Tag Archives: rainbows

Cheer up! Paint the whole world. Never mind the town.

13 Dec

Now here’s another cast-iron guarantee ‘pick me up’ if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t easily feel good cheer at this time of year. One of the things that I love about living Up North – being crowbarred between Manchester, Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford and Leeds – is that I get access to such incredible vistas. The term ‘a sight for sore eyes’ was created for our neck of the woods.

I remember a sketch by Billy Connolly, where he joked about how unappreciative of scenery his kids were, when they went on a family holiday to Scotland. I remember feeling the same myself as a child (“Nooo – not another loch, Dad! Not another mountain! Where’s the ruddy amusement arcade?”) but strangely, I seem to have produced at least one child who regularly shrieks “Woooah!” when we turn down certain roads in our area and stumble across a fresh new view every few yards.

Cute. Once upon a time. With a little Rainbow Fish.

Once upon a time. With a little Rainbow Fish.

(Although it could be that he is simply being sarcastic. You never can tell with that one.)

So yep, you can predict that you will open your front door or amble down the lane and be met with this gobsmacking views when you live in these parts. But you can’t accurately predict the weather here. Pennine climatology is a law unto itself. But it is the reason for my next ‘potential cheer’ of the season.

The rainbow. The rainbows. Here in the valleys – they’re mighty special. Because you get to check out both ends of them, you see? And this leads to small people demanding that you stop the car in order that they can go and dig for a pot of gold and live lives of luxury (have these kids never heard of the Protestant work ethic, I ask myself? I blame The X Factor for this instant gratification malarkey.)

There’s nothing nicer than walking down the lane and all of a sudden this shimmering arc of translucent colours appears in front of you. And who the hell can feel glum when there’s such beauty trailing itself ahead of you? No one could ever dislike a rainbow, could they? I mean, have you ever heard anyone mutter ‘Oh bloody hell- there’s another rainbow again. That’s the third one this week. I’m onto the council, pronto. Sick of the damned things.’

A BOGOF Rainbow

A BOGOF Rainbow

No. They are one of the best things that still manage to exist in this crazy, greenhoused-up world of ours. In fact, me and mine were discussing them – as a phenomenon – the other day. Although I did then go on to make the mistake of showing them a youtube clip of my favourite childhood-nostalgia TV programme ‘Rainbow.’ My little boy asked me a very thought-provoking question;“Why’s it called ‘Rainbow? This programme.” I said; “Gosh. I don’t know. Well, it was the 70’s you see. And the grown-ups were trying to be all about … hmm… diversity and I guess … how a mix of colours can lead to a beautiful experience.” But the daughter has learned to be a lot more cynical these days and replied;“So they thought that this would happen … by creating a family that consists of some old white dudes, with a mucky looking bear, a camp pink moomin and a gobby puppet that looks like – and sounds like – Nigel Farage?”

And yet more cynicism has tainted my rose-tinted spectacled views of rainbows in recent weeks. On viewing one a-straddled across the reservoir, I made another error – turning to my daughter and asking her; “Do you know why rainbows are so special?” She replied, “Probably. But you’ll no doubt tell us anyway.”

Now, do bear in mind that during my childhood and adolescence I was exposed to perhaps a few more bible verses and church attendance than can be deemed to be healthy for one young person – because I somehow felt led to tell her; “In the bible it says that after Noah’s Ark and all of that – God sent a rainbow. To show the people a new promise – that he would never flood the earth again.”

Girl goes; “Yeah, well. Try telling that to your pagans who live in Hebden Bridge. Don’t imagine they’d be much impressed.”

Still, sarcasm gene aside – they’re lovely aren’t they? Rainbows, I mean. Not children.

And if you don’t live in these parts – and can’t get to see the ends of both of one – go and get your felt tip pens out and draw yourself one. Instant cheer up. I promise. And I’m not trying to be facetious or blasphemous here, but it’s probably more of a cast-iron guarantee than the one about the earth never being flooded again.

This Rainbow will also make you smile. Even with Nigel Farage as a young apprentice, Zippy.

This Rainbow will also make you smile. Even with Nigel Farage as a young apprentice, Zippy.

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Bored. Watching Paint Dry Season.

2 Jan

I keep getting nudged as to why I haven’t blogged for a while. But this is the beauty of having your own blog – of having no one to actually pay you, as you offer up your nuggets of wisdom to the rest of the unsuspecting world. It means that can keep your hand in only as and when you feel that you’ve got something to say.  Unless of course, you’re of the opinion that you NEED to blog. But let’s face it, there’s enough guff and frippery out there, clogging up the internet-waves. So in 2016, I’m promising only to blog when I feel The Muse – true inspiration – ministering itself in my general direction.

Oh crap. I’ve broken that little resolution already. I’m going to blog about being bored. And, therefore, not-blogging.

Because the last few weeks see – have been really boring. V v. dull. Like a teenager’s diary – where you just scribble stuff like ‘BOOOORED!’ and ‘BOOOORING’ and ‘My Fam are like, soooo booooooring!’ And ‘this town is like, so boooring and I like, just wanna DIE.’

But – interestingly – and paradoxically. I’ve been experiencing a really funky kind of boring. Now  – because I’m rarely bored –  I’ve never had any sympathy with people who claim to be experiencing this sensation. This is mainly because I’m a hyper-sorta person who always has a zillion things on the go. Protestant work ethic gone mad. Yet recently, I’ve seen the light. I’ve seen the fun-side of Boredom and yes yes yes – I’m actively encouraging others to embrace my own evangelical zeal.

boring rainbow

A boring rainbow. Turned double a bit later. Progressively boring.

Boredom was thrust upon me. The most recent project that I’ve been involved with involved a great deal of dull, mind-numbingly, requiring patience type of tasks. And patience ain’t one of the attributes that I’ve been blessed with. But I didn’t had a choice. I *had* to participate in the kind of activities that led to a row in B and Q (me stomping out after shrieking; “‘RABBIT’S FOOT? ‘BISCUIT SURPRISE’? HOW MANY STUPID NAMES CAN ONE COMPANY CREATE FOR THE WORD ‘BEIGE’, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD?’)

But after selecting ‘Coffee La Creme’, a pax was created. Or perhaps rather, my will was broken.

I painted. I waited for it to dry. I actually enjoyed watching the damned wall drying. And I’m getting excited about the next layer.

And the new thrill-a-minute addiction seems to have been adopted by the kids. Regular readers of this blog will know that we aren’t the kind of family that go overboard on pressies and consumerist trappings. We’re not the totally anti-gadget, you-only-get-to-play-with-Mum’s-garlic-crusher sort of folks – but we don’t do excess. Mainly because – as previously said – we have so much stuff, so many interests on the go.

But over the last few weeks, even the kids have had a pleasant exposure to boredom. During the festive period, the 11 year old has barely watched any telly other than, “That brilliant, old St Trinian’s film – and ‘Carry on Cleo’. And Chas and Dave. I still reckon they’re Australian though, with those weird accents. And I loved Jimmy Cricket. Even though you said all that stuff would be boring. It wasn’t.”

New Year’s Day was declared by the 7 year old to be “The best day ever! We walked a dog, played in the rain at Scammonden and then got well-scared ’cause all those freaky-lapwing-birds thing appeared over our heads and we thought they would peck our eyes out with their beaks. And then this well-cool rainbow appeared. And we drove through it in the car.”

“Yup,” I said. “Sounds like the perfect day. So you weren’t bored at all?”

“Well – only nice-bored,” he goes. “Till you ruined it. ‘Cause you wouldn’t let us go and find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. ‘Cause you were going on about needing to go and paint walls.”

Sharing the Joy. Watching Paint Dry.

Sharing the Joy. Watching Paint Dry.