The Trump Card has been played

Fuck nationalism. fuck fascism and fuck off petty patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel, and the bastard son of xenophobia. For every narrative blaming the dispossessed, the refugee, the asylum seeker, the disabled on benefits, the unemployed, the old, the sick and mentally ill for their problems, fuck off. How many times does it need pointing out? Who crashed the financial system in 2008 leaving you to pick up the bill? Who decided to move your job to a foreign country because their labour is cheaper? Who turns a blind eye to off shore tax havens while simultaneously sipping champagne with asset strippers, amoral financiers and fancy Wall Street brokers? Who likes to import cheap labour? Who makes cuts to public Infrastructures, housing and education? Who spews lies on their front pages and on the sides of buses? Who is relaxed about the filthy rich because they are the filthy rich’s friends? Who sells arms to terrorists? Who owns media empires peddling a narrow narrative about spurious ‘market freedom’ while undermining the Rule of Law reminiscent of Nazi slurs? Who wants to sell off the NHS to private sector companies they have interests in? Who wants you duped, ‘baked off’ celebrity obsessed, focused on blaming each other? Who owns swathes of our cities, luxury yachts and gated properties with concierge doctors, private pilots and private armies just in case? Who is militarising the police to protect their assets from indigenous protest? Brexit sentiment riles at elites, but fails to grasp that British elites will still not give a fuck about your house, your job, your health or education. Who is it travelling first class, business class, private class while public transport slowly becomes an expensive farce? Who made a pact with Saudi Arabia to secure oil, and thereby provided refuge for the death cult that is Wahaabism not Islam? So, fuck off with your fascist inspired stories about people, yes human beings, many of whom literally bear scars from bombs and bullets made in the U.K., the USA, France and Russia. Take your first world middle England petty nationalism that has benefitted from two centuries of plunder, war and genocidal imperialism, wrap it in the Union Jack and stuff it up your arse.

Meanwhile, the western media holds it breath waiting for ‘the’ result. When it comes, it will either be turd like, slithering out hell’s anus wearing a blond toupee made from the flaxen hair of Teutonic virgins pulled by force screaming from as yet otherwise unblemished pudenda, or it it will plop into our laps like our old flea bitten moggy mewing to distract us from the fact of the decapitation of your budgie with one swish of a razor sharp claw. The western media will pore over the significance of the win. If the puckered lips, which resemble a dockers ringpiece after a curry night in Mumbai wins, then stand by for all the cockroaches of bigotry, fear and petty nationalism to come crawling out from within the festering pus soaked sores they call home to crawl over to your baby’s crib and shit in it. If the old guard get their girl in, stand by for a wave of mysogyny to distract you from who is actually pulling the levers. Guns will be cocked as second amendment sympathies were given succour by a demagogue whose only success is ‘getting away with it’.

The real tragedy here is that many who lost their livelihoods, their prospects and their children’s future due to the strategic decisions of the greedy bastards, have turned to a Greedy Bastard to save them. It’s like suffering dry anal sex and then instead of reaching for the Vaseline one grabs a pineapple for another go at it in case that feels any better. Not since the Somme were so many led so badly. The western media will lap it up though also decrying the worse excesses as their bank balances improve. A weeping crocodile would have at least the good grace to look embarrassed at his lachrymous act if caught out. The western media will shake their bourgeois heads in disgust and then retire to bed in Uptown New York wondering how this genie was able to not only get out of the bottle but was able to call down a shower of shit. They will forget they rubbed the bottle with all the fervour of a masturbating schoolboy, whose weak grasp of the short term consequences of his action is in inverse proportion to the clutch of instant gratification. It will get messy….

Well, now we know.

The Dow plummets and the Futures market foresees gloom. The capitalist class executive have a momentary wobble as it seems “their girl” will not make it. The political power elite in the US have, despite and because of their best efforts, elected the wrong candidate. Not to worry, there is money to be made in construction, arms, civil surveillance, policing, health insurance and in ‘corrections’. The congruence of interest of the CCE has backfired momentarily as the men of media wealth have bought the (wrong) man of power. The ‘Greedy Bastards’ have miscalculated but they need not fear, the flaxen haired turd will not seriously alter the basic foundations upon which money can be made. They’ll merely have the inconvenience of switching their investments to less volatile markets and wait for the storm to settle. It will be a media storm at first, but not a lot will change. Police will still kick the crap out of native Americans, and drones will still kill civilians. IS will be pleased as punch, their caliphate one step closer in their eyes. Putin will welcome another nut job to the growing list of complete bastards that run countries. Big Oil rejoices as the Paris accord gets put back on the shelf. Big Pharma will sell even more antidepressants and Big Celebrity will go into overdrive to provide distraction and succour to an even more duped population. God Bless America.

Now, we’ve all had a bit of fun with both Brexit and Trump. Markets will get in a tizzy for a while because they don’t like uncertainty. The economic infrastructure will not change much as the capitalist class will readjust and will welcome someone in the White House who does not like to pay tax and is contemptuous of health, environmental and social regulations. They publicly abhor his redneck views on women, gays and non whites but these groups are only useful to Capital as reserve armies of labour. Their concerns are not Capital’s concerns. His chief crime is not being Ivy League or Oxbridge and thus speaks like an angry docker whose beer has been spilled. Their own noxious views are of course spoken with far more finesse in boardrooms and banks. Capital does not care who is in the White House as long as the structures remain. And they will. Capital looks with disdain on the culture wars on abortion, gun control, gay and women’s rights, as long as they don’t affect the bottom line. These culture wars are poor people’s wars and it suits Capital very nicely to keep the populace arguing over the cultural superstructure as important as it is for the living breathing individual who experiences the sharp end of bigotry. No, the end of the world as we know it has not arrived, it has morphed into a nastier bigoted version of itself. The nuclear option however….I do shudder to think of Trump in a room full of US hawks. Yet he may work with Putin in mutual backyard Empire building, leaving NATO out in the cold.

A Rant following Daily Mail Headlines

The Daily Rant:

Fuck nationalism. Fuck fascism and fuck off petty patriotism, the last refuge of the scoundrel, and the bastard son of xenophobia. For every narrative blaming the dispossessed, the refugee, the asylum seeker, the disabled on benefits, the unemployed, the old, the sick and mentally ill for their problems, fuck off. How many times does it need pointing out? Who crashed the financial system in 2008 leaving you to pick up the bill? Who decided to move your job to a foreign country because their labour is cheaper? Who turns a blind eye to off shore tax havens while simultaneously sipping champagne with asset strippers, amoral financiers and fancy Wall Street brokers? Who is relaxed about the filthy rich because they are the filthy rich’s friends? Who sells arms to terrorists? Who owns media empires peddling a narrow narrative about spurious ‘market freedom’ while undermining the Rule of Law reminiscent of Nazi slurs? Who wants to sell off the NHS to private sector companies they have interests in? Who wants you duped, ‘baked off’ celebrity obsessed, focused on blaming each other? Who owns swathes of our cities, luxury yachts and gated properties with concierge doctors, private pilots and private armies just in case? Who is militarising the police to protect their assets from indigenous protest? Brexit sentiment riles at elites, but fails to grasp that British elites will still not give a fuck about your house, your job, your health or education. Who is it travelling first class, business class, private class while public transport slowly becomes an expensive farce? Who made a pact with Saudi Arabia to secure oil, and thereby provided refuge for the death cult that is Wahaabism not Islam? So, fuck off with your fascist inspired stories about people, yes human beings, many of whom literally bear scars from bombs and bullets made in the U.K., the USA, France and Russia. Take your first world middle England petty nationalism that has benefitted from two centuries of plunder, war and genocidal imperialism, wrap it in the Union Jack and stuff it up your arse.

Dear George 6

23rd October 2016

‘Maldives’

Dear George,

Yes, yes, dear chap, I’m still here, and you should be as well. I can’t tell just how lovely the sunsets are especially after a decent G and T by the poolside. I could really get to like this. By the way, did you get your chaps to see to the mess in your hallway after that particularly foul issue with the sewage outflow? It must have been quite a bore to have been contacted in the middle of night at your little ‘pied a terre’ in Knightsbridge to then to be told that there was a pretty rank smell in your house in, which one is it now? Oh, never mind…and worse, that Boris was not to to blame this time.

Couldn’t resist that little joke.

I hear St Theresa is getting little miffed with the Troika she set up to handle the negotiations for, you know what. Well what did she expect? Her decision was akin to letting loose three starving dogs in a butcher’s shop and then expecting them to conjure up a Beef Wellington good enough for Heston fucking Blumenthal’s great Aunt Bessy (she of the Yorkshire puddings). Yes they know about meat, but they are hardly likely to go about the business with any finesse, forethought or familiarity with common decency. There will be blood, most of it theirs as they gorge on what remains of the sausage called the British Economy. I hear the Bank’s trade union spokesman is bluffing on about them taking their cash to the gnomes of Frankfurt or some other ghastly place. Her Saintedness had better get round there quick, flash a bit of tit, and make sure the bastards stay put. Christ the hours you and I spent in wining and dining the c*nts, for that is what they will be if they now desert you all in your hour of need. I lost count of the number of dinner jackets my chaps had to pop down to Savile Row to replace, and the interminal caviar stains like adolescent jizz down my shirt front. Not often I feel cheap as you know old boy, but by Eton’s fell waters, they could spend. I remember one chap, don’t remember if it was Chase, JP’s or Goldman’s, telling about buying a nice little property in Scotland for the weekend shooting. I thought he meant a country pile, like Sam’s pater’s, but bugger me he meant Perth and Kinross. All in secret of course, couldn’t let the Sweaties know. Bought it off a chap from China after a thrilling game of ‘chase the monkey’ in Gleneagles.

I didn’t know monkeys would wear gimp masks, but what do I know? Funny what you pick up at dinners in the City.

Well I hope she’s happy. Phil ‘face like slapped tit’ Hammond is the only one in the whole bloody outfit who has the slightest clue whats going on, but he is as about as affective as a row of daisies grown especially for stopping a panzer division on their way to a ‘lets kick the shit out of anything in our way festival’ during the glory days of the blitzkrieg. The troika will tie him up in knots and whip his testicles till they bleed his heart dry. They’ll have fun doing it while the City turns the currency into shite where the pound is worth no more than a polo (mint – not the car).

Sam’s preparing tonight’s dinner. Thankfully she brought the decent caterers with her this time, you know the ones. So the fizz is on ice, the oysters shucked and I’m on a promise methinks.

You really must pop over, I hear old Pip Green is at a loose end and might be in need of cheering up. Perhaps he’ll lend you that Lear he keeps near Windsor, tell him the wine is rather good, even over here.

Pip pip,

Dave

PS. Boris asked for demonstrators outside the Russian embassy, I assume he sold his shares in Gazprom then?

Dear George 5

16th October 2016

‘Maldives’

Dear George,

The sun is still shining over here, my word it is rather splendid. Why oh why did we not organise a few more jollies in this direction instead of shlepping it over to Frau Merkel’s in the sodding rain of a damp February morning? I’m sure the Maldivians would have been interested in hearing about our plans to adapt to climate change, what with most of their land being lower than the ethical standards of Trump in a brothel. Speaking of whom, the fillies here are rather, well, suitably pleasing on the eye in that dusky way of theirs. I don’t mind telling you, a rather pretty little thing brought breakfast this morning and I have to confess, I rather thought of a decent spanking, but not the sort we were used to back in the old days? Gosh, I do think the sun is rather working havoc with the old hormones.

So whats up with Blighty now that St. Theresa’s been given the keys to the money ‘printing presses’? I know you never believed that bullshit about austerity, but I think her blessed Saintness did not get the irony in cabinet when we talked about budget deficit reduction. I should have known that her blank face was not due to a lack of sense of humour, although God knows she is about as much fun as one’s morning ablutions following a hot chilli wings competition in Walsall, no it was because…and bugger me with a pineapple, she was taking us seriously when we said “there is no money”. Christ, what the blue fuck does she think money actually is? Does she think the Treasury is stuffed to the gunnels with dubloons, shekels and gold sovereigns? Did she really believe that to bail out the NHS you have to actually go running down Whitehall with a wheelbarrow stuffed full of gold coins to Richmond House like some demented Pirate in a Treasure burying race in which the loser donates a still attached testicle to a rabies crazed crocodile? Its one of the few things I’ll regret in leaving office. We should have made it clearer we were only joking, it seems we should have spelled it out. Austerity was for keeping the plebs in check, not for putting one’s granny out on the street because some tosser in a local authority paid the rent for a jihadi inclined immigrant in Barking (or some such). No more money for the NHS? What! You must be livid. We were always going to bail out the NHS, but you were keeping that until 2020.

Weren’t you?

Perhaps we are getting her all wrong, perhaps its the same tactic. Scare the living bejesus out of the lower orders and then pull it out, rabbit like, just before the next election?  I just was saying to one of the medics Sam and I employ just the other day, that all would be well with the NHS. The poor would always be looked after. Granted, they might have to wait a bit longer in AE and for cancer care…but not all cancers are quick killers anyway. A bit of wait would do some of them good. They’d get a sense of the value they are getting for free as they wait and reflect on what damn fine value is the NHS. Rupert (M…not old Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein who sadly passed away – god he could throw a bash) says the middle classes like to use insurance anyway. We do so as a matter of course for just about everything else, so its just a bit of molly coddling that they need to be weaned off.

Like a piglet off a teat.

Except we should use a taser to their gonads to do the job. Sometimes I fucking hate the middle class. At least the working class know they are swivel eyed goonbuckets with a penchant for a supersize bucket of KFC, duty free cigarettes and celebrity wankfests passed off as chat shows, dancing and the culinary arts which feature handling a bag of flour and a whisk as the summit of their pathetic achievement (don’t tell Sam I said that, chuffed to bits when she won of course, but its not international diplomacy, nuclear physics or organising an orgy in a nunnery for the over sixties celebrant). The middle class? Fuck ‘em. You know those country suppers back in old Chipping Norton? We had fun with Jezzer and Tony (before that little incident on Top Gear involving a steak, baby oil and a well greased dildo). I always thought Cherie came across as bit of jumped up middle class tart, y’know the sort. Called to the Bar, and thinks she’s mother bloody Theresa (the dead one, not her blessed saintliness now at the helm).

Oh, I know you won’t tell, but my chap found this headed paper in my luggage as he unpacked. Shame to waste it. Hilary’s emails? Now thats a piss take.

Pip pip,

Dave

PS. Boris. The bastard, I always knew he’d written two very different articles on Brexit. Et Tu Boris? Whats latin for ‘Cunt’?

Farage Farts and the whole country stinks

 

 

It is customary to mutter an apology when one lets a little noxious gastrointestinal gases into a hermetically sealed and crowded room. A ‘sorry about that’ is especially needed if that room is, say, a lift, or its air conditioning is as useful as a tits on a toad, and just like the toad, the atmosphere could soon turn very ugly.

 

It already has.

 

For quite some time in Britain, we have as it now seems, fooled ourselves into thinking we were an open, tolerant, welcoming, diverse and confident island community. Not for us US style civil rights white on black clashes in the streets, or incidents where the police think it acceptable to shoot at anything dark just for being dark, especially if that it is the colour of your skin. There was no need to say ‘I have a dream’ because we tended to contain our nightmare of casual racism in 1970’s sitcoms and Oldham. That might be a bit unfair on Oldham, there are other places in the UK that flirted with ‘no dogs, no Irish’ sentiments. Notably in places where the IQ matched the local football team’s away match average score.

 

Now it seems we were all looking the other way, thinking that the absence of the N word in public discourse, Lenny Henry on the telly, and the love of a chicken tikka masala meant the white sheets stayed in the linen cupboard. But Faragian flatulance has released a nasty odour which is now emanating from the body politic.

 

The only difference it seems between the post colonial supremacism of the 1970’s and today’s expressions of fear and loathing in little britain, is that a tan, a fondness for a rum, or the ability to dance rhythmically to reggae, is not a prerequisite to mark one out as a target. Instead we have ‘immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees’ all lumped together as swarms, vermin, or simply ‘them’, despite heterogeneity in skin colour. Of course, to be assailed as causing all the woes of an ill equipped canoeist in a fetid feacal backwater, it helps if one is a little less the colour of a flaxen haired member of the aryan race, or if one talks in a funny accent despite having a better grasp of the native tongue. Home grown grunts and belches in English regional accents are acceptable, for this does not mark you out quite as much as anything, literally anything from across the channel.

 

So it turns out indeed we are Little Britain. Small minded, petty bourgeois, isolationist septic islanders with no more friends, hope or vision than a Jihadi at a peace conference. We’ve placed our testicles into the jaws a sleeping dog while thinking that popping a balloon next to its ear would be a good idea. It has escaped our attention that the dog is of Teutonic extraction and remembers very well both times we’ve clamped bullclips to its bollocks.

 

This is a little unfair on the whole population of England. Many of whom of course are cosmopolitan, educated and always happy to offer a rich tea biscuit with one’s breakfast twinings. There is of course some sound rational reasons to wish to leave the EU. I have read them but they have been lost amid the slurry pile of xenophobic racism sweeping far too many communities like the pox in a brothel. It gets complicated, as vote out can be based on more than one feeling and reasonings, some of which are entirely legitimate. I’ve even agreed with points being made about elite disdain for working class issues around housing and employment.

 

Sadly, tragically and dangerously however, this is largely lost as we bask in our post Faragian arse blast.

Misery is Happiness*

Paradox.

Piss off.

Yes. You, with your relentless positivity and self regard.

There is a happiness industry pumping out messages about loving oneself and the universe, as if the universe gives a shit about your petty, miserable, insignificant existence. The universe, in case you’ve forgotten is big. Bigger than your dreams, hopes and ambitions. Bigger than your accomplishments and bigger than all the effort you’ve put in to date, or ever will put in, to be happy and blessed and a joy to others. It is so big that you, in contrast to it, do not even register as a pimple on a spot on a molecule on a microbe on a subatomic particle of a nose hair in Kidderminster. It does not care one little bit, because it cannot care at all. It is beyond caring. You are nothing in an ocean of nothing, meaning nothing and nothing will ever come of you. It already has. There is more nothing than there is stuff in the universe, the universe thus is really nothing and you are not even in the centre of it, you could not be more peripheral, on the outer edge of fuck all living a small existence worrying about your hairstyle, penis size or fucking migrants.

The happiness industry claims a false sense of scientific respectability by the uncritical use of pseudo scientific psychobabbological theories that promise emotional stability and economic success if only you keep repeating inane mantras about self love and being beautiful, expunging negative thoughts, and focusing on a vision of some mythical heaven in the future, believing that all is well if only you will it and masks the reality that we live on a raft on in ocean of shit made only just tolerable by the odd injection of methadone and cake. You are beautiful? No you are not, have you looked in the mirror lately? There is a reason magazines use pictures of good looking people. That is because there is a category “beautiful people”. You are probably not one of them because you are reading this. If you were beautiful, you’d be eating rich sweet cherries balanced on the tanned breasts of beautiful women as the sun warms your skin, as you bask on a super yacht in a warm ocean far far away. You’d be sipping fizz so expensive that ordinary folk would have to win several lotteries even to have the right to buy a ticket to be in the queue to purchase it. You would not know what actual cash looks like because you don’t need to dirty your soft and manicured hands with it because all you need is brought to you on trays, on cushions, on furs, by well oiled and naked people of whatever sex you think is necessary. You would eat gold and shit diamonds and your snot would be collected and sold as art in fancy galleries in Monaco, Madrid and Middlesborough. Perhaps not Middlesborough.

Take mindfulness. We are told that this will cure cancer, solve the Syrian crisis and make nuclear weapons disappear. If only we stop, stop thinking, and then breathe. After 5 minutes we would find our tits would be more pert, the public debt would be the size of my tuck shop bill at school back in 1968 (about sixpence) and Donald Trump would turn out to be handsomely coiffured hippy dispensing peace, love and puppies to little orphan children from Mexico. Mindfulness devotees indeed ought to just stop. Just fucking stop. Yes, stop breathing also for about 20 minutes which should do it. They’ve stopped thinking already, which by the way is probably the best way to live your life if you don’t want anchovies with your pavlova, a homeopath doing your caesarean or Boris Johnson in charge of anything at all apart from his own foreskin.

Misery is where its at.

If you are not miserable you don’t know the truth. That girlfriend who says she will always love you? It is true, she will always love you. Of course ‘always’ can be measured in minutes and actually means until someone better comes along, and they inevitable will because they will be beautiful and you are not. Better also means in this particular also marginally better, they don’t have to be that much richer, politer or to have fewer questionable personal hygiene routines. Just better than the self absorbed, ugly, clumsy low achieving arsewit you really are. You may hide it well under a carapace of positivity, but you know deep down you are false and that unmasking your inadequacy only takes the slightest breeze of truth to waft in your direction exposing you to the hurricane of derision that greets a three inch penis at a porn festival. Stop thinking all you like, sit on a bean bag in an incense infused island retreat for a decade, wear dreadlocks or swing a crystal, wallow in self exploration on a beach in Goa. But you’ll find on a cold grey damp morning in Basingstoke that the universe still does not give a shit.

Ahh, that feels better.

That’s really cheered me up. I think a small glass of wine.

PS…you know this is tongue cheek? right?

*Thank you Frankie Boyle.

A posh train to paddington

I often work and live in a bubble. It’s a rather liberal lefty bubble in which the rich are lined up against the wall, sweating as they hear the click of breaches being loaded, the UK is a republic with Prince Philip working as a butler to the Chinese, and there are free drugs for all. I read the Guardian, scoff at conspiracy theories and consider shakra alignment to be something to do with a civil engineering project in Goa. I do eat lentils, but only infrequently, never wear socks with sandals, and beards are for men with masculinity issues or who have a very loose relationship to personal hygiene. I also think Trident is a useless piece of American controlled technology used mainly for macho posturing on the ‘world stage’ by those whose buttocks still smart from the spankings they received at Eton.

I do not read the Daily Mail.

Today my bubble is being pricked. I have an inside seat to the ‘real world’ for the next 5 hours on the 1030 to Paddington, courtesy of two ladies of a ‘certain but also strangely indeterminate age’ who have both commandeered the table at which I sit. As I write, the iPad is perched precariously on the edge of the table taking up about 4 inches. I have had to place my coat, bag and hat on the overhead rack a little distance from my seat because the two ladies have also deposited bags, and other equipment required for the colonisation of an exotic land, directly over my head. They have claimed the whole of the table through the judicious placement of coffee, handbags, one copy of the Mail (for wives of those who run the country) and one copy of the Express (for those who think they run the country). As I take my seat, there is not one flicker of acknowledgment that I might, just might, require a little space in which to breathe. I pluck up the courage and do something ‘Un-British’ by daring to ask that the Tesco carrier bag of assorted victuals, be shifted slightly to one side of the table. One wears a bright purple jumper, the other a turquoise, and both colours matching their lipstick and eye shadow. Their seats have no reserved tickets but I somehow sense they are going all the way to London. As I contemplate this, my heart sinks faster than an anvil on a tissue paper raft. Their talk volume is set to ‘High’, oblivious to everyone else and uncaring that we are involuntarily co-opted into their southern county shire musings. However, every utterance is a gem, exemplifying everything I would laugh at in a sitcom and, as such, would consider it satire. But no, this is for real.

They are a microcosm of the Tory Party conference; self congratulatory at their own success, overly confident of their knowledge and myopic in their outlook and understanding of ‘people not like us’. And yet after an hour they have not yet mentioned ‘migrants’.

I have heard opinions on the new chief executive appointment at the local health trust (“bring back matron”); Osborne’s budget (“come out of the EU and we will soon have a surplus”); fuel duty (‘it should come down”); Trump (‘he speaks as it is’) and the EU again, (“Obama should keep his nose out”). However, and perhaps to my surprise, they rail against useless bankers, footballers and lawyers on the basis that they earn a wheelbarrow of fivers per hour and yet produce nothing. They get back on track through suggesting that the ‘drunks and druggies’ should be charged £200 every time they use accident and emergency.

Notwithstanding the bureaucratic nightmare of administering and collecting that fee, decided on who the best person is to do that job and chasing up non payers, I can’t see many heroin users, paying for a £100 a day habit, whose veins resemble the London underground map consisting only of the colours of the Piccadilly line, putting away £200 in a personal ISA just in case they need resuscitation at short notice. Those engaged in a ketamine fuelled weekend of hedonism and psychedelia, dancing to the lobotomising influence of psytrance, are not apt to future planning or strict pecuniary control. The rational allocation of resources to maximise one’s utility is not something undertaken by those who give themselves up to the irrational misallocation of personal judgement via narcotic, and often sexual, means in comprehensive attempts at self and spiritual development (at best) or pure naked oblivion (even better).

Are we really asking that nice middle class junior doctor, whose only dodgy experience with drugs is half inching paracetamol from the ward drugs cabinet following a night of over exuberant use of sherry, to face a drunk docker decorated from head to toe with tattoos the size of Nigeria, the smell of a cesspit and the attitude of a startled wart hog with piles, for “£200 please, there’s a good chap”?

Are we really expecting that nice fresh faced young nurse, whose “mummy was a nurse”, who “I’ve ways wanted to be nurse because I want to help people”, when faced with a meth crazed sex addict, high on a pharmacy’s worth of ‘alternative’ medications whose only goal is to snort, swallow, inject or insert (any orifice will do) medications (herbal, natural, industrial) at great pace and with increasing regularity and in any location including the local accident and emergency department, to extract anything other than piss and self pity from the aforementioned?

Drunks already pay through National Insurance or tax on beer and spirits, while ‘junkies’ would pay if the commodity of intoxication of their choice was regulated, taxed and controlled in the same manner as alcohol. Drunks, in many cases are also not ‘other people’ they are us or our children, parents or friends. But I digress.

The two ladies are still talking, not drawing breath passing comment on solar panels, housing associations and the use of ‘tablets’ by a family at the next table. As we cross the Tamar (oh my god, that means another three hours) they have covered more topics than University Challenge and Mastermind combined, only with less veracity or insight. I wonder if they can see the blood oozing out my ears.

Just as we enter Devon, it’s Bingo!

“If they were a migrant they’d get…”

Hurrah. A home run at last.

Pullman.

I have just used a time machine. It was easy.

All one has to do is catch the 1000 Penzance to Paddington service, wait until Plymouth for an announcement for the opportunity to be transported.

At the front of the train are three coaches, two for first class and one for the Pullman dining car, also kitted out as first class.

So to be whisked back in time when the Cornish Riviera Express, steam hauled, rattled and rolled at speed to and from London, just get out of one’s seat in Standard and walk to coach K at the right time.

At about 1300 I fancied a coffee, my head being assaulted by the galubriuos incessant jabberings of the two ladies of a ‘certain but indeterminate age’. The announcement had been made that anyone wishing to dine should make their way forward and as I rise out my my seat this enchantment tempts me onwards. The train slips past Dawlish on a beautiful sunny afternoon, the red cliffs on my left and the sea to my right. I make my way through standard coaches thinking that the coffee in the buffet car will be a welcome break. Teignmouth and the waters of the exe estuary glisten in the sunshine.

Coffee?

I’ve not eaten since breakfast?

Perhaps it is the sunshine, perhaps it is the promise of past glories, perhaps it’s because I’m a soft touch when it comes to dining cars on trains. Perhaps it’s all of three and more reasons I’m not aware of.

Sod coffee. I’m going for lunch in the Pullman car.

And oh what a delight. Now this is travel, this is the way to get to London.

First Great Western have rebranded themselves as the GWR, the Great Western Railway. I can hear the sighing of railway buffs across the country, grown men become moist at the thought, another age beckons.

I’m greeted by a smartly attired waitress who shows me to my seat. Since the rebranding the coaches have been refitted with grey leather seats, backed with a green logo and in gold lettering GWR. The table is laid out for dinner, table cloth, wine glasses, proper metal cutlery and a wine list. A wine list! I have a picture window seat, adorned with green GWR curtains. The glory that is South Devon eases by as I peruse the menu. All is quiet, save for the tinkling of the staff preparing lunch. I’m forced to order a half bottle of the Cote du Rhone. Forced, mark you, and choose the lamb shoulder.

I’m sitting grinning like the Cheshire feline whose not only found the cream but realises that he’s been given the keys to a feline harem with an ‘all you can eat’ (if you get my drift) remit.

The waitress pops the cork, asks me to try the wine and leaves me to consider just how fortunate I am. It is not cheap, if you only count the cost of the actual food and wine. But if you count the experience, and the service, and the peacefulness, this is a bargain. The train leaves Exeter and races alongside the M5 through Tiverton and beyond. We must be doing over 100 mph. No one is crying, puking, shouting into their phones, making racist comments or being just plain stupid. Every one smiles in this coach. There are more staff in these three coaches than in the rest of the train. I count at least 5 of them. The wine eases a dry throat.

It’s all I can do to stop meself ordering another half bottle of ‘that which pleases’. I do have another dinner appointment tonight in Covent Garden with colleagues from Napier University, Scotland. So, perhaps I need to apply the brakes a little on my reveries and lugubriousness. I’ve got three quarters of the way down that half bottle and the lamb has yet to appear. Maybe I’m channelling my sister who is a known and keen ‘friend of the grape’.

Taunton comes and goes in a flash, but soon afterwards, the lamb arrives, accompanied by dauphinoise and leeks. Considering that this is all cooked on the train, it is remarkable that the quality is as high as it is. The food is excellent (notwithstanding the effects of vintnery on judgement) and would stand easily against any immobile kitchen. The romance of the rails just adds to the totality of gastronomic delight. The waitress even remarks on my attire (pink silk time red waistcoat) as she serves (she has been well trained to flatter).

Somerset gives way to Wiltshire which gives way to Berkshire. A white horse stands sentinel, carved in chalk into the hillside. It is not the one with the big willy, or is that the Cerne Abbas Giant? Reading will be the next stop but I’m staying put for a necessary coffee to see me through to Paddington. I only hope the two ladies are not going through my bags back in coach B. I guess they may well be discussing immigrants and their deleterious effects on British culture. One of the staff on this train delightfully serves coffee, ‘despite’ being from Eastern Europe.

I note that the crockery has the GWR and Pullman logo. The thought occurs that I could perhaps liberate it from the table, but that is only the wine.

The dream is nearly over, I must get back to my reading on ‘Foucaldian post structuralism on care as gift v care as vigil’ before my ruminations on the place of the social sciences in nursing for tomorrow’s round table discussion at King’s College. For such is the life of the modern academic. Cosseted, despite a pay cut lasting 8 years. God knows what I could have afforded if pay had remained in line with inflation.

The last post

Mijas is not Spain and Spain is not Mijas.

Our host is Dutch, his wife is Irish. The house opposite is owned by Brits. We have been served by Brits, and heard German, Japanese and drawled Andalusian Spanish in bars, cafes and on the street. We’ve discussed pasties with an Argentinian and haggled with a Moroccan selling leather. Americans have been loud and over here. An aged New Yorker, out in the street, discussed with a chap from euroland somewhere, her past living arrangement in Manhattan (she lived on the 6th floor- no lift) and the need to get used to stairs in her home now in Mijas. He was too well dressed to be English. The lady had the air of a retired novelist, or socialite and had presumably come to live the American Dream in Spain. Perhaps she had heard about Trump’s rising popularity and got out before the walls go up, misogyny shamelessly parades itself and US arrogance is matched in bombast only by its nuclear arsenal detonated on middle eastern soil.

I think I saw or heard a Russian lady, extremely well dressed from the spoils no doubt of the oligarchic takeover of State utilities, eyeball with well founded suspicion, one of the donkeys. It may have belched onion and garlic laced straw breath into her Dior and Versace created face. Don’t tell Putin or his ego may require the assassination of the bosses of mule and ass based economies around the globe in retaliation for this slight on the character and dress sense of Russian wives. Don’t laugh, this is not a joke. Just think, we are on the brink of a world in which we have Presidents Trump and Putin waving their dicks around in public, shouting across each other while nuclear warheads slink around the globe in phallic shaped submarines. The fact that these subs look like big willies is not perhaps accidental.

This bit of Spain is coping, seemingly on the surface anyway, with being both Spanish and cosmopolitan. Whereas squabbles about place, race and identity in the US and UK right now seem totally self obsessed and old fashioned. The Tory party is ripping the heart out of itself and a possible cosmopolitan Britain, blind to the divide that already exists between the British, an increasingly entrenched class divide delineated by the old North South Divide. Getting out of the EU will do nothing to address the blind arrogance of the privileged, mainly public school educated so called ‘elite’ and will prove to Europeans that as an Island race we have learned nothing from the history of either Empire or the two world wars and possibly cannot be trusted to engage with other countries unless it business based and willing to laugh at knob jokes. We built the nation’s wealth on accumulation by dispossession, enclosures of the commons, piracy, slavery, misplaced ideas of racial and religious superiority and inbred monarchy. Many of those themes underpin little England mentalities today. As a nation we are still caught between the devil of idealised patriotism and the deep blue sea of xenophobia. This does not apply in Kernow of course. There in God’s country we have pasties and a mining heritage to see us the through the ten cold months of winter. We have a flag and an anthem and Devonians to laugh at with their silly ideas about the order of jam and cream on a scone.

The English are also some of worse dressed tourists in the Western World.Ann and I play spot the nationality while we have coffee by the bullring. Try it yourself, and do so before you hear any language. Russians are blinged, Germans are somehow just ‘tidy’ and ‘neat’, the French sport old fashioned face hair waxed at the ends, their husbands are no better (boom boom). The English are just, on the whole, scruffy bastards. Why? I dunno.
Given our propensity to casual xenophobia, and a history of self imposed self importance we could have been a right old bunch of arseholes. Thankfully we also had the Scottish, Edinburgh based, enlightenment and produced radical thinkers such as Thomas Paine and William Wilberforce as correctives to our baser selves. Our abilities to enjoy and assimilate are also British qualities. We are deeply divided within and between ourselves and unless we can get beyond tired old thinking we will place ourselves on the fringes of not only Europe geographically but also philosophically. Alas we are not alone in this. All over the world democracies are falling foul to populist demagogues while the ravages of globalised ‘free trade’ overturn securities, employment and futures. Men increasingly turn to old patriarchal religions to try to hold on to a status denied them by modernity while women are dragged along three steps behind in masks. What has religion got against a decent cleavage I hear you ask?

Time for another penis reference: At the bottom of the stairs leading out to the garden of this apartment is a cactus. The kind of cactus which used to be photographed and that would be sent into Esther Rantzen’s programmes in the 70’s. Yes it is shaped like a ‘thingy’ and what’s more it is set at an angle that resembles an erect penis (if you can remember what one of those looks like). There are sadly no testicular like protuberances at its base, but do not let that little point detract from the vision in your mind of an erect prickly prick.

So what have the Spanish done for us? Well, we have taken over large swathes of coastal towns and cities and inflated the house prices in the better parts. The locals, as locals do in most places have both benefitted and cursed. There is an English breakfast bar in the square with a sign in English offering the ‘full English’. Try translating that into Spanish and you might get arrested for causing a public nuisance. We have free movement here, we can work here, we have access to their healthcare, we are free to learn their language and eat their food. We can even sleep with some of the prettier ones (women that is, not the donkeys…however if that is your predilection, try it). We can drink their very reasonably priced and decent quality wines. There is public health, aqueducts and vintnery. Their little experiment with Franco’s fascism is over, so we don’t have to do the same.

Oh, and sunshine. There is a lot of that here, and it’s free. You don’t have to queue for it or prove you have residency rights to enjoy it. Any Eastern Europeans that are here can also enjoy it without taking away any of your own enjoyment. It just tumbles down out of the sky every single day. I’m putting some in a box to take home, as I hear it’s brass monkeys in England.

More pasties in paradise

Our morning stroll takes us around the southern ‘ring road’ of Mijas. It’s a one way street, with just enough room for one car and a pavement. It begins at the eastern end of the town where the donkey taxis line up ready for their day of pulling fat Germans, badly dressed Brits and grinning Chinese. The donkeys are harnessed in colourful, er, ‘donkey stuff’, and stand, in the main, awaiting their fate with equanimity, patience and the odd fart. One of them attempts to bray but thinks better of it and flares its nostrils instead. Their thoughtful owners, in view of donkey effort required, have harnessed them to buggies just big enough for one and a half fat Germans, or a hen party from Birmingham or Shanghai. The sort of loads donkeys take in their strides. It beats carrying certain Jewish rabbis into Jerusalem, which although had started promisingly, ended up being a bit of a bother.

I catch the eye of one long suffering ‘burro’ and he looks at me as if to say “yes, mate I know, this is no life for an animal with the brain power of a Hawking, the stomach of a Pavarotti and a python sized penis”. I feel it’s pain, having to stoop so low as to have ferry around pork fed Bavarians with a BMI of a panzer tank. At least the donkey can satisfy itself that Spain can take some comfort in knowing that for half an hour at least, an equine arsehole is being shown to a German and the German is actually paying for the experience. Sometimes there is justice in the world. Sometimes.

Anyway. The road leaves this madness behind and in just a few short metres the hustle and bustle of tourists disappears. We have the road completely to ourselves. I guess a picturesque stroll, taking in huge vistas towards the sea, is not on the itineraries of the organised trip. This would require the expenditure of nothing but energy rather than euros. There are no market stalls, no bars and no seats on this road. Just a very calm walk right under the walls of the old fort as the rock rises up to the right and a vertiginous drop to the left. Just at the start however is a newish hotel/resort called ‘La Ermita’ run by MacDonalds hotels. Not the yellow arches MacDonalds but another UK based outfit. It is carved into the hillside and has of course breathtaking views out to the sea. We decide to have a nose and step into reception to ask for the tariff, a tour of a room and the facilities. A very nice lady obliges. Suffice to say, it is bloody marvellous. We end up down by the pool at the restaurant which is open to non residents and stop for a coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. And a bit of banter with the locals.

The very friendly Argentinian chef is only to happy to chat and asks where we are from. I thought it obvious from our clothes, accents and superior attitude towards all foreigners. When we proffer ‘UK’, he of course accepts this but to our surprise wanted to know where in the UK. Now, in the past I have mentioned ‘Cornwall’ to the enquiring, patient, but also politely disinterested, native and have been greeted with a look that says “I hear your words, but I’ve no idea what they mean”. This look of bafflement continues even when I offer ‘far south west of England’ and wave my hands about in the general direction of 7 o’clock (from my perspective) or 5 o’clock (from theirs) which, now I think about it, means ‘South East’ to them and thus just adds to the confusion. Their mental maps of the UK are obviously not like ours. I can see in my mind’s eye the outline of the UK which takes in Scotland, Wales and the detail of Torbay including Anstey’s cove. They however see ‘London’, the Queen and racism. Not a good start when trying get our minds to meet in the middle. Usually I don’t have a pen and paper, otherwise I would only be too happy to provide an impromptu geography lesson. To think we once had an empire where we taught all of the world, and their wives and ‘piccaninnies’, democracy, how to speak properly and the value of a good forward drive to the covers. A world in which geography lessons about the whereabouts of Truro would be superfluous to the crowds in a crowded bazaar in Benghazi who would know instantly the difference between Redruth, Redcar and Richmond (upon Thames, you peasants).

To my delight the chef, has not only heard of Cornwall but also of the humble ‘pasty’. He has seen it on the Discovery channel and informs me how the pasty has travelled the world (true), should not have boiled beef (true) and the best are now to be found in…wait for it….Canada.

Canada.

Famed for Moose, and…er.

Either he had been at the sangria while watching the telly or someone at the Discovery channel was taking the piss. The former I can envisage easily. Perhaps he heard someone say the best pasties are in ‘Camborne’ and mistakenly thought they said ‘Canada’ being unfamiliar with both the English language and the old Cornish mining town and its inhabitants, some of whom indeed may resemble a moose. Hang around in the Tyacks on a Saturday night and you may spot a few, grazing on jäger bombs and hope, lowing loudly into the night air in search of a booze fuelled coupling and a kebab. The chef was sure the best pasty in the world is now to be found somewhere between St Johns in Newfoundland and Vancouver, British Colombia. A jolly chap no doubt, but he probably still thinks the Falklands are the Malvinas. We do agree however that ’empanadas’ is the Spanish word for a similar (but not the same) foodstuff.

We continue our morning constitutional which takes us to “Plaza de la Constitucion”, Calle Malaga and “Plaza de Jesus de Nazarone” (Translation: ‘Christs’ Square’ – see, not so good in English is it?). Calle Malaga is undergoing what they call “Obras” here, but a “fuck up” in Essex and other counties. The Mijas council and others decided that gas, water, sewerage works needed doing and so the whole street is a ‘men at work’ zone complete with JCBs, dust and procrastination. You can’t move for yellow helmets and “mañana”. It seems that one day they poured concrete and then went home thinking that no one would walk across this freshly and lovingly poured concrete. To the workmen this was art that the local boy, Picasso, would has been proud of. They did not foretell that if the shortest distance between Manuel and his cerveza was fresh concrete, then rather than put an extra 5 minutes walking around the works, Manuel, Jose and Maria would rather wade through ankle deep in fresh concrete than waste precious fiesta time. We watched as they newly chastened workmen had to fill in the 6 inch deep footsteps immortalised in homage to Hollywood’s avenue of fame.

Lunch. Decision was easy. Buy a chicken.

There is a shop whose business model is selling spit roast (no sniggering at the back please) chicken. That’s it. Nothing else. Nada Mas. It is the best chicken you may ever taste. It is probably battery reared and dies to the sound of Nazi marching music (I’m guessing). Ethical considerations aside, and this is why we as a species are fucked, ethics takes a very poor second place to taste. The chap takes the whole roast chicken off the spit, makes various cuts into its flesh so that it then sits in a foil tub, pours gravy….gravy, oh dear…..on top, places the lid on it and off we trot. The spit roast chicken has been prepared with lemon, garlic, onion and rosemary in generous quantities. The gravy is a mix of chicken fat and the above and tickles your tongue like a sexed up night nurse (again I’m guessing). It is moist. Very, very moist (a bit like the night nurse). Falls off the bone like a Camborne maid falls off the kerb outside the Spoons, easily and without too much prompting.

So, a bottle of yer fizz later it is siesta time.

I really can see the point of siesta. We should do it more often in the UK. Seriously. If it is good enough for their Lordships in the upper house it should be good enough for the rest of us.

Our last night in town finds us watching a glorious red sunset before heading back. We stop at a bar for a glass of that which pleases. This leads to tapas of croquettes de jamon Serrano and ‘Sandra’s empanadas’. In English in the menu it says ‘Sandra’s special Cornish pasties’. We have a go, and three perfectly crimped little pasties turn up. They are filled with lamb and the the pastry has been deep fried, and served with what looks like soy sauce. Delicious, and I’m not going to argue the toss. Suitably fortified we have a nightcap: Desarrono for Ann and Drambuie for me. poured into small barrels that pass for glasses. We sing our way home trying not to fall into freshly poured concrete.

Thankfully, there is no donkey poo on the pavement.

Does it get any sweeter?

The sweet scent of Jasmine arrests as it gently carries itself on the breeze. Jacaranda and Bougainvillea are tempting in flower. Pine and woodsmoke rise from chimneys below the white terraces of the old pueblo. The odd dog barks, a cat plays with an old chicken bone on the cobbled street and goldfinches chirrup from their cages set there by the residents in the open windows of the old town. Overhead martins flit in competition with the evening bats for the the last of the flying insects before the sun finally sets. A peregrine patrols in case a pigeon gets complacent and flies too far to the sun. This would be the last error of judgment the hapless fat bird makes, for the falcon will spot it from afar and swoop to end its sorrows. Yellow swallowtail butterflies gather their life spirit from purple flowers. Trees are laden down with lemons and oranges, so plentiful that they are not harvested, left to fall where they will. Makes me think again of Gin.

This is March.

Lest we forget.

Looking out across the valley to Dragon mountain from the terrace, nothing seems to be happening. And that is just fine with me. The scene is still, the air faintly shimmering in the afternoon heat. The sea beyond glowing blue and gold. African mountains are topped with snow in the distant horizon, the whiteness betraying the harsh black and red of the earth below them. A few ships, just specks at this distance, carry their loads to Istanbul, Naples or Cairo.

Coaches leave the town, taking the gawping barbarian selfie hordes back down the road to the coast and to Hades. A million instagrams will be posted around the world to be seen once and then forgotten before the next trip is planned. All that sophisticated software, the gift from far too clever people in Silicon Valley, just to show a donkey’s arse or another lady grinning soul from Shanghai. I too am part of that transient babble come here to marvel, to leave only euros and a broken heart at the thought of such innocence betrayed under an Andalucian sun. For such is our contradiction as visitors, coming to see the authentic and in doing so our own inauthenticity is packaged and sold back to us. It is too late in this era of mass tourism to do but any other.

There is still evidence here of real people living real lives in the quieter back streets that the day trippers never find. The Bar Alencon or the Bar Cadron hide sun soaked sangria fueled treasures, but you’ll need time and a nose to find them. A good few years ago, after a flagon of the local good stuff, we danced back down through Calle Malaga in the hot evening air. No one was arrested, no donkeys were harmed and little children abed slept soundly safe in the knowledge that the moon would still rise. Sangria is a perchance a maligned drink unless you witnessed the real thing being constructed out of fresh oranges, strawberries, red wine and gin (enough to drown an elephant). You might want an ambulance.

Lunch: Tapas again today. Home made.

Clams (Ann says they are cockles) from yesterday, then followed by chorizos in red wine. Fair enough I hear you say. A pretty common dish.

Start with buying chorizo from an Andalusian market. Get your shallots and garlic from the same place. I had previously marinated tomatoes in virgin olive oil, balsamic de Modena and oregano, seasoned with salt and ground black pepper. The little red beauties had bathed in the marinade like olive skinned nubiles soaking up temptation in a hot tub and were now ready to explode on your tongue like an orgasm with the midday sun on your back. This was love on a plate.

Anyway.

Cut the chorizos into pound coin size pieces, put to one side while the shallots and garlic sizzle in butter. Then add the tomatoes and red wine, reducing the liquid before adding the chorizo. Cook until the chorizo oils run into the pan to mix with the marinade. Let sex commence. The pan will resemble the smell of a well perfumed Roman orgy, but without the sweat and halitosis. Add more wine, and if you don’t feel the slightest of long forgotten teenage urges, add some more. Reduce the liquid until the chorizo pieces are coated in heaven sent moistness. Serve with fresh bread, butter and more wine. On a separate plate serve Avocado slices. Don’t mess with the avocado. This helps to cut through the richness of the red wine sauce. Place all the dishes on a table on a sun terrace with an ambient temperature of about 22 degrees, make sure you have a view and time to think.

Eat.

As a post prandial sweetener, nibble on almonds boiled in honey and sugar by Señor in the market square. The almonds are left with a crispy coating of honey soaked sweetness, enough to send shivers down your spine.

You might want a siesta after that, or some other kind of lie down.

The sun will by now be over its zenith and be chasing its own path towards sunset. This will call forth Gin and Tonic time.

Which brings us back to the bats in the evening glow of another glorious sunset.