Why worry? + a memorable Bath visit

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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I got this great idea that the more you worry about things the more the solutions are going to come to you. I worry about the future of the world, I worry about the welfare of my friends.  I worry about the people suffering from fires. I worry about the refugees streaming into this country (UK)  without being stopped or turned away. If I want more things to worry about I can simply turn on the news.

What does it mean, to worry?   What does it mean?

I am tempted at this point to use Bing  which can now be accessed from within Skype.  I asked the question and this was its reply which in my opinion is as good a starting point as any

To worry means to feel uneasy or concerned about something that might happen or has happened. It can also mean to bother, annoy, or harass someone or something. Worry can be a noun or a verb, depending on how it is used in a sentence. Here are some examples of worry as a noun and a verb:

Worry can have different synonyms and antonyms, depending on the context and the part of speech. For example, some synonyms of worry as a verb are bother, trouble, distress, or pester. Some antonyms of worry as a noun are calmness, peace, tranquility, or relief.

Worry comes from the Old English word wyrgan, which means to strangle In Middle English, it also meant to seize by the throat and tear, or to harass. The sense of causing anxiety to someone developed in the early 19th century

I find the etymology of the word wrygan  meaning ‘strangle’ most interesting.   How can we get  the old meaning – by the throat –  to the current perhaps lazily used word worry.

We are very lazy in our use of words these days. We use the word ‘worry’ when in fact we could use the following synonyms more effectively –  have misgivings about, be apprehensive of, be concerned about, have a problem with, uneasy about, be distressed, be disturbed, be perplexed. Why don’t we think more carefully  about using a catch-all word when in fact it doesn’t really mean much, being in many cases too bland.  After writing this, I will certainly monitor my use of the word ‘worry’ in the same way that I monitor the use of the word ‘nice’

So if I need or find it necessary to worry or be preoccupied with something  probably over which I have no control, what is the point?  I will succeed mostly in frustrating myself. No change will happen and I will possibly divert myself from useful activity which could indeed make a difference.

Do I worry because of lack of faith?  There is a clue in the etymology that the throat energy centre or chakra is that related to creativity. Maybe worrying says a lot about our own creativity  or lack of it. In a strange way it could also relate to laziness.

What conditions pertain when I am not worrying?  In my case it happens to be when I’m doing something useful, making a difference to myself or others, in some way adding to the sum total of happiness or humanity in the universe. When I do this I’m in a state of mind where irrespective of the nature and extent of the evil that is going on I am somehow inured from it. Action has the power to take away fear.

Trip to Bath

The day started with a cool breeze but promised warmth and sunshine and indeed it delivered. I had a business meeting in the morning but we managed to catch the 11:20 a.m. from Wells to Bath. Francoise had had no breakfast and was looking forward to our accustomed meal deal from Morrison’s local market shop. You get a medium container from the cold salad bar, a healthy drink and a bag of crisps all for the very tidy sum of four pounds. That kept us going for the day.

On the bus we had a man with learning difficulties who was announcing on his phone at the top of his voice that he was looking forward to meeting a friend at the day after. I think everyone realized that all was not quite right within so we tolerated him in a good natured way.

A value for money lunch

There is a new branch of Morrisons by the bus station just around the corner and they are very much geared to grab and go people. They have an excellent self-service salad bar and if you have a medium size plastic container you can have a special meal deal which includes a very healthy and refreshing fruit juice and a packaged of crisps.  The price of the whole is £4.  That pretty much filled us up for the day.

When we came to eat our lunch on the table and chairs thoughtfully provided by Morrison’s there was a woman at an adjacent seat staring into the distance who from time to time shouted. They were noises rather than words and seemed rather random to me. She was later joined by a friend and she quietened down a bit. We wondered whether she had Tourette’s syndrome. I can tolerate a few such people even with good nature but if I was in an institution where everyone was like that, I think I would have a much more difficult time, to be honest.

Sugar Bomb Central

Some of us wonder why the population is so overweight and unhealthy. I see children as young as seven who are obviously overweight and who fit in very well with their overweight parents but what will happen to them in the future? The sort of shop illustrated here,  the Kingdom of Sweets,  will for unwise parents load their children up with a far greater dose of sugar than is desirable.   If we could see with other eyes all the sweets contain about 50% sugar, coloring,  preserving agents,  tasting agents, any mysterious E240 ingredients with no explanation.

From the NHS

Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes). Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugars a day (6 sugar cubes). Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugars a day (5 sugar cubes).

I will make a wild guess and assume that a big ‘suck it and see’ lollipop would contain enough sugar to be close to the daily allowance.

I was shocked to see the prices of the drinks. Is anyone seriously going to pay four pounds for a 500 ml can of sugar.  I suppose they do, otherwise this outlet would not function.

A Meeting with Mark Masters, artist

Bath is quite an arty place.  There are many venues for art large and small and no doubt they take advantage of the high tourist footfall certainly in the season.   This was a temporary exhibition called ‘Monsters from the id.’    Mark, the artist,  obviously didn’t want to write ID  in the title of his show = which is short for identity – and I can only assume that the id  is that used in Freudian psychological terminology.  According to his psychoanalytic theory of Personality, the ID is the personality components made up of unconscious psychic energy and works to satisfy basic urges needs and desires. It operates based on the pleasure principle which demands immediate gratification of needs it could be said to be the primitive and instinctive component of the psychic energy that includes urges, impulses, the libido and everything involved in survival Instincts.  The exhibition is at 44AD, Art Space, 4 Abbey Street, Bath BA1 1NN  and is open until 3rd September 2023

We found Mark to be a very pleasant and approachable person who unusually does not put prices on his artwork because he thinks it should be open to negotiation. He is aware of covid, the difficulties of maintaining individual financial stability etc. and I think that is a remarkable gesture which I have not come across before.

Well done Mark.

He finds the creation of work very organic and he is moved – as many artists are – to tune into various aspects of the universe and draw as inspired. I discussed with him and he agreed that it is up to people whether they like it or not and not really my business.   I discussed with him how was it possible to sleep normally during the creation of an art work because in a way the brain would not go to sleep. If I was painting the Sistine Chapel and that over a long period because of its complexity, would I be able to sleep normally. I doubt it

Mark at  15 years of age saw the film  ‘Forbidden Planet’  and that’s what triggered his artistic talents focusing on  the dark side of the mind. He uses dark color and it doesn’t like to paint in day time and prefers to paint in the evening with yellow light, a different wavelength and in general a different quality of light. He can mix his paints in the different way than if he was working to daylight.

He is very aware that his type of painting and subject matter is not liked by all. It’s a bit like Marmite either you love it or you hate it. Francoise said she would agree with this. She said that she finds this painting style really interesting but it’s not a style that she would like to hang in the  sitting room. He  understood that. He says that he will carry on doing the style of painting because this is what is in his mind and for him it’s a search for what is in the unconscious and what comes up in his dreams and that is what he is interested in. He uses oil paint. He said it is possible to  so publish a book and gave the name of a company, one of many,  ‘XYZ’ but on looking it up in Google it seems to be mostly focused on 3D printing.

I said that every painting should ask a question. His work certainly asks a lot of questions.  They ask the question ‘what is good and what is bad. Is there a dynamic between the two.  A coin has two sides and we need dark as well as light in my view.

I said that I have similar sentiments with my diary work (this diary).  I don’t mind whether they love it or hate it but the main point is that if we can cause people to think that is job done.

I said  that some of his images reminded meat of sea creatures that could be seen 2,000 meters down. Mark sometimes takes pictures in his garden of natural forms, loads it into his computer and looks for the form that he is seeking.  Once he was inspired by tiles on the kitchen floor.

A meeting with Annie in the Gardens

We entered the gardens at the centre of Bath by the river and the Weir. I noticed someone reading assiduously on a bench and something made us or certainly me make a beeline for it although there were other seats empty.

I ate the remains of my ice cream while the author engaged her in conversation and this started by Francoise asking  Annie what she was reading. The Author was Brandon Sanderson Elantris 2, part of a Books Collection Pack Set RRP: £17.98 (Elantris, The Emperor’s Soul).  This was a fantasy book.

We then discussed what type of books I found most attractive.  The last book I read and consumed was by an Indian doctor of 102 years of age who was still practicing,  we read about her observations,  her experience, the difficult early days that she had to endure.   This was a real page turner and I read  the entire book over a period of 24 hours.  This is The Well- Lived Life by Dr. Gladys McGarry.

I’m more interested in political stuff, biographies and autobiographies, provided they are not pretentious but I am less interested in fantasy. Maybe I should consider that as an escape route from the normal day to day study work that I preoccupy myself with.

A field. There are lots of them in Lincolnshire.

Annie, now 21 (she was born the year before Francoise and I met). She was born in Latvia and came to Lincolnshire at the age of five and now lives in Bath. In my experience, very little happens in Lincolnshire except a lot of fields and she certainly felt the need to escape at an early stage.  She has been studying psychology for the past two years and next year will be going on a placement at a major University, I think it was Cambridge.

She failed to get into the university and told me a funny story about the person who interviewed her who gave her a complicated paper about monkey behavior and gave her 15 minutes to read it and then questioned her. When she was unable to come up with an answer the interviewer said “do you know what the word correlation means’?  She failed the interview.

Now due to a twist of fate the same examiner is going to be supervising her. You couldn’t make it up.

I also described her jeans with their many gaps and strands as a work of art.

In short we had a great meeting and although I will not meet her again I don’t think either of us will forget the conversation in a hurry. Such is synchronicity and long may it live.  That is something that a robotic mind cannot  achieve or indeed create.

In general I  was very impressed with the way she comported herself and her wisdom and her thoughtfulness, a million miles away from the average student who spends more time on their mobile phones the actually reading books.  We wished her a happy life and I’m sure she will have one. I recommended to her that she should not compromise with anything because that is not the way she is built, or her soul ancestry we can say.

A special coffee

After admiring the waters flowing over the Weir and me promising to go on a pleasure Boat at some future time, we went for a visit in to the old fashioned market. This is situated at the back of the Town Hall and is to be recommended to any visitor.

Francoise went to buy some cheese from a French seller as it happens and I had a coffee at one of the rather chic coffee bars in the market. Very few people know how to make a latte. It’s not coffee with milk. The person who made it knew exactly what he was doing, he had the right brand of coffee, and I was happy to pay £3.20 for the privilege. I lingered over it, savoring each sip. The barista  had actually warmed the cup which meant I could enjoy a hot coffee.

To the City Art Gallery

We want it to see a special exhibition by a single artist on quilts. Quilts are indeed a labour of love.  If you want to count the hours it takes to do something then you are in the wrong job.  I do not know how the artist found time to do all these wonderful examples.

We had fun meeting people as we normally do.  I said to a fellow male visitor who turned out to be a rather serious German that it was difficult to capture the texture of clouds and indeed it was also difficult to capture the texture of quilting with a camera. He said in a rather labored way that he would try to get  a good result. From the look of his camera I would think that’s a pretty much a given so I reminded him not to be too self critical.

The lady at the entrance said that if we would like to see the reverse of the quilt we could do so and I’m very glad she said it because the reverse to my amateur eye bore very little resemblance to what I saw on the front. I reckon it would take years and years to really understand this artistic skill.

Here are a few examples. I am not qualified enough to comment on the technical side and they must speak for themselves.


We saw several examples of the most amazing ornate mirrors (not by the quilter by the way). These would be possibly too ornate to put in your bathroom

It is always interesting to see where people have come from and just in case you cannot read easily the places are South Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Sarasota Florida,  Dorset,  Portishead.

A final walk through the town. We went to Waitrose to get some unhomogenised milk. We then both decided that we had had enough. My principle is you should stop when you could do a bit more.  My records show 6,720 steps. Not a lot. I have done 12,000 and still not felt tired.

To the central bus stop. We are served by four bus routes 522,172,173,174 so there is no need to worry about time tables. Sure enough there was one bus just loading and we joined in the queue.

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