Sunday, 27 December 2009

I have had a lovely day today. Rose early,walked to Mass, and even though not being able to understand a single word of Fr Fitzpatrick's' sermon, the Mass was spiritually nourishing.
The day was spring like, with clear blue skies and the occasional cloud skidding across pushed by a high zephyr. The wind stung our cheeks as Kate & I walked around the local park. I regressed when I slid like a boy on frozen sheets of ice...wonderful!
The ducks & Moorhens were ravenous....eating bread out of my hands. Then with the pool frozen, I skimmed large chunks of ice across the echo made booming through the frozen surface from the icy depths below.
It felt good to be alive, the exercise refreshed our spirits and our bodies and we returned home to hot fresh coffee. A lovely day.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A resolution for 2010??

To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time
Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They f--- you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f----- up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Thank God

Its all over! God I loathe Christmas, the enforced joviality, the inevitable arguments (which this year was very vocal but fortunately short lived) the bullshit that manifests itself as insincere bon amie and overthetop extravagance and the generalised gluttony.
One of the highlights though is the solitary isolation that prevails throughout British society where the streets are deserted of people though there are the odd morons driving like suicidal lemmings to pick up some relation they see for only for this 'special' day of the year.
But its all done now!! The shops are open for those hedonist consumer cretins who "must have" something or other.
Then there was/is my mother... however I will not comment on her or our painful relationship. Only to say that she is slowly killing herself by her neglecting her diet given that she is a diabetic. As a consequence her memory is atrocious, though much improved when she has eaten. This however she denies. But I said I wouldn't comment on her.... I think Phillip Larkin summed it all up in a poem which I will post later.
But now the sun is shining. The snow has gone and I'm going for a walk in the hills with my wife.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
To all that who knock
But I won't answer the door
Till the face on this clock

Says tomorrow, tomorrow
And Christmas has passed
And I can sigh a relief
To this pain in the ass

So thanks for your time
And your Christmas good cheer
But what I need most is perfectly clear

Some peace and some quiet
Is all that I ask
So don't be like Christmas
A pain in the ass

(Bah Humbug!)


I am aware at the moment of the potency & depth of what it means to be a loner. Generally I prefer my own company but going out today ( as tradition demands) I observed the generalised camaraderie.I felt that I was one within and to myself, set apart. Unreached and insular queueing as I was in the supermarket I glanced at what those around me had brought, the goods reflected a companionship, they gave off an aroma of unity, a common cause.
I don't feel or have that 'aroma' despite being in the midst of a loving family with a wife whom I love and her loving me. I guess that's it... that's why Christmas is such a almost dreaded time for me, because it highlights the inner loneliness that I feel which for the rest of the year I am able to keep at arms length.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Not the Himalayas! (my garden)


It snowed last night
it blowed last night
Cars got stuck
In our road last night
Woke up this mornin'
An' everything white
All 'cos it snowed last night

Sunday, 20 December 2009

This I'd like to share with you....

MEN IMPROVE WITH THE YEARS by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

I AM worn out with dreams;
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams;
And all day long I look
Upon this lady's beauty
As though I had found in a book
A pictured beauty,
Pleased to have filled the eyes
Or the discerning ears,
Delighted to be but wise,
For men improve with the years;
And yet, and yet,
Is this my dream, or the truth?
O would that we had met
When I had my burning youth!
But I grow old among dreams,
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams.

Reason to celebrate???

As John Lennon sang.." this is Christmas and what have you done...?"
The nation is at war in a Nation far away which has a different time zone; a nation that has never been subjugated by a foreign power since Alexander The Great. Daily young lives are lost, returned to their parents and loved ones in wooden boxes draped with a flag. Whilst others return damaged beyond repair in body and mind.
I find it difficult to celebrate the democracy that was bequeathed to me by fathers sacrifice, when those who represent me and my children glean for their own ends money in order to maintain their bourgeois lifestyle. The political party of Keir Hardy founded by the working man, for the working man,has betrayed the working man and will never again be trusted by the working man. And what will be the legacy?? Thatcher's bastard child.
I feel saddened that the health service that trained me, healed me and that I devoted my working life too is becoming governed by 'targets' and 'tables'. For many in the profession their duty is becoming a 'chore' rather than duty or pleasure. The emphasis to be a caring nurse,social worker, doctor, police officer etc in 2009 is to be an academic accountable to your employer not your patient, client or the public.
We in the affluent west having polluted and poisoned the world and grown fat in the process,now chastise those nations of the world who want and deserve the standard of life that we in the west have enjoyed for decades.We expect them to retard their economic development in order to preserve the status quo in the world. But have not we,in the West, damaged the world without a thought? Have we not pillaged raped and killed in the nations of the East for hundreds of years? Lets celebrate the progress we initiated, the lives we took, the species we extinguished etc etc.
So: lets look at the ghost(s) of Christmas past and hopefully the Ghost of Christmas to come will be egalitarian, beautiful and for the living, the dying and the dead.
......" another year over and a new one...."
Happy Christmas.
I should never
write about
religion race politics
sport is iffy
the weather is fine.

Thursday, 17 December 2009


With prose a poetry is as sweet
As Love to air and perfume meet
My second wish came true
My first also was to be with you
As Lovers fall from getting frail
You and I it's true can never fail
We are and never were
Each others splendid metaphor



Who's going to notice that
I had been grumpy all day?
That is because lately I don't
Get much sleep
It seems to me that unless one has the status of a celebrity, once one reaches a certain age which in my observation is over the age of approximately 50 years; ones opinions are disregarded.
I have neither celebrity status & I am 57years old. Thus & my current experience demonstrates this, I am ignored, ridiculed & regarded as a doddery old fool whose opinions are viewed as reactionary & dated (at best)by those 20 years my junior.
These opinions appear to be supported by the fact that my eyesight is failing as is my hearing.
So I snap periodically which adds to the said opinions as stated. I am then regarded as a "Grumpy old man!"
How can I, or anyone of equivalent age win??
If I had whiskey in the house I pour myself a large one money is spent (and frittered for the main part) in funding the life style of the very same young people who treat me as a member of a lower caste.
Was I like this when I was a younger adult I wonder? Is this the pattern of young(er) people the world over? I invite the comments of whoever....
But I am not a celebrity.....

A lament. (for the changing times??)

O World! O Life! O Time!
On whose last steps I climb,
Trembling at that where I had stood before;
When will return the glory of your prime?
No more -Oh, never more!

Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight:
Fresh spring, and summer, and winter hoar
Move my faint heart with grief, but with delight
No more -Oh, never more!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Farewell


My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.


Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever
One grand, sweet song.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

I can write the saddest lines tonight.

Write for example: ‘The night is fractured
and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’

The night wind turns in the sky and sings.
I can write the saddest lines tonight.
I loved her, sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like these I held her in my arms.
I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes.

I can write the saddest lines tonight.
To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her.

Hear the vast night, vaster without her.
Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass.

What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her.
The night is fractured and she is not with me.

That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

As though to reach her, my sight looks for her.
My heart looks for her: she is not with me

The same night whitens, in the same branches.
We, from that time, we are not the same.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her.

Another’s kisses on her, like my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her.
Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long.

Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer,
and these are the last lines I will write for her.

Pablo Neruda


I've been thinking about war today. It was the most unlikely setting to do so really...sitting as I was eating my 'Golden Hoops' before going to Mass. Especially I was reflecting on the debacle in Afghanistan: To date at least 100 UK service personnel have lost their lives, God knows how may Americans & who knows (indeed no-one every mentions them) the number of Afghans who have died since the 'Allies' marched in to that country with the reason , so we're told, to bring "democracy & stop terrorism in the west..."
War in my view is nothing more than a quasi legal way of murder/killing. It is one nations & its leader(s) method of imposing their will upon another. Whether that be Hitler upon the Poles, Pol Pot upon his fellow Cambodians or to date Bush, Blair & now Gordon Brown imposing "democracy" & a western version of government upon Afghanistan. Sure one could debate that the Taliban were the 'natural' government of that nation? But were they not also a non elected government who forced & maintained their will upon the populace?
So therefore I mused, all war is just one government imposing by brute force their will upon another. You can dress it up in what ever way you will. Call it democratizing, preventing terrorism or even by saying that by invading the country will be "brought into the 21st Century"
Whatever. Its forced imposition of your will & methods upon another.
So what about the service personnel who have died? Well As yet we haven't got conscription, so they weren't 'forced' to join up. Death & injury are an occupational hazard of life in the military as much as needle stick injuries are to a nurse who take blood for a living.
Not so though the Afghans. They have no chance. Their very poor standard of living has rendered them powerless. They are victims of any greater force that chooses to impose their will in their own homeland.
They then are the real 'Heroes of this 'war', they have no say, they HAVE to be there, its THEIR home not ours.
The solution?? Dialogue...we need to talk with the Taliban. Only then will this 'war' end & the real victims achieve peace & a system of government & standard of life they deserve.

Thursday, 10 December 2009