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I always say goodbye to the summer with a sense of relief. September and October I love. Low sun, bright blue sky and the occasional frost, the turning and falling of leaves. The old October days turn to November and the clocks go back and suddenly the days are short. It seems a brutal snap.

December has arrived and I have a cold. I don’t get them so much these days since I stopped working with children!

The damp November days have tugged at my arthritis and I start to hunker down. I’m reluctant to go out, especially in the evenings. I fear I’m turning into my mother (too late, I hear my family say). I have vague plans to travel, but at the last minute I call them off. I’ll go in the new year (maybe). At this end of the year I feel old.

My drawings don’t feel dark enough. I feel like a fake, because it all seems a bit level. I feel I need to find a way to plumb these depths and dive into the abyss. I want deeper water on the paper. I need blacker purples… blacker reds… blacker blacks…

I need to carve something into the paper, not draw on the top of it.

My lyrics are not for public consumption really. They speak of very dark places. 

This personal slump is not helped by the sense of impending doom I feel about the General Election. I protect myself from crippling disappointment by feeling as grim as I possibly can now, so that the shock isn’t so extreme.

I live in a bubble of like-minded folks, I am aware of this… and so I am wary of feeling that everything will be fine, because, let’s face it, everything is far from fine. I am European, and I am an old-fashioned socialist. I feel we should hold hands with our neighbours and work closely with them. I feel we should be kind to those less fortunate. I feel that all people regardless of socio-economic background should have opportunities to fulfil their potential. I’m not rich by any means, (it’s all relative) but my life is rich. I have what I need and am surrounded by love and kindness. I feel then, that I am in a position to spread it around. I have huge difficulty understanding the help only yourself mentality. Surely we all benefit when people reach their potential? We all benefit from having a well educated, healthy society? Surely?

So having a general election just before Christmas fills me with dread. It is a difficult time for many people. I have this knot of black dread that sits in my chest. If the conservatives win again, people will be in deepest despair… and I don’t know what I can possibly do about it. 

All I can think is that the charcoal and the ink just aren’t dark enough to express it.


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