9th January 2022

Time to truly stop shivering in my socks, or just a hiatus till but a little later into the year? Such questions buzz around in my conscious mind momentarily, then are soon firmly pushed back into the shadows where their true import deserves.

When the future of life, the universe, everything, seems to constantly hang in the balance, the weather, and my personal comfort, seems quite peripheral. ‘Tis no major predicament to pile another wood log onto the fire, to add an additional insulating layer to my burgeoning mass, to manage one more piping hot sausage sandwich to warm and appease my ever-exhorting belly.

More important to masticate over matters beyond my paygrade, problems so deep and perplexing to try the finest intellects society can muster, the veritable brains trust of cognoscente. My opinions are quite immaterial, uninformed at minimum, biased at maximum, but I am human, and must speculate with my other fellows, a hubbub of immateriality and pointless conjecture. Better to think something foolish than noight at all.

8th January 2022

Perhaps we are entering a year of duplicities. Numerically it is after all the twenty second year of the second millennium, as great an abundance of duets as has ever been seen, till two centuries anon.

Already in my own small world I have seen two periods of snowfall this month, anymore would too much of a good thing, even towards the end of Yuletide. I enjoy tradition as much as the any diehard, but goddess of the clouds, Electra I recall, enough!

Politically the whole nation seems set upon a revolving stage, each transpiring days’ diatribes and announcements simply echoing some previous occasion, perhaps forming a logical pattern, or far more likely indicative that our leaders really have nothing new to produce from under their chapeaux, so are obliged to rely upon their previous incantations, valuable or worthless.

Later this day I am doing my laundry, two loads, but that is a given. One for the fast colors, the other for reds and the like. I do so enjoy giving proof to mine own hypotheses.

7th January 2022

One of the life truths I try hard not to ponder is the amount of time, effort, and financial assets I have sunk into wholly foolish and unnecessary pursuits. I have a taste for the pig and a poke, a dark alleyway that leads nowhere but to a dead end, that very prettily wrapped box concealing its contents quite perfectly.

Resultantly my path has been most anfractuous, far more meandering than any vein of gold has any right to be, and the upshot of my following such a meandering, flexuous way has had highly disputable consequences, some extraordinarily fortuitous, others painfully depriving.  

My weakness is the inability to change course mid voyage, whether due to an abundance of bloody mindedness, or a lack of suited sheets and rigging. Nautical references seem appropriate, for we are all the captains of our own vessel, with the power to reappraise, replot, reconsider the particular direction we have chosen.  Our natural senses do after all provide the necessary internal compass to indicate any and every erroneous tack.

6th January 2022

Are you obsessive? I am, about all kinds of completely immaterial things, habits, happenstances, events, as if by missing any one of my addictive behaviors unrepairable damage will occur somewhere in the universe.

I suppose such a phobia might be considered a good indication of self-aggrandizement, an exaggerated belief that each life has some intangible consequence beyond that which is materiality manifest. An illogical conclusion that each and every action is magically interconnected to others, that my activities will result in a change in the flow in time and space. Such a preposterous notion. Or is it?

Moral and ethical considerations are based on such illogical propositions, that we all share responsibility for every act in the universes ongoing spectacle, dramatic, comedic, farcical, or tragic. Ego is quite firmly the basis of every rule and stipulation passed down through generations, or rather theatrically conjured from the imaginings of the latest equitable circle.

5th January 2022

We are all creatures of habit. Take us outside of our normality’s and we become confused, uncertain, unable to easily function moment to moment as we wish. or as we ever have. The years 2019 through 2021 have been most disconcerting, challenging in many a way, for the first time in half a century people were threatened globally with possible disaster of deadly consequence. We adapted, took precautions, kept just ahead of the direst repercussions, survived, continued, definitely boxed about the ears, but beaten to the ground most decidedly not.

Or so dear friends it did appear till that ever-reliable opponent the weather took a hand in our local affairs. A white Christmas is a most wonderful thing, the very essence of cards, carols, romantic imaginings. But in reality, when accompanied by freezing temperatures and gales seemingly direct from the Himalayas, not quite so joyous.

At least ‘twas only a week or so, not three years and counting. A little light relief from the continuing slog one might say.

4th January 2022

I am easily distracted, my attention grabbed by bright shiny objects, and I stare open mouthed at the latest and greatest excerpts carefully cut and presented for my delectation. I refer of course to internet segments, to the masses of real and fictional clips for me to watch, enjoy, salivate over, apparently exactly produced for my delectation, but don’t we all imagine that. The ability to browse endlessly is wonderfully fulfilling, takes not a jot of effort on my part, except to move the cursor just enough to bring the next minute or two of action for my endless appetite.

On a weekday morning I would stroll through Charring Cross, from Soho towards Oxford Street, stopping at each newsstand along the curbside. If a newspaper, magazine, or periodical was produced it could be found somewhere amongst those deliciously dingy establishments. A little effort was required, publications had to be picked from the rack, opened, read, or scanned, but the effect was the same. Potted life laid bare for anyone to peruse, or occasionally purchased I suppose.

3rd January 2022

I just passed the last fifteen minutes or so standing in the shower examining the differences between amenability, convenience, and luxury. This was my first douche in the last five days, having lost first hot then cold water through climatic conditions, a continuing deep freeze.

Hot water I can produce, warming the cold supply in a kettle or pan, and my early training in privation makes it quite possible for me to scrape and lather my face, sloosh my hands and the least amenable portions of my anatomy in less than a pint of water.

As an entertaining aside sloosh is more generally spelt with an o-u in Britain, but that particular spelling in the States has a very specific urban meaning which good taste requires remain unshared.

Continual supply of hot water I would categorize as a luxury, something that till the nineteen thirties would have been considered a sign of considerable wealth, was probably cheaper previously to employ a lacky or two to heat the water on a stove and transport the bubbling liquid to satisfy the employers toiletry needs. I would suggest that water boilers were more likely originally utilized to heat radiators, to supply comfortable rooms for persons or merit to enjoy. I recall quite clearly when solid fuel fireplaces had boilers fitted in their flues for just such a purpose.

The adjacency of cold water is most decidedly a convenience, humans being dependent on the liquid for all manner of purposes, not the least being the necessity for consumption to avoid rapid medically dangerous dehydration. Amenability would place that cold water source, faucet, fountain, within easy reach, preferably one supply per household, for convenience and to avoid risks of contamination to a vast number, or from one family unit to another.

I commiserate with those suddenly detached from their regular convenience, its adjacency, but not particularly from its luxurious presentation. I am inclined to contemplate the fate of those many African tribeswomen who daily walk along dusty tracks with bowls of fresh drawn water balanced precariously upon their heads.

2nd January 2022

I am looking for a watchword, a way so describe catchily the aspirations and desires of a nation, a continent, an entire species. ‘Twas a time such a quest was simplicity itself, for a century that location was peace, a most generally desirable state, procuring a degree of ease and comfort for all. Unfortunately peaceability has somehow become less seductive, associated as it is with compromise, openness, politeness, affability. Todays axiom, mantra, truism, would unfortunately be divisiveness, a condition as opposed to cordiality as can be easily imagined.

How did this leap from amicability to disagreeability come about, was it perhaps some unnatural and unexpected twist in the progress towards a seeming certain civility in the human race? A less considerate individual might suggests that the increasing non-aggression was a reaction, a direct result of the failure of the geopolitical alignments within the planet that arose in the twentieth century as a result of the collapse of the Empiric aspirations of the nineteenth century and prior. A number of smaller, but equally powerful constructs suddenly being amalgamated into to huge conglomerates, one based on the power of finance and trade, the other on physical and political equalizing inclinations. As should be expected economic considerations overcame idealism, leaving in place a simple geographic confrontation, approximating, but not exactly shadowing, west versus east. A political, social, religious, division almost as old as recorded history itself. We appear back, excuse the triteness, exactly where we all began.

Mine own inkling, a very vague suspicion, is that our ungainly helping of divisiveness is a direct result of either the utter lack of fear, or alternatively such an overwhelming degree of fear than nothing else can possibly take over control.

War is no longer a genuine threat, so peaceability should be a given. The nuclear arsenals saw an end to measured aggression and balanced responses, any new global war will be the last. Pointless you and I fearing the outcome of such an occurrence, our lack of positive control results in a total negation of concern. You cannot fear what you cannot imagine, and I for one find it impossible to envision what circumstances could be sufficiently dire to excuse reducing our world to a nuclear wasteland. I have moved beyond the fear of nuclear confrontation, am    decidedly immunized against its causes and dénouement.

The fear lost is that of being the singular amongst the multitude, the voice of reason or more often obsession railing against the majority. Independents considering themselves above the scope of political, or civil will, a quality historically vital against autocracy, but within the framework of democracy subversive, grit in the smooth operating joints of government. A suitable case for the big stick solution, but of such an approach would fall foul of civil liberty legislation, necessary once, but now perhaps but lead in the boots of procedure.

History, like our globe itself, is cyclic, a constantly rotating list of errors, fixes, indulgencies, and severities. The main secret seems to be don’t do anything cataclysmically destructive.  

1st January 2022

Another brand spanking New Year, an excuse for first footings, new beginnings, reappraisals of all that transpired before in a vain attempt to correct erroneous happenstances and be as sparkly as a newly unboxed pin. Such is the mission, playmates, if you feel equipped to take part, to dream such impossible dreams, to imagine life a fair and even playing field, where right always come out on top and all things nasty and unpleasant are guaranteed to fail miserably.

 Great Expectations, apart from a wonderfully hopeful novel, with an exceptional tale of a ne’er-do-well making good in the twilight of his existence, written by that paragon of Victorian virtue Mister Charles John Huffam Dickens, a nomenclature he acquired quite inappropriately considering his fascination with all things seedy and questionable, are a hope most praiseworthy in any soul. Anticipation of better things to come is after all the bedrock of most of humanity, even though year after year the baby is most decidedly cast away with the sudsy water.

Profound aspirations perfuse you all!

31st December 2021

New Year’s Eve is upon us once more, an occasion for celebration, reminiscence, much drinking, feasting, and frivolity. The form of celebration depends on the locale, almost every country or region having particular traditions wrapped around the stellar night. The United Kingdom has at minimum four distinct forms, Hogmanay in Scotland, Calennig in Wales, plain old New Years in England, and Northern Island though with many local ritualistic variances, Saint Sylvesters Day in the predominantly Catholic portions of Northern Island and Eire.  

Not being a drinker myself since the excesses of my binging twenties and thirties, I am not normally captured by the celebrations, with the one exception of New Year’s Eve 1999, which purely from a calendrical perspective was worthy of note and effort.

As ever I will wait on the midnight chimes, raise a glass of ginger ale to hopes and aspirations, and recall with a semblance of honesty unfortunate failures and missed opportunities. Good health, much wealth and happiness to you all in Anno Domini 2022.