The owner of the hotel called Three Roods was a rather rough looking chap called Henry Diggins. I could see from his sunken eyes and the burst blood vessels in his face that he had too much of a liking for the drink. He was not the kind of man with whom I would normally engage in any deep conversation. So when he casually mentioned that he had been a pupil at Dauntless College in the nearby village of Romsey I was amazed and it was with genuine surprise that I explained that I too had been a boarder there and we exchanged memories like the survivors of some grisly accident bound together by shared trauma.
Diggins, it transpired was some years younger than I and when he remarked that he was the pupil who had stayed over on the Christmas holidays at the time of the Great Fire I was greatly intrigued to hear his story and he only too keen for the telling of it.
There have been some very strange things happening in this neck of the woods of late. Me? I’m a watcher. I see what goes on-it is after all my purpose. It is what I have been trained for. To the untrained eye it might look like ordinary people going about their business but I know better. I have, as I say been trained to see beneath the surface of things.
Dr Chaudhuri is not a watcher. She thinks she is but clearly she is not. In my experience psychiatrists rarely are in fact watchers though clearly they are intelligent people. Very intelligent people or they wouldn’t be psychiatrists though there can be too much emphasis on that cleverness. The intelligence of a watcher is different. We must have endless supplies of patience.
30/12/00: A fragment after watching Luc Besson’s Jean of Arc and lit like the film-dark and brooding. There is a barman-tall, swarthy insolent and arrogant looking. Long hair and a dirty unshaven face. He is completely naked and sports a huge erection and is strutting up and down behind the bar.
15/7/01: The Social Worker-first chapter done////
Reiko & Shinji/ The Questors/ Sea Kayak trip/ Barcelona trip/ Cephalonia trip/
20/9/01: Reading The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy on the train I am struck repeatedly by images of profound horror. The German officer sucking the eyeballs of the revolutionary out of their sockets and leaving them to dangle on their cords and the retelling of it with the blind man saying how he could see his chin and body from another angle which gradually dimmed as the cords and eyeballs shrunk like grapes.
A phrase from Prospect Magazine OCT 2000 “The void of Pre-Birth.” From essay The Eggshell by Paul Broks
Wherever was it that I heard that phrase? I just cannot remember. What was it now? The distribution of sadness as opposed to the distribution of blame.
The stigmata of perfectablility- From a documentary on Dusty Springfied-The trait of artists to always wish for everything to be absolutely perfect.
If I create nothing else but am at least declared to have been a good dad then I will consider my life to have been worthwhile. Lover, friend, husband-these are all important but Dad is best of all.
I do not believe in love at first sight. I believe that to be an error that confuses an immediate sexual or magnetic attraction with what arises from the slow casserole of relationship. Anything else is fast food. Now there isn’t even any time to fall in love.
Speed dating? Because they need time to do what exactly?
The Archdruid Report: A Gathering of the Tribe: I walk half a mile through a chill autumn morning to the bleak little cinderblock building that serves the old mill town where I live as a t...
drained out the dirt from all my darkest dreams.
From: delcia Mcneil <email@example.com>
Date: 15 October 2011 12:28
Subject: Fw: 2 spaces left on Paint Your Art out
To: Delcia McNeil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
for those of you who have been putting off putting paint to paper, exploring your creativity, or feel blocked in some way, this is to let you know that there are two spaces left on my next Paint Your Art Out workshop day on Sunday 20 November 2011 (10.00am – 4.30pm) in Muswell Hill, North London.
Just imagine having a day in a space with a small group where you feel safe and supported and free to express yourself. And imagine experiencing yourself becoming comfortably relaxed through hearing soothing music and gentle meditative words. See yourself discovering whole new things about yourself. Our theme this time is Painting Mandalas. Mandalas (circular shapes) are symbols of both infinity and containment and provide a wonderful way into self exploration. You do not need any artistic talent - just a desire to be open, explore, play, discover, develop, heal and learn.
Recent feedback from participants:
"I liked the friendliness, and I enjoyed the new freedom I felt when I put brush to paper.
"Great fun, great depth" "Brilliant, accessible and informative ... helped me be freer"
"It was a spiritual experience for me; it has given me a release and a sense of optimism, wonder, anticipation, energy ..." "This workshop feeds the soul."
Full details are on the attached flier.
all good wishes,
empowering people with integrity
psychotherapy & counselling
ANGER RITUAL IN THE FIELD OF DREAMS
I say: ‘Let’s get this out into the World!’
And you; a little scared, ask how it’s done.
And...with a wild war-cry I charge the bales!
A glinting sword cleaves the morning air!
Massed ranks of shitheads fall apart and flee
into the woods while I, grimly pursue,
slashing back and forth and widow-making
in the hay, and screaming all the while.
Your face breaks into smiles to see man’s rage
revealed without some covering cloak of shame.
And then you shout and charge...yourself in turn!
A swirling sword flailing in your hand
like a true warrior my son! That day
we slew our foes upon the Field of Dreams.
The Moleskine Notebook is nearly perfect...just add a beautifully crafted leather pen holder and sit back and wait for those lightbulb moments.
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I'm enjoying the summer and hope you are too. I'm very excited about my new Chakra Psychology website that has just gone on line and do encourage you take a look – www.chakrapsychology.co.uk I was helped by a very special person in my team – Claire Bowen – thanks Claire for your skills and input – I can highly recommend her! (www.silverlanemedia.com).
On Saturday September 10th I am taking part in a magical evening event at Nab Cottage, Rydal Water in the heart of the Lake District with my story telling friend and colleague Cindy Zudys. Click here for more details …
I'm also excited about my autumn programme and some upcoming workshops that have been specifically requested by clients. As usual I am running these in both South Lakeland and Muswell Hill, North London.
Are you a woman who is single and would like to be in a relationship, or is in a relationship but really struggling? Get help with this by coming to one of my Women & Relationships one day workshops … (Click here for more info)
This is such a common issue - click here to read my widely published article on this important topic.
Are you interested to experience and learn about the truly transformative power of the Chakras?The next Ultimate Chakra Psychology course starts on October 15 in North London and a one day Introduction to Chakra Psychology is in South Lakeland on 25 September …
concessions available for
low waged & seniors
"Delcia's wonderful course opened up the spiritual, philosophical and psychological aspects of the chakra system in a deep, meaningful way. I gained profound insight
into personal behaviour patterns." Sarah
Visit our new website and let us know what you think!
... is the venue for our Magical Evening in September! Visit the website for more information about one of The Lake District's most lovely guest houses!
Copyright (C) 2011 Chakra Psychology All rights reserved.
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Oh Orpheus sings! Oh great tree of sound!
And all is silent,
And from this silence arise
New beginnings, intimations, changings.
From the stillness animals throng, out of the clear
Snapping forest of lair and nest;
And thus they are stealthy not from cunning
Not from fear
But to hear.
And in their hearts the howling, the cry,
The stag-call seem too little.
And where before
Was but the rudest shelter to receive these,
A refuge fashioned out of darkest longing
Entered, tremulo, the doorpost aquiver, -
There You have fashioned them a temple for their hearing.
To see this story with its related links on the guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/jun/04/getting-high-is-a-human-right
Getting high is a basic human right
Saturday June 4 2011
Peter Wilby well expresses the arguments for why the "war on drugs" has not only failed but actually makes the problems created by drug use worse (Many agree, none act: to ease untold misery, legalise drugs [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/01/ease-human-misery-legalise-drugs" title="], 2 June). What he doesn't consider is that the "war" is not only wrong in practice, it is wrong in principle.
The right to intoxicate is a fundamental human right, as basic as the rights to worship or to engage in dangerous sports. It's not the state's business to tell us what to do with our leisure as long as we are not hurting others.
Virtually every society throughout history has used intoxicants; there is something truly grotesque about our leaders who on the one hand enjoy their own drinking and smoking, and on the other use the vast revenues they take from taxing these two drugs in order to pursue and imprison those whose taste is for an intoxication different to theirs.
? While agreeing wholeheartedly with Peter Wilby's piece on the benefits of legalising personal drug use, I must protest against his slur on blind bluesmen. Blind Lemon Jefferson, born blind; Blind Willie Johnson, blinded as a child; Blind Blake, blind at birth; Blind Boy Fuller, blinded as a teenager by accident or disease; Sonny Terry blinded as a teenager; Blind Willie McTell blinded during childhood. No evidence of meths consumption there.
? The Home Office's predictable reply to calls for legalisation of the possession of drugs (The drug laws don't work, they just make it worse: campaign calls for reform again [http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/02/drugs-drugspolicy" title="], 2 June) was: "Drugs are illegal because they are harmful ? they destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities."
So does alcohol, gambling, and unemployment caused by spending cuts. Drugs are not illegal because they are harmful, they are illegal because no one in the government or opposition has the courage to assess this issue rationally and not from the perspective of the shrieking tabloid press.
? The law has failed to stamp out drug abuse: this is given as a reason to legalise it. Should we also decriminalise murder, burglary and rape, all of which persist despite the best efforts of the law?
Various things have been decriminalised since the 1950s. Almost all of them have become more common and more extreme with the removal of both criminal sanctions and social disapproval. In the case of the acceptance of homosexuality, divorce and the general sexual revolution, I'd say that this made us a better society. But would we be a better society if people consumed more drugs?
Most drug users know they are unwanted and have few prospects. Or else they are successful but under enormous pressure to stay at the same impossibly high level. Surely these are the social evils we need to fix.
? Dope is the feedstock and pension fund of the judicial system, which is as dependent on drugs retaining their illicit status as the narco-gangs are for maintaining their business model. Try a reverse prohibition ? a 10-year window without criminal sanction for possession and licensed and taxed production ? to assess the relative merits of crime- or health-led policies.
? I have multiple sclerosis and have asked my consultant for Sativex on several occasions, only to be denied, or should I say deprived of it (GPs criticise NHS decision to deny MS patients cannabis-based drug [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/may/30/ms-patients-denied-licensed-cannabis-drug" title="], 31 May)? Doctors have even told to me to keep it quiet that cannabis has helped to relieve my symptoms. I have found that a pattern of attacks two years apart has stopped when I commenced using the drug.
The postcode lottery is so frustrating. I have been told of another patient in the same county as me who has the drug on prescription, but I have been denied.
Name and address supplied
From: George Monbiot <email@example.com>
Date: 21 May 2011 08:06
Posted: 20 May 2011 01:40 AM PDT
We can now see what the impact of has been of the police decision to turn off Oxfordshire's speed cameras.
By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian's website, 20th May 2011
The experiment is over and the results are in. In April, Thames Valley police switched Oxfordshire's speed cameras back on. They had been off for eight months, as a result of the government's decision to cut the road safety grant. Then the police began assessing the damage. In the 31 days before the cameras were switched off (July 2010), the machines caught 2,286 speeding motorists. In the 30 days after they were switched back on, they caught 5,917.
As many residents of the county complained, between July 2010 and April 2011, Oxfordshire became a racetrack. The effect of the switch-off seems to have been felt far from the camera sites: as soon as motorists received the message that they were unlikely to get caught speeding anywhere in the county, they appear to have felt empowered to drive recklessly everywhere. Or so a more important set of figures might suggest.
In the eight months without cameras, there were 18 deaths on the roads in Oxfordshire, compared to 12 in the same period in the previous year. This was the first time the number of deaths on the county's roads had risen in four years. Serious injuries rose from 160 to 179.
These are not just numbers: they are real people; some dead, some who will have to live with devastating injuries for the rest of their lives. Reading the contents of websites which celebrate excessive speed – pistonheads.com for example – you would think it was just a game: evading the police, vandalising cameras, using clever lawyers to avoid getting fined. It's not. The consequences are real and horrible.
So far, the sample size is too small and the period too short to be sure that the deaths and injuries around the county are linked to the switch-off. The experiment would have to run for longer and be conducted over a wider area. Any volunteers?
Perversely, there are plenty. Undeterred by the results of Oxfordshire's grisly experiment, Staffordshire has now switched off almost half its cameras, for the same reason: a lack of funds, caused by the government's determination to end the mythical construct it calls "the war on the motorist". What it is really doing is allowing speeding motorists to conduct a war against everyone else: cyclists, pedestrians, children on their way to school, other drivers.
Worse still, the destruction of speed cameras by people who describe themselves as vigilantes continues unabated. Sixteen of Lincolnshire's 52 cameras, for example, have been destroyed by vandalism, in many cases by fire. In the Scottish borders, 19 have been burnt out since 2004. These acts are raucously celebrated on the boy racer sites.
Here's what a spokesman for the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership had to say about one of these burnings:
So why are people burning cameras? Because journalists and others have promulgated a powerful and dangerous myth: that speed cameras are useless, and exist only to tax the public.
It doesn't matter how often or how comprehensively this myth is disproved. A study for the Department for Transport, involving more rigorous scientific methods than those just deployed by Thames Valley Police, shows that 19% fewer people were killed or seriously injured at accident black spots after speed cameras were introduced, above and beyond the general decline in accidents on the roads.
As for the stealth taxation story, the last figures I've seen, from 2010, suggest that the cameras cost slightly more to run than they make. The Treasury took £85-80m in revenues, with an outlay of £110m a year. This may have changed by now. (Why shouldn't reckless driving be taxed?).
Yet speed cameras are a much cheaper means of preventing speeding than any other. The Department for Transport reports a cost-benefit ratio of 2.7:1. The House of Commons Transport Committee found that "a more cost effective measure for reducing speeds and casualties has yet to be introduced."
But never mind the facts: the tabloid myth is what the people who have been snapped by the cameras want to hear. Instead of being a danger to the public, they are, journalists tell them, innocent victims of a government mugging.
At times the press coverage is so extreme that it amounts to blatant incitement. Here's what Jeremy Clarkson wrote in the Sun in 2007.
"As I drove down the M20 into Kent last Monday, I noticed that most of the speed cameras had been burned out by vandals. This is disgusting. It is ridiculous, criminal and stupid that the person who savaged these life-saving devices should target the M20 … and then stop. Why did you not keep right on going? I can think of six cameras on my way home that would be immeasurably improved with a spot of petrol and a match."
(Source: Jeremy Clarkson, 21st July 2007. Speed cameras have been burned out by vandals. The Sun.)
It looks like good clean fun, as Sarah Palin's placing of a gunsight over the state of Arizona did, until Gabrielle Giffords got shot. Incitement, particularly incitement which supports a false story that people want to hear, can have consequences.
More insidious than Clarkson's have been the efforts of Christopher Booker, who, through a grossly misleading use of statistics, has tried to suggest that speed cameras make the roads more dangerous. Writing in the Telegraph with Richard North in 2007, he maintained that a sharp decline in the death rate on the roads suddenly slowed down in the mid-1990s.
They attributed this to the government's attempt to enforce speed limits with cameras. But they failed to mention that deaths started falling sharply again in 2003, after the number of speed cameras had doubled in three years.
Similarly, they tried to argue that there was no evidence that cameras have reduced deaths even at the spots where they are deployed, on the grounds that the government had failed to account for a statistical effect called regression to the mean. The truth, they maintain, is that "speed cameras actually increased" the rate of accidents. What they failed to tell their readers is that the government had accounted for regression to the mean, and still found an average reduction of 19% for collisions which caused deaths or injuries after speed cameras had been installed.
I was reminded of this over the weekend, by Booker's pathetic attempt to justify yet another of his false claims in the Sunday Telegraph. Uniquely, as far as I can tell, two articles of his have been the subject of a long section of a High Court judgement, which damned his journalism as "unbalanced, inaccurate and just plain wrong."
Like all propaganda that tells people what they want to hear, Booker's false claims are likely to change or reinforce people's behaviour. So are Clarkson's and those of all the other journalists who tell people that they can act as they wish, regardless of their impact on others. The rest of us have a duty to try to correct them.
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The bully boy culture in the Catholic Church-A superb article by a retired priest-Eric Hodgens which I reproduce in full.