I hear the voice of rage and ruin

If storms are bad portents, then let’s hope Ophelia fucks off somewhere else. The one that Michael Fish so spectacularly failed to predict thirty years ago, ripped part of our roof off, the fucker that fixed it came back a month later and robbed us when we were out at work. I had to stop working shifts because MLSOH was terrified of being at home alone, our mortgage suffered and we ended up back in a Council house. I was twenty one and MLSOH was ten days away from her twenty first. Karma took her swift and poetic retribution on the scumbag builder, we moved house and I went back to my old job. This set in motion a series of incredible coincidences that led to us being where we are today.

I’ll tell two stories from this little one, the haunted house, and the tale of the coincidences.

As the miller told his tale

As Marwood reads the graffiti and wonders who fucks arses, Withnail is in the bar getting the drinks. He orders two treble gins, two pints of cider, ice in the cider. It’s a great option if you’re struggling to get fucked up, and maybe the cause of my Sunday morning hang over.

If you want to be like the folks on the hill

This isn’t just a fish finger butty. It’s a Marks and Spencer, hand tickled, sustainable cod, on fresh ethical muffins, with Bloody Mary ketchup (that bit’s real and it’s fucking epic) and a glass of Oaked Chardonnay.

Speaking of M&S, I have a complaint letter I might share, their customer service is going down the shitter.

Came the last night of sadness

For years I’ve been laughing at the Jesus freaks and god botherers when they tell us the end is nigh. Before the internet gave these loons a platform they had to wander the streets with a sandwich board and shout at people… there used to be a bloke at Maine road, they usually shout random verses from revelation, I used to only hear one in every five words… horses, trumpets, spread cheese, absinthe…. You get the drift, fucking nonsense. The arrival of the World Wide Web has seen a huge jump in number of these fuckers, and an exponential growth in the variety of ways we’re going to meet our doom. Nostradamus is quoted, along with some old lass that lived in a cave in Norfolk, and the old favourite, the last book of the New Testament. Why the fuck it was put in there is anyone’s guess… I know the bible is just a cobbled together mish mash of hearsay and fable, but if you’re going for credible, why would you wack a chapter in by a mental Greek cleric with an “end of the world” story so fabulous it could be an M Night Shyamalan movie? He was probably stood outside the council of Nicaea with a sandwich board, shouting about cheese and horses. Constantine looks up from his agenda and says.. “will somebody go and shut that fucker up, he’s doing my fucking head in… no, wait… I’ve got an idea”.

Anyway, it looks like they may be right after all.

Our glorious leaders are heading for a no-deal Brexit, that should make it a bit starvy in good old Blighty, we’ll all be housebound with no petrol, the gas and electric will be off, so we’ll be a bit shivery as well as starvy. This should make everyone nice and fighty. It’s a cunning plan by the tories to drastically reduce the number of poor people, most of the pensioners will die, huge saving there… a large number of benefit scroungers will die in pitch battles for the last Greggs sausage roll. Welfare bill slashed, NHS waiting lists slashed, education bill slashed, unemployment slashed… those of us that survive will inherit a brave new world.

Meanwhile, Trump is hell bent on pissing off a couple of despots, he’s like a kid with s stick, poking a wasps’ nest, except we’re all going to get stung.

Armageddon (arm)(aged)(don)

Pretty much what America has done, given an old tyrant the means to fire everyone.

Repent, the end is nigh!

Anyone got a bit of plywood and a few screws?

You don’t sound different, I’ve learned the game

The Harvey Weinstein debacle seems to have brought out the hypocrites and in-group graspers, call them what you will, virtue signallers seems to be the term de jour. Every time some mentally ill twat blows himself up, we have profile pictures with opaque flags, prayers and candles. Grief junkies and trend monkeys post “let’s beat cancer” and some fucking rare disease “awareness” posts that demand you share, or are you one of the minority of cunts who don’t care and just want to watch the world burn. Fuck you, It’s bullying made acceptable, because it’s a good cause. Yeah, it’s a good cause you’d never fucking heard of until someone on your timeline posted it ten seconds ago.

To a lesser extent these social media posts that share a warning or a scam, or a story about some vile twat who committed a crime somewhere, are intended to achieve the same end… the in group, the ones in the know. A quick check on Snopes usually pops the fucking bubble.

I’ll never be one of the friends who has the balls to share this… especially when it’s been co-opted by a far right group to spread racist rhetoric. At this time of year it’s usually a poppy or a picture of a soldier, with a nice and simple strap line like “I support our armed forces” with a fake pro Brexit story of refugees being given mansions… share if you think this is disgusting. These fascist shit bags don’t give a fuck about our armed forces, if they did they would remember the sacrifice they made to bring peace to Europe.

It’s easy to join the crowd, and it’s nice to be the first one to highlight an issue… but fucking hell, we’re turning it into a race to the bottom.

So, when Eminem starts lecturing on being decent, or an ex president responsible for children dying in the Middle East calls someone disgusting, I raise an eyebrow and would hope others do too.

So never mind the darkness

Eight inches of rain in less than twenty four hours has meant more floods in Cumbria, with schools and roads closed. Thankfully no one hurt so far. It’s becoming a yearly occurrence now, despite the “once in 500 years” bollocks trotted out by the tories as an excuse to cut flood defence funding. This is just the start, wait till winter sets in.

You better stop, look around…

It’s world mental health day, and no matter how many motivational memes I see on facebook or twitter, no matter how many thoughtful self help messages I see, I still think that if it were that easy, we’d all be ecstatic, all the time… sounds like a nightmare.

I think stress is at the heart of a lot of mental health issues. We simply aren’t designed to deal the with twenty first century lifestyle. We’re designed to deal with a hunter-gatherer culture, dodging predators and maybe getting a couple of steps up Maslow’s pyramid. Our current idea of success is to be on top of the pyramid, up a ladder, juggling hand grenades, and all the while competing against a thousand others, on top of their pyramids… and they have wasps and now your head’s on fire.

Get off, who cares?

Practice mindfulness, have a laugh, breath, go for a walk, hug the ones you love. All these things will help, as will coming to terms with your own value. There’s a huge difference between a shampoo advert telling you you’re worth it, and actually having an understanding of how important you are, at home, at work, and with friends.

Spend a few minutes reminding yourself.

Get a pocket computer

Galleries now available on the photo page, link above. All my work, and will be added to as we go. You may notice it’s mostly food and drink at the moment, I will put some other stuff in there, when I can stop taking pictures of my dinner.

Time has the final word

Last night’s Electric Dreams was excellent, and included a great Syd Barrett track. I like a good dystopian tale, but the older I get the more I realise that we aren’t that far away from these stories. It used to be escapism, now it’s a pretty accurate vision of what we have in store. Steve Buscemi’s character, Ed Morris, even says to his wife… “don’t worry, we’ll be long gone before that happens..” I used to say the same thing, but now I’m not sure. You only have to watch the news to see what a fucked up world we live in, the weather is fucked, the economy is fucked, our culture is fucked… I accidentally watched a bit of Piers Morgan this morning, haranguing a young person about gender fluidity. I’ve seen facebook posts about primary school children struggling with gender identity, and the comments are astounding. As if it isn’t hard enough, without some cretin you’ve never met telling you you’re a freak and your parents should be locked up. Books like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, et al, paint a dismal picture of future Earth…. Well it seems to me, in true sci-fi style… it’s only tomorrow.

Better than a cup of gold

A few weeks ago we were in Newcastle and happened to wander into Fenwick’s, a proper old school department store. I was looking for a shirt and decided against a Vivian Westwood because it made me look like a twat. We found ourselves in the food hall, I bought a pie and some bread and a few other bits and bobs… then I spotted some Charbonelle and Walker chocolates, Rose and violet creams. They’re MLSOH’s favourites, so we added them to the basket and went home.

When we opened them they looked like they’d been in there for about 5 years, manky looking with a pale bloom. I emailed photos to Fenwick’s and C&W. Fenwick’s completely ignored me, but C&W emailed back and said they would send us some new ones. After a couple of weeks without a delivery I emailed them again, they said they had sent them, but they would send some more. The second lot arrived just as our next door neighbour brought round the little red card from the first lot, it had got mixed up in his mail. I emailed C&W and told them, offering to pay for the second box. They replied that it was fine and we should enjoy them with their compliments.

I suppose that was a long winded way of saying there is still some good customer service out there, Charbonelle and Walker excelled, Fenwick’s fucked it right up… and people wonder why department stores are a dying breed.