both are pretty common. Continue reading

30 Days: A Self Portrait

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Copyright EKMCronin 2015.

Copyright EKMCronin 2015.

This is the final day of my self-targeted 30 Day Self Portrait challenge. Outside of simply gaining some intensive portrait practice I think I have learnt quite a lot. I thought I’d share a few of those lessons as well as a few of my plans for the next few months. Continue reading

Foxy Upcycling by Natalie Huntsman

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Bear bought me art! It also came with beautiful bunnies!

Bear bought me art! It also came with beautiful bunnies!

As you already know I am a big fan of finding local, new, and generally underappreciated artists and showing off their work. I feel that if an individual artist starting out has any hope of beating the big corporate machine that wants them to create multiple versions of the same flowers to be printed on canvas, duvets, and curtains alike, it needs to be through their fans and the support of people who buy from them. I don’t see myself as a patron because in my head that requires far more money than I’ve got, but I do think we need a re-emergence of people who are willing to support artists in their creative endeavors. Plus the art is just really awesome!

My example today is of Natalie Huntsman at Foxy Upcycling. Continue reading

Just One Day

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Election Day Self Portrait. EKMCronin 2015.

Election Day Self Portrait. EKMCronin 2015.

I have a lot to be grateful for. I had an amazing education and am still just about managing to continue with a Masters degree. I have an amazing husband, daughter, and friends around me (although never as much as I’d like). I have food in my belly and a roof over my head (albeit through my parents’ hospitality). I am mostly healthy and live surrounded by beautiful countryside. And at the very least, UKIP didn’t get as much support as they hoped for.

However, this morning I found myself crying onto the kitchen counter, hiding my sadness and anger from my parents, at the thought of another 5 years of a strongly Conservative government. I wonder how my little family will ever move into our own home when child tax credit and the tiny amount of child benefit is cut out of our limited budget. I wonder if our environment and future can cope with increased fracking and lack of ecological priorities. I wonder how my child will cope with higher education fees and whether she will ever have what I loved so much. I wonder how long our precious NHS will last and whether our family will be able to afford an insurance-based system that I fear will come. I wonder how many children and adults will starve on the streets due to higher homelessness, poverty, despite the wonderful work done by food banks across the UK. I wonder if we will ever afford to adopt the children we hoped to, and whether being responsibly will outweigh the wish for Cub to have siblings. I wonder how I am perceived in a country who continue to expect mothers (and fathers) to work despite childcare costs being out of our reach and right-wing (even if more central) politics continuing to assume we are not worth speaking to. I wonder how long I will be able to stay living where I was born, and how happy I will be to return to Scotland, who seem to hold the vulnerable up as their priority. I wonder if I shall ever have a pension, whether I shall be able to support myself in old age, and whether the statistics of poverty and loneliness for the elderly will become my own label. I wonder if I will continue to cry and fear for my families future.

Today I will cry, I will mope, I will feel anger and grieve the potential of a more diverse parliament, and a more representative government, and I will allow my fears to hit me, wash over me, and then, finally, eventually, leave me. I will likely be eating ice cream and playing with my child hoping that either one might cheer me just a little. I will watch movies, and write, and create, and allow myself just one day.

Tomorrow, we start again. Tomorrow we have to fight against the greed and mammon-priority of those in power. Tomorrow we have to call for empathy, assistance, and love for the least of us, for those in trouble, for those struck by poverty, illness, and heartache. Tomorrow we have to cry out for our children’s futures, for the security of the elderly, and for a tolerant community which embraces diversity with simple common decency. Tomorrow we have to stand as a people of outward compassion and generosity, those who will care for our neighbours, the stranger and the foreigner, without suspicion and malice. Tomorrow we must begin again in our attempts to protect the land we inhabit and the creatures we steward. Tomorrow we must take on the challenge, take on the responsibility, and force ourselves back into battle.

Today I will cry for just one day. Tomorrow, we start again.

I think I will start by praying, hoping that God will help us.

Two New Challenges and an Old One

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Inspired by Margaret Keane's Big Eyes.

Inspired by Margaret Keane’s Big Eyes.

These are my challenges. Hear me roar and keep me accountable… I also take brownie-like motivation! Continue reading