Saturday, 22 August 2009

the promised land

This particular blog is to get back to why I became interested in westerns in the first place. After a hectic day, I have just watched the opening credits of "The Magnificent Seven tv series" on You Tube. I love them. I have to confess, I once watched them over and over again, at consistent intervals, all evening. They embody to me what is exciting, thrilling and inspiring about westerns and the Old West. It is much more than just a bunch of good guys fighting the bad guys and winning. The opening credits embody the excitement of an age of cowboys/gunfighters, saddling up and riding out into the wilderness to fight for what is right. So what if there is an element of myth there. There is also a good deal of truth and reality in the series itself. And as far as myth goes, who says that there were not good guys, like those portrayed in "The Magnificent Seven" in the Old West itself. Yes, it was harsh, violent place with plenty of evil. But there was also heroism, bravery and "good guys" who fought for what is right. Both are an equal part of the Old West.

And while on the subject, Black Horse westerns are an excellent example of western literature that has a perfect balance between myth and reality. The writers capture the excitement, the danger and the thrill of a new frontier and the people that went out into it and made something of it. I love them. I doubt anyone but Black Horse western readers/writers know about this blog, but for the sake of any who may one day read it, I would recommend this range of books wholeheartedly. They have been with me through many changes in my life, and I can remember reading them at distinct times in my life. I can even remember stories from years and years ago, and where I was when I read them.

This won't be the last time I write about Black Horse westerns, or the Old West for that matter, but I wanted to pay homage to both the books, and the era in history. This has been a tough evening in one way or the other, and watching those opening titles from "The Magnificent Seven" cheered me up no end.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Well, some people blog every day, or ever other day, looks like I'm going to once or twice a month.

The purpose of starting this blog was meant for it to exist as a kind of "online diary", a record of my thoughts and things I am passionate about. This particular blog was going to be about the Old West, one of the things I have loved since I was a young teenager. However, I thought I would write about the "life and times" of being a carer, as this is the dominant issue at the moment.

Being a carer for someone you love is one of the hardest, and most rewarding things you can ever do. It requires a certain amount of sacrifice, but not as much as people think. Certainly, your time is not your own. You cannot spend hours and hours writing, or reading. Your concentration is almost non existent. You learn to cope with things, and put up with things that most people are horrified at. And your own life does go on the
back burner. (You also lose patience when things like your computer suddenly inserts a return and a blank line in the middle of your blog, and you have no idea why. Or the inclination, beyond a brief fumbling, to put it right, so I'll have to live with it.)

Having said all that, when people keep telling you what a good job you are doing, or how "self sacrificing" you are, it is hard to understand what they mean. What does "self sacrificing" really mean? If you self sacrifice for someone you love, is that really sacrifice at all? I had a long conversation with someone yesterday, that caring for someone you love almost involves a degree of selfishness. That person is important to you, you care about them, you want the best for them, so how is giving up anything for them unselfish. And could you do anything else? It is like giving up something for yourself.. This does sound strange, but will be understood by the thousands of other carers in the country who have a harder time than I do.

In a way, this does link into my passion with the Old West. I was thinking the other day, what kind of people would want to embark on a dangerous journey, across thousands of miles of unchartered territory, with a good chance that they would never reach the other side. And, along the way, they came across the graves, and abandoned belongings of people who didn't survive the journey, or had given up more of their precious possessions from a life left behind. The title of this blog, "THe Promised Land" comes from the theme tune of the film "How The West Was Won" one of my favourite westerns. The song is a tribute to the pioneers I have mentioned earlier. And, although it sounds weird, there is a kind of emotional parallel with being a carer. Setting out on a journey with an uncertain destination, having to live day to day to survive as who knows what tomorrow would bring? But an unwavering belief that what they were doing was the right thing even if it cost them everything. There the parallel ends though. I'm not sure I could have coped with the ongoing physical danger. The threat from a people who were called "savages", but who were natives of "The Promised Land" long before the white man had ever heard of it. They also had sometimes cruel and brutal ways of dealing with those who were arrogant enough to believe that this land was theirs for the taking. Whatever caring is.... there is no danger of being scalped or roasted alive tomorrow, (well, only on a REALLY bad day!!)

So, this blog has been a strange mixture of two important parts of my life, with a comparison that I had never really thought of before. Maybe that is the power of writing, to bring things to light and reveal things that were unclear before. (Errr, do people actually bear their soul like this in blogs? Well, anyway, if they don't, I've never been that conventional, so it doesn't really matter.)

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hi all. Taking my first tentative steps into the world of blogging!! It is no mean feat, but being as I love talking; (can talk til the cows come home,) and am very opinionated, I thought I would give it a go. It would also help to have somewhere to vent my frustations when things happen that annoy me, i.e. the death of Michael Jackson. Easy for people to snigger at his weirdness, make vile jokes about his cosmetic surgery, and ignore the fact that he was one of the greatest artists in the world. As someone who used to love dancing, he was my idol in the 80s. And a genius on the dance floor, not to mention so sexy in videos like "Thriller". Shame he couldn't see this himself and leave his face alone.

Anyway, that is the past. For now, this is going to be my recordings of books I read, (especially Black Horse Westerns books I read), things I love/hate, and any general musings. Being as I'm a carer now, and don't have much time for things like publicity or "spreading the word," this blog will probably only be read by me, my doctor (don't ask why my doctor will read this blog!!!) and a few people from the Black Horse western world, maybe, but it is now my official dumping ground for my thoughts, so, here goes!!!