Changing my name

This is the final version of the one for my friend in Scotland.
This is the final version of the one for my friend in Scotland.


I’m a bit old fashioned. “No”, I hear you cry, “Not you, Maggibee, surely not…” But one of the things I like is when people name their children old fashioned names, possibly Biblical names, but the full name. So I love to know that Tom can grow up into Thomas, or Becky into Rebecca, for example, and not be saddled in adult life with with no options but to live forever with what is likely to be an inappropriate diminutive. I have always been Margaret. Not Maggie, Madge, Meg or Peggy – Margaret. People have tried to call me other things and I feel they bear the subsequent scars with pride, but Margaret it has always been and Margaret it will stay. Except here, where I am happy to be Maggibee, to differentiate between me and a thousand other online Margarets.

But now I fear that will have to change. If the Beckham children are named after where they were conceived (“Hi, I’m Vauxhall Astra, what’s your name?”, “Me? Oh, I’m Sand Dune Gravelrash…”), if people choose their own names to suit their character, then I will go with the flow, I think, and change to a name more suited to my character.  Technophobia, perhaps. It has a nice ring to it, I feel and describes me with increasingly embarrassing accuracy.  Perhaps I’ll just become Maggitee instead, and we’ll all know what the T stands for.

Apparently, Koi make you feel calm so I tried this out for size.
Apparently, Koi make you feel calm so I tried this out for size.

Because I’m not getting on at all well with technology at the moment. Normally, I’m OK and sometimes I’m quite good, but not recently. I accidentally wiped all the photos off my phone instead of the folder I had meant to delete. Apparently there’s a backup on the cloud – cloud??? – so I retrieved them and now my memory is full. (Phone, not me, mine’s overflowing but I keep cramming more in.) Anyway, the wretched thing keeps sending me messages, saying it has no memory left. Well join the club, honey.

I then decided my tablet needed a tidy but I can’t seem to get rid of the stuff I’ve downloaded. And it won’t let me delete empty folders that Samsung supplied it with in case I need them, which I don’t.

And then there’s Facebook. Now I like my FB. I only have about 60 friends on it and I wouldn’t dream of putting on there anything remotely personal. (Same with the blog, of course.) I share things now and then that I find amusing and so on but no photos of anyone without their express permission and nothing private. (I tell my kids, nothing on FB that you would not be prepared to discuss in the check out queue at the supermarket.) But people do share things with me now and then and sometimes I wish they wouldn’t. One of my pet hates is “inspirational” sayings. Perhaps inspirational is the wrong word but I don’t know what else you would call them.(Well I do but let’s try to stay at least a little polite…)but the badly written , sentimental tripe that appears every so often does irritate, so much so that I posted this the other day:

Generally speaking, I share things that amuse, interest or mean something to me. This is my FB page so that’s where I put them. BUT, I get really hacked off with these things that say “Share if you have daughters you love…” (If I don’t share, does ie mean I don’t love them?), “Share if you miss your mum…”, “Let’s see who my real friends are. My real friends will share this…” To me, those things are like chain letters, emotional blackmail.

So, you now know why I share things. I have no expectations that my friends will share them further, that’s up to them – you. I won’t put pressure on you and I will will not be pressured to share by anyone else, however much I like/love you.

So if I don’t share, it doesn’t mean I’m not your friend; it doesn’t mean I disagree with with you; it means I’ll make up my own mind thanks.


Isi it me?

And now my laptop wants to up date but keeps telling me I don’t have administrator rights. Dammit, I own the bloody thing, how can I not have rights? But there is a little ray of light – yes, my wonderful son in law, the techspert. He’s coming to see us in October and, although I normally can’t wait to see Ben, it’s his father whose company I crave at present.

To cool my fevered brow, so to speak, I have been doing all sorts of drawing. Firstly, I finished the two for my friend in Scotland and posted them yesterday. You can see one of them at the top of the page. Then I framed a couple of white on black ones I did some time ago. I haven’t decided where to put them yet but I will find a space somewhere.SAM_8562 SAM_8563

It's a bit gaudy but it'll settle when I add patterns and metallic pens etc.
It’s a bit gaudy but it’ll settle when I add patterns and metallic pens etc.

And I’ve started two quite big pieces;the first one being really bright colours in twists across the page, filled with favourite patterns, using mainly Microns  but also metallic and sparkly pens. It’ll be nice when it’s done, although not inspired; it’s definitely just a  potboiler. I’ll show you when it’s done.

On the other hand, the second one is a stylised peacock feather. (See left) So far, I’ve drawn it out and coloured it with Promarkers but I haven’t started patterning yet. It’s about 10″ square, so it’ll be quite a lot of work but I am quite excited about it.

madbuhani birds madbuhani elephant Madhubani fishSomething else I’ve seen recently is Madhubani art. (Also known as Mithila art.) These are from Northern India and are both simplistic and complicated at the same time. There are resemblances to Zentangle in the use of small repeated patterns and the results can be stunning, as you can see from the examples above, none of which, I am afraid, are mine. I think I may try this style though. Fish? Flowers? Birds? Dunno yet but I’ll think of something. In fact, I did try a fish, a Koi carp in fact, but it was just an experiment using a scrap of leftover card. I’m a lot happier with the result than I expected (See above left) , so maybe I will try the Madhubani art and see how it turns out.

And it’s Diva Day again and today’s guest Challenger is Holly Attwater, whose work I have seen and admired before. But this really IS a challenge for me. Either use Betweed – one of my favourites – or do an audio challenge using a meditation from her blog. Now the thing is, as those of you who know me might have guessed, I can cope with the tangle but I’m not a natural with the Zen. I mean, come on, yes, OK, it’s nice paper, mmm, black ink, yummy, now can we get on with it? Breathe, what do you mean, breathe? I can DO that, been doing it for years.

DC 232 BSo I chickened out and did the Betweed one,  but I wasn’t really thinking about it. I knew I was going to have to have a go at the audio meditation. From the look on my face you would have thought I was going to the dentists. Anyway, I did the first one and tried, I mean I really tried to do as she asked and relax into it and focus but I’ll admit it, I did two tiles in the time she allowed for one, to experiment a bit. (That’ll be the ones with triangles.)

So, determined to do it as per the Mother Ship, as Suzanne Fluhr calls it, I did the next one as well. And this time I got into it a bit more and I did relax and focus and I resisted the urge to fast forward and I think I got quite Zenny at one point. (That’ll be the Nipa tiles. OK, I know, I still did two but I was getting there.)

So I did the third one as well.

You know what… I have been longing to go for CZT training ever since I heard of it. I’ve been saving up for the air fare for a while. Forget it. I haven’t the patience. I ran on ahead of the instructions on the audio and got it wrong. I didn’t listen. I kept wanting to go and peek – I didn’t but it was a close thing. If I can’t do one 25 minute session, I certainly won’t last a week or whatever.

It's not that they turned out particularly badly, it's the fact that I have the patience of a road runner and the brains of a newt. A small newt.
It’s not that they turned out particularly badly, it’s the fact that I have the patience of a road runner and the brains of a newt. A small newt.

Face facts, Maggibee, you’re not Technophobia but you may be Zenophobia.

Ah well, see you next week, world.




14 thoughts on “Changing my name

  1. I had to laugh at your post about the meditation. I’m not into all that “breathe” stuff either, and I LOVED my CZT training. If you are doing Zentangle correctly, you will wind up in that “Zen” spot. The idea is to be mindful, to shut out the world, and to relax and enjoy. Your work is lovely; do go for the CZT training!

  2. It can be useful, on the Internet, to have another name. I became YT back in the ’80’s and it stuck. That was long before the Internet, but now I use it for most things online. Wonderful pictures, that fish is fantastic, you have been busy. It is hard tangling on black I find, I have to admit I am more inclined to laugh when meditation of any sort is involved, but I liked the tapes as I felt I got a feel of what the zen side of tangling might be like.

  3. All your work is lovely, as always. Your comment about names reminds me of the French who sometimes name their children after the Saint on the day they’re born. This works well until you have something non-Sainty pop up and you get named fete de mere…not so good. Have you listened to what people talk about (usually as a one way conversation on their cell phones) while standing in the grocery line? Way too much information…maybe only put up on Facebook what you think your Grandmother should see? But then, they don’t listen anyway, so maybe just not something that can get you arrested…

  4. Margaret… I am so glad that you gave the audios a try! Maybe a “relaxed focus” is better terminology for some than meditation! Your tiles look great! I enjoyed all the art you posted! Beautiful! I hope that you will still consider going to CZT Training! It’s a fabulous experience!

  5. I love your sense of humour really made me giggle imaging you at the czt training… I like the nipa I didn’t get around to trying that audio yet!. I did 1&3. 3 is interesting maybe I can’t follow instructions well either! 😉

  6. Maggibee, I hope to meet you IRL when we’re in England next year. However, it sounds like there will be h-ll to pay if I call you Maggibee by accident instead of Margaret. If I’m jet lagged, please go easy on me.

    I’ve always warned people to consider anything put on the internet to be skywriting, including in supposedly personal emails. That said, once I became a “serious” blogger, I became a lot more open about sharing, but I think the “supermarket” rule is a good one—“If you wouldn’t say it in the check out line at the supermarket, don’t say it on the internet”.

    I also have my techno challenges although when I speak to some of my peers (age-wise), I find that I’m more advanced than many. I suspect your son-in-law will be more polite about assisting you with techo-issues than my flesh and blood son is. Even if he deigns to assist me, I have to put up with considerable eye rolling. One thing I did see on Facebook was the advice to respond to this by reminding him that I taught him to use a spoon.

    We also apparently share a lack of an instinctive capacity to become Zenful. Like you, I defaulted to the Betweed option although I hope to challenge myself with the audio option when I have more free time. Of course, I’ve never had more free time in my life than I do now, so that might never happen. I wouldn’t eschew the CZT training just because there is some Zen component to it. First of all, it’s only 2 and a half days, so even if you have ants in your pants, you’ll get through it. I admit that the most fun thing about it for me was meeting nice people from all over the world to whom I did not have to explain my tangling addiction. Also, bring your credit card. They set up an enticing Zentangle store. Plus, after or before the training, you can hop on a train and come visit me in Philadelphia.

    Oh yes, your Betweed tile is suitably betweedy and I actually like the Bijou tiles you did when you rushed through the audio meditation challenges.

  7. Your post brought a big smile on my face!!! I totally agree about FB and I decided not to do that at all. I love the Madhubani art (love, love, LOVE the Escher look of the fishes) and will have a look at that, thanks for sharing. I would love to become a CZT, but I’m waiting for the opportunity to do it in Europe one day, because I don’t want to be in an airplane.
    You did very well, great!

  8. I didn’t listen very well either :-), but your results are still nice! They may be different, but you tangled with your heart, that’s the most important thing!

  9. As usual, you had me sniggering when I read your words and admiring when I saw your art. I rushed at the audio in a most unZen way but did actually managed to go at Holly’s pace throughout. And I liked what I did. I spend so much of my time rushing around – I’m the only one who does, mind you, as life in Andalucia really does go much slower than the pace I was used to in England – that to sit for about 15 minutes drawing, was a treat.
    I laughed also at your comment on my blog – I think you must have been looking at lots before you wrote the comment on mine!! I’ll say no more.

    I am not keen on fish and don’t think I’d like to draw one but I like yours and the Madhubani flying fish are incredible.

    I love Facebook and post more than my husband is comfortable with but being a long way from family and friends has a lot to do with that. I like being able to keep in touch and am very grateful for such an easy way to do it! I don’t always like the stuff my children post though….


  10. Maggibee, I think you did a great job on your audios. I really like your nipa.

    I can relate with your technological woes. I used to be pretty good with electronics and computers until the last several years. Thankfully both my boys are in the IT field; one lives at home and the other lives nearby, but I still have to “schedule” them to help me. 😉 I hope your technological woes are rectified soon.

  11. Great post – I smiled, I cringed, I can identify in so many ways… What hit me hardest though was that you might not go to CZT training…. so sad! Please reconsider. People go for different reasons but we all get something wonderful out of the experience! For me, I never intended to set up a business, and didn’t intend to teach other than to friends or maybe at the library… Yet it was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had! I loved meeting new friends, and loved, loved, loved meeting and just listening to Rick and Maria and Molly. They are amazing people! I left wanting to share Zentangle with everyone I know. I do teach about 10 small classes a year but what’s more important is the community it has opened for me. I have met new friends, and can now go to CZT only workshops, get – togethers, or meet – ups, and continue to be instructed, motivated, and inspired. I would love to someday go to a second CZT training (and take my husband to become certified this time)!
    The last thing I want to add, is that your tiles are all fabulous! The audio’s are just one way of sharing Zentangle. You are obviously patient when you want to be, and are very creative as shown in your fish and your black tiles… Please don’t be so hard on yourself!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. You know, on my blog I tend to write the thought of the moment, so the following day all my frustration with the Zen thing had dissipated. If I can work up the money, CZT here I come.

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