Car wash

Every time I drive to Lou’s, a seagull shits on Bergman. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have him, just as the ULEZ is closing in and we will all be forced to join the doomed electric car experiment if we want to drive in London. Maybe the seagull doesn’t like internal combustion engines either. With the price of fuel these days it’s finally less competitive than the privatised rail network, but only if you’re a solo traveler, and the rail doesn’t take you door to door. They should really do something about that, but everyone is supposed to be making money, according to the people who make policy. And by everyone they mean everyone they know. Because those other people? Yeah well they don’t count.

Anyway, a seagull did a really messy poo all over the passenger side. Bastard.

“I’ll have to get that off,” I said to myself as I grabbed my leather jacket from the back seat. “It eats into the paint.” I pick up Lou.

“You’ll have to get that off,” Lou remarks as she gets in. “It eats into the paint.”

I go to get it off. It eats into the paint, don’t you know. The local car wash is closed.

I’m not in a bikini. I’m in a sodding waistcoat and converse. There’s a self service jetwash. It’s only a couple of quid. You spray your car with stuff that has been sitting for weeks and smells of feet. Your car gets shinier. You get the seagull poo off. You drive away wondering why everything smells faintly of feet. It is cheaper than a car wash.

Arguably I could’ve taken the waistcoat off. Nah.

Bergman is clean again. None of that caustic poo. We will be zooming up to Coventry and back tomorrow… And I’ve just realised that the residents permit, tax and insurance and MOT will all run out while I’m in Sardinia… Fuck. Another thing to think about. We are approaching our first anniversary, Bergy and I. I doubt we will make a second. But giving him some attention today has pleased me.

More wandering today, eventually taking me home again through Glyndebourne and Lewes. My friend is staying this evening and we walked in the park. Glad she’s in my life. But I am knackered. My bath is pretty much good to go next door. This is me, clocking out.

Boheme

My mother loved La Boheme. She would have been thrilled to be with me today. She dragged me to it in the nineties and probably thought it would be good for me. Probably paid through the nose too in order to have her snotty teenage son sniggering about Mimi putting her hands in her muff.

It’s set in Paris in the 1800’s. Young artsy types who can’t afford to heat their homes. It could be set in London right now. Lou managed to get tickets to the dress run at Glyndebourne. In before the public, able to see this hugely loved piece of Italian opera in an audience of happy and appreciative people – many of whom likely have a decent handle on what it’s like to be a struggling artist who honestly can’t pay the rent. The doors will soon open formally and things will tighten up and the building will be filled with a very different energy. The character’s poverty will be so remote to the bulk of observers that it will be taken purely as a romantic abstract. “I mean honestly though really if it’s so cold in Paris why don’t they just go to their house in the country?” This audience knew they were lucky to be there. It was a beautiful show and landed very well.

Part of the whole Glyndebourne experience is the picnic in the gardens. I drove up there with an old picnic hamper full of tasty things, and I drove through the most unbelievably torrential downpour to get there. Tristan and Tanya were coming down from London too – we managed to get them in. Tanya is a huge opera fan. We met in Lewes in a gap in the rain and I ferried them there so they could leave the car at their accommodation and have drinks.

We installed ourselves under a tree at an outdoor table and the wind was fierce. We were trying to put a brave face on it – a very British picnic. Everything going everywhere. Heigh ho the wind and the rain, and that quintessentially British thing where you pass the quiche and try to pretend it’s how you wanted things to be.

The opera itself was masterful, as how could it be not? Some huge voices, some really interesting and smart staging. Lighting design, costume… They aren’t holding back with this. It’s Puccini at Glyndebourne.

I see the appeal – these run down inward looking Paris Bohemians stalked by death, singing achingly beautiful songs about ordinary things. Big grand gestures and everything so portentous and LOVE and DEATH and LIFE!

By the time it was over, the weather was settling. We had slightly rushed the picnic in the bluster – I have eaten virtually nothing all day today. Just some bread and cheese and foie gras. In the dusk we went for a wander around the grounds. Down to the lake, up through the verdant gardens. It’s a hell of a setting. Lucky us, while people can’t afford to eat or heat or get to work. What an absolute treat to go to these gardens and have a picnic and some culture on a weekday.

I’m back in Brighton for one night, at Lou’s, near the sea, looking forward to breakfast, driving her in to work again tomorrow for Figaro… They turn the whole set around overnight. Amazing…

Remembering shuttered days

I found a bible in one of my cupboards, full of notes, signed to a man I met in Peru called Jack. I have no idea how it ended up in one of my cupboards. The last time I saw Jack we sat on the front top of an overnight kamikaze bus from Cusco to Huacachina. The driver slung that machine down the mountain like a maniac for hours. Perhaps Jack gave me the bible for protection. It was scary, but we told each other the driver must do it every day. And we didn’t move from the huge windows at the front, even though the bus was not crowded. We were going from high altitude cloud forests into desert, ears popping, tiny roads, screaming round tiny corners with death in a beautiful place just inches away.. Peru can be like that. Crazy humans. So many ecosystems in that slice of land, and a culture of driving like you’re possessed.

Through the magic of Facebook, I could contact Jack the bible owner. I’m gonna post that good book back to him. It’s full of his notes. He was and likely still is very devout. I’ll do it next eBay rush. Another thing gone from my flat. Another step towards clarity. All these energies…

Max came over tonight and thankfully he understood. “I’m thinking of selling Da’s owl collection at car boot…” My grandmother ended up being given owls by everybody who couldn’t think what else to give to her. I’ve ended up with the lot. Some have already been passed on to friends or absorbed into my constant orbit. The majority of them are just sitting on shelves in my old bedroom, looking down on me. I needed Max to give me greenlight that he trusts I’m going to only flog stuff that isn’t meaningful to either of us. This is just the stuff that wouldn’t be worth the postage cost on eBay. It’s gotta go. It’s gonna go. I’m moving it on.

Contacting Jack about the bible made me think about my old Christian roots. I messaged an old schoolfriend who has planted a church up in Oxfordshire. We were integral to each other’s survival back then, weathering a storm of shit. We have both dealt with it differently, which perhaps put some space between us. I put it into my work, and took myself on multiple thought journeys to contemplate and get perspective on it. My perspective shifted quite quickly from it with the loss of my parents. I slowly and carefully made sense of that seething bucket of shit, using stories and faith structures and avoidance. He used faith structures as well, and based on our conversation today he also had a good old slice of old fashioned therapy. I never went down that route but I’d probably be lighter if I had. I’m gonna try to see him. He was light in darkness. Him and Dan. Without them I’d have cut out so long ago it’s impossible to contemplate.

I found a box of cards people had given me when they left that place. Mostly kind, occasionally insulting amusing and thoughtful snatches of the late eighties and early nineties. Young people trying to encapsulate difficult thoughts. Some of them bubbled to the top – the ones who didn’t make it through adolescence by their own hand. Kind hearts. Two of them, forever 19. Sad photos to see, sad notes to read. Others I know are gone too through illness and bad luck. And then, flip it – others who are famous. A mixed bag. My crew. My weird school crowd. Some were contributing to whatever it was that gave me this huge will to live and love. I still don’t really know where it came from, or when it started. I remember when I didn’t have it. But now it runs alongside the oblivion drive. Recently it has been so strong it’s the only drive I feel sometimes.

All is well. Opera tomorrow. Stranger Things tonight, and perhaps listening to Kate Bush this afternoon helped me find a place where I could look at those ancient times. She’s enjoying a resurgence cos of Stranger Things. Her strange music buoys me up now even as it did then.

Very very tired dayjob day

Up this morning to book a slot in the Battersea Car Boot sale. I’m all booked in for next Sunday. You have to book early in the morning.

It’s pretty civilised on the day. You get there from 11am and the only people you see for the first hour and a half are the wankers who try to skim all the value away before anyone actually gets in. If I’m organised I should be able to come with a large amount of good stuff and hold off against their assault. I wish I had means of taking payment online though. That’s the wave of NOW. I wonder if I can get set up on an izettle before Sunday. I’m hoping this will be an opportunity to move a load of bulk junk onwards, but if I’m not organised then it’ll just be another cost – the pitch was a massive £35 for early arrival. I haven’t had a good experience at this sale in the past…

A friend of mine once got me to help her out on her stall. She then overruled me on prices for the decent stuff when the dealers came to haggle. She overpriced everything with no value so it didn’t sell, and let the rest all go for peanuts. I got frustrated with her selling all the value cheap to dealers at the start of the day, and then watched her hold her ground on handmade candles she could have sold. She ended up giving all her unsold stock to some charmless scam guy with a van who assured her he would keep it for her until next week. I tried to tell her he wasn’t going to keep it. She rolled me over on it, as she had been strangely doing the whole day – told me she knew what she was doing. He nicked the lot.

I’m going back there on Sunday. Maybe on my own, or maybe I’ll persuade somebody to do what I did for my friend and help out / provide company. I promise not to be a nightmare. I’m just happy to move things on, frankly. I wonder though if anyone has any fold out plastic tables…

Anyway. That’s for tomorrow. I yoyoed up to Banbury today, then came home and met my poor nephew’s smug in-laws when I went to pick up a mattress topper from my half brother. Everybody younger than me keeps getting married. God help them all.

After the Jubilee, I’m tired. My sleep was fitful and plagued by unusual winedreams. This evening I’ve already run a bath, and I’m gonna get onto a trajectory that involves deep sleep soon. I think I’m supposed to be doing something tomorrow but I’m not even sure what it is and I’ve lost my diary. I’ll check my emails before I pass out.

I’m hungover. Let’s call a spade a spade. Even had a hair of the dog pint or two. That just made me tired. Bath. That’s the ticket. And bed.

Less of this.. More zzzzz

Street party for Jubbly

It’s the final day of this huge celebration in the UK. I know that one is supposed to go to street parties at Jubbly. The streets in my area, either the residents are absolutely terrified of each other or the houses are completely empty most of the year. Lockdown here was so peaceful. Everybody was in their house in the country.

But the best we do for community in his patch of Chelsea is to have a vague idea of the names of our neighbours. Occasionally it goes beyond that… I know I’m not alone in having paid off the taxi for one elderly resident a few years ago. I helped him home that night. He was mostly screaming “never get old!”. That was his way. He had drunk so much he had made a mess of himself. The taxi driver was ready to punch him so I solved that first. Then I got him sorted. If we had put a gazebo in the street with bunting, he would have had none of it.

Who else is there? Over the years, few of particular interest. Mostly lizards. The utterly pedantic air steward, who lived in the entrance and knew more about us all than we did. Massive busybody. Apparently he made somebody replace their new windows because they were “wrong”. The biggest monsters are the ones who align with the law. Then on the opposite side Andrew the angry Scotsman, and my dear friend who spent the whole time tangled up with lies and pimps. He will forever owe me £300 and I’m one of the lucky ones.

Then there’s a young female instagrammer who locked herself out and caused me endless suspicion when I used logic to break into her flat with a coathanger to hook the ground floor window. A tall Polish geezer opposite my flat caused me even more suspicion when he started to flood the whole block with a plugged sink left on, and I opened his Yale with a bit of semi-rigid plastic and turned the tap off. “I called a locksmith.” “We should pay you back.” “I didn’t get a receipt.”

Anyway, the point is that there’s not gonna be a street party on my crescent. We don’t communicate. So I went to Waterloo.

Photo credit Rachel Wegh

Terrifyingly, ten years ago I did something similar, and ran into all these humans and got even drunker. This is Pearman Street. The photographer asked me to credit her. My friend and her mom are in the front. It’s in Waterloo and was bought up by actors who wanted easy access to the theatres for work. Most of it property has ceded and split, and the value has done that frustrating thing where the numbers stop making sense. My friends are still living there, much as I’m still living here. So I went to their party again.

I was recognised for Dilly Knox! Lovely when the weird jobs land. We all had much jubilee fun, and then I went home. England won the cricket, the Queen probably isn’t dead yet, we all had fun. Tomorrow I’m off to Banbury for one more hit on the Engineering training pipe before I go help out on an electric car race in Sardinia.

Third day of this Jubilee

This four day jubilee celebration is exhausting. Street parties tomorrow, so today I just hung back from the need to do things. There’s a car boot sale in Battersea. I’m gonna get a pitch and take loads of stuff there next Sunday, and flog it. Gets the stuff back into circulation. Stops it having to piss me off by definitely not being worth nothing but not being worth enough to easily eBay. I wandered around my flat with a notepad. Mostly it was a day about listening to the radio. I’m still a sucker for listening to international test cricket. It’s mostly people talking about birds and occasional moments of mild excitement. England are trying very hard to notlose. They might actually win tomorrow. The bookies have them as favourites. You can get 3-1 on New Zealand – and knowing how England tend to play that’s a pretty good bet in my opinion. England are only 5 balls away from losing if every one is a wicket. They need 65 runs with one specialist batsman left. I seriously considered getting a last minute ticket to Lords tomorrow for £45 and rolling up on my own to witness the result for better or for worse. Then I decided there were much better things to do with my time and money.

Platinum jubilee. Aka platty jubes. Aka lovely jubbly. It’s a big statistic, 70 years. She is about to beat Bhumibol, and then it’ll just be Louis XIV of France. No real surprises that she’s lived as long as she has – look at her mother, and she was pickled in gin. A few hundred years ago, all of Lizzie’s distant relatives would be sharpening their claymores and thinking about how to get nightshade into her water supply. In a different world, Andrew would be fitting a remote control bomb into a corgi, while Harry would be programming American assault drones. Here we can just sing songs about God for her in St Paul’s, even though she’s too tired to attend. People are sharpening the knives for the whole institution. But Christ, seriously? Boris as head of state? No matter how much I am told that things would be different if the money they cost was liberated, I know it not to be the case, and I suspect that even with jugears we will not look as ridiculous with the attached history and pomp… It looks old fashioned because that’s our brand. It sells. We can own it or we can try and modernise and realise that we are just a bit shit plus full of our own self-importance. I guess we will see. And for now she will continue, although she’s clearly lost her will with Philip. Companionship is so important. We would all do well to remember that.

The cold is blowing in again. It’s June at last but I’m still not feeling like summer has hit. I’m hoping for a nice day tomorrow as I intend to spend it with champagne and bunting. Also because I want us to have time to win the cricket. Two more days of it. 100/1 on the draw. Might be worth a pound…

I’m gonna put no money on it. More important things there as well. Early bed. Hot bath. Lovely jubbly.

Things. I did things.

Well I found the bloody things. That was my Jubilee today. As is often the case I had to experience the feeling that I would never find them multiple times. I had to nearly give up and then try to be more thorough.

I was looking for Costume Bibles in a huge precarious pile of set and props and merch and junk, back up in Nottingham. I had no idea what they looked like. “Any idea where they might be?” “Near costume.”

They were nowhere near costume. They were randomly in a box with some make-up that was buried in a pile of flats – almost as if somebody wanted to send me on a treasure hunt. Finding them was a surprise and a relief.

Nobody wants to go up to Nottingham on a bank holiday and fail to find the thing they’ve gone for. It’s like finding the Adblue in Saudi. I wasn’t about to stop until I was absolutely certain that they weren’t there. I got them. Tick.

Then I drove back slowly listening to the cricket. The English Men’s Team… They almost got ideas above their station and did a spot of winning before they remembered that they have to throw it all in the bin. It wasn’t the happiest listen on the way back down south, but perhaps preferable to the endless pageantry on Radio 4.

I stopped at Bletchley Park. Very small diversion. I was curious. Didn’t get there until about 3pm though and they wanted £25 to go in, so I just looked through the fence at all those nondescript squat brick buildings and wondered.

They had the bunting up inside.

Being at Bletchley made me think about the Parabolic Theatre lot. They have a show on in Bethnal Green again. A murder mystery, sitting on top of the space we used for Illicit Signals. I went along and had a random and fun night enthusiastically doing jigsaws and arranging heists with strangers…

Now I’m finally home. Another full day. I’m gonna watch the rest of Verhoeven’s lovely silly RoboCop. Then I’ll fall flat on my face.

Jubilee night

This morning the sky above London was full of helicopters. They flew in formation over my flat, heading dead south. It was my first real wake-up that something was going on. Too organised for invasion. Must be pageantry. Ahhh lovely jubbly! Of course. It’s the platinum jubbly. Her majesty. Let’s all celebrate her. She’s starting to delegate responsibility to her son. King Charles III… I have a feeling that the Charles thing will alternate in terms of successful realm to unsuccessful realm. Long live Queenie for now. The edge is approaching.

I went to Kirkaldy Testing Works. I met with a clever woman who creates things out of thin air. I tried to show her how I can do it too and be differently helpful. She appeared satisfied with my paltry attempts to match her genius. She exists in real places, where her characters have names such as Brian and Colin. Mine are people too, but called Snapdragon and LostHalf. We parted galvanised in one way or another by each other’s work. I can see an amalgamation where her Colin merges with my Snapdragon. I can see a simple shift where her Brian ellides with the LostHalf – misplaced ambition eaten by mysticism… Soon now, as the edge of autumn falls, we will have a party at Kirkaldy and there will be a happening and breakages will be explored. You will all be invited and some of you might even come. ’twill be a delight. About apartness and togetherness and loss and splitting, what it means to be severed, to be twisted and smashed. I was profoundly moved by a moment in My Octopus Teacher SPOILER ALERT interrupted by a photo of broken and torn steel. That was how it split… STEEL. But it has to give somewhere.

So. My Octopus Teacher is a very thought provoking Netflix documentary about the power of doing something every day. It follows an obsessive human and an octopus. There’s a lot about breaking points and endurance. I am one of many thousands who used to enjoy octopus and will never eat it again. Squid though? Fuck those guys. But there’s a moment where we see an evolved destruction mechanism – a shark, knowing it has part of something in its teeth that is hiding under a rock starts rolling itself. If the shark can roll faster than the octopus can roll… it will take what it can get or maybe pull the whole octopus out. There’s a terrifying logic and inevitability to seeing this ripping by rolling. There can be no other result. The shark has instinct. The octopus has clever… But the instinct of the shark teaches it to just roll and roll and keep on rolling…

And so do the machines at Kirkaldy work. They work in legato. Slow and terrible and constant. Inevitable. He wasn’t messing about, Kirkaldy. He needed to record the breaking point of the hardest materials in the world. He smashed and crashed and mangled, but he did it slowly.

So yeah. That was my Jubilee. Examining a place where things that are solid as steel can be pulled apart. Looking at the instruments.

We are gonna have a thing.

I left and drove to Camden to drop off the bed at last. Now I’m in Nottingham and its past midnight. I am supposed to be here tomorrow morning and literally couldn’t face the drive up and down again on the same day so booked the cheapest bed in Notts. I’m in a single bed in a cold mill.

I unlocked “Genius level 2” on booking.com which allegedly qualifies me for a free upgrade. I dread to think what I had actually booked if this is the upgrade, in this vast empty building full of rooms in Nottingham. It makes me think that perhaps the Genius levels on booking.com are … unlikely to be honoured by the establishments.

I don’t care though. I’m just gonna crash. I booked this because it was cheap. Likely I’ll add it to my invoice. A bed is a bed. And I’m sinking into this one.

Having stuff sent and sending

A peaceful day sorting and listing and chilling and eating. I have way too much food. Mindful Chef randomly decided to send me a box and I’ve already got HelloFresh. Now I’ve got Mindful Chef texting me about payment for a box I never wanted, and a fridge full of food. These recipe boxes though – they are pretty good for my lifestyle. If I go to the supermarket I end up with a bottle of wine and 100 reduced cream eggs and a lamb chop that was reduced to fifty pee but that I’ll forget about and six chocolate bars for the price of 3 and a talking pomegranate machine that was just by the checkout. If I let them send me things in the mail then all I get is what they send me, and I pay for it and it is good and impulse buying is impossible.

One recipe does the whole day, and they are often yummy. Yesterday lunch and supper I had Cajun chicken where the chicken fillets were three days after the use-by date. It was still good. They use decent ingredients and they are overcautious about expiry. Everything I’m eating at the moment has officially run past date as I’m behind on time. I’m eating it anyway. Today was some sort of cauliflower mac and cheese and the takeaway for me was how you can use coconut oil with flour to make a good easy roux. The blue cheese was past it but that only improves the flavour. We forget that expiry dates are decided with a compensation culture in mind. They cannot risk stamping a date when there is even a small chance that the food might have turned. Expiry dates are not science, they are companies protecting their own ass. I remember screaming at my mother not to eat an expired yogurt when I was a child. We are so frequently obedient without even understanding what we are obedient to. I think I thought that mum would die of badyogurt.

Not to say I wasn’t lucky with the chicken. Three days over is pushing it with chicken or pork. But I gave it a good sniff, and cut off a bit for close tasting once it was cooked. And it was fine. Rancid food makes itself known – and I should know because I’ve ruined dishes in the past with my cavalier approach to dates. Even if you drunkenly let it get as far as the plate, you know as soon as it is in your mouth. Three times to my memory, and never sober. And that balances excellently against the waste I’ve prevented.

Today I had my first Waitrose online order. Not food – household things. And booze. Their substitutions are… eccentric, to say the least. I’ll eventually use the dishwasher tablets they sent me instead of salt, but I won’t like them. They had an excellent organic wine on reduced so I ordered 6 bottles. They substituted one bottle of wine that isn’t organic and nothing else so the shopping was much cheaper than I expected. Better than sending six of the wrong thing I guess. I’ll let it lie for a year or so, but my thinking was that if somebody was gonna have to carry heavy stuff it’s better if it isn’t me. Waitrose evidently disagreed, or… felt that I didn’t need to have fucktons of lovely hangover proof wine in my flat. Probably for the best, even if my plan was to put it in the cabinet for guests.

I’ve thought about places that send top quality coffee as well. The state of online shopping is remarkable. But I worry about the high street, and the need to interact with humans. Umar Malik was brilliant and wry when he dropped off all the wrong stuff, so I did get some human contact. But I didn’t leave the house. Had I not needed to post a load of things for eBay I likely wouldn’t have. But this is the state of it for today. I inhabit my lair, posting out computer games and geeky books whilst receiving food and not enough wine. I’ve put more stuff on eBay now. Random crap. I just want it out and need to satisfy any niggles that I might be throwing away things worth loads. Another auctioneer has come back with a sub £500 valuation on my friend’s Maiolica vases that he is convinced are worth £30k. We all could do with a better handle on the true value of our possessions. Spoiler alert: it’s not as valuable as you think it is.

Some geezer in America is trying to flog one of these for over $200 bucks so I put it on for minimum £29.99. I betcha it still won’t sell.

Stonehenge Queen?

The ancient monument of Stonehenge. Perhaps one of the best known prehistoric monuments in the world. Ancient ancient stones, surrounded by barrows. These vast bluestones were moved such a long distance to get them to Salisbury Plain. How were they moved, these megaliths? How were they so precisely arranged to look towards sunrise on the summer solstice?

They were in place over two millennia before the Nazarene prophet died. The plain where they stand has been a place of power for longer than that. This plain, originally wooded, was inhabited from the dawn of civilisation – from when we were still establishing what it even was to be human. Archaeologists have found earthworks and tools and human remains that carry age and weight that is almost incomprehensible to us now, trapped as we all are in time. The people then, as now, were trying to guess what it was that made us live. They were subject far more to the cycle of light and dark. The day was bright and the night was cold and dark. The summer solstice was a powerful message. We learnt we could predict some things. We forged patterns and created stories to make sense of the things we observed. The stars were constant. Death was constant. Day dawned and then the sun set. Babies were born and old folk died. “Will my loved one return, just as the sun returns, oh holy one?” “Yes my child, but the sun rises on a new day and so will your loved one return in a new form in time / insert convenient solution intended to comfort and connected to observation of nature with an eye for the needs of the holy one.” “Your pa will be in a dark place like the sun is gone overnight, but if you leave tasty food and precious things on the altar every day then this purgatory will pass more quickly…” Yum yum etc etc. What would you do if your job was to answer the impossible questions and there was no self-important globally established selection of “we have the right idea” charlatans getting smugly disapproving if you diverge from their shared-belief crowdsourced story? You’d make it up as best you could, to bring whatever you prioritised – be it comfort to the recipient or goodies to yourself. Twas ever thus. Now we have ideaflood. We can choose from all sorts of global lies, all if which are as speculative as one another but all of which have traction based on our ancient need to “know what is actually going on”. The new religions exist on YouTube.

These big stones came when things were more geographically and cosmically oriented, rooted into observable constants. Surely there were still people saying “Mark my words, if stones are brought from Wales they will bring pestilence.” “The druids want to get us to chant so we vibrate like them and they can steal our essence!” The anti-megalith crowd would’ve died saying “just you wait, you’ll all regret it. It’ll happen on the equinox – the thing I’m predicting – it’ll happen – you’ll see.”

Did Merlin magic the stones from Pembrokeshire, and the Brecon Beacons? Were they carried there by devout and ancient nephilim? Or was it manpower and time? Devotion. Maybe whole lifetimes were spent in the profession of “stone mover”. This incredible edifice still stands, still watches the light, still responds to the seasons. Whoever built it, what they built it for – that’s lost. You might have a friend who tells you they are a pagan. They might tell you something about what it stands for – about why it’s so significant. We don’t know though. Your friend is guessing. The Romans, then the Normans : two violent wedges in the oral tradition, and then Henry VIII and his fucking divorce that burnt everything the converted pagan monks might have written from their ancestral memories. Too many wedges. Too thorough. We have nothing but the idea of our orally transmitted faith structure now in this country. We have to build it again as best we can. Shapes, colours, some memories of people uninvolved enough to escape the purges. The important memories were torn from us again and again. It left fertile ground in which to plant and nurture an unfamiliar middle eastern rebellion-faith that also likes to put stones in places of power. The original holders of the memories – they were purged, then purged again, and then Henry’s disillusion of the monasteries burnt the memories.

But we still have some of the obelisks. Some of the powerful places. Often, like at Glastonbury Tor and La Hougue Bie there is a silly stone church squatting there as well. Stonehenge hasn’t been colonised though. No little new religion has tried to stick a hat on it. It stands largely preserved as it has for so many centuries, although of course they are trying to build a tunnel underneath it because collective humans are incapable of not being wankers.

There it stands, this ancient memory of different times. There it stands, and some fucking idiot has decided it’s a good idea to project the Queen onto it.

I’m ok with the monarchy. I prefer The Queen as head of state than anything we have elected in my lifetime. But… this is not a good look:

If you ever want reminding that the societal structures we have created are complete and utter rubbish and that they are only propped up by our collective delusion, look no further than this photo. A figure who is nothing but a flicker on a cosmic scale, with these garish images of her projected onto something truly powerful and ancient. The stones must be weeping. The Queen is likely weeping as well – she’s no fool. She will see how inappropriate it is. Another stupid idea for a public display. This one at least isn’t as costly as the horrible mound at Marble Arch or the Garden Bridge that never got started. Not as costly, but certainly as gauche. Yuk.