J: wow that lion is so close, isn't it beautiful. Can you get a photo. Zach: oh it's moving J: OH BLOODY HELL! Zach: Mum! You said a rude word! J: Oh sorry Zach but that was a bit scary. Hey - how come you're more shocked by me saying a rude word than you are by a great, big lion nearly landing on the car?!! Zach: because the lion was doing what I expected it to do but you didn't!
Zach: mum? J: yes honey? Zach: dad said that you didn't used to drive when he first met you J: yes that right I didn't learn to drive until a few years before you were born Zach: he said it was because your mum was killed in a car accident when you were young and that made you scared J: well, yes I suppose that's true Zach: really? I can't imagine you being scared of anything! J thinks: bloody hell - I thought I was scared of everything...
J: Zach did I ask you to get dressed or did I ask you to make a skipping rope out of your pyjama top? Zach: well you said to get dressed but I decided to add some fun to it! J: oh ok I can't really argue with that then
Zach: mum can you help me get the Wii operational? J: yes Zach, I assume you mean can I turn it on for you? Zach: yes please. I thought you'd be more likely to do it if it sounded like something technical! J: pretty smart aren't you
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. "The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. "Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. "The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. "It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known." — Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994 (Source: www.planetary.org)
S: I do love you you know J: Yeah? S: I wouldn't say it if I didn't J: I know. And I love you too. But my love is an 'unending, rip your heart out, you're in my bones' type of love whereas yours is more a kind of 'I love pizza' sort of love! S: well I do really love pizza... J: yeah I know...but you wouldn't want to marry it....
You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me. There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks – when you hear that unmistakable pounding – when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming – then row, row for your life toward it.
x: I've got to hand it to you Julie you're a strong woman - you've got balls of steel the way you stand up to me. If I spoke to Rebecca the way I spoke to you last night she'd run away and wouldn't speak to me for weeks and I'd never hear the end of it! j: yeah well maybe if I reacted more like that you'd stop doing it.....
When you set out for Ithaka ask that your way be long, full of adventure, full of instruction. The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops, angry Poseidon - do not fear them: such as these you will never find as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare emotion touch your spirit and your body. The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops, angry Poseidon - you will not meet them unless you carry them in your soul, unless your soul raise them up before you.
Ask that your way be long. At many a Summer dawn to enter with what gratitude, what joy - ports seen for the first time; to stop at Phoenician trading centres, and to buy good merchandise, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, and sensuous perfumes of every kind, sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can; to visit many Egyptian cities, to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.
Have Ithaka always in your mind. Your arrival there is what you are destined for. But don't in the least hurry the journey. Better it last for years, so that when you reach the island you are old, rich with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth. Ithaka gave you a splendid journey. Without her you would not have set out. She hasn't anything else to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn't deceived you. So wise you have become, of such experience, that already you'll have understood what these Ithakas mean.
J: hey I've just spotted a dating site called 'One Night Stand Dating.com' - isn't that what all dating sites are? G: hahaha!I may be removing my profile from all sites soon...... J: really - should I buy a hat? are you entering holy matrimony or are you entering holy orders? G: haha, good question - may be I should consider the latter.... J: so why are you removing your profile? G: cos I'm more than just a little bit bored/tired/fed-up with the whole thing, and cos Ive started dating someone I met at a mate's place.... J: ooohhhh exciting G: yup, very J: fantastic - well done! G: thanks, but not going to talk about it, for fear for jinxing it.... J: I'm genuinely pleased for you and hope it works out - don't worry about jinxing it - if it's right you can't jinx it
J: Zach had two of his friends round for tea tonight, he was supposed to be going to their house after school but their mum said she couldn't have him after all and would have to cancel so I said her kids could come to me instead. D: yeah I always end up having everyone else's kids too J: I know you do. When I dropped them off home at nearly 7 o'clock it occurred to me that I'd been working all day 30 miles away and had been on the go constantly whereas their mum Julia doesn't work! D: that's the same as Karen next door - I always end up feeding her kids when I get home from work even though she's home all day J: Margie's dad, Norman, explained it to me at the weekend though. He said that if you want to get something done you should ask a busy person! D: oh great! Why's that? J: because if you've got a million things to do already, one more thing doesn't seem like much more, but if you've only got one thing to do, one more thing doubles your workload and seems insurmountable!
J: Zach asked me what a lesbian was yesterday? D: really? What made him ask that? J: he'd seen a poster for the film Lesbian Vampire Killers. Oddly enough at 8 years old he didn't need any explanation as to what a Vampire Killer was!
This being human is a guest house Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
J: why are you back so soon? G: haha, I haven't left yet J: good lord - you do know the clocks went forward last night? G: yes I do! look I need some ideas for the evening's festivities.... J: well she sounds lively enough already to me from what you've told me G: yes, but I still have to come up with a suitable means of punishment........ J: ahhhh - what for losing the bet? well you could get her to do some ironing? G: hahahaa, what a very ENGLISH idea J: well she says on her profile she likes English G: think I'll just stick to tying her up and sh*gging her actually J: well that's another way to go of course.... G: yeah, but I'm crap at tying knots..... J: haven't you got any insulating tape? G: maybe I could hire some boy scouts to do that bit for me?? oh yeah, my ex had some. Insulating tape, that is, not boy scouts J: hahaha G: thought you'd like that oh, she's calling now..... J: well tell her to pick some up on the way over...... boy scouts that is
J: me and your dad used to live out here you know Z: you and my dad used to make out here? J: no I said 'live out here' Z: ohh haha but did you used to make out here too? J: well I suppose we did! Z: what is 'making out' anyway? J: well kissing and hugging that kind of thing... Z: not sex then? J: ...I suppose it can mean that... Z: but you and my dad didn't have sex did you? J: well we must have done for you to have turned up! Z: do you have to have sex to have a baby then? J: yes Z: really? How many times did you and my dad have sex? J: ohhh probably just the once I think......
J: Hi Deb how are you? D: I'm in a bad mood. I'm glad you've turned up - I need you to help me kill a chicken! J: Why - what's it done? D: It wakes me up crowing every morning at 5am J: That's a bit harsh isn't it - remind me never to wake you up unexpectedly! D: Trust me if you were here you'd want to kill it too. When Kate stayed over last week she said she was going to kill it with her bare teeth but unfortunately she was too drunk to stand up let alone kill anything J: Can't I just take it home with me and let it live down the bottom of my garden? D: Well you could do and then I can tell Dave that we killed it. J: Sorry, why does Dave want it dead? D: Oh he doesn't -it's just that I told him to kill it last night and he said that he had but when it came to it he couldn't do it and just left it out for the fox to get in the night but the fox won't go near it - there'd probably be a dead fox if it did - it's vicious that thing! J: Ok maybe I won't take it home with me! Seriously Deb I can't kill a chicken! D: Really it's not that hard, one of you has to hold it down with a spade over it's neck and then the other one jumps on the spade and it's all over in seconds! J: Oh my god it sounds gross! Anyway I think I have to go now - good luck with the chicken killing - just don't tell me any more about it!
If we’re looking to apportion blame then who was moth and who was flame? And when we watch it back in hindsight can you judge one for shining bright or fault the other for seeking out a love that shone without a doubt
J: my counsellor and I are having a trial separation M: oh yes? J: yes I told her it was too much of a committment for me to keep seeing her every week M: and what did she say? J: she said we could cut it down to once a month! M: you're kidding! J: No - she said that since I've never been any good at endings we should just reduce our meetings M: you sure it's you that's not good at endings?! J: I thought it was a bit harsh and judgmental of her actually - I was quite surprised that she didn't add 'oh and with your emotional problems you'll never get a proper boyfriend either!' M: she was probably thinking it!
J: Shane phoned on Valentine's Day - still insisting that the woman who phoned me isn't his wife! D: Unbelievable! J: Oh and Raj finally got in touch after nearly 3 months! D: you're kidding! What was his excuse this time? J: He said that he'd dislocated his elbow playing football 2 days after he'd seen me and that he'd been in hospital and rehab and couldn't text or phone! D: 'Pathetic’ is the only word that comes to mind -they never cease to amaze me. The funniest thing of all is that they seem to have all attended the same school of bullshit. J: oh how funny - I like the idea that men have to go to school somewhere to learn how to be an arsehole - god knows they don't start out that way. I think Chris must have gone to the same school as well and they all got top marks but none of them graduated with honours!
Mandy: c'mn Grim we're going up to look down the top of the mine shaft where the secret of the universe is going to be revealed Grim: err...I'm not sure that's such a good idea. The secret of the universe was never meant to be revealed to mortal man...... Billy: why not? Grim: because you'll do something stupid with it
F: so did you manage to break up with your counsellor this morning? J: well not exactly F: why what happened? J: well I said I didn't really want to go anymore and she asked why not so I told her that I was bored to death with talking about myself F: ok J: but then she said that boredom isn't about being bored and that it was interesting that I was bored and that we should explore that further! F: that's hilarious! J: I know! We did have an interesting discussion about a dream I had last night though F: really? what was it about? J: well apparently handbags in women's dreams are very significant F: why is that? J: because women carry everything in their handbags so in a dream it represents.... F: their whole life? J: exactly. F: so what happened to your handbag in your dream? J: I left it in a bar!
J: I've got to see my counsellor tomorrow and I've decided to tell her that I don't want to see her any more... F: Really? J: Yeah...I'm going to tell her that it's not her, it's me - I'm the one who's changed F: haha that's probably the kindest thing... why have you decided to do that? J: to be perfectly honest I can't stand talking about myself any more - turns out I'm not half as interesting as I thought I was! F: well I could have told you that!
J: so how was the latest date? G: well she wasn't french after all - she was just born there. She's just got divorced and she didn't stop gabbing on about it all evening - why do women do that? J: I don't know... maybe she was confusing you with someone who cared? G: oh good point but what are you supposed to do in those circumstances? J: why don't you do what all other men do? G: what's that? J: pretend to be interested - it's what we call a lie. Men lie to get laid - see the connection there? G: I didn't think you approved of that! She did also tell me that she's an ex-ballerina and an ex- dancer J: and an ex-wife? Seems all her best bits are behind her - did you check out her ass? G: yes ...it was rather large J: well there you go....
'I hope you're ok. I can't think of any meaningless platitudes to say that would be appropriate in these circumstances. Am personally upset but I feel for you and for Zach - even though he doesn't know what's happened, it still affects him. For what it's worth I think you have behaved impeccably and I'm proud of you for that. Sometimes doing the right thing means you end up holding the shitty end of the stick for a while, but at least you get to choose when to put it down. Try and be gentle on yourself and don't let life harden your heart - it's all we have at the end of the day '
The Dreamers are the saviours of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiul visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which it shall one day see and know. Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage, these are the makers of the after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived; without them, labouring humanity would perish. He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realise it. Columbus cherished a vision of another world, and he discovered it; Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity of worlds and a wider universe, and he revealed it; Buddha beheld the vision of stainless beauty and perfect peace, and he entered into it. Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built. To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve. Shall man's basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification, and his purest aspirations starve for lack of sustenance? Such is not the Law: such a condition of things can never obtain: "ask and receive." Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. James Allen
This blog is intended as the literary equivalent of a set of photographs. Snapshots in time if you like. I just wanted to capture moments in my life and those of my friends....Don't know if it works but that's the thought behind it. The music? Well I think life should have a soundtrack. And an occasional poem.....