October 2020


Hello October!

It’s round about now that I have to start coming to terms with the fact that summer may well be receding. I’m not a curtains drawn, fire lit, film on and blanket round my shoulders kind of guy. Disco shorts, no shirt, bright sunshine near the sea and a gin and tonic is my ideal. It may be a way off.

We have more than usual to be glum about this autumn though. Without getting too dark, there is a bit of a cloud hanging over all of us, isn’t there? I mean, there is every chance that we will all experience further lockdowns and the virus simply isn’t disappearing as fast as everyone thought it would. It started as some weird mess that was going down in China to something that globalisation has ensured made it to our own shores to something that we began to be slightly suspicious or curious about to where we are now: everyone scared to death of catching it. And we still don’t really know how dangerous it really is.

The fact that fat boy Johnson survived it is of some consolation in that I imagine I’m fitter than him (just) and now that orange twat across the pond has it. Of course, he won’t allow any sign of it affecting him as, famously, he, like his father, sees illness as weakness. That’s why he calls military personnel that have lost their lives in action ‘losers’. It utterly amazes me that his fan base can tolerate this sort of attitude towards their heroes. They might be loonies but their devotion to their country and it’s military might cannot be understated. So instead of behaving like a normal person and accepting that he has become ill, he’s spent hundreds of thousands on treatment (treatment that was developed from liver cells of an aborted foetus in the seventies – not a problem to me but to the right-wing bible belt I would think it unconscionable). Currently, he is now infecting the entire White House. You couldn’t make it up. And that’s a cliche.

A perfect little Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) up there. I’m beginning to feel as though we’ve all been ingesting these since mid-March this year. Thanks to C&A for the photo (the people, not the store).

It’s not all bad though. We’ve had a new edition to the family this month. Well, actually it was last month but he didn’t arrive in time for September’s blog. He’s a cute little guy and brings that undefinable glow to everyone’s lives. A new life shifts perspective for everyone concerned and for the better. I can imagine a lot of folks thinking that the world isn’t a good place for bringing new babies into right now but the obvious conclusion to that is total annihilation of the human race. And besides, feeling good is infectious. Nick Cave talked about this recently in his blog. ‘There can be, on a deep level, a radical softening of one’s adversarial or pessimistic position toward the world, as the baby reconfigures our understanding of it. Things look less grim.‘ I think he’s right. We get bogged down in the negative and anger feeds upon itself. A new arrival changes that completely. I guess it’s a pleasant version of shock therapy but it works. And I’m more than happy to have as many of those shocks as the family can throw at me.

That moon up there is his moon on the day he was born. A waxing crescent. There is something utterly fascinating about the moon. It’s there all the time but we very rarely really see it. Take a look. Take a close look. And then look properly. That huge lump of rock, over seventy three quintillion metric tons (no idea who weighed it), is just hanging up there and has been doing so for billions of years. It is as totally and utterly beautiful as our new little guy.

So, time marches on. We are losing the light and the heat but the trees look amazing. A burst of yellows and oranges and reds and purples and even browns. I don’t like losing the light and heat but the beauty of autumn goes some way towards a fair pay-back. Fruit trees are heavy and there are berries galore. And, even though it might be getting darker earlier, what we do have in these shortening hours seems more intense. As though the full summer’s day of light has been distilled into just a few hours. I’ve taken my two year old grandson out for walks recently and, although we both had to wear coats and proper shoes, the experience was somehow amazingly special. There was a freshness to accompany that startling clarity that made neither of us want to go back inside again. I suppose our natural habitat is outside and it certainly seems to be the case for the very young. They crave it. And, for some reason that I’ve never fully understood, they don’t appear to feel the cold. There’s no level of discomfort apparent to the plunging temperature. Maybe they don’t realise that they’re cold or maybe it takes a lot longer than I thought for their thermostats to kick in. I know that new babies aren’t able to regulate their own temperature which is why we have to keep them so warm. Is it an extension of that? If so, it’s something I’d like to be able to do.

I’m trying to be positive but I might need a little moan:

We now have new rules to adhere to. The government’s three tier system. Clearly doomed from the start. Nearly a month ago the scientific advisors said that some kind of national lockdown was required to stem the fast-rising figures of people contracting the virus. This was ignored and now there is a much weakened version of what those advisors were asking for put into place. It has subsequently been modified within forty eight hours of the announcement and most sane people are predicting that it will be dumped over the next few days and the shower of shit that are in charge will have to do as they were told in the first place. The thing is, we did all this once; back in March.
The entire country went without seeing loved ones for months including missing weddings, births and deaths, to give the government time to implement all the things they needed to contain the virus. Namely, sort out a track and trace system and to provide protective equipment to hospitals. None of that was done. We did our part and the government did nothing. Well, I say nothing, I think Boris went on holiday and his Svengali mate did whatever the fuck he wanted to. Now they are asking us to go through the same process and they are surprised that people are showing reluctance. In fact, I’ve heard a few people say that they are now done with obeying government guidelines and they will do whatever they feel is the right thing for themselves and their families. The government has totally lost the support of the people and it’s hardly surprising. Of course, when it all goes pear shaped, which it most certainly will, then the population can be blamed. I think we’re all sick of it and sick of the people that are put there and paid to protect us and organise the country. They are clearly inept. They are changing their minds faster than I can record their actions in this blog.

I’ve posted a picture of an almost ripe Ramiro pepper to try and cheer myself up. Grown from the seeds of a supermarket-bought one from last year. You don’t need to pay a fortune for your seeds.

Glad I got that off my chest. I’m sure it’ll happen again. November next month. Seriously getting into the winter months then with bonfire night and frosts on the horizon. There’s also an election over the pond and I implore anyone who is reading this over there (I know some do, I get the stats), please, please get rid of that orange twat that you have in charge. I know, we’re not much better and you should always teach by example, but ours is an idiot whereas yours is actually dangerous. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much the entire world are willing you to get rid of him. Do the right thing.

And I guess that will do for this month. I’ve tried to mix some light stuff in here along with the ranting.

Take care everyone and look after each other and try to stay well. And if you are one of those who refuses to obey the rules, then at least be sensible and protect yourselves and others. We want as many people as possible to get through this. It will be behind us one day and we probably won’t remember just how appalling it has been. People are really struggling with the way we’re having to live. I think we all are to some extent.

So be positive, stay happy and healthy and slide along to my Website where you can read lots of other stuff and find links to a couple of novels I have on Amazon.

See you all in November!