Archive for the ‘background’ Category


July 2, 2008

My mother telephoned to say my aunt has cancer.  Something happened.  A few years ago.  A sorry, sordid little tale.  But she doesn’t deserve that.  No one does.  Everything is fragmenting around me.  Even Nobby is fading away.  Enjoy what you can while you can.  Apologies for the incoherence.

I gave this poem to Nobby just after our beautiful neighbour Jo died:
And death shall have no dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

GhostCat: Where are YOU?

January 7, 2008

There will never be a perfect time to have a pet. I am being bombarded by offers from my friend Andrew who works at a cat sanctuary – He has found a lovely little affectionate cat called Bounce. I don’t even feel like visiting. I am so tired. I don’t think this will be a good time to bring cats into a still grieving home.

Bella has been my (almost) constant companion. For a decade she has been by my side. (Apart from my trip to America and Europe when Bella stayed in Birmingham with my parents). But I thought about her, I dreamed about her.

But Bella was a stubborn little Madam and would make me endure lots of silent treatments when I returned which were resolved when Bella felt that she had made me suffer enough. She wasn’t nicknamed ‘Bratcat’ for nothing.

I know I will never find a cat like Bella again. One night, back in 1996, I opened the front door to let a friend out and, as the friend left, this little white cat invaded by apartment. She slipped through the door and let out a piercing miaow, a miaow that said ‘I’m here and I’m here to stay’. And stay she did for eleven years. A lady downstairs had one more cat than she needed. The youngest(Bella -6) was being bullied by the Top cat. So, she came to live with me. Melissa, her first rescuer, told me that she’d been wandering Mill Road – emaciated, with no fur on her back legs – when she found her. She took her back to her flat and was surprised to find that she was house trained. She had also been spayed. My neighbour nursed her back to health but cats can be fickle creatures and Bella began to explore other flats in a bid to find herself another home. Bella had made up her mind. Every night she stood outside my door calling for me to let her in. I did. And every night she came. I made an agreement with her human who found it difficult to have to deal with night after night of hissing, spitting, snarling.

So she surrendered and brought Bella to me. She sat perched on my chest that night and the purrs she emitted soothed me into a sleep devoid of dreams. She became a permanent fixture in my life, almost to the exclusion of everyone else. And she was loyal to the end. She died in her sleep. Next to me. The best way to die some say. I’m not so sure. Doubts are setting in

If anybody’s interested Bella was 17

More Later

Spring in the Midst of Winter

December 8, 2007

Deconstruction of My Mother

December 3, 2007

She told him about the boy at the end of her street, the one with the overgrown garden permeated by the stench of cat piss.

‘Did he touch you?’ asked Patrick.
‘Yes,’ Wendy replied. ‘He did.’
‘Where?’ he persisted. Later, looking back, Wendy would realize that she was his first psychiatric patient. His blank canvas. He transformed her. Wendy touched her breasts, and her vagina. ‘It happened because my parents were never there, never home. The Rose and Crown – our local pub was my father’s second home. The factory was his second. We came third.. His work kept him just this side of sanity. He worked in a factory. There was camaraderie on that assembly line, he used to say. There was camaraderie on the picket line too.

She was his chameleon; his Eliza Doolittle.. Under his tutilige she became glamorous, vivacious, intelligent, creative, charming. Or, at least, that’s what Patrick told her. Before he asked her to marry him. She had got what she came for – the status and privileges that come with being a doctor’s wife.

In the end Wendy became an unpaid actress. The whole world was her stage and their family and friends were the co-stars.

On the night before she died Cynthia’s bedtime story had been The Water Babies.

They found her face down, floating in the lake.


December 1, 2007

A work in progress.  (Ignore the random text.)

A Response to Anon@5.34

October 18, 2007

(See Dancing on Someone’s Grave is One Thing..)
(See Comments section)
To Anonymous at 5:34:
(Because the first was rather curt)

FWIW I have a lot of respect for some of JHL’s views. I wholeheartedly agree with him when he asserts that ‘We (ex-prisoners) are as human as our victims.’ I just find it odd that he extends the right to be viewed as ‘human’ to every single prisoner and ex-prisoner except Felicity Jane Lowde and (maybe in time) The McCanns.

You ask why I am on this woman’s ‘side’. I don’t regard this as a matter of sides. It’s not a game. It’s not a George Bush post 9.11 ‘With us or Against us’ kind of situation. Felicity Jane Lowde certainly wouldn’t think I’m on her side. I believe she has a serious mental illness and needs urgent help. I’ve been in and out of hospital a fair bit and I’ve seen this kind of situation. I even remember someone with very similar delusions to Felicity Jane Lowde – secret services, connections to government figures – all delusions of grandeur. IIRC one of the newer neuroleptics took the edge off her fear. But I could still see the anguish on her face. Her terror terrorised me. I firmly believe that this woman was genuinely afraid – that her inner world had turned into an inner hell. And it’s kind of hard to escape from yourself. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sympathy for the victims. After all, it didn’t matter to Rochester whether The First Mrs Rochester was mad or bad. The consequences for Jane Eyre and Rochester were still the same. Mad or bad, she was still dangerous.

I’ve more to write but this is kind of draining.)>


August 28, 2007

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On a Blog Near You

June 17, 2007

Just a few salient points:

1) Jade Goody is badly educated in comparison to Ms. Shetty but have you stopped to wonder why? She spent most of her childhood looking after her mentally-ill, drug-addicted mother. How did the Upper-Caste Ms. Shetty cope with that – oh, that’s right – she didn’t have to.
2) Ms. Goody is of West Indian descent – she has West Indian features – much of the media’s mockery is a result of this. Ironically, Ms. Shetty conforms to Western ideals of beauty more than Ms. Goody.
3) Could someone please tell me how people arrive at the conclusion that Ms. Shetty is intellectual. She failed to watch a single episode of Big Brother before agreeing to appear on the show and seems ignorant of the origins of its title. Germaine Greer observed that there was bullying on Big Brother when she walked out of the programme two years ago. My response was ‘Well, duh’. The programme’s title is derived from a novel that depicts a totalitarian state governed by a capricious, malevolent dictator known as ‘Big Brother’. Bullying? In that kind of environment? Who’d have thought it?

4) Finally, how, for the love of cake, does this sully the reputation of Britain? There are 60 million people in this country and less than 8 million watch Big Brother. As the Americans would say: ‘Do the math’.

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