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!

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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.

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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.

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Still on the road

I’ve got a big pink sky here and home-made beer and all is pretty good.

What else happens in south Bucks?

Not a whole lot.chiltern-hills

Most of what happens is entirely personal.

The politics are all true-Blue (that’s Red for our American cousins).

I wouldn’t mind if it got shaken up a bit, but then you wouldn’t want to shake it up too much since everybody by and large gets a good life here.

I guess you’d like to spread it around.

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Years of waste: 1979-2019

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

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

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Bucks blog #1

Without a doubt south Bucks is as pretty and lovely an area as any in the world. Sometimes it is beautiful, sometimes it is gloomy but, always, it possesses a special character to those born here and raised here. The Chiltern hills, Aylesbury Vale and beech woods under an ever-changing voluminous blue-grey-white sky take centre stage as far as I am concerned. Fortunately all this glorious nature can be accessed from my family home; unfortunately a poor writer cannot find the funds to move back to the place he loves – where a wooden hut with a pocket-handkerchief garden would set you back 400K.

Well, we’re still on the road, so that hardly matters at the moment…

Bristol beckons, and then the Welsh landscape will heave into view, especially the Pembrokeshire coast and doblo

After, we’re lining up a cottage in central Portugal for the autumn and incoming winter chill. I’ve got to find a place to settle for a while and continue work on the new novel, which follows on from the previous effort SOUL JOURNEY. This means it will be THE SERPENTINE MYTH PT2 (referring to the manner in which humanity’s most ancient teachings have been preserved from Vedic times and even now are being revealed in a modern form) and contains all the characters from the previous eight novels. The current working title is Zeitgeist Pariah which harks back to when the guys were just starting out from their (south Bucks!) village… (you probably ought to know this is no demons & wizards Lord of the Rings type saga, but rather a bunch of ordinary guys heading out into the world and discovering its secrets therein…while a new generation is now emerging – which will hopefully make a better job of maintaining this planet. – And  I’m 100% optimistic they will!)

Which brings the post back to lawrence

I headed out into the god-woods straight after breakfast in my old hiking boots purchased in Truro twenty years ago and on the dry 2018 earth saw how the NT lads had been having a clear out and making the forest floor more open once again. The beeches soared thirty feet up and their leaves formed a glittering green canopy against the bright blue-sunlight while the soft warm loam underfoot reminded me yet again of brown ale aroma. Anyway, I had the woods again all to myself like I haven’t had for a couple of decades since the dog-walkers discovered they could drive out in their cars to a nearby village with their animals in the back and then unleash them into the pure meadows and surrounding woodland. There was the Vale of Aylesbury leading up to the north of the county, there was the golden ball of St Lawrence church glinting above the western tree-line and there was the perfect harmony of earth and sky that I hadn’t experienced for so long…good, old south Bucks!

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Balkans blog #10

After thousands of miles and loads of weeks occupying a square surface area about that of a billiard table we are still the star-crossed lovers who met in Russia all those moons doblo

We have been heading back from our trip south through the Balkans by way of Italy and France and will quite soon be hitting Blighty’s shores via the port of Calais.

For some reason, my accent has reverted to the Bucks/London of my youth and Anne is finding it increasingly difficult to understand my utterences. That will surely be cured when the clipped vowel sounds of the Home Counties once again fill my ears as a result of turning on the radio and TV.

Actually, that ain’t gonna happen since I was fed up with all the rubbish being fed me before our departure and had already stopped tuning in. Consequently, there is no intention of starting to listen again on our return.

There is a general campaign against exposing oneself to the lies and propaganda of the UK media and I urge everyone to find alternative ways of obtaining both information and entertainment (if you can see any difference between the two). (Just prior to leaving UK shores a colleague was incredulous that I didn’t listen to the BBC and therefore obtained my news…I didn’t have the heart to tell them there’s a revolution going on.)

That is true of mainstream literature also. Whatever pap is being bottle-fed you right now be sure that it has been processed through a series of agents, publishers and booksellers before reaching your eyes and mind to make sure that all the goodness and vitality has been squeezed out of it.

Your only hope is to locate non-adulterated supplies over the internet or by other means.

As for music…

If a film makes it to the cinema it ought to be marked with a ‘Moronic Content’ sticker (I’m not joking…more anon)

As a matter of fact, our living space over the past three months has extended to about as far as the eye can see and the body is prepared to travel. From lake to mountain to sky, sea to shore, meadow to forest and hill to river. We have lived the whole summer outdoors, and feel all the better for it.

The difficulty will be trying to adjust to enclosed spaces. Really.

That said, we can’t wait to see family and friends and at the moment do not know how long we will be staying in their vicinity. Certainly, our return to Blighty is not the end of the trip – but merely a pause.

Next stop…

Written in Sedan, Ardennes, France, on the road to Calais

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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 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

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The trip continues…

Perfect hangover weather here, 3000 feet up in the French Alps. After bludgeoning temperatures of over 30 degrees even up high on the plateaux it’s a relief to have them lowered as a result of the rain. Wisps of cloud are clinging to the wooded alpine slopes as they move through the valley before fading away. The rain falls soft and gentle, just like Van Morrison describes it in some of his best doblo

We are hungover because last night Pascale and Lionel invited us over to their place for a nosh up of the most wonderful tartiflette, made from potatoes and onions combined with lardons and Reblochon cheese produced from raw milk by the dairy farmers in the mountains of Savoie, where we are still camping. We began with a rose wine and croutons before ‘changing colour’ to a beauteous red wine which accompanied the main dish. I have never experienced such a matching up of wine and food. There was jambon sec and cornichons to follow with the crispy Batavia lettuce leaves and simple but perfectly proportioned oil-and-vinegar dressing. In the meantime a partly-drunk bottle bearing the hand-written legend poire 2015 had been produced and put on the table. When the Nescafe coffee and sweet fruit tartlets from the local boulangerie appeared so did four small liqueur glasses. As he poured out the pear schnapps from the bottle Lionel explained the label. In the region only certain families are permitted by law to distil alcohol and they are usually approached sometime in the autumn when the fruit is at its ripest to make the different flavoured liqueurs. Before the first tasting Lionel described it as ‘anti-freeze’, which fortunately proved to be a misrepresentation. Though it was obviously pretty pokey. More conversation followed and this led to another bottle of clear liquid being produced; this time we learned it had been flavoured with the ‘mirabelle’ plum, and dated back to 2010. A vote was taken and the second bottle took precedence. What I should say is that the rain had been pelting down since soon after our arrival at their caravan-and-awning and the thunder crashing and the lightning flashing down the mountain valley for hours. Essentially, we were captive. So my glass kept being refilled with plum schnapps as we awaited a break in the weather. By midnight we decided that, rain or not, bed beckoned and for the umpteenth time we made our farewells. This time successfully.

That was last night. Today…

Posted from Petit Bornand les Glières, Haute Savoie

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY available from Amazon and bookstores worldwide