Wednesday 17 May 2023

REPLIES (unedited)


Reply to Greg,

Hello Greg and apologies for the delay in replying.  I have been ignoring my blog of late, not for any sinister reasons, my interests have shifted is all.

I did wonder how other kids saw we inmates lol.  But it wasn't all hell, it was much like having lots of siblings, we were on the same side.  Against the nuns ha ha.  It was in the convent I learned the golden rule of 'you never grass (on each other)' and I have kept it as a moral code haha.  

The nuns you named were indeed monsters, but as I age, I try to look on them a bit more kindly.  They were products of their time and environments, indoctrinated rather than educated.  Their chosen life was abnormal.  I remember as a young teenager my hormones were going nuts, I was either passionately in love and deliriously happy or dying of unrequited love a la Cathy in Wuthering Heights.  My social worker's notes had great expectations for my future, until aged 14, she noted 'sadly, Linda has discovered boys'.  The idea of devoting my life to God and never flirting with the boy in the butchers again would have been unbearable.  Does she have a point you are wondering?  Yes, haha, those angry, bitter nuns, at a young (very hormonal age) rejected and supressed all those desires to live a life of poverty and, the big one, celibacy.  Have you ever seen a nun flirt, we inmates did, often, and it was as cringey as it sounds.  

I have realised over the years that the problem with St. Anne's children's home and indeed all children's homes was more to do with the moral code of the times and the existing old (prison like) institutions that had existed for decades, even centuries.  The 'church' took care of society's orphans and abandoned children, the local authorities paid them.  Even a cursory glance would suggest financial margins were much discussed (See Oliver Twist,  Dickens).  Imagine too, an unwritten acceptance that these children were the offspring of the undeserving poor, who, unless handled correctly, could grow up to be as wanton and feckless as their parents.  Correction played a big part in the agenda.  Kids placed in such care at a very early age can become institutionalised.  Which sadly, accounts for many who go from children's homes to prisons.  

What happened at St. Anne's probably happened all over the country, all over the world.  The abuse meted out at St. Anne's was systematic of what happens when you put a bunch of religious fanatics in charge of vulnerable children.  Or indeed any environment where any vulnerable child or adult is left in the care of a psychopath.  In prisons, and indeed institutions, those in charge can and do display psychopathic behaviour.  It's a fascinating and indeed troubling subject, especially if you accept that 10% of the population are psychopaths.  

I am so sorry Greg, I wandered, even more these days than before, lol.  Be assured Greg I have found happiness, do take care and thank you for your kindness.

Reply to Bjorn

Hi Bjorn, I am afraid I have rather abandoned my blog of late and have only just seen your comments. I am afraid I got completely carried away with the pomp and pageantry.  Bizarre, because I have never been a monarchist or royalist in my life.  In fact, I once proudly declared myself as a marxist/feminist around the time I graduated, as you do, haha.  I am still a Jeremy Corbyn Leftie, but old age and my love of history made the coronation quite an event for me.  I now understand how people become more royalist as they age.  I think it is because we equate royal lives with our own.  That is we know who we were married to and where we were with each royal wedding and baby.  I know a pathetic excuse to support a multibillion pound firm.

I think we should definitely have a debate of free speech Bjorn.  I think it was a bit off to arrest those yellow shirted placard carriers before they even got out of their van!  I don't think there was much protest, or if there was, it wasn't covered.

As for Harry and Meghan.  I feel an awful cringing embarrassment for Harry.  Everything he has foolishly said he will have to standby.  A lifetime of 'I gave up everything for you', from her.  As for her winning a feminist award, now I have seen everything.  She married a Prince.  So apparently that is what little girls aspire to, I m sure Gloria Steinem was much impressed.  Virginia Woolf and Shakespeare's Sister, not so much.  Actually, to be fair most of today's feminists make me want to scream and scream until I'm sick.  I forgive GS, she is almost 90 and being love bombed.   

Thursday 6 April 2023


Well that's it, I have finally done it.  I have applied for a passport after so many years.  Where am I going?  Who knows?  Wherever takes me, ha ha.  I jest, (or do I?) I have only recently discovered, via letter through the door, that I am to be a pensioner!  Whilst I am delighted to be getting there (look at the alternative), I am somewhat astonished, given my previous life of drunkenness, partying and debauchery.  Feel I should check literal meaning of debauchery, but what ho.  

Naturally I didn't party all the time (although I would have liked to), I simply followed the advice I read in Joan Collins' autobiography many moons ago.  She was a big star at the time and much admired for her youthful looks (being over 40).  Partying she said was her secret, she went out, she glammed up, by comparison, her settled down, respectable friends were getting old before their time.  I liked that, though it was probably because it suited my life choices at the time. 

But back to that passport.  What I took from Miss Collins' book was the 'glam' bit.  That has always stayed with me.  Especially the makeup.  My first, and arguably favourite job, was working on the makeup counter in Woolworths.  If I could only rescue one thing in a fire, it would be 'fek the passport, where's my makeup bag'.  I think the same would apply if half the world turned into zombies, what do you grab?  A gun? lipstick? 

But the passport.  Naturally, the picture mean't a lot.  Actually, everything, if I'd had a passport, I would have had a trip to Turkey for a face lift before getting a passport!  Doh!  I jest I wouldn't have gone that far, but I did bust out the Charlotte Tilbury.  And I took a lot, a lot, of selfies.  Taking a picture of a 65 (almost 66) year old face san jowls, wrinkles and age spots is a difficult (but not impossible) task.  I then used an 'App' to make my chosen (very flattering imo, a bit Audrey Hepburn) pic passport ready.  Sadly, today it was rejected!  And I am hurt, I always take these things personally.  I could point out why it was rejected, but for a bit a fun I will put it up here to see if the eagle eyed can spot what went wrong. 

My next, not nearly so nice, pic has now been submitted, but I'm not publishing that!  Why do official pics always make you look like a resident of a gulag?  Yes, dear reader, there are jowls, and even bags. It's hideous!  Sadly, at this stage of life with every pic, I am always thinking 'what's going to go on the tombstone'?  Please don't let it be that one.  My love to all who have taken a minute to pop in, take care.

Monday 9 January 2023

THE HARRY AND MEGHAN SAGA - a subversive view

The Harry/Meghan saga.  I can keep my trap shut no longer!  Meghan is of course a she devil, the cavalier (love that word) discarding of her sick father who doted on her, her entire life, is proof of that.  So too the dumping of her family and friends who didn't fit in with her new 'Princess' life.   She is the epitome of narcissism, she does not have one scintilla of empathy, least of all towards the poor sop who married her.  

Post shit hitting the fan, via the early release of Harry's book in Spain and as the dust begins to settle, commentators are asking, in earnest, whether Harry has anyone close left to advise him.  Someone who cared about him enough to stop him publishing the cringey, toe-curling details that will ensure he has the pee taken out of him for the rest of his life.  No man, especially not a 'vet', calls what they wear around their neck, probably a chain, a necklace.  Naturally, pictures of Harry dressed as the Queen in pearls went up immediately.  And that was just the beginning.   

As someone who has written a memoir, there are crucial things to bear in mind before you begin.  The first, honesty and integrity. Words matter and the written word lasts forever.  Whilst it is an easy way to get revenge, it is more honourable to take the compassionate ground, to question why, in hindsight, did that person act that way.  To step in their shoes for a moment.  And, as my beloved father drummed into me from childhood,  'don't hurt someone just because you can'.  

Memoirs, of the misery variety, which Harry's is, have an expectation of, well, err, misery, which is where I went wrong on the book sales front.  I had found, while digging through the memory banks, that I had a much happier childhood than I realised.  There was no way I was going to portray my wonderfully unique, beloved father and mother as ignorant, feckless or, heaven forbid, cruel.  I even eased up a little on the actually cruel nun and 'uncle' who ran our children's home like a gulag.  They were products of their time, their backgrounds, their own indoctrination.  For me, writing a memoir was a huge learning curve, in a good way, I found out that digging up things that make you feel bad is fecking crazy, digging up things that make you feel good, is a much better route to enlightenment and contentment. 

Revealing your deepest, darkest, secrets in writing, or even in therapy will haunt you forever more.  Save those for drunken sessions with friends who will never use them against you.  Friends who will never say, 'yar, publish that for the whole world to see, especially the tale of the necklace, the frostbitten dick and the 25 Taliban you killed'.  No-one who liked him would ever say that.  Anyone who liked him would have told him that he was handing the media and social media a huge artillery of weapons to use against him.  What a shame he didn't have his family, his friends and all those courtiers around to advise him.  Having had a book published by Random House, I don't know how these awful indiscretions got past his editors and legal readings. But they are paid by Random House, ditto, his agent and indeed himself.  It is the juicy bits that will bump up the sales.  It appears the 'you will be a laughing stock' talk never happened. 

Sadly, I think Meghan had a big, spiteful, hand in the writing of Harry's book.  I know how intense the book writing process is, especially if you have someone else reading and commenting on what you (or your ghostwriter) have written.  Meghan, the eternal English O-level student, would have encouraged him to reveal every tiny graphic, detail he could remember from his upbringing.  Especially, drawing, as much as possible, on his late, lamented mother, there is still much cashing in to do in her name.  

I suspect the hand of Meghan because men don't generally attack other men for their looks with bitchy balding comments, nor do they refer to their neckwear as a necklace.  That's more mean girls than two brothers.  But I can't blame Meghan entirely.  As much fun as Harry was, he always had a chip on his shoulder with regard to the press.  And, now we know, with his position in the family as 'spare'.  His girlfriends also kept dumping him.  From a romantic perspective, the planets were aligned for the meeting of Harry and Meghan, or from a jungle perspective, an alpha lioness spotted a limping gazelle trying to keep up with the herd.   

From all I have read and seen, I'm afraid I do see Meghan as a predator.  She came to England specifically to find status and a rich husband, and with Harry she struck gold.  Money and a title!  Harry's negative traits of self entitlement, and self pity that drove away previous girlfriends (I'm guessing, that and throwing crockery at servants) had the opposite effect on Meghan, not only did she have the same character defects, she admired them!  Nay, cultured and encouraged them.  'Everything that makes you feel really bad about yourself H, just focus on that'.  A bit like his grandaddy going along to Madame Luncheon Voucher for a good thrashing (allegedly).  Sorry about that.  Such salacious gossip  has no place here, added just for the coffee spilling moment.  

From a psychological perspective I don't know if there is any link between emotional battering and 10 physical lashes with a cane at public school.  The 'Madame Luncheon Voucher' affair, where most of the clientele turned out to be ex public schoolboys would suggest there is.  In any event, what Meghan did to Harry is eerily similar to what controlling narcissistic men to their (usually) battered wives.  That is they love bomb them and isolate them until they have absolute power and their victim has no-one to turn to but them.  

Sadly for Harry, the man he has become is a shell of the man he once was.  It's as if all the joy and humanity has been sucked out of him.  He doesn't even know the difference between right and wrong anymore, let alone good taste, bad taste.  He is living in a large mansion in California, not his dream, he wanted to live incognito in Africa. He also wanted what his brother had, a wife like Kate and a big family to meet up with for summer and Christmas holidays, a large country estate, polo chums, shooting weekends, bowing and deference from all around him.  Instead he ended up with his wife's 'Hollywood Wives' dream, of being fabulously wealthy and hanging out with the rich and famous.  The nouveau riche rather than the old families of the landed gentry.  And in California, he is no longer a big fish in a small pond, now he is competing in a ruthless industry, where being a Prince doesn't top talent and hard work. As yet, he and Meghan have exhibited no discernible talent. 

Sadly for Prince Harry, once Meghan had him in her sights, there was no escape for him.  She used every trick from 'the nasty girl's guide to ensnaring a dim witted aristocrat'.  Portraying herself as intelligent (she watched every episode of Jeopardy), a gourmet (she can name popular foreign foods), she is beautiful (she was a suitcase girl on Deal or No Deal), She is a feminist (she hated it). Her biggest hook for Harry however, was her idolatry of his poor departed mother.  A woman with 'powers' brought back the spirit of Diana to assure H&M they were on the right path.  And then Harry takes Meghan out to Diana's grave on the tiny private island on the Althorp Estate, where she laid her hand on Diana's headstone to connect with her.  Dear Lord yes, the big eejit recounts that, frankly creepy visit by the pair of them to his mother's grave. Clearly nothing is sacred, unless you count Meghan who was blessed by the spirit of Diana.  Perhaps they can reignite that spirit with a world tour, once more bringing the spirit of Diana to the masses.  Think ticket sales and merchandise.  

I haven't yet seen Harry's pre book release interviews, they are airing tonight, but it will truly be a struggle to watch them.  Harry is the victim of a narcissist.  He has narcissistic traits himself which probably drew him to her, but of the two, she is the dominant control freak.  She believes she can, through Harry, be invited back into the Windsor hierarchy on her terms.  I'm guessing a castle bigger than his brother's, apartments in London and New York, her pick of the Crown jewels, shedloads of dosch and a fleet of servants.  She is delusional of course, the monarchy have fought off (sometimes physically) the challenges of second sons and foreign she wolves for centuries.  The pair should be grateful they haven't been dragged off to the Tower and drowned in a vat of wine of their own choosing, the fate of one unfortunate second son.  

This won't of course blow over, it will be etched in history forever more, but it will fade away just like the Princess Diana and Paul Burrell books.  If Meghan truly was as intelligent as she thinks she is, she would have known that that the rest of the world and the USA especially are no longer in awe of crowns and titles.  The Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII, did not become the popular global star his wife Wallace may have imagined.  After the initial furore of his abdication, he lived in semi obscurity in Paris.  Sarah Ferguson, who revelled in her Duchess of York title was fortunate to enjoy the tail end of the US's love of British Royalty.  Diana may have toyed with the idea of moving to the US but I suspect Buckingham Palace moved heaven and earth to ensure she stayed in the UK.  For her divorce settlement Diana got £17 million and £400,000 a year while Sarah got £15,000 a year.  A vast difference between the two, explained by Sarah being in the pay of Weightwatchers.  BP probably threw their hands in the air in horror at the thought of the mother of the future heir being in the pay of corporate America.  

Anyway, I will watch the Harry interviews, or at least try to.  I find at my age I am very discerning about how I spend my precious time, my guard is set to zero for negativity and whining.  And should mention, I found the Harry and Meghan docuseries boring. Listening to people telling you how wonderful they are is an absolute turnoff. And here they break that other golden rule of writing.  Do not preach. Readers hate it, they don't want to be told they need to go through the same brainwashing process as the writer in order to be fulfilled.  And if you are going for the 'look at me now' finale, you better be living the dream.  Harry preluded his book announcement with 'not the prince I was born, but the man I have become' as if his journey and transition were a resounding success, when we can see by his pallid, miserable face, that it clearly wasn't.  He doesn't look or act like a man living his dreams.  Hollywood people are not his people.  They don't go out stalking and shooting deer, they don't hold banquets, they don't have Presidents coming to dinner and only on special occasions are red carpets rolled out for them.  All the deference Harry received as a Prince of England.  Now he is a non-working Royal, which sounds almost as insulting as undeserving poor.  

Could you imagine Harry at a cocktail party or a meet and greet, being approached by a non resident Russian Oligarch with a few billion to launder.  'Sorry, can't do it old chap, I'm non-working'.  That's not to say the working side could or should, but that's a whole other nest of hornets.  Sadly, Harry, as a man (common) that he has become, is finding out that his days of hobnobbing with world leaders and billionaires are behind him.  Not only does he probably not get the invites anymore, but no-one admires a man who can betray his own brother.  He ditched his family and his birthright as cruelly as Meghan ditched her father and family.  That's why I don't like them.  If they can be so disloyal and despicable (behind closed doors) to the families who loved them, their public philanthropy and charity is phoney, in my opinion.

So how did Meghan hook Harry.  Meghan follows the philosophy of 'The Secret'*.  That is she has unleashed the power (that we all have) to achieve her goals and desires.  Successful people will tell you to imagine, picture yourself, in the place you want to be and you will get there.  Sounds fanciful, but it works.  I will give an example.  I once coveted a brand new Rover car displayed in our local High Street.  I use the word covet because that was how I felt, I was obsessed with it.  The problem was there was no way I could ever own one, but I did.  I made it happen. Within a couple of years that mental image I had created of myself merrily driving a brand new shiny Rover became reality.  

The 'secret' is not such a great secret.  Most people who use it's powers and techniques are not even aware of it, some might call it ambition.  Once you decide what it is you want, you become hyper vigilant to ways, means and opportunities to get it.  You pick up on them because you have your eye on the goal.  As I say, we all have that power if we choose to use it.  But if we live and breathe that go-getting philosophy we embark on a nerve-racking roller coaster.  How far will we go to achieve our goals?  Are we prepared to be ruthless, to hurt others, at what point do we say, it's not worth it.

Happily most people are happy with a shiny new car or a semi-detached in the suburbs, others want world domination like Putin, Trump and Meghan Markle.  They keep their eye on the goal but they want to punish others along the way.  'Look at me now', is not enough, their enemies must suffer.   See every tyrant and despot throughout history.  

I feel bad now for portraying the philosophy of 'The Secret' as a bad thing.  It isn't.  Most people apply it with morality and reason, they are not aiming for world domination.  To be fair, I am not sure Meghan is either.  Right now she is going for iconic status as a humanitarian/feminist/activist/celebrity, she has given up on the acting.  Dare I say it, she is unfocused.  She is torn between battling for that Princess status, the castles, the jewels etc, continuing with her bland, non controversial, non subversive, podcast opinions on subjects no cares about, or, step over that great big red line and criticise US gun laws, stand up for abortion rights (Roe v. Wade), question the motives of the religious far right.  She and H live in America now, they are the laws they have to live under.   

Meghan describes herself as an activist but she doesn't lend her voice where activism is needed.  She visited the tragic scene of the Uvalde mass shooting, but she did not speak out about the crazy gun laws in the US that allowed this to happen.  That would have given her all the front pages she wanted.  She could have gone on 'The View' and all the late night talk shows.  Why didn't she?  (1)she doesn't know enough to discuss the subject, (2)she still abides by the Royal rule of no politics. I think (2) would result in the immediate loss of her Duchess title.  You can see her conundrum.  

Sadly, I do not think the future bodes well for Harry.  In this Disney movie, it is the Prince locked in the tower and loving it.  'Harold, lower your hair' shouts Prince Willy from below.  'I can't, I haven't got any' then 'no you fiend, let go of my necklace', a sorry saga indeed.  It's like the man in the iron mask, saying 'no, I'm good, leave me here for another 2 decades'.  Harry's mask is his beard, his casual California chic, his weird, woke BLM personality spewing out platitudes that brought to my mind that 1970's 'I'd like to buy the world a coke' ad, where all dress like hippies and link arms.  Now all those hippies wear suits and work for large (and often gun selling) corporations.  Such is life.  When Harry cuts his hair and discards his bellbottoms, there won't be much to go back to.  

I could go on, but I will spare you dear reader, especially if you have made it this far.  My kindest wishes to all.


Wednesday 4 January 2023


Several years ago I self published a book called the 'The Reluctant Dieter', sadly it was not a success commercially, but I am delighted to say that it was a success for those who read it.

I wrote the book because I had (in a New Year) decided to take control of my health and weight.  Within 3 months, I lost 3 stone!  Was it unhealthy?  Well err no, on asking my GP, he replied with a big smile, no, carry on with what you are doing!  

My diet book is unlike any diet book you have ever read.  It's real, it's honest, it's like having a giggly chat with your mates, I don't preach and I don't pontificate, I'm all about finding short cuts and lazy options.  In my opinion, if something is difficult or means denying yourself everything you enjoy, you will give up.  

Having been a yoyo dieter my entire adult life, I decided to devise my own diet and exercise routine.  I didn't buy expensive health foods.  I didn't go the gym or the swimming pool, I did the Jane Fonda warm up routine and danced (like no-one was watching) to 80's disco hits in the privacy of my bedroom.  And I walked every day, inspired by Stephen Fry who put his own amazing weight loss down to walking, though I hasten to add, I didn't walk nearly as much as he.  Best of all I carried on enjoying the food I love, just not so much of it!  

Now, several years later, I am pleased to say that the lifestyle changes I made then have stayed with me, though I now allow myself 1500 calories rather than 1,000, a day to maintain my current weight, and the Jane Fonda tape would kill me.  I jest, these days I just walk. Fifteen hundred calories may sound meagre, but I actually eat whatever I want.  If you are eating 5-7 portions of fruit and veg per day, which I recommend, you have little room left for the junk.

Anyway, I hope this lands with a little bit of cheer for the New Year, especially if you are looking for an easy way to lose weight and get healthier.  I am not sure how it all works but it looks as though it is free on Kindle, and I hope readers take it up.  Even if you don't get healthy, it's a fun read and some of the tips may stick - see reviews.  

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone, and my kindest wishes to all.

Saturday 17 September 2022


 I had an idea a couple of weeks ago, to write a letter, or journal recounting the evets of our time, a bit like Samuel Pepys, though I get my information from the news I see and read on social media.  Twitter, for keeping up to date and Youtube for the same reason, but also for all the wonderful documentaries and charismatic vloggers and all their interesting niche subjects.  2022 is indeed the age of information, especially for my generation who's idea of a mobile phone was two rusty cans and a piece of string.  Our first home phone was a party line shared with neighbours we were at war with, not helped by the fact that I was a young teenager who needed to spend at least 8 hours a day chatting to my mates.

I abandoned my first letter to the future a couple of weeks ago.  It was full of doom and gloom as the soothsayer in me predicted all sorts of Walking Dead situations in the weeks and months to come.  We have already lived through one plague and I suspect more are on their way. But to be fair I was morose at the time and I had recently watched Prince of Egypt.  Ok, maybe not a WD situation, but certainly we are experiencing the rumblings of a revolution.  Without going all preachy again, the greed of the billionaires will force millions in the UK into food and energy poverty.  Something that should be unheard of this 21st century.  As in the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917, something's got to give.

But I will stop from that political vein before I start throwing rotten tomatoes at myself.  This week has been ultra dramatic.  The old Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, who has been on the throne for 70 years has passed away!  It's the biggest news since Princess Diana.  QE11's son has instantly become King Charles III, lots of people are remembering their history lessons and saying The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King, in the same breath I believe.  A precaution previous monarchs had to take in case some upstart from another branch of the family decided to ride in with an army and steal the throne.  The Normandy branch were known for it.

Suffice to say the throne of Great Britain is pretty secure.  Heirs and spares all over the place.  Princess Diana secured the throne and kept her head, by giving Prince Charles two sons, and his sons have sons.  Now I am not particularly a monarchist, though maybe I am because I have always had an intense interest in the Royal family.  I think it started with Diana because I loved the clothes she wore and tutting at the mistakes she made.  Ditto Fergie, the Duchess of York, not because she couldn't wear haute couture but because she reminded me of my schooldays and those bossy, lumbering jolly hockeysticks types who did not share my love of a ciggy behind the bike sheds and talking about boys.  Oddly enough, in later life, those 'types' became great pals of mine, always good for a craic.

When I heard the news, well actually I was watching it all day, I had feelings of shock, and indeed sorrow, that I never expected to feel.  I have joked about this moment for years, well complained that she would probably outlive me, never thinking it would come.  I kind of felt sorry for Prince Charles, because he has spent a life in waiting and that is probably how history will remember him.  To his credit, in these days of mourning he has done a whistlestop tour of the United Kingdom and attended non stop church and cathedral services.  Actually the whole of  the Royal Family have been very much on show, including Prince Harry and Meghan (more on which later).  The age old pomp, ceremony and pageantry are very much to the forefront at this time, reminding us of the long lineage of our rulers.  I am actually quite proud of it all, the UK is putting on an amazing spectacle for the world, a reminder of not only our past, but theirs too.   

But I wanted to tell you what it feels like at this time.  It compares I think to the madness that took over the UK in September 1997 when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.  The country was in shock, probably more so than now because Diana was only 36.  The feeling now is more that it is the end of an era, a very long era.  Most of us have not known any other monarch, Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne our entire lives.   No matter what our feelings towards the Monarchy and all the sycophancy that surrounds it, it is impossible to be untouched at this time.  We are caught in a moment of history.  We have lived through and are at the end of the second Elizabethan age.  Historians of the future will look back at the week of September 2022, and they will mark 1952-2022, the rule of Queen Elizabeth as a time of what?  Great change, democracy, fairness and equality?  Debateable.  We still have a huge divide between rich and poor, bigger I would say than during the Victorian Age.  Some would argue that the monarch has no say in the way in which the country is run.  But I disagree.  The Queen is often recited as being wise, informed and diplomatic, her experience is legendary, meeting 15 Prime Ministers and virtually every world leader.  She could, for example, have told Liz Truss (new PM) not to allow her people to freeze and/or starve to death this coming winter.  

But tut tut to myself here, I did not mean to criticise at this time.  I've actually grown quite fond of the Royal Family in recent years, I especially love the birthday pictures of the little ones taken by their mum Princess Catherine.  My whole perspective changed when I saw the then very elderly Queen visit a hospital in Manchester caring for the young victims of a devastating bomb at a Ariana Grande pop concert.  The effect this sweet old lady had on the patients and nurses was miraculous.  It was at that moment 'I got it'.    

Whilst I hate to end this missive on a sour note, the well oiled Royal PR machine failed to take into account the human factor, that is a very pampered, grumpy, 73 year old man surrounded by servants and sycophants who do literally everything for him!  From putting toothpaste on his toothbrush to ironing his shoelaces.  I also hear his staff have to cook six boiled eggs for his breakfast to ensure he gets the correct consistency.  I can't help thinking that in order to live that kind of life, one, hmm, would have to enjoy demeaning others because that's how the whole Master/Servant thing works.

OK, so he's a dinosaur, a relic from a bygone age, but the whole bottom teeth baring at lackies and temper tantrums, yes plural, was shocking.  I am referring to King Charles III's inability to operate a fountain pen or move an inkwell on his own.  In the words of Mya Angelou, 'when someone shows you who they are, believe them', I now suspect the purveyor of the dodgy fountain pens has now been dragged off to the Tower!

I should before I go, mention the dissent among the masses.  And there is some.  A bit of booing here and there, and few signs demanding the abolition of the Monarchy and 'Not my King'.  It is stamped out immediately with offenders being marched off in handcuffs.  There is a real clampdown on any signs of dissent, it's almost as if the entire establishment are insisting we all mourn and we all cheer the new King.  

I suppose those looking back at these times will consider just how stable the monarchy is at the end of a long reign.  While republicans might have put up with the Queen due to her longevity and distance from our lives, a new King might upset the status quo.  Maybe that is why all the Windsors are out and about meeting the ordinary people.  King Charles needs to capture that goodwill the Queen had enjoyed, he and  his heirs need it if the Monarchy is to survive.  

Now I really will say ttfn (ta ta for now).  There is a big week ahead with lots more ceremony and pageant to come.  It will be the biggest gathering of world leaders, well, ever.  Which begs the question, how does an Emperor greet a King?  Who bows first? I mention this because the Emperor of Japan, Emperor Naruhito is among the world leaders attending and of course the President of the USA, Joe Biden.  I'll give a full list of attendees in my next instalment.  For now, just those two names send a shiver down my spine and I feel quite chuffed on behalf of the Queen and her family that the world treated her with such respect.  My kindest wishes to any reader who has got this far - take care.

Friday 1 July 2022


A year ago I was singing 'will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64'.  This year I am feeling even more trepidation as I approach 65.  I was filled with the hebee jeebies when reaching Sixty because that I would say, is definitely the turning point, when you go from middle aged to just plain old.  Sixty five is when you start to shrink away, both literally and figuratively, I have lost both height and weight and I think an invisible veil is starting to engulf me in.  

I can't say I have ever thought about what I would be like as an old person, I knew I would never be a regular little old lady with a cauliflower perm, a battered old purse and a shopping trolley, but yeah, ha ha, I am.  Except for the cauliflower perm.  But with the addition of a magnifying glass, because I cannot read food labels. when Smart Arsed Son first saw me use it, he asked 'anything I can help you with Sherlock', he has a gag for every occasion.  Seriously though, I need to know how many calories are in that large cream eclair before I commit.  You see I'm not all bad, I balance it out by eating a piece of mackerel and a handful of rasberries.   Not together obviously, but both look good in my daily eating record, yes I do that now, I keep a food diary.  Whilst the eclairs may congregate with the doughnuts around the waistline, the fish livens up the brain and the rasberries flush it all out.  There is a method to the madness.

I was going to have a moan about getting old and decrepit, but the truth is, I am quite enjoying it.  My flowing blue locks are fooling no-one, I'm perceived as ancient, but I'm OK with that.  The world feels like a much kinder place, young people go out of their way to be helpful and polite.  I am on the outside edges of the hustle and bustle and phew to that. I don't know how I managed as a single working mum, but I did, and I survived it and much, much more, but I'll never forget the nights I cried because I had to stay in.    

Now, at 65 I am able to do whatever I want whenever I feel.  Unfortunately the good Lord, if there is one, chucked we over 60's a curved ball.  He (it had to be a man) gave us all this freedom when we are least likely to enjoy it!  Sure we can go to wild parties, do drugs, and stay out all night, but we don't really want to.  My list of things to do before I die is shrinking.  I have had to strike off ketamine and MDMA but I'm still up for the mushrooms.  I jest, my weekend with Jack Nicholson getting drunk and high in New Orleans, has been downgraded to a night in with a movie (one of his obviously) and a cup of cocoa.  Nah, scrub that, loads of drugs and a medic on standby.  The wicked little devil became my kind of guy when he told Cher to leave the dishes and laundry because she would have to do it all again 'tomorrow', made me swoon.  

But I digress.  Getting old and decrepit can be cool.  No rushing for trains, no arsehole bosses, no boring filing and no paper cuts - jeez they hurt.  In the past few months I have been able to watch all the ins and outs of the Johnny Depp .v. Amber Heard trial and I have to say it had more drama, conflict and pathos than any movie or drama I have ever seen.  Being an old hippy chick, I am naturally aligned to Johnny Depp, he is unique and kind of crazy.  I don't know what it is with brilliant men, that they can be so easily swayed by a pretty face, but they can.  Arthur Miller/Marilyn Monroe (though she too was brilliant in her own way), Charlie Chaplin and his penchant for young starlets.  Some might say they ask to get taken for a ride, but it is a human trait.  History is littered with tales of young scarlet women and totally smitten old eejits willing to give up everything for them, see Henry VIII.

Happily justice has been done.  The jury saw exactly what the behaviour analysts, the pundits and we the audience saw.  AH is a terrible actress and violently psychotic.  Johnny, poor sod, was lucky to get away from her alive.  Prince Harry on the other hand has no escape.  When someone starts cutting people out of your life, you are in the hands of a control freak and it is not pleasant.  Harry has a new life, but he hasn't got his old life, the one he clearly enjoyed before he gave it all up for his wife. Ouch, actually a lifetime of ouch.

But back to the joys of getting older.  I love having the time to explore subjects that have always interested me and discovering new ones that have kept me fascinated.  I am still in the midst of my Viking phase, mostly because I have been able to go back and watch the series again from the beginning, this is where the geriatric memory loss comes in handy.  And I have loved being able to, vicariously, visit the most interesting and inaccessible places on earth via intrepid vloggers who always have their cameras with them.  Viva technology say I, who ever thought we would live in such a brave new world eh?

My kindest wishes to those who have come this far, my writer's block, I hope will break one of these days, now that I have the time and 'room of one's own', all I ever wanted.  Meanwhile, take care, thank you for reading.  Would love to hear how being over 60 affects others, thoughts welcome.

Tuesday 28 June 2022


Well, that's it, finally I have been to the hairdressers.  The no more cutting, no more colouring began with the lockdown, but then just carried on when I realised that long hair is actually far less maintenance than short hair!  Who knew?  I must have spent thousands over the years having my hair done, hair cutting is the one area of my life where I have never economised and I have had some wild and wonderful hairstyles over the years, it's always kind of been my thing.  Some might say, if I had taken as much care with my choice of men as I do with hair stylists, it might all have been different...... ah, such is life.

But little things make me happy, none more so than a great new 'Do'.  I had forgotten the joy and anxiety of going into a hairdressers, fearful yet excited as to how it is going to go.  I haven't been able to sleep since I made the appointment.  I can't forget the one time I gave my hairdresser free rein.  She cut my hair in the style of Friar Tuck, it was the 80's and boxy short hairdos were in.  There were no redeeming features, I could neither brush it upwards, backwards or anywhere other than square in the centre of my head.  The best I could get from family, colleagues and friends, and yes, there were snickers, was it will grow back.  Not when it's above your fecking ears it won't.

But I digress, I get very emotional when recalling bad hair experiences, mostly it has been a joy, in the past I would always go show my dear old Dad when I got my hair cut.  He knew the way to my narcissistic heart, if I was down in the dumps he would put his hand in his pocket for a couple of notes, so I could go and get my hair done.  His knowledge of psychology ran deep.  My next step would be to call my mother to discuss the new do in depth.  When I first went blonde she asked ' what, like Lily Savage?' why her first thoughts went to that extreme visual is mind boggling, but also hilarious.  Thereafter it would be 2 hours on the phone to my mate Big Lynn, she was a very patient woman, and then basically anyone who would listen.  

Keeping people interested in the hair talk is kind of hard work.  I am currently exchanging texts with a friend who's first love is home decor, she is pretty skilled at steering the conversation into lampshades and wallpaper, getting the chat back to my blue hair is proving difficult, it's like a game of chess.  Smart Arsed Son managed a 'yeah, it looks good', but will not go beyond that.  He pointed out yet again that he is not the gay son I had always dreamed of.  Now planning a night out (for my 65th) at a gay club where the shallow subject of hair can be discussed with empaths.  The whole concept of empaths is quite new to me, and I am sure I am one.  Not a wise thing to claim as I have discovered.  Smart Arsed Son has found thousands of new and creative ways to say 'not an empath', which is vexing.

But I cannot complain, I received an abundance of compliments from the young girls who worked in the salon and the stylist who kept using words like gorgeous and fabulous, I felt like a film star!  For anyone who is interested, I got the colour from Fanola No More Yellow purple shampoo (on recommendation of a dear reader) and the Fanola purple hair mask (like a conditioner).  I haven't used anything else, not even regular shampoo, and my hair has been in fabulous condition ever since.  I was advised 'carry on doing whatever you are doing', which is a great thing to hear from a hairdresser.  Also great to hear long hair at any age is OK.   I think back in the 60's you would have been put in a straight jacket, or earlier still, the ducking stool!   I will shut up about hair, a blog on the joys of being over 60 follows: