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Mr. Google – Why Won’t My Baby Sleep?

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I’m a self confessed ‘Googler’. Most of the time i search for answers on the Internet and find the most extreme outcome. Definitely not healthy for a catastrophiser. And when you become a parent you catastrophise about the health and wellbeing of your offspring as well as your own.

Talking as a former babyphobe, posts about parenthood are generally boring at best, nauseating at most. But if feel i need to rant this one out for the sake of my own sanity as well as for other new parents out there.

I have been scared into believing that if i don’t follow all the advice out there i’m going to create a monster. I’ve spent the last eight months panicking that i’m going to end up with a child that never sleeps.

You get told a lot of things when you are expecting or the parent of a small child but here’s two things that i did not get told. The first is a warning but i’m hoping that the second will bring some comfort.

Firstly, people joke that you can kiss sleep goodbye, but they don’t explain that this is a byproduct of the battle to get your baby to sleep. Whoever came up with the expression “sleeping like a baby” was the biggest joker of all. Yes all babies are different and not everyone will have this problem, but from personal experience and my trawling of the virtual world of distraught parents; some babies just won’t sleep!

Here’s the second bit of advice, the good news…. sometimes you just have to be patient so stop panicking and just enjoy your child. Trust your instincts and know that you’ve got this . It may feel that your child will never sleep through the night, or you’ll never get that magical three hour nap from them so you can actually get some time to yourself. But it does happen, they will sleep on their own and my eight month old is evidence of that.

So….stop believing everything you read, stop being scaremongered and enjoy those precious moments. Your baby can sleep in your arms sometimes, they can come into your bed and you don’t have to leave them to scream themselves to sleep.

Now i just need to remember my own advice when i reach the next hurdle! Oh, and as this is an art blog, here’s a sketch of my bundle of joy, well rested and fresh from his nap!

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Going Mobile

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I’ve noticed recently that the functions of mobile technology are quickly overtaking their separate, less compact and less accessible equivalents. My relatively technical DSLR doesn’t seem to be able to do much more than the camera on my phone, and i don’t use the full Adobe suite I pay for and use on my amply equipped, high spec laptop any more than the free app I have on my phone. Even blogging on my phone seems pain-free.

I thought I would demonstrate this new found….freedom I suppose, with a showcase of a few snaps I took and edited, of my partners recent cider brewing mission (he too has inadvertently got on the homegrown, homemade, screw the system bandwagon)

Introduction to Food Stories

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Confessions in Change

I wanted to share some food ideas, but I first wanted to think about how I would present them. I didn’t want to get bogged down with exact measurements or nutritional information as I do not have the tools nor the patience for this. I am therefore going to be writing some “food stories”.

I also wanted to question my motives for my food choices. I explore low calorie and low carb and initially, and narcissistically I approached these disciplines because I wanted to shift some weight. My priorities have now changed but I have taken away much more from the low carb mind-set than the hope of weight loss. It has taught me how to make meals more nutrient dense by replacing pasta, potatoes and bread with unprocessed, plant based alternatives.

I’ve spoken many times about my dislike for the pharmaceutical and large-scale agricultural industries that promote poor health…

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Left-Wing v Right-Wing

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Politics seems to be the new trend. It’s at the forefront of everyone’s attention and we all want to get involved. Either that or my age is reflecting my interests! Although the recent turnouts at the polling stations seemed to say otherwise.

Until relatively recently I wasn’t even sure what ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ even meant. Now there seems there is a clear gap between the two and ‘left-wing’ seems to be the increasingly popular persuasion. This has made me wonder how people settle into their preferred ‘wing’ and whether there is any benefit to a right-wing society.

The definition of left-wing (“The radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system” https://en.oxforddictionaries.com) suggests that the current system is right-wing. By definition, right-wing is concerned with enterprise and private ownership as well as opposing any reformation from the left-wing (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com). This makes sense considering we are living in a capitalist society, and sure, there is some need to concern ourselves with the trade that keeps our monetary system afloat, but why does it all need to be privately owned? Wouldn’t it be better if we all worked together?

Rather than the conservative’s organisational perspective of private ownership, socialism gives the power back to the people. This could mean the decentralisation of the system and the localisation of power over production and trade. So the power is taken away from the large corporations and given back to the people – no more monopolisation of basic human requirements such as food, fuel and medical care. That doesn’t seem so bad does it?

So why are the righty’s such advocates for the corporations? Are they still conditioned to believe that they are acting in our best interests? That they care more about the people and the environment than they do about money and power? It’s no coincidence that the rise of socialist views corresponds with the realisation of the corruption of the modern world. Or that people have started to take a dislike for the concentration of wealth – the 1%.

I was going to try and write neutral post, but I guess I’m a lefty through and through! Here’s my depiction of a ‘righty’ in 3D:

“Righty”
Plasticine
2017

Consumption and Cow Farts

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This piece has been a long time coming due to my energy going towards the creation of a small human instead. With small human still pending, I would like to introduce to the world my latest mixed media baby (oil paint, digital):

This explores mass consumption through the meat trade and is a response to the film “Cowspiracy” and subsequent research on the environmental impact of global meat consumption. This isn’t just a response to the negative environmental impact of cow farts, but the energy needed to feed, farm and ship meat such as beef. It serves as a reminder to go local where possible and be a conscious consumer.

 

Green Activism

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Like most, I’m very aware of global issues and feel obligated to help in some way. Because there is so much wrong with the world however, it’s difficult to decide where to focus my efforts. My natural response is self-preservation. Because it is no longer a case of if the system will crumble, but when. And when that time comes, or ideally long before; we need to be self-sustainable.

My method is to break it all down to our fundamental needs as humans and work out how to ensure that those needs are met in an increasingly unstable world. Having a proactive response to this then not only ensures future survival when the system starts to break down, but distances me from the system, contributing to it’s collapse. Hopefully documenting my efforts will aid and inspire others to do the same.

How is this relevant to my art practice? My art is and continues to be a creative response to my internal and external world. With age this response is becoming less transgressive and more pragmatic but still a powerful platform for change.

So, on that note….we are now warmly welcoming the start of summer. Time to put a green finger up to global production and mindless consumption by getting out in the garden

 

Lessons in Life and Digital Art

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The Eden Project Most people have a bucket list of some description, consciously or not. The only definitive thing I had on mine was to go to the Eden Project. Adventurous I know! I think I felt it would satisfy some of my need to give meaning to my life by seeing more of the material world than just my own back garden. This is in the hope that when my current vessel gives up, I can find peace in the fact that I have made some use of my mortal time, therefore making death a little easier. The Eden Project

My reasoning behind this lonely entry on my rather short bucket list was that the Eden Project basically takes some of the worldly elements from beyond my back garden and puts them in one convenient place, not too far away from my current location without much expense, planning or commitment needed. The Eden Project

So I eventually made it to the Eden Project and imagine my surprise when the whole experience was a disappointment. It seems that if you really want to find wonder and meaning in the world, you have to go out and look for it, not expect it to be brought to you.The Eden Project

Despite my disappointment, I did take a few pictures of the experience and got to dip my toes back into the world of photography and digital editing. A catalyst for more creative digital exploits I hope, and definitely a lesson learned when it comes to matters of self-betterment.

The Eden Project

 

The Eden Project