My Dog

As soon as Anne phoned me to say that an abandoned dog was hanging around our neighbour’s gate and that I ought to call by and see him, I knew that dog was destined to be ours. Having popped into town to run a few errands, I drove up to the house and saw the dog hanging around their front gate. You have to realise, we live up in the hills and mountains of central Portugal, so when I say neighbour I mean people living anywhere within the radius of a few miles. Another neighbour was also there, and he lives about a further mile out. As a matter of fact, we can see the house where the dog was found from our own place, above the trees in the valley that separates us.

He was a fine-looking beast, maybe not a pedigree, but obviously from the Estrela breed judging by his leonine body-shape and oversize paws. They breed them on the mountain of that name in the much colder north of the country to look after their herds. Even I knew that, although I am no expert on dogs at all.

The really funny thing was, I had dreamed that dog – had actually seen him in a dream some undetermined time ago. Immediately, I recognised the black face with the yellow-gold eyes peering out at me.

Both neighbours already had dogs of their own, so I took it upon myself to take him in until such time as a longer-term solution might be found. Ideally, the owner would be traced and the dog returned. With some difficulty, the three of us managed to lift the nervously reluctant animal into the back of the car, and with a bag of dog food, a food bowl, and lead supplied by our neighbour, I drove him across the bridge over the river on the valley road and back to our place, where Anne was unsurprised at our arrival.

Neither Anne nor I had kept a dog before so any caring for the animal was going to be done on an instinctual basis. The first thing was to lay a blanket in a corner on the veranda where he could feel safe and keep warm. Then I sat with him for hours into the night to calm him down. When he had settled and I had set up a pallet to prevent him going down the stairway into the garden, I closed the sliding glass doors and left him to sleep all alone.

Next morning, he was on the lead and we headed out through the big metal gates to the lane outside our house. At the top of the slope one hundred yards away he squatted and did his poops, as I uttered a silent and relieved hurray: the dog was toilet trained. Everyone thought he was pretty much still a puppy so nothing of a behavioral nature could be taken for granted. We walked on, as he sniffed busily at the edges of the dirt-track road, and I enjoyed the still cool mountain air. Surrounded by thick forest littered with logging trails, I quickly factored in that here was a good place to be a dog.

(To be continued…)

Books by Glyn F Ridgley

Two texts

Two written texts, separated by 700 years and two continents: On the Sacraments by Ambrose of Milan reveals the mystery school tradition of early Christianity, while the Songs of Milarepa disclose the dhamma of Tibetan Buddhism, as passed on to him by his guru. Both represent the manner in which secret wisdom is passed on from one generation to another. Teachings such as these show that mysticism reveals the true nature of the world in which we live, whereas it is sometimes claimed that mysticism involves a retreat from the realities of human existence.

In ‘Rosicrucian’, modern-day Christianity – as practised in a 1960s British village – is revealed for the sham that its original form has become, just as in ‘Key of Love’ one of the characters (originally from ‘Question’) is compared to the Tibetan monk Milarepa, as both emerge from murderous backgrounds to find esoteric wisdom and battle the dark forces of the political world.

Let’s hope the Light shines more brightly in 2021 than ever before.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley @ Amazon and bookstores worldwide

Bucosmism lives!

The rains have come in the mountains. The grey clouds have rolled in. After weeks of early winter warmth and blue skies the inevitable has happened. Mist and sunshine vying through the low-lying valleys gave way to moisture-laden air and dowdy fog. Twenty-plus temperatures less than halved in the space of a few hours. Such is mountain weather near the sea coast.

We just made it down to Fernando’s in time for bacalhau and ice-cream before the sleet hit. Right now, the wood-burner is doing its job and the dead cold weather is halted at the window sill. Warmth continues its reign.

During the good spell the last window-frame was fitted within the wooden structure and the angled struts placed upon the strong frame of the pergola. There is no way these wood structures can be compromised.

Ironically, down the road, the concrete-framed structure surmounted by poor wood and local terracotta tiles gave way and collapsed, its untreated timber frames eaten away by termites.

The calçada laid on the western-side of the property has formed a Fibonacci rectangle pine coneawaiting in-fill with citrus fruit trees and grasses to conform by the golden mean that highlights entirely the new-found principle of a bucosmic design, both in thought and exteriority.

Ah, so much for trying to take advantage of the new place where we live.

Glyn F Ridgley books available at bookstores and Amazon

A Labourer’s Blog

This should probably be called ‘A Labourer’s Blog’ considering that the writer hasn’t endured such an onslaught of physical duress since working in the sawmill at Glennister’s furniture factory back in his hometown many years ago, after his school impolitely asked him to leave.

The employment at the furniture factory involved clambering over huge felled trees and wrapping chains around them so they could be lifted into place on a crane and made into planks on a giant circular saw.

At least there I had the compensation of sheltering in the boiler-room and drinking hot tea during breaks.

Actually, I was following a family tradition since my great-grandfather worked as a sawyer in the beech woods around south Buckinghamshire in the 1800s. He was a top-dog, which is to say he sawed from the top of the sawpit and so avoided the sawdust falling down all over him.

The sawpits he dug and used are still visible up in the woods around Piggot’s Hill, at the end of the Hughenden valley, where the Ridgley family reunion takes place every year in the property once belonging to Eric Gill – the famous British artist commissioned by the BBC to create the Prospero and Ariel sculpture for their London headquarters in 1933 – who maintained an artists’ colony there from 1928 onwards.

gill christ

A few years ago my father and I were taking a walk through the surrounding fields up from the Harrow pub overlooking Bryant’s Bottom when a big white van roared through an opening and pulled up menacingly before us. Some guy got out and asked what we were doing there, saying that his employer’s residence on the hill opposite had been spied out and robbed by “gypsies” recently.

This was just utterly typical of the area where I had once lived so joyously. Some parvenu twat had bought a place for x-million pounds on a hillside where you couldn’t even plant a garden and had turned into a paranoid freak thinking that an old man and his son who actually belonged to the area were out there planning to rob him.

All this kind of shit is part and parcel of why I have left the now horrible land known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in order to set up some kind of bucosmic existence in a different country.

Even here there is similar aggro (to be told later).

But for now, hard labour is the order of the day.

And, by the way, Glennister’s folded back in the 1990s, a symptomatic outcome of the monetarist policies which led to the outsourcing of labour to foreign countries for the sake of greater profit. So much for the UK. Now a Morrison’s supermarket stands in its place.

As a matter of fact, there is no more furniture industry in my hometown. The whole story is contained in a ten-part fictional series available by clicking below.

Books available by Glyn F Ridgley at bookstores and Amazon

Beginning a New Life

I am 61. But feel 16. I am learning a new language. The world is in a total mess. I am in trouble with the law. I am head-over-heels in love with the woman in my life. Sometimes I have so much energy inside me it feels like it will burst my body. However right now I am taking advantage of the rain to IMG-20190307-WA0001lay in bed and recover from the muscular strain of lugging huge timber beams and shifting barrow-loads of soil. I am reading the auto-biography of Don Felder. We are slowly shifting to a bucosmic existence. I have unearthed The Secret of the Universe (see my books) and am about to uncover The Secret of Life (which may or may not be inserted within the pages of my next book). That leaves one more part of the mystic triangle to be put into place before my final transition. I am at the beginning of a new life, just as confused and wowed as any 16 year-old. My new novel P will appear at some point in the near future.

Books by Glyn F Ridgley are available at bookstores and online as hardcopy or Kindle versions worldwide

Bucosmism

Bucosmism n. the state of living a rural existence in relation to a recognition of dependence upon the universe.
Bucolic : relating to the countryside
Cosmic : belonging or relating to the universe
Bucosmic adj. (see above)
Bucosmist n. a person who believes in bucosmism

For example, this morning it was possible to collect sweet chestnuts fallen from the trees down the lane, before walking out the village and along a track running through the forest as far as the shrine dedicated to St James (we’re on the Camino) and back, a walk of some twenty minutes. On returning, I carried out a Rosicrucian meditation intended to spread some love and peace in the world. Later, I shall sand the pine timbers delivered rough-hewn from the local yard in preparation for building an open shelter roofed with reclaimed terracotta tiles.

After recovering from illness and busting a gut in publishing my tenth novel earlier this year, I actually feel able to settle into some kind of near-effortless existence.

At the risk of sounding smug, up here in the mountains amongst the pine trees and eucalyptus forests, we’re transforming a two-hundred year old stone ruin into a wonderful living space using local timber. The stone around here is quartz-based schist and has a terrific multi-colouration and glint. Our actual house is also formed around an old ruin, with the old stone foundations visible in the adega space beneath the current structure. The heating-system will be based on a bio-mass pellet-burner, with a wood-burner already inside the house and south-facing solar panels up on the roof.

The garden is to be accessed by way of inter-laced calçada paving, laid by a local craftsman. We have just identified the grape variety to be grown on vines delineating one side, which ought to provide enough wine to meet our needs. The sub-soil is depleted at present so a whole load of manure is going to be added over the next few months. Then we can think about sowing those sun-loving vegetables that couldn’t be grown in our last place, stuff like aubergines and peppers. The exotic fruit trees are already in, from kumquat to pomegranate.

So there you have it, a bucosmic existence.

pine cone

I am not enclosing pictures of the actual construction since my intention is to write it all up later in book-form – hopefully from the balcony which overlooks the valley and countryside all the way to the Atlantic Ocean!

Novels

Addled & Raddled

“I have decided to be a freak like the people I read
about in the music papers during the day and listen to in the
evening and watch at night on TV when no one is around.
No longer do I want to be another brick in the wall. I want
to be on the road, taking drugs and drinking gallon after
gallon of strong hooch: some kind of drug-taking, drink-swilling, long-haired musician or maybe writer or something – a fiend, still undefined and embryonic, but definitely out there in front of me as a goal.” – Death and the Dead (2017)

GLYN F RIDGLEY @ bookstores & Amazon

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Autumn of My Soul

Yea, ‘tis the Autumn of My Soul
The Time before of feeling awld
When misty sunsets, they do set
Before thine eyes a settlin’ wet

Skies unfold to me the waiting dawn
A sunset new, makes for forlorn
Shews of views that mine will ne’er behold
That auld Time again

The grain is set
Among the swallows heading to West
They do foresee
Another Time

Aside from Thee
When the East, thou do behest

‘To the West’ by Z.R. Grates (1820)

Books by Glyn F Ridgley available @ bookstores worldwide and online

yes tor