Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Impossible to say

In 1971, I travelled from Surrey to Glastonbury with a mountaineer friend and we climbed the Tor, took a load of LSD, then spent the night up there with an American who looked like Buffalo Bill with a Japanese girlfriend. We chatted about this, that and other stuff besides before settling down on the hard ground in the ruined tower to sleep.

Around 4.00am, strange figures swarmed over the steep hillside as if they were carrying out a surprise attack. As they approached, we realised that they were men using ferrets to catch rabbits in the pre-dawn darkness.

When the sun came up, we stood with our backs to it and massive rainbows encompassed the top halves of our bodies through the mist, like religious Tibetan paintings. My mountaineer friend said that this was a rare event, normally only experienced at high altitude - as on the Himalayas.

Would I be the same person had I not experienced this? Hard to say. Impossible to say.

Monday, 19 November 2018

A gentle tree

Cradled in a bowl of the roots of an ancient tree, the child waited until she was sure that her mother had noticed before saying, "Look - I am asleep!", as she unconvincingly screwed her eyes tight to feign unconsciousness.

She did not know what danger she was in. It was lucky for her that the tree liked her. Some people never wake up.


A few days ago I was round a friend's house borrowing a tool as his wife was visiting their son in Bristol.

She had no reply when knocking on his door but eventually managed to get in.

She found him apparently asleep on the sofa, but she could not arouse him.

When she felt his pulse there was none. He was stiff and cold. He was obviously dead, so she dialled 999 and waited for the paramedics.

She told me tonight that all she wanted to do was get him warm, as any mother would.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

It's dirty work but someone has to do it

The above photo is of Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama watching the killing of Osama bin Laden live as it happened, from a link to a head-cam worn by one of the special force marines who carried out the raid. Apparently it was very shocking and messy.

President Trump refuses to listen to the recording of Khashoggi being tortured and killed in the Saudi embassy because it might upset him.

I avoid seeing or listening to violent stuff on You Tube or elsewhere too, but I am not the leader of the most powerful country in the world.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Now you see me, now you don't

I am taking each day as it comes at the moment, but I suppose that is all any of us can do.

I used to think that I would mellow with age but, short of a catastrophic brain injury, I don't think that is ever going to happen. I also don't think I will ever be seen as avuncular by my younger friends and relations, but the upside to this is the thought that maybe I still have a bit of a game left to play inside me.

Last week I had a sudden back to black reversion and bought myself a pair of black trousers, a black stormproof jacket and a black watch strap. I put on my black Crockett and Jones boots and went to the pub. Nobody said a thing until an older customer asked if I had been to a funeral. Had I been younger they may have asked if I had been to court.

I go to the pub each weekday in my dirty work clothes, and sometimes I cannot be arsed to change so go in the same rags at weekends. Nobody ever seems to notice, let alone care about falling personal standards.

Quite a few years ago, I said to a friend that I was thinking of getting a suntan that Summer, as I had not exposed my body to the air for quite a few years before that.

He responded by saying, "What possible difference would that make?"

He had obviously surmised my motives as a pathetic attempt to make myself more attractive to the opposite sex, completely discounting the possibility that I may just have wanted to make myself feel slightly better for nothing other than personal reasons.

The one physical thing about me that people comment on is my hair. If I have a haircut, everyone will inform me of the fact as if I had not noticed. It's true that I sometimes forget that I have shorter hair (it being on the top of my head and well out of my peripheral vision), so maybe they are just trying to jog my failing memory.

It's all part of the ageing process I suppose.

Friday, 16 November 2018

A once proud nation

Two and a half years spent in finding out that the E.U. were never going to give us a deal which would be acceptable to the people who voted to leave, and the rest of the world would exploit the country's weakness when it comes to trade deals and exports.

Big businesses like Rolls Royce have to know what they are doing when they begin to stockpile parts in case of log-jamming at the docks, and the European-based food manufacturers here in the U.K. are also stock-piling ingredients so that we can continue to buy Dutch Marmite and Dutch H.P. Sauce.

Theresa May will probably survive right up until we either crash out or sign contracts tying us to trade agreements formulated by the E.U. which severely restrict our freedom to barter with other countries on our own terms. Nobody seriously wants her job because nobody could do it any better than her. It would be impossible. She is a sacrificial goat.

I would have thought that a second referendum could be justified solely on the grounds that the Leave voters will end up with the exact opposite of what they thought they were voting for, but paying an extra £39 billion to get it.

We are scuppered whatever happens. If we change our minds and remain, we will have lost all respect from the rest of the world for the foreseeable future, thanks to the personal ambition of two male politicians.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Simple Simon

For some reason, this little children's poem beloved of my dear departed sister keeps popping into my head tonight. It goes like this:

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
"What have you got there?"
"Pies, you fucking idiot."