I'm not talking conspiracy theories here, no, just the sharp right turn the western world seems to have taken in 2016.
First of all Brexit - and if I hear one more person tell me to get over it I'll scream. Then Donald Trump's election to the most powerful position in the world. And yes it does affect me, even though I'm not an American. The world is a much more dangerous and brutal place with Trump and his cronies in the driving seat. What happened to the caring society? Barack Obama did his best to address the social problems in the US but obstructionist tactics more or less blunted his sword every time he tried to get anything through congress. And now apparently Obamacare is to be abolished. What a shameful state of affairs - a dog eat dog society, where only the strongest and richest prevail, whilst people on the poverty line perish. Whatever happened to compassion?
In the UK we now have a situation where politicians are hungry for power at any cost and therefore have to pander to popularism. How could Theresa May change her tune so abruptly after the referendum? My only guess is that she's terrified by the 52% who voted for Brexit and therefore feels she has to woo them to stay in power. The will of the people is mentioned a lot these days, I call it the tyranny of the people. What happened to the will of the 48% who value the progress made by brave people who were willing to stand up and fight for what they believed in in the last century. One by one the rights of women, ethnic minorities, LGBT, disabled etc etc are all being eroded, substituted by a culture of celebrity worship and greed.
There's no option but to wait and see but I can't help feeling it's fiddling while Rome burns. I truly hope my understanding of the situation is wrong, but the initial signs are not looking positive.
But life goes on. Many of us need some positive input at the moment so here's some of the things that have lifted my spirits this month:
I'm not a fan of orchids as they usually curl up and die on me, but this one has given me a lot of pleasure recently, even flowering a second time.
|The petals of the orchid reflect perfectly the pattern on this glass ball|
|A closer look|
We had some beautiful sunsets at the beginning of the month!
|The sun doesn't get any lower than this!|
|Gorgeous blue and coral sky|
|Coming back into York from a trip to the coast|
I love the boldness of amaryllis in January, nothing to lift the spirits better than watching one thrusting its green shoots up boldly from the bulb, then the incredible explosion of colour once it starts to open... with the bonus of four blooms on every shoot... and sometimes two or even three shoots to every bulb.
|Promise of what's to come|
|First bud to open|
|The moss is like velvet|
|Beautiful textures and colours - must be a sweater design in there somewhere :)|
|Hamamellis Pallida, the best for flowers and scent|
|Always looks good in January|
We have a sweet box in the front garden. Its flowers bloom through the early part of the year and scent the path to the front door. Sorry no photo at the mo.
Shadows are always interesting at this time of year and I was particularly struck by the shadow of this magnolia grandiflora.
|Echoes of Matisse don't you think?|
|Arlo enjoying the damp winter air|