Surreal in the Rain

While I’m usually stoic about being caught in the rain, poor timing and a phenomenal cloudburst drove me into a shop doorway on the way home late last night.

Watching a deserted pedestrian precinct, rain hammering down, I was surprised to be joined by a fox (who was substantially less bedraggled than myself, the suave so-and-so). As we stood on opposite sides of the alcove, backs to the doors, we alternated our gazes between each other and the rain.

Standing there, the world about us silent but for the torrent of descending water, we were both caught unawares by a seagull walking past, muttering those little conversational squawks they utter when solving a problem. Fox and I watched in mystification as the bird trotted away down the precinct, turned a corner and disappeared from view, still nattering.

Within minutes, the rain had eased to a mere downpour. Fox and I set off to complete our respective journeys.

Surreal times, kids. Surreal times. You all keep well.

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Posted by on June 9, 2017 in Daybook


This is not a Civilisation

I see a world locked in games of control, from offering a child a treat in exchange for its compliance to the grandiose pandering to the masses that underpins election campaign promises.

How can there be progress when bribery is the unacknowledged cornerstone of our value systems? How can there be community when profit comes before compassion? Where losing money is considered the ultimate crime, risk and value assessments become hollow and lives become nothing but another resource.

Everyone is scrabbling for their piece of the ‘prize’, be it from pathological greed, need for acceptance, misguided belief, or simply the means to care for their family. Goals are used to justify means. Which is accepted, because those goals reinforce a wilful blindness to the problems that beset this society. Problems that are only raised into the general awareness when they can be used as a goad to modify people’s goals – or their blindness.

Fear. Fear and greed. Fear of the unknown, greed for the latest gadget, fear of the stranger, greed for status, fear of the differing opinion. The implicit threat that is felt when someone disagrees with the majority. The cults of celebrities and men of ‘god’ – both living in luxury off the donations of their congregations, many desperate to share in the ‘magic’ that might change their fortunes.

We live in a world of wonders, yet are still tribesfolk huddled around our televisual altars, letting technopriests dictate our lives, because we are scared of the dark. Yet, they are more terrified of change than us.

This is not a civilisation.

This is stagnation for the benefit of the few. But, there are no conspiracies. There is, however, a communal interest in maintaining the status quo, and maybe a few have gone to ridiculous lengths that have proven to be vulgar, loud and ultimately unnecessary. Society has become complicit in its own deception – to the point where it will turn viciously on any who attract attention to that fact.

And if you aren’t born into that few, you will never join them by being more ruthless or working harder than those about you. There is no admission, just the illusion of the possibility to keep you focussed to the point of missing the point.

The warnings of history have been ignored or even used as blueprints. While good people stood apathetic, fear and greed triumphed. Now, evil will serve its own ends with less restraints and this ‘civilisation’ will have to live with – or perish from – the consequences.


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Posted by on June 2, 2017 in Uncategorized


Old Tricks and New Fools

I crawl into the light of day to see that Mr Trump has apparently staged another renege. I quickly check a trio of other sources for verification and, yes, it’s true.

It’s a very old trick, the incitation of war to bolster a flagging leader’s standing with a population who are showing signs of disenchantment. It’s deeply disappointing that the implicitly pitiful excuse for a leader in question is the president of the USA.

For pity’s sake, Donald. The consequences of what you have started will never fall on you. Blood will be shed by people who voted for you in the desperate hope that you would be different. Instead, you’re taking them down the road of duty and poverty like some sideshow preacher, all the while lining your pockets and those of your sycophants.

Sycophants? Absolutely. Because launching cruise missiles is something you don’t get to do as a knee-jerk reaction. People had to be consulted. Agreements reached. Encouragement given. Deals made. People are pandering to your – let’s call it, shall I? – madness. They’re working within the insane environment you’ve created to further ends that either suit themselves or those they answer to.

The chemical attack in Syria is a grievous war crime. It should be met with unanimous condemnation and considered, concerted, peaceful action. Following an atrocity with a tacit act of war is not the way forward. Much as it pains me to say it, direct action is futile. It has been proven again and again that fire from the skies followed by boots on the ground simply does not work. (Unless, of course, you’re trying to engineer a return to open and total war.)

I wish there was a way to swiftly find and punish those responsible, but the byways of power are set up to frustrate the application of proper justice; something that echoes in the way you’re playing with lives and futures to give yourself an appearance of potency. You don’t want justice. You want a cause. Something for the people to get caught up in, so they stop scrutinising you.

You’re playing a game where deadly consequences and the accountability for said will never fall on you. The repercussions could remake the world and I fear for what you are unwittingly laying the foundations for.

Whilst not a stupid man, you are vain and spoilt. A petty-minded demagogue in a seat of power is never a good thing for those who look to him to improve their everyday lives.

A fool who jests, but the laughter rings hollow.

If this were a Tarot reading, I would see The Tower, the Ten of Wands, and Death.

Changes and bloodshed are coming.

Sadly, all you can do is hope and/or pray they don’t arrive nearby.


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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized


It’s How You React to Adversity

“Everybody has a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth.”

“If you’re good and your plan is working, somewhere during the duration of that, the outcome of that event you’re involved in, you’re going to get the wrath, the bad end of the stick. Let’s see how you deal with it. Normally people don’t deal with it that well.”

– Mike Tyson.

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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Quotes


From the Ashes of Sixteen

And wasn’t that a bit of a bastard year? But, then again, the era of multi-generational celebrities is passing and we are losing the icons that were the foundations of the media-crazed world we now inhabit.

For me, after the loss of Lemmy Kilmister, all other celebrity losses are ‘just another death’. I understand that each will impact others in the way that Lemmy’s death hit me. But that’s the point – they didn’t hit me. You might be able to intellectually understand someone’s reaction, but you will never properly (emotionally) understand it unless it meant the same to you.

But, onwards –

Revisiting the usual annual metrics, we see an improvement in some areas – jobhunting: no change (environment worsening), romance: none (with a negative outlook), finances: abysmal (and declining), books published: 4 – bringing the total to 21, including a limited edition of my 20th.

I also upped my flash fiction output, going to four stories per month for from April ’16. And, the creative push required to increase that output has improved the quality of all my work.

Voluntary work/consultation continues in various areas and some new ones.

My fitness has improved slightly, my strength more so, although the lingering damage from past century martial arts is beginning to hinder some exercises. I foresee some time spent at physiotherapy, and/or being told which impairments are permanent, soon.

In summation: the worst things that happened to me in 2016 were largely self-inflicted. I finally learned how to continue writing regardless of the shite going on about me. I have some of the finest friends a man could desire.

As for the world, I now harbour no hopes for an enlightened future in the short-term. We are about to enter a decade of darkness, where fanaticism and greed will dictate the lives of everyone on this planet. Mean hearts and closed minds will come to the fore.

Look to your friends, acquaintances, and neighbours. Know which of them you can rely upon, those you cannot trust, and those that present a threat. Gauge each threat carefully and have some idea of how you could mitigate it. Try to keep at least a weeks worth of canned/non-perishable food and have some way of storing – and collecting – water. If things go to shit, they will go quickly, and you will be unlikely to see it coming. In most cases, a few days of confusion and limited anarchy will be the extent of it. If things get worse, then good luck to all of us. Choose your ground and hold it. Protect those you love. Ally with those you trust. Finally: never judge by appearances or media endorsement.

Predictions? Things are going to get more difficult. More celebrities will die. For many, 2017 is going to be worse than 2016. I still have more stories to write.

With armageddon raining down outside, I’ll be parked in the one solid corner remaining, jotting pencil notes on scraps of paper. Bring more candles. 🙂

Let’s have more sense and less hype, shall we?




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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Life & Self


New World Disorder

And now, like the screaming after Brexit – but in a more immediate time frame – we wait. We know we’re going to be surprised. We just don’t know what form the surprises will take.

Ignore the pundits, the howlers, the hatemongers, and your fears. Live well. Do good. Love carefully but unreservedly. Above all: have fun. Always have fun.

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Posted by on November 9, 2016 in Daybook


How Not to Get Your Story Selected

“The problem is in a pinch I can usually find something from ******** that’s passable after rejecting a dozen other pieces from writers for whom gibberish seems to be their first language.”

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Posted by on September 8, 2016 in Quotes

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