united in grief

Grief should unite people,everyone who is feeling the pain,should be allowed their thoughts ,i have enjoyed reading many posts on here from many people,i sometimes mention my beliefs in a post as that is me,that is who i am,i now think after reading a thread recently that i will feel uncomfortable mentioning my belief in spirit,but that is part of me,so do not want to feel more uncomfortable than i already feel in grief ,and i feel sorry for a lady on here who mentioned her beliefs,now she cannot and that is who she is,beliefs are personal,i agree but our beliefs or having no belief should never make anyone feel uncomfortable,surely life is a hard task in itself without added pressure of having to watch what we dare mention,anger in grief sometimes makes one speak harsh, i understand that but grief should unite as one thing in common is the pain of it all,and we all know how bad that feels.xx

I think the problem with religion and politics is that they both seem to divide opinion and perhaps it’s best that we avoid them here. We can see the suffering caused in the name of religion and politics every time we put the TV on or read a newspaper.
Personally I can’t see any real harm in talking about spirituality which seems to exist away from religion. It doesn’t seem to be quite as inflammatory.
I’m not interested in imposing my views on anyone else and I’m not interested in anyone imposing their views on me. We probably all have a different yardstick as to when we think someone crosses the line.
We are probably all a bit vulnerable and history is littered with examples of particular views being forced on to vulnerable people. Let’s all be nice and not fall out.

I always want people to come together and not to be on different sides ,i suppose that is my idealistic view of the world,they say sticks and stones,words cannot hurt but i think they can,some months ago i joined a bereavement group in my local area,but i never returned,the lady who set it up had very good intentions,but she said regarding the bereavement,"we all know why we are here but we dont need to mention our grief ,we can talk about anything else,and it seemed to be turned into a socialising meeting group in a pub,so that was not for me,as i wanted to speak about my grief ,i didnt want to deny it,or put it in a box,till i was on my own,and that made me feel uncomfortable so i never went back.Yes i hardly watch TV at all these days,i prefer to paint .read or be outdoors,funny but i seem to have lost interest in mainstream tv and the news,think i prefer to be in my own little world,not sure whether thats the right way to be,i dont think im retreating from life,just changing how i participate and when.Are you off on your trip to The Lakes soon,i remember you said first one January x.

I would imagine that the person who set the bereavement group up was further into her journey than you and maybe wanted to steer the group away from anything that would take her backwards. I’m not sure how it could work unless everyone had the same needs. I’m very careful who I respond to if they mention my journey as I can’t predict my reaction. I’m walking with two friends next Tuesday and I know they will want to know how I am but they also know how to listen. I think that Active Listening is a great skill and it’s something I pick up on. This week some of the U3A groups restart and I’m glad about that. I try really hard to avoid telling anyone about my back story. I’m not sure I find it easy to handle it in terms of their reaction in that environment. I suppose that in a bereavement group it’s a given that the others would understand and know what to say. I wonder if, as people live forward, they deliberately avoid thinking too deeply. I think I could be a person that handles it like that.
My kids keep telling me about programmes on catch up TV and I watch them much more than live TV. I’ve always watched Country file and I like nature documentaries but like you I read a lot but rarely in daylight hours. It never feels quite right to watch TV or read on the daytime. A therapist would have a field day with my mind.
I know what you mean about being in your own little world. I suppose I’ve always been a bit self sufficient… just selfish some would say… but I knew what was important to me. I don’t think my wife would have described me as a soul mate. I think we were both comfortable with that. We almost lived in separate worlds until we came together at home.
My trip to the Lakes is Friday 18th for 3 nights. Before that I’ve my birthday and then my wife’s birthday. I can’t begin to predict how that will be but I’m busy both days.
Like you say about participating in life it’s just not possible to live the life we had. It’s a very different shape now and we need to work out how we adjust to it.

Hi Yorkshire Lad,

I hardly ever post on here now but still read a lot of the posts.

I always find yours very interesting and often agree with you. They make me think and sometimes give me a new perspective on things.

I especially like this one and found it very supportive and sensible.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to do them.
Take care Jx

Thank you for your comments. I’m glad to hear from you and recently reread your comments about Levels of Life. It was great that you replied to me about that and I did wonder if you had read other ‘useful’ books. It’s a shame you don’t contribute as I thought, from the little I had read, that you were both perceptive and engaging and therefore add much to what’s written here. Maybe it’s good, from your point of view, that you don’t need to.
It’s amazing how just the slightest “touch” can have such meaning sometimes.

Dalejackie is correct ,your posts are informative and you seem to have a skill for answering with a 360 degree vision,you mention a therapist may have a field day with your mind,i think they may learn a thing or two,a couple of therapists i have seen over my time,seemed to be textbook only,they had set guidelines to follow i know,but after 6 weeks with them,i came out knowing what i started with,but yes they did listen and listening is a skill in itself like you say.You have to slow down to listen and a lot of people find that hard to do.When you slow down your thoughts come more to the forefront,so i suppose people who don’t stop talking,or doing don’t have to think too much, I realised recently that i would have to re-read some of my self help books,i had read them,but that was it,i hadn’t put any of it into practice,i was taking in a lot of info but not acting on any of it,so i suppose its a form of not listening.Well i ignored my birthday,but i tended to do that anyway before my husband passed,i think birthdays never appealed after i reached 40,but yes it was my husbands 60th 3 weeks after he passed,i bought red roses and put them in a vase at home and lit a candle.So like you say you can’t predict how it will make you feel,that’s right.Ah so you are off on your trip soon then and nice you will be in good company,mines in April,the barn is in a small village called Blindcrake,so in the north west of the Lakes i think,i could be wrong,not great with sense of direction.x

I know where Blindcrake is but never been into the village. Just north of Cockermouth I place I always enjoy visiting. Can’t remember which year it was but Cockermouth was devastated by floods and then the town centre was renewed. New shop fronts, new hardlandscaping, street furniture, etc and then it flooded again.
Do any of your self help books talk about Type A, Type B personality types. Well worth a look towards understanding the different “drivers”. It explains why some people make good listeners and others just wait for you to finish so they can say their bit. Only one personality type would read a self help book.
I’m going on my own again to the Lakes. Already been planning my walks… and cafe stops.

Oh hopefully no flooding this year then,sorry i read your post wrong,you are walking with friends next Tue,not going to The Lakes with them,i’m being nosey but what are U3A groups you speak of?I have searched personality types and think i am a B,however there is a C and D and 16 different others i have found so that’s where it gets a little more complicated,i will have to return to read more.Oh well you are good to plan,i think short trips benefit from some forward planning.x

Hi Robina.
The idea of type A and type B personality types goes back about 70 years and, like most things, it’s been changed and “improved on”. I remember studying it years ago and linking it to person centred learning, as a means to identifying how different people were able to learn, or how they could be helped. I’ve been out of a working environment since 2002 so I would probably be seen as a dinosaur now. However I still believe in certain approaches that gave good outcomes.
I’m fortunate in that Ilkley U3A runs literally dozens of courses and activities. I’m a member of a Crime Readers group and it’s shown me how little I knew. Some of the others could do well on mastermind. It has introduced me to lots of new authors I had previously disregarded. I’m a member of a drawing group and until I joined I had used sketching in preparation for watercolours. This is something else and I can become completely immersed in it. It’s all pencil drawing so no colour but shading is OK.
The other groups I’m in are all to do with visiting places of interest and are more of a social activity.
I was going to join a history group but there was a clash of dates.
It’s strange to think that I only joined about 8 years ago due to my wife’s insistence. I took 4 years out after she was diagnosed and then got back into it after she died. She always knew I would.
I think it’s a fantastic organisation and has such a wide remit. Most of the groups I’m in are short on men although drawing is about equal. I would recommend it to anyone who wants the chance to learn and meet people. I think the groups that involve discussion can be a great help to counter loneliness.

Such an interesting mix of courses,you are fortunate to live in an area that provides the opportunity for them.There are the odd ones in my local area but mainly children and toddler activities.From reading your post,i realise there are a lack of activities and courses for the adult age group where i live.I think learning is good for the mind,and realising i want to still learn is even better,tells me i must have some motivation simmering.Yes i agree when you say discussion groups can help loneliness,you make contributions and feel part of something.Solitude and silence has it’s attractions,especially so after a day with the grandchildren,but some socialising when you control how and when you want to participate is healthy.x

Have you checked to see if U3A has much of a presence in your area. The University of the Third Age is not tied to specific age limits. In our area there are members right through from fifties to nineties. People travel quite long distances to become involved. I’ve just signed up this morning to a trip to Tennants Auction House in Leyburn and it was oversubscribed so places went to ballot. This mornings meeting was a speaker from Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Another good source of learning opportunities is Workers Education Association. They work locally.
I’ve gained several qualifications over the years and the learning journey was more important than the destination for me. I’m a learner for life and I was lucky to work in that area. If you want to have learning opportunities then there must be something local. Maybe the local authority have a contact. Local libraries are usually a good source of information.
Tomorrow’s art group email just arrived and the subject matter is drawing a pair of spectacles. They suggest standing them on striped paper.

Yes and i have found WearTeesU3A ,located in Bishop Auckland so only about 6 miles away,so success,i have taken a brief look and will look in depth tomorrow,there are walking groups and Genealogy,i started a family tree quite a while back,got so far myself then i was totally stuck,so i would have great interest in that learning from speakers,and there’s a wildlife and environment,love that idea too.Thank you for bringing that to my attention,i would never have known or thought to look.Oh yes Tennants,are you going to buy or just to view,or maybe both,my hubby loved auction houses,he was a member of a few online and bid quite often,mainly antiques and he loved silver.I would think drawing a pair of spectacles would actually be quite a challenge,could i ask the significance of standing them on striped paper?

Apparently striped paper will highlight refraction and reflection. Not sure how but I’m going to look for some striped paper or just draw lines on plain paper.
Nobody mentioned anything other than looking at Tennants and it’s a tour with a guide plus lunch, afternoon tea, morning coffee and probably there for about five hours.
You could always find out just how challenging drawing the specs would be.
You don’t need much in the way of equipment.!!
I hope you get some joy with U3A. I was talking to a friend tonight who had tried to join a group but the ones he wanted were full with waiting list. We get a weekly email with details of new groups and also proposed groups and they always ask for new ideas for groups. Maybe your local one does similar if you join.

Hi so much more sadness on here ,just been reading a few new posts,thought i would just take my mind to a lighter place for just a moment and ask,have you managed to draw your spectacles yet?Oh and did you visit Tennants?
Think i will pass on trying to draw the specs,i am currently trying to figure out what to draw on a large canvas that i want to hang in the living room,think i will probably choose a nature subject.I still have not had a good search on U3A yet,but intend to this week,i have had grandchildren ,and vet visits.x

Hi Robina. I have just got home from visiting one of my daughters. Three trains there and three back… Little time waiting on platforms going but coming back added up to just over an hour. I’m glad I drove to the station. I was so glad to get home, alone or not, as I was frozen. Thawing out slowly with hot tea.
I actually did a sketch of two pairs of spectacles laid on a sheet of typed notes as I couldn’t find any striped paper. I was really pleased with it. Not often I don’t feel the need to change anything. I even got a few compliments so ego boosted. One of the pairs of glasses goes back nearly fifty years. I told the story that when I wore them I was told by an ex girlfriend that I looked like Peter Fonda in East Rider, a film. I said I’d kept them in case she turned up again. Just need a long blond wig now.
I’m going on a U3A to Leeds Discovery Centre on Thursday this week. My daughter in law has just started work there and she is in work on Thurs. I go to Windermere on Friday, back on Monday then Tennants on Tuesday. Crime Readers tomorrow so busy schedule at moment as I’m walking on Tuesday. Busy next week as well.
I used to use stretched block canvas for acrylics but I’m mainly watercolour and occasional pastels. I’ve got a pile of canvases unused and all my acrylics stuff.
I did a picture of Herdwick in a snowstorm in acrylics and I hung that. Since then two people asked if I could do them similar. I think I got a bottle of whisky each time. Wouldn’t want to do it again. I’ve hung a few watercolours and a whole series of line and wash on shepherd’s, dogs and auction marts. I actually was inspired by the work of another artist. He used to be our milkman before he got famous.
I think you may struggle with places on courses as most will be underway by now.
Have you got a local art club. Maybe if you look at Robert Fullers site you could get inspiration.

Yes nothing nicer than a cup of tea,i actually drink Yorkshire tea,are you faithful to your County or do you favour a different brand!It’s been very windy here today,and cold.Oh well those glasses certainly tell a story then,and yes when you get compliments you know you have achieved something good,i sometimes get compliments from my daughters when i paint, i think they only saying it to make me feel better.You are very busy,lot’s of interesting activities,a good variety too.Ah Windermere ,i love that part of The Lakes.I think it’s the largest of the Lakes,and the most popular.I hope the weather is kind to you.
Yes i buy the stretched canvas ,last ones i bought online i made a mistake and bought canvas boards,oh Herdwick sheep ,sounds a challenge to draw,you must have done a great job though,if people wanted your work,then again there’s only so much whisky one can drink.
Sounds like your milkman will be making plenty money now then.Yes good idea,i will take a look at Robert Fuller’s site,it frightens me though how good he is and how far away my artwork is from his perfection.But yes it will definitely inspire me.
No i’m afraid there is no local art club,so i will have to be happy i suppose ,learning myself at home to create great masterpieces! x

Yes. I’m faithful to Yorkshire Tea and Taylors Coffee which is same company, as is Betty’s tearooms. Yorkshire tea and Yorkshire water from a gritstone moor, a marriage made in heaven add in a bit of parkin, tealoaf or curdtart and what else could anybody need.
I hope the weather is good but there’s no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothes, and I will be well prepared.
This year I’m going to do a lot of sketching and painting outside. I’m going to buy a new camper van and just set off and walk and paint. Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and anywhere else that I fancy.
One tip worth passing on is I used to buy second hand art books from Charity shops.How to paint animals., trees, landscapes, etc and just paint the individual components in a landscape until I was satisfied then move on to buildings, etc. It was a good way of studying individuals technique and style and some of them explained things well. . I also used to get tourist brochures from tourist information as they use the best photos and good photo composition is similar to good watercolour composition. Like any other skill it’s just practice.
If you look at artists like Lucy Pittaway or Peter Brook they are very much done to a different formula.

Thanks YorkshireLad ,iv’e taken a look at both Lucy Pittaway’s work and Peter Brook,very different really, like both styles.I recently painted an acrylic,very similar to the snowball sheep style of Lucy Pittaway,so i’m quite pleased with my attempt.
I have to eat gluten free,as i am a coeliac,so very rarely do i eat out in cafes,restaurants.So i buy a gluten free fruitbread,bit like the tealoaf,you mention.Certainly won’t taste the same as gluten free food is quite dry.When i go on my trip i will have to take my own food with me,as the shops there probably very limited on special foods.
You certainly have focus on what you are to do next,great idea travelling wherever you please.x

One of my sons in law is gluten free for a different reason and he as a nut allergy plus loads of other foods he can’t eat. He has very bad eczema and visited a naturopath. She recommended giving up gluten and it has transformed his life.
I have a wheat intolerance so avoid wheat and I eat very little dairy either. I make a boiled fruit cake using Doves Farm gluten free SR flour and its very moreish. It’s much easier to buy foods without wheat or dairy nowadays and even eating out is easier but I tend to go back to same places.
I don’t like bought GF bread as I don’t like taste or texture of it. I’ve tried making my own with various flours but not much success so do without mostly.
I tried making all my favourite treats with alternative flours with some success but it’s time consuming so usually do without unless it’s a quick recipe. It’s not crucial for me so I can eat a little wheat and just put up with it.
I’m a great fan of Peter Brook. I have several of his pictures… prints obviously.
I bought one when my mother died, one when my wife died and I’m buying another now as my aunt died recently. I think it’s a nice way of marking their deaths.
I’ve tried many times to capture his style. It’s very much the area in which I live. He appears with his dog on every picture. Takes some finding sometimes.

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