Slow London

Back in good old London town. My body has gone into recovery mode after I maybe punished myself a little too hard in the quest to be willing in Saudi. When a job ends we quite frequently get the sniffles. All the little boggarts that our immune system has been fending off as we push our motivation to the edge suddenly get their moment to be processed. I was feeling great in Saudi – full of beans the whole time physically. No surprises really – I was having a summer in February and doing something simultaneously interesting and progressive. Vitamin D and accidental exercise and new experience and travel. My favourites. Well … now it’s all done I’ve had a headache non stop and the cold is making my nose run. I’ll adjust, and quickly. But right now it’s permissible to chill out and listen to plinky plonky music and play stupid games and read 2000AD compendiums. If my cleaning lady hadn’t shown up this morning I wouldn’t have spoken to anybody all day. As it is I spent a bit of money to have somebody do things I’ve got time to do myself right now. It feels profligate but without her I think I might have gone feral.

Dayjobs have started to come in. It’s nice watching them land. I’m just saying “yes” as is my habit and keeping myself open for the next bit of filming or spot of theatricals. There’s always something right around the corner, and it’s really nice to see that I haven’t been forgotten about by some of the lovely people I’ve worked alongside in unusual things over the years. The random things are landing. I sat with my diary. March is just round the corner and its not looking bare. That’s all that matters really. Filling the gaps. Funding my Deliveroo habit… Paying the ever escalating electricity bills. I need to nip the Deliveroo in the bud. I’ve had three meals brought to me since I got back and blown about sixty quid into the bargain. Sure I’ve had the chance to just chill out as a result. But it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. Besides, cooking is fun! It’s just easier to do it for multiple people.

Catching up with the news is no fun. I can’t make sense of what Putin thinks he’s doing. Even as he takes The Ukraine by force it’s not like they’ll just be loyal to Russia and lie down. It’s a short sighted power move, and it could lead to devastating consequences – it feels like he’s literally lost his mind. Imagine if we rolled into Ireland with tanks and said “We’re putting Eire back into the United Kingdom!” It would never hold. It’s ridiculous. And it is taking a huge toll on people who have done nothing but live in a former Soviet country. Horrible frightening stuff. A madman with so many nukes, and he’s talking about using them. I’ll just go back to thinking about pretending to be other people for money… What can I do other than throw hope and positivity at it. This’ll be a stretch for our idiot leader, and the Queen is sick. Strange times, still. It feels like every time we think it can’t get crazier it does.

I’m gonna go to Brighton tomorrow morning, even just for a short while, to be with Lou. There’ll be a bit of jiggery pokery about dayjobs but as long as I’ve got my memory stick with me I can cope. I’m looking forward to seeing a sea that isn’t fenced off. And Brighton is less likely than Chelsea to get nuked…

The plane flew over the city… I was playing with zoom. Big Ben (QE Tower Clock Face) is back!

If you’ve got time, I’m posting this poem by Pablo Neruda.


You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
and the poppy-petalled metaphysics ?
and the rain repeatedly spattering
its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?’

I’ll tell you all the news.

I lived in a suburb,
a suburb of Madrid, with bells,
and clocks and trees.

From there you could look out
Over Castille’s dry face:               
a leather ocean.    

                       My house was called

the house of flowers, because in every cranny
geraniums burst: it was
a good-looking house
with its dogs and children.

Remember, Raúl?

Eh, Rafael?

Federico, do you remember

from under the ground
where the light of June drowned flowers in your mouth?

Brother, my brother!

loud with big voices, the salt of merchandises,
pile-ups of palpitating bread,
the stalls of my suburb of Argüelles with its statue
Like a drained inkwell in a swirl of hake:
oil flowed into spoons,
a deep baying
of feet and hands swelled in the streets,
metres, litres, the sharp
measure of life,

stacked-up fish,

the texture of roofs with a cold sun in which
the weather vane falters,
the fine, frenzied ivory of potatoes,
wave on wave of tomatoes rolling down to the sea.

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings –
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
Bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
Bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise,
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate!

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives!

see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:

from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers,
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes,
and from every crime bullets are bom
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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