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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2236355-1-Diary-Jottings-Nov-2017--
by Krago
Rated: E · Non-fiction · Biographical · #2236355
Diary jottings
How will you know if I am dead? There won't be new entries here for over a month.

22 Nov 2020
It is a very strange sensation to watch a movie knowing that all the characters in it are long dead, as are the people I saw it with first time all those years ago - 'Captain Carey U.S.A'.

21 Nov 2020
Have started work on an ambitious project: 'My Life in Movies, or vice versa.' I guess it will include some 100 best loved films. Not sure yet if to upload it here.

14 Nov 2020
Have just finished watching 'Easy Rider' (1969). Depressing movie. Wonder if 2020 US is better or worse than 1969 US was. Depressing movie, depressing thoughts.

Peter Fonda (February 23, 1940 – August 16, 2019)
Dennis Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010)
Jack Nicholson (born April 22, 1937)

12 Nov 2020
What do you do when lying in bed and can't go to sleep? I conjure u- a magic wand and eliminate all the bad leaders in the world. Trouble is, when I wake up in the morning the world is still the same.

8 Nov 2020 Remembrance Sunday
Laura is unwell. I hope it's nothing serious. If something happens to her it will be the end of me too.
Out shopping. To COOK, 4xHarissa Chicken & 4xMash. Then to M&S in search of nativity calendars for the twins but nothing suitable found. Bought fresh fruit instead, figs from Spain and pears from Portugal.
Slight discomfort for past fortnight where my left kidney is supposed to be. Have decided to keep silent about it for time being.

3 Nov 2020
Another Islamist terror attack, this time in Vienna. Europe is paying a heavy price for its liberal admission of migrants from Islamic countries. I fear this is only the beginning and worse is to come.

Have been re-reading "Of All Places/Sometimes... (part 3 of 6) . Wish there were more scriblers like him on here.

2 Nov 2020
Lexa came to say goodbye. She is moving into a flatshare in London. May not see her again for a while, if at all, countrywide lockdown kicks in on Thursday.

30 Oct 2020
Have spent past couple of days checking and cleaning up some old memory sticks. Lots of JPG files degraded beyond rescue. Text files are OK. Have re-discovered writings of years ago (2002) stored on the sticks but mostly forgotten by me like, for example, my journal of trip to Iran in 2008. Re-reading these old stories will keep me busy for a while - 'nostalgia'?
England goes into one month lockdown from next Thursday.
Death of a legend: 007 Sean Connery dies aged 90. End of an era.
Here is Yenne Lee playing Autumn Leaves on a guitar Yenne Lee  

28 Oct 2020
I need new reading glasses. Went to local opticians to make appointment for eye test. Asked them how much would it cost to fit the new lenses into my existing frame. They said £90. But if I were to ask them to fit new lenses into one of their new frames the lot will cost me only £40 . The world has gone mad.

27 Oct 2020

I am reminded that the film Magnificent Seven turns 60 this month It is wonderful for many reasons - from John Sturges' direction to Elmer Bernstein's score, not to mention Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson.

26 Oct 2020
I am finding it progressively more difficult to recall names of people, names that I know but cannot recall when I 'need' them. Today I was unable to recall the names of my landlords, both of them distinguished potters, who left Rhodesia for the worsening political climate there and returned to England. I think (almost certain) her first name was Zoe but their surname escapes me. They both left pieces of their work to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, but their name ...

Have been thinking ... after I die I will not be able to pay WdCom fees for upgraded membership and presumably my a/c will revert to free Basic Membership. B.M. has a limit of 10 static items, 50K each.

I wonder if I should reorganise all my WdC posts to fit into 10 static items to which I would add new entries on an ongoing as and when basis. Hm...something to think about.

24 Oct 2020

Had an idea for a couple of new Folders, one for selected lives of WdC authors, the other for brief bios of a selection of people, perhaps grouped by categories (authors, politicians, etc.) Will think about it.

23 Oct 2020

Dear Rebecca,

I was googling for some info. on your dad and came up with a link to the school. It took me back in time many decades to the 70s. I remember you as the pretty little toddler which you were at the time and how amazed I was to see you climb the slope of land from the edge of the water to the house on the hill. I both envy and admire the way you have been following in John's footsteps. May God bless you, John and Marie Christine.


Today is the 64th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising. The world has moved on; who now cares about such minutiae of history.
Here is Yenne Lee playing Autumn Leaves on a guitar Yenne Lee  

18 Oct 2020

I am sad today. Someone who has been posting here regularly at least once a week hasn't been heard of for over a year. I had exchanged emails with her and we were 'friends'. She has probably passed away.

16 Oct 2020

There is a scene in 'From Russia with Love' (1963) in which James Bond is staying in a hotel in Istanbul, I think, and for breakfast he orders coffee, a glass of fresh orange juice and a couple of black figs. Very spartan, one may think. Anyway, figs appear to be in season; my local supermarket has them in abundance and I buy a dozen or so each time I visit the store.

Unlike Bond's Istanbul breakfast, I normally have an omelet, coffee but no orange juice (too much sugar). However I too have a couple of black figs, carefully peeled, and whenever I am in the process of peeling them, my mind recalls Bond. I just can't help it. And I don't mind it at all.

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15 Oct 2020

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A female orderly came to my bedside and asked me if I wanted anything from the stores. I asked her to get me three bottles of my favourite aftershave. "Sure you want three?" she asked.
"Yes, positive." I replied.
All three were intended as gifts for Sue. She liked the scent too and I wanted the gift to remind her of me when I was gone - dead.

I then woke up. I was lying in my own bed at home and reflecting on the irony of the dream - Sue has been dead for more than twenty years and I am still alive.

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14 Oct 2020

I have been searching my memory for the name of my favourite translator of Simonov's poem 'Wait for me' but couldn't recall it. Eventually I found it among some old notes of mine - Mike Munford. I wonder if he is still alive. We exchanged a coupe of emails, I complimented him on his translation of 'Wait for Me' but that was many years ago.

Simonov wrote the poem during WW2 when he was a war correspondent attached to the Red Army There are many English translation of the poem but I much prefer Munford's.

By Konstantin Simonov
to Valentina Serova

Wait for me, and I'll come back!
Wait with all you've got!
Wait, when dreary yellow rains
Tell you, you should not.
Wait when snow is falling fast,
Wait when summer's hot,
Wait when yesterdays are past,
Others are forgot.
Wait, when from that far-off place,
Letters don't arrive.
Wait, when those with whom you wait
Doubt if I'm alive. ...

11 Oct 2020

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The other day I was talking to an attractive, college-educated young woman and the conversation turned to films. I asked her if she had seen 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. She never heard of it let alone see it. I said it was one of Gregory Peck's greatest movies, he got an Oscar for it. She said she never heard of Gregory Peck either. I changed the subject and we talked about something else. But my mind was busy on the subject of fame … how transitory and short-lived it was. And this reminded me of Shelley's poem Ozymandias. I couldn't recall the words and had to look them up.

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

7 Oc 2020

Harold Evans's book Front Page History gave me an idea, I'll list here, briefly, all major world events which occurred in each year of my lifetime. Will think about it. In the meantime, here is something from the past; not quite a major world event but I like it ... Yves Montand - Les Feuilles Mortes

5 Oct 2020

Bad news. Laura emailed yest. that Arielle is showing mild signs of a cold and will have to be tested for the virus. She is off school and the earliest appointment for a test is tomorrow, miles away in Bicester. Results won't be known for 2 to 5 days. Utter shambles. Felix is also out of school and self isolating at home.

4 Oct 2020

Couldn't sleep at all last night. Got out of bed at 5:00 am. No point lying in bed if one can't sleep. Haven't watched anything on TV for a long time but today I'll switch it on to watch the running of the Arc at Longchamp, Will be rooting for Enable to to make history by winning a third Arc.

3 Oct 2020

All dreams are strange, last night's was no exception. I was a w/e guest at the home of someone high up at British Petroleum. He had a wife and two grown daughters and I was playing tennis with each of his daughters, in a green leather waistcoat, which belonged to the master of the house and considered to be very valuable. When it was time for me to leave I thanked them for their hospitality and left, still wearing the green waistcoat, knowing that it wasn't mine, effectively stealing it. I woke soon after, still feeling guilty for having 'stolen' the waistcoat, and wondering how to return it. Even though I was fully awake it took me a while to stop worrying about it.

2 Oct 2020

Spent most of the afternoon reading and re-reading two long newspaper articles on Harry and Meghan. The pair's hypocrisy is of truly royal proportions. They are lecturing the world about poverty and the disadvantaged from their £11 million mansion in California. It is the height of hypocrisy. Meghan is visibly mamipulating Harry to toe her line. "The world that we know has been created by white people, for white people" says Harry. And, "Meghan helped me understand prejudice." I have a strong feeling that when Harry eventually wakes up to what he is doing, it will be too late for him to find a way back and he will fall on his sword.

1 Oct 2020

"The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold ..."

The falling leaves really drift by my window at the back of the house. I am reminded of Nat King Cole ...

30 Sep 2020

Up last night until 4:00 a.m. Watching the US presidential debate. What a waste of time. After switching off the telly a couldn't get back to sleep for quite a while, thinking that the fate of the world for the foreseeable future may rest in the hands of either of these idiots.

Had the flu jab today.

Have decided to start a Folder on WdC about film in general and some of my favourites in particular.


27 Sep 2020

Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett to US Supreme Court

Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

After graduating from Notre Dame University Law School in Indiana, she clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2017, she was nominated by Mr Trump to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

She is described as a devout Catholic who, according to a 2013 magazine article, said that "life begins at conception". This makes her a favourite among religious conservatives keen to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion nationwide.

Read more about her here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-54312699


26 Sep 2020

A dream. I was young again and browsing in G David's bookshop in Cambridge. It was a shallow dream and I soon woke. The time was 2:30 a.m. I lay in bed wondering if the shop was still trading. Couldn't go back to sleep. Got out of bed and googled it. It appears to be still trading. What on earth made me dream of the place?

25 Sep 2020

Sir Harold Evans dies at 92. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8770753/RICHARD-KAY-salutes-Fleet-Stree...


Yesterday I received the following communication from Twitter:

"What happened?
We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for:
1. Violating our rules against abuse and harassment.
You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm.

Rioters, torchers, looters should be shot. Why aren't they?

As a result, we’ve temporarily limited some of your account features. While in this state, you can still browse Twitter, but you’re limited to only sending Direct Messages to your followers –– no Tweets, Retweets, follows, or likes. Learn more. Your account will be restored to full functionality in: 12 hours and 0 minutes.
You can start your countdown and continue to Twitter once you:
Verify your phone number
Remove Tweets that violate our rules
If you think we’ve made a mistake, you can appeal the violation."


6 Apr 2020 COVID-19

Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after condition worsens
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care after his condition worsened, Downing Street has said.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven warns citizens to prepare for thousands of deaths amid coronavirus crisis.

BREAKING: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to hospital tonight for tests due to persistent #coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive.
BREAKING: Scotland's chief medical officer has been given a warning about her future conduct by police after she visited her second home in Fife

Coronavirus: Another 621 patients die - UK total now 4,934

16 Jan 2020

Germaine Greer was right, Meghan is a bolter.

15 Jan 2020
I dreamed last night that I was a teenager again, out camping with a group of friends. We we were sitting round a campfire and I was playing the opening bars on a mouth organ to the tune Goodnight Irene, Irene goodnight I first heard that song and tune played oh so many years ago on stage by a lone guitar player in an open air performance of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I soon woke and lay wondering what may have prompted the dream and the tune.

14 Jan 2020
I am angry. Angry with myself for misjudging the character of Prince Harry whom I now think of as a spineless wimp of the worst sort. I don't mind him deserting his royal duties but I do mind my judgement of his or anyone else's character being so wrong. As for his future with Meghan - I couldn't care less; but I have a feeling worse is yet to come.

12 Jul 2019
Interesting article: Isaac Newton Vs. Las Vegas: How Physicists Used Science To Beat The Odds At Roulette

27 Jun 2019
It makes you pause and think when the Dalai Lama warns of a Muslim invasion of Europe. Read more about it here ... https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7187235/Dalai-Lama-warns-Europe-Muslim-...

26/27 Jun 2019
Apparently frozen human sperm is unaffected by weightlessness in space. This is bound to have long-term implications for space colonization which will probably be carried out by female astronauts carrying frozen sperm. Ultimately sex as we know it will probably change on Earth too. Am I sad? ...

On a totally different topic ...
We may be alone in the entire universe.

25 Jun 2019
Have replaced my old laptop with a new one. Windows 10 is irritatingly different from Win 7 but I expect will get used to it.

18 Sep 2018
I have been thinking of my friends in SC and hoping they are OK.

24 Mar 2018
At long last have received the stamp duty refund from HMRC, feeling rich.
Ordered Melissa Bank's Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing.
Spent past two days researching www for a watch for Lexa's 29th birthday. Have settled on a Herbelin minimalist design.
Have fallen AGAIN and bruised my knee. No bones broken. That will probably happen next time or the next after that.

18 Mar 2018

Melissa Bank
Have just finished reading Melissa Bank's short story The Worst Thing a Suburban Girl Could Imagine. I can't remember when I last read anything as delightful as this.

15 March 2018

The Death of Albert Einstein
On 17 April 1955, Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which had previously been reinforced surgically in 1948. But he refused surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly." He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76.

15 Mar 2018

Death of Stephen Hawkin
The twice married physicist and cosmologist, who passed away yesterday, when asked during an interview what subject he occupied his mind most he is quoted as having replied "There is one thing in the universe which remains a total mystery to me and to which I could find no solution - women."

13 Mar 2018

False accusations
False accusations should carry the same penalty for the accuser as the accused would have received if the accusations were proven true.

12 Mar 2018

Female Orgasm
According to a recently published book by two Norwegian medical researchers, Dr Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl, there is no such thing as a G-spot. Instead, they say, there are lots of very sensitive nerve endings radiating from inside the clitoris, which can extend as far as the woman's pelvis and the best way to stimulate these nerve endings for the woman to achieve orgasm is not by thrusting but by sliding up and down over her body as well as inside her vagina.

10 Mar 2018

Prisons come in all shapes and sizes. Some are self made.

8 Mar 2018

In wake of the poisoning in UK of ex Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal with an as yet unnamed nerve agent the theoretical possibility exists that the perpetrators could cause nationwide havoc by randomly poisoning people up and down the country. This would clog the emergency services and hospitals, create widespread panic and could, potentially, paralyze the country. Furthermore, the same method could be employed to paralyze any country. What a terrifying reality!

4 Mar 2018
Sir Roger Bannister

So, Roger Bannister is dead. He passed away today. I met him once and we chatted for a few minutes. Meeting a legend in the flesh was extraordinary because it felt so normal. Rest in peace Roger Bannister .

2 Mar 2018

There was a time when I thought it was money that made the world go round. No longer. It has been replaced (partly) by social media. Witness manias such as digital currency, Megan Markel, and #MeToo. Times are a changing.

I wonder if one can be defined by the screen actors and actresses one likes and dislikes? - Just wondering.

Have you ever noticed how cute Julie Andrews nose is? I noticed it for the first time while watching her in Hitchcock's Torn Curtain.

1 Mar 2018

Outside the temperature is -7 Celsius and snowing heavily. My mind takes me back decades to my army days to a year when temperature during winter maneuvers was down to -40 Celsius. Today, I would give all I have to be 20 again irrespective of snow, ice, or desert heat. Oh nostalgia.

28 Feb 2018

And yet, hundreds of millions are sent to other countries as overseas aid.


If I were a tree it is the branches and sub-brunches that would define me but it would be the fallen leaves I would be thinking of, each with a name on it, when I am finally cut down.

27 Feb 2018

"Women in Syria have been sexually exploited by men delivering aid on behalf of the UN and international charities, the BBC has learned. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43206297

"Aid workers said the men would trade food and lifts for sexual favours.

"Despite warnings about the abuse three years ago, a new report shows it is continuing in the south of the country.

"UN agencies and charities said they had zero tolerance of exploitation and were not aware of any cases of abuse by partner organisations in the region."

Time to STOP funding these corrosive organisations.

26 Feb 2018
I am watching Tunes of Glory on television. It is snowing mournfully after the colonel's suicide in the final scene. Outside my window small snowflakes are beginning to fall in silence. There will be more snow during the night. Is life imitating art, I wonder. Or could it be that an unknown entity is paying tribute to two giants of the silver screen - John Mills and Alec Guinness? No, it is probably just my insane mind getting emotional.


25 Feb 2018
I had an accident yesterday. I fell over in the street, missing a step outside an Indian restaurant window where, out of curiosity, I was examining their menu. In the fraction of a second between realizing that I was falling but before actually hitting the ground there were enough micro seconds left for what remains of my brain to contemplate whether I will break any bones and whether I will have enough strength to raise myself off the ground. As it happened, I fell on my bottom and was able to get onto all fours and raise myself before assistance arrived. My bum is still sore and probably blue but nothing is broken. This shows that however slowly and cautiously one walks one will never be able to avoid accidents especially when Parkinson's is the main adversary.

Tomorrow, Monday, I will again be walking the 300 yards to M&S in Summertown, for fresh bread, a cappuccino and croissant at Gatineau and reading a newspaper full of the stupidity of the human race.

24 Feb 2018
I have been a fan of Hitchcock movies for as long as I can remember. I have several DVD sets of his movies and among them, to my surprise, quite a few which I haven't yet seen. Some of the ones I had already seen are among my all-time favourites; North by Northwest, Vertigo and To Catch a Thief come to mind. Of his pre-Hollywood period The Lady Wanishes and Foreign Correspondent are my favourites. On reflection, having sung his praises, I must note some of his movies which I didn't like at all (Psycho, The Birds, ...)
Amongst the as yet unseen ones is Torn Curtain with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in leading roles. I like both of them. Perhaps tonight ...


Is this true or am I imagining this? Female incisors are different from male incisors, more predominant and make the mouth and the face more attractive. Is my imagination running amok?

23 Feb 2108
An increase in debt in developed countries will pose "a significant challenge" to budgets, reports the Financial Times.
All developed countries spend beyond their means. Printing more and more money cannot solve this problem. No-one can live beyond his means for ever, not even a country.

22 Feb 2018
I have often wondered why good poets are praised and immortalized while good lyricists are all but ignored and mostly forgotten. I was reminded of this last night while listening to Frankie Lane singing Terry Gilkyson's "The Cry Of The Wild Goose"

Tonight I heard the wild goose cry
Wingin' north in the lonely sky
Tried to sleep, but it ain't no use
'Cause I am the brother to the old wild goose

My heart knows what the wild goose knows
And I must go where the wild goose goes
Wild goose, brother goose, which is best
A wanderin' foot or a heart at rest

The cabin is warm and the snow is deep
And I've got a woman, she lies asleep
When she wakes at tomorrow's dawn
She'll find, poor critter, that her man is gone

My heart knows what the wild goose knows
And I must go where the wild goose goes
Wild goose, brother goose, which is best
A wanderin' foot or a heart at rest

My woman was kind and true to me
Thinks she loves me, the mournful she
She's gotta learn that it ain't no use
To love the brother to the old wild goose

My heart knows what the wild goose knows
And I must go where the wild goose goes
Wild goose, brother goose, which is best
A wanderin' foot or a heart at rest

Spring is comin' and the ice will break
And I can't linger for a woman's sake
She'll see a shadow pass overhead
She'll find a feather beside my bed

My heart knows what the wild goose knows
And I must go where the wild goose goes
Wild goose, brother goose, which is best
A wanderin' foot or a heart at rest

17 Feb 2018
I no longer remember who it was who said "We can't control the past but we can control the future" - whoever it was, he was only half right for we can't control the past. As for controlling the future it is Doris Day who was right when she sang:
         Que será, será
         Whatever will be, will be
         The future's not ours to see
         Que será, será
         What will be, will be

Life is random and unpredictable. To claim that we can control the future is, unfortunately, only partly right. For example, we can not fully control who enters our lives but we can control who stays.

16 Feb 2018

I recall reading some years ago that "Older women do it better because they are fearful it may be their last chance." I think the statement was attributed to the late Ian Fleming. I was reminded of this the other day while reading a mainstream newspaper article which attempted to analyze why this was so and how to spot relevant signs about older women being interested in sex. Interesting article but, unfortunately, a wee bit too late for me.

15 Feb 2018
I am a bit tired of this #MeToo epidemic which is claiming more and more victims by the hour. What many women want is (a) to be desired and (b) to have a wonderful career in films. If some women are willing to trade sex for a better chance at career advancement it is their business and I don't hold it against them. But to come fifteen years after the event and cry foul is a wee bit too rich for my taste buds.

14 Feb 2018
Over the past few years the number of rough-sleepers in UK towns and city centers had increased substantially. Most of these people beg during the day and sleep in doorways or on park benches at night. I fail to understand why the government gives billions in overseas aid, which is mostly money taken from the poor in this country and ends up in the pockets of rich people in poor countries, instead of spending it on helping the homeless here.
Have ordered advance copy of Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
It is not published here until next week. I am much looking forward to reading it.
ISBN-10: 1786330512
ISBN-13: 978-1786330512

13 Feb 2018
No-one knows why we dream? No-one know why we dream what we dream? No-one knows what the fuck a dream means. Last night I dreamt that Bill* and I were in our late teens and we were travelling together. We came to a town somewhere and saw a gathering of people watching a street vendor demonstrating in front of a derelict building how to make shoes. Bill went to explore the ruin and came back to tell me there was a shower in the basement and that he was going to take a shower. I went with him and he was just starting to shower when three youths appeared who started to push him about. They didn't see me. Bill tried to reason with them but to no avail. The push came to a shove and the larger of the trio bit Bill's upper arm. I was just about to make my presence known when I woke up.

*Bill has been dead for more than twenty years.

10 Feb 2018
Aren't the workings of the human mind mysterious. I woke early this morning and lay in bed with all kinds of random thoughts racing through my mind and, for no reason that I can think of, suddenly I was wondering "What was the name of that plane which dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima?" I knew it was two words and had something to do with the pilot's family but I could not recall the name. And then my mind moved in other directions, like why the charity OXFAM was spending millions of pounds on overseas aid instead of supporting the increasing number homeless people here at home, at which point, suddenly and unexpectedly, it came to me, "Enola Gay" - the name of the plane. My 'remembery' as I like to call it is now working as slowly as my ancient laptop.

This afternoon I was watching on TV the rugby international between England and Wales when unexpectedly Shirley entered my mind. We dated briefly decades ago and the sole link to rugby that I could think of is that on one occasion she expressed admiration for the Barbarians when I mentioned the name of a friend who used to play for them before sustaining a knee injury. It's evening now but my mind is still on Shirley. Dear old Shirley. I wonder what became of her.

4 Feb 2018
Sad day. Said goodbye to Luke. I knew this was to be the final goodbye, he didn't, which is just as well. He is leaving for Canada to start a new life and won't be back for at least two years. We had lunch at Pizza Express than we killed some time before final embrace. Strangely, I don't feel emotional about this. Perhaps because we hadn't seen much of each other while he was growing up.

3 Feb 2018
The debate about whether or not Islam is a religion of peace is somewhat ridiculous. The Koran explicitly calls for the murder of all who are not Muslim and if one doesn't follow the Koran, word for word, one is not considered to be a true Muslim. There is no scope within the religion for cherry-picking which verses of the Koran to accept and which to ignore. So I don't quite understand how this 'religion' can be considered peaceful.

I am very annoyed about an email I received from the auctioneers entrusted with selling my library of some 900 books, collected over a lifetime. They decided to include some 150 Folio Society publications in the upcoming sale but informed me that the rest are not suitable for the the sale. The 750 excluded from the sale contain mainly biographies, autobiographies, historical works about 20th century conflicts, World War II, first editions of fiction, etc. etc. The man who made the decision to exclude them from the sale emailed me asking what I wish to do about the excluded books. I told him to give them to his favourite charity. The man is an ass. And I am very annoyed.


Science doesn't know why we dream or why we dream what we dream. Perhaps just as well.

31 Jan 2018
I got home last night at about 7:45. At eight, I sat down in front of the television and while munching some cooked and peeled chestnuts, I grabbed the remote to have a quick look at what was on. A program about Britain's popular trekking footpaths appealed and watched it until I fell asleep. It was a peaceful sleep. I felt nothing. Total oblivion of the past, the present and the future. I woke to the loud signature tune of the ten o'clock evening news. Was my sleep a short introduction to what being unborn feels like?

30 Jan 2018

Today is the twins 11th birthday. Taking them out to an early 6 pm dinner (tomorrow is a school day).

Luke is coming over from Ireland on Saturday and we are meeting for lunch on Sunday. I haven't seen him for more than two years and I expect he is coming to say goodbye before leaving for Toronto. We shall probably never meet again.

29 Jan 2018

There is a fabulous exhibition at the Royal Academy, Charles I: King and Collector. Wish I could go. As it is, I'll just have to settle for the catalogue. Have ordered it online. Expensive but I'm sure I'll find it well worth the price.

28 Jan 2018
It has been a long-standing view of mine that a society which cares more about the peaceful death of a horse or a dog than about the peaceful and dignified death of human being is a sick society.

27 Jan 2018
Every living thing on this planet from the least significant to the most complex exist to procreate itself. The scale and the determination inherent in this over-riding task is either evolutionary, which I find hard to believe, or the creation of some superior intellect from beyond Earth, which is beyond our ability to comprehend. I am inclined to favour the second hypothesis.

26 Jan 2018
The moment your heart stops pumping blood to your brain every emotion you had ever felt is erased as if it had never existed. The joy as well as the pain for those you leave behind cease to exist the moment you cease to exist.

25 Jan 2018
Assume you die and soon no-one will ever remember or know you had lived - so what?

17 Jan 2018

Lexa has been over here for two days and is returning home tomorrow. Hard to believe she will be 29 in less than three months.

14 Jan 2018
Flu. Shit. 'Kelly's Heroes' was on the box again and have watched it before going to bed. Good acting. Wondering who wrote the title song.

6 Jan 2018

The man was convicted by magistrates in Jersey in August and sentenced to 180 hours of community service , told to pay £2,000 compensation and ordered to sign the 'sex offenders' register for five years for holding on to a woman's breasts during consensual sex even though she asked him to stop holding her breasts. - What next? I wonder.

Had most unusual Dream. I was young again and was baking bread and pies in a commercial bakery. Fortunately, I woke before having to taste my creations.

1 Jan 2018
"Germany is set to start enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.
Sites that do not remove "obviously illegal" posts could face fines of up to 50m euro (£44.3m).
The law gives the networks 24 hours to act after they have been told about law-breaking material.
Social networks and media sites with more than two million members will fall under the law's provisions."

This looks like a totally unenforceable law. Who is to decide what is "hate speech" without encroaching on one's right to free speech?

30 Dec 17
The more I read Shakespeare the more convinced I am that the the man from Stratford-upon-Avon is not the author if the plays.

27 Dec 17
A strange and curious thing happened to me today. I found myself thinking about an older brother of mine whom I had never seen or met. He had died in infancy a year before I was born. I don't think I had ever thought of him before tonight. what would he be like if he were alive? What impact on my life would it have been having an older brother? Strange that I had never thought of him before. Even stranger is that I am thinking about him tonight.

25 Dec 17
When you set the oven temperature and the timer and wait for your lunch to cook, and when the timer rings you open the oven door and find that you have forgotten to put the food into the oven, you know you have a problem.

22 Dec 17
It is insane that whilst millions in US and GB live in poverty their governments spend billions on foreign aid. Who was it that said "Foreign aid is taking from the poor in rich countries and giving it to the rich in poor countries." He was spot on.

18 Dec 17
Mass hysteria like pre-Christmas shopping is fueled by the media. I hate it.

8 Dec. 17
Slate and snow in the morning, sunshine at noon.
Randi's birthday today.

7 Dec. 17
Apparently, Judy Dench plants a tree in her garden each time a friend dies and names it after the friend. Lovely idea.

4 Dec. 17
The working of the human mind remains a mystery. We still don't know why we dream, what it means, or how emotions are formed. What reminded me of this was a rare occurrence of lucid dreaming earlier this afternoon. I dreamed that I left my shoulder-bag on a underground train and was just about to phone the terminus to report it when I realized within the dream and without waking that I hadn't traveled by train in ages and that I must be dreaming.

3 Dec. 17
It's but a checkerboard of nights and days
Where He, with men for pieces, plays
Hither and thither it moves, checks and slays
And one by one back into the box He lays.

27 Nov. 17
I wonder what Harry's real father feels about his son's forthcoming marriage to Meghan Markle.

23 Nov. 17
Delivery today of some half a dozen summer flowering hardy shrubs in small pots, and spring flowering bulbs. I'll plant the bulbs this w/e and transfer the plants to larger pots except for the acer which is tall enough to be planted out in a large terracotta pot. New plants always cheer me up.

22 Nov. 17 - Rhiannon's birthday was on the 17th. Have forgotten all about it. Have emailed my apologies and will send her a hundred years old (1917) almost uncirculated silver coin and some pocket money.


News just in that former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has been found guilty of genocide for some of the worst atrocities of the 1990s Bosnian war. The irony is that his life in a Dutch prison will be infinitely more comfortable than the life of many of the survivors of that conflict.

21 Nov 2017 - So, an African dictator 'resigns' making room for a new one. Who cares? I feel more affinity with an African elephant than with those two-legged savages.

20 Nov. 17 - I have nothing against homosexuals and lesbians except for the revulsion they evoke in me. (Is this an oxymoron?)
So, Charles Manson is dead. He should have been executed 40 years ago. I can't see any logic or justification for keeping him alive in prison for four decades. The law is an ass!

19 Nov. 17 - "Time heals everything" ... perhaps, but ultimately it kills all things except footprints preserved in the sands of time.

18 Nov. 17 - Churchill was right, the best argument against democracy is a two minute conversation on the doorstep with an average voter.

17 Nov. 17 - "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe!"
Whoever first said this knew what they were talking about.

16 Nov. 17 - I don't smoke but love the aroma of really good tobacco. I have now placed a small jar of tobacco by my computer keyboard.

11 Nov. 17 - Bulbs and dwarf lilac tree (Syringa Amethyst) arrived late yesterday. Weather permitting will be spending the w/e figuring where to position the lilac and planting as many of the 300 spring-flowering bulbs as I can.

Tonight I was captivated by the movie Effie Gray on TV with Dakota Fanning in the title role. Have never heard of the film, released in 2014, nor of Dakota Fanning, who played "Effie". She was very very good in the role. Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and also appears in the film. Fanning is very pretty and is a good actress. I can't remember when I last enjoyed a movie this much.

Tomorrow - lunch with Laura and her twins. I am looking forward to it.

10 Nov. 17 - Today for the first time I am frying seabass for lunch. Crunch day today (survey of Bardwell).

9 Nov. 17 - Pub lunch with Ian. Back home soon after 2:30. Felt exhausted and went to bed. Slept until 8 PM.

Last night Priti Patel was forced to resigned as International Development Secretary. She will survive. Has money, looks, connections and is employable. Am reminded of a sarcastic definition of overseas aid. "Taking money from the poor in rich countries and giving it to the rich in poor countries." Insane.
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