Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Final Day of November . . .

Good Evening everyone . . . and what a cold and cheerless one it is too!

Slippy underfoot, a wind sharp enough to shave a pig and the prospect of more of the white stuff in the coming hours . . . brrr!  Actually, as I have said before, I'm not averse to Winter - although it is still officially Autumn 'til the 21st but the prospect of travelling unravelling is very great indeed; yesterday the trains were slipping on the tracks . . . oh hum!

Tomorrow is, of course December the first and so it will be a white rabbit day though whether we will be able to see them or not is another matter; maybe if they have bright blue eyes?  Anyway, from their snowy burrows they will see me on my way once again to the seat of learning for another evening of being erudite - no, it isn't an adhesive!  One of the most valued members of our little family will be missing tomorrow following an early  Christmas bump in the shower - hope you soon feel better D; we will miss you greatly!

The OD decided not to venture forth today after all due to the biting wind and treacherous conditions underfoot, however I did manage to avoid doing any of the OU work by strict and serious avoidance techniques . . . Today has been a day of sorting out and rationalising my belongings; I do this every so often when the mood takes me, throw out all my clothes and make everything as minimal as possible - including my chances of venturing outdoors as nudity is not only frowned upon but damned dangerous given the sub zero temperatures!  I do find that it helps to clear my mind too; I can't work or think in a cluttered space, there's a very obvious link I believe . . .

I'm also still trying to get the facsimile of the Viola Da Gamba work together; I feel she deserves some recognition even though her published output was tiny and her work not really to modern tastes . . . as soon as it is done I shall publish it and we can have a VG day!

Where does the time go?  It is fast approaching midnight and the deadline looms large and menacing ahead . . . I hope you sleep well and wake into December with joy in your hearts - she is a very fine young lady indeed!

'til next time

Be Seeing You!

ps: Tomorrow is World Aids Day - why not attach a ribbon to your avatar? Details here:  

Monday, 29 November 2010

Field and Fountain, Moor and Mountain . . .

Good Evening Dear Ones;  how are you?

This is going to be a very short posting I'm afraid, as I have been up and about for an inordinately long period of time, most of which I seem to have spent travelling - hence the  title of this piece, though I wasn't following a star but a train timetable!

I can however announce that should I ever choose to follow a star it would have to be one of the same calibre as the lovely Twinklestar who, with a magnitude far exceeding Alpha Centauri, correctly identified yesterdays post title to win a totally exclusive and unavailable anywhere else in the world prize . . . well, yes it will obviously be one of my photographs but you never know, it might come in handy . . . maybe . . . one day!  

The title from "It's a Wonderful Life" by Frank Capra was based on the message Clarence the angel leaves for George (played by Jimmy Stewart) in a copy of Tom Sawyer and is instantly recognisable to all us film-buff softies !  So, Twinklestar, Well Done!

Other than that I have little to say this evening due to my eyelids being heavier than the main riff from Iron Man by those nice Black Sabbath boys but I hope that you will consider popping over to see me tomorrow when I am more myself and less the wreck of the Hesperus!

With fondest greetings and sheepy bleatings 

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Sunday, 28 November 2010

"Remember George, No man is a failure who has friends." *

A very good and unseemly early morning to you all!

I'm afraid the bug-a-boos from the previous post conspired to awaken me at about 5.30am and thus, one hour later, I am sitting at my keyboard, tip-tapping my way into another day and another brief message to you, dear readers, who, I fervently hope, are still well away in the land of dreams rather than the chilly frost-bedecked world which I am currently inhabiting.  In a moment or two I shall see if it  is possible to extract a certain member of the household from deep within my duvet for a matutinal meander amongst the ice floes - although I must admit my keenness is not that, well, keen!

I had an incredibly difficult night's sleep, filled with the kind of dreams that have an almost hallucinogenic quality to them and are so incredibly complex that one feels one must take notes whilst experiencing them just in case there is an exam at the end! To even begin to describe them now would be to descend into madness and that, surely, is not a good way to start the day? No, I didn't think it was!  

So what does the day offer? Besides an extended opportunity to be awake, it should also give me the chance to catch up on the necessary reading and associated whatnots of the OU course - normally I would devote most of Tuesday to this activity but as I am tied up on this Monday in Bury which is normally when I meet up with the Duchess, I have had to dedicate this Tuesday to her; the work has to be done at some point and so the day of rest becomes the day of reading the rest of the stuff . . . I do sometimes wonder at the amount of things I become involved in; but then I suppose there are many worse ways of frittering away one's existence . . . aren't there?

Other aspects of the day include a little light relief when the strain of being learned becomes too much in the form of that most well-established of British Sunday customs - I refer, of course, to retail therapy and the joy of being trampled by folk intent on giving away their life savings in the name of Christmas . . . I think my festive season is going to be a quiet and fairly solitary one this year - excepting of course for my four-legged friend - and I am looking forward to it in someways and yet, in others, it could be quite daunting . . . still, one makes what one must out of the situation and I suppose I can spend the time getting to know my iMac Air better . . . oh wait! That was in the dream wasn't it? How very disappointing . . . ah me!

I do recall one of the happiest Christmases I spent alone was in the mid Seventies when I ate a hearty lunch of beans on toast and watched what seemed to be an afternoon of Abba on TV! In an aberration which has so far failed to respond to any medication, I do consider Abba to be one of the finest pop-music-manufacturing outfits of all time! I'm not sure if you recall but I did spend a goodly amount of my younger years as a muso -  both writing and performing  - and I recall reading about their Polar Studios set up in Stockholm and being intensely jealous; it had something like 64 track quad recording at a time when I was struggling with two-track mono . . . all of this was in the days before digital when music was recorded on tape and physically cut up to edit etc . . . nowadays I would have thought 64 tracks was available free with cornflakes, how the world has changed!

I think that, besides the music which was crafted excellently, the main aspect of Abba that forced itself upon my attention was the underlying sadness; there was that thread of peculiarly Scandinavian angst running through the warp and weft of their world that really appealed to me and, to be honest, appeals to me still . . . hence my joy in all things Scanda from Abba to Bergmann, Ikea to Nesbo and my keenness to visit Jansonn's Moomin Valley on Monday!  

Whoops! a small, cold, wet nose snuffling like a truffle hunter informs me that it is indeed time to force the outer world upon ourselves and venture forth into the great freeze!  I may be gone some time . . . but I hope not!

Brrr!  Despite 3 layers of fleece, scarf hat and gloves it has taken less than twenty minutes  to do a round trip - even Sal was less than brave with the sub-zeros . . . the thermometer outside the kitchen window which is wildly inaccurate and, having a sunny disposition, always errs on the generous side, is currently reading -5c so it may indeed be down to -8 or so . . .  time for tea, toast and Tove for a gentle read before the real work of the day begins!  J hope you have a wonderful day - and if all else fails you can watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and get all slushy and sentimental . . . hmmm!  Not a bad idea!

'til next time

Be Seeing you !

* Let's have a google-free competition! A wonderful prize awaits the first comment correctly identifying this quote! :)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

An Interlude Before Bed

And with our breath held as tight as a drowning man's grip on a straw, 
we wait for the first flakes to fall and fill our lives with silence . . .*

Hmmm . . . still no snow, at least not here . . .  I do like how we wait with expectation  and then when it does arrive complain bitterly! Anyhow, it's time to draw the curtains and curtail the vigil on the night sky and return to the fireside, to the gentle company and the warmth of conversation . . .
Although I must admit I feel I must take my leave of you shortly; the dreaded bug-a-boos that have been following me around seem to be intent on me having an early night.  I feel rather feverish and very headachey, all of which is tiresome and makes for very dull reading!

I hope you enjoy the evening - for it has hardly begun - and that, when you do choose to sleep, it is in a state of perpetual bliss until you wake refreshed and lively - who knows. it may have snowed!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !



* An extract from "Snow" by  Viola Da Gamba

Midnight and Moomins!

My Dear Friends! Please excuse the lateness of the hour and the subsequently incondite nature of tonight's humble offering but I was just about to blow out the candles and fasten the shutters against the possible snowy storms ( or stormy snow)  when I realised that I  had omitted to scribble anything here for you to feast upon . . . a thousand pardons - especially to those readers I know who, even on a Friday night, choose to be abed at a relatively early hour in order to face the following day with vim and vigour!

Today has been a long and cold one; I think I'm also transporting a tiresome little virus or two around with me as I have the 'chilled right through' feeling that I know so well from these impish peevish beings!  The trains and trams were packed with shoppers and on the way back from Manchester I had a couple seated behind me engaged in the most furious argument - well, she was anyway!  It was conducted entirely in some language that could possibly have been Polish but she shouted at the chap all the way from Manchester to Bolton without pausing for breath - seriously! The girl could quite easily take up a new position as a pearl diver  . . she was still broadcasting as they left the train and exited the station!

I do wonder why they make the seats so very narrow on trains . . . the minute someone sits in the next seat one has to play the folded wings game where elbows are pointed at and pinned to the solar plexus . . . most enervating! Anyway, I eventually got home and following a quick saunter - if such an oxymoron is possible - with the pooch it was back home and batten down the hatches . . . a light supper and then to bed until . . . well, as I have said,my memory isn't what it was and so, as midnight grows ever closer, here I sit a scribbling scribe with sniffles!

I really think I will have to leave it there, except to say one little jewel did shine its lustrous twinkle and catch my eye on the dreadful train journey home; I discovered that there is currently an exhibition all about Moominland at the museum in Bury! 

It may not seem much to you, dear readers, but I am a very great fan of Tove Jannson, the creator of the Moomins, and was once lucky enough to receive an email from the great lady herself!  As I have to be back in Bury on Monday for a meeting I shall hie myself away afterwards and enjoy a brief visit to that magical land somewhere in the Gulf of Finland.

She was very prolific and her stories are filled with wonderful psychological insights; one of her offerings for adults ( though in my opinion all of her books should be read by adults!) is Sommerboken or The Summer Book which describes he relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter one summer on an island. It is beautifully written, funny, sad and a very great inspiration!

Anyhow, maybe you can have a look on the shelves for it while I make my way up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire?  

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Frost and Pharaohs . . .

Oh Hello . . . I didn't see you loitering there, welcome! Come and sit by the fire and I'll sort out some tea . . . there's a cruelly sharp wind stalking around out there . . .

Myself and my constant canine companion have  returned from our morning jaunt much chilled and ready to spend a goodly amount of the day in the library watching the weather and wondering whether the snow that was promised will fall . . . I took the camera  - and batteries this time - but the resulting pictures were . . . average I would say, the light was good but the level of frostiness didn't seem up to the standard of the other day, ah well, I may post one or two to give you a feel for it, as it were!

This was a fairly typical example . . . pleasant enough I suppose but not quite what I wanted; I know it's supposed to be very bad form to blame one's tools but the camera, whilst being very nice and lovely to use, is not the very finest quality you can get . . . then again, I'm not the finest photographer you can get either so perhaps we are evenly matched!

It is something I enjoy doing, though I don't often take pictures these days . . . I suppose Sal and I have been doing the same walks more or less all her life and I seem to photographed everything at least ten times already . . . ah me!

Suddenly, as if by magic - though if truth be known it is by the simple expedient of time passing and having other things to do - it is the late afternoon and in a very short while I'm off into town to meet up with Sister Cate . . . we have an evening in Ancient Egypt planned!

Cate is a life-long fan of AE probably since she first saw "Cleopatra" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1965 - that is, she saw them in the film, not saw the film with them - and so this evening's lecture at the Museum of Wigan Life should be very enjoyable indeed!  One sad aspect is that we were due to be joined by a friend who has, unfortunately had a strong and violent reaction against some medication and is unwell -  being a courageous sort she may still make it and fingers are thoroughly crossed!

And so, dear friends, it's time to muffle and glove oneself and venture forth into the very chilly looking without . . .  I hope your evening, whatever it may consist of, is filled with warmth and love.

'til next time

Be Seeing you !

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Deep Amind the Winter Snow . . .

And with a crystal blue sky above and frost beneath our feet another cold and chilly day begins with a shivery walk in the hinterlands . . .

It was while we were out on our perambulation - or should that be peregrination? I think either will suffice  - and I was inwardly cursing myself for having brought the camera without first checked the state of the batteries (page one, dear boy, page one!) that my eureka moment from yesterday gave a brief blip and then flashed out altogether; I can remember some of it, but the beautiful complexity of the whole is lost for the moment . . .

The basic thought was this: I find it fascinating the way we refer to the act of photography;we take pictures; we capture images; it's all very possessive! We are sneaking up on something that is happening in the world in real-time and we shoot it, to make it ours, and freeze it forever . . . it's almost a way of making the world stand still for that split second so that we can make sense of it all maybe . . . and also a way of making those elusive moments ours forever . . . and people . . . and places . . . y'see it reminds me of perhaps how small we sometimes feel; how insecure we really are, despite our bravado; that we perhaps just want one thing to stay the same, forever.

Ah me! Philosophy at this hour, whatever next?  Well, actually,  next is Psychology which is, I suppose, intimately related, and which I need to do this morning before setting off on my trek across to see the frozen waists of the female students   - not really, just a very poor pun! Some of our brave colleagues will be missing this evening due to immovable diary objects and so I am using my irresistible force to record some aspects of the event in order to keep them up to speed . . . it also allows me to try out my Dragon which, in Hagrid's absence, does very nicely I'm told as a transcribing tool so I can present the audio and a written transcription too - marvellous! This is, at least, the theory . . . the practice . . . hmmm!

Anyhow, that is, as of yet, some hours away and first the business of the day positively harrumphs at me to begin it and so I must . . . a small passage of time will probably follow in just a few . . .

 . . . minutes as, indeed, it did as predicted a few hours before . . .  it's now the afternoon and shortly I must away to town and catch my train of thought for the long days journey into night amid what promises to be a snowy landscape . . . hmmm . . . there's always the choice to make on these occasions; does one dress for the weather as it is now or as it may be in a few hours more? I suppose I will have the wait on the platform to contend with so I  better dig out the old Nanook costume and like the good boy scout I never was, be prepared!
Sal and I went for our amble and called into our favourite shop again where some of us received a huge amount of attention from customers and staff alike, whilst other browsed the bookshelves like a shrinking violet - ah me! Celebrity is a old, cold station . . . I'm sure that's a phrase my dear departed father use to use: "Life's an old, cold, station" except I'm hearing it in the curious Wigan / Irish mix as "cowled, owld" whereas a pure Wigan version would be more along the lines of "cowed, owed" all to rhyme with cow, of course!
Whichever way you choose to pronounce it, the temperature is certainly dropping fairly rapidly and sharply as the sun begins to sink - it's certainly a day for zwiebel-look as our German friends name the multi-layered approach to clothing; it means onion-look, by the way - and I will be stocking up on scarves, gloves and unfortunately for any observers, a hat.  

Hats are an issue. I really like hats. I really, really like hats.  But. Well, let's speak plainly here, I look absolutely shocking in a hat, especially a 'beanie' type one which is what I will be wearing today . . . the look is somewhat reminiscent of a depressed turtle, still, as one loses most heat through the bonce and mine is somewhat newly-clipped I am between the devil of fashion and the deep blue sea of necessity, that dear old mother of invention, and so a hat it must be.

And away I must go! I shall leave you now to become onioned - have a very pleasant evening and keep snug and warm

't1l next time

Be Seeing you !

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Have I Got Muse For You?

Good evening dear ones . . . I'm sure it is way past your bedtime but if you are very quiet, well, maybe you can stay up for a wee while longer and listen to one of Papa's amusing tales . . .

Whilst bathing this morning I had a sort of Eureka moment; I was pondering something, I'm not even very sure what any more, probably something to do with evolutionary psychology which has been taking root in what passes for a brain these days . . . anyhow, there I was, navel gazing in the truest sense of the phrase and I suddenly got an absolutely superb subject for today's brief sojourn into the realms of my consciousness . . . I was so pleased to actually have something of worth to lay before you I nearly leapt out in a recreation of the famous Archimedian event, however, instead I lay in a sort of smug somnolent posture and rehearsed the writing in my head.  With water cooling rapidly I decided to be about my business which I duly did; answering emails and checking Twitter, reading, writing . . . and completely and totally forgetting the subject matter that had so briefly flashed before my eyes moments before in the bath!   Ah me!  Inspiration is a flighty muse, she slips through the fingers like gold from a fool and, of course writing is ( to paraphrase dear old Edison) 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration - maybe that's why I spend so long in the bath?

So today has been a catching up kind of day both work-wise and, for another fleeting moment, a little bit socially too . . . Work is all very well but for some members of the household - no names, pack drill or squeaky toy needed - it is a tad, well . . . dull! There are so many things to sniff and chase that, frankly, it's almost an infringement of someone's canine rights and so, work being temporarily becalmed in a sea of wagginess, we set off for a constitutional.  As our route took us past our favourite boutique we decided that it was too good an opportunity to pass up and so broke our journey and popped in to see those twins of evil who are sweetness itself and our favourite fleurs du mal where we passed a brief but enjoyable time, lacking only a cup of tea on my part and a biscuit or twenty on the part of my companion.   It was lovely to see the girls again and we left sadly, but with lots of packages to remember them by.

And then more work which, apart from a brief flirtation with a jacket potato and some rather antediluvian coleslaw, has been my day up to now; the lamps are lit and without the cold night clings to the buildings causing them to shudder in their sleep. It is fast approaching the time when I must leave you to your dreams and prepare for my cross-country jaunt to the seat of learning tomorrow - someone said that it may snow, which would be rather jolly I think, unless of course it is, like the leaves, the wrong type which would cause my locomotion to cease and my isolation in the snowy wilds to commence!

Anyway, we shall see what tomorrow brings - and you, my little narcissi, should be away to your flowery beds and, in the arms of Morpheus, rest your sleepy golden heads . . . so up you go by gilded stair and leave Papa with his books and his thoughts and the deep, sleepy, frosty night

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Moment In The Day . . .

The afternoon slowly falls and fades into the very beginning of evening.  Lamps are lit and pubs and shops take on their cheery glow and beery flow; coats are buttoned fast and faces hidden behind scarfs; the bustle continues apace with the only-to-be-expected seasonal urgency as only thirty-three more occasions exist for us to buy the unwanted for the unwanting, the presents for the past.

Here in the library I sit with my desk lamps lit, the fragrance of  Frankincense and Myrrh oil wafting through the rooms and the world beyond the windows grows further and farther away . . . here in this shallow circle of light, this pool of luminance around which the shadows grow thick and tower like rushes and reeds, this tiny star speck in the universal darkness of the rooms, I sit and think and write for you.

I wonder what you are doing now, in your life, in your place, in your time? And I wonder if, when you read this, you will recall the details of your life at this moment, at 16.12pm on this darkening Monday afternoon and ask yourself if you knew I was thinking about you then? Did you suspect I was? Could you feel my thoughts? As I pick up my cup I find that I mirror your movements; the way I've seen you, in the past, in some unimportant moment; the way your fingers curve and hold the cup and lift it to your lips, with your eyes above the rim, smiling, with your lips pursed to kiss and receive the heated caress; it was an everyday kiss, an everyday moment.

With no room for a slip between.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Day of Rest

Good morning everyone; how lovely to see you here yet again, I feel very privileged to welcome you into the BPS's wee little library . . . sit down and make yourself at home . . .

I was thinking earlier today about the notion of a day of rest and how, in these increasingly secular and less work-ethic orientated times, the phrase has become just that - merely a phrase . . . in those dark days of drudgery where poor people worked ( if they were lucky!) 12 or more hours a day, 6 days a week, the concept was a very real and necessary one but now? Well, I just don't know.  I read a posting from a friend of mine who was complaining that, although it was the 'day of rest', she was up at 6 am, ironing, cleaning, cooking and so forth and, whilst sympathising, I thought about all the generations who have done that every single day of their late childhood and adult lives . . . I believe the average working day for a housewife of the 'lower classes' in the 1920's was somewhere between 18-20 hours; couple that with practically constant pregnancy and appallingly poor diet, living conditions and associated stress and illness and you begin to understand why the life expectancy of such a poor soul was around 40 years . . .

I rarely have a day of rest.  Then again,  I don't really need one.   I manage my days and my time in my own sweet way and not in a 9-5 model; this is something I've always felt the need to do and on the rare occasions when I have been forced into a 'standard' pattern of work, found that both the quality of my life and the work suffered accordingly. Of course such a way of life does have its drawbacks; in some ways one tends to work longer hours  than most but then again I enjoy the hours and rarely consider them onerous . . . a lot of people who I know who do work this way report similar findings.  Maybe when we take the 'work' element out of the process, it removes the burden?  It also can be less than stable financially but then again, as the OD is heard to say on occasions "There are no pockets in shrouds" !

And that , for me, is really the gist of it; we should enjoy what we do and do what we enjoy . . . simplistic and fanciful? Well, yes . . . but I think we all should try to include it in our lives to some degree or other or we end up as wealthy slaves and so poor in spirit.

Having said all of that, I have to admit that there are times when, for example, I'm drooling over a iMac Air and wishing to own one with every fibre of my being, that I wish I did have the money simply to say "Ok I'll have one of those..." but would I have the time and the spirit to use it? Probably not.  I know myself fairly well by now - and am becoming better acquainted day by day - and know the anguish I suffer when something prevents me from being 'free'  - in my opinion, for me, it simply isn't worth it.

So how will you spend your day of rest? I intend to pop along to a lovely store of Swedish origination and look at beautifully simple things  - the products, not the customers! - and maybe purchase a wee small table that is, I'm sure, practically selling itself for £8.99! Then I have more and more OU work to come to terms with - see? It's not all pleasure! - and, of course, she who must be pandered to will require another walk or two before the sun sets prematurely . . .

Although the sky is blue and beautiful I am reminded of a pithy quote from Susan Ertz who remarked that:
"Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

Very true.  I hope that you are spared such a task by continued good weather and that you enjoy the rest of your day of rest.

'til next time
Be Seeing You !

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Guerden in the Garden . . .

Hello again and welcome to Saturday . . . a right blue and somewhat frosty one too it seems which suits me;  I do appreciate real weather as opposed to gloom and rainy gray, it's so much more appropriate for the season don't you think?

The usual plan for the first of the weekend is taking place today with a slight re-arrangement;  sister Cate is off to do shopping first in an out-of-town place and so we are meeting at the stately pile as opposed to Nero; this is something of a disappointment for me as I do really enjoy the Saturday morning tea and cake session - in fact, I may have to fly solo today but instead of the usual cheesecake  - or more recently a poppy and lemon muffin -  have an exquisite mince pie and a cup of green in line with the seasonal meteorology being exhibited . . . we shall see, if my day follows any kind of normalacy it will see me  on the last minute as usual, dashing forth to be the man on the Clapham omnibus or, as our Antipodean cousins would have it, the man on the Bondi tram . . .

Before all that I must attend to my wardrobe and toilette and that of my constant canine companion who, as I write, is snuffle-snoring under my duvet and leaving me a layer of freshly shedded hairs in which to wake tomorrow thus complimenting and completing my early morning silver-back gorilla look  . . . Thanks Sal you are a true fiend  . . . spelling mistake?  No, I don't think I've missed an "r" out . . .

And so a short break and a passage of time to allow me to become, on the surface at least, vaguely human and presentable . . . see you in a wee !

So here I am, back at the BPS  just in time for High Tea which actually consists this evening of some rather fine potato cakes and some Welsh butter . . . so lovely!  The afternoon at the stately pile sped by and now I seem to be settled in for the evening - and it's not even 5 o'clock yet! Ah how the years rampage and tear one's going-outness out of one! I have a couple of old friends I need to see before the festivities begin and I shall look them up in the forthcoming weeks but for tonight I could either watch a film  - dvd of course - or do the not inconsiderable amount of OU work that keeps trying to catch my eye as I sidle past studiously averting my glance  . . . I think, on the whole, the dvd will win hands down - oh fickle student!

As to the question "Art thou weary; art thou languid?"  I am indeed, like Stephen of Mar Saba,  often "sore distressed" (as I am  today) by the early morning din and racket caused by the inconsiderate in the community who deem a full blown argument at 1.30 am to be totally within the bounds of decency; I can function fairly well with sleeplessness until around this time in the late afternoon then I go all flopsy bunny . . .

So I think I may study the inside of my blepharol folds and ponder the mysteries of the universe for a while before the hard work of the evening begins proper . . . I hope you all have a wonderful evening, whatever you end up doing, and hope you can spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourself in terms of possessing a social life and maybe whisper your comments softly so as not to spoil the beauty of my sleep!

'til next time

Be Seeing you !

Friday, 19 November 2010

Metaphor for the night sky: A trillion asterisks and no explanations*

Whoops!  I've had rather a languid start to the day today; I can only conclude that I must have needed it, as the Old Duchess would say!  Anyhow, here I am; please excuse the informality of my dress, positively dishabille at, what is for me, quite a late hour . . . ah me!

But if you can excuse the libertine look I would be happy to spend a little while in your company before the day's demands loom larger than life itself and I am forced to away to my commitments . . . as you know, being fully cognisant with my diary by this time, today is my day for trundling to Bury and I seem to have a very pleasant day for it too . . . blue is painting the panes of the library window and even something, which under a different set of circumstances could be mistaken for the sun, is peeping round the edge of the curtains . . . Sal is sniffing the air and wanting her matutinal meander in order to micturate and requests my company with almost immediate effect . . .  I will, of course, have to assume some sort of dress code if not for fashion or vanities sake but merely to cope with the probable totteringly low temperatures awaiting without . . . the wet nose at my knees informs me that madam will wait no longer . . . there will now be a short break whilst duties are carried out . . .

Here we are, returned to the fold and in from the dampish but rather splendid in comparison to late day, having had a rather extended meander due to a sudden rash flash of photography taking place - a result or two may make its appearance at some point later . . . we strolled along the banks of the dear old Asland with tree branches dripping and dappling in the sun, and I photographed berries and leaves although much of interest has been lopped away in the pre-winter tidy up carried out by a bunch of stalwarts who do their best to keep the walk as beautiful as possible, despite the loutish behaviour of some users . . . it is quite a while since I've taken the camera out with me and, although time is somewhat pressing this morning, I thought it might be worth it . . . we shall see!

And now another break; I have duties to attend to and places to be . . . please feel free to make yourself at home; I shall be back before you know it! 

Here I am, and frankly quite exhausted though heaven knows why! I had a lovely experience of sorts at Manchester Victoria when, amid a beautiful blue sky clad station platform I heard the unmistakable sound of two Alpine horns playing - very surreal but stunningly gorgeous! I was tempted to tarry awhile but duty forbade such pleasures  . . . upon my return some hours later they had, like a dream gone!  Curiously enough the episode made me want to read "The Magic Mountain" again . . . I really must buy that book!

Back to the previous bit I've just about summoned up enough energy to pop in a pic or two . . .  

 The first is, as you can see, a rather chilly flower; some could take this as a symbolic reference to myself, it being a thing of delicacy in a harsh, cruel world . . . or possibly it is simply a partially-frozen flower  that happened to catch my eye as I was walking this morning with The Famous Sally Dog . . .
 . . . talking of which here we have said creature in her "Will you stop taking photographs and hurry up!" kind of pose which she thinks passes muster as a form of obedience . . . we have yet to ascertain exactly whose obedience we are referring to, but that is a moot point and one we feel will be resolved in the fullness of time, given sufficient negotiations and considerable compromises on my part - as per usual! 

And finally a wee little abstract of some waterdrops on leaves . . . I thought it was quite nice; if I manage to stay awake I will upload them to the Twitpic bit on the lower right hand side so you can see them in all their magnificance!

So with that, dear friends, I shall leave you to enjoy your Friday evening; have fun and never let life stand in the way!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

*Robert Brault

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Moving Finger Writes . . . *

And a very good morning to you all! What an absolute delight it is to see you; you are very kind indeed to visit me with such regularity and dedication  -  I am simply, simply overwhelmed!

Today saw me up and larking before the first fevered flatulence of Passer domesticus, posing as a possibly passable domestic and trying to clear the ground, as it were, for the arrival over the next 10 hours of advanced IT solutions - solutions to what isn't actually that clear at the moment but will, I'm sure, become apparent as the day progresses . . . ground clearing consists mainly of trying to rid myself of the huge amounts of canine detritus that manages to accumulate in the path of my closest and constant companion; for a short haired type of being she does shed an unhealthily copious amount of filamentous bio-material- still, I suppose the word would be a sadder place without her and, if I were to be brutally honest, I would have to say that she has been a focus and a raison d'etre in the past when other black dogs have mercilessly stalked me; so other than being the causatory factor for my enforced Mrs Moppist-state today, she's not altogether a bad egg!

So I suppose today I am officially 'at home' and await your calling cards with a discreet eagerness . . . it  is strange to think of those days when manners and formality encouraged such decorous activities as only receiving guests on certain days between particular hours and then for those guest to present to the maid or slavey a carte de visite to announce their arrival . . . actually that kind of life only really began to disappear about ten or fifteen years before the Old Duchess was born . . . not that she would have experienced that in any way, shape or form; there was scant need for such social niceties when one's life was centred around counting the pennies assiduously by the light of an oil lamp to see if food was going to grace the table that day . . . as I have remarked before she has had a life during which she has witnessed such amazing transformations  . . .

I was chatting to one of my dearests the other day and she remarked about some of the phrases I use in these scribblings and how arcane and maybe  esoteric they could, at first, appear; I pondered on this and asked myself some very serious questions about why I chose to express myself in this way and the answer  - should you choose to believe it - was that I simply love words!  Each one fits its own particular situation and circumstance perfectly to create a mood or image; each one summons up a nuance and when I write I want each and every word to be exact . . . I could never write, for example " It's a nice day" (although I'm sure I sometimes do and it sometimes is) when I could dip into the scrabble bad of words that is my head and pull out a much more accurate way of describing the day and the effect it is having on me.  Some doubters may think that I am simply 'showing off' - this is quite untrue; I don't have anywhere near the requisite vocabulary to do such a thing and, besides, good manners forbid so heaven forfend I should attempt such an act of churlishness!  It also does one good, I think, to read something and not quite be sure of the meaning; this then leads to enquiry and the research makes one a wiser and more rounded chappie - or maybe that's the cheesecake?  Interestingly enough in that sentence the software is throwing up a problem with my "enquiry" and suggesting it should be "inquiry" - us sons and daughters of Albion tend to use the former to mean a request for information and the latter in terms of investigation as in "there will be an inquiry into the matter" . . . I think that's correct usage . . . isn't it?

Without, the day has developed another overcast gray pallor and seems to be in dire need of an injection of sunshine  - as am I, along with an infusion of tisane to perk up my tired old eyes!  I've also just discovered an alternative spelling of tisane which is 'ptisane'  - a silent p you see; (tisane is a very efficient producer of p's, silent and otherwise! ) so I am considering popping along to the kitchen of the BPS to furnish myself with means of imbibation, along with a cheery biscuit or two - although it is not yet nine it feels more like elevenses to me!  And so I wish you a thoroughly thurmaturgic Thursday in which some, if not all, of your dreams come true - at least for a little while!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


* Taken from  Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the poem The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, 1859:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

And a title I am considering for a new blog starting next year! 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Blow, Winds! And Crack Your Cheeks!

What a shockingly awful day!

The hatstand in the hall creaks under the weight of macs and sou'westers and the elephant's foot  is full to umbrella capacity and hobbled by swarms of galoshes . . . through the library window, which is tearfully streaked, the forever gray landscape of soft focused wetness stretches forbiddingly to an invisible and unreachable horizon. It is exactly the kind of day when to venture forth is to invite misery and the sheer horror of a lonesome raindrop, icy cold and sharp, tracking down your spine and removing your backbone.

But venture forth I must! I have duties of some sadness to perform this morning, the details of which I shall spare you, and then this afternoon I am off across the sodden countryside to the caverns of knowledge . . . it will be a long damp day and one which The Famous Sally Dog is greeting with both resignation and her own innate brand of grumpiness; deprived of a long walk, her day will be a lonely one and with little stimulation -  it is on days like these that she misses opposable thumbs for their usefulness in switching on the TV or opening a packet of dog biscuits - that sort of thing.
I have an evening of damp clothes and hissing radiators to look forward to; the building I attend is not unlike my old school - except that I actually feel welcome here - and was, at some point I feel, a Grammar school too . . . the sweep of the stairs and the plumbing bring back none-too-fond memories of one of the darkest periods in my existence so far . . . however, the people are wonderful and I know I will be greeted and held in love until I lepp up the stairs at the station to catch my train late into the dark and stormy night.

Tomorrow is IT day when all kinds of communication revolutions are taking place, the outcome of which should ensure I have a bit of a grin on my chops at least some of the time but, as usual, it all depends on lots of seemingly disparate events occurring with some degree of simultaneity - not unlike the old days of putting on shows and events which I enjoyed and, as I  can admit with an unflattering display of immodesty, I was rather good at! So by tomorrow eve all should be replaced and the peace restored in the BPS just in time for me not to be here all day Friday as it's Bury day again . . .

It is scary how quickly events fill ones life; as I remarked in Monday's post, at 8 am that day I was up to Friday 6pm . . . the question is what happens to the now? When do we have time to live life in the present moment, not questioning the past or worrying about the future?  Well, actually I normally don't have that much of an issue with living in the moment - otherwise I'm not sure I would take on as much as I do! - but it does seem that in the past week or so things have begin to get a little hectic . . . I must resist the urge to panic or over-plan; one day at a time as we have few enough to begin with!

But what an awful host I am! You've been here all this while and I haven't offered you any hospitality whatsoever . . . Oh! You have? Ah well that's okay then, as long as you . . . yes, yes, you know where it is, just along the . . . that's right . . . while you're gone I'll make sure your hat and coats are warmed ready for your departure.  It has been so lovely seeing you and so very nice of you to visit on such a dreadful day  . . . mind you, you do seem to carry the sunshine with you and always manage to warm up both the library and my life with your smile!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Ice in Your Whiskey, Sir?*

Good Morning Dear Friends!

And as dawn peeps above the haha, scattering the light all around as dear Rolf would have it, I welcome you to another day in my life as I sit in the library in the BPS waiting for deliverymen and attempting to get some work done . . .

I am a tad en retard with the OU work and part of my punishment for this is to have to watch chimpanzees today evidently; I would much rather be writing a novel or two but needs must etc . . . I'm currently trying to come up with ideas for a story set on Jura; it's for a competition run by the whisky chappies, the prize being a stay there to finish a short story in 1,984 minutes - it's where Georgie boy wrote 1984 y'see . . . Oh bother! Is it whisky or whiskey in Scotland? I can never remember the difference . . . Ah!  the 'ey' is Irish from uisce beatha  which, it being Gaelic and my ancestral tongue, I speak so fluently it is untrue . . . no it really is untrue!  Anyhow, the possibility of a writing sabbatical in the Western Isle is quite an inspiration . . . even though I can't imbibe anymore . . . I am the quintessential difference between a Scot and the creator of Mickey Mouse!**

A day of considered application lies ahead and, to be totally frank, I'm not over-enamored at the prospect; but it does have to be done or I shall remain forever a dullard and be consigned to steerage as HMS Gt Britain catches the iceberg future with a glancing blow and we sink beneath the icy waves . . . As I wrote that I was instantly reminded of a photograph I was once shown by a delightful young lady which showed, as I recall,  a view from her bedroom window; and there, in the bay which her house overlooked , was an iceberg . . . very beautiful! The window was in Brønnøysund up in the very north west of Norway and belonged to Birgit - hello B! And thanks to the wonders of the web here is a view of the the very place - minus iceberg sadly!

An amazingly lovely sight to wake up to each day . . . maybe the town council would like me to go there and write a daily blog for them - what do you think?  Kan du forestille deg å lese "Ord fra en Room" i norsk dagligtale? Spesielt som, på denne tiden av året, jeg må skrive det av levende lys!  I did, of course, cheat outrageously and used Google Translate for that but at one time I had a smattering of Norwegian and am sure I could pick it up again . . . now, where did I put Birgit's number . . .

As things stand I am very much rooted to the spot at the moment due to time and financial commitments; I was chatting to Jules who lives in a delightful spot in British Columbia which I would love to visit and then perhaps do a  cross-country trek over to Glace Bay in Nova Scotia where my relatives lie buried in the snows of Port Breton and this put the idea into my bonce, but as always the filthy lucre is the issue. . . if you are reading this and know of any philanthropic person who would sponsor such an undertaking you could drop an opportune word in the shell-like perhaps . . . I think it would be a wonderful thing to read each day, don't you?

Anyway, I must away to the chimpanzees who, knowing my luck, will want to discuss the script for Hamlet they've come up with - thank you Douglas; you are very much missed!  And so without further ado I shall bid you farewell and hope that the day fills you with so much joy that, being as level headed as you are, it dribbles from each side of your mouth simultaneously! 

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

* Reminds me of the drunk on the Titanic who was heard to say " I know I asked for ice but this is ridiculous"

** A Scot drinks whisky but Walt Dis'nae !

Monday, 15 November 2010

Sleepers, Awaken . . .

Welcome to a twisty misty Monday Morning; do come inside and shake the clouds from your coat and the dew from your boots . . . that's right, make your way to the library, where tea and  some form of comestibles await, I'm sure  . . .

And so another week begins and what does it hold in store?  Well, I'm having a re-vamp of the technological capabilities here which begins tomorrow with a wee bit of kit arriving and then continues on Thursday with some more - nothing earth-shattering but enough to ensure a continued and cheery service from your own servant throughout the Winter months which are just around the corner . . . a mere 36 days to the Solstice and the start of the season proper! 

Today should be OD's meet-up and trundle round town day but I'm not sure of her plans as of yet  - her hip has been giving her a  bit of trouble and its performance is not likely to be improved by the damp conditions without . . . however, a dear friend has come to the rescue by offering the use of her car for the day which means I can get over to the stately pile and take her out maybe?  We shall see.  Living in the BPS in the heart of this thriving me-trollops I can't normally justify (or afford!) to run a car but with the OD getting slightly less keen to lepp on and off the omnibus it may be a situation I need to review . . . sadly, since I can't afford a Prius or anything even remotely eco-friendly it does go against my beliefs about car-ownership . . . ah well, if life teaches us anything it is that compromise, whilst not exactly a dirty word, is one that may be whispered in times of need!

For the rest of the time this week I shall be availing myself of -  and throwing myself upon the mercies of - public transport; this includes on Wednesday my regular jaunt to the seat of learning and on Friday over to Bury to meet with some of the nicest clients a chap could ever wish for . . .

It is amazing how the week becomes filled; it's a little after 8am and already I'm busy up to 6pm Friday and I'm sure more little appointments will sliver like silver sardines into my diary . . .  along with all of this I do have a not inconsiderable amount of reading to do - mainly concerning chimpanzee behaviour this week which is somewhat bizarre - and of course Mr Waterstone still awaits my reviews - oops!  I am some way into the first one which is "The Glass Rainbow" by James Lee Burke but have a feeling that I may need to stop this and read "Lyrics Alley" by Leila Aboulela which is published on the 10th December I think and so needs a review before then . . . ah me!

On the subject of reading may I take this opportunity to thank my regular readers who, although they may not always leave comments publicly, make their presence felt in other ways; I have received comments with regard to spelling in this blog -  which is one of my own particular bêtes noires !  Despite being very friendly and easy to use, Blogger (this site) unfortunately uses an American English dictionary which I can't seem to change, therefore it corrects or suggests corrections as I type, most of which I manage to 'uncorrect' as it were in order to render them into a passable form of English but some do slip through and for those I apologise and thank you for you assistance in rooting and rootling out these colonial imposters!  (It doesn't even recognise the word "imposters"!)  Keep up the good work!

As an aside I must say how moving the Cenotaph service was yesterday; I saw many old friends and missed a few who will no longer grace the occasion with their presence . . . it was a lovely day with only a slight shower now and again, certainly not enough to dampen the ardour of the assembly . . . I also enjoyed getting tangled up in the official procession on my way there!  I came scootling around the corner of Hewlett St as the procession was about to start and bumped into a crowd of people standing in silence, a couple of who I knew.  We exchanged nods and smiles and I  stood and thought "As soon as the silence ends I'll sneak off on my way again" . . .  I then realised I was standing with the official dignitaries and was about to step into line behind the Mayor etc . . . I nodded my goodbyes and disappeared into the distance with some, if not indecent, haste!  The good thing about the British is I could easily have walked along and joined in without anyone daring to say anything - unless a buffet tea is involved then they do get very territorial!

Anyhow, looking through the library window it seems the fog has lifted and a lovely blue sky fills my view; I am away to my toilette and thence to pick up the OD for our meet.  Following a telephone conversation I have learned that she is feeling much better today and feels up to a sojourn in Nero (which she unfailingly refers to as Zero) after all . . .  So I wish you all a lovely Monday and I hope to see you all here again tomorrow.  Please feel free to leave a comment about anything you read on this blog; all are welcome and encouraged as are donations of any filthy lucre you may feel would benefit a poor struggling artiste such as myself . . . hmmm . . . maybe not, eh!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

Sunday, 14 November 2010

"In hearts at peace, under an English heaven" *

Good Morning Dear Friends . . .

Well, I've just sat down after an exhausting (well, hardly!) 40 minutes or so dashing away with the smoothing iron and pressing my bib and tucker into some kind of vaguely presentable shape for my trip out later this morning to the cenotaph . . . glancing out of the library window the weather seems fairish and blue-skyed so one can't really ask more than that I suppose . . .  on a point of sheer vanity I am delighted to announce that the two sides in the war of my suit jacket have also agreed an armistice and are clasping each other firmly as brothers should, so the lack of alcohol in my life is having an effect after all!

Which actually brings me to another point; it has been my tradition to have a glass of beer before I go to the Cenotaph and normally one afterwards, in some local hostelry such as the Moon . . . it hardly seems worth it to go in and drink a glass of non-alcohol lager does it? I shall ponder on it longer and deep whilst chilling my toes off in the churchyard whilst looking around me and searching for the familiar faces of friends and acquaintances . . . as I have said in a previous post the commanding figure of Jack Bolton will not be with us this year and with each passing year time takes its toll; however, I do believe that the memory will live on a while longer and, sadly, as we are no nearer to peace than we have ever been there always will be newly fallen ones to remember . . . the war to end all wars . . . hmmm!

You may be wondering what a peace-loving, buddhist-type (with a small b) chap is doing attending such events and I suppose there are a couple of reasons; primarily I attend on behalf of my late father who fought in the war and lost friends at Monte Casino and in the North Africa campaign and for who the day had a really significant meaning.  As he is no longer with us I feel it almost a duty to be there in his stead.  Another reason is for my mother.  Although the Old Duchess is still relatively hale and hearty the travel and standing about wouldn't do her too much good and so I go and place a cross in the Garden of Remembrance for her uncle Arthur Whittle who was killed in 1943 in Benghazi.
And so I suppose I must away and to my toilette to make myself presentable to the great and the good  on this Sunday morning . . . a quick peek through the window and, yes, gray clouds are slowly sliding in and preventing the blue sky and sun from being with us all today - oh hum!  With any luck it will just be cold and miserable rather than raining - especially for the hordes of brownies and beavers and other assorted animals masquerading as children that are forcibly pressed into service this morning and who seem rather lost with it all . . . I suppose for them, unless they've lost a parent in a recent conflict - which one can only hope not -  it's like trying to associate with Agincourt  whereas, even though a relatively young stripling in comparison to the majority attending, for myself it has real and strong family connections.

Anyhow, make yourself at home whilst I'm out; make free with the breakfast and with drinks; lounge in the comfy chairs and read the papers; it is, after all, Sunday and a day of rest . . . and for those, as Rupert Brooke said resting in the corner of a  foreign field, another year passed in Elysium.

'til next time

Be Seeing you !

* "The Soldier" Rupert Brooke

Saturday, 13 November 2010

O! For a Muse of Fire, that would Ascend the Brightest Heaven of Invention !

Good Morning Everyone!

So glad you could come over at such short notice . . . still, at least the weather's somewhat better than of late, don't you think?

Following a period of distinct downness I'm feeling a tad more positive today;  maybe a swing up for mania, who can tell ? But whatever the cause ,the effect is that I feel as though I can face the word afresh, as it were.  I've just encountered a short video clip called Timescape: Raptures which I intent to embed - as my techie friends would say - in or on this blog so you can all have a look; it's rather beautiful and reminds me why I got the urge to create in the first place when I was, I think, around 5 years old . . .

I was a small solitary chap, very fond of books, and one particular time I had an Andy Pandy annual - not normally the most soul-stirring muse known to man - however, on this particular occasion I was reading it one winter's day, must have been around Christmas I suppose, and I came across an illustration that literally changed my life.

If you are familiar with the genre you will be aware that the story centres around a strangely clad male-child and his favourite teddy bear; in this illustration they were each kneeling on a toy box/ window seat looking out of a large window at the night sky.  The sky was beginning to fill with snowflakes and I was mesmerised!  Given the financial state of my upbringing and the only-just-post-austerity conditions in the UK at that time I sure it was a cheap and badly produced piece of artwork but it absolutely took my breath away!  I was consumed with the desire and need to make something as beautiful as this and affect people the same way it had me;  over the years this has taken me through music, theatre, lighting and show design, film-making and, of course, writing -always wanting to recreate the magic feeling and, sadly, never quite succeeding - although, in a positive frame of mind, I can say at least I keep on trying!

So when I see something that excites me in the same way I have to share it - so here is the film . . . I shall draw the shades in the library and let you watch it while I toddle off to fix damage caused by the recent gustinesses at the Old Duchess' Stately Pile!

Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy the magic

'til next time
Be Seeing You !

ps: May I suggest you pop along to Vimeo to view it in all its glory - this projector seems a little slow and creaky!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday the 12th *

Good Morning friends; a blue sky day but very blowy, and one which, I'm sure, will see rain falling on an unfortunate me sometime between now and then . . .

Being Friday of course means it's off to that well-known market town and place where I practice my black arts, Bury; today I hope to be there a little earlier than normal as I am grappling with the prospect of an NHS computer system  - I know; the very combination of those three words is enough to send a shiver down most peoples central nervous system, but I am reasonably au fait with it and now just need to get through a backlog of records . . .

The impact on this blog may be that it becomes a two-parter as I abandon my literary pretensions and pop my counselling hat on - given the weather today I think a woolly one would be more appropriate - especially as it is now fast approaching nine and my train is in around one and a half hours away. . .  there is of course, the small matter of Madam to attend to; she's not very keen on being left behind on these jaunts and, to be honest, she'd probably do the clients a lot more good than I do, but nonetheless Sal must remain whilst I venture forth so that means, of course, an extended walkies before the event . . .so time is once again not entirely on my side, hence the possibility of a wee break sometime soon . . . that's wee in both the Hibernian and mictural senses!

The only event on the horizon, besides a meet with sister Cate and the regular outing to see the OD tomorrow, will be my annual attendance at the Cenotaph on Sunday morning; this is something I do on behalf of my late father as I know Remembrance Day meant a great deal to him and is perhaps one of the few ways I have of serving his memory, which is a curious phrase and probably not the one I meant to write but seems some how correct.  Anyhow, Sunday will see me there, suited and booted, and tutting at the behaviour of some of the attendees who show little understanding of the event . . . this year there will be at least one familiar figure missing; John Bolton who was a ex grenadier guardsman and a friend of the OD died a few days ago in, I believe, his 89th year.  He was an impressive figure and, I believe, a thoroughly nice chap and always laid a poppy wreath along with other ancient warriors . . . like always, I hope, we will remember them.  And into my head has come a poem I heard many years ago and which is, I think, especially appropriate in these angry and contentious days when some peoples actions have triggered off waves of hatred and disgust . . . it's by Siegfried Sassoon: 

I saw the Prince of Darkness, with his Staff,
Standing bare-headed by the Cenotaph:
Unostentatious and respectful, there
He stood, and offered up the following prayer.
“Make them forget, O Lord, what this Memorial
Means; their discredited ideas revive;
Breed new belief that War is purgatorial
Proof of the pride and power of being alive;
Men’s biologic urge to readjust
The Map of Europe, Lord of Hosts, increase;
Lift up their hearts in large destructive lust;
And crown their heads with blind vindictive Peace.”
The Prince of Darkness to the Cenotaph
Bowed. As he walked away I heard him laugh.

I am also reminded of another of Sassoon's which is, in my opinion, a sharp and direct as any sniper's bullet:

Suicide in the Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

And there, I fear, I must leave it for the moment for "... at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity." as dear old Capt Marvell said and so say I - but not to a coy mistress this time!  And not that Bury is a desert of vast eternity either, but I think you grasp the nettle of my meaning, do you not?

So until possibly later I commend this blog to you; look after it; cherish it; cuddle it;  it may serve you well in a somewhat curious set of circumstances or it may just help you think of me perhaps, and of our poor, struggling humanity.

'til next time

Be Seeing You !


* Taken from my forthcoming best seller " The World's Most Unsuccessful Horror Films"