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The Lucky One

That speech didn't even make sense.

I count myself as so lucky to have my early sights of the world shaped by Singapore, by people who were different from me, different from each other. Born here, we had to go where the RAF sent Dad, and I am grateful for that; I am grateful to have had an olive skinned, dark-eyed, dark haired mother and a yellow haired pink skinned blue eyed father, grateful to have had hot and cold running DNA, grateful to have learned so early from a landscape of different tones,cultures and peoples, Malays, English,Indian, Chinese. Those years of learning fearlessness in the face of difference, to delight in it all, that was an immense privilege.

And now to see that these principles count for nothing, that suddenly xenophobia and meanness, cruelty and othering is the order of the day, that I truly am a stranger in my own country, that the land whose ostensible principles shaped so much of my upbringing has surrendered to the squeakings of a pumped up demi-Mussolini, to watch it all knowing that my unvoted for representatives in this matter will kowtow to any evil for a deal because they are desperate and lack the integrity to challenge lies... to see the desire for exclusion writ large across the West... Well it is an ugly thing, a heartbreaking thing. I have one comfort and it is a small one; I repudiate this filth utterly and always. My conscience is clear, my soul, if such a thing exists, does not betray me. I played no part in this evil nonsense, never humoured it, and never will.

Enough of that. Today I am off to see my best lady, who is getting married in October, and wants to chat about the wedding! After this, we go ghost hunting. There's a workshop beforehand on how to use the instruments for gauging humidity, temperature drop etc. Should be interesting.

WTF is wrong with me?

Well, I may have made a mistake, a big one.

It might be because I had to have the CT scan today,with iodine, to see if there's any chance something akin to Dad's COPD could become an issue. Passive smoking, bloody awful. The Dr hadn't told me I needed an injection. My response was phobic and severe,and I am still tearful now. Still, all done.

So perhaps I wasn't concentrating when I checked FB messenger. There was a name I recognised, saying Hi, I said Hi back before I remembered properly. Why am I so absent minded? Why do I forget? Because it was over 30 years ago. This guy was a boyfriend. We met in Glastonbury and lived in Edinburgh for few months. He was a colourblind artist with wealthy parents and a love of all things druggy. I was just without a clue.

We began to grow apart. He may have been cool in Glastonbury, he wasn't in Edinburgh... in fact...Confession time... He may not have been cool in Glastonbury either...Maybe I just liked having an artistic boyfriend #callmeshallow. One day, while we were having a row, I was trying to unlock the front door and he kicked me from behind. I turned around and told him not to, turned back to the door and he kicked me again. In the pause that followed I unlocked the front door, went in, slammed it in his face, told him he was never coming back, and that I was phoning the police, and made good that promise. He sat on the grass until the blue lights arrived and then fled.

He never troubled me again. My friends told me they would see him staggering around town;one told the story of him walking up to a beggar, grabbing his lager can and downing it in one. I forgot about him and found a skinny brilliant guy with huge elf-grey eyes. I chucked him too, eventually. If I ever move to Scotland, remind me not to live in Edinburgh. God knows who's lurking up there among the grey stones, remembering my iniquities,because I sure as hell don't.

And because I said Hi on Messenger, he is enthusiastically liking and sharing things!

I feel neutral, but feel I should be angry. He's not my friend, not on my friends list,nor is he going to be. How do I feel about him seeing my stuff? Nothing... a mild discomfort. Something like that. Am I resenting too long? Everyone tells me I do this. But I don't feel resentment, I just feel that by saying Hi I have given the impression that his behaviour wasn't bad, wasn't important.

It was both those things. It just made me angry rather than upset, and I never felt victimised as such. I just decided on immediate wanker removal and made it happen.

But how the hell did I forget it?

And what should I do now?

It's probably time

...To grow my hair again.

I've had short hair for ages now. Got it cut 2010, got it cropped properly pixie short 2012. I have really loved it; there's something very vulnerable about the nape of one's neck exposed. Plus I could focus on my real face for a bit. It was a bit exposing, but nice to see myself without the curtain.

I had been influenced a bit by Mum too. 'Older women with long hair look like witches,' she told me cheerfully; certainly there can be something a little worrying if the long haired person has long nails and prominent teeth, I'll admit that. All the women in my family cut their hair short, and they all look good with it, turning into female variants of Al Pacino,with hair that goes white and spikes up above incongruous dark eyes. If that's my face-fate, there's worse that could happen. I am less concerned about being haglike than turning into Pink's ageing 'Stupid Girl,' with her ringlets and shell suit.

But now I need a change. My hair's approaching that shrubby stage, where the top is growing long. So exactly what am I going to do with the sides? If more of it gets shoved behind my ears they'll start sticking out like handles. It looks ever so peculiar.



Hair now.



Hair then,with added unimpressed frozenness  Whatever happens, I don't think we'll be going back that way.

My hair takes ages to grow at all, and then just sits sullenly at my jawline, hating all product. It likes to be Servalan short or Cher long. It doesn't do curls of any kind. It listens to scissors and it likes straight lines. On a good day, it will give me a touch of the Audrey Hepburns. On a bad day, it has been known to present me with Side-Show Bob.

I am not going to grow it long so much as lure it into stretching. While it suspects nothing, it'll probably behave.

Just gone through Theresa May's speech

What an incredible pack of lies. Absolutely stinks of Bojo.

In a way I feel sorry for her. She's not a complete idiot - she knows Trump's closeness to Putin, dossier or no dossier, is no stabilising influence,and she cannot want our intelligence services or national security compromised by so volatile an ally, who may or may not be the puppet of another power. But she is terrified of the far right wing of the tory party, of the party splitting and UKip mopping up the frothing remains. Then of course, there are the business interests that donate to the Tories but feel betrayed by the insanity of leaving Europe. How can she ensure their profits? All she can do is cut taxes and regulations. What happens to tax intake then? Goes down. What happens to things like the NHS then? Ummmm. But her followers have long wanted to stop paying for that anyway. The only good news about this whole pile of rotting tripe, is that when it all begins to stink and my addled countrymen find themselves forced to eat it,they will no longer be able to blame anyone else for their meal.

Her priorities are clear; party first, then business, then country.  How TF anyone who voted for this nonsense can call themselves a patriot beats me.

It really is time to leave this country.

The Widow Maker

Ever since the studio, I have maintained an interest in very old school astrology, less for prediction and more for sheer stories. I remain fascinated by constellations and patterns that seem to echo what one wants/fears/expects. How does that happen? And because there has been so much talk everywhere of a possible war with China, I decided to follow the way of William Lilly, the 17th astrologer who specialised in this stuff, and cast an horary chart for whether or not the US would go to war with China.

William's charts are indecipherable to me and always have questions like 'Will My Lord of Marlborough be victorious against his enemies at Essex and meet preferment, or come to grief on account of their many vexations?' It is said that he forecast the King's demise. I would not take credit from the man if it is due, but would say he cast enough charts to wallpaper his house.

No point me discussing the outcome of the chart itself,for all these things are tales, and I pick the one most interesting. When you start with any chart, the first point you look at is called the Ascendant, the rising influence. It begins at the point which, on a watch face would look like 9 am and on a compass face due West. The first thing I saw on that very point was a Behenian fixed star; These are stars considered magically potent by medieval European and Arabic astrologers, there's about 15 of them,and the maths has to be pretty exact. The one that sits at the start of the chart sent a story-recognising shudder through my wee bones. Epsilon Virgo, known as Vindemiatrix, Arm of the Virgin (Not Mary; Erigone or Astraea) the Second General, the Son Who Comes Forward, the Gatherer of Grapes also called the Widow Maker.

It would not presage a peace-loving environment, but environment is just that, and these are long discarded dreams of old bones. Admittedly if William Lilly was beside me he might well say 'Aye, taketh that popcorn which is thine and avail thyself of a seat, but best be it for thee if that seat be far far away...'

For the interest of mallorys_camera



Besides, the virgin's arm doesn't stretch so very far. In real life, the friend who was my Best Lady is getting married in Autumn, and my cleaner will be tying the knot in December. There now, real life!

Starkey Rising

Watched one of the David Starkey programmes on the monarchy, partly because it's about a point in history I didn't study in depth, William and Mary and Anne...I thought I could use the learning discipline. Just couldn't connect. Watching, trying to concentrate, I realised why.

David Starkey can't present - that's no insult, it is clearly not his job - but whoever is directing has decided to make up for it by ordering him to walk, walk, walk endlessly, so that if he stands still, it's like an exclamation mark. And it wouldn't be so bad if his was a normal walk, but he does this weird looming tip-toe, that makes it look as though he's creeping forwards in the hope of falling on top of you. He walks, the camera tracks. Sometimes the camera moves towards him. Sometimes it backs off in a hurry, like the camera's thinking keep him awayyyyyyy! But then it's as though someone slapped the crew and told them to remember their paycheque and hold the line. Whatever happens he always returns and approaches ominously with his hands clenched by his sides like a cross between Bilbo Baggins and Hannibal Lecter. Usually the camera crouches below his eye level but at one moment the angle was high above him, and the light hit his face in full on Hitchcockian-eyeballs-rolled-upwards style. I nearly jumped out of my chair, expecting him to step out of the TV and demand fava beans with chianti.

And the thing about this is, once noticed,I couldn't unsee it. I was hypnotised. Even salacious poems, Queen Anne's possible lesbianism and portraits showing the universal cocked eyebrow of John Churchill (not a bad looking man - how come so many of his descendants look like fish?) couldn't pull me in. I know it's not Starkey's fault, but thank god he wasn't my teacher. I'd never have got past history being One In The Eye for Harold.

Torn Between Two Lovers

Alexa is the better communicator but Tassimo gives me what I want. He's done it twice this morning already, and I'm going to make him do it again. Alexa will keep quiet for now, because I told her to.

The Trouble with Rich Uncles

I do love the Times. Despite its insane owner and obvious right wing slant, it still manages to maintain a rational tone, and yes, call me naive, I still trust it as a useful source, though it would be foolish to rely on it alone.

Now we learn that Ted Malloch, the man tipped to be America's next ambassador to the UK has mentioned that the US could play the UK's"Rich Uncle"* in Brexit talks.

We will snap it up of course, because the US administration will expect nothing in return for such open-handedness. Rich uncles never want anything back.

Mr Malloch has suggested that Trump should extend a similar offer to other EU countries on a bi-lateral basis, which would undermine the EU commission. It is just a coincidence that such a move would delight Putin, who has never quite got over the old sanctions thing, and of course, may have plans of his own for Eastern Europe. Nato could get in the way of those, but Trump doesn't sound up for upsetting his new BBF.

In the meantime, China is ramping up the rhetoric about any US attempt to get over-enthusiastic in the South China seas,and/or the US is ramping up the rhetoric about any Chinese attempts to get over-enthusiastic in the South China seas. Cheery phrases like 'Devastating confrontation and 'large scale war' are being bandied in the Chinese press. Actual Chinese government spokespersons have been considerably more chilled, thank god. Common sense and all that.

But speaking from a tinpot island, I am intrigued by what would happen to the Golden Age of Trade with China post-Brexit GB business is relying on, if Rich Uncle suddenly decides we have to be on his side? It would never happens of course because Rich Uncle Wuvs Oo. But just in case; can we have favourable business terms with two powers on the verge of war with each other? Friends to everyone, jathink?

No, me neither.





*Their quotation marks

Almost Snow and Simply Neptune

We're on a hill, one of the highest around London.

We had a light carpet of snow, enough for little beastie footprints, and white bonnets for all the cars. Now it's melting. Not proper Narnia at all. What rubbish.

The sky must have cleared late, because I did wake to see the full moon shining bright through my window. I was so sleepy though, I didn't follow it downstairs for a chat.

Dreamed of old friends GA and JS, and one old not-a-friend. Apart from GA who seemed to be arranging things, we were all readers at a wedding, but I had no idea of the order,or the readings. For some reason we were all going be camping/setting up temporary residence together. I went into a grand shop to get some loo paper for everyone,and a lady told me to go out the back, where I could buy it. When I came back in, this huge shop was deserted, and I was alone in the perfume section. Someone - it might have been GA - picked up a perfume and recommended it to me. It was called 'Simply Neptune.'

It makes me think there's magic nearby, and worlds strange and winsome to explore. This morning's sky is blue here and almost luminous pink over London. To the North-West I can see a spire of what seems to be gold metal gleaming. It's all very slightly Rodney Matthews. The wind's blowing across the hill, and the day will become ordinary any minute. But not quite yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSJub1A1aIk

Joke of the Week

What's the difference between a lentil and a chickpea?

Donald Trump wouldn't pay $1000 dollars to have a lentil on his face

#watersportsgate


Amusing though it is, I am astonished at the speed at which people will abandon concepts like democracy and free speech. They won't abandon the words, oh no... the words become like the sign of the cross, In Nomine... accompanied by a gesture learned early,repeated mechanically and used without thought of what it means.

Trump shouts at CNN and refuses to answer the reporter, HAHA! Take that CNN! His followers squeal with delight, never thinking of what it means to have a ruler place themselves above and beyond the duty of responding to the Press, to the questions of the outer world. Here, we want a different democracy for every mood, and let's change the rules whenever, because it's not as though that's a fine precedent for any wannabe dictator. And if the legislature doesn't like it, shut up stupid judges! And if civil servants say it's a bad idea, go away nasty civil servants! And if experts say it won't work, screw you know-it-all experts!

Nothing teaches fire safety better than a burn, they say. Trouble is, this lesson may take the schoolroom with it.

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