What a (long, strange) trip it’s been

Corn ripening in the sunny Burgundy fields brings about a sense of well-being that can only come through travelling in a landscape of harvested grain and burgeoning orchard fruits. It’s John Keats come early.fiat doblo

When this trip starting in the Balkans began I kind of had the feeling it might lead to some new sense of purposefulness and maybe a place to promote and facilitate that brand new calling. Whereas, it has further strengthened just exactly what I have felt all along regarding the role of the human being in the universe and how society might be made to fit that most important of all aspects. The places we have been to, the experiences we have had, and the people we have met, obviously, have led to this conclusion. Which is the whole point. What is travel for except to have new experiences and develop understanding?

Now I know what I have to do.

Some people may recognise the title of this blog as being borrowed from a celebrated biography of the Grateful Dead (and a line from their song ‘Truckin’). Anne and I are not part of any hippy movement fanning out from Golden Gate Park – although we went to the place on a trip (not an acid one) to southern California a couple of years ago (see my novel Answer) – but I, for one, would dearly love to see some of the thoughts expressed during that period be evoked again in our present time. On this occasion, brought to fruition. The musicians of the sixties and seventies did a great job of expanding people’s consciousness but the artists, writers and thoughtless intellectuals sadly let them down. So here we are living through times of enforced austerity brought about by the connivance of the enervating conservative powers, when we could all be living in prosperity and having unbridled dreams for an even better future.

This is what I have re-learned through our trip to the likes of Albania and Calabria where I discovered that just like with ourselves the old regime has reasserted its previous stranglehold on the present and future well-being of the population.

The eighties and beyond were like being told to expect sunshine only to have a great big rain shower come along and spoil the day.

All that ‘drip down’ economic wealth nonsense, what an insult!

And the outcome of such untruths were plainly laid out in one particular novel – Question. At least the hero of this work had the sense to see what was happening. We are the agents of our own misfortune.

Modern economic movements are making it clearer and clearer where money comes from and how it can be produced and manipulated for the benefit of society as a whole, and in so doing are giving a lie to the politicians and 1% who would have society believe otherwise.

For sure, the Establishment wants people to live in fear of the present and future in order that they can continue to govern and remain in positions of power. They don’t care that people suffer. That is not their remit. Their one and only aim is to somehow sit on the top of the pile – no matter what a heap of shit they maintain and so long as the flies continue buzzing around them.

It can sometimes be very difficult to see the present and future as being different from what they are as a result of events that happened in the past, but it is possible. The political and economic past can be seen for what it was and overcome.

So, hey, here we are sitting in a very comfortable municipal campsite in rural France and can have no complaints of a personal nature. Soon we will be back in Blighty. And the work of my blog and my novels continue.

Posted from Louhans, Borgogne

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY available from Amazon and bookstores worldwide

Balkans weblog #2

We arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday, having driven the length of Bosnia-Herzegovina north to south…fiat doblo
After surviving the worst electrical storm in living memory inside our camper van amongst the north Croatian hills, we settled down to living in the woods alongside Ingrid’s working homestead. This included making the half-hour drive into Karlovac where we saw yet more remaining evidence of the nineties’ Balkans conflict. Communist countries of the late twentieth century had a penchant for erecting bow-shaped walls twelve-feet high and covering them with murals depicting workers in all their industrious glory accompanied by state slogans of the ‘onward to a better future’ kind. Croatia was no exception. Today the Karlovac wall is pock-marked with bullet holes and whitewashed all over, while bearing the inscription ‘Britney bitch’ in black spray. With such precise emblems has the early twenty-first century zeitgeist supplanted the intended socialist ideal.
Having learned previously how with satellite technology a straightforward forty-five minute drive could become a six-hour odyssey of near-despair along country roads, we used our atlas map to take us out to the border at Dvor. Departing Croatia was easy enough, entering Bosnia predictably awkward. “Green card,” asks the officious border guard. “Don’t need one.” “Huh? Documents!” Yes, documents, always bloody documents in these little tinpot bureau-states. He takes our passports to the guard-hut, shows them to another official, scratches his head, walks back, hands them over, tells us to be on our way. What a palaver! There is confusion about where we can park in the border town without paying so while I stand guard Anne goes off to spend any leftover kuna on food and drink. Now we are hopeful the Prijedo-Banja Luka road will offer up plenty of camping opportunities. Ur, no. Soviet-hangovers and sinister conflict associations are about all we see. Thankfully, someone at a petrol station points us in the direction of the gorge at Krupa na Vrbasu so we follow the river south and fetch up on a disused camping ground there. In that odd manner some out-of-the-way communities have of quickly exchanging information, within ten minutes a car pulls up, the washhouse is partly-opened, and our passports are requested; money changes hands, and we are permitted to stay overnight. Best of all, we have access to a small supermarket and the Cric Cric bar – where my last post concluded…
At that point, we were headed easterly for Sarajevo, but now refreshed and learning from our mistakes about which roads to take, we make the decision to drop more directly south on the gorge road towards Mostar. With the help of an internet connection we have pinpointed a little campsite not far from the famed Islamic town. That afternoon, we pull into the site alongside the fast-flowing river Buna, say hello to the half-dozen Hungarian bikers relaxing in the shade from the hot sun, and set up in the furthest corner snugly beside the river.
Bosnia-Herzegovina does not fill with me joy. Everywhere are reminders of the most recent conflict and tensions existing between the various communities, most notably the Islamic and Christian. How I would love to see the end of all established religions. They breed so much hatred. In Mostar we see the replacement for the old bridge so infamously destroyed by the Croatians in full view of the TV cameras, then head to the war museum where a series of displays, artifacts and photographs aid us in re-living the terrible torments meted out and undergone under the guise of achieving freedom and independence, but which in actuality had the sole purpose of gaining perceived lost territories and the settling of old scores. Names of places cropped up: Prijedor, Banja Luka, Visegrad… The book I brought with me, Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel ‘The Bridge over the Drina’, tells of the bridge built by an Ottoman vezir – himself a kidnapped blood sacrifice as a ten year old from a Christian Serbian village – and the years of pain and toil it cost to erect over the Drina…and now in the Mostar museum five centuries later I am reading on the walls how Christians and Muslims have continued to torture and murder one another on that same bridge , before throwing the dead and mutilated bodies into the flowing Drina below. Heraclitus says you cannot stand in the same river twice – well, these guys seem able to stand in the self-same place thousands and thousands of times over. So who is telling it like it is, who is enacting out reality: the Hellenic philosopher or the brutal murderers..? You can judge. That is why this country does not fill me with joy, but anguish and dismay. Travelling is troublesome, as much as anything.
Coupled with the above, is the seemingly obsessively remaining sense of state control. Driving through country roads you are prepared around every corner to be pulled over by some hillbilly, dolled-up police officer, who waves you down with his little fluorescent paddle and asks to see your documents, always with that dour expression and the threat of some unpleasant outcome should he feel so inclined.
No, I have had enough of over-zealous guardians of authority pulling me over and demanding to know who I am, what do I have upon my person, where am I going and where have I been. In future, maybe I can refer them to this weblog. This familiar scenario – and I mean familiar even from teenage years in the UK (see in particular DEATH AND THE DEAD – is theatrically enacted four times over during the final two hours of our drive out from BIH: by the policjia, Republika Srpska cross-country patrol and then again at the southern border back into Croatia.
“Green card.”
“We don’t need one.”

GLYN RIDGLEY NOVELS AT AMAZON

Speaking aloud allowed

Speaking to a Ukrainian student today, I was told that in the Balkans everybody will be perfectly happy to speak with us in Russian. No surprise, really. Just nice to hear – living as I do in the UK 2018. At the same time I was informed by a group of German students they are undergoing the same anti-Russia media propaganda programme as that being foisted upon us here.eu map What is going on? It seemed so certain just a few years ago that the current generation would be in the vanguard of creating a harmonious globalised world – only to have it undermined and snatched away from them and us by a bunch of old-time conservative dotards stuck in their warlike way, intent on destroying the fragile integrity of a new collective spirit. Quite obviously, these war-mongers who want to destroy the planet have deep-seated psychological problems and need to be called out. What’s more, this is happening. Information is still being spread, despite the conservatives’ efforts at censorship – whether this be the attempted muzzling of information channels such as Wikileaks or further governmental legislation to make their own unlawful acts publicly known. Starting locally and spreading universally, people all over are communicating with one another, listening to one another, supporting one another. The fightback is happening. People are choosing knowledge over ignorance, so that no matter what language is being spoken a common humanity is being realised.

GLYN F RIDGLEY

Novels are available locally and universally

To the Balkans..!

And, so – to unfinished business…

Back in 1991, we were heading for the Russian-Polish border as news came through that the USSR was finally being wound up. Not wanting to return immediately to a wintry UK, we made the decision to head on south. Except the Balkans War was raging and that meant we were prevented from going down through the old Yugoslavia. Instead we braved the snow and ice of the eastern European states until we finally arrived in northern Greece by way of Bulgaria. (I have written about this trip in my anti-capitalist novel QUESTION, where the main protagonists must flee Russia after being involved in a murderous mafia shoot-out.) Question_Cover_for_Kindle

Now, at last, nearly thirty years later, we are in a position to make that drive down through the Balkans – and maybe beyond…

We had thought to take the more circuitous route across northern Europe and drive down through the Baltic states, but the rotten spring weather has left us desiring an immediate dose of southern warmth. So straight to the Balkans it will be. For reading matter, I have chosen Ivo Andric’s ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ – a novelistic account of the region’s history which brought the author the Nobel Prize, and recommended to me by a recent Slovenian student. Along with Bulwer-Lytton’s ‘Zanoni’, as audio. I’ll also be taking some books to re-acquaint myself with the Russian language. fiat doblo

I really can’t wait to make a break with all this anti-Russian propaganda swirling about on the media. As though the Russians were responsible for the horrible, social, warring mess were are currently experiencing. Whereas it is our own government and our own selves who are responsible for all the unease. To think we could be living in unbridled wealth and happiness if only divisions weren’t being deliberately sown within our communities and hatred being stirred up by those with invested economic and political interests! It’s very painful to consider.

How this will come through in my blog, I do not know. That is why I write novels (even if the MSM agents and publishers act as unwanted censors by refusing to make them available).

My only disappointment is that the trip means that I won’t be able to attend the annual big family get together. This year we were hoping to extend the event to include more overnight camping and music. That still remains an objective. There are strong connections with the area which we wish to celebrate and share. As I do in my writing.

NOVELS BY GLYN F RIDGLEY available from Amazon

aylesbury-vale

South Bucks, and proud!

A revolution is going on about the ‘other’ world and nothing can be hidden from my generation

The Serpentine Myth is an open message of love, life and peace deeper than the Deep State and its secret message of hate, death and war

SOUL JOURNEY @ Amazon

Life is NOT all about pretending to be reckless under pre-prepared, paid-for, controlled conditions. That is the very opposite of life if you believe life ought not to provide any safety net in order to be fully experienced.
As a matter of fact, connecting a rope to your ankle and jumping from a perilous height is all about death – or, rather, the threat of death. The same can be said for all manner of purchased and only apparently dangerous activities. Crossing the road is far more likely to be injurious.
And so…

DEATH AND THE DEAD @ Amazon

Life may be considered a kind of gnosis. To have life is to have the opportunity of complete understanding.

LIFE IS A FEELING @ Amazon

People say, ‘You only get one life,’ – which is demonstrably untrue since reincarnation is a matter of fact about which numerous proofs exist, of a personal and more general nature.
People say, ‘Life is not a dress rehearsal,’ – and again, sorry to say, they are utterly wrong. Life is precisely that, undeniably it IS a dress rehearsal, a trying on of new clothes, of looking in the mirror, and practising one’s lines. That’s just what life is!
People most often use these sayings when they simply want an excuse to be frivolous with their time and energy. Well, be frivolous – it’s great fun! – but don’t use LIFE as any kind of vindication.

“That’s all, Folks!”

Peace Pact (Pax Cultura)

peace pact banner
The symbol above – which has sometimes been used as the site icon – is The Banner of Peace designed in conjunction with the so-called Roerich Pact, and was designed by the Russian artist of that name (Nicholas Roerich 1874-1947).

‘The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today.’

ARTICLE I

The historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions shall be considered as neutral and as such respected and protected by belligerents. The same respect and protection shall be due to the personnel of the institutions mentioned above. The same respect and protection shall be accorded to the historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions in time of peace as well as in war.

‘The history of international treaties shows us how many of them were relevant and applicable to the times in which they were signed, but then lapsed into irrelevance. The Roerich Pact, however, has kept its heart and its life, and is linked to the needs of today’s chaotic world as much as ever. In so many countries we see a deterioration of cultural values and a disregard for the right of all cultural treasures to have their own continued existence, forever protected and unimpeded. We see destruction of life, property, and the inheritance of the creative genius of the nations. One can only hope that a greater awareness of the importance of humanity’s cultural heritage will increase, rather than deteriorate. There is no greater value to a nation than its culture.’

‘The Roerich Pact was first agreed to by twenty-one nations of the Americas and signed as a treaty in the White House, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 15, 1935, by all the members of the Pan-American Union. It was later signed by other countries also.’

(from the Roerich Museum website)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS @ Amazon

Of the Road

I can’t set out on a six-thousand mile road trip across Europe without giving it a moment’s thought.
Why am I going?
Because I can. At fifty-nine, I have very nearly lived out all my cat’s lives and am simply amazed to still be here and in a position to just GO!

Since it’s the sixtieth anniversary of that great spiritual opus On the Road, which its author described in a letter as ‘…a story about 2 Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God…’ I could use this as a reference point. If I do, it will be as a point of departure – with no pun originally intended; but there for all to see. Miles-wise, JK covered about twice this distance, over three years, and the same trips often repeated. Jack was half my age.

Am I searching for God?
No. Been there. Done that.
Am I a Catholic, even?
Hell, no!

Going with a buddy?
You bet. The best buddy ever – my missus (lapsed RC).
(A previous road trip we undertook recently through wintry southern California and Arizona in a beat-up old Chevrolet Astra van is re-told in ANSWER.)
This one is different…
We’re going in the summer and we’ll be going through lots of different countries (inshalla) – about fifteen or so, and in a circular motion rather than there-and-back. So that ought to make it more interesting, by my reckoning – culturally-speaking.

Kerouac: ‘Oh, where is the girl I love?’
Me: Beside me.
K was looking for kicks; I’ll be looking for…the midnight sun.
K was looking for sex (as I said this morning: A whole year of this…!)

And so, the road beckons – and, god-willing, we’ll be on the ferry out of the UK come early June.

Ah, yes, now I recall why I am going – to escape this benighted country with its lying politicians and media before it separates itself off from the rest of Europe and we’ll all need visas and passes to get around.

(Except I won’t, because I am actually…

irish passport

…half-Irish..!)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS

 

27 Countries (count ’em)!

This is the vancar we’re going to set off in.fiat doblo And this blog is now going to become Old School.
When I ask my international language students where the word BLOG comes from they never know – and it’s likely that a lot of us forget – a BLOG is a ‘web log’ – and that’s what from now on – or at least when the trip begins – this blog is going to be…a log put out on the web from the road.
And it’s going to be an amalgamation of sights and sounds and thoughts political, mystical and social that just pass through the blogger’s mind – just as, in fact, this blog was always supposed to be.
It’s going to be a story.
I am no expert in anything – but I am tired of being expertised to by a whole bunch of know-nothings who are out there expounding as though they really do understand what’s what concerning Europe…Well, THEY ONLY SOUND LIKE THEY DO.
That is part of what this blog is all about and always has been – and especially is from now…
Oh, yeah, those 27 countries…I’ve been to Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Benelux, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – so that’s already over half of them – but that means a lot I haven’t and don’t know about, and I look forward to seeing some of those previously visited countries once again,…
This trip is all coming about due to Brexit, remember, so that by around this time next year I may not – as a UK citizen – be able to visit any of these countries without some kind of pass or visa. (As it happens, I have a way out – a trick up my sleeve – . Be that as it may…)
To start with, we’re taking the ferry to Hoek van Holland and heading north-eastwards…to form a triangle containing Amsterdam, Tallinn and Podgorica. That’s the plan.
First, there’s a whole lot more to organise – like what to do with the house…
In a future blog, I’ll try to give my starting position re Europe and the UK’s imminent departure from within its ranks.

Comments will be very warmly received.

In the meantime, here are some books of fiction I’ve written – all available from local bookstores or online, hardcopy or digital, and none of them particularly expensive.

GLYN F RIDGLEY

We want war

How do you think it feels being an American general..?
You wake up in the morning hungry for war.
You constantly hark back to Vietnam and refuse to accept that your military lost that particular extended conflict – it was the politicians’ fault – and you wonder how you can make sure the same outcome never occurs again.
You consider how greater carpet-bombing would have laid greater waste to the entire country and silenced entirely those commie Vietcong; how a better manner of winning hearts-and-minds might have worked out…
And then you ponder how you might apply all these ways of thinking right now in Syria, say, or Afghanistan – or in some other theatre of war…say, IRAN!!! Or – better still – RUSSIA!!! (China will have to wait.)
Conveniently, you forget what carpet-bombing did to the Korean peninsula in the early 1950s when the military’s efforts laid waste to the entire country of North Korea to the extent – by your own calculations – there was nothing left to bomb…and yet the DPRK re-emerged, more resourceful than before, having learned their own lessons (that the USA cannot be trusted), just as the Vietnamese people re-emerged from their underground warrens after you had destroyed all that existed above with your chemical and conventional weaponry…
And then you get to dreaming about the A-bomb…
All you need now is an excuse – and, oh, lookee here…our friends at UN, SIS and BBC are lining up the perfect opportunity…

If ever a piece of so-called reporting from a major media source warranted being called ‘a piece of war-mongering’, this is it from the BBC. Shocking journalism at any time from any national news organisation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43219614

usa bombing syria
US bombing of Syrian target (Huffington Post)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS @ AMAZON

 

Freedom Music becomes Literature

Think about it…

jimi
Peace & Love

Rock music was so sixties…so seventies…and its voice was freedom and anti-war – which all got gobbled up in the eighties and beyond; so that now we are returned to the rhetoric of let’s-have-war and clamp down on dissent. People are returned to their rubbish fear of no genuine enemy and a willingness to be subsumed by a fear of non-existent threats – funnily enough, the same ones of yore: Iran, Russia, N Korea.
There has been no British or American novelistic literature of the past forty years – not worth mentioning – or, really, post-war. Orwell and Kerouac set their stuff in the forties. Everything has been manipulated to sustain the Establishment. Literature is the Establishment. A couple of Russians have made their forays into the full-frontal consciousness of Westerners, Solzhenitsyn and Pasternak (Bulgakov goes way back to Stalin), and that’s about it.
No apologies – there HAVE BEEN NO liberationist writers of any substance in this era, the one being referred to; there have been feminist, gay and black writers, as there have been south american, turkish, arabic novelists and so forth, but they have concerned themselves with ghettoised not universal concerns. Only rock music has traversed the divide.
Think of how Hendrix doing Star Spangled Banner epitomises the whole anti-war pro-freedom movement and sentiment strong at that time.
The FBI, CIA and SIS did not concern themselves overly with any writers around then. The literati could not convey meaning in the manner that the musicians were able to accomplish.
But today – or soon – I hope these secret intelligence services will have to concern themselves with what is being written by bona fide spot on writers who have the graphic intelligence to grasp and grapple with contemporary matters in a fictionalised mode that encapsulates and transgresses the masses’ hopes and fears in the way the rock musicians were able to do fifty years ago.
Since music has now become a spent political force…

sorry r n r
The literati failed – not r n r

Let Rock music become literature.
BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR