Vainglorious Creatures

Vainglorious is such a fabulous word, as is its definition – excessive vanity.

It seems that so many live their lives by this statement in lots of ways – perfect home, a toot-sweet family, pets, gadgets (expensive ones), second homes, holidays.

Yet there are an increasing number of dissatisfied individuals -somehow trapped in their success at achieving a perfect life – well one that looks perfect to the rest of the world. And so they reflect and mimic one another’s vanity.

What of it? Does it really matter? What of our obsession with beauty in all things? Can we justify it?

We are also consumed by the beauty of landscape – what value does this have in our lives -is there some kind of  blurring of what the word appreciation means?

Have we stopped feeling with our hearts, and look only with our eyes? Is there no spiritual backdrop to anything we do and is this why apathy and delusion sets in? We are moving further and further away from the grime of our industrial past to a world of plastic faces and hearts.

Artists and beauty:

Moonlight by John Atkinson Grimshaw.





Some kind of cosmic thing

Rollercoaster – I’m on one. After desperately waiting for change for months, years even, suddenly there’s a shift. Possibly I’m not in total control of it, if at all, but the wind is definitely changing direction.

Stagnation – not for me. Change is here. It may not be exactly as I want it, but it is here. Yes I have forced some things to alter, others have been out of my control.

Fear – I have it. Normally a new way of being would be a great thing to embrace, but this is pretty scary.

Funny little things are happening as I start to clear out the house. We may have a lodger by the end of the month. We may have more loft insulation too. It would be really nice to have a new job – a whole one – instead of many irons in many fires.

The loft man was quite chatty. He asked me what I did for a living, I said I  worked in the arts, but the way things were here just now, there was no room for diversity and acceptance in the arts world, so I was most likely going to walk away from something that had become so alien yet stagnant.

He said he was a photographer – had been since he got his first camera at the age of five. That made me smile. I saw this five year old boy before me. He said he had been the president of the camera club, ran his own business, took images of weddings and so on for decades.

What happened, I asked.

Partly the digital world, he said. Also being under -cut by ‘cheap professionals’. He still does photography. But I won’t say what his current idea is – it’s a rather good one and he deserves to own it.

There are so many people I have met living two lives -one of need and one which is their ideal.

He asked why the house had its name -these things interested him. I explained that it wasn’t named by me and actually it was originally called Lilac Cottage when it was built.

There’s a house on the Hebrides called My Home Beneath the Shining Stars, he told me and then said it in Gaelic. I smiled.

He left after declaring we needed another good amount of loft insulation.



Somewhere to hang out – a haven in a heartless world

Somewhere cool. Where you can hang out. There’s a grand piano, books, coffee, cocktails, jazz, the latin sound, other music too.

Relaxed. Easy. Meet with friends, talk, laugh. Talk about the good old days, the rotten now days and make plans for tomorrow.

Gather in groups, have celebrations. Tables of food, wine, candle light. A place where everyone is welcome, not just a select few.

Where artists feel comfortable to mingle, parents can bring children without judgement, old folk can sit comfortably.

All united by love of music, literature, food, drink, art. All together under one cosmopolitan roof.

Where am I? In places I have been, and where I would like to go. A sense of community based on the love of  the arts and culture.





And then I discovered this place, I’ve not been to before, it’s in New York.