At the other end of Europe, in the tatters of another Empire, humans form orderly lines to add their slight heft to their state’s trawl through history. A mark on a slim sheet of paper is the weight of it, and how the dithering and stubbornness of the individual consciousness can play a part within the cetacean flip-flopping of consensus. In ancient civilisations, votes were cast using shells or fragments of pottery. You could clasp the ballot in your palm and feel it dig into your skin. You could throw the thing at an enemy’s temple and strike them dead with the right flick of the wrist.#
According to a Rolling Stone article, Johnny Depp is skint in a way that only the famous can achieve. Overdrawn by millions, quaffing vintage wines in his plush Highgate gaff in the company of a gently spoken lawyer. He might have to flog a few Basquiats to dredge himself out of this one. The reporter makes a point that 55 years of age is officially the threshold where mindless extravagance and intoxication are no longer boyishly endearing. It’s handy to know this. The nearest Cash Converters is 2.6 miles from his current residence. Marx’s old resting place is even closer.#
On asking me the honest question on whether I have smoked and receiving an honest answer, my daughter made me draw a picture of myself as penance. She made me draw it on a blue sheet of paper on which she had already written “be wher, no smoking”. The likeness I drew of myself was miserable and penitent with a lined forehead and a sagging shoulders. Next to this I wrote, “Daddy smoked when he was younger but he stopped and doesn’t smoke any more. Smoking is dangerous and stupid.” She told me that I had to keep it to make sure that I never smoked again.#
It’s 25 °C in Ruskin Park and the fat man has stripped to the waist because he thinks he has muscles. Just in case no-one has got the point, he is also beating himself across the chest and shoulders with a thin but flexible stick. He is facing a woman sat at a bench who might he his wife or girlfriend. She appears to be familiar with the routine. Occasionally he looks to a passer by as if to say, “Too right you don’t want a piece of this.” There is no doubt that he is a magnificent beast. While his physique may solve the ancient mystery as to who devoured all the pies, his posture reminds me of all those young men who read Jordan Peterson and then stand with their shoulders wide and their backs straight because lobsters. Sure, he’s not from these parts but if you ask about him in his own home town, they’ll all tell you that he’s a legend.…and finally…
A dream of the death of a loved one is not a portent, it is a blessing. The relief of waking and knowing that they are still breathing at the same time as you. This bliss of knowing you can touch their face as they sleep.