Thursday, 30 September 2010

Trials and Tribualtions . . .

Welcome to an Autumn afternoon in the Bijou Penthouse Suite . . .

What a complicated and messy, tangled and troubled day I seem to be having!  I've just had the most ridiculous argument with a lady from the Customer Services staff in Tesco regarding the burgers (see last nights  post); they refused to give me a refund - we are talking the princely sum of £1 here remember! - and instead said I could have something else from the freezer.  This I refused simply because her manner made it obvious that she considered me a fool for picking them up in the first place, a bigger fool for not eating them anyway and possibly the biggest fool ever to climb out of his mother's birth canal for bringing them back to the store and bothering her!

And because I said the situation was "bloody ridiculous" I was told I wouldn't be dealt with as I was swearing at the staff!  I did point out that the comment was directed at the situation not her personally,and that my vocabulary of obscenities far outshone the mere use of  "bloody" as an epithet ; I demanded that the manager be brought . . . 

This duly occurred and, after an interminable discussion regarding whether a freezer could be termed "vegetarian" when only 99% of its contents were in fact meat-free and have been so historically or at least for the last 6 months, and pointing out that I spent a not inconsiderable sum in their shop every day, I was awarded my £1  - but was also told off for swearing at his staff!  There is something about being told off by a Retail Manager barely out of his teens that would appeal to certain sections of society - in fact, many would pay good money to receive such humiliation; sadly, I do not fall into that bracket and the entire proceedings has left a sour taste in my day . . .

I am also without hot water.  My system is prone to airlocks and has finally ceased to perform at all this morning.  I popped  to Town somewhat deshabille in order to purchase a hose to use water to push the air out of the system  ~ I'm sure you are impressed by my plumbing know-how ~ and thus paid £10 for a hose and two ends which I was assured would "fit any tap in the country!"  . . . I am sure, like a gypsy with his crystal balls,  you can see what's coming, can't you? . . .  I now have a hose pipe but no hot water! 

Ah me! So I know have to contact the people who service the boilers and try and arrange an appointment . . . this will, of course, involve a prolonged and probably fruitless wait when I have many things to do today . . .still, Nil Desperandum I suppose . . .

Before I go and deal with all things plumbum, I'd like to use this opportunity to thank you for reading my drivel and also to encourage you to write an email asap to Mr Chris Huhne who is about to grant drilling permission to those nasty Chevron Oil people who seem intent on destroying us all!  
The link you need is and, as my dear friends at Tesco would have it "Every Little Helps!" so add your voice if you feel able!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Post Script: Wigan and Leigh Housing Centre say that having no hot water is "not an emergency" and the earliest they can fix my problem is Monday Morning;  I asked about washing etc and they said I could "boil a kettle"  - Am I alone in finding that appalling?

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Tales of the Unexciting . . .

Good Evening Dear Hearts ~ how are you?

A brief snippet of something for you before bedtime; nothing too heavy, just a soupçon  . . .

I just returned from my seat of learning and, being hungry and facing a Mother Hubbard situation, I decided to drag myself over to Tesco for some late night comestibles . . . first of all I deliberated deeply about the wisdom of Jacket Potatoes with cheese coleslaw which I  was really tending towards until I wondered past the vegetarian section of the freezers ~ yes, boys and girls I freely admit to being one . . . a vegetarian that is, not a freezer!
Any old how, I noticed there was an offer on "Free From Beef burgers" - two quarter pounders for £1 and so I thought "well, may as well try them" ( You see I think in italics!)  and so I skipped merrily to the till, paid and wended my weary way home.

I picked up the pack to begin the not very difficult cheffing process  and when I looked closely at the ingredients: 82% Irish Beef!  They are, indeed Free From: Gluten, Cardboard, Old Bicycles and Radioactive Elements but not, it seems, Beef!  To say I was livid would be perhaps a tad of an understatement; why were these things in the vegetarian section?

Anyhow, I had a cheese sandwich and am sitting in a semi-sulk but talking myself round into a more positive frame of mind: and tomorrow they are going back and I shall play merry hell - in a very kind and caring kind of Buddhist way of course . . .

You will be glad to know that I had a very pleasant evening with my chums and  spent much time talking about Ladybird books - again! I think this fixation probably stems from feelings of rejection as a child or the fact that I'm mentally fast approaching eleven years of age . . . whichever I care not a row of buttons . . . nature alone is beautiful and the starfish this evening in the dark deep ocean above certainly proved my point!

You scamps really should be climbing up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire and I am guilty of encouraging you to stay by the fire and listen to the grown ups speak  - forgive me!  So hie and away and

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Philosophy and Umbrellas Part One: The Mind - Body Dichotomy

Good Yawning Everyone!

And it appears that, despite my best efforts to slow down time by spinning in a counter clockwise direction*, that morning has rudely arrived and with it another day of business to attend to; at least today it involves being off to Ivy-Covered-Land and the Halls of Learning I know so well . . . 

I can hear beyond my curtains the hissing of traffic which tends to suggest that today is a wet one which, viewed positively, can have some interesting implications in an olfactory sense that can, in turn, conjure up more images and thoughts to find form verbally, yet in a written format, for you good people . . . it's an interesting philosophical conundrum; when I write what am I doing? I am, of course writing, but I'm actually primarily thinking . . . the thought occurs and I give it form; I don't verbalise it as such because, for me at least, this process is a silent one, but I bring it into an existence independent of my own thought processes and endow it with properties so that it moves from my mind into yours via this electronic medium . . . it is astounding how stimuli tickle our sensory organs and somehow produce thoughts from seemingly nowhere; the story of how the aroma of a Madeleine biscuit caused a certain Monsieur P to write seven volumes of recollections is too well known to go into here . . . thankfully for you, dear guests, I shall be less prolific, if only because of the limitations of that ole devil called Time . . .

I have just drawn my curtains - or as dear old Spike would have it " Inside the room the curtains were drawn - but the furniture was real " - and confirmed that, in fact, it is a very wet day; in an effort to maintain positivity I shan't dwell on some of the more unpleasant practicalities that this discovery entails ~ I am thinking of wet, windy platforms late into the night time hours ~ but, hey ho! It may well have stopped raining by then . . . is this positivity or self-deception? Hmm . . .umbrella and gumboots me thinks ~ or galoshes at the very least!

Ah well, those few feeble words have taken the best part of an hour to write and so I must away to the woods or down to the sea again or, more likely given my location, the bathroom to make myself beautiful and face the day . . .  I may see you lovelies after supper if you're very good; stay out of trouble please and come back safely later . . .

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


*The theory that, as you spin counterclockwise, with each turn you rob the planet of angular momentum and slow its spin by the smallest amount, thus lengthening the night and pushing back the arrival of dawn.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Early Morning Morrels

Good Morning My Dearest Ones!

And here to prove to your sleepy little heads just how very special you all are to me ~ as if such proof were necessary ~ is a wee tiny little extra post to make you aware of something rather special and also set your tums rumbling like Autumn thunder or the opening of a rather inconveniently cumbersome tomb door on Easter Sunday . . .

I am rather pleased to be able to point you in the direction of an exceptionally fine blog which elicits a definite salival response from me that is more Pavlova than Pavlov . . . the direction being towards the bottom right of this page but, as it is rather early and you are such sleepy darlings,  I shall announce it here and allow you to save your tired index fingers the effort of such scurrilous scrolling . . . 

I refer, of course to a culinary concoction that comes with the rattle of pan  from the pen of the delightful  Sybarite  who was also kind enough to provide my poor verbal repast with an undeserved Michelin star or two! She subtitles her offering as "Exploring the Pleasures of Life" and says 
"Welcome to my world, where you're as likely to read about sex and sexual politics as about food or literature or clothes, where you can laugh at the foibles of a football fan or the juddering steps of my philosophical peregrination."

So a little morsel of something for everyone I would suspect, non?  Anyhow, please do pop over and sample the menu . . . but don't forget to come back to my ever - open arms for a cuddle or two along with some good old fashioned stodge, will you?

So off you go about your day; be good and be kind and, most of all be positive!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Monday, 27 September 2010

Warp, Weft and Tanglements

Good Evening once more Dear Friends and welcome to all that is blog in this little bit of the virtual universe . . .

I should say at this juncture in the narrative that, in order to avoid any undue stress or tension and to chase away those demons of doubt that are lurking unbidden in the corners of your consciousness, that I do, in fact, feel somewhat better today - not exactly fashioned in a Bristol way or even of the A1(M) variety but nonetheless slightly more human and of this world . . .  thank you for asking . . . oh, you didn't? Oh . . . well . . . now you know anyway!

The day in it's length was spent mainly with the Old Duchess who seemed to be in a mood to chat and reminisce over tea and cakes - which, of course, suits me to a T;  we also did some bits of shopping for two major life events occurring tomorrow . . .

The first, which I shall mention only in passing and in a discreet undertone in case she can hear, is the good Dr T's birthday; it will undoubtedly be a quiet affair as is her want, and further reference to it shall cease forthwith . . . or else!

The second is the retirement of Sister Cate who, after more years of servitude to ER II than she or I care to remember, has finally cast aside the shackles and is now free to live a life of her own design and will; unlike most of her Royal Madge's clan, she leaves with not very many regrets or indeed the kind of obscene remuneration normally showered  - in a very golden sense -  on those in close proximity to the personage . . . as her very own and personal Life Coach I shall of course be encouraging her to grasp life by the throat and shake it until it slips into apoplexy and then set about the slumbering beast with boots hobnail and fleeting . . .however, we shall see and I will be sure of keeping you all up to date with her latest adventures . . . the Valley of the Kings? Shhh!  It's just a rumour . . . yet! But as that great Sagess of the Day known as Doris said "What will be, will be!" and that is undoubtedly so  . . . In a swift aside, I wonder if any of you remember that the said DD was the mother of Ron and Russel Mael a.k.a Sparks . . . you do? . . . Oh . . . well . . . you must be older than you seem . . .

And so this particular piece of Life's Rich Tapestry is coming to an end and is left on its stretcher  - at least for today.  I was actually going to do a long philosophical piece on how apt that phrase is; a tapestry representing a beautiful picture on the face of it but on the other side is a mass of tangles and knots . . . very profound!  But anyway, you've escaped that particular gobbet of wisdom and are saved by the tolling of the iron bell far away across the fields . . . but before I go, I'm sorry to say that I can sense another useless piece of info coming up, folks - must've been something I ate . . .  If I were to say the word "Tapestry" to you and ask for a famous example, you would probably respond with one that is, in fact, embroidery  - amazing,eh!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Speak Roughly to your Little Boy . . . *

Hello dear ones!

It is Sunday and yours truly feels definitely en vertu de la météo due to an increasingly runny nose, stingy eyes and incredible sneezing fits! I  await the disparaging chorus of "Man Flu!" from the ladies in the room - although they of all people should be aware of just what a little soldier I am and how, despite my ailments I carry on regardless . . . I could be in my sick bed but here I sit, at my pc,  tissue in hand, gushing forth just for you!

Whether it's the weather or whether it's me I know not, but I have been very chilly today; I popped out at 5am with Sal for a tinkle and a trot and it was positively Siberian! I have more layers than poor old Per Gynt's favourite philosophical vegetable and still the cold creeps and seeps into my aching old bones . . . ah me!

I had a meeting planned at a god forsaken hour in Bury tomorrow which I am cancelling; I am probably rabidly infectious and don't want to wipe out the NHS in Bury in one fell swoop with one full sneeze . . . I am still expecting to drag what's left of my body around the corner from supper at Academia Towers to the Brocket to meet with S&A, though how long I will stay - in fact, how long they will want to have me near them - is up for grabs!

Between my blurred vision and  raucous sneezing I managed to see the Grand Prix which was,  sadly, less than exciting . . . the circuit looked not unlike an indoor Karting rink  and Lewis H obviously thought he was on the Dodgems - two races in a row that he has failed to finish by committing what other, less charitable folk, could term silly mistakes . . . So Alonso and Vettel  - who I cherish with less affection than Cannon and Ball - got a good 1 - 2 with Webber - who I am also less than fond of  but who drove very well indeed, gaining third, just pipping Buttons who was busy helping Cinders get ready for the Ball for most of the race!  Actually, to be fair I think Jenson drove very well also, with the odds against him.

Goodness me!  Sports reporting - whatever next? Is there no end (or even beginning) to this man's talents? A vexing question indeed, dear readers, and one I don't advise you to trouble yourselves with unduly; rather,  spend the evening in quiet contemplation and present 3000 words by the morn on my desk upon the subject of "The Inside of a Ping Pong Ball" - see? all those years at the Grammar school were not wasted after all! 

I notice by the sundial in my room that it is fast approaching my time of departure - not the final one I hope, rather my soiree at  les tours du monde universitaire . . . I do so like French - an interesting tongue, don't you think?

Anyhow, mes amis du blog

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

* "Speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes
He only does it to annoy because he knows it teases!"
Lewis Carroll

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Evemen in the Village *

'Tis evening in the village; the fields are still and the tired men and dogs all gone to rest and only the the white sheep are sometimes seen, cross and recross the strips of moon-blanched green . . . well, nearly . . . it isn't quite like that in this particular part of the village-without, as it were, in the theatreland area of the town!

Any old how, welcome all the same to Saturday evening's rendition of my thoughts to a possibly recognisable tune and a quick review of what's been happening today . . .

First off, dear old Roxy and her kitten Slick have packed up their lack of troubles in their old Kitty bag and left Academia Towers to live with Cheryl and Tim in a double loft apartment in the heart of Manchester.  The couple, who originally came from across the pond and maybe north a bit, are over the moon to have the two wee ones in their home - I'm sure Les Chats will soon put their mark on the place  - and on C & T too!  Anyhow, I wish them Bon Voyage and an exciting vie de la ville !

I spent the afternoon, as is usual on Saturday, with the Old Duchess and Sister Cate, talking of this and that whilst the sun was deceptively bright in a decidedly chilly landscape - not that hypothermia  is ever an issue in the OD's stately pile where the central inferno normally ensures that the wallpaper smolders regularly and only plants used to living in lava fields survive!  However, the usualness of Saturdays received a bit of a shock  when I discovered that my Open University degree of madness expects me to spend  some Saturdays in tutorials and day schools - the first I had heard of it  - and so soon I shall be lumbering up Mount Pleasant in Liverpool and toddling down the Oxford Rd in Manchester on those Saturdays, being especially careful not to wonder into Cornerhouse by mistake when attending the latter! Being an organised sort I put all my dates etc on Outlook - and then decided that that was a particularly bad move . . . I don't appear to have a free day until Michaelmas Tuesday 2018!

However, this Jack would be even more than usually dull if t'were all work and no play, so to remedy that, and to do some long over due up-catching, I'm off to visit friends Sam and Andrew (in order to inject some tension here I can reveal that one of them is female - but I won't say who!) on Sunday evening, at that most commodious example of a local hostile-ry, the Brocket.  I shall, of course, only be partaking of the most innocent of beverages - maybe even tea!  My mind is already wandering through the sweets menu to try and conjure up lemon cheesecake ~ will it be so?  We shall have to wait and see!

And that is more or less that; a brief m+m (see blog entry for 20th September for an explanation) with SallyDog and then I think an early night in an attempt to regain the youthfulness I once possessed . . . hmmm! maybe not!  

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


* The title of a poem written in the Dorset Dialect by WIlliam Barnes 1844

Friday, 24 September 2010

Journeying in an Autumn Night

Hello my dear friends ~ how are you all on this Autumnal eve ?

It's been a long day, travelling and unravelling, time and time again but now I'm here at my desk with the requisite cup of tea - paradoxically a Morning Detox tisane - about to burst forth with a stream of nearly unconsciousness for your edification and amusement  . . . so pull your chair a little closer to the great log fire and listen to tales that stand, like black rocks against the cold dark sea of the night, hardly visible except where they eclipse the light of a single star, darker than the wings of night birds who fly who knows where or why  . . .

Hmmm . . . I came over all Postgate there; anyhow it's Friday night and for some the weekend has started and for others it has yet to begin . . . For me, it's a relief to have the thanks of my clients hung like scalps on my belt  - it's always tremendously reassuring to hear that they think the sessions are doing some good! But heady carousing and celebratory giddy-horsing is a thing of the past for yours truly who sits, monk-like, scratching at the virtual vellum and illuminating the manuscript of his day.

And it has been a good one really, although it started not particularly well, with trains and trams just missed; my first instinct was to blame, for example, the group of girls at the station each paying for their individual tickets with cards instead of paying for them all with one card and sorting it later, thus allowing me to catch my train . . . and then I thought well, maybe if I'd got off my derriere a little sooner and got to the station earlier it wouldn't have been a problem . . . and then I thought but what is the problem? I got to where I had to be in time - okay a little more rushed than I would have liked but I got there . . . the important thing for me was not to project the blame onto someone else, or spend the day gritting my teeth and being cross about it . . .  accept it as it is, and live it in the now.  So , it's a valuable lesson that I try to re-teach myself each day - I find it makes life a whole less stressful! 

I met my three wonderful clients and walked with them for an hour or so each . . . the paths we took were different and the route led to a different destination each time; it's not always a smooth path or one that you expect to take but it's a journey we undertake each week and I am learning so very much from them - much of it about myself . . .

And then it was home amidst the hustle, bustle and piquancy that only exists in crowded trains - I seem to be on my favourite subject again! - and back to the Wigwam that sat shivering in the dusk beyond the station lights . . .and here I am and so, it seems are you!

I have said in a couple of these blogs that I really welcome your comments and suggestions - please feel free to make them  either as comments here or on Twitter or Facebook or in an email to me . . . I want to know your thoughts and, like Alexander Selkirk before me, I seek eagerly the footprints in the sand and wonder at their owner . . .

I have said, I think enough for tonight; may you all have a peaceful one and may the wonder of your dreams only be surpassed by the wonder of your waking day tomorrow

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Death in the Afternoon . . . with Tea and Cakes !

Good Afternoon, it's just after four, would you like some tea?

I don't normally seem to be here at my desk on Thursday afternoons, though I can't think why; I suppose I sometimes am indulging in a spot of retail therapy or  slumped amid the crumbs and wreckage of yet another Scicilian Lemon Cheesecake in Nero with sister Cate . . . however, today finds me relatively free and with just enough time to write today's sermon before the events of the evening unfold . . .

I'm off to the Museum of Wigan Life which, this evening, is hosting a talk on the Victorian Way of Death; I know I briefly mentioned this the other day, but it is something that fascinates me.  
Quite simply, we no longer consider death as a part of life anymore; when someone dies the experts step in and the entire process  becomes "professionalised"; we  rarely have any "hands on" involvement with the body and, at the most, will probably visit the chapel of rest to view it once all the cleaning, preparing and what not have been completed.  Death has been taken out of our hands and also out of our lives and so, when it does occur, it has even more of an impact than it used to have back in the days of previous generations.

Quite a few of the people I deal with in bereavement counselling suffer from what is termed "complicated grief" and probably one of the most common causes of this is when a child or young person dies before their parents.  It was not always so; in my own family my father was the oldest of 11 children, 4 of whom died before the age of 3 and one who died aged 18. 

More often than not the bodies were laid out in the "parlour" as opposed to the "living" room and sometimes, especially with children in the more wealthy families, were photographed with the surviving siblings as you can see in this typical Victorian family grouping.  I suppose to our sensibilities this can seem a little gruesome or ghoulish but it was, I suppose, one way of remembering the child and allowing it still to have a place in the family.

Anyhow, that's were I shall be this evening;  I do hope this hasn't upset or disturbed any of you, dearest readers,  if it has I assure you it was done inadvertently. 

So what else is happening? Well, as tomorrow is Friday I'm off to Bury again to see my clients and then home in the gloaming for food with Dr T.  I think this week I shall prepare some of my famous vegetable pasties with cheese pastry before I go and then we can binge upon my return.

The back is still playing up and causing me to wince and twitch as though I'm dancing the Watusi ~ what? you don't remember that? Ah me, what callow youths and youthesses I have for an audience; gather round children and feast upon my words of wisdom . . .

 It was a popular dance in the '60's ; In the classic Watusi, the dancer is almost stationary with knees slightly bent, although may advance forward and back by one or two small rhythmic paces. The arms, with palms flat in line, are held almost straight, alternately flail up and down in the vertical. The head is kept in line with the upper torso but may bob slightly to accentuate the arm flailing. The dance, which became popular in the American surf/beach sub-culture of 1960s, may be enhanced if one imagines that one's feet are on sand
I should point out that the above description is purloined entirely from Wikipedia ( that great repository of all that is good, great and wildly inaccurate!) and that, personally, the only experience I have of the dance is from a reference made to it in "Hunting Tigers" by the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band  ~ there goes my street cred don't you think?

And then the weekend is upon us once again . . . I wonder what the weather holds in store for us?  My journey home last night was made all the more pleasant by me mistaking a nice afternoon for a similar evening.  By the time I returned from the train I was soaked to the skin as, believe it or not, t shirts are not waterproof! I suppose I really should have listened to the weather forecast . . .and into my head pops another little fact I gleaned from  "Therapy" by David Lodge, the book I was reading the other day . . .

I am a great fan of the shipping forecast on Radio 4 and love to listen to the mantra of the names; Viking, Biscay, Fisher, Shannon,North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth and so on . . .  one of the names Finisterre (now changed to Fitzroy in honour of the founder of the Met Office) is mentioned in the David Lodge book  and is the finishing point for pilgrims on the Way of St James in Galicia, Spain.  However, what  I didn't twig is that its name actually means End of the World (Finis Terre)  ~ How wonderful is that?  You can imagine the ancients looking out at the Mare Tenebrosum or Dark Sea and imagining that this was literally the last place on Earth!

And now I see my wanderings and wonderings have lead me here to the end of time - well, at least for today!  I must put this blog to bed and away to the Museum . . .

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Journals, Jung and Jam . . .

Good Morning Good People!

Here's a lovely little example of what old CJ termed synchronicity that I noticed when I was reading in bed after posting last nights blog; my current read is "Therapy" by David Lodge, which is the tale of a middle aged scriptwriter and his quest for a life filled with more than success and a painful knee, which is written in the form of a journal.  I noticed I was reading his entry for September 21  which concerns itself with the act of writing and the difference between writing a screenplay and a novel:

"September 21: When you write something in a book, it all belongs to the past, even if you write 'I am writing, I am writing' over and over again, the  act of writing is finished with, out of sight, by the time somebody reads the result.
A Journal is halfway between the two.  It's like talking silently to yourself.  It's a mixture of monologue and autobiography.  You can write a lot of stuff in the present tense, like 'The plane trees outside my window are in leaf . . .' But really that's just a fancier way of saying, 'I am writing, I am writing . . .'   It's not getting you anywhere, it's not telling a story.  As soon as you start to tell a story in writing, whether it's a fictional story or the story of your life, it's natural to use the past tense, because you are describing things that have already happened.
The special thing about a journal is that the writer doesn't know where his story is going, he doesn't know how it ends; so it seems to exist in a kind of continuous present, even though the individual incidents may be described in the past tense. Novels are all written after the fact, or they pretend to be.  The novelist may not have known how his story would end when he began it, but it always looks as if he did to the reader."
David Lodge "Therapy" (1995)

If you substitute "Blog" for "Journal" it is scarily descriptive of the process I go through each day with these humble offerings; I sit down at a blank screen and just begin without any real idea of the direction it will take or the subjects I will cover in this slice of the 'continuous present' or, indeed , the connections that exist.

If you look up "synchronicity" you will find that the idea was postulated by Jung in the 1920's and published in the the 1950's and one of Carl Gustav's favourite quotes to demonstrate his concept is taken from "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll:

"It's very good jam,' said the Queen.
'Well, I don't want any TO-DAY, at any rate.'
'You couldn't have it if you DID want it,' the Queen said. 'The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday--but never jam to-day.'
'It MUST come sometimes to "jam to-day,"' Alice objected.
'No, it can't,' said the Queen. 'It's jam every OTHER day: to-day isn't any OTHER day, you know.'
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first--'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'--but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked."
 (Lewis Carroll Through the Looking Glass 1871)

(Those of you unfortunate enough to know me well will see at one the synchronatic significance; I am a dedicated Carrollian and have been since the age of 5, and I have also spent quite some time in the past couple of years reading, and thanks to Alf T, appreciating Jung.)

So, on the 21st September I read an account of a journal written on the 21st September regarding writing a journal just after I had written my journal . . . 

Anyhow, maybe that's enough academic thought for so early in the morning - it is a little after 6 am as I write - although I suppose you could consider it a benefit to get thinking over and done with  as early as possible in order to enjoy the day . . . no? well, just a thought!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

All Men Think All Men Mortal But Themselves...

A very mellow and misty welcome to the fruitfulness of this room;
it's Autumn and the wheel turns inexorably on towards . . . well, we know not what!  

One of my favourite Autumn images from 12th September 2008
This is the 51st First Day of Autumn I've experienced . . . fifty-one times my world has changed colour and a stillness descended . . . because I think there is a stillness about Autumn that is different to the stillness of the other seasons . . . there's a kind of anticipation . . . and I suppose that, at my stage of life, I feel that anticipation too . . .
It's strange how most of us see our lives in a linear way; we start at birth or just before and end at death, A to B . . . but yet, we witness life in a circular way; the seasons, the days . . . maybe that's why a lot of us get a great deal of pleasure from growing plants or gardening or being out in nature; it reassures us perhaps that life is circular . . .

As a child I used to wonder what a caterpillar thought when it changed into a moth or a butterfly; what did it think when it began to dissolve into a soup and reform into a different creature altogether? There is, of course the famous "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly . . ." but I hadn't heard of that at the time and think I just imagined myself dissolving from the toes up . . . curious boy! 

And so what has the day been like for you, dear readers? This isn't purely a rhetorical question; you can write in and answer . . . it can get a tad lonely spouting like a font and it would be so nice to here your opinions . . . yes? Well, in the absence of a reply I suppose I could regale you with the kind of day I've had . . . it has been interesting; quite a lot of things have gone wrong from losing keys to having words with a certain someone who should know better than to imagine she can re-arrange the contents of the rubbish bag around the BPS and meet  with my unstinting approval . . . I mention no names of course; suffice it to say we are the best of friends and she is in a waggy mood again . . . 'nuff said!

It has been an opportunity however, to try and be positive and dismiss the negative thoughts . . . and, do you know, I think it works! I am, however, very tired and still a creaking gate so I think I shall repair to my cot and read some others words and maybe sleep until a reasonable hour . . . 6 am maybe?  

Anyhow, until tomorrow I shall leave you with an excerpt from "Night Thoughts" by  Edward Young* and hope it resounds somewhat with you as it does with me . . .

At thirty, man suspects himself a fool,
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve,
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.
And why? because he thinks himself immortal,
All men think all men mortal but themselves.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

* Available from

Awe bleteþ after lomb . . . Lhouþ after calue cu. . .

Evening All and welcome to the last few minutes of Summer 2010 !  You can tell it's still summer by the way that the rain only wets you instead of freezing and stinging you at one and the same time . . .

So, despite the title of today's offering,  tomorrow will be Autumn; I love the seasons;  I love the changes they bring about and the traditions that run through them all ~ as anyone who has had the misfortune to listen to me for any length of time will testify I really should have been born and lived my life in one of the Ladybird " What to look for in Spring . . . Summer" etc series of books; they still sit on my shelf and remain some of my very favourite books ever!

I especially like those with illustrations by CF Tunnicliffe who also painted birds really well . . . I've often wanted to paint but possess no talent whatsoever in that field; I shall have to make do with mere words and we all know what they are worth in comparison to a picture . . .

So Autumn is nearly upon us; the hedgerows are heavy with berries  and according to the ancient saws that normally foretells of a harsh Winter . . . brrr! Actually, I like Winter too! I love all the seasons especially when they perform as expected . . .

Tomorrow I am doing a couple of unexpected running repairs on Dr T's pied à terre before guests arrive in the evening to take a look at Roxy the cat and her kitten Slick; new homes are sought and the new prospective parents face a grueling time before they are considered!  They will, however be eating lentil soup as opposed to gruel  ~ you can only take a thing so far! Along with those there is also the small matter of like mother like daughter PC issues with an old lap top that really, were it equine, would be staring imminent disposal in the face!

And that is about it really; the back is still causing me anguish but in terms of what some people have to suffer it is, of course, a mere bagatelle  . . . and so with thoughts for them and for you, wherever you are and whoever your dreams contain I'll say

'til next time

Be Seeing You

Monday, 20 September 2010

Qu'ils mangent de la brioche . . . *

Hello Again Dear Readers, and what kind of a Sunday have you had?

First of all apologies for missing the deadline; in mitigation I have been on drugs.  I'm in quite a huge and spikey amount of back pain and the vast amount of co-codamols  rattling against my ribs sound like a frenetic pair of castanets or, to use one of my more colourful expressions, are very reminiscent of a pair of skeletons indulging in an inordinately noisy and robust bout of genitalic stimulation via phallengetic motion whilst standing in a biscuit tin; anyhow, which ever euphemism you prefer, the upshot is that instead of writing this I was in a De Quincy like state waiting for Nobel Anne to kiss me good night and allow me at last to leave this Vale of Tears behind . . . but fear not, I have returned and so here is the story so far . . .

As I mentioned before I spent my day south of the border down Ruabon way and very nice it was too; P looked  very well after her op and, following a helping of Dr T's hummus (with a garlic aroma that could level Tacoma - Thank you Frankie Z!) I set about providing emergency care to P's ailing PC . . . I won't mention the 298 infections I found but have persuaded her that subscribing to Norton is . . . well, let's say there are better ways to waste money - and ones that are more fun too!

The weather on the way there was terrible and I feared the usual; whenever I visit Wales, Scotland or the Lake District I am immediately met by a deluge; however I was pleasantly surprised today which only added to the charm of the day.  A brief call to the Old Duchess confirmed that indeed the Wigwam was wilting under weight of rain so I counted myself quite fortunate.
And when, upon my return,  Sal and I went out for our m+m (meander and micturition - we both do the former; I leave the latter to her!) our own normally sweet  Asland was strutting, blustering and gushing like a priapic youth - the level near the Environment Agency measuring station was 9 (feet?) and lapping at the red 1  - whatever that means . . . probably that the proposed new housing down river - which they are chosing to build on the flood plain - is presumably destined to end up even further downstream!

And so what does the coming week afford us - other than the opportunity to be better  personages and more positive people than before?  I have a luncheon with the Duchess as usual tomorrow, plus the option of being a real swot and getting some smaller pieces of work in before deadline - an innovation that I fear will never really catch on - Wednesday is college, Thursday I have a rather fine evening to look forward to with a lecture about the Victorian Way of Death, and their attitude to it - something which fascinates me . . . death really was a part of life then and that is something that we have lost these days - to our cost! Hence my work in bereavement counselling . . . hmmm! Anyhow, that's taking place at the Museum of Wigan Life and as a bonus  not only is information provided but also tea and cake   - yum!

And so, with that thought lingering at the corner of my mouth like the forgotten remnant of a Sally Lunn  I shall wish you a very good night indeed, packed to the gills with sweet dreams and positively bursting with those things that make you smile wherever you are and whenever it is . . .

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


* This would get the bells and whistles going on QI !

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Hours . . .

Good Morning, Dear Readers, Good Morning! 

And what, you may well ask, is yours truly doing abroad at such a ridiculously early hour on a Saturday after a long and - as witnessed by regular readers of this blog - somewhat similarly defined week, horologically speaking . . . well, my dear true and trusted friends and allies, read on and all, eventually, shall be revealed . . .

After last nights posting I climbed aboard the last train to darksville in the hope of a swift and welcome return to the arms of Morpheus wherein I could dream sweetly of each and every one of you with the innocence of which such dreams are imbued . . . however, it was not to be!  Raucous Folk, with scant regard for the shut-eye of you or I, thought it a particularly good wheeze to spend the wee smalls being big loud . . . and even now, as I write before six and a half of the clock are gone, people are slamming doors; most unneighbourly and the primary reason why, some seven and a half years after first taking up residence in the BPS ~ that's Bijou Penthouse Suite, of course ~ I feel it is time for myself and The Famous Sally Dog to pack our few belongings in our spotted handkerchiefs and seek repose in pastures new . . .

I am, as you may be aware, someone who chooses to spend time in thought, meditation and reflection; a state that flourishes best in tranquility and serenity as I'm sure you will agree.  Sadly however, over the years, these are commodities that, like the habitat of the Orangutan ~ the natural rain forests on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, 98 percent of which could be gone by 2022 ~  are disappearing rapidly  . . . and though  I try to have love for my fellow man and speak with the tongues of men and of angels, my charity is becoming worn thin with the sounding brass and clanging cymbals who surround me . . . it is an exhausting and losing battle . . . there are, dear friends, just too many of them and not enough of me!

And so I find myself, silverback that I am, in a last ditch attempt to squeeze the pips of of pleasure from the day, up before the sun, generally, to begin my day with peace and to share this blessed state with you . . . I shall, however, let you sleep and maybe somehow and by a process of mental osmosis, influence your dreams that you may wake with smiles and love . . . I am reminded of the lovely Phyllis Diller who used to remark that the only way to wake up with a smile on your face was to go to bed with a coat-hanger in your mouth!  I am not quite as cynical as that . . . not yet!

And so what will the day bring?  As you know this weekend I will be sullying my normally pristine footprint with a smattering of hydro-carbons as I am popping off to see the lovely folk at Enterprise who are furnishing me with a car . . . once I have grasped the reins once again I shall be taking out the Old Duchess for a tootle around and about  - I may even take my camera in order to allow you to share the day vicariously via the photographic medium, or large at least, in my case . . .

A rare early morning sun is bouncing off the adobe towers opposite; their heliographing windows sending messages of hope for us despairers beyond the village boundaries . . . in my room the reflected light is really quite beautiful - not quite a balcony over looking the Grand Canal in the Venetian dawn; neither has it transformed my work-a-day Dell into a lusciously skimpy powerbook or slinky iMac but it is a rosebud to be gathered and appreciated for it's improbable beauty and probable brevity.

And with that image fixed firmly in my noodle I shall away and to my business; may your day be blessed and your memory filled with other days when, as Clarissa says:

" I remember one morning getting up at dawn. There was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling. And I, I remember thinking to myself: So this is the beginning of happiness, this is where it starts. And of course there will always be more...never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment, right then."

I also think of people of who would have loved the fragile peace but found it trickled so easily through their fingers . . . Virginia wrote:

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. . . You cannot find peace by avoiding life, Leonard; To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours."

Have a lovely day

'til next time

Be Seeing You!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Children of the Plough . . .

Good Eve good readers, and welcome to another small jiggalorum courtesy of yours truly in the final few fleets of Friday . . .

I spent the day abroad in the sunny environs of Bury and enjoyed, as is my want, the train journey once again . . .Thinking back over my life I do seem to have spent a not inconsiderable amount of time on trains and at stations . . . there is something so beautiful about an empty station on a early spring day with larks rising and small breezes chasing each other through the inevitable Rose Bay Willow Herb ( or Fire weed) at the platform's end . . . Ah! takes me back!

Today I jumped in the train at Manchester and grabbed a spacious window  seat arrangement to write my journal in peace and whatnot . . . when suddenly I found myself joined by two small ones: an urchin and a mudlark.  Of the three remaining seats they managed to sit on each one separately and together about thirty times in two minutes until I leaned over to the the parents seated behind me and asked if they would rather swap seats than be separated any longer from their cherubs . . . and so it came to pass that I was seated behind them and  for one brief moment witnessed something so wonderful . . . 

As the train sped along the girl - aged about three I would say, with golden tousled curls  - knelt up with her face against the window and watched the scenery speed by; she was perfectly lit and reflected and, to be quite honest, very pretty.  The most touching aspect of it was that, for a few moments, she was watching the scenery and was captivated; she forgot her parents and her brother, her mouth opened and closed in amazement, her hand rising to point at things that sped by so quickly and I thought of how quickly she would speed by, how quickly she would grow and change . . . "Golden Lads and girls all must . . ."   I wish you could have seen it too; in any case I offer my poor words and hope they have conveyed a little of it to you . . .

There are wonderful things all around us; it's simply a case of looking for them!  

The Witching Hour approaches and as Matthew would say 

" As the stars come out  and the night-wind brings up the stream murmurs and scents of the infinite sea"

I shall thank you for reading and say

'til next time

Be Seeing You!




Thursday, 16 September 2010

Keep Looking Over Your Shoulder To See What Is There . . .

Good Evening People!

A very short blogsplot this eve as yours truly feels somewhat  under the clouds and is sitting, duvet draped and shivery, passing on his words of wisdom, what a hero!

I remind my self of Alistair Sim in Scrooge, wrapped in his tatty old clothes when Jacob Marley comes to visit: "You're nothing but an undigested bit of meat, blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese . . . there's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!" Fantastic lines and a superb film . . . and that has led me to think of Phantasmagoria by Lewis Carol 

"Oh when I was a Little Ghost, 
A merry time had we; 
Each seated on our favourite post, 
We'd chomp and chaw the buttered toast,
They gave us for our tea!"

I actually used one some of the words from the first Canto ( there are seven in all) in my blog a few days ago; a marvellously sumptuous prize for the first correct person to email me* with a successful answer or even a remotely accurate guess!  

For those of you who would like to read this very wonderful poem may I suggest a visit to where you can download it (and other books and poems) for free in zillions of formats including Kindle and the like as well as good old fashioned plain text.

Tomorrow looms with another jaunty trip to Bury and, after that, the glory that is Wales as I mentioned previously . . . there have been no attempts to translate the Welsh homework yet; you really are wicked scamps!

However, punishment will not be meted out just yet; you have won a short reprieve as I am away to my sickbed and the tender caresses of green tea on my throat, paracetamol on my head and your huge and overwhelming love on my soul;  I am, indeed, in good hands!

'til next time

Be Seeing You!

* I shall attempt to include my email address on my profile - if not please add your answers as comments   ॐ

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Wool gathering . . .

Good evening good people and how the devil are you?

I am back from the East having finally shucked the burden of the last assignment off my shoulders and laid it at the feet of Margaret in the sincere hope of a scrape though pass . . . all my own fault of course; I just let time slip away dreaming and then back to Earth with a clatter . . . oh well, it's a good way of learning I suppose . . .  this evening we got all the deadlines for the forthcoming academic year so I can add them, along with my OU deadlines, onto my Outlook calendar and be totally aware -  months in advance  - by how much I'm going to miss my deadlines  . . .actually I don't miss deadlines, just nearly kill myself in the process of meeting them but that must all change . . .

There is something about train travel that really appeals to me; Tonight, for example, on the way home, I got on the train which was lovely and warm after the blowyness of the platform and sat at a table, wrote in my journal and watched as houses flashed by like TV's broadcasting snapshots of lives into the empty night . . . in the carriage other lives, snatches of conversations and myself mirrored in the darkened window like a ghost . . . it's a wonderful way to relax and pull together all the sheeps wool of thoughts that are snagged on the barbed wire of my intellect, tease out the tangles and hopefully use it to spin a yarn or two here !

And so to supper; what should it be do you think?  I've a strange feeling that some old cheese and stale bread may win the day - either that or drag my wearies to Tesco and buy something nearly edible . . . hmmm  Anyhow, while I ponder that little wrinkle I shall sign off and leave you good people to your own devices*

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

 *batteries not included

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Here's the bridge; now we just need a river . . . *

Good Morning good people and welcome to another wet and windy day - well, up here in t'North at least . . .

I am waiting for the whistle from the kitchen that tells me it's time for tea and toast - I refer to my kettle, of course, not some slavey being careless with a carpet broom - and have a quick look at the BBC news page . . . always a mistake!  

I see from reports that OfSted have decided that there aren't really so many children with special educational needs; it's just that they need "better teaching and pastoral care" . . . One wonders when teachers will finally recognise the fact that they actually know what they are doing and tell the bureaucrats to stop meddling in affairs they know absolutely less than nothing about!  Oh, and the policy of 'inclusion'  - that is, not having separate schools for SEN children - is likely to be reversed . . . how can anyone be expected to do their job properly when the modus operandi is constantly being changed? In some respects the teachers are at fault for not standing up to the Government ever!  Can you imagine doctors being told how to diagnose patents ?  

As dear old Albert E=MC² once said " All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field"

Enough of such stuff as nightmares are made on and let's look forward to the day and what it holds in store . . .

On a scientific front, I can confirm that James Watt certainly had a point when he said that to boil water one should apply some heat . . . thought my kettle was taking an inordinate amount of time . . . that's what reading the news does for you!   However, I am saved from further musing on Kenneth Baker's legacy by the simply delicious delights of Dalfours Orange and Ginger marmalade and a cup of Twining's Morning Detox - thoroughly recommend it!

And so, sticky fingered but happy, I look forward to . . . well, more work really; today is my Verdun in so much as I certainly have a battle on the finish this assignment within the word count; though I hope I can refute General Robert Nivelle's: Ils ne passeront pas ("They shall not pass") with a 80% or so . . . and that, dear readers, is probably that; dull as the weather and infinitely less reliable . . . so, with that in mind and the possibility of another post when I get sick of staring at the screen in a bovine stupor, I shall say

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

* Inspired by "Politicians are the same all over; they promise to build a bridge even where there is no river."        Nikita Khrushchev

Monday, 13 September 2010

What cares these roarers for the name of king?

Hello fellow mariners!   Looking through the porthole it definitely becomes us to fall to't yarely, or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir . . . what a dreadful night!  Sheets of rain sweeping across the vista . . . and in the near distance the sound of those poor folk working through the night to resurface the appropriately named River Way . . . it was thinking of them that lead me to the Bosun and his crew . . . by the way, that is the correct spelling for boatswain used in 1611 !

And so another day draws to a close and what have I achieved? The complete work is somewhat nearer but yet still too far to reach and grasp with certainty . . . maybe tomorrow will provide a bit of  respite from full fathoms five?  It will have to as deadlines are dreadlines and do before you go to bed lines . . .

These are, of course, self inflicted curses; I chose to ignore the outstanding work and gave other work priority and soon more will arrive from this and also my degree course . . . mature student? Well, old one anyway!

Today I met the Duchess and we went to Nero where I met Cap't Oy and played pirates for a while which was fun . . . I noticed in the shop next door they were selling iPads and, even though I would prefer practically any other Apple product, I must admit I was drawn to them . . . you would think I would be over such urges at my age but I do long for an iMac - if any one has one they would like me to re-home and cherish . . .

The rest of the day was spent tapping keys to make nonsense (a bit like this I hear you mutter) and preparing myself mentally and physically for the challenges in store on Wednesday . . . will I ever get a kit-kat out of the machine at college? How long will it take for the green tea to work it's way insidiously through my digestive tract to set my toes tapping to an unheard - and unchained - malady? Ah, me!   

Actually, as I wrote previously, it will be good to see the girls and boys again; to hear all the changes that have taken place over the past few weeks and embrace the future with both arms, pucker up and give a "welcome back" kiss ! 

However, in order to do that with a clear mind I must have my stuff in order which means another early start which in turn means a somewhat abrupt end to this drivel - you lucky people . . .

And so, with our eyes on the distant shore and avoiding the perilous rocks, we bypass the island's grasp and sail into the azure blue where the sun always shines

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Sunday, 12 September 2010

It's a Small World . . . But I Wouldn't Want to Have to Paint It ! *

Welcome to the Wigwam where, at just after four, at the risk of sounding a little like Rupert  at ten to three, thoughts are turning to cakes and tea but certainly no honey, not for me . . .

It has been a long day with an early start; vaguely productive in terms of work begun, expanded, thrown away, begun again and finally left in a state of readiness for when my poor old head and eyes feel less fragile and more able to cope with the complexities demanded of them . . . I feel, as my dear old uncle D used to say, like the Wreck of the Hesperus, only not quite as sea-worthy or Bristol fashion !

Some minutes later and a freshly brewed cup of greenness is imbuing me with some semblance of life . . . still no cake but a couple of good old fashioned digestives should do the trick and then yours truly should be in a fit enough state to continue with the appointed task: to help you forget for a moment, as Mr Lehrer would say, your drab, wretched lives . . . ah! no-one quite wore a bow tie like he did!

And so what has been happening? Work, work and, well to be honest, some Grand Prix too . . . I'm sure that if you are an Italian and consumed with a passion for Ferrari it has been a very grand prix indeed, for some of us however, it was a less than satisfying spectacle - although at 1 hour and 16 minutes or so it was, at least, mercifully brief. . . and looking ahead in the week? Well, more work,naturally, . . . and then on Wednesday a return to my "ivy-covered professors in ivy-covered halls" (Thanks again Mr L) and a re-meet after the Summer break with my fellow travellers, following the map of the human heart on the road to enlightenment!  Also during the week is another meet with the old Duchess and lots more work culminating in a long series of sessions on Friday with my clients in Bury . . .

The weekend following may present a slightly different panoramic view to behold as I get to exercise my little used driving skills and swish the good Dr T down the the Fair Acres of Wales to visit her mum who is having a minor operation tomorrow (Good Luck P!) and who, by Sunday, I hope will be fit enough to cope with an invasion for an hour or two.  I will get a chance to practice my Welsh - well, the one bizarre sentence I have mastered which goes something like "Bore da a chroeso i Ystad Ddiwydiannol Wrecsam"  I feel there should be a small prize for any non-Welsh speakers who can have a stab at translating that - without using Google translator of course, Joanne!

I began this blog on September 1st and it's already the 12th! It is amazing how quickly the tempus fugit especially as one enters the latter stages of riding this particular Big One . . . and I have to say it feels like the Summer whizzed by particularly quickly . . . hence my sudden pre-occupation with finished work I had "loads of time to do" seemingly days ago, ah Lord, what fools these mortals be . . . but then without fools there would be no wisdom!

And on that philosophical blockbuster I think it's time to say

'til next time

Be Seeing You!

* The title is by Steven Wright, a marvellous American comedian who was also responsible for "I was at this restaurant. The sign said "Breakfast Anytime." So I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance."  Wonderful!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Up - Keep Tonight will be for the Collection of the Harmonium . . .

Welcome back, dear friends!  And here it seems, at last,  is the weekend . . .

I've been having a few thoughts about the blog and if any changes could be made to make it better - "write something intelligible" I hear you cry with one voice and, yes, that could be an option, although I am rather encumbered by the thought processes I possess so that could be a bit of a big one for Santa to pull out of his sack, as it were . . .

One idea I had - actually on the bus trolling across the borough to pay my usual Saturday visit to the old Duchess -  was to do a sort of "Thought of the Day" page; you know the idea, a pretty picture and a pithy comment, although I do fear that I am turning into an echo of "The People's Friend" one of the old D's favourite publications with a similar column named "From the Manse Window" . . . the pattering of tiny feats of wisdom seems a somewhat peculiarly Scots thing; I remember many moons ago in Aberdeen ( "A City for Lovers" can you imagine?) there was a particular church with a poster which was changed every so often and which was proudly entitled "The Wayside Pulpit" . . . my favourite posting has stayed with me to this day  " I know God exists - I spoke to him this morning" Wonderful -  and not at all delusional!

So that's one possibility; although as the words and pictures would have to be my creation it does sort of mean that even more time will be spent writing this drivel than already is . . . Hmmm!  Anyhow, as this is a free and democratic blog ( What? Since when?) I shall fling my balls neatly into your tiny court shoe and ask you to submit thoughts for an all new singing and dancing visual experience . . . that should keep you quiet until supper, shouldn't it children?

And so the day has passed from deluge to divine as the clouds now resemble white fluffy meringues on, it has to be said, a rather blue coloured but none the less infinitely edible cheesecake . . . and I am reminded of the lovely scene in "Amelie" when, as a child, she is taking photographs of the clouds and you see them through her eyes; rabbits, teddy bears . . . What? You haven't seen possibly the most beautiful film ever made?  Shame on you, you little scamps! Fie and away to HMV and part with a measly £4 and have the most enjoyable cinematic experience for a long, long time . . . What? Yes, it does have subtitles -  Oh do stop tutting at the back! Try it please, if not for my sake, for the very good of your soul . . .

Talking of time ( who was?) it is fast approaching that part of the day when I am Sold to the Highest Buddha ( Thank you Daevid!) in the sequestered aisles of Mammon otherwise known as Tesco  . . . interestingly enough I just checked the spelling of that as I had it as "mamon" and discovered that with one "m" in Mexican slang, it means something like "insolent little douchebag" - There! aren't you pleased you carried on reading now?

And so I shall leave you to your revelries and let you stumble into the Heart of Saturday Night . . . so be good little tinkers and

'til next time

Be  Seeing You !

Friday, 10 September 2010

Winding Wit like a Watch . . .

Hello dear people and welcome once more to this wee bit of the ether which has been decked out, not with boughs of holly just yet,  but with a virtual and very extensive library and before it, a scroll of tales such that, as Miranda said, would cure deafness !

Writing this blog (such an ugly word; is it an abbreviated biographical log maybe? I really should ask Mr Google . . .)  is both a joy and, yet at the same time, a task akin to that of poor old Sisyphus . . .  I love words and puzzles and when the two combine successfully the game is indeed worth the candle; alas the said flambeau is not only currently burning at both ends but also in danger of spontaneously combusting and leaving your poor wordsmith amid a conflagration that would roast a pig, oink and all!

Yet I shall, for your sake of course, put my shoulder to the boulder and boldly continue up this particular hillside whilst I yet have breath . . .Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain . . .

It is fast approaching the witching hour and once again time is against me - even though I spend my days advising people to "Live in the Now" I still, somewhat hypocritically, have  a huge list of things to accomplish - the dreaded deadlines . . . I suppose that is the nature of the beast and, since I am worshipping at the feet of this particular golden bovine, I can do little but obey . . . anyhow, the work waits, the clients don't, and life tumbles on gathering not moss but squishing me en route!

But enough! Let us not end this night with such a plaintive horn (good advice for us all there!) Let us rejoice and say like Clayton Claw Cleaver Clementine  "I know that my redeemer liveth" from the verdant pastures of St Stephen's Green, out a way to Dalkey and the archives hidden there . . . for there is a trinity that brings forth life and a pint of plain is your only man.

And I have missed the deadline and today is already tomorrow . . . never mind, I'm sure most of you will only read this later on when your circadian rhythms dictate and what will you think? Ah me! What will you think?

The curator and custodian of this worm-holed fabrication has been kind to me -  knowing I loved my books he furnished me from mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom . . . and so here we sit with words tumbling around our ears, whispered by many mouths now silent and to their chorus I add my own poor reed, discordant and inadequate as it is, to blot this page and say

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Not so much erratum, more corrigendum . . .

In order that you, my loyal readers, are not burdened with more misinformation than is absolutely necessary I wish to apologise for and correct an error that appeared in yesterday's posting:

Mrs Cholmondeley ( note the spelling!) is, in fact, a rather fine and large-flowering lavender-blue clematis and not, as I tried to suggest, a rose . . .

It is a rather fine name and is, naturally enough, pronounced "Chumley" which reminds me of all the wonderful ways we have of torturing ourselves with our mother tongue; Mainwaring, Belvoir, Featherstonehaugh -  all such wonderful examples . . .

Anyhow, that is that and with that and no more

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Trains of Thought and Horses for Courses . . .

And so another lovely day dawns . . . well, it did about 6 hours or so ago, since then I've been trying to motivate myself to complete - i.e. begin - an assignment that must be done by next Wednesday . . . It is amazing just how many other things compete for ones time when deadlines loom . . .  ah well, I'm sure the inspiration will come and in the meantime I sit, like dear old Matty Arnold said, "waiting for the spark from heaven to fall" . . .

I had some sleep last night and woke with lower back ache which is making me feel irritable to say the least; whenever I write something like that I am reminded of Arthur Dent's marvelous comment about dying: "I don't want to die now. I've still got a headache. I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it" Glorious words from the pen of one who is undoubtedly enjoying wherever he is . . . anyhow, so to re-cap it's a lovely day and I feel grumpy!

So what to do about it?  Well, I can try intellectualising it but we are of course talking about feelings here and they are notoriously difficult to do that with - slippery little eels of chaps, feelings!

( A Passage of Time)

Hello Dear Readers!  Did you think I had deserted you? Well, I did but only because I had a nasty attack of the Trojans; my pc was knee-deep in horses and the resulting mulch has taken many hours to clean up . . . still, they say it's good for the roses so Mrs Cholmondely will be pleased!

It has, however, taken the wind out of my sails somewhat and broken the already perilously fractured chain of thought and left me adrift on the currents  . . .  Are those rocks I see before my eyes?

Tomorrow begins with a trip along the metal way to see my supervisor in a lovely little villagey green type of place that you would never guess is a stones throw away from the big city; she is a wonder and always makes me feel as though maybe I am doing the right thing . . . she also has a constant supply of green tea which always leaves me standing at the station on the return trip wondering whether the train will have a toilet  or not . . . the station certainly doesn't!  

Whilst on this somewhat inconvenient subject I was at another station today - our very own Wigan North Western - which recently came high on the UK's worst stations I believe . . . anyhow, I was there to meet Dr T as she returned from up north; as the train pulled in to the platform there was an overwhelming smell of drains and toilets!  I would like to assure you that this was nothing to do with the aforementioned Dr but merely a feature of these particular trains; every time I have traveled on one I have had the same experience . . . This is not a feature of any other trans I have traveled on in other parts of the world, I wonder if anyone has brought this to the ears and possibly nose of Mr Branson?

Anyhow, enough of such meanderings; it is time to sleep and dream, perchance.

Hope you all have very sweet dreams and enjoy your tomorrows
'til next time

Be Seeing You