Saturday, February 28, 2009

[united kingdom] or disunited kingdom

Do you need a manifesto? This one is worthy of perusal.

[birth] miracle of life or a pain in the proverbial

My mate tells me my recent posts have been cr-p so here's another one in the same line:

Sadly, I can’t claim any first hand experience of giving birth and like any issue I’m shut out of, it’s of interest to your humble blogger.

My only experience of such matters has been to be present at a few of these momentous occasions and in each case I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Better her than me.’

Well, anyway, there is a section in the latter half of the last book of mine which deals with babies being born all over the place and in the interests of variety, I had to make some of the births easy, following good preparation and some a bit … well, I hardly like to use the word ‘messy’.

I’d be delighted if some of you could describe your experiences of birth, as it seems a sort of miracle to me.

Along the way, I came across … hmmm … found is a better word … found some snippets I’ll now share with you.

Dr Patricia Rashbrook and her husband, in 2002, had a 6lb 10oz baby they named named JJ. The point of interest was that she was 62 years old. Hope for us all yet.

She was described as "selfish" by pro-life groups for having a child at such an advanced stage in her life and she promptly told them to get knotted, that she and her husband were meeting all the child’s needs. The fertility treatment had come from the Italian doctor Severino Antinori.

She wasn’t the only woman in her 60s to have a child. The oldest woman in the world to give birth is thought to be Adriana Iliescu, from Romania, who had a daughter called Eliza Maria in January in 2001, at the age of 66.

This blog’s advice is not to try this at home.

At the other end of the scale, we have a 1.3 metre tall 9-year-old girl of the Apurina tribe in Brazil's Amazon rainforest who gave birth to a baby. She apparently had an almost full-term pregnancy but her weight was below normal.

A doctor, Christiane da Costa, from the hospital where the girl had a Caesarian section, reported, "The girl is only starting to feel that she's a mother, with the help of our psychologist. She's still playing with her dolls and watching cartoons in her room, like a child would."

The girl had spent three months in the hospital under observation after her 19-year-old sister took her to Manaus from the riverside town of Manacapuru. She had a high fever and was initially diagnosed with malaria, pneumonia and an ear infection. Authorities were reportedly investigating local tribal customs in that village.

This blog’s advice is not to try this at home.

From another more orthodox account of a birth come these observations:

“Even though I was ten days "overdue" I hoped nothing would happen for at least another week or two... Giving birth frightened me more than I had told anyone.

About three pm, [I] had to stand leaning at a table because my back hurted so badly...

I sat in the sofa, clock in one hand and pen in other, timing each one. Now and then running around the house trying to organize my packing of the bag for the hospital.

The pain wasn´t really that bad, actually … 10 minutes apart, seven, five …

A nurse came running and almost didn´t stop while checking us in. Short of breath she asked "Where to? Light or Normal?"

I leaned towards a wall as I tried to figure out what on earth the woman meant ... the nurse cut me off with a sigh "Okay, okay You can go to the Normal, but we are rather busy today... "

I asked about enema. “We don’t use those anymore, it´s only natural ...” I had to stop her and explain that I hadn´t been able to "go" for several days. Finally she agreed but gave the enema was given with no respect for any privacy. Door open and people running around looking in...

Our designated midwife ran all the tests. (vaginal and external examination, CTG, blood pressure and other) She than told me that the baby was a bit "high" and the best for me would be, not to lie down during the opening- phase. The midwife chasing me up each time i tried to lie down "upright as much as possible makes it all much quicker!"

My arms were totally numb, I was all sweaty and hardly managed to catch my breath between the enormous contractions....

Without any explanations she broke the membranes (amnion) in order to speed up the procedures... As I asked if I could please try to breathe the N2O for the pain, her reply was: "Oh, I thought you had taken it already...."

She ordered me to assume "gyn-position" [and] we were a bit puzzled.
“I´m just going to check that your baby is Ok, we are going to take a small blood-sample.”

My dis pair and anxiety grew and I started to cry. Not from pain, but from concern over my unborn baby.

"I feel an unconformable pressure at my rear end..." I whispered to another nurse. The nurse was convinced "we will fix that with the bed-pan... "in an inferno of pain she forced me to climb a portable chamber pot.

No, nothing happened in it... "Couldn´t it be the baby coming...?" I moaned. "Oh, no You are a first-timer, I bet you have many hours ahead, and anyway, the baby isn´t below spinae yet..."

I still hadn´t realized that this simple and common test measures the amount of oxygen reaching the baby, and doesn´t at all indicate anything being wrong.

Fine, said the midwife, not even bothering to check the dilation first. i was to receive epidural pain-relief.

Four in the morning, exhausted, large as an elephant, movable like a ninety five years old, in a sweaty hospital-robe, water running down my legs and contractions twice a minute I wasn´t really at my best.

The doctor came in. Handsome man in his early thirties, a total ass hole. He started out telling everyone who cared to listen how many important patients he had, waiting right now, and what he thought about this, having to run around giving injections to sissies, unable to have their baby s in a natural way...

Finally, the anaesthetic hit me and in the same moment the nurse made an examination just to realize that "oh, look at this, you are already fully dilated!!".

She ordered injections of syntocinon to stimulate the contractions and now the real inferno began!

I can´t remember clearly what happened for about an hour but I know I clinged to my husband screaming "Do anything, cut me up, but take the baby out, I can´t stand this anymore!!!"

Suddenly the doctor and nurse started quarreling above my head about an injection. My husband interrupted, he finally found this too much and threatened to sue them all if they didn´t go back to work.

Anyway, two nurses lying on my belly, pushing, while the plastic-doctor pulled the handle with all her power...

It felt like popping a balloon when the tissues broke from the quick stretching. "The head is out!" my husband shouted and tried to pep me up, I screamed and tried to push but nothing happened.

Finally it came and a blue and messy little creature came out, coughed, screamed and were placed directly on my belly with a warm towel on top. "It´s a boy!!"

Enjoying the silence and the smell of the newborn baby, the absence of pain (except for some very sore parts below...) I didn´t quite understand that I was a mother, no concern whatsoever about the baby being a boy or a girl

45 minutes and more than 40 stitches to patch me up, [it didn’t matter now.]

I was disposed of into a dark storage room where I waited for hours. I hadn´t eaten for more than 24 hours and lost 2.4 liters of blood.

On fourth day I was very concerned. I had no milk for my baby and he was now dry and tired. For four days he had been screaming all the time, nurses denying me to give formula since "you will soon get milk, be patient" he now had stopped crying and slept for nine hours.

[The nurse said,] "Oh Lord, anyone should know that there is absolutely no chance of getting any milk after losing that amount of blood!!!"

I was also informed that I should have spent hours in the "pump room" every day. - What pump room? Why? Where? How? … A nurse told me that I should have received a blood transfusion earlier, but someone forgot it...”

The name of that hospital, by the way, was Danderyd, North of Stockholm. Bloody hell! This blog’s advice is not to go to a hospital.

Apart from the incredibly callous hospital staff, the appalling procedures and non-existent care, which I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed although one particular lady of mine had to have heaps of injections and all manner of fearsome attention, it was this account above which really brought home to me, with such force, what women have to go through to have a child.

I’m trying to come to terms with it in my head. We make the beast with two backs one night in a fit of lust and nine months later, give or take, she has to go through all of that.

This blog’s advice is to be a man, if you can.

Thanks to BBC News & Reuters, on Saturday, July 8th, 2006 for some of this material.

Friday, February 27, 2009

[to be a scot] what must it feel like

Local VIPs clearly approve of the image of Glasgow Rab projects

I’ve often wondered what it must feel like to be Scottish.

Apart from being home to G-d’s own nectar, it must have something else going for it. If Salmond and the gang are the result of Scottish evolution, then one really wonders.

And yet a glance at the major movements in the world, from the military through literature to the shop stewards who close down sections of British industry, e.g. in Liverpool, shows that the Scots have always been in there at the sharp end.

An article from some years back on a central issue to the Scottish heart gives the non-Scot some insight:

At a Berwick Highlands Gathering, event co-ordinator Ross Chudleigh said "simulated haggis" would be used as the real stuff would be too messy. The simulated version would instead use sand or oatmeal in a Hessian bag that would be thrown in the traditional Scottish style similar to a shot-put action.

But the decision not to use the sheep organs minced and boiled in the animal’s stomach - has outraged traditional Scots. Butcher Rob Boyle asked: "If there's no haggis, how can it be haggis throwing?"

He said he had supplied haggis to other festivals in vacuum-sealed bags, which did not result in any unsightly mess. "If you have an egg-and-spoon race you don't use a golf ball."

For the ignorant non-Scot, under haggis hurling rules, the dish is either thrown from one person to another until someone drops it, or the greatest distance without ruining it.

Trying to understand the Scot in the same way that I try, tomorrow, to understand the nature of giving birth, I came up with the following, beginning with that anthem, IMHO one of the best pieces of music ever used as an anthem, alongside maybe La Marseillaise:

“Those days are passed now
And in the past
They must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again.”

Why would a national song largely dwell on a terrible enemy rather than concern itself with its own greatness and the national ability to overcome all obstacles?

No matter, let’s move on.

‘It came with a lass and will pass with a lass.’ [James V]

Hmmm. I thought Macbeth had had something to do with it.

‘There are few more impressive sights in the worlds than a Scotsman on the make. [J.M. Barrie -1908]

I can well imagine although I’ve nae been wooed by a Scot, with the single exception of a Highland lass, Morag, I was once sweet on but that was me doing the wooing, bloody Sasenach.

‘Oh Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!’
[Scott – 1805]

That poetic child was certainly not Byron who ungraciously wrote, in 1812 [auspicious year otherwise]:

‘A land of meanness, sophistry and mist.’

Well, this blogger is not averse to bit of mist, especially Irish Mist and dear olde Eire will be the next subject in this ongoing series. An example is to the right here.

If I’ve breached copyright, forgive me, Mr. Lane and I’ll take her down immediately.

[retrospective legislation] today godwin, tomorrow ... you

Iain Dale takes one point of view on Our Fred and DK takes another.

Let me put it a third way.

The legacy of the Soviet Union bureaucracy is that whatever you do, wherever you go, you are illegal. Just by trying to make ends meet and live a normal life, you, by definition, break the law.

Now, the way the country gets around this is that having legally got you by the short-and-curlies, the law is by-and-large ignored. In the day to day running of things, it works semi-fine. However, if someone's a bit short of cash or whatever, the authority looks at you and says, 'Oh, you've broken the law.'

Your job is to now to rue your unlucky day, go across and say, 'Let's see if we can't sort this problem out.' This usually involves the transfer of a certain amount of cash or whisky or in lesser infractions, a large box of chocolates for his wife.

Everything goes back to normal and you hope to avoid anything like that the next time.


If you don't think someone has been punished enough, with a man named Fred Godwin, for argument's sake, who was encouraged anyway by another man we'll call, say, Gordon Brown, then to retrospectively decide to enact legislation to dock the man's pension, given that he has already made an agreement to forego his bonuses, is just plain immoral.

Worse than immoral, it is stupid. If the type of person who is the first to demand the death penalty in these sorts of situations, that enabling any sort of retrospective legislation and putting it into the hands of this lot in Westminster is a good idea, think again.

Thomas More, in that immortal Robert Bolt play pointed to just such an issue. If you go around tearing down the law or redrafting it to suit some moral outrage you currently feel, then when you have the devil cornered and he turns round and uses it on you, to whom will you have recourse?

You've left yourself wide open.

I suggest we think carefully before enabling anything which has a retrospective whiff to it and look to our own safety in the current onslaught taking us back to the new feudalism.

Hat/tip Lord T

[diamonds] and the yearning of an amethyst

How hopelessly soppy and romantic and brave for a man to reveal his heart. How lucky will 'she' be to stumble upon such a diamond.

Oh how I pine to be a diamond but sadly, I am but amethyst.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

[enemies] there are some best not tackled

This ain't me ... yet. Still have to get home though.

Interesting day.

I'd just finished insulting [in the final chapters] the one entity in the world it's not advisable to insult and was making ready to have a bath when there was a knock on the door. They were turning all the water off for one hour.

Not to worry.

Went back to the desktop, Word had decided to close down and I lost half a chapter. plus suporting documentation.

I went into the kitchen to have a french toast when my reading glasses I'd forgotten to take off dropped, I tried to trap them with the leg as they fell, broke the frame and then went searching for the little screw which could put them back together. I got it all back in place and because of the coiled spring affect ... ping ... the little screw went flying.

French toast was all over the floor meantime and the brunch in the pan was burning.

You may or may not know that I bicycle to many places. The gears decided not to work today; the wind stopped me after a couple of hundred metres and I had to walk against it.

Doesn't pay to take on the metaphysical world. If I'm still around and haven't been skewered by my kitchen knife or whatever, I'll get back to you on this with an update.

[camerons] naturally

No one wishes this on anyone. Prayers and sympathy required.

[palestinian unity] post-apocalypse, methinks

Fat chance:

Egypt urged all Palestinian factions on Thursday to work on ending their internal chasm in reconciliation talks aimed at pushing rivals Hamas and Fatah to form an interim unity government.

Distrust between the groups runs deep after a power struggle including Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in 2007, leaving Fatah in charge of only the West Bank. Tensions escalated further after Israel's three-week offensive in Gaza, designed to stop Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel.

Hamas claimed the government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ran a Gaza spy ring that fed Israel information about Hamas targets during the offensive that ended January 18. Abbas' Fatah accused Hamas of killing and wounding dozens of Fatah activists under the cover of the war.

[forgiveness] powerful weapon in the right hands

‘The Tree of Forgiveness ’, 1882, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Wonder why artists are all coy about the male but are happy to show all the female? Just asking.

Cherie wrote about forgiveness:

The ones listed are relevant to the comments on my previous post:

* Aids psychological healing through positive changes in affect

* Improves physical and mental health

* Restores a victim’s sense of personal power

Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do for someone. It is not complicated. It is simple. To sum up it takes a great deal of courage to forgive someone and move on.

I have two main ideas on file [not my own] to add to that:

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

If someone hurts us, either that person never knows he’s hurt us or else he just goes away and leaves us to suffer. Where once we were going along happily, now someone has made us angry, depressed and seeking revenge.

This then makes us bitter.

Does this person pay for his crime against us? No way. Do we pay for his crime? Yes, every time, through loss of balance, loss of mood and loss of health. In the end, he wins and we lose.
Only we should choose how we feel.

Forgiveness is the way to say:
"Nobody is going to hurt me and control my feelings, even in his absence. I make the choice whether to be hurt or not. In the end, he is the unfortunate one, not me."

By rethinking the meaning of forgiveness, we can become emotionally freer, calmer and generally a more pleasant person. Power over oneself is the key to a calmer, more balanced life.

This last was a paraphrasing of Philip McGraw.

My view of forgiveness is more aggressive than Cherie's. It can be a powerful weapon and not only to harm but to rebuild yourself.

[systemic shistemic] here we go

For those who don't like to click:

The global systemic crisis will enter a fifth phase in the fourth quarter of 2009, a phase of global geopolitical dislocation.

A. Two major processes:
1. Disappearance of the financial base (Dollar & Debt) all over the world
2. Fragmentation of the interests of the global system’s big players and blocks

B. Two parallel sequences:
1. Quick disintegration of the current international system altogether
2. Strategic dislocation of big global players.

Anyone disagree out there?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

[watermelons] oh the politics

Fat people and giant space-pigeons.

[the existence of g-d] maglev trains and macintosh osx

This blog sees its purpose [given that it is sentient, a contestable claim] as tackling any topic, no matter how uncomfortable.

The antidote to that is your clicking finger.

An epithet I like to give to the phenomenon of Jesus of Nazareth is ‘the man who came to earth to make you feel uncomfortable’ and I’m really comfortable with making you feel uncomfortable on that.

Let me employ three really weird analogies – the Macintosh OSX, electricity and a train.

Two men go to a train station to take the Intercity. One gets on and makes the journey, the other is stuck at the station. Later, the second makes out, on the phone, that the train refused to take him and anyway, it probably wasn’t going to his destination.

The man who travelled says, ‘Well first you have to buy the ticket. Only then will you know or not know.’

You can extend that analogy to the lottery. Someone’s bemoaning the fact that nothing good seems to happen and he has no money. Why do some people win the lottery and he gets nothing? Same thing – first you have to buy the ticket.

In other words, you have to get off your butt, physically make a move and buy it.

Let me ask you one. ‘How do you know sex feels exquisite?’

There’s a man with a PC which has broken down and a man with a Mac. The first says there’s nothing special about a Mac – it’s just a bloody laptop, after all. The PC can do so much more than a Mac ever can. The second only wants a simple, reliable device, with an elegant operating system which is a joy to use on an hour-to-hour basis. He says the Mac does what it does and does it in luxury. No more, no less.

Someone says, ‘Prove there’s a G-d and a Christ.’ I say, ‘I can’t prove it.’ ‘Aha,’ the first leaps onto this answer, ‘there you are, you see – it doesn’t exist.’ Then he goes into a long diatribe about how he can ‘prove it doesn’t exist’, how the gospels were written after 70CE and how this superstition needs to be stamped out.

I look at him and think, ‘You should take a recording of yourself – why are you so passionate about this?’

A fellow blogger comes over, apoplectic and asks me why I need to invent a G-d when there are perfectly rational explanations. I say, ‘Yes, there are rational explanations and one of them is that He exists.’

‘No, no,’ he says, ‘rational, scientifically provable.’

‘Ah’ I say, ‘like global warming.’

If you were to ask me what electricity is, I can’t tell you. Well yes, I can parrot back to you about volts, amperes and Charlie but I don’t know what it actually is. I know it works but I couldn’t begin to tell you how.

Well yes, I can tell you how but not what it actually IS.

I do know, coming back to the train analogy, that I bought the ticket way back in the past and immediately life became like a Mac in a PC world – just a better way to do it, serenely arrogant bstd, as Adams would say. Personal things just fall into place, while the extrinsic things like no job and the constant worry of being on the street continue but the thing is, I know the direct correlation between when I am doing the right thing, fulfilling the contract, so to speak and when I’m off on my own tangent.

In the former, things really do click and there are enough anecdotes to fill a library. What’s more, the correlation is not seventy or eighty percent – it’s 100%. It always works, like a Mac [in the first few years anyway – you can only take the analogy of a piece of machinery a certain way].

For example, a cheque arrives or I meet a nice lady and have a good afternoon or something just appears out of nowhere. When I’m not doing the right thing, it’s just like everyone’s life – some ups, some downs, mainly downs.

It doesn’t give you actual things. You’re still going to die, you won’t be left a fortune by a rich uncle - it won’t give you anything material, you’ll still find yourself on the Titanic, the same as all the other passengers but it does give you the mechanism to cope and the most important one of all – it gives comfort. In your head, if you really have faith, you also have comfort. One follows from the other.

Why this elicits such anger from people, why the fire comes out of the nostrils of someone intent on saying you’re a bloody idiot if you believe that long-exploded guff – this is a mystery to me. I don’t get apoplectic over your beliefs.

Returning to the train, how do I know maglev works? Actually, I think it’s flawed; I think that if you’re relying on electrically induced magnetism and with the ease with which circuits can be broken, that at any time out there, the connection can be broken and the train hurtles into the valley.

You’d answer me, ‘Have you ever been on maglev train?’ ‘Well no.’ ‘Then stop talking through your a-se. Until you’ve bought a ticket and gone on one, how can you say? It works fine and there are many people who can testify to that.’

Now it’s my turn. I ask, ‘Do you believe that there are other planets with sentient life forms out there in some galaxy?’ You say, ‘Of course.’ I say, ‘Prove it.’ You say, ‘Well on the law of averages, there have to be.’ I ask, ‘Why are you so obsessed with inventing the existence of other life forms? There’s only us.’ You say, ‘That’s such a blinkered view.’

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

[decadence] and the presence of the pod

"By ‘decadence’ we mean the point at which a creative function’s indwelling essence has rotted, leaving nothing but the outer rind of form. We do know that new forms come from new experiences."


[not so united states] and uncle sam

States seceding in the U.S.?

Hat tip Lord T by email.

[please read] and weep

Read please.

[apocalypse now] actually, a few chapters from now

Har Megiddon

All right, I’m in a bind. I’ve worked my way into a corner.

Help me please.

The first part of this tome was pretty straightforward. Written from 1996 to 2006, set in Russia and France, there’s a lot of what actually happened in there and the relationships were dead easy, so it almost wrote itself.

The tunnel under Har Megiddon - it does exist, truly.

The second was set mainly in France and then in Britain and it was almost all fiction, with my experiences up and down France thrown in and a hell of a lot of research on Paris and the area south of it. You should see the files I have on everything from what Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps sell through to the Barbizon School.

The third book is the best written but it’s two books in one. I had the third part, set in Britain and that works well but that’s now finished and there are still seven chapters to write cold. The little band of survivors have now made it to the coast near Haifa, ordinary life in Britain having been made impossible by the government [all fiction, I know, I’m sorry] and they’re shacking up with the Druze on Har Carmel.

In lieu of actual knowledge of the Har Megiddon area, necessary for the apocalyptic ending where the troops amass, I’ve had to fill in with a falling out between the two main characters. The setting works – looking out over the Esdraelon Valley, the trees, the olives, the local culture – so that’s OK.

The problem is - how to get from there to the apocalypse and make it sound natural? The mechanism of this – you know, the cabals, the Thirteen in Europe and their arcane insanity leading to a recession, depression, the new feudalism, war, depopulation and then the apocalypse – that’s easy enough to do and people would accept it more in 2009 than in 2005.

Another thing – what does an apocalypse actually look like when it’s at home? When you’re really in that valley that night and the monster appears overhead to frighten the children, what does it actually look like? Tolkien doesn’t help here. Plus, that’s only half a page.

What plot can I put in, from the landing on the coast through to the Big Night, to fill in four chapters?

[armageddon] and the view from har karmel

Kishon Valley, where the Big One's scheduled for

This is excerpted form Chapter 20 of the last book of mine, where two political and economic refugees from a Britain and France which are in the process of falling apart in 2009, have found their way to Har Karmel, where they’re living with the local Druze [don’t ask]. The world seems out of kilter and Josephine [no smiles please] is musing about it.

The opinionated character she’s talking to is her husband, Hugh Jensen, on the topic of a possible scenario for the end of the world.
By the way, this sort of dialogue only occurs every few chapters. Usually it’s more down to earth.

"You couldn’t have written the script, she mused.

But she wanted her question answered. Why? Why had the world come to this state? What mechanism was in place? All right, Hugh would say it was the cabals and their ancient meddling and undermining of society in every nation on earth. Yes, she saw that principle and had brushed up against this evil herself. It existed, yes.

But why was society somehow able to resist it for years and then suddenly, didn’t seem able to resist it?

She aired her thoughts with him, fearing the response might take hours.

Hugh had two modes.

If he knew something, he gave a lecture and she wasn’t averse to these as they didn’t go on forever and there was time to put the coffee on. On the other hand, if he didn’t know, he tended to ask her opinion and then sometimes they came to the answer between them.

‘I don’t know,’ he answered. ‘I have ideas, that’s all.’

[plot specific part deleted]…………… [continues below]

‘At this moment, we’re in a Druze village, not accepted by them because they don’t assimilate but welcome as guests.

Scenario - someone forty years old in Britain or Paris is waking up in his terrace house or apartment, going to his ensuite bathroom for a shower then into the kitchen for breakfast.

You know the early morning routine – organizing the kids for school, getting ready for work. What should they care? They’re going into their office culture for the day, with all its worries. They’re expected to toe the line, give 120% to their firm, accept restrictions on their movements and they want to avoid trouble.

So they stay low and do what they do. Their opinions are manipulated by the tele and the newspaper, a bit by the internet. Their imaginations are limited. Soon they’ll be told that it’s inefficient to carry so many cards, that card and mortgage debt was behind the recession and now it’s a better way, a safer way to avoid future problems of this kind if people could draw money from the veri-chip in the arm.

You saw it in Casino Royale.

Only it’s not just a chip with all their personal data – it’s also a low level controller. These people are now semi-zombies, putting out their bins, watching their teles, going to work. They take approved holidays and believe they’re exercising free will, especially at the laugh-fests called party-political elections.

They take the holiday to the Costa del Cheapo and not to Luzerne because they can afford the former. They can afford it because it’s been made affordable and the other has been made unaffordable, to keep people like them out. The reason they can’t afford it is because the price of a house and car are outrageously above their income scale, forcing them to work more hours for less and thus keeping them under control. And they’re the lucky ones – with jobs. The others are already slaves to the whims of the state.

Along come a couple of mavericks like us, sprouting about cabals and Mandelson and the Bilderbergers and to them, it’s like so much science fiction. It’s meant to appear that way so that subversives like us don’t get any hold on their imaginations.

It’s a done deal.

So, travelling along the rails they run on, they don’t wish the boat to be rocked, to mix metaphors. The penalties for harbouring people like us, claiming to fight for freedom but in reality just bringing a heap of trouble down on their heads, are increasingly dire. So, although they won’t turn us in to the authorities, neither will they harbour us.

Without that sustenance, we starve.

You see, there’s no reason, in their minds, formed from the adulterated education system they’ve come through, plus the media pressure, to think otherwise, other than they do. They’ve been effectively dumbed down. Real debate is a thing of the past, pub conversations don’t exist any more, 18th century coffee shop dialogue is something from a history book.’

‘The internet.’

‘Yes, the internet. Greater and greater cost to be in it, no time because your job and family are taking 120% of your life awake now and your kids face social pressures not there two generations ago, more and more pressure to twitter on and remain shallow instead of looking at anything more fundamental.

It’s Stepford Wives stuff.

Oh what a beautiful photo. Yes it is. Oh what a great recipe. Someone actually addressing issues or trying to, gets about four readers a day. To get five hundred people a day reading you, you need to either have tits, bums and aeroplanes, with witty lines which make you laugh or a lot of beautiful photos and youtubes.

The internet pundits think they’re free but they’re just as tyrannized by the demand for the quick grab in eight lines, with links, as the MSM hack is by his sub-editors and Bosses such as ‘Dirty’ Desmond.

So, with the people already softened up for the kill, millions unemployed and feeding off Mother Pig, along comes the contrived depression which we’re told is worldwide, not just in Britain.

‘Or France.’

‘Or France.’

‘Or America or Canada or Australia.’

‘All right, point taken.’

‘So go on.’

‘Where was I?’

‘People softened up for the kill.’

‘Right. The loose coalition of greedy people, otherwise known as the bankers and high executives of the world, are also slaves themselves, which the unemployed yob can never see and there is an agenda coming through to them which was sold to the executive-slaves long ago at symposia and sundry meetings - that the future is global.

The people pushing these things are many, such people as Javier Perez de Cuellar, Jim McNeill, Maurice Strong, William D. Ruckelshaus, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Friedman the writer, Al Gore, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, James Lovelock, Brian Swimme, Paul Gorman, Thomas Berry, Rev. James P. Morton Patricia M. Mische … can’t remember any more names just now.

Some are fellow travellers, some are key people in the push.

It doesn’t take too much research to see that if this was some sort of genuine belief in the Earth Mother, that would be fine but the real money pouring into these things and into the whole environmental hijacking and carbon footprint fraud shows that there’s a far more serious agenda going on.

And they’re obsessed with getting their way - Lisbon in Ireland twice -’

‘Lisbon’s not in Ireland, Hugh.’

‘No, I meant … doesn’t matter. You’re right. Anyway, my mate once came up with a case in America where they tried to get a piece of anti-gun legislation for. ‘How long have you been trying?’ ‘Oh, eleven years.’ How’s that for obsession? In the end, people were so bored with it, they just allowed it through. Didn’t even turn up to vote. That’s what we’re up against.’

‘Why would they bring the same piece of legislation year after year?’

‘Well, they changed the wording, of course but they had to have it because it was a key part of the whole agenda.

Where’s all this stuff stemming from?

From exactly the same families who funded Lenin and Trotsky, the French Revolution, the two World Wars and Vietnam/Korea. The film The Brotherhood of the Wolf was not based on fiction though it was a mish-mash in itself. The Round Table groups are only the outward manifestations of the true money and the true money itself is just a blind for those really behind the whole damned thing.’

‘I get the idea. How do you know?’

‘I do and I don’t. Let me turn it around. If you saw a National Council of Churches of Christ listed alongside Global Education Associates on the UN list, would you assume that the former are Christian?’

‘Of course.’

‘That’s because you don’t really know what a Christian is. You read the gospels and it’s quite clear that the Word is a word of mouth thing for the hearts and minds of each individual. There’s no such thing as a World Council in this faith. It’s a far more organic thing. The only people pushing World Councils of this, Global Fora of that, are people of a certain mindset and the people attending these establishment and development meetings are the same people who are into Common Purpose, the WTO and so on.

What the hell is World Trade anyway, written with capital letters? Trade is two people wanting to sell or barter. So what’s a WTO when it’s at home?

It’s a cabal, that’s all it is. It’s a group with obscene levels of assets and where do the bulk of those come from in the first place?’

‘I’m sure you’re going to tell me.’

‘Well, let me put it back to you. What are the greatest money spinners of the past decades? Remembering that in coming decades, things like water supply are going to be the new issues.’

‘Er … military equipment. Hmmm … the drug trade. Prostitution.’

‘Especially child prostitution and the decimation of eastern Europe. Go on.’

‘Oil, gas. Just food, I suppose.’

‘In other words, just list down the major money spinners in the world and turn the question round – why would these people not invest in these?’

‘Moral reasons. Because it’s wrong.’

‘Who says it’s wrong to exploit Ukrainian girls? By whose code? The Judaeo-Christian tradition, Moses, that code says it’s wrong.

In Casino Royale, le Chiffre was asked by the terrorist leader, ‘Do you believe in God?’ Interesting question in a James Bond film. Le Chiffre’s answer was, ‘No. I believe in a reasonable rate of return.’

I wonder how many people picked up on that?

Or else it’s the real god of the old money and their religion states: ‘Do as thou will.’ Business is business. The misery of someone like Magdalena is the same as the flow of oil – it all produces steady money.’

‘I forgot land. Land rentals.’

‘Of course. Leaving aside the little man, the landlord who buys up thirty houses and rents them out, the big land rentals are a huge source. Now my question to you – who gave them these lands in the first place? I mean, back in the mists of time, you can read of the ‘ancient family who have occupied this estate since the dawn of time’ and you ask yourself, ‘Who gave them that land?’

‘The strongest took it.’

‘Who were the strongest?’

‘Oh, I don’t know, Hugh. The Kings.’

‘Like the Merovingians in your case? Who made them Kings? There was a Monty Python skit on that, in a film called the Holy Grail.’


‘Never mind. You’re a French k-niget. Who made these people Kings?’

‘They just were.’

‘So in the time when giants roamed, the giants became the Kings? Who were the giants?’

‘I haven’t a clue but you seem to. Why don’t you just tell me?’

‘Why should I tell you? Do the reading yourself. To answer it, look at the type of gobbledegook we’re getting out of these people. See if I can remember one. Oh yes. Try this:

‘We have within our reach the promise of renewed America. We can find meaning and reward by serving some purpose higher than ourselves — a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light.’ George Bush Senior. Pure illuminati.

What’s happening is, while the legion of believers in the new humanism and the dawn of man honestly believe that they’re helping create a Brave New World, that they’ve on from the religious nonsense as a blogger I liked, the Thunderdragon, once said, while they’re happy to go along with the new persecution of Christianity, even to the point of painting signs on the sides of buses, what the hell has that to actually do with humanism, the new Renaissance?

The answer? Someone is obsessed with the Nazarene Carpenter. Someone makes out that the faith He spawned is a modern-day irrelevance and then goes to enormous trouble to suppress it. Why?’

‘You’re saying because it’s true?’

‘Or even if you won’t accept that, then it’s at least a great threat to the new order from people who do actually believe it. It really does seem to be getting in the way of his plans.

But the joke is, that while his legion of devotees to the new dawn of man really believe tat we are in control of our own destiny, he himself knows full well what he’s engineering and he’s saying nowt, knowing no one believes in him either. He can live with that for the present.’

‘What’s nowt?’

‘Never mind. He’s saying nothing.’


‘The one behind all the trouble in the first place. The Thirteen families are mere accolytes in this context.’

‘If it’s who I think you’re talking about, then what chance do you have? You’re just an ant in this context.’

‘You’ve heard of David?’

She laughed. ‘You’re comparing yourself to David?’

‘I could, if I believed my own rhetoric. This is how megalomanics start, false messiahs who promise a new ‘moral authority’. I can never be a megalomaniac as long as I’m on the team I’ve joined.’

‘Oh really?’ She was highly amused. ‘You’re giving a good rendition of one.’

‘I’m a mere slave, a serf with a benign master. I’ve sold my soul.’

‘To the devil, eh?’

‘To the other side. It doesn’t have any room for megalomaniacs. You try that game and you get the chop. All I have is a small amount of perspicacity and use it for what I believe in, what you also believe in.’

‘What do I believe in?’

‘Mankind. The poor sods who have no defences of their own. The blind fools who think that lying low and trying to prolong their bourgeois comfort is going to continue without actually enslaving themselves. Or else they do know and are trying to ignore it, hoping it will all go away.’

She smiled again – it had turned into a lecture after all. ‘My next question, Hugh: ‘What’s going to happen next? How is this all going to unfold?’ The simple questions in life, you see.’ She laughed.

‘Josephine, every generation, especially of Christians, believes it’s the end times and can point to things in society which indicate it. The French Revolution and Napoleon must had to have seemed such a time. Ditto Hitler.

Even in Britain, if you look at the industrial revolution, which was anti-people by the way and the days of Oliver Twist, it must have seemed pretty bad. Transporting people to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread. Fields of Athenry.’

‘I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.’

‘Sorry,’ he slowed down. ‘I get on a roll at times.’

‘Most times.’

‘Guilty. All I’m saying is that no one had a clue what was going on and how to deal with it, except the perpetrators, of course – the old money, the ancient one [s]. People did think it was the end.’

‘Now you can produce doctored studies commissioned by the very people I’m attacking, refutations … but it does seem as if these times now have something different about them.’


‘Start with overpopulation. Phil the Greek was not wrong in this and it would be better if we could cull a few billion.’

‘Phil the Greek?’

‘Forget I mentioned him. But it has got to an induced state where the total grain-cropping soon won’t cover the mouths to feed. That’s one thing. The buying up, damming and meting out of the world’s water is another. This will create huge population movement pressures, as war does. Makes it easier to go in and cull people.

Look at the moral state of the young. The old have always berated the young for being hopeless dead-heads and not obeying their parents’ codes but this seems different to me.

There’s a worldwide situation where … well, let’s start with teenage pregnancies, which didn’t exist two generations ago and delve right back into the past. There were always teen pregnancies – they were just not reported – but there wasn’t a culture then where it was seen as normal for a fourteen year old to have to give her body away to be part of the gang. Where it was just taken as read and now the only question left is having a nurse in every school to ‘advise’ how to have sex better.

There was never a worldwide internet educator like the dark games which have so many enthralled. I’m speaking of Russia here but almost every – and I mean almost every – young person goes clubbing two or three times a week. At those clubs is the same culture constantly being fed to them. There are no other social meeting places any more where good values can be found – they’ve all closed down.’

‘Our parents thought that Francoise Hardy and the Beatles were devil music.’

‘True. Every generation judges by what they see. But everything in life now, from the supply of footwear to values to recessions, is global. Create a crisis in America and a bank collapses in Iceland or Russia.

There’s a body of opinion, especially in Britain, which believes that the country is stuffed, absolutely knackered, for maybe fifty years. They see every government in the world being socialist today. I wonder if they ever ask, ‘For what reason? For what purpose?’ And hand in hand with that go Secrecy, Surveillance, Grassing on your Neighbour, State Control through the chip in your wrist whch is coming up and so on.

People are being manipulated to find scapegoats.

A Christian is an easy scapegoat but his time comes later, when he tries his rearguard action to avoid being wiped out and is labelled an insurgent and dumped in the terrorist bag. For now, the next major obstacle to the ancient ones’ moves in the Middle-East is Islam.

So what do they do? They provoke the Muslims who are notoriously thin-skinned and hey presto – 911, 7/7, Beslan, a few heads cut off, lovingly caught on video with someone chanting from an upside down Koran.’

‘The Muslims don’t need any provocation to threaten Europe,’ she reminded him. ‘They have their own world agenda – look at Sicily and Spain. Look at the banyules in Paris.’

‘That’s your patch, sorry. All right, they do have their agenda, fed from the mosques and religious schools but the average Muslim is not even interested in that stuff, except by lip service, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ on a Friday. It’s fermented by their druids.’

‘Muslims don’t have druids.’

‘Not by name but it’s the same thing. The Romans weren’t fools, you know, wiping them out.’


‘Off on a tangent again, I’m afraid. What I’m getting at is that the reaction of the average Brit to the whole thing – the way they’re given privileged treatment by the government, with their large families, the way their leaders make incredibly provocative statements to the press, with their MCB and radicals, the economic depression, the loss of jobs and so on and so on, the scapegoat is sitting ready for the explosion.’


‘Sherlock Holmes said it: The Englishman is a patient creature, but at present his temper is a little inflamed, and it would be as well not to try him too far. From The Last Bow. There’s a vengeance coming and it needs a target. Now, as the sentiments in the film V for Vengeance are admirable but there’s no genuine chance of blowing up parliament or getting close to the cabinet, people will look for targets in their own area.

The Muslims are as good as any.

The press feeds it with tales of some new outrage where a Muslim is making new demands or getting preferential treatment and there’s your scapegoat on a plate. The average joe never ever questions it. He feels anger when he’s manipulated to, he feels it for someone he’s manouevred to. It’s why people went off to war, chanting Lily Marlene when they got there.

It’s why women went round giving white feathers to any man who didn’t want to kill people. I’m ex-military and it’s a simplistic world view. You’re either a patriot or a traitor. If you think, ‘Hey, this is wrong. We have no beef with those people,’ then you’re a traitor. Take the Anzacs and Turks at Gallipoli. They didn’t want to kill each other but they were prepared to fight for their country though, to the bitter end. I am too.

They never stop to question why the Hamiltons of the world sit safely in their command ships giving the orders, why the Light Brigade charges for no good reason or why Custer’s mob all die on the say-so of a non-comp with delusions of grandeur.’

‘I’m sure, Hugh, that you know what you’re saying but can we get back to what’s going to happen?’

‘Yes. With society tenderized against the Muslims, hey presto, a situation is engineered in Israel which results in the new temple being built. The Muslims see this as the beginning of the end and mobilize. In comes the antichrist, Israel’s champion and he promises to defend them and to fulfil their long-awaited destiny. Remember, Israel prays night and day for the Messiah to return, conveniently denying that he did, 2009 years ago or so.

Russia doesn’t like the look of this and forms a pact with China and the Arab world. There’s the cauldron.

Now it gets out of hand. The Ayatollahs call for the long-awaited uprising all over the known world and suddenly there’s Kosovo ready to erupt and the thing goes pear-shaped, Kosovo, which the west glibly handed over on a plate, not understanding that it was the same leadership who ensured that who are now ensuring this eruption.

Now we’re back to a First World War scenario, WW1 occurring because someone set a match to a tinderbox of alliances. And who is the greatest alliance maker of today?’


‘Right. China now has its seaports in place and its beautiful new Karakoram Highway through Kashmir, largely made possible through western money and know-how. Up to this point, China’s been ‘nourishing obscurity and hiding its light under a bushel’ but now it moves. Thus the enormous numbers in the Kishon Valley, the Plain of Esdraelon, which we’re nicely sitting above right now in this house on Har Karmel.

India and Persia don’t want to miss out on the fun, nor Turkey, the new EU associate member which, surprise, surprise, suddenly went all fundamentalist a short time after EU accession but that’s another issue too.

I don’t know the exact mechanics of how it’s going to pan out and I’m not sure the enemy know either. I really believe they’ve merely built the house of cards and don’t know if it’s going to fall over right, left or indifferently. They just know it must fall; in they walk and pick up the surviving pieces.’

‘Do you believe they’ll succeed?’

‘No. I feel they’re incompetents with huge ideas. A fellow blogger from my days of blogging, called himself Wolfie, said that I worried too much about the agenda and wickedness of these people. He knew them and they were non-comps, deep down. They’re prone to error. Look at the ludicrous spectacle of McKillop, Goodwyn et al -’


‘Non-comp bankers, total wood-ducks who had a confession session from the bottom of where the heart might have been found if they’d had them, at which they profusely apologized for not having done anything wrong.

No, with people like that in charge of the new order, I don’t think they’ll succeed.’

‘And yet we were inside Har Megiddon the other day and it seemed that there was some sort of destiny in store there.’

'You told me this Wolfie was a banker.'

'Well there are white witches and black witches, aren't there?'

Anyway, are you hungry? I’m ravenous.’

‘Let’s eat.’

Munching on a piece of pitta bread, she said, ‘Anyone hearing the things you just said would think your’e insane or at the least, that you have an overstimulated imagination.’

‘All I can say is that in 2006, I was rabbiting on about the bankers and how it was all about to go pear-shaped. I quoted a woman who said it was planned – that there’d be a recession, the calling in of loans and so on. Readers thought that was nuts. In 2008, they changed their minds. Who’s to say that by 2013, the next part won’t have happened but by then, it will be too late for any ‘I told you sos.’

‘And where will we be?’

‘Rounded up by then.’

‘Do you enjoy life, Bebe?’ "

Friday, February 20, 2009

[cherchez le pere] british version

Wotchoo bin up to at night then?

Charon touches on an important issue for all of us:

The saga of The Home Secretary’s whereabouts of a night continues to excite the ravening horde and now Mr and Mrs Taplin of 22 Acacia Avenue are in on the act; twitching their curtains and demanding the truth about Jacqui Smith’s living arrangements. (BBC report)

That's easy. She's with Rachida and her team of potential daddies. After all, we have to set the example for the kiddies.

[airports] world's most annoying

Which one is worst?

Heathrow has been voted the worst international airport for passport queues and baggage problems, a survey of air travellers said on Friday.

New York's JFK and Los Angeles International airports were ranked second and third worst in the survey by online travel and social network (Where Are You Now?).

The survey asked 2250 passengers about passport control, baggage handling, customs and security at major international airports.

Can't argue with that.

[foreclosures] as night follows day

Denninger says:

So Obama comes out with his "plan" to try to halt foreclosures.

It won't do it, but it sure sounds good.

I will give him an "F" for substance but an "A" for effort.

Why an "F" for substance? Because what he's trying to do fundamentally cannot be done.

The fundamental problem is that everything got levered up to the gills during the bubble years. Now all these "upside down" assets are a huge millstone around everyone's neck - a problem from which we cannot realistically escape by any means other than realizing the losses.

Why not? Because for nearly 20 years one of the fundamental requirements for sound lending - that is, the sharing of risk by the borrower and provision of a buffer against asset value declines (this is commonly known as a "down payment") was systematically removed from our financial system across all asset classes.

See, assets do not always rise in price. It doesn't matter whether the asset is a stock, a bond, a piece of real estate or anything else. This is especially true when one "pumps" asset prices through the provision of nearly-unlimited credit without regard for ability to pay.

Read the rest of it.

[can] damo suzuki

Thursday, February 19, 2009

[wordless thursday] what's yours?

[one for the boys] get up to speed on your fragrances

Most men are clearly fazed by the range of fragrances [don’t call them perfumes] available at the counters.

Don’t be worried. Introduce it sometime in a discussion with your wife or not-wife and find out what her personal tastes and phobias run to.

Below is a starter to get you up and running.

Perfume is a combination of fragrant oils diluted in a high-grade alcohol in a concentration containing about 15-25 percent oil, the alcohol being about 90-95 percent pure. This is a parfum. Any mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is an eau (water).

EDC - Eau de cologne is the least concentrated form of a fragrance
(2 - 5% perfume oil dissolved in water and alcohol), then comes...
EDT - Eau de toilette (4 - 10%), followed by....
EDP - Eau de parfum (8 - 15%), and finally the most concentrated....
PARFUM or Perfume (15 - 25%).

Sarah Blackmoore [no link, sorry] categorizes the six types thus:

Earthy or woody type perfumes evoke smells of the forest, and are usually very refreshing. They often tend to appeal to the older generation, and may make ideal gifts.

Oriental fragrances use strong spicy scents, and are ideal for special social occasions, but be cautious giving them to anyone you don’t know well – these intense perfumes can be a very personal choice.

The so-called “greens” are much lighter than the orientals, and are well suited to more casual wear. Because they make a less dramatic assault on the nose, they are also safer to give as gifts!

Modern “oceanic” fragrances are becoming more and more popular, particularly among younger people who appreciate the intense but often quite unusual scents, which instantly bring to mind seaside scenes. Naturally these are an excellent choice in the warmer months when thoughts turn to holidays.

Spicy fruity perfumes are also a good warm-weather choice, and can be a good all-round choice for the woman who wants to wear something with some traditional base-notes but is a little different to the classic floral scents.

Finally, those classic floral fragrances are suitable for almost everyone and any occasion. But be wary of cheaper brands; this most feminine of all the main groups works best when the ingredients used are of high quality, and that means less expensive brands can smell exactly that.

For a longer article on the groupings, this hotch-potch, by Grant Osborne and other writers, could help.

The trouble is, your lady is possibly not going to want most of the above and many women I know have their own specialities which seem to go best with their bodies.

That’s the essential thing.

She might like one grouping for work use, one for evenings and so on. She might like one type but it doesn’t agree with her. The only surefire way is to discuss it with her over a period of time.

Then you can go to that counter and buy with confidence.

[new feudalism] defence might become a consideration

With the accession of the messiah in America, it’s becoming increasingly important over there which firearm to choose to defend your family and your constitution.

Now let me say from the outset that this site in no way, shape or form is promoting the use of guns or saying that you should rush out and buy one.

In fact, in Britain, where everything is completely in order and the government is much loved, where there is no culture of guns, no terrorism and complete racial harmony and if you did buy one, you’d end up incarcerated in a coffin with spikes on the inside, even if you made it that far, my advice is not to even think of purchasing any weaponry, of any sort, under any circumstances, at any time nor to consider, in the least, defending your family.

However, just for interest’s sake, in a lawless land somewhere on a far-off island, these might be your considerations:

Let’s face it, the main decision in your choice of weapon is going to be 9mm or 0.45. Whilst the stopping power of the 0.45 is desirable, the 9mm is far more readily available.

My personal choice would be the Heckler & Koch UMP. Wiki says:

As originally designed, the UMP is chambered for larger cartridges than the MP5. This was done in order to provide more stopping power against armored targets as well as increase the effective range over the MP5.

However, using a larger cartridge results in more recoil, making the weapon more difficult to control when firing in fully-automatic mode.

To counter this effect, the cyclic rate of fire was decreased to around 600 rounds per minute, making it one of the slower submachine guns in the market.

Such a slow rate of fire makes burst-fire settings impractical, yet many users cite the practicality of the 3-round burst or 2-round burst setting as a desirable feature in a submachine gun.

The only other one I’d look at is the HK MP5K. Wiki says:

It is widely considered to be one of the best close quarter battle (CQB) weapons in the world, especially considering its size. Its small size and low weight (2 kg / 4.4 Lbs) allow it to be easily concealed under clothes, in a car, or in a suitcase, and allows for high mobility, even in crowds.

A special bag and suitcase have been designed, not only to carry the weapon in, but also to fire it from. Both have a hole in them, from which the bullets are fired. The suitcase's "trigger" is in the handle, but when using the bag, you must open it and grip the trigger as you would normally.

Needless to say, this feature provides near-ultimate stealth.

The only directly notable disadvantage is a seriously decreased effective range (only 25 m / 82 ft), due to its shorter barrel (115 mm [4.5 in] instead of 225 mm [8.9 in]) and lack of shoulder stock (which makes the weapon more difficult to aim).

So it comes down to requirements in the end. Stealth is not something I’d ever be interested in but stopping power under attack is.

Hence my preference for the UMP and in a pistol, the M1911.

In my novels, I thought out the weaponry you’d use in a paired combination with your wife, say, giving her the more versatile close range guns and retaining the ultimate stoppers for yourself, if only on the grounds of weight and size.

Anyway, have a think about it but of course, forget any idea that you’d actually buy any of these, even if you could. Remember, in the coming troubles, you are to be left completely defenceless. That’s what the rule of lauranorder is all about.

For heaven’s sake, if you want to play about with guns, join your local TA.

[culinary gems] let them eat cake

Culinary gem

If you were to be served this menu on a special anniversary, [please excuse the lack of French accenting in the spellings], there would hardly be any great surprise until you came to the wines:


Imperatice and Fontanges

Hors d’oeuvres

Souffles a la reines


Fillet of sole a la venitienne

Escalopes of turbot au gratin

Saddle of mutton with Breton puree


Chicken a la Portugaise
Hot quail pate
Lobster a la Parisienne
Champagne sorbet


Duckling a la rouennaise

Canapes of ortolan


Aubergines a l’espagnole

Asparagus spears

Cassolettes princess


Bombes glacees


Retour de l’Inde Madiera, sherry

Chateau -d’Yquem 1847

Chateau Margaux 1847

Chateau-Lafite 1847

Chateau-Latour 1848

Chambertin 1846, Champagne Roederer

Aside from the wines, there is much in that menu which might be provided at any special dinner today. And yet *:

Adolphe Duglere: born Bordeaux 1805, died Paris 1884

Duglere was a pupil of Careme’s and is always associated with the Cafe Anglais in Paris. The Cafe Anglais opened in the Boulevard des Italiens. It was named in honour of the peace treaty just signed between England and France, as he made it one of the most famous in the world.

He also managed the restaurant at Les Freres Provencaux and was the Head Chef at the kitchens of the Rothschild family’s kitchen
The dishes he is famous for creating are Potage Germiny, souffle a la Anglaise, sole Duglere and the reknowned Anna Potatoes; named after Anna Deslions, a lady of high fashion at the time.

At an historic dinner, which became known as ‘the three Emperors’ due to the attendance of Alexander II, the future Alexander III, Wilhelm I of Prussia and Bismark, it was Duglere who was the Chef Patron.
The dinner on June 7, 1867 was an expensive and extravagant affair even for those times.

The menu above was from that dinner. One marvels at how the ordinary mortal today is able to partake of such fare and not think twice about it.

What would the peasants have eaten in those days? Cake?

* I’ve lost the link but the site was “Talleyrand’s Culinary Fare”.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

[writing] why would you bother

Currently in a quandary as to whether to leave a character’s wife crippled or else allow her to slowly recover from an initially debilitating injury, it might be time to pause and look at this whole bloody maddening process of writing.

Almost every blogger who gets past the ‘let out all the frustrations’ stage fancies himself as a budding writer. Some even start thinking in terms of selling their wares before they even have the product.

Obstacles before you even start

In no particular order, here are some of the obstacles to overcome, before you even get going:

1. Like dancing, modelling and waitressing, it’s oversubscribed.

2. Everyone fancies himself as a writer but not many have the feedback to put their abilities in perspective.

On this point, literary agents smile when someone tells them that a ‘writer’s’ friends advised him to get his book published becase it is so good. Friends and family are often supportive but all the same, all expect free signed copies and would like to get a mention.

3. This is like point 2 in that many amateurs, without a writing background, feel they can do it as well as any they’ve read. It’s like the teaching profession – how many amateurs think it’s a piece of cake – that anyone can do it?

4. How’s your articulation, grammar and spelling? You can’t leave it all to the publisher to proof-read.

5. Can you type? With one finger or ten? How fast? Do yu know hoe publishers like to receive the MS?

6. Are you interesting enough? You might think you are, you might think your story is the bee’s knees but how many share that view? I’m certain that only a miniscule fraction of my target audience would like my work.

Who’s your target audience and is their a market for that type of book? I was asked yesterday what type my book was. I usually say romantic-thriller or thriller-romance. How many people are interested in that combination?

7. It’s time-consuming and wearying. If you’re not knackered after 11 hours of writing, you’ve been coasting. It’s all over the place – inspiration comes in the middle of the night or during the working day. You never know when it wil strike and if you don’t write it down then and there, you’re gone.

8. You become self-centred and anti-social, neglecting family and friends and find yourself having to make excuses to those with a reasonable claim to your time.

9. You have to line up with each of the other 2.5 million ‘writers’ who are looking for a literary agent to accept them.

10. It costs money, not just in getting published but in all the ancillaries, including time lost.

The process itself

1. Are you intending to write fiction or non-fiction, the former harder to get published and far more subjectively received.

2. Do you use a straight line narrative, with lots of ‘and’ and ‘then’; do you have a complex series of sub-plots and do they lead to the inevitable denouement?

3. What’s your intention – to sell the work or just to get something off chest?

4. Are your characters rounded, are there too many of them, should all be developed to the same extent and do you, the author, betray prejudice towards certain characters, not giving them a fair chance?

5. Can you avoid the Mary-Sue, the super-hero, based on yourself, who has all the answers and is a vehicle for your own ego?

The editing drudgery

1. Do you really have your timelines sorted so that you avoid anachronisms and characters who never age?
On this point, I have a character in the second book, named Genevieve Lavacquerie and she starts out, around 2005, as ‘just into her thirties’. Then I thought it would be nice to bring her in near the end of the first book, which put her in 1998. The problem is – she’s meant to be a mature woman and how can you make a 25 year old mature?

It didn’t work, so I had to go back through and in the third book, she’s still prancing about as if she’s 30 but now she has to be 45 or so.

2. Do you have the seasons and weather right? Are you jumping from summer to wineter or haven’t you thought about it at all?
3. How much local colour do you put in? I’m obsessive about details being correct or at least consistent with that town or village and this is one of the most time-consuming editorial jobs.
4. How ‘constructed’ does your anrrrative end up, after all that editing? How natural does it still feel? Doe your book begin to resemble a write-by-numbers collation?


How long do you intend writing for? Like national football managers and singers, it’s a notoriously shortlived business and you’re only as good as your last book. Arundhati Roy wrote:

I will only write another book if I have another book to write. I don’t believe in professions.


Just how do you intend to get yourself published and/or read?

[discrimination] all right when they do it, isn't it

Andrew Allison:

If a child can no longer talk about heaven and hell and her mother cannot ask her friends to pray for the school without the risk of losing her job, sacred rights and freedoms have been lost.

Amen, brother.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

[pro-liberi] have a read of this one

There's a new blogger in the firmament who calls himself Lord T, of all things, and he has a blog called Pro-Liberi [or For the Children].

You might not agree with all he has to say but his ideas on the future are definitely down to earth, practical and sometimes even amusing. What he's about can be found here.

Here's a selection:

On surveillance devices:

I see us dropping sugar cube sized devices in the garden to watch for intruders and they use bluetooth or WiFi to call our phones to warn us. Put one in the frame of your bike and it will shout out if it goes missing. Get the kids to swallow one in the morning so you know where they are every minute of the day.

On DIY doctoring:

I like the idea of doing testing at home. Many people wait and wait, myself included, until we are convinced something is wrong before we go and see a Doctor. By then it may be too late. Home testing however seems an ideal solution such as was proposed here for bowel cancer.

On evolution:

A boy has been born in the US with 24 digits on his hands and feet. Six on each hand and foot. Read the full story here. Now is this a move towards the next stage in our evolution? More fingers would be handy whilst typing and allow a better grip on tools. Not sure about the toes though.

I imagine Lord T is going to get quite a bit of comment, positive and negative, with views like those and others.