Wednesday, 13 December 2017

December 2017

December has been a strange month.
First, I was told about internet neutrality laws and how they could change in the US on the 18th. Here in the UK, few people know or are concerned by this but, they could be if we are no longer under European neutrality law. A lot of people have made a lot of money from the internet since it began and it seems to me that allowing internet providers to decide if they can charge customers extra for using the sites on the internet they've come to rely on is a game-changer. It got me thinking.
I remember the days before mobile phones and the internet. Would people be able to live without them now? For some people a mobile would be just for phone calls only....imagine that? How would the changes also affect authors selling their books via Amazon Kindle? Would people be willing to pay monthly to have access to Amazon? Of course, this could all be a storm in a teacup, we will have to see; interesting to think about though, isn't it?
Then, the question of Christmas preparations reared its head way too early. I made lists, one thing I try to avoid but it was necessary. It's a fine art to then spread the preparations evenly over three weeks so that I don't become so sick of them that the big day itself seems like another chore and loses its meaning.
Last week I was dangerously close to perceiving my Xmas as another long slog of hard work then, something changed my mind. Last Friday I was putting our bins out when I heard a child's voice. Our house is quite high up with spectacular views. Somewhere in the valley below, outside one of the houses, a small child was singing "Away In A Manger" and it was drifting up to my garden. I stopped to listen and laughed because some of it was out of tune but nevertheless, it was quite a magical moment. It was the pure innocence of the child's voice, without a care who heard or whether it was out of tune or not. I felt Christmassy.
Over recent weeks, whenever I've turned on the TV news or looked at it on my phone, I've been amazed how nonsensical everything seems to be. I wonder what kind of society we will become if people are so incensed by everything as they seem to be now? Politics has become a farce, cultures are being eroded, there's finger-pointing everywhere. The whole world seems to be in a Mexican standoff (am I even allowed to describe it this way anymore?). 
This week, I remember that small child's voice. It put everything into perspective. So far, December has been a month of contrasts and the two photos I took of the view from my garden illustrate one aspect of this month's change. I know, though, that my current wintry view will change back to warm hues. Can the same be said about how the world, society is changing around us?
1st Dec, 2017 - the view from my Littleborough garden


10th Dec, 2017 - the view from my bedroom balcony