Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Early morning and I sit in my kitchen reading. I hear movement and glance up to see one of my adult sons, dressed only in boxer shorts, stagger sleepily to the kitchen sink. His back and shoulders are smeared with what looks like shit.
Jaques: What's on your back?
Son: I slept on a chocolate coin
Bemused but relieved that I will not have to help him hunt for a turd in his duvet, I return to my reading and he goes back to his bed. What an odd start to Boxing day.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Reading the news I learn that two people are dead in a coach crash in Cornwall. A senior police officer speaks to the media and remarks that " it is a tragedy at this time of year. . ." Does this mean that at any other time it wouldn't be?
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The local newspaper carries a story about a house fire: "Family of six loses everything." The 'hero' is the father, who having "saved" the family, goes back into the burning building to retrieve his mobile phone. He does this, it seems, so that he can ring the fire brigade rather than knock up a neighbour to do it for him. Those of us who know him think it more likely that he braved the flames again because he didn't want to see his drug dealing contacts incinerated along with the phone.
Friday, December 04, 2009
My friend S, who is suspended from work, has today found out that her work colleagues are to be disciplined for making contact with her. The memo comes from the abusive manager who suspended S and against whom (strangely enough) she has a grievance for bullying. The irony is not lost on either of us. S, who is the most compassionate person I know, is distraught by the whole matter. In one of her more depressed moments she describes her abuser as a 'tool'. Being out of touch with current street patois I presume this to be play on the word 'genital' (gen-e-tool). Personally, I think he is a cock - and a small one at that.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
"Our bodies are given life from the midst of nothingness. Existing where there is nothing is the meaning of the phrase, 'Form is emptiness.' That all things are provided for by nothingness is the meaning of the phrase, 'Emptiness is form.' One should not think that these are two separate things." (Hagukare: 76)
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
The BBC reports that the young English yachtsmen held by Iran have been released. After a week in detention, President Afterdinnerjacket's revolutionary thugs concede the foray into Iranian coastal waters was a 'mistake'. One supposes that they will expect us to be grateful to them for this magnanimous act. No doubt the Foreign Secretary will feel compelled to offer a sycophantic 'thank you' - diplomacy is, after all, a long game of appeasement. Nevertheless, one would hope that our response, if we really must offer one, might be more dynamic and cutting.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Dad died two days ago and I've been walking around in a daze ever since. His end, though not unexpected, is still a shock. Nothing prepares you for bleakness of the moment and the mixture of sadness and fear it evokes.
Although in recent years my visits and phone calls were fewer I knew he was always there if i needed to talk. He never judged and was always generous with his time and his wise counsel. A modest man, I will miss his wit and enthusiasm and that wonderful gentle smile.
The laws of succession suggest that as the eldest son, I will be next to depart: this does nothing to ease the gloom that envelopes me. I'm reminded of the Buddhist notion that there is only now. I need to hold on to that.