Just realized this blog was ten years old, back in June.
It's never been highly interactive - I know precious few follow it, though some do when I say something controversial, e.g. in criticism of poor old Bob Ross - who is as sacred to some as Jeremy Corbyn is to some in the Labour Party: beyond criticism, or one's being very unfair, and in league with the 'haters' and detractors if one does.
To them, I do have to say (no I don't: but I will) grow up...... we all have feet of clay, including your idols.
Both are very nice men - but Bob Ross wasn't a great, or even very good, artist; and Jeremy Corbyn wasn't a great, or even very good, party leader. Wasn't their fault: they tried, they contributed, they made an honest stab at what they wanted to do. But let us not elevate ordinary people to sainthood, because no one can meet that test.
And so here we are, ten years on - years in which I've lost people dear to me; managed to hang on to some despite the ravages of illness and time; gone back to a job I gave up long ago, because a) there was a vacancy, b) I trust no one else to do it. I've concentrated on watercolour, acrylic, and oil painting. I have dabbled in gouache (please, don't call it 'gauche': it isn't 'gauche' - that means either left, in yer actual French, or clumsy: and you do try not be gauche with gouache), I've written an e-book (which needs updating), I've found a source of lead white paint, which is so important for anyone serious about painting in oil, I've discovered the real Bible of oil painting in Virgil Elliott's "Traditional Oil Painting", and I've become a member of the National Association of Painters in Acrylic.
And I shall shortly turn - if spared! - 70. Just a pity that there's a 16 year old in my head, who keeps wondering what happened to his body. I have not made my fortune. I don't really care about that. I have become an old age pensioner, and I don't really care about that, either. In fact, I've stopped bothering about trivial things. I paint because I enjoy painting,and discovering new things: and there's always something new to be discovered, not because I wish for fame or fortune (and just as well: neither seem within reach), but because I just see things I want to represent, while there's still time.
We now have Brexit, and Covid-19 - these are not trivial; both are self-inflicted. We didn't have them ten years ago. But ten years hence, we shan't have them, either. We'll have other crises. The one that bothers me most is the threat to the global environment; not the threat to human existence - I'd like to think that my great niece and great nephew have a future, but think the human species has inflicted so much cruel damage on the world in its relentless search for advantage that our disappearance as a species would be no tragedy; perhaps my descendants will survive when others won't, and re-shape the world. Someone has to, though it's a harsh responsibility with which to burden them.
I wonder if this blog will still be here in another ten years' time, or - on which that's rather contingent - whether I shall still be here either. Well, who knows? If nothing really dies on the internet, I shan't die either. Now - isn't that a comfort? Isn't it? Well of course it is! You know it is!