Thursday, November 19, 2009

The kite

The wind blasted the south. The last of the autumn leaves scattered to the four winds, scattered in an extremely fast and violent manner.

The man found a few stolen hours in the middle of a week, he found a glorious blue sky and a kite.

When you fly a kite you look skywards, the crick in your neck feels like hope, nobody can fly a kite by looking at the ground.

When you fly a kite you have to negotiate with the wind, the very strong wind. The sort of day that many people would rather be inside out of the blastzone finds you hanging onto your kite as it wheels and dives and climbs and hovers. You negotiate, you try to negotiate, but you know all too well that the wind will always have you. Have you and beat you.

The man found a field, nothing too special, on the edge of town, but once the kite was airborne, the place was transformed.

Dog walkers hurried past, picking up their shit, saying hello and letting their animals sniff each other's backsides.

Some of them noticed the kite, some of them may have thought "What a wanker, flying a kite". Some of them may have thought "Wow, a kite, I haven't seen a kite in years." They look skyward for a moment, then they return to picking up shit.

It was a stolen moment, those are the best.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Thanks to Greg and Kris and AWS for posting responses to my writing project about identity.
It’s only fair that I indulge you with my view on the subject.

Where to begin?

There are so many aspects to an identity, so many experiences that it’s hard to know.
It’s also virtually impossible to fill out every part of it, not even the most thorough autobiography can give that much, nothing can give the detail in the way that just being yourself over a number of years can. Add to this the fact that there are parts of one’s identity that would best not be shared over the airwaves! There are a number of paths I could tread.

The geographical?

Living a really good (wind assisted) stones throw from the house I was born in, after less than half a lifetime away, first in a West Country university town and then abroad, in Brooklyn. I suspect the fact that I am still a passionate believer in Brooklyn over New York City says something about me, I also suspect that the fact that I am a passionate believer in Norfolk over the rest of the United Kingdom also tells more than I would perhaps wish.

The spiritual?

Not a church going man, I’m with Clement Atlee on this (and on so many other things too) “Like the idea but I can live without the mumbo jumbo” I’m also not bothered about other religions either, sure they have their merits (and don’t doubt that I’ve looked into this, I have. Like a lot of good atheists, I’ve studied hard and taken years to get where I am today, I also appreciate that I might not be where I am today, tomorrow). Let's keep our ideas about beauty and faith and try not to pervert the ideas of others,  I believe in humanity, I love trees and am probably happiest on a beach with my family or flying a kite in really strong winds (or sometimes both!) That’s how I feel close to any god.

The personal?

Sure, I’ve lived an amusing life and have slowed down enough to find a gorgeous wife and raise a cute son, we’ve two more on the way so things are busy but in a great way.  I’ve joined the ranks of the permanently tired/holding down a good job/getting by brigade, And you know what? I love it!


 I get up each morning and most days I look forward to what I have to do. I try to do well in any job I’m given. Apart from my current career I think removals man was the best. Sitting in a big van, traveling the country, no two days the same, clear, achievable success criteria and bacon sarnies.


No Pasaran! They shall not pass. If we all come together we can defeat fascism and hate. Come on people, how about it? I’ve got tonnes of ideas about solving problems but most of them involve society making some firm rules and the individual making material sacrifices. I can’t see how my ideal state would come into existence without some type of leftist secret police, perhaps child informers. I would love to return to one moment in time and remove forever the chance for the internal combustion engine to be developed. I’d love us all to use horse and cart and bicycles and sailing boats and steam trains and yet I like nice stuff and 21st century perks. I vote because if you don’t vote you're not involved. I despair of the politics of hate and fear.  It's with sadness that I’ll not mourn the passing of this current government, no matter the affection I feel for our beleaguered Prime minister, but I’ll despair at the arrival of the next lot. I like Billy Bragg,


Books, Books, Books. The written word is king, the musical note is prince. Put them both together and I’m a happy man. Put them both together in place where I can hear them live and I’m in a delightful state. Some of my favourite memories are of a few friends picking up guitars in the open air and singing and playing. Of course there’s always footy. All sports pale by comparison, its "city till I die" for me old chum (then a dose of baseball I picked up whilst in Brooklyn, Go Mets!) I also love the open air, sailing and when it’s too windy for that I try and find a way to fly a kite.


Sure, I’m a Norfolk man through and through, then an Englishman. Married to a Rhode Island girl with our son born a few blocks from where the Dodgers used to play before they went west. In my quiet moments in Brooklyn I thought of myself as a Norfolk-American, perhaps I still do.

I’m also really tall, I like that.

Coffee, not tea.

Beer over wine but wine over nothing!

Toast is very important.

I love radio, possibly more than telly.

I feel like I could write about this stuff for a very long time and still not quite get to the bottom of where my identity lies, As I said at the top, it’s such a brilliantly complicated thing. If I were to be thought of as anything, I’d like to be thought of as an optimist. I believe in the power of people, individuals or groups, to do amazing things. Take a moment to think about your life and the things that you have overcome, we’ve all been through some crazy stuff. Did we achieve by getting angry, bitter and fuelled by hate? No. Whatever we did, we did because we worked hard and worked alongside some other people to reach the goal. That’s the sort of thing I like.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The full english

Last weekend I spent a lot of money (almost a tenner!!!) on a full english.

It was, OK. I suppose. Sort of.

This morning I spent 3.75 at a leading supermarket cafe.

Bloody delicious!

Look, don't mess about with mushrooms, poncy bread and wierd trendy stuff, give me thick white sliced buttered toast, beans, two sausages, two bacon, one egg, black pudding and lots of tea. Thank you.

The lady who brought it to me ( in under 10 minutes) apologised for the delay (What delay??) " Sorry that's taken so long, my toast has been rubbish today" I loved this, so english!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I hope nobody minds.

We've decided to break with the tradition of sending Christmas cards.

1. How many trees do we really need to chop down for this?

2. The postal strike?

3. It takes ages to write them out (and they must be handwritten).

4. We love you all anyway, just feel the love!