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"

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