Death Factor: Now and Then

Right now we are staying in a converted stone barn in central Portugal and I am watching a tiny lizard scampering along the top of the concrete edging which separates the outdoor terracotta tiles from the burnt grass. Preparing camarão for lunch earlier while listening to an old ’69 recording of Duane Allman / Boz Scaggs combined on a blues workout got me to thinking about a time when I was in a similar situation, staying in an almost identical stone barn in central France not long after the annual grape harvest had concluded, just as it has already in Portugal this year.fiat doblo

The time of year was near enough the same, with hot late-summer temperatures folding into cooling autumn days and encroaching star-filled nights. We – a new-found friend and myself – had travelled up from the Beaujolais district on a train with Tigre, who we had met while working in the vineyards, and were staying in his friends’ vacated property. Amongst the album collection were a stack of blues rock recordings, most notably those of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, which seemed never to leave the turntable and whose sound dominated the barn interior while melding into the surrounding green hills and endless heat-filled days.

The big difference is in the times, in every sense of the word.

Back in the late-seventies you could believe that the world was actually going to become a better place to inhabit, no matter in which part of the globe you lived. Sure, there was already the growing North-South economic divide, and both the post-colonial states and pre-empire USA had proved themselves willing to go to any lengths in order to secure their influence in foreign countries around the world. Both elected and non-elected elements in these states were continually plotting murders, coups and mayhem which they felt would sustain and develop their ascendancy. The Chilean coup by General Pinochet, supported and financed by representatives of the USA, and subsequent dismantling of democratic societies around the world by use of force, along with the rigging of financial institutions (as outlined by the discredited Milton Freidman Chicago school of economics), was the model successfully adopted and imposed on an indoctrinated and gullible public.

Prior to these simultaneously planned and meticulously orchestrated seizures of political and economic power, the mood music – the times they are a’changing mentality – actually had some resonance. Which is what scared the ‘planners’ in the first place. Which is why they introduced their dissonance. Which is how we have come to be in a world that appears to have taken several steps backwards along the road of progress rather than continued moving forwards.

Back then in late-summer France it would have been impossible to imagine a global corporatocracy being fronted first by a Hollywood B-list actor with incipient dementia, followed by a string of downright corrupted or toady characters, leading to the most insane public choice of all in a three-times bankrupted celebrity TV star real estate magnate of dubious moral standing by the name of Trump. Not even K Dick had come up with that one.

Just as there has been external change in hopes between these times, so has there been internal change taking place (that said, had world events continued on a trajectory which appeared to be leading to further freedoms and international cooperation, the internal would have better mirrored the external. Instead, there has been both convergence and divergence).

In the first place, an internal psyche first shaken and even unhinged by the monetarist and militarist takeover of two predominant social orders – the US and UK – rallied to the point of discovering and asserting perfect harmony within and without. This took years of concentrated study, only to be followed by dismal years of disappointment leading to busted ideals and broken dreams. Time both covered up the cracks and buried previous idealistic hopes – whilst also furnishing many opportunities for growing relationships built on trust and love. But what had seemed certain at the outset – that love and contentment would develop in equal measure to a far more equitable and peaceful world – at last appeared hopeless. Not naïve, just hopeless.

And now, looking out at the summery decline of another year to a backdrop of sixties and seventies freedom-loving and politically-inspired white blues music…?

Yesterday morning we were woken to a particular sound…and understood precisely what had happened… Phone calls received from a sister-in-law on my wife’s device are announced by a programmed ringtone; so when Motown blared out at seven-thirty a.m. as we snoozed in bed what had been half-expected became finalised.

“Dad’s died! Dad’s died!”

Naturally, this news has harbingered a whole slew of thoughts and emotions concerning the very bedrock of life itself. We all have our own views about what happens to the human being after death – my own are clearly laid out in a sequence of eight novels which I started writing that summer after my stay with the French hobo Tigre in the stone barn following the year’s vendange – but whatever we may believe seems hardly important against the very first and very real impact arising from the knowledge of the death of a parent, which is an event that can only happen twice in any lifetime. A human being that gave you life is now departed.

And so now here we are living temporarily in our stone barn situated in central Portugal amongst the olive groves of the village…

For me, at least, I’d say the big difference between the time spent in France that late-summer and the time spent here in Portugal is exactly that – : time. Whereas there seemed so much of it back then – in fact time felt limitless and so therefore did freedom and all possible outcomes – now, all these years on, with failed dreams and busted hopes, insults and amassed injuries, that self-same time seems somewhat curtailed, contracting and diminishing, ever-shortening as the final event horizon draws ever closer.

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY available at Amazon and bookstores worldwide

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On the Road Again

After an unintended, extended and unwanted hiatus staying in my beloved home county of south Bucks, I finally hit Spanish shores and headed on down in the van to where I am now living for a while in central Portugal.fiat doblo

Such joy to be inhabiting a converted stone barn within olive groves in this Portuguese village; in the garden are grapevines, fig and orange trees, and the surrounding hills are densely-wooded with eucalyptus and pine. The skies are blue through the day and glow orange on the western horizon before turning yellow in the fading evening light.

I even got to work on my new novel this morning before going to the local market and working out where best to buy salt-cod, garlic and oil for the soon-to-come autumnal dinners. Right now, it’s still warm enough to sit out and eat on the veranda, but there is no mistaking the shortening hours of daylight and the need to close shut the doors before settling down as night falls.

With any luck I’ll really get stuck into the typescript tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’ve made some changes to my Author’s Page at Amazon in order to try and better explain just exactly what my writing over all these years with limited success has been all about:

People have sought knowledge from ancient to modern times, while authorities have tried to conceal this knowledge from them. This process continues even now: the secret services protect state agendas; religious leaders control their power base. Why? Because the truth will set you free. This is the Serpentine Myth: the complicated paths used to prevent transmission of true knowledge. The books available on this author page will take the reader step-by-step through this latticework of deceit out to the vistas of full comprehension.

GLYN F RIDGLEY AUTHOR’S PAGE AMAZON

A case in point:

This evening we completed a binge-watching session of Wormwood on Netflix, the story – as told by his son – of how Frank Olson, an American citizen, came to be murdered by the CIA in order to prevent him revealing details of the USA military’s development of a biological warfare programme known as MKUltra.

Over the coming period of time, I expect more and more people will become more and more aware of how they accept information that simply isn’t accurate; as this happens, acquiescence to the authoritarian line will become more and more unacceptable and there will be a greater tendency to react in a positive manner – to the detriment of those who peddle untruths and outright lies.

Novels by Glyn F Ridgley are available at book stores worldwide and Amazon

RIP James Gilligan, my father-in-law, 1925-2018

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years of waste – II

1979-2019 will surely be remembered as a 40-year pointless wandering in the desert by the western tribes. When we could have helped found the promised land, we instead were drowned, and engulfed by the conservative forces of inertia. Following decades of plenty after the recovery from WW2 there will have been succeeding decades of drought and waste. All easily predicted. All self-inflicted, governed by the dictates of greed and self-interest.

We could have had it all – love, life peace and prosperity – but have ended up with little else than wars, death, famine and disease. The lands of Israel and Yemen are exemplars of all this catastrophe. The West is stagnant and in danger of rotting away under the sway of establishment forces.

Ah, just think, those halcyon days of the fifties, sixties and early seventies when the world looked set to yield all its fruits; a time when it was possible to consider the possibility of shortened work hours and time to enjoy all that had been attained. Technology would be used to improve the human load and maybe even take our race out to the stars.

Driving through a couple of villages today I easily saw how this has all ended in affluent decay and sociopathic ascendency. The more mindless you are, the more money you are able to acquire, which can then be converted into cars and property and purposeless luxuries.

In the UK and USA and similar western states we only have to look at our leaders and the ruling class to see what are the dominant trends and values. Taking the first two, we have a PM whose joint family income is generated through interests in the machinery of war and killing, and a thrice-bankrupted president who built his racist empire on property and financial speculation. Both are proven liars. What more do we need to know?

Which brings us to NOW again. Currently there is a fightback against the forces of human exploitation and oppression and this movement is still thankfully easily enough accessed through social media (though even these channels are currently under attack from the conservative forces). There are also politicians of integrity with a substantial following, like Corbyn and Stein.

So that all is not lost.

Historically, 1926 brought about the General Strike, 1976 was the UK’s best year according to economists, so that if the fifty-year cycle of the Kondratiev wave means anything at all, the next few years leading up to 2026 could bring about the greatest benefit of all to the peoples of the world.apple

And this time the fruits may be picked off the tree and not be left to fall and rot. Not like earlier.

Novels by GfR available at Amazon and local bookstores worldwide

Hawkwind, Road to Utopia (aka High Wycombe)

Hawkwind meets Mike Batt is probably one of the battiest combinations anyone could think of.

But here we are with ROAD TO UTOPIA

And get the album cover with its equally batty image of a most perfect Englishness almost unmatched since Pink Floyd decided to go quaint with Ummagumma. Along with the flying saucer, Cosmism remains alive.hawkwind road to utopia

Quark, Strangeness and Charm turned into a Brazilian rumba that would get any party started, is the opening track. Robert Calvert will be turning in his grave…if in fact he is dead and not merely play-acting…

The beauty of all this for me is that our old-time fave psychedelic band Hawkwind is on Cherry Red Records who in turn now sponsor Wycombe Wanderers.

A perfect circle.

Novels are available at Amazon and fantabulous bookstores worldwide

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Salad Cream

Just had a real Proust moment…

Cooking up a tortilla and preparing a salad at my folks’ place, tearing up a lettuce leaf I recalled a tube of Heinz Salad Cream lying in the cupboard for…oh, I don’t know how long.

Who uses Salad Cream anymore?

We did.heisnz salad cream

I remember the two boys who were my so-called friends that lived either side of our first house way back coming out one summer day each holding a big broad lettuce leaf literally plastered with Heinz Salad Cream. It just looked so good!

Back then, you didn’t get a second chance. We didn’t go into each other’s houses and because I hadn’t been around at that moment, I missed out.

Not this evening..!

I just had a healthy dollop!

Oh, my – a lettuce leaf with Salad Cream. What a treat!

cropped-gfr novels @ Amazon and bookstores worldwide

 

Eagles vs Poco

Eagles versus Pocosonoran

That is the perennial question.

Eagles came up with a whole bunch of tunes that soothed the soul, whereas Poco just kept on challenging your ability to concentrate.

Be lulled into soft love or have your consciousness centers called into play.

Of course, Eagles sensibility won out. (And I’m not saying that’s wrong.)

Sleep under the stars or have engagement under the stars.

cropped-vanfrontSleep in the desert, or walk in the desert?

Eagles versus Poco

That is a perennial question.

GLYN F RIDGLEY novels available on Amazon and bookstores worldwide

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My denim jacket

When I see my Levi jacket, there is simplicity. Stitched up denim with a couple of top pockets and good hand pockets lower down. Used to be left pocket for my fags and right pocket for my money and drugs. Now it’s going to be wallet on the left and phone on the right, specs in a hand pocket…levi jacket_06.jpg

First time I wore my Levi jacket into the woods with a headful of acid in my brain there was always a new tomorrow just a’waiting  round the corner.

The town of High Wycombe and the vast expanse of the Rye before us made a welcome for any kind of thing to happen – and if you were to hear of those things, I don’t know, you might be completely shocked.

Novels by GFR are available at Amazon and bookstores worldwide

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