Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A technological salve

My back twinges may have seemed like an excuse for idle-olatry [see previous blog entry] but, they're certainly no joke.

Bed has been temporarily removed from my agenda; a couple of discomfited hours lying there and unable to toss and turn led to an irrevocable decision to arise, attempt to walk, and discover temporary repose in an office chair.

The fact that the office chair is in close proximity to the PC is the sole reason I'm bothering to blog at this very earthly hour. A kind of technological salve to one's sanity, that's how blogging appears to me at this moment. It may even transform the Night Howl back into a Night Owl.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Home And Garden

The quality of the water in the aquarium is definitely improving, contrary to earlier fears and, after the sad but frequent demise of cloud minnows last weekend we're taking good care of the remaining four.

The pond resembles a mildly diluted pea soup rather than water. The earlier treatment of blanket-weed proved reasonably succesful, even though the results took some time to become really apparent. The important thing is, all the fish are thriving ... I sometimes wonder if they don't appreciate it more, than the aesthetically pleasing and easy viewing conditions that suit us. Maybe the floating straw bag will help engender a little more clarity.

The wildlife section of the garden is thriving, the more cultivated area is where our problems lie. It really has been a pleasure to spend a little time there this Spring Bank Holiday, Helen doing a little tidying up whilst my back twinges meant I had to remain idle! It really is more difficult than some people may imagine to remain idle .... but ... I'll just have to try and make the most of it.

No longer lumpen-prols

Truly, we are reaping the whirlwind of Thatcherite a-social sensibilities/insensibilities. On Jeremy Vine's show (BBC Radio 2) we were treated to "delightful" accounts of £6,000 to £10,000 of damage caused to homes when teenage children held parties while their cosily middle-class parents were away.

The fact that the "responsible" parents are able to laugh about it, in retrospect, I find extremely chilling. "Oh well, they've learned their lesson ...", seemed to be the attitude; the pampered middle class brats don't learn anything from parents who can put anything right with money. Society is sick, with such irresponsibility being condoned (albeit unwittingly) by parents having the material wherewithal to put things to rights.

Seems like the place of the 'lumpen-prols' has now been taken by 'lower order Hooray-Henry's'.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Warren Zevon

Just been re-watching "Warren Zevon - Inside Out", a kind of documentary diary of work on his final album. Somehow, it manages to be simultaneously moving and amusing; above all it's tremendously life affirming. Considering the prognosis of three months to live Warren remained brightly stoical.

One or two phrases stick in the mind: "I think it's a sin not to want to live", "I still love every day" and "life's a lot of fun". Thanks a lot Warren, thanks for your legacy of song.

A Life of Privilege

Yesterday (Saturday), a day like any other day, saw the continuance of my endeavours to correct the conditions prevailing in both the aquarium and the garden pond. Brief visits to 'Homebase' and 'PC World' provided the only escape from hearth and home, not that I really have any desire to escape.

Got on with a couple of VHS to DVD transfers, in the afternoon, leaving space on the disc to record the evening's programme of "Soul Deep: Southern Soul". Otis Redding and Stax are much more to my taste than Motown (the subject of last week's programme). Watching the series has helped me to understand my own preferences within the broader Soul genre.

Spending most of the day in the company of my best friend, my lover and my wife, didn't lead to any conflicts! Nor was the house overcrowded; I feel that Helen and myself are so fortunate having each other, the best thing that has ever happened to me. It really is a privilege to find best friend, companion and lover all rolled into the one wonderful "spouse" package.
5.25AM Just having another attempt at uploading this blog to site after several failed attempts much earlier this morning.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Another Bank Holiday

Well, Saturday of the bank holiday weekend has just crept in via the back door and, it feels just like any other late night. Why do we build such expectations into holiday weekends; even when I was working full-time these were the weekends I tried to ensure I stayed at home. To be honest, the prospect of a longer weekend was irrelevant, as so often I was employed in positions where weekend working was part of the routine.

Perhaps it's time for legislation to be brought in that ensures, whenever a bank holiday occurs, an extended break, of at least some consecutive days, is allocated to all employees within at least a couple of weeks.

Of course workaholics may apply for exemption; usually this need to work all the hours either God sends or the employer demands, is a sign of inefficiency! If they simply enjoy wage slavery ... good luck to them.

Friday, May 27, 2005

In Two Minds

Today I can spare you all a health report as, somehow, Heterocon has read my mind and reported for me; the reference is 'Mining The Matter' on Broad Thoughts From Heterocon.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Prescription For Good Health

A rather good day for me, in spite of the displays of incompetence demonstrated by the Tax Office in this morning's mail. As that has already been recorded elsewhere, it's now time to give thanks for a better than average day in the life.

I actually managed two brief (slightly) brisk walks today, one around midday and the other bbw in the afternoon.

Continuing the treatment of the aquarium with good bacteria which is already having some effect as, to our surprise the nitrite level is already declining. Must admit I'm still somewhat puzzled as to how I account for the earlier hike in NO2 level. Suppose I'll just have to accept it as just another of life's little mysteries.

The green water problem with the pond is still subject to the closest scrutiny. This evening I gave the filters an even more thorough rinsing (in pond water of course) than usual; at least 7 bucketfuls of water were drawn from the pond to wash three filters. The water in the bottom of the filtration tank received a little dredging action as well.

After this action, I replenished the pond with several bucketfuls of treated tap water. My halo is well and truly polished up!

How do I account for the sudden lease of energy:

a) a wonderful bottle of Stafford Lodge Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2003, shared with ma belle Helene on Tuesday evening certainly gave the feel-good factor. Nettle-y gooseberry with a subtle lychee note .... makes me wonder how I'm managing to keep the cellar door locked!
b) an enjoyable simple Chilean Chardonnay 2004 (an Asda purchase) shared with Graham ... and a glass saved for Helen on her return from Pizza Hut. [Wednesday's contribution].
c) I've not taken an anti-depressant today, just a minimum dose alternate days until I attempt (once more) to start the new medication next week.
d) The sun is shining.

I like to think the item at "a" is the cause and, that my doctor will prescribe a case for me on the NHS. The feel-good, enjoyment factor, could prove a great medicinal aid to my recovery.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

You Can't Win 'Em All

Today, at lunchtime, the demise of yet another little fish. It does seem strange as Cloud Minnows are such a hardy species. For some inexplicable reason, the nitrite level in the aquarium has risen since Monday despite the use of biological, mechanical and chemical filtration in the tank.

The ten little minnows are now down to four, so I am desperately feeding in extra good bacteria as part of what appears to be a losing battle. Close monitoring of the water condition is going to be vital over the next ten days or so. It's strange that these kind of problems/ conditions never arose when all the tanks occupants were goldfish.

All our pond fish seem to be thriving, the waters greenish bias not proving detrimental to fish health; both the PH and NO2 readings are near perfect. Of course, the saying is "you can't win 'em all"; let's hope that with reference to the aquarium that the result is "you can't lose 'em all"

One Man's Objectivity ... etc.

A slow start to the day, after a night of fitful sleep, finally emerging around 11.00AM. A day of sunshine and threatening clouds, becoming increasingly muggy, relieved at intervals by a breeze of variable force.

Out for a walk, the closeness of the day proved excessive but, turn a corner and face the breeze, a different and more pleasant environment. Overall the temperature was not that high, it must be something to do with the humidity level that made it feel uncomfortable. As my body thermostat is somewhat erratic, it was a relief to discover that my better half found it rather muggy too.

Objectivity is so hard to recognize and, almost impossible to achieve.

For an interesting article on ideology(?) and objectivity(?) in journalism see Daniel Okrent's Revealing Closeout as Public Editor of the New York Times by Edward S. Herman [].
[ My own sympathies are towards Krugman and Dowd; when it comes to Friedman I am much more sceptical.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Taking Literature In Vain

The death toll amongst the Cloud Minnows continues to rise. A further defunct member of the species tanicthys albonubes discovered at 8.30PM on Monday 23 May. The only obvious sign that there was anything wrong, as with the other four ex-inhabitants of the aquarium, is that rigor mortis had set in! In my book, that has always been an obvious sign that one is not in the best of health.

Tests of the water for Ph and NO2 are both fine so, we intend to take a sample down to the aquarists for further tests! The tale is becoming reminiscent of Agatha Christie's non-PC title "Ten Little N..... Boys". Enid Blyton, I believe, left us with a title for the remnant of our mini-shoal, "Now We Are Five".

I apologise for any flippancy in this grave matter but, how else can one cope with the trauma. Already I had to visit a psychiatrist this afternoon. [And, as God said to Moses, "keep taking the Tablets!"].

Monday, May 23, 2005

You Can Lose Some Too ...!

Apart from a grotty trip health-wise pour moi (see entries for 22 May on 'Broad Thoughts From Heterocon'), yesterday also saw the demise of three of the newly acquired White Cloud Mountain Minnows. Two were dead this morning (meaning Sunday 22 May) and, another one this evening (once more refers to Sunday). I'm currently having to go with a generalized treatment routine in the hope of protecting les autres. [Update ... 6.30AM: yet another minnow has passed into fish heaven this morning !]

The good news is that the three goldfish recently transferred to the garden pond seem to be thriving even better than the algae! (Perhaps that's a bit too hopeful thinking with regards to the algae).

Perhaps today will be a better day for all concerned. Are you listening up there; I'm talking to you! I'm asking your lad to put a word in for me!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Can't Win 'em All

Eurovision Song-Fest

Well, I'm sorry to report, my hunch didn't quite pay off ... Romania coming third and Moldova somewhere in the top third .... but not so disastrously wrong as Heterocon's markings after hearing all contestants. I cannot doubt Heterocon's integrity, it's just such a shame that most of those who vote in these song-fests get it wrong.

So, we can lay to rest the Eurovision Song Contest for (the best part of) another year and return to abnormality.

Despite a reasonably early start to the day, I managed to get quite a bit done. Obtained, and potted-up, a few more oxygenating weeds for the pond as well as acclimatising some cloud minnows to the aquarium. Can I really cope with all this excitement? .... Perhaps YHWH knows!

Cultural Highlife

After yesterdays somewhat ill-fated character, today has so far gone quite smoothly. That could be because I have not as yet ventured out, nor had cause to make any vessels self-destruct, but it could also relate to the fact that I keep genuflecting before a crucifix whilst touching wood in a totally non-superstitious manner. Emerged from the cocoon of my duvet remarkably early this morning, if only to cool off a little (no smut here please), and found myself showered and dressed at a reasonable hour too!

The cultural highlight of the day is without doubt The Eurovision Song Contest; having only witnessed the semi-final contestants, and not the fourteen acts who were automatically allocated a place in the final, I have a hunch that either Rumania or Moldova could be the winner. Charismatic presentation of quite vibrant songs is what counts but, of course, if my hunch proves wrong it's all the cretins who actually vote that are to blame.

How great it is to feel relatively normal and, in denial of my better taste!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Yet Another Flush Of Senility

Having felt tired since early afternoon, a sudden flush of energy enabled me to cope with the semi-finals of The Eurovision Song Contest. One has to be quite tired though, to feel quite in tune with these musical offerings. To my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed at least three of the 25 commodities competing for the final ten places in Saturday's final. Although my concentration lapsed somewhat as the programme continued, I am pleased to report that ... I've just forgotten what I was going to say about it!

Passes the time though ... don't it! And I will be watching on Saturday DV. Oh, what sad lives we lead. Or perhaps there will have been a miracle cure and, I'll do something interesting instead.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

George Galloway At The Court Of King Dubya

How refreshing it was to see George Galloway's disdain for Blairs bosses in Washington. It is strange how democratic governments believe that repetition of a smear, against opponents, prove it's veracity.

Galloway knew that it was lies that took us unto the (illegal) war with Iraq; nor did he have any culpability in supplying weapons to Saddam, but of course, the US of A were simply practising their usual ethical trading practise.

The American paymasters of Tony Blair will go to any lengths to besmirch the name of any opponent! In fact it has never been outside of their "legitimate" policies to arrange for the assassination of their opponents.

Congratulations George (G) on your recent electoral victory.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Like Going To Sea In A Sieve

The floating sensation, recorded yesterday, has already returned ... less than one and a half hours after my emergence into a new day. Perhaps as the day goes on, a semblance of what used to be my 'normality' will return. Of course, it's always a good idea to question just what it means to be normal, but I would much prefer it if that necessity never occurred.

Everything swims around me; it feels almost as if the top of my head is concertina-ing down to my chin and back again. Maybe, it's purely and simply a result of reducing my previous medication in preparation for the new one.

No-one wants this sorting out more than myself. Ill health is not exactly a barrel of laughs, but this empty cask is certainly making a lot of noise.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Slipping And A Sliding ...

It's currently 8.30PM and, my head is having tantrums against it's environment. 'Giddiness' is not quite the right word, nor is 'floating'. Le mot juste est tres elusive! An almost tender pounding radiates from the eyebrow line to a point just behind the ears; meantime the top of the cheeks tingle and, my ears are like resonating chambers for the silence of hollowness.

Has that old curse "abstainers hangover" struck again or, is this "evening sickness" one of the less recorded symptoms of the male menopause? The most probable culprit is getting out of bed early this morning .... see 'Menopausal Meanderings' and 'Why Can't I Just Accept It?' on Heterocon's Blog for more details.

In the ramblings of Heterocon you may find even more light is shed on the sorry condition of my soul! Anyway, it is now approximately 21 hours since my last (reduced) dose of venlafaxine so that could well account for some of the head-drift; in another hour or so I will be commencing the new medication .. Zispin. Perhaps this may produce miracles, otherwise I'll just have to keep calling on 'YHWH and Son'.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

He, Being Dead ....

Radio Times, 16 May .... BBC2 ... 11.20pm

"One-time prime minister Jim Callaghan, who died in March, speaks frankly about his personal and political life. The only man in history to have been chancellor, and home and foreign secretary, "Sunny Jim" describes what it's like to be PM - and reveals unexpected talents."

... presumably like talking to television cameras from beyond the grave. For a prime minister, speaking frankly would also seem an unexpected talent!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

From Reflux To Reflection

I'd forgotten just how disabling gastric reflux can be; every minor task performed can become a major endeavour, whilst held in the dreaded acids thrall. At present its hard to know which is the major bane of my life the acid or the mucous ... on second thoughts it must be the acid, that would account for me being so sharp-tongued. I don't really know why I bother to write this down; perhaps it's because I'm afraid of intelligent conversation, i.e. talking to myself!

Maybe, considerate being that I am, I have no wish to come up with anything remarkably profound, as it may give any readers an inferiority complex.

Helen has just gone down to Rock Connexions in town at her elder daughter's request. I'm curious to hear what she makes of it, as Beth seems quite proud of her own involvement in it. Whether, or not, it makes "church ... culturally relevant" remains to be seen. It all depends on our understanding of church! Is the teaching of Jesus (of Nazareth) relevant, now that's something I can answer in the affirmative! If we really looked to the teachings of Jesus we would see the irrelevance of many of America's church-going "moral majority". In that instance church has become a synonym for right-wing political agendas granting short-shrift to any ideas of social-justice.

Matters of Moment

I've been dwelling quite a lot on the fragility of life for the past twelve hours, ever since the better-half returned home to report that an ex-nurse had to apply the Heimlich(sic) manoeuvre to her yesterday lunchtime, when she choked on a tomato!

So much for "healthy" foods! I have never known anyone with such a voracious appetite for vegetables, both cooked and raw, as la belle Helene that the whole episode seems extra shocking.

Dwelling on matters of life's fragility, I thought of the old platitudes about close scrapes helping to make one a better person. The most common response, apart from gratefulness to be alive, should surely be the desire to fulfill as many of the lustful desires as a frail body can cope with while one still has breath in their body!!

Of course, the faith-full idealist side of me, would like to think the response will be : "I will now do much more to help those less fortunate than myself. While there's life there's hope ..." etcetera.

I do like to give thanks, to YHWH and his lad, for all the blessings in my life as well as moaning at him/it when I feel hard done by.

If you want to know why I'm blogging at such a late/early hour go to 'Biliious Ecriture' on Heterocon's blog.

As I look at my beloved, with her head on the pillow next to where mine should be, I know that I am indeed a fortunate man. Perhaps it is time to try and rest again.

Friday, May 13, 2005

All Change

How swiftly things change! On May 10 I completed my course of proton pump inhibitors and, only extremely rarely had needed antacids at other parts of the day. Last night, intermittently surrounding and penetrating my spasmodic sleep the old gullet-burn returned with a vengeance. Maybe yesterdays early ascension from duvet-land was taking its revenge.

This morning, I managed somehow to sleep (albeit restlessly ; now that's what I call a paradox!) through my wifes emergence into the land of the day people, until 11.00AM. This was not a choice, a decision made; I fell victim to my own body's demands.

I awoke to the sound of six pneumatic drills directly outside of the house, only to discover it was in reality the Hotpoint Washing Machine attempting to demolish the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, it sometimes does get the laundry clean as well but, engineering wise its not the most reliable device.

Took care of phase two of my fight with the garden ponds green water problem, before grabbing a bowl of honey-nut flakes and my morning medication. Checked the pH of the aquarium, no change but, as it was about due for a partial water change I got that out of the way before adding a further handful of aragonite coral gravel into the stockinette in an attempt to gradually raise the tank's pH.

I'm starting to feel quite exhausted at the thought of all those tasks performed, might even have to step back from the keyboard for a little while! It's time to grab a snack anyway. Au Revoir.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Early Bird Has A Turn

Malcolm up and out of bed bright and early; it must be Spring. Actually, it has as much to do with yet a further change of sleep pattern ... a temporary aberration no doubt. Anyway, as I'm here and semi-alert, I suppose you're expecting my thought for the day!

Sorry Folks; thought comes later. I've already made that effort once this morning (see : "Physician Heal Thyself" on 'Broad Thoughts From Heterocon')!

Instead of thought, I may just choose to ramble on ... and on ... and on. On the other hand, perhaps I'd better quit whilst I'm ahead!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tidings Of Comfort And Joy

Actually managed to surface into the new day shortly after 9.30AM, having been totally wide awake between 3.00 and 5.30AM. It's strange how ones body clock likes to mess around with one's anticipated patterns, no matter how normal that expectation may be. Today has been the start of the second phase in my reduction of the Venlafaxine and, hopefully in a further few days I will begin taking the replacement medication. What difference it will make remains to be seen.

The hope is that the change of medication may help me overcome my extremely short-fused temper. As long as it doesn't affect the rest of my wonderful personality that's fine with me. It really would be terrible if it interfered with my natural modesty!

It really is strange being a real people person but, currently unable to cope with more than one or two of them at any one time; at the same time, I'm quite ready to verbally demolish any cold-callers who dare ignore the notices regarding their undesirability! I have never suffered fools gladly but, it's the really clever ones who are the biggest arse-ache.

Apart from that, my message is always ... peace, hope and love!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Have A Nice Day!

Tuesday already, and it seems like only yesterday that it was Monday. The tricks time plays on us ... but of course there is only one time, otherwise we'd have no communication on this front! Today has seen a slight improvement in the weather and I actually managed to get a wee bit of work done in the garden.

I've managed to spend a bit of time designing covers for some of my DVD compilations; even if I'm not doing much real-life painting these days I can at least find a little creative outlet on the computing machine.

The sunlight is periodically flooding the room wherein I type and have my being so, in return I go to the window and return its warm smile. Guess what, the response to my kind gesture is for the solar phenomena to hide itself behind a slate-grey cloud.

I don't think we Brits are obsessed by the weather, do you?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Congratulations .. You Have Just Earned A Boycott!

Just had a 'phone call, a grating (feel the grin) North American "happy holidays" type voice. One is aware that it's a recorded voice but, can't resist the urge to tell 'em to get stuffed before slamming the phone down. "Congratulations", they say, "you have just won...." and one can only feel a gnawing pain in the deepest recess of the guts at such a cloying, ingratating voice.

Unsurprisingly the caller's number is never available when one tries 1471 in order to know what firm to report. Our phone number is ex-directory, we are registered to be excluded from any direct marketing lists, but still the intrusion of North America into our lives cannot be avoided!

This kind of telephonic intrusion should be tackled even more strenuously than spam e-mail. If anyone really wants to give me a prize or present ... please deliver it direct, no strings attached; money is always welcome, as is anything we can sell for a reasonable monetary return. We will not under any circumstances reply to any unsolicited phone calls, mail or e-mail .... the likely response is to boycott any company responsible for this despicable practise.

Here endeth the lesson!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Day Of Surprises

Helen's birthday, meteorologically at least, was a day of surprises! Spasmodic outbreaks of sunshine were interrupted by sudden heavy rainfall, bombardments of quite sizeable hailstones and remarkably rapid transitions from bright to relatively dark and back again. The day passed quite smoothly, the lunchtime pasta accompanied by a rather appealing young Chilean Merlot ..Fundo los Naranjos 2004 (Central Valley). The Merlot even managed to retain it's composure in the aftermath of an extremely rich dessert!

Text and e-mail greetings added to Helen's enjoyment, alongside the cards and presents. We were joined for lunch by Graham and Ken; having just realized at around 12.45PM that we had texted Ken ref the time for lunch on his old phone (lost in Vietnam), the situation was soon remedied by a swift call to his new number!

Beth, Mahmood and Sina joined us during the afternoon and added to the present mountain. We are temporarily awash with books, DVD's and bottles of wine, alongside a wonderful Thai silk kimono which Helen looks forward to trying out.

In the evening us two young lovers (ma belle Helene et moi) settled down to some real highbrow culture in the guise of "Carry On Cleo" ... it's saving grace being the lack of subtlety or nuance ... a splendid relaxation!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

A Few Plebeian Pleasures

Last evening, a bottle of 'Taittinger' helped this couple of young lovers celebrate the local MP's re-election. We enjoyed watching and listening to "Kiss Me Kate" as we imbibed; somehow Cole Porter always seems a fitting accompaniment to a drop of bubbly. Oh how petit bourgeois I've become (at least that's how it must seem) but honestly, us plebeians can truly appreciate the finer things!

Tomorrow is my beloveds birthday; for lunch, when we'll be joined by Cathy's boyfriend and our friend Graham, we'll be having one of my simple pasta dishes followed by Helen's special Sticky Toffee Pudding. I will try to force myself to be on my best behaviour, despite being at a difficult age! Maybe when I get through my lengthy mid-life crisis it will no longer be a problem!

Friday, May 06, 2005

We Sometimes Have Good News

And the good news is ..... I have a reason to bring out the Champagne once more. In our constituency the LibDem increased his majority once again; considering that prior to 1997 this seat had been Tory for 80 years, I believe this result says as much about the calibre of our MP, Phil Willis, as it does about his party!

Had an appointment with the psychiatrist this morning, she was certainly a good listener and, is changing my anti-depressants as part of the effort to help me tackle the temper/ short-fuse problem. It's always difficult to remember dates and events in these situations but, for all my stresses her manner helped me to feel reasonably relaxed.

Having stayed up later last night, listening to election results, I felt remarkably alert when getting up relatively early this morning. But what if the results had veered more towards the Thought Vampire (aka Michael Howard) ... that could well have been a different sensation! The fact that the Conservative Party Tories fought such a negative campaign perhaps, in the end, assisted the other two major parties.

I especially want to express my congrats to George Galloway ... it's great that an independent of such integrity can gain a seat. Welcome back to the House George!

I feel quite bubbly all these hours before I pop the cork for our celebration drink.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The End Of A Month Of Bluster And Fluster!

After all the bluster of the politicians, over the past month, it seems highly fitting that the weather in my home territory has also turned blustery! Gusts of wind and squally showers ... how fitting for election day.

I have performed my civic duty and went out to vote for the best candidate (LibDem) in with a chance for the Parliamentary Election, and the LibDem in the County Council one . It will, as usual be quite relaxing to listen to some of the satirists and impressionists, (especially looking forward to Bremner, Bird and Fortune on Channel 4), once the polls have closed.

Helen has just gone round to the Polling Station to do her little stint as a teller, I just hope that her party wins again for the parliamentary seat (pinched from the Tories eight years ago) and also, it would make things even better if they could gain the County Council seat. As I am so assured that I vote the right way, why do some others have to be so contrary?

I don't ask for much Lord. You know what I'm thinking!

Having enjoyed a superb bottle of the sparkling stuff last night, it would be really great if I had a reason to enjoy a few more bubbles tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


So Tony Blair is unable to escape the shadow of Iraq this election campaign. I think of the thousands of innocent Iraqis who have been blasted into the land of permanent shadows at the behest of Blair and his murderous buddy Dubya.

Blair is haunted ... so what you may say? The problem is, much as Blair has adopted the mantle of Madam Thatcher, his party has so much more to offer in terms of social justice and public service than Howard the Thought Vampire. The Tory party totally supported the Iraq venture, only the LibDems and a few left-wing members of New Labour stood out against the idiocy in parliament!

That Blair should get his come-uppance is an appealing thought. That we should be doomed to another reign of Conservative Party Tories as a result .... that would be totally unjust!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How Strange The Change From Clubbin' To Sofa ..

I've just become aware of the largest swing in my life! The change from social, and excessively socialising animal, in the dim dark years of teens and twenties, to the home-loving, travel abhorring creature that I have become.

There was a time when I was afraid of my own company, although I don't think I realised it in those days. The drift from and through religious meetings, political recruiting, clubbing and pubbing; those were the times when the middle of the candle was aflame as well as either end. The constant quest to fill a void, with God, the Buddha, Trotsky, Marxian Romanticism, listening and hoping to groove to sundry Jazz and Rock outfits; at least it left little space to be alone with me! A slightly abusive relationship with alcohol and sundry herbal and chemical substances all paved the path to ..... I still don't know where.

A massive mental breakdown in the mid-60's slowed me down for a while but, it wasn't too difficult to learn to burn the midnight oil once again.

Now, don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the excitement, the experimentation; at times I even enjoyed the downs as well. At least that proved I (or something) was really alive. But, then in my mid-fifties I suddenly fall in love; I'd frequently been in love and lust (both requited and unrequited) and afraid of my possessiveness, but this time it was different. Now at last I settle down into married life, having long since learned to live with and by myself, a whole new learning curve.

Since meeting Helen I have enjoyed the happiest times of my life. We both have our fair share of emotional and health problems, suffering with and for each other; I could never have wished for more. What lesson have I learnt from rattling this down .... how fortunate I am!

I am just recovering from a transient emotional blip earlier this afternoon [see my alter-ego Heterocon's "All Fall Down"for details] but the world is once again well with me.