No rhyme, no reason

Bikini body in the sun, half-cocked gun, a summer weapon, a sassy siren sensing and inviting desire, it was a wave rushing towards me, I was riding the crest, eyes closed beneath my shades, heat spreading between my legs, 

but suddenly it all changed, no rhyme, no reason, what the actual fuck was going on, my crazy brain switched moods randomly, I’ve always been my own worst enemy – it was

a senseless dream starting with a less than vague promise of sex and ending with

Van Gogh penniless and in despair trying to drown himself in the deep sunflower fields—which had long haunted him—their colours and shapes having intensified his misery.

What does it all mean? 

I woke up tangled in my sheets—

I had too much to dream 

last night

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What IS it about Fashion these days..?

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Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Ooh fashion
We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town
Beep-beep, beep-beep

David Bowie. Fashion.

What do our clothes say about us? I don’t mean when they’re crushed together in the laundry basket wondering who’s next to be washed, and cursing the current favourite top that barely lands before being whisked off to be cleaned – although I can see that as the next Pixar movie. No, I mean what do they announce about ourselves to the world that might otherwise stay silent. I don’t just mean band tee-shirts that marked some final tour in 1978, the one that’s not had the good times rinsed out since.

You can complete character profiles based upon little more than the type of sandwich someone habitually eats, so clothes are a dead giveaway. That there’s more hashtags for yoga pants than there is for yoga itself tells you all you need…

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Tragedy

It might be a chance meeting, somewhere totally random, at a time when my thoughts are turned towards the mundane—why didn’t I bring an umbrella? It’s going to rain—or more lofty matters, probably the former though I have no way of knowing what my mind will be occupied with. I am unprepared, though in my dreams I’ll have lived this moment a hundred times or more. I’ll see you across the street maybe, first doubting what my eyes are telling me but my racing heart will know long before my mind has ascertained the truth. 

Call your name or walk on?

A few seconds to make a choice, too little time to decide. 

I walk on, away…and it takes a little while for a pain so sudden and so great, so fresh it might all have happened yesterday, to fill my chest and spread, making me stumble and try to catch my breath. 

I stop, hesitate and call your name, first in a whisper, then louder, because I cannot let you disappear, again. You see me and there’s no wavering for you, you know what to do, you come to me as if this moment was always meant to be. My body is stiff when you hug me, it’s been years since you last held me, years filled with many things, some of them happy but a life nevertheless underlined with a particular kind of misery. What, next? A pub? Probably. Very little talk to start with. I take you in, a bit more grey in your hair, more lines etched on your face, you look pretty much as I imagined you must do, every time I allowed myself to think of you. I don’t know if I’ll find the words, alcohol might help or hinder but maybe no words will be needed, perhaps the touch of my fingers will be enough for you to understand I have always loved you, even as I ran from you, even as I kept away, all these years when we were separated but together all the same, you and I held by a small, powerful unwinding thread—forever isn’t just found in fairy tales. 

Which will it be? One way or the other, a tragedy. 

Red

Red like the pathetically fragile organ you tried so hard to protect,

Without success

as somebody squashed it like a miserable bug,

but

if you’re going to run away with fanciful ideas,

store them somewhere safe, as squirrels do with nuts

before throwing the key down a bottomless well,

then

quite frankly, you must accept

you deserve everything you get

Daughter

Slowly the sun goes down

Splashing dying embers

In her mane

Of untamed hair

With regret he pulls down the shades

To keep the scented summer

Fragrant with life

Outside

A subdued light

Tinged with tiny pools of dark

Invades

Her domain

Sleep softens her features further

He – the faithful sentinel watching over

his delicate flower –

Can’t help but fret

His chest feels tight

Aware the world

Will reach out with eager fingers

She will know hurt

He will contemplate murder

But for now the princess,

Just turned seven

Dreams still intact, untouched

Rests peacefully

He kisses her sweet cheek

Pulls back the covers

One last look, lingering, tender

For now she’s safe

Her innocence preserved

*Photograph found on Pinterest, try as I might I couldn’t find anyone to credit for it*

P.S. for whatever reason, WordPress is not letting me reply to older comments so I apologise to anyone who’s left thoughts on previous posts – I didn’t mean to ignore you, honest!

Thursday Thoughts

Nobody wishes to be cannon fodder,

nobody wants to constantly bleed for others

Even the most selfless sometimes need to be handled with care

If they falter, fail, if they break, them with the patience of a saint,

there is nothing left. No hope. No faith.

And so Sisyphus rolls his boulder.

*I’m still here, though I haven’t got much to share, or maybe I have too much. While I ponder this further, some pics from last night — 2am selfie madness.*

Unrepentant

Somebody who follows me on Twitter – no idea why since they object to pretty much everything I say on there – asked me yesterday why I was always angry. Well, I’m not ALWAYS but it’s inevitable I should sometimes be in the current climate since, you know, I don’t go through life like a mindless robot.

No apologies for that.

I’m definitely too old for the number of Brainy t-shirts I own, but: I identify – I can be as annoying as he is but I’m unrepentant about using my brain.

The Importance of Reading Books

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Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Life doesn’t happen in chapters — at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn’t write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children’s books (“I’ll read to the end of the chapter, and then you must go to sleep”) but I’m blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults. — Sir Terry Pratchet

I’m aware that this title appears to be advertising the bookshop of Berkshire’s leading commuter town, but it’s been drawn to my attention by no one that I’ve been so busy blogging about writing books that I’ve not looked at how to read the blasted things. Every reader knows how to buy  books – see a previous blog : https://lifeassistanceagency.com/2018/12/28/how-to-buy-books/ –  but reading them is an art form itself.  In a modern world of boxsets, bagels and Brexit it’s a wonder anyone is reading, yet the literary…

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Modern Journalism for a Modern Society

 

A story in three photos –

In the issue of 12-17 April, the New Statesman published an article by George Eaton, joint deputy editor, on the Conservative philosopher Roger Scruton.

On April 10th, George Eaton tweeted what he called “a series of outrageous remarks” by Roger Scruton. The four tweets by George Eaton certainly had an immediate effect on social media – racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia: Roger Scruton was guilty of it all according to Eaton.

Only the supposed quotes from Roger Scruton seemed to be wholly out of context and appeared to have been manipulated. Did anybody try to find out whether Roger Scruton had actually said any of the things he was accused of saying? No. This is not how things work anymore.

There was a twitter storm and it raged for a while.

The Labour Party and several leading Conservative figures immediately demanded that ministers remove Scruton from his unpaid position as chairman of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful commission.

A mere four hours after the article appeared, James Brokenshire, the housing secretary, dismissed Scruton. Without talking to him, without asking for his side of the story. James Brokenshire sacked Roger Scruton based on a series of inflammatory tweets, and nothing else.

Eaton posted on his personal Instagram account a picture of himself drinking champagne, clearly as way of celebration.

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If anybody was in any doubt that Roger Scruton had been the victim of a hit-job, this was proof, of sorts.

(George Eaton later deleted and apologised for the Instagram post.)

Luckily there are still people with honour and integrity in the journalism world. Douglas Murray (I adore him), a friend of Roger Scruton took up the fight to clear the philosopher’s name. He repeatedly called for the full transcript of the interview to be published, a call that was not answered. Meanwhile, George Eaton had suddenly gone very quiet on social media.

 

Eventually, Douglas Murray somehow got his hands on the transcript of the interview which revealed Roger Scruton had been smeared in the most appalling fashion. He had been deliberately misrepresented, his reputation tarnished by…a journalist… who works for a major magazine. Is it any wonder people don’t trust the mainstream media anymore?

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I can’t even begin to explain how angry this whole debacle made me. As a person who values truth, integrity – as a qualified journalist myself who was told every single day without fail when I was training that: “accuracy is everything” – I was disgusted by it all. I still am, actually.

I was ecstatic when Douglas Murray published his article clearing Roger Scruton. So much so I indulged in being petty and replicated the ‘George Eaton gloating champagne pic’ for Twitter – twice – with the caption: “The feeling when Douglas Murray exposes the duplicity of George Eaton in an excellent piece that should hopefully deter other ‘journalists’ from distorting, lying and trying to destroy the reputation of anyone, let alone one of our finest minds.”

Petty? Yes, but I couldn’t resist. incidentally, that second pic is the first drunk pic of me to ever make it on the internet (Facebook doesn’t count)

 

I had booked tickets to go and see Roger Scruton and Douglas Murray talk in London before George Eaton published his ‘article.’ I had been looking forward to it but the event took on a special importance after the scandal. The evening wasn’t just about listening to two highly interesting people anymore, it was about showing support for a man with a very fine mind who had been needlessly demonised.

And it was a delightful evening – I was (without exaggeration) glowing when I left. Roger Scruton came on and was given a standing ovation. The love and respect for the philosopher in the room was almost tangible. He touched on the whole scandalous story of course, without bitterness – he was actually wonderfully magnanimous considering he hasn’t received a proper apology from anyone who was so quick to condemn him based on nothing more substantial than a few tweets. 

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I have to ask: what kind of a society have we become when journalists deliberately entrap others, when journalists are happy to lie, to smear, to demonise…and to gloat about the result of such despicable actions. When people in governments make decisions to sack someone without knowing the full story, without even bothering to speak to the person they employ, a person who has an outstanding reputation as a philosopher and writer.

I am so angry about the left’s methods which have gathered momentum in the last couple of years. No debate, but lies instead. No discussion but name-calling.

If they can do this to a respected philosopher, what chance do the rest of us have?

After a prolonged absence, George Eaton is back – he has apparently been demoted but the real scandal is the fact he wasn’t actually sacked. He is a disgrace to journalism and clearly an appalling human being. Journalists have always been guilty of bias, they’ve always been known to flirt with misrepresentation and even lies…but we’ve achieved a whole new level of deception that is just unacceptable.

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We are living in dark times, anybody who cares about truth and freedom of speech should be very worried – we have a duty to fight back against this tidal wave of sheer hysteria, self-righteousness and authoritarianism that has infected everything. 

Staring down the barrel – How To Start a New Novel

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Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck

To be honest this should read how to start a new blog, as I’m sure I’ve started one like this before. Yes. All writers have been here before: the hinterland between the joy of completing a novel and the niggling sense that it’s time to start another. Life basically becomes a decision between buying a dog, or writing a new novel. Mind you a book doesn’t plead to be walked or fed, although it does rest its head on your lap and look up at you expectantly; wondering when you’re going to do something. I only ever had the ambition to write one book, I thought that would be enough, but it’s strangely addictive.

Unfinished Business was published last month as a continuation of the Life Assistance…

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