Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Yes we have no Bananas! We have no bananas today!

Hello there.
Thanks for popping in on this rather wet Wednesday.

Wednesday’s blog, although called ‘Mindful Wednesday’, is the blog where we look at life and its rich tapestry.


Don’t you sometimes just shake your head in dismay, disappointment or disbelief?
I can only speak for myself, but there are times in life where no amount of trying to work out the why’s and wherefore’s 
is either productive or useful.
Can’t control it. Can’t help. Can’t change it.

When I was younger I wanted to save the world. 
I remember as a student, getting on coaches in Manchester 
and coming down to Anti-Nazi rallies in London.
Getting abuse hurled at us by yobs and skinheads.
Wouldn’t cross my mind now to get involved!

I remember taking a family of East Germans home for a few days, 
when I lived in Germany, because they had nowhere to go. 

That was just before the Iron Curtain was done away with. 
I was pregnant with Grace at the time. 
Helmut Kohl, the Federal Chancellor offered to give every 
East German who visited the West 100DM. 
And so they came.

Oh! I must tell you this!
My husband at the time, Grace’s and Mark’s Dad, 
was a black dude. He was also a lawyer in the US Army.
So this little East German lad came in the house, 
having just arrived from the Eastern Block for the first time in his little life, and having spent an hour in the city of Nürnberg.
He saw Rob, 6ft 4", in his BDUs 
(the battle dress uniform fatigues that all soldiers wear, regardless of rank)
He gazed up at him, then turned to me and the look on his face 
I shall never forget.
“Das gibt’s nicht!! Den habe ich doch gerade in der Stadt gesehen!”
(Translated: No way!! I just saw him in town!)
He had never seen an American soldier, or a black person.
Imagine that.
What he didn’t realise was that Bavaria was of course occupied by the Americans and there were thousands of tall black dudes there!

I probably learned more about Communism Vs Capitalism 
in that one weekend than I will ever learn in my lifetime. 
All the children wanted was bananas. 
They had never eaten bananas before.
Imagine that.  
And the price of bananas sky rocketed in Nürnberg that weekend.


Do you know what I remember too? 
That same family came back all the way from Dresden in their old Trabant, to meet Grace in the hospital when she was born some months later. 
Not to stay, no. Just to bring flowers and say hello.
Imagine that.

Good people abound.
But so do bad people. 

At the ripe old age of 56, I am still baffled by people and their behaviour. 
I watch the news in horror, often confused and bewildered.

In fact, I have stopped watching the news at 10pm because it is mostly so disturbing that I can’t get to sleep!

And I think that’s the point I’m coming to here today. 
If it is upsetting, I don’t engage.
Like I don’t do horror films, or war films, or psycho films - in fact, no violence or head-warp shit whatsoever.
Good grief! There’s enough going on in the real world 
without having to reenact it !!!
I don’t do newspapers.
I don’t do late night news.
I don’t do early morning news either, 
because I figured out after years of waking up to that argumentative individual John Humphries at 6am each day, 
I was out of sorts with the world before I’d even cleaned my teeth!

In other words, I don’t add fuel to my super-sensitive mind.
I don’t feed it negativity.
I’m not saying that I am ignoring the world and what is happening.
Not at all!
But I find that the Guardian Headlines download on my I-Pad 
keeps me posted.
Then I can choose whether I want to explore the story more, 
expose my photographic mind to distressing pictures or not; whereas when I am watching the TV or scanning a newspaper, BOOM! There’s the photo of that lifeless little boy on the beach which I will carry with me now until the day I die.

Can’t handle it. All too much for this woman.
So I choose to filter what I can digest. 
Is that selfish? Don’t know. 
It’s a coping mechanism I have put in place to handle Life
and the Bigger Picture.

If something really bad has happened, 
I can rest assured my Dad will be on the phone.
He reads the Telegraph from cover to cover every day.


That’s all I wanted to share today.
I can’t control much.
I can contribute where I can.
And I can put measures in place to protect my peace of mind. 

So can you.



Love and hugs,

91 comments:

  1. You're a wonderful woman Barbara who speaks a lot of sense xxx

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  2. I do the same thing. It's not that I don't want to know about the world but it's just upsetting if I can't do anything about it. I try to stay positive as much as I can

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  3. Marvellous heartfelt blog today Barbara! I don't always watch the news....rarely is there anything that is not bad news....and when I do I very often end up in tears! Social media is quite good at keeping me abreast of anything major!
    Hope nice thoughts wash over you this evening and that you wake tomorrow with positivity! Xxx

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  4. Marvellous heartfelt blog today Barbara! I don't always watch the news....rarely is there anything that is not bad news....and when I do I very often end up in tears! Social media is quite good at keeping me abreast of anything major!
    Hope nice thoughts wash over you this evening and that you wake tomorrow with positivity! Xxx

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  5. Marvellous heartfelt blog today Barbara! I don't always watch the news....rarely is there anything that is not bad news....and when I do I very often end up in tears! Social media is quite good at keeping me abreast of anything major!
    Hope nice thoughts wash over you this evening and that you wake tomorrow with positivity! Xxx

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  6. Yes, I do the same too. Have done for a long time now. I catch the headlines on my computer and then explore if I want to. The news on TV is one heartbreak after another as you say and a quick road to sadness and despair. You spread so much joy through your blog, Barbara. Long, long may you continue. I wish you and Dave a peaceful evening together. Gill x

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  7. Thought it was just me that blocked a lot of the bad stuff out.. Leave hubby to watch war films etc while I lose myself in one of my hobbies. Much calmer. Enjoy your evening and a good night's sleep. x

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  8. Hi Barbara, I'm very much like you, I have enough bad stuff in my own life to want to include any more. I stopped watching the news a while back and reading papers, I found that I was reliving everything when I went to bed and it was too upsetting. I like to look at nice art before bed to relax me, or something funny on the TV.
    There are still some lovely people in the world, and you are sure one of them. Xx

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  9. totally agree re not engaging in following the news. Recently found your youtube channel through a forum on Splitcoaststampers and have loved watching.Wishing you a lovely day inspite of the rain. Having a beautiful hot sunny day here in Maine, USA, not our usual Sept. weather so loving it because the snow will be here all too soon.

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  10. Barbara you are so right ! I gave up on all that negativity a long time ago . Life s hard enough without being dragged down even more . As you say if it's something really big you can t escape from hearing about it . My crafting keeps me sane and calm xx

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  11. Barbara, I love You! I'm just the same and have been telling myself not to feel guilty because I don't want to see all that suffering and crap that goes on. Self preservation maybe, but so what?like you say we have to look after ourselves too. We have just downloaded an app on our TV, it's perfect for a bit of mindfulness and relaxation. It's a virtual fire, log or coal, peaceful crackly burning sounds, with or without soothing music.its fab you should try it!weve got guitar music now, reminding me of Dave playing in France, beautiful!how fitting it's called Lost depression!Wxx

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  12. I avoid the news too, I find so much of it is one-sided and doesn't tell the full story. I especially hate the 'poke them with a stick' style of news where a reporter at the scene of a crisis will harass some poor person just to elicit emotional responses - it's as if they think they aren't a real journalist until they reduce someone to tears or make them angry. Nicki, x

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  13. I felt as if I was reading a mirror image of how I deal with the world. All the things you do and don't do are the same for me. I am still stunned by what some people are capable of doing to each other and on the news it is always the horrific stuff and not no much of the good. To my dying day I will carry with me the picture of a young woman clutching her two day old dead baby in her arms, she just would not give him up. A refugee from violence into more violence that killed her child. If ever I feel hard done by with life I remember her and know I am unlikely to face anything that bad. It is possible to change the world, but not the entire world, just that part of it which interacts with you. Do a kind act where you can, consider others as much as yourself and above all keep believing that there are wonderfully good things going on as well as the bad, it just doesn't get into the news that often.

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  14. Wow, how insightful. I too think like you. Why bring all that is happening in great detail into my life. Things are hard enough for me at the moment as my 20 month old grandson has been diagnosed with so many future obstacles in his little life. Diagnosed with a very rare syndrome that only about 450 people worldwide have. Just not fair, but we have to move on and think on the positive side. It is only by thinking positively that we are able to help him. I check your blog every day and enjoy every moment of it. Although I live in Canada, I voted for you in every category that I could and also put in that the Groovi was the best new product for 2015. Rest well.

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    1. Cathie I'm so sorry to hear about your grandson, I hope he is able to receive some treatment to ease his little way through life. There is so much medical research going on that I hope someone somewhere comes up with something to help him one day soon xxx

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    2. Sending a big hug for you and your grandson and family xxx

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    3. Thank you Diane and Sheila so much for leaving a comment and sending hugs. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I enjoy reading everyone's comments but have never left one myself. This is something I will definitely do now. I really feel like part of the Clarity family now.

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    4. Hi Cathie, great to see you here, hope you continue to comment now you have been brave enough to leave your first one! Let's hope for a treatment that makes his life better. I'm sure your Grandson is surrounded with love, who could ask for more. Xx

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    5. Your very welcome cathie here on this blog you will always find a special hug and kind words to help you through we are a clarity family xxx

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    6. Hi was just reading your reply to Barbara about your grandson I my daughter Sandie who did two years ago was born with a rare chromosome there was only one A4 sheet about it was told she would live Above 3 months would be a complete cabbage no sight hearing well she growing into an amazing young lady very cheeky walked selective speech walked had lots problems but lived just weeks off her 28th birthday if we had listen to what they said she would have done anything but lots of love hard work she surprised the Doctors all the way she didn't walk till she was nearly 7 but did it. So don't be down about your grandson love him encourage him take all help can get he will do well he will bless you SANDIE DID US AND EVERYONE WHO MET HER LIVE AND HUGS doctors always give worst side xxx

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    7. Here if ever need a chat Joy x

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    8. So sorry to hear about your grandson. I too hope thst treatment will make life easier for him. Glad you have joined our little community. Xx

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    9. Hi Cathie - I hope that life will offer your grandson more opportunities and happiness than obstacles, and I'm sure he will bring you much love and joy. Welcome to the Clarity family, Susan x

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  15. To be honest Barbara , I feel a lot of life is about filtering away the negative and bad elements wherever we can and surrounding ourselves with kind, happy and loving friends and family...
    And always doing our best ...sleep well ...hugs to you and Dave...X X

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  16. I just found you on You Tube, today. I believe it was Fate in a way. I watched just about every video you have. Then I came to this Blog of yours. First time ever, I've read someone's Blog!! I'm not new at computers or the internet - just felt no reason to read someone's Blog. But I'm so glad I did. You're very uplifting and say how you feel - much like me! But I really love your video's Barbara. I become mesmerized watching you create so many different ways of making beautiful things. I've saved everyone and will definitely use them for reference in future days. Thank you Barbara, you are a Joy in my art world! ~ Maeve ~

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    1. Hi Maeve - Barbara and all her design team are a constant inspiration to me too! x

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    2. Hi Maeve, welcome to the Clarity family! Now you've found Barbara you will be inking and tearing hills and gelli plating along with the rest of us. Xx

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  17. Well said Barbara, I try and do the same!
    The news only seems to cover the bad/sad stuff.....does nothing good/happy ever happen in THIS world?

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  18. Maeve, you should dip into as many of Barbara's old blogs as you have time for – there is such a fantastic body of artistic work there, with so many different creatives ideas. It's inspiring! It's a bit like visiting a serene garden once a day, where someone teaches you art and how to make beautiful things.

    Barbara, you're right to filter. Most of us are suffering for information overload, 90% of which we don't need and won't remember. Filter, and focus on what matters. And isn't it interesting so many of us are doing that now. Too many of the newspapers and news channels have hidden agendas now anyway, so we seldom get the unbiased truth. So no, I don't think you're selfish in any way, just sensible.

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  19. well i hardly watch any news. i used to listen to R4 on way to work but i hardly do anymore as i found that when i don't i am much happier at work and find myself humming. all they talk about is negative horrible stuff, so i can live without it. hugs xx

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  20. Hi Barbara as i get older I am finding harder to cope with the news and pointless violence. I can't see the point in putting myself through things that cause me stress and do me no good. I wish I had been this sensible when I was younger and of course it doesn't always work. Thank you for being you and for sharing so much of yourself. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Hugs Jackie

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  21. Totally agree with you, TV is such an assault on your senses when you are unaware of what's coming next. I too have the news paper down loaded and read the bits I want to. I remember being told many years ago not to surround yourself with negative people as they will pull you down with them. I am always happier if I remember that. Surrounding ourselves with creativity is such a positive thing to do and your blog is a daily tonic. Thank you x

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  22. Seems like we have found something else that we all have in common. I too rarely watch news. We rarely get a newspaper apart from the occasional local rural paper and mostly keep abreast of the news via the occasional radio news bulletins.
    So I wish you a peaceful and restful evening and an undisturbed nights sleep. Hugs Jeanette xxx

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  23. I am so pleased to hear that i am not the only one not watching news or reading papers i find it all so depressing, as you say anything really serious will filter through eventually. i also don't do violent programmes, used to think it wasn't real life but not so sure now. i will continue to enjoy my garden family and of course my crafting

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  24. Thank you for sharing this Barbara, I really thought it was just me avoiding those types of films and the news because I am so sensitive they upset me to the core and I then cannot get them out of my mind.

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  25. Hello Barbara

    When my daughter-in-law was diagnosed with a grade 4 terminal brain tumour in 2006 she stopped reading/watching the news or any bad things as she wanted to surround herself with happy, positive thoughts. I think this is how she managed to live for a further eight years in reasonable health except for the last 12 months.

    I also have a friend who, in the past seven years has had one disaster/catastrophe after another. Her attitude is 'if you can't change it then deal with it but don't worry about it.'

    Love
    Roz.x

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  26. I don't like the TV news, don't watch if I can help it. Usually pick up on what is happening by listening to the radio in the car, reading the headlines on my news app or conversations at work. In fact I find the best news to watch is Newsround (in class with the children) as this gives you all you need to know without all the distressing images, creates great discussion in class too. XX

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  27. Evening Sheila, have you recovered from your birthday celebrations? XX

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    1. Hello Donna had a rest day apart from spending on clarity couldn't resist the new sunflower stencil and a Groovi square plate how about you ? Xxx

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    2. Wet wet wet! Oooo I don't like wet days when the children can't get out and play. Was planning on a bit of colouring this evening but got into watching all the Phill Martin shows I recorded today on Hochanda. So unless crafty watching counts I may have to do double tomorrow :( XX

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    3. That deserves a tick too xxx

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    4. Yay! I was feeling a bit sad I had failed but if you say it counts then that's fine with me. Xx

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  28. I agree with you Barbara, I haven't watched the news for year. I by chance I do I always regret, exposing myself to the negativity. Thank you for sharing. X

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  29. I agree with you Barbara, I haven't watched the news for year. I by chance I do I always regret, exposing myself to the negativity. Thank you for sharing. X

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  30. Sorry, but we cannot turn away, or refuse to listen to news or read newspapers:


    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out

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    1. Sorry, but let me pick my battles, and I will let you pick yours.

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  31. I do watch the news and do find myself getting angry about certain things and my husband loves politics and watches the news a lot so I can't avoid it really but I do try not to carry the cares of the world on my shoulders because you are quite right when you say that most of the time there really is nothing we can do to change it ourselves but sometimes with local issues I think it is good if people can get together and try to take things on a bit. Mostly though getting stressed about things we can't change is not worthwhile, and when stressed get the crafting out and forget everything else. x

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  32. Yet more things we are in agreement about. My daughter says it's me doing my ostrich impression (head in the sand) and I used to feel bad about it. But no more, whatever time I have left I will fill with things I want to see and do and not what others think I need. Just remember that you are not by yourself, many people think along the same lines. Go Barbara!

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  33. Extremely deep blog and a bit dark,if I may say so. I really shouldn't have read it so late, given the two days I have to come at the MOJ dealing with "customers"/defendants. Well, I digress, I have had a pleasant afternoon, starting my son's wedding invitations - can't believe he is doing what he never said he would do. Also playing quite happily with my new groovi plates and I hope, I shall go to bed thinking of Ally Pally on Sunday - I think that is where my mindfulness will go today. Maybe I am ignoring the troubles of the world just for a few hours - got to have some peace somewhere, someday, some place.
    Hoping to see you and Dave on Sunday.
    Lots of love
    Anne (Reading)

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  34. Hello Barbara the beautiful sunflowers on the end of your blog is like mine in my lounge today
    I read the Yorkshire post , i get so much out of reading your blog each day and get such a lot from my craft and from what you teach us ,today I voted and put the Groovi as the best new product .
    I also bought the new sunflower stencil and the Groovi nest square plate .
    Hugs to you and Dave xxx

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    1. Oh that loud thud earlier was you!!! I love sunflowers, always bring a smile don't they. Hope you have had a good post birthday day. Xx

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    2. You bring a smile to me too I'm so pleased to have found friends like you on this blog how lucky are we that Barbara started this blog xxx

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    3. I too am very thankful for the blog and all you lovely friends! I love our little chats and laughs. Never miss a day............unless I fall asleep ;)

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  35. Hi Barbara
    Great blog again today, you have met some amazing people in your life, how lovely the family were to visit you in hospital after your kindness to them - are you still in touch with them? Oh goodness have you been listening in our house? As I've got older I find myself muttering at the news and some of the reporters who annoy me so much - apparently it's a family trait! I don't do violent films etc preferring a lovely comedy. Do I lead a sheltered life? Probably but I think I read enough news that I want to read and think I could probably hold my own in a conversation , after all we are all entitled to our own opinions! Thank you for another wonderful blog.
    Love Diane xxx

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  36. My that was heavy! But makes a lot of sense. It's because of all this awful news that we need our crafting to take us away from all the bad things in the world we can't change or influence, it's our therapy and unites us all..........and whilst I'm on - more Groovi video tutorials please love watching them they are so relaxing and therapeutic x

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  37. I very much agree Barbara, I can only be responsible for my own actions and be a good example, to be a positive influence on others. There is so much I cannot control, it does become too much, I am only one person so do I switch off yes but it is self preservation, saving my own sanity xx

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  38. Hi Barbara
    I have exactly the same emotions concerning the negative, unpleasant things. It's not burying your head in the sand. It's as you say-self preservation.
    a bug HUG from Chris x

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  39. Hi Barbara, I completely agree with your blog today. Negativity in whatever form just drags us down , causes ill health, mental health issues etc, as there are some things that we can have no control over, so put our energy into things we can change. I read your blog every day and find you always have something positive to say. Bless you and Dave xx

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  40. Hi Barbara,
    Well said, I too hardly ever watch any news it's too distressing.
    I remember watching the news when the twin towers were hit, instinct flew in and I had to phone all my children to see if they were safe, none were over there in the USA but the horrors since have made me not watch the news or listen to it for a long time.
    It's only when someone says oh did you know this has happened, I take a quick look on my iPad.
    It's not that I don't care it's I can't stand all the bad news.
    I have enough with coping with my illness without something causing me more anguish.
    Yes I agree with you that poor little boy's picture will haunt a lot of people.
    I lose myself in craft it is therapeutic.
    Loved your story about Germany, I spent most of my childhood there Dad was in the Army but we were up North never did see Southern Germany. We were there when they built that dreadful wall and separated the country.
    Thanks for the positivity you give, it's does a lot of good to me I don't know about others.
    Maggie

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  41. Hello Barb, thank you for sharing an amazing and moving blog post. Negativity is soul destroying and why add fuel to the flames by watching such disturbing news. You Mindful Wednesday blogs always give me food for thought. Take care. Bx

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  42. Lovely words today. It does depress me most days when i see the news and all the displaced people being treated worse than animals. It makes me thankfully for my family around me and thankful that i can "escape" using my craft and get lost in a world of creativity. Thankyou for creatingthe Clarity family and giving us a support network that really cares. xx

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  43. We think exactly the same in this household. Don't watch misery, can't cope. If we can do something to help we do it, if not don't watch or read. We may not be as informed as others but it is the only way we cope. We choose to surround ourselves as much as possible with people who make us feel good, there is nothing worse than spending time with people who drain the life out of you. Not always possible I know for a lot of people.

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  44. Morning Barbara could agree more I to do t watch the news etc as find to disturbing frustrating. The sun is shining here in St Neots grandson sleeping so I am catching up with you and other friends big hugs love Joy xx

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  45. Good morning Barbara, I'm new(ish) to your blog and have only left one previous comment so in the spirit of mindfulness, I've taken my time before responding here. Your post was very thought-provoking and I am with you all the way in not allowing negativity to infect our thoughts and minds - so destructive. I think most of us will have learned strategies to protect peace of mind from the nastier aspects of humanity/life - I know I have, but I also know some who, no matter what, are determined to focus on the ugliness and it seems to colour everything in their lives. Avoid if at all possible. I don't do newspapers, violent/war films for similar reasons and definitely share your aversion to a certain broadcaster's style! I do 'need' to watch the news though and have to rely on my 'filters' not to let me get taken down a dark alley. Your closing words are so apt.
    Thanks for sharing the snippet about the East German family. I do still believe that there are far more good people than bad.

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  46. Hi Barb,
    Thank you for sharing this with us. I agree with you about the news and newspapers - everything is so depressing! Everything seems to revolve around violence in the world at the moment. Unfortunately for me, Dave loves the news! However, i now just seem to be able to switch off from it by reading, crafting etc. I can get lost in my own little world. Hope you're having time to rest a little andcthat your neck isn't giving you too much pain. Love Alison xxxx

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  47. Really well said, thank you.

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  48. Hi Barbara. I am exactly the same as you about not watching/listening to the news especially at the beginning and ends of the day. I try not to hurt others in any way, not even in a joking way as there is so much saddness in this world already. If only we could get everyone else to live in the same way what a wonderful place this world would be. Thank you for sharing. See you on Saturday at Ally Pally. Take care x

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  49. Spot on Barbara everything is so dreadful on the news. I watched it for the first time in ages last night and wished I hadn't. Just made me feel so sad.

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  50. Well you have touched a cord with many folks today! I don't ignore the bad news, as I think we all have a part to play in making the world a better place, but I do find that there is information and visual overload these days - the whole "some people might find the following upsetting" statement just doesn't cut it anymore - if you didn't feel upset you wouldn't be human. I do filter when and how I access the information though, and I too can't do horror or violent or psychologically disturbing movies. I think part of my reason for leaving the NHS after working in healthcare for so long was to protect myself from further hurt and heartache; I could no longer make the difference I had always strived for, so I just had to stop trying as it was making me ill. I hear a similar thread in many people's comments, and just had to share that 4 years on from making that hard decision I don't regret it at all - I love my new life, my change of career, and feel so much happier as a result. Susan x

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  51. This is just what I needed to read Barbara, I had got my self all upset last night by the suffering of poor animals and the plight of all the refugees and I found myself feeling so sad that there was so little that I could do. I shall take your advice on this one rather than beating myself up on things that I have no ability to change, thank you xxx

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  52. Well said Barbara, I don't get a newspaper anymore and hardly watch the news, there is just to much negativity..........particularly the build someone up and then knock them down variety!! I can choose what I want to read or see and stay away from nasties - like you I can't do horror films - why do I want to watch zombie's, etc.
    On a brighter note I am really looking forward to, hopefully, seeing you at Ally Pally on Saturday and hope to see the Groovi in action xx

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  53. Wow ! - better than a sermon - thank you Barbara, you are quite a woman ! xxx

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  54. Thank you Barbara for your thought provoking blog. I, like so many others here, filter out things that I find distressing. I'm glad I'm not the only one that avoids horror and violent films plus really downbeat and sad programmes. I cover my eyes when wildlife programmes show where animals meet a grisly end too. When it comes to the TV News, I find there is much sadness and sometimes I need to wander out of the evening news as it gets too much. I think we all have our own level of what we can bear, and this can vary according to our circumstances and our mood. I try to watch the news and keep abreast of events. We can't control what happens elsewhere or stop bad things from happening. But I hope that sometimes the presence of reporters can help to reduce bad things from happening to people as those who carry out these actions often don't want them to be seen or reported. A reporter's power relies on the hope that revealing these things may help to reduce the harm being done or to stop it from happening again, but this is only if people pay attention. Art, creativity and your blog can help to restore us and feel able to smile as we face another day.

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  55. Hi Barbara

    I've not posted here before, but your blog today touched a chord in me. I have found the only way to relax, reduce stress, and cope with this modern lifestyle where everything is thrust at you so forcefully, is to limit my contact with the wider world. I can't deal with the violence and noise and frenetic energy that seems to insinuate into every part of our consciousness.
    I haven't bought a newspaper in over 20 years. I used to follow headlines on the internet, but no longer do that either.
    I shop very late at night, or early morning, so it's a peaceful part of my day and not a noisy, aggravating situation, with screaming out of control children running wild about me.

    About 7 years ago I stopped watching television too, except for rare occasions, none of which include current affairs programmes.
    The things I DO like (i.e. sewing bee, bake off, and create&craft) I record to watch when I'm ready. Like you, I find my father and my ex husband are only too willing to ring me up to tell me if there's a major event they feel I should know about.
    I Believe I read somewhere that in the middle ages people rarely travelled more than 5 miles from their birth place in their whole lives, and would have no idea about what happened in the next village, let alone the wider world. Not that I'm suggesting for one moment we should be that insular again, but I do sometimes wonder if that wasn't a more healthy way to live actually.

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  56. Hello Barbara, thank you for your heartfelt comments. I too have to think twice these days before watching the news or even having my wake up radio station tuned in at a time when I know the news is on. It's not a good feeling listening to the woes of the world as one wakes up is it, whilst contemplating what may have been otherwise a positive start to the day. I often also wonder if this is a selfish trait on my behalf actually making the choice to be ignorant to the horrors and misadventures that go on, often on our doorstep. I guess all I can think is that sometimes, we need to be able to make the choice to 'switch off' to give ourselves some sanity time and permission to be positive and to spread a little bit of it about when everything around us seems to be falling apart at the seams.

    With regard to your Nurnberg experience, I can relate to the military presence in Bavaria as our children were educated in Ansbach for one year at the Katterbach military base whilst we were living there for two years. I had never been around American military personnel before and when I took our children on the base to go to school for the first time, I felt quite overwhelmed by all the uniformed soldiers with their (what seemed to me to be) loud American accents. They all seemed so tall and looked the same!!!

    I wish back then I had all the arty inspiration that I have since been very spoilt with watching your You Tubes, TV appearances and blog tutorials.... would certainly have brightened some dark days.

    Keep on keeping on!! Alison x

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  57. Exactly!!! I am the same Barbara, I don't watch the news and I don't read the papers. It's frightening, distressing and worrying. I will stay in my little box with my family and help where I can. The news isn't even suitable for my Hannah to listen to first thing in the morning. I got fed up of quickly turning down the volume as they announce someone was stabbed or raped or mugged St 8.30 in the morning??? I don't want my kids to grow up frightened of the World. We were frightened because we thought we were going to be Nuked - cor looking at what is going on now WHAT WAS I WORRIED ABOUT????

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  58. That is exactly my feelings Barbara, about all the awful news and I do wonder if that is selfish of me. What good will my knowing do for the situations, nothing I fear so why not be happier myself.
    I feel very sad for all the people caught up in the many conflicts going on at the moment but I do not want to hear all the same details over and over again.

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  59. Barbara
    I so agree. Thank you for sharing - my family think i'm loopy (the same family i don't hear from from one week to the next) because I don't own a TV but like you it is a coping mechanism. I have had enough hurt and bad things in my life without watching distressing things on TV too, plus you may have an on/off switch for the TV but sometimes it's too late and the image is there and you can't switch it off in your minds eye. So I choose when I want to look at a paper or turn on the radio (not very often I might add). I have General Anxiety Disorder and anything worrying or upsetting and that is me for days upset and not sleeping and the churning uncontrollable thoughts spinning around in my head. I live on my own for the first time in over 55 years and it is very hard. Thank goodness for Clarity Stamps, stamping and paper crafting. I like nothing better than to go to my desk and get inky, fresco painty and engrossed in creating something. The world is a beautiful place if only people on the planet would wake up to see the beauty. I am dismayed and upset for all the events unfolding.

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x