Monday 20 July 2020


Remember when Jess Phillips said she would happily stab Jeremy Corbyn in the front?  Imagine if JC had said that about her and the hysteria induced grand mal that would kick off?  I'm not sure any amount of smelling salts would bring her around.  I'd keep her out by playing her own ill informed speeches on a loop. It would be fair to say, few MPs irritate me as much as Jess Phillips, not just her loud geezer bird voice and behaviour, but her narcissistic belief that only her opinions matter.  And worse, she portrays herself as an expert on subjects she clearly knows very little about.

Now she has written an opinion piece on Johnny Depp's libel case against the Sun, where she has, not surprisingly, taken the side of Amber Heard (the woman involved) and err Rupert Murdoch and The Sun. Of course pretendy feminist and pretendy defender of abused women, Jess Phillips felt the need to throw in her two penny worth by portraying the stunningly beautiful and successful actress Amber Heard as a victim of domestic abuse.  Portraying Amber Heard as the victim, demonstrates just how little Jess Phillips knows about domestic abuse.  Most victims of domestic abuse are trapped - they have nowhere to go, no money and usually babies and children they must protect.  They don't have access to multiple mansions or private planes at their disposal.

Jess Phillips has with her opinion piece, made two huge 'Trumpian' errors.  Firstly, with her high profile in the Labour Party as a spokesperson for women and domestic abuse, it is appalling that she wrote about a domestic violence case without reading or knowing the basic facts that led to Johnny Depp's libel case.  Victims of domestic abuse for example, don't usually stub out cigarettes on their partners, chop off their fingers or shit in their beds.  Phillips either doesn't know about all these incidents or it's part of her coverall generic 'it doesn't matter what a women does'.  Phillips complains that Amber (the victim) is having her name dragged through the mud by a libel case in which she is not personally involved.

Well ahem, ahem Jess, why do you think Johnny Depp is bringing this libel case?  Take a minute.  Yeah, you got it, Amber Heard with her false accusations dragged his name through the mud with lies.  Arguably, she destroyed his 'A' list career.  Should we all just ignore that bit, say it's OK to destroy a man with heinous accusations of physical abuse, even if the man is completely innocent?  Is the man not allowed to defend himself even if his career and livelihood are at stake?  Fucking good job you're not on a jury you single minded bigot. 

And here is her second great Trumpian error.  Men can be abused too.  Horrifically so, as we have seen in this case.  Johnny Depp should be lauded for speaking out about female abuse against men.  It happens.  Probably far more than is spoken about because men cannot bear the shame of other men, well anyone, knowing that they are being battered by their wives.  No one doubts Johnny Depp's masculinity or thinks him less of a man for tolerating that crazy woman's behaviour.  His strength lies in his not retaliating and I am sure many men can relate to that.

She also commented on the women from Johnny Depp's past such as Winona Ryder coming forward to defend JD's character, dismissing their evidence as irrelevant.  Another sweeping, no room for argument, judgment on her part, displaying her sheer ignorance of human nature and behaviour.  People, predominantly, do not change their basic personality or kind, or unkind natures.  A non violent person doesn't suddenly become violent in middle age.  The evidence of Ms Ryder et al is integral, they knew Johnny Depp intimately, away from the cameras and media.   

Jess Phillips should hang her head in shame for publishing that article without doing any research whatsoever.  She seized on this very public libel trial to defend The Sun (ffs) and to defend a violent woman who's abuse towards Johnny Depp is proven beyond doubt.  At the very least, she should have listened to the tapes before diving in with an opinion based on nothing other than her own prejudice.  Ms Phillips clearly doesn't do her homework and that shouldn't be good enough for an article published in a major newspaper.  

Saturday 11 July 2020


Many thanks JB, you may not know this, but the initials JB mean a lot to me. Whoever you are, many thanks for giving me permission (encouragement) to write freely.  To be fair, the only blocks I had were my own, that fear all writers have, am I giving away too much?  I am worried that some bored student in the future will read my scribblings and wonder wtf was she on?  Today, what I am actually on is a large slice of the Victoria sponge I made at midnight.  And no, whipping cream doesn't whip any faster than double cream.  

Perhaps I am getting bored with this lockdown or, dare I say it, braver.  Braver, because I am becoming more and more aware of my own mortality.  My age, my lifestyle, my misspent youth, my pre-conditions and my sorrow, make me a 'stat' waiting to happen in this pandemic.  How quickly can you go from watching the 'stats' to becoming one of them.  I have resigned myself to being chucked in a mass grave and forgotten forever, which is OK, my last thoughts on leaving this life will be re-uniting with those I love who have gone before and who I know I will meet again. I'm going to ask to be buried, burned, dumped whatever with a bottle opener in my pocket and a tray of vol-au-vents (my fav party food) for the big bash.  I will also ensure I am word perfect on 'Flower of Scotland' and 'Oh Danny Boy'.  

Now, what does it matter if my present day readers think I'm nuts, in fact it is more crazy for me to think any of them consider me sane. My multiple personalities are all over this blog which is irksome because I consider the multiple personality diagnosis nonsense. I think we all have multiple personalities we call on to cope with different situations.  Mine are perhaps more pronounced, and some are completely spooked by them. I remember meeting the first love of my life in the early 70's whilst wearing a very feminine,vintage 'Biba' dress with a sweetheart neckline and puffy sleeves. As I walked into a pub to meet him on our first date, he almost fell off his barstool.  I had opted to go full 'punk rocker' and looked nothing like the sweet, girly girl in a flowery frock he had met two nights before! Happily, once he got over the shock, he took it all in good humour, or more accurately, he spent the entire evening taking the pee. He was still talking about it when I bumped into him again 20+ years later!

I remember receiving my diagnosis of disassociation, via two independent top psychologists.  They also agreed I was brutally honest (it's beyond my control) and overall a good egg.  It was something I, friends and family had joked about for years and even with a clinical diagnosis, I could not take it seriously.  I have always had an interest in psychology myself, my dad was a psychiatric nurse and we had a lot of text books in the home that I read with great interest from an early age and my dad was a fountain of knowledge.

True when I left the convent, I had an almighty chip on my shoulder, not in any antisocial sense, but a desire, or more accurately an unquenchable need to know and understand what had happened to me.  What drove those nuns and uncles to become the monsters they were?  How did it all affect me?  The latter part I should have discarded entirely, I wasted way too many years navel gazing and tormenting myself. I wasn't weak, I was strong, my spirit wasn't broken, my head was bloody but unbowed.  The answer to the former, I found in the Stamford University (Zimbardo) experiment.  Give one group of people absolute power over another group of people and abuse is inevitable.  The 'guards' were normal, stable students but they became monsters.  In the convent, and I am sure in a lot of religious institutions, the 'guards', the nuns and uncles (the aunties not so much) were religious zealots and fanatics, so the turning into a monster rate was significantly higher.

To be fair I have never, ever, thought of myself as a victim, more a spokesperson, I always feel obliged to stand up for those without a voice, I like to use my gift of the gab for the underdog which, incidentally, is not good strategy in a work situation.  And which reminds me, I must write a blog or chapter about all the times I got sacked or escorted from the building.  All these years later, I can see the funny side.    

Which brings me nicely back to multiple personalities (did you see how I done that? ha ha), getting the sack situations, are in their own way highly comedic.  Not at the time obviously, unless you are as drunk as a skunk as I was on one occasion (I was expecting the call), good for you that is, but not so good if you were a bald headed gropey old bastard with an overhanging beer gut, and a ridiculously inflated sense of self worth etc.  Especially if you take a bow in front of your giggling work mates (ex :( ).  There is something about getting to that 'fuck you' stage, it brings a sense of freedom, a letting go of bonds.  That rush of power the hero gets when he walks away from the building he has just blown up, with flames and fireworks behind him.  'Never seen a sight that didn't look better than looking back', as Lee Marvin scratchingly sang in 'Wandering Star'.  Sadly I have taken those sentiments too literally, and probably too often.  My problem, and yes it is singular, is fear of commitment, and everything considered, even if I had lived in a functional as opposed to a dysfunctional home as a child, my problem (fear of commitment) would still exist, along with all the barmy characters.  I live with it, I feel in recent years I have brought back to life that 'bold little bitch' who wasn't afraid of anything (apart from the virus).  

I don't blame anyone, because blaming other people is probably about the most self destructive thing you can do.  There is no inner peace to be found there.  I don't live like that anymore, and I'm ashamed for the brief times I did.   For some time now, my philosophy has been to  accept full blame for every predicament I have ever found myself in.  Accepting blame for every dumb decision you have ever made is amazingly freeing, it's like putting all your troubles in a balloon and watching them float away.  It's one of those seminal moments, like when Dorothy clicks her ruby slippers and discovers she had the power to go home all along.  Here I will blame  the Catholic Church, lol, only joking, but their policy is to tell small children they are sinners who must pay for the original sin of Adam who accepted a (wink, wink) bite of that hussy Eve's apple, for, err, the rest of their lives.   Just saying.  Enter the devil, in female, or serpent form, tempting you away from your Godly straight and narrow path.  It wasn't me Gov, it was that rather alluring young lady over there who's divine legs distracted me whilst driving.  She's the one who should be charged.  

Most people blame their parents for a lot longer than they should, for the mistakes that they themselves had made.  Even though there is something a tad ridiculous in blaming your parents (or nuns) for your hangups in your sixties, actually after 40 is pushing it.  Multiple personalities are not a hindrance, they are an advantage.  Don't we all want someone stronger than us to fight our battles?  Are we aware that the hero and heroine have been within us all along?  We see acts of bravery all the time, often from people we least expect it from.  I once went through a phase of reading every story of heroism I could find.  It helped that my dear old dad used to buy me a monthly subscription to Readers Digest.  I hoarded them and read them over and over.

But back to those multiple personalities.  Whilst I mostly poo poo a clinical diagnosis. I have experienced, in times of extreme stress, feelings of transformation.  I can hear my words speaking, but they are detached from myself, it is quite disorientating.  It is the 'coper' within me who steps forward to take charge.  I haven't met her myself, but she is described as 'formidable', which I quite like but also a bit of bitch, which I like not so much.  A Judge, two psychiatrists and a court room full of people actually witnessed a 'transformation', before their eyes.  Not only did my character change, but so too my stance, my attitude and even my skin colour.  The prosecutor had asked 'how someone like me' knew a word like 'malevolent'.  Provocative or what huh?  He may have directly wounded my inner 'Mrs Bucket', but my dignity was in fighting mode.  Again, it was one of those 'wish I had been there' moments, all I could recall was the clear, articulate voice I had practiced over and over aged 13, to do a bible reading in church.  It also won me a 'Speakers Badge' in Guides.

Despite all the above, I would still dispute the evidence and my own experiences.  I think we all have the power to transform in a 'deer in the headlights' moment and we don't know beforehand how we would do it. In addition, if those psychiatrists had taken into account all those psychology books I had read since childhood.  I am not saying I did, but I may have registered the symptoms, subconsciously and adapted them to myself.  I see that is possible. There is also my penchant for taking on the characters of the books I was reading at the time, what impact did that have?.  I was an emotional volcano while reading the Brontes, and an absolute she-wolf when I read Gone with the Wind.  For posterity, I was the downtrodden Jane Eyre alternating with Joan of Arc while in the convent, that could be read as when the disassociating began, but more likely it was because there were very few female role models in those days.  A shame I didn't discover Boadicea and Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn't come along until decades later.  

To be honest I think having multiple personalities is a good thing, I'm looking forward to the day I can waive my 'Nuts' certificate in front of a Judge and claim 'see it wasn't me'.  I jest of course, even the fiery selves aren't lawbreakers.  But if you could change your personality along with your outfit, wouldn't that be a good thing?  And don't we do that anyway?  Is the you, wearing a scruffy old dressing gown, with two days of popcorn and Maltesers caught up in your unbrushed hair a fag hanging out your gob, and odd socks, the same person as when you are wearing a power suit, a well groomed updo and Jimmi Choos?  The two can co-exist within one person.  I laughed my head off when I read of a cyber Court trial recently, in the US, where the Judge ordered Counsel for the Prosecution to get out of bed and dress appropriately for a Court room.  Do we see ourselves in the same way that others see us.  I think the answer is probably no, like when you hear your voice recorded and wonder, do I really sound like that?  I think I am absolutely charming, but even in the real world, there are some who don't see me that way.    

I have waffled, but I hope that I have struck a chord with those who suffer from depression, bipolar and disassociative disorder, in fact anything coming under mental health problems.  Sometimes problems are not quite as awful as we think they are.  And labels shouldn't be, because that's all they are.  We are all much too complex to be summed in two word descriptors.  Those of us who's moods go from dancing among the clouds to wanting to tie a noose around our necks in some rain filled gutter know joy and sorrow too acutely. We know a steady stream of calm water, devoid of turbulence and ecstatic highs is more conducive to good mental health, but does it produce the same artistic heights as those of the most tormented writers, painters, musicians, comedians?  Besides, it is beyond our control.  What happened after Kubla Khan built his 'caves of ice', who knows? Mr. S.T. Coleridge conked out on opium.  I actually think I was a stroke of genius, write your own ending.

My kindest wishes to all those who look in, whether you are new to my blog or a regular.  I do appreciate knowing that my voice is being heard somewhere.  My biggest transformation came when I went into higher education as I was pushing 40! That was life changing and a blog for another day.  I would love to say that I am now enlightened, but I am still on the rocky road, albeit today it is lined with a very fluffy sponge cake oozing whipped cream and blackberry jelly (homemade).  I texted my neighbour to see if she wanted a slice and she replied 'do you know what fucking time it is?'.  It was 1.40am, Oops.  Anyway, take care everyone, wear masks and keep your distance.  If you have avoided Covid-19 this far, carry on doing what you are doing.  The survivors at the end of all this, will be the strong, the immune and those who kept the virus at a distance.  It will be that stage of 'Walking Dead' where Rick et al, are still finding survivors in hotels and food warehouses.  I jest, enjoy your weekends :)

Thursday 9 July 2020


Through no choice of my own, I was raised as a Roman Catholic in a convent, with all the brainwashing and ritual that involved.   My beloved (mad as a hatter) mother told me, don't ever given in to the nuns and don't ever let them see you cry.  It was terrible advice, I got battered for the entire 4 years I was there!   I just couldn't get the 'faith' bit, try as hard as I might, I couldn't get into the whole praising of statues, icons etc, and this weird love for a 'God' no-one could see.  I would often gaze around the Church during services to see how many had that crazed maniacal look in their eye.  Quite a few actually, it was scary.

Naturally, I denounced Catholicism the moment I walked out of it's dark satanic doors to the middle ages.  I clung onto 'unless someone can show me tangible evidence, a Roman God (I quite liked Bacchus) was just as credible as a Christian God.  How can you believe in something you cannot see?  Sure, there are all sorts of theological arguments, but that's what it boils down to.  

Having no faith can be quite tough actually.  Those times are when the words of Neitzche bring reality home.  God is dead.  There is no God.  You are all by yourself.  When that realisation hits you, you have to take a deep gulp, we need someone stronger than us, we need a higher power, shit, I don't want that responsibility.  I want someone else to take care of me.  That's the easy way, there's safety in numbers, follow the crowd, don't be the misfit thrown out and ostricised.  

I hate organised religion, not for how many they include, but for how many they shout out.  We are good people, with good values as preached by JC, but if you are not exactly like us you are not welcome.  That's always a mistake on society's part, because those thrown out into the cold, are usually the most creative, most entertaining and most innovative.  If I have lived before, I hope it was among the artists in Monmartre in the late 1800s or next door to Virginia Woolf in the 1930s.  That is, people on the outside who don't want to be part of the madness.

But I want to return to religion, faith and, hmmm, yes, believe it or not the Paranormal.  I change my religion on a regular basis, so nothing is ever caste in stone.  As I approach 63, I now describe myself as Agnostic.  That is, I believe there is something beyond..... drum roll.  Not one, all powerful God in the religious sense, no Saviour either, but an inner power that we rarely, if ever, call upon - our own.   At the first college lecture I ever went to as a mature student, we were told we only used 4% of our brains.  That blew me away.  We discussed, among many things, our ability to know, even when we have our backs turned and no mirror, that we were being watched.  We 'felt' it.  It went on to become a very lively and discussion, much deeper than I will go into here.

As I said at the start, I do not believe anything I cannot see.  I have out of curiousity, gone along to spiritualist and indeed, spiritual artist meetings,  that is, I have been among audience waiting, hoping, for a message from beyond.  I had a bit of hope myself when we went in, but it soon became obvious that the spiritualists were using information they had gathered at the tea and biscuits before the meeting.  Also how hard is it to google a town and pick up the names of the main industries.  Did anyone work at Tesco?  Actually seeing these people live made me more sceptical and  I pitied those they were exploiting.  

But things have happened in my life that are beyond reasonable and logical explanation.  Those who have watched 'The Secret' and understand the laws of attraction, will be familiar with the concept that you can wish for something, and have it happen.  Which is why 'be careful what you wish for' is loaded with foreboding.  If you follow your wish, your dream, you do things you are not even aware of, that make it happen.  Now I have several examples of this, in my own life, occasions when 'divine intervention' came to my aid.  I remember, as a single parent with two kids and no food, coming out of work one Friday night going to the cashpoint and praying that my wages would be in the bank.  They weren't.  As I walked away from the cashpoint, I found £40 in cash on the pavement.  Naturally I looked around for whoever had dropped it, but they were long gone. I took it, bought a big trolley of food and thanked every God there was.  

There have been times in my life where I have literally prayed, mostly to the Gods of Smirnoff and Gordons to make miracles happen.  And they have.  Not Smirnoff and Gordons obviously, which left me completely incapacitated, but I went to the higher powers above them.  The actual voice of my mum saying 'go on Lind, you can do it' and the voice of my dad saying 'are you telling me your stories', lol.  He rarely believed a word I said, ha ha.

I'm not going to impart all my paranormal experiences just now, of which there are many, but for the first time ever, drum roll........ I am going to recount the experience of looking after my terminally ill (mad) Mum.   We had been estranged for many years, I too had painted her 'bad' along with society and just about everyone.  Not my Dad though, he loved her no matter, even all the crazy.  It wasn't until a very wise work colleague told me 'she is as she is'. Those words had more impact than anything I had read or studied, I woke up.  I suddenly became aware that I should appreciate her just as she was.  I stopped scolding her, I stopped trying to tell her how she should behave (not that she ever took any notice) and I began to appreciate just how much fun she was!  When we were out and about, she in her wheelchair and brandishing a walking stick, having so much fun strangers would come up and ask to join in.  I always used to believe that her outrageous behaviour was embarrassing and offensive, but it wasn't.  I was delighted to discover she was loved by her neighbours and the local gay community, who loved and cared for her in her dotage and roared with laughter at her scandalous opinions!

Now, to the bit where it gets weird, and something I have never, ever revealed - mostly because it is so weird, and I don't want history to remember me as an OK writer til I crossed the Rubicon.  I have studied, maybe not to PhD level, but more than most, geneology.  I think, and study, for example, the faces all around me in my town, a town founded hundreds of years of ago.  How many of those faces that I see are exact replicas of their ancestors?  I am not a mathematian, but I'd say, a fair few.  That is, human beings still look pretty much the same as they did 500+ plus years ago, only taller and fatter.  But bloodlines can be traced as far back as we want them to be, isn't that mindblowing?  This is the good bit where racists discover their ancestors were black.  

Sadly, I have not paid too much attention to my roots.  I should have.  I always wanted to write a drama about Dundee during WWI.  My own Scottish great grandmother had six sons on the front line, the Western Front, there was a newspaper article about it. Four of those sons didn't come home, she got commenarative plagues in their memory.  Dundee is deserving of a 'Private Ryan' film all of their own, my own great grandmother, with 6 sons on the frontline, sadly, was not that unique, thousands of sons of Dundee were sent to their deaths. Happly, my own grandfather, my dad's dad, survived the Western Front, but was a terrible scallywag who had two wives, two families and multiple offspring.  It was quite disconcerting, at a family wedding, to bump into an exact clone of my Dad!  

But I digress, let's get straight to lunacy.That is the cowardly me there Bjorn, as I am sure you guessed, but then I think Covid-19 .v. Truth to power, and think, wtf I might die soon, and then I will never get a chance to say it. I'm not planning on dying soon btw, just covering all bases, might even google 'online confessions' to cleanse my soul and set up a subscription for an eternity in Paradise. Do Popes still sell them btw?  I toy with religion Bjorn, I describe myself willy nilly, as atheist, at one time anti-theist, Catholic when only a prayer and lighting of a candle will do, but mostly these days as agnostic. That is, I do believe there is something beyond.  I remember in one of my very first lectures as a mature student, being told we only use about 4% of our brains.  That blew me away.  It is surely inevitable therefore, that future generation will be able to tap into very, very, much more.  Mind blowing huh?  I have had signs, signs that cannot be explained in any logical, scientific way, that prove we have powers way beyond those we know.

Gosh, Bjorn you have given me an abundance of ideas for new blogs, plus, permission to write freely.  I know I sound like a bit of a diva when I describe myself as a tortured artiste, but honest to God, when it's your own self doing the tormenting, the next stop is off your head!

Since I have taken on the philosophy of accepting blame for everything that has happened to me and will happen to me, I have felt an enormous sense of relief. Akin, I would say, to Dorothy clicking her ruby slippers and realising her beloved 'home' was all around her. If I am honest, I have never been powerless, I chose every path I took, even those littered with men, liquor, drugs and parties.  Especially those, they were the most fun!
I have, on occasion, tried to hold back my inclination to wander off into stream of consciousness, but as readers of my blog will know, it gets through anyhow.  I guess it is all part of a bigger question that hangs over my head; 'just how much of the craziness, should I reveal?'.  At which point do I scare people away?

But I want to get back to the batshit crazy part, the part you all have been waiting for!  At the moment, my beloved mother passed away, I believe her personality transferred from her to me.  Nuts huh?  I suddenly felt free to use her exact words, her exact voice (we were virtually indistinguishable) and the exact way she would have behaved.  Before I would have been mimicking her, now I was free to take all her stuff, plus her big auld laugh and make it my own.  Did she take it all over from her own mother?  Was she passing it on to me.  It wasn't a great legacy, everyone who knew her, described her as a lunatic 

How do you deal with massive bereavement, major loss?  I truly thought I would die when I lost my beloved Dad, life had ended, there was nothing worth living for.  I survived, the first couple of weeks, by watching back to back episodes of Jerry Seinfeld and Father Ted.  

With my mother, who suffered terminal illness, it was completely different.  Physically, she was terribly ill, she had multiple infections and cancer affecting her mind as well as her body.  I felt grateful to God, if there is one, for sparing her the awareness of what was going on.  For once, being barmy was a good thing.  When I visited her, she told me stories of running wild with her siblings around the fields of Laurencetown.  They were as real as if they were standing right in front of her.  And she bickered with my dad.  Exactly the same pointless argumens they had years before.  If, like me, you are hoping in the afterlife that people move on, forget it.  

I am sure studies have been done, but if they haven't they should be, do those leaving this world, have a direct line to the next?

Ahhhh, freedom to write is so liberating!  As Jim Carey might say, somebody stop me!


Tuesday 7 July 2020


USA, Brazil and UK.  What do these three countries have in common?  Apart from allowing the Pandemic to spiral out of control?  They each of course have populist right wing leaders who are happy and more than willing to sacrifice the lives of their citizens in their haphazard attempts to save their economies over the lives of their people.  Trump bragged yesterday that 99% of the population will be unharmed by the virus.  Sounds good, until you do the maths, 1% of 330million is 3.3million.  3.3 million sacrificial lambs, what do you think of that Evangelicals?

I can't claim to know what's going on in Brazil, but the two spoilt brats that are Trump and Johnson are bored with the pandemic and their rich mates are no longer having their coffers refilled by the plebs who work for them.  The idea of the working classes idling in their homes like rich people and receiving cheques for doing nothing is an abomination to the tory elite.  Only they have the breeding to lounge around on chaise longue thinking intellectual thoughts.  The plebs should be given doorsteps to scrub and stones to break, the lazy fuckers.

They say the Great War 1914-1917, was the biggest class leveller the world had ever seen.  The officers, the gentry, fought and died side by side with the men from the pits and the factories.  The women, who stayed home, took over the mens' jobs, proving they were just as capable as men, and they deserved the vote.  It was a pivotal time in history, a time of huge sweeping changes.

This year, 2020, will be pivotal too, I believe.  Covid-19, has been an equaliser on an even bigger scale than WWI.  Probably, for the first time in history, we are all literally in the same boat.  That is, we are all confined to our homes and, be they bedsits or mansions and if we are wise, wearing masks when we venture out for supplies.  There is some joy to be had, thinking about all those billionaires confined to their castles, unable to jetset or procure young maidens from overseas.  And it is downright weird to see the rich and famous speaking to the camera from their own homes (usually with loads of books behind them) and as much in need of a haircut as the rest of us.  We are in a weird era where having loads of money really doesn't mean too much.  Where can you go, what can you spend it on?

These are weird and surreal times, certainly nothing I have ever seen in my now, quite long, lifetime.  I am usually a glass half full kind of person, but these days, I am filled with an unnerving sense of doom and gloom.  I have spent a lifetime trying to imagine the thoughts of normal people on the brink of destruction. In 1930's Germany for example, Hitler had a similar base to Trump, around 30%, one third.  The majority of Germans did not support him, so how did he obtain absolute power?  The obvious answer to that, in this 21st century, is watch what Trump is doing now.  He is following Hitler's playbook almost to the letter.  Fake press, fake enemies of the people and now a reshuffle of history.  His current fixation on statues and culture, is probably all part of his masterplan to replace all statues with statues of himself.  You can bet your life it is not based on anything sane.

Meanwhile, I watched in horror, as the people of the USA and the UK, not only voted in the biggest eejits they could find, but they are prepared to go along with obvious lies that put their lives in danger.  Covid-19 infections in the USA have spiralled out of control.  At a time when the country needs expert pandemic help they have turned their backs on the World Health Organisation, the Centre for Disease Control and their own expert health officials.  Trump is preventing Dr. Fauci from speaking!  Trump's response to Covid-19 has been worst case scenario x100.  It is horrible to watch as an outsider, slow motion slaughter, I almost wish you had Marshall Law where you could march that homicidal maniac out of the Oval Office.

Here in the UK, the curve has come down, but the decision to re-open pubs will probably change all that in the next couple of weeks.  People are fed up with the lockdown, I get that, but the dangers now are far greater than they were back in March.  Personally, I do not believe a word that comes out of Boris Johnson's lying mouth.  I will continue to follow my own instincts and will treat steering clear of the virus like the bubonic plague.  Which incidentally, could now also be on the way.  Perhaps if a few limbs start dropping off, the Boris lovers may see the madness.

But I want to return to June 2020 as a pivotal time in history.  One on which we should all drop a line to our descendants.  Most people I speak to agree, the world will never be the same again.  For example, many who commute to the office every day, may have found they can do their job just as effectively from home. Or, on the capitalist side, their employers will discover they just don't need them anymore.  This government, I feel we have had a tory government forever, have failed to address how dramatically employment would change with 21st century technology.  If the 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution, the 21st century has seen the replacement of humans with robotics.  Ok, the rudimentary mechanics of the 19th century laid off many workers some might argue, others would say it led to a boom in employment.  Another argument for another day, but try speaking to a human being when you phone your bank or any public company.

A forward thinking government would lower working hours, creating more jobs, and invest more in education, science, technology, public health, and the leisure industry.  Very few now live by the philosophy of Presbyterianism and Opus Dei, we don't consider 'time we enjoy' as a straight to hell sin.  Perhaps we should burn in the fires of hell of all eternity for enjoying a nip of gin and a sing song, but we don't care.  We don't fear an eternity of suffering, maybe this existence was an eternity of suffering and the next one will be pure bliss?  No baby has come into this world happy, they are usually screaming their lungs out, as in Oy, I was all nice and warm and snugly where I was thank you.  Maybe when we leave this world, we go into a better one?

My regular readers will notice that I am starting to write even more crazily and haphazardly than I have before.  Now I am thinking fuck it, why do I keep holding back, who or what am I trying to protect.  I have already sold my soul - spoken all my secret thoughts out loud, I have given it all away, revealed everything when I first put pen to paper, so many years ago.  I have shame, like everyone, but I have found freedom with every inner thought I reveal, I don't feel alone and I don't feel weird, because I feel a connection with those reading, I'm the 'bold' one saying out loud what they feel. 

I think the biggest fear for writers is the knowledge that they are exposing all their vulnerability.  It's probably the biggest hurdle writers fear - do they dare let other people know what is going on inside their heads?  But this is not a writing tutorial, nor I hope, is it a sermon - God forbid.  It is a record, I hope, for anyone in the future, wanting to see what life was like with Covid-19, who's full devastation we in the here and now have yet to see.  It won't be difficult for those looking back to figure out where it all went so drastically wrong.  That moment may be, where the East (China) seized power over the West. Not with weapons of mass destruction but with their ability and efficiency to conquer the world's deadliest virus since 1918.  The West have proven they couldn't organise a proverbial piss up in a brewery.  But that is only one example of how the world could dramatically change, there are hundreds. Black Mirror is a good start. 

Sadly, as I have grown older, I have lost much of my faith in the goodness of humanity.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and go back to the innocent child I once was, who believed everyone was good.  Sadly life has taught me that they are not.  I get that we need the psychopaths - they keep the wheels of industry turning and to prevent illegal parking.  But those who are mean for their own self gratification are right up there with puppy and kitten torturers and serial killers.   Demons do indeed exist among us, not in the hell fire and brimstone mythology of the possessed far right, but also in the most unlikely people, who we had otherwise assumed, to be just like us.  That is, we thought, they like us, felt empathy.  It is a shock to the system to discover they don't.  It is a shock to discover, that a living human being, with a working brain, a lifetime of memories, can just switch off the pain they inflict on others.  I don't know if it haunts them daily, or if they, like clinically diagnosed psychopaths, can just switch off?  Those of us with consciences simply wouldn't be able to sleep at night, knowing that our actions were hurting someone.  That is what separates us.  

I am going to call it a fascist mentality.  Because that is what it is.  Trump et al, are entirely wrong in their attempts to label the Far Left and Antifa fascists.  With Antifa, it's right there in the name Anti-Fascist, just like all those soldiers who fought the Nazis in WWII.  Fascist does not apply to the Left, how dumb are they?  It's the dumb and dumber equivalent of calling Trump a Marxist!  So here we are, two certifiable lunatics with access to nuclear weapons.

To be fair, ever since reading 'On the Beach' in my late teens, I have always felt the world hovered on the brink of annihilation, but never more so than now.  It's not just that the orange man and the rocket man would love nothing more than to get into a nuclear standoff, it is their total disregard for human life.  Chairman Kim probably spent his childhood playing Grand Theft Auto, while Trump played stitch up the immigrant workers who built his towers.  In a game of 'chicken' which homicidal maniac would push the annihilate world button first?  Hard to pick huh?

So please forgive the doom and gloom - at this point I wish I had faith, but I fear I have seen too many episodes of Walking Dead.  We are not far off that stage where law and order has broken down and the vigilantes have taken over the pharmacies, the gun shops and the supermarkets.  Now would be a good time to learn martial arts and a thousand ways to cook lentils.  

But I jest.  I have had a great week because I finally got a  delivery from Asdas!  I had to wait two weeks+ but totally worth it. No yeast, gelatin or coffee extract, but Birds Custard powder - yes, the old fashioned round tub, yippee, which brought on a jig!  Simply can't get on with beating egg yolks and using a fiver's worth of vanilla extra to make custard!  Not quite on par with trying to make a cake out of a beetroot in WWII, but vexing nonetheless.

Anyway, my kindest wishes, as always to those who stick with me through thick and thin, it is much appreciated and I pray that you stay safe, listen to the scientists and the doctors, not the politicians. If this were a disaster movie, we are at the 'every man for himself' stage, now would be a good time to throw a deckchair overboard and hope it floats.