Monthly Archives: May 2012

Five-Oh: State of the Person

Ladies, gentlemen and all those not possessed of such graces; at 17:55 tonight I hit five decades on this dirtball. Quite an achievement and one I had my doubts over surviving to see. I really feel the need to have some sagacious words to impart, but quite honestly I have nothing worthy, even on this occasion of surviving over four times longer than the Third Reich. 🙂

The changes in the world around me are not to my taste. Information technology has expanded in ways that no-one imagined. Most science fiction writers got some of it, but even the gestalt cannot touch the underlying dystopian elements that are so well concealed. The cyberpunks have come closest, and I feel that they would not be overjoyed at being so prescient.

As for my little island of questionable sanity, tightly reigned arrogance and ongoing lessons in the consequences of hubris hidden behind lard and a big smile?

It’s going better than I thought in ways I could not have predicted, yet worse in some ways I should have been expecting, given my past performance.

I am ‘long-term’ unemployed. Deep in debt. I find that neither fact really bothers me. I have worked hard for many years. I will work again. I will not return to what my career was perceived to be. What I will do, I have no idea. That I find very acceptable.

I am an author. Small audience, self and web published, haven’t made a penny from it. I love the writing, I hate those who encourage volubly and make promises until I ask for money, then are gone. This is my craft, my gift. What is so wrong with me wanting to scrape a living from doing it? A sadly British tendency to look askance at those who get off their arses to actually do rather than just talk about it. The one side-effect of publishing my work that I never expected was alienation. A bitter lesson hard learned.

I am alone. Well, that’s a bit of a bastard. I have no regrets over my marriage failing, except that it didn’t collapse sooner. (But that was my fault and I know the reasons: another lesson or two in being a better me.) I am now convinced that I am literally a hopeless romantic. I am just useless at this romance thing. My strong cynical and paranoid streaks are no damn help, but they are a part of me I can only work with, not excise. So what the future holds in the romance arena is a mystery. Which wouldn’t be so bad except for the moments of crippling loneliness that occasionally destroy my day. All I can do is hope and carry on.

I have a blog. It’s like a diary people can look in. It’s like the catharsis of talking to strangers combined with the terror of being found out. I find that it suits me. To be honest in all things means you have to say things that are uncomfortable. Putting them in an online notebook allows me to gain perspective and possibly share some insights (okay, not from this entry 😀 ) that might help someone else.

I have tattoos. To mark fifty years, I got my first pair. I find that these fascinating ‘moving pictures’ are also something that fit with me. So there will be more.

If you will forgive the indulgence, I shall close with a toast I composed as an opening to my poetry book. It seems to be right. If I may be so bold, please charge and raise your glasses:

Here’s to the brothers and companions
To the ladies and lovers and friends
To loving the journey not just the destination
And to the road that never ends.

Blessed Be.

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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Life & Self


The Touch of Distant Thunder

I remember being crashed out in a friend’s bedroom, listening to early Black Sabbath on a summer evening, windows open as a storm rolled in from the West. The peals of thunder fitted themselves into the music, raising my hackles and the charged air only enhanced the atmosphere. We talked across every subject as teenagers do (or I hope they still do, emerging from behind their consoles and phones briefly), while the storm lashed outside. Rain blew in the window and things flew around.

Even though we were both stationary, the feeling of being alive, of being part of something yet infinitely above things was awesome. For a moment on that summer night, we were gods. Or at least dark avatars of storm.

The moment came and eventually departed. I am sure that the coincidence of heavy metal and profound events in life cemented my love of rock music.

I do not care. I can listen to certain tracks and I am restored to be that dark avatar of storm, years unravelling and taking my worries and fatigue with them. For the length of a track, I am manifest destiny, I am indestructible and I can do any-fucking-thing.

Then, as all things must, the track finishes. I pack my air guitar away and grin. I know it’s just a momentary transport, but the echoes stay with me.

And that is precious. To walk with the mists of power wafting through your soul. Or something like that 😀

Because that is why the longhair you see doesn’t really seem bothered by the minutae of life. He knows there are greater things coming and that the trivia is not the all of life.

May you have something that restores your child, your belief and your magic.

I can recommend rock ‘n’ roll if you’re still seeking.


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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in It's Only Rock 'n' Roll


What Price Humanity?

Somebody has just spent seventy-four million pounds on a painting.

One percent of that is £740,000. For many people, that is more than they will earn in their lives.

Art should lift people, make them aware of the intangible wonder that humanity is capable of creating. It has always been valued and attracted a premium.

But £74,000,000?

This is wrong in ways that defy quantification. To me it is a symptom of a society in irreversible decay.

There is no single person on this planet who should have the available funds to spend seventy-four million pounds on anything.

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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Daybook

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