Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

THE ULTIMATE TEST OF FIEDLITY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/martyr/”>Martyr</a&gt;

a martyr is one who would lay down their life for what they believed

THE ULTIMATE TEST OF FIEDLITY

 

Just imagine being ordered to

“Deny your God or I’ll kill you.”

I was once, in a war of  ideology

Them and us and our theology.

 

The brainwashed soldier cornered me

Believing his creed meant I had to be

Dead at his feet, or he he would go to hell.

A shot rang out. He was dead where he fell.

 

God then had spared me from having to decide 

Was I a coward or a saint, standing by his side.

I will never be able to know beyond all doubt

Whether I loved him so much I could opt out

 

Of being a Christian hero, earthly life no more,

Trusting I would be taken to Heaven years before

I had expected; strange thoughts  confused my head

How would my friends and family cope if I were dead?

 

But I had been spared this decision, left to ponder long

Would they rather have loved me in hymn and song

Or Would God have let me pray for them from his paradise?

I’m glad I was no martyr asked to choose how to suffer twice.

 

 

 

 

 

LÉ SACRE DU PRINTEMPS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sacred/”>Sacred</a&gt;

hope you all get the twist & joke

LÉ SACRE DU PRINTEMPS

Luc Boncourt de Rochebrune was really quite fortunate in the circumstances of his birth. His father died when he was sixteen months old, he was an only child. His mother had died in childbirth. He was thus a very wealthy young Frenchman as the family lawyers had ensured he had a first class academic education and had wisely invested his fortune for him.

October the eighteenth 1960, his eighteenth birthday, as stipulated by his father’s will, saw him inherit two vineyards, a small château in the Loire valley and a seventeen room apartment on the Isle Saint Louis in the middle of the Seine in the centre of Paris. A very large inheritance indeed. He had no close blood relations at all and it was only the prospect of going to university in Paris the following year that made him think his life might actually change into something he would enjoy for the first time in his life. His father had been a very pious man, and had decided his child would bear the name of the saint on whose feast he was born.

In 1941 The forty year old die hard, anti-Nazi French soldier, who had fled to England with General de Gaulle in 1939, was chosen to lead an underground sabotage mission back to his home city and was smuggled into Paris in January 1941 from England. He soon became a key player in a plot to thwart German plans in occupied France. Unfortunately his second in command was a tearaway young Frenchwomen, Therese, so totally his opposite in everyday life that he hardly knew how to speak to her. She would do anything to make life hard for the Hun. Unfortunately on one day this involved seducing a German general for long enough to let the resistance steal vital plans from his headquarters.

Well Boncourt senior was a staunch Catholic who thought nothing could ever justify this. Therese thought exactly the opposite. Finally Luc’s father squared his conscience in a very unholy way. He could not bear the thought of pleasuring a German for any reason at all and actually succeeded in capturing the man himself, hours before Therese was supposed to visit his headquarters. So when she arrived and saw the supposed Nazi leader waiting for her she just shrugged and in true French style thought she might as well enjoy the ordeal. That was when she discovered what her commander had done. She was flaming.

“Okay, let the others steal the plans, Boncourt, but don’t deprive me of my fun. I have risked my life for this!” and so saying, being a former prostitute and something of an expert, she, captured her leader and possessed herself of his virginity, all in a matter of minutes. Was the pious patriot shocked and covered with guilt at his own conduct? Not at all. He knew his comrade’s history and so immediately told her she now had no choice but to marry him. She stared at him as though he was mad. Then he told her how much he was worth. If they got back to England and she gave up her old profession she would be a very wealthy lady. And so it came to pass. They completed the mission and were smuggled back to London a few weeks later having married in the meantime.

You can guess what happened; they enjoyed life in England for a while, Boncourt senior turning out to be very good at a pastime he had denied himself for some twenty five years, and Therese gave birth to Luc on the appropriate day in 1942. Unfortunately a bomb fell on the hospital where she was giving birth and while baby Luc survived the raid she did not. The French leaders in London made something of a hero of the baby and assured his father he would be well looked after. And as well they did because Boncourt senior returned to French occupied territory the following year and he too was a victim of war. Fortunately Gaullistes do nothing by halves and gave little Luc everything his father would have wanted until the day in October 1960 when our story starts.

Celebrating his birthday with his good friend Giles he confided that his total worth was now about $50 million, or some £18 million for our British readers. Also the huge, luxurious apartment in the most sought after part of the capital was his to live in and still get to school every day in good time thanks to a chauffeur and very good housekeeper. But he asked Giles, in confidence,

“Dis-moi, coco” no we’ll keep it Anglophone .. “Tell me mate” how does one meet a respectable young girlfriend in this place? The only reply anyone ever gives me involves buying girls off the street and that is not at all what I want. I would really like to fall in love with a good living, pretty, cheerful Catholic girl like myself. Any ideas?”

“For a start, Luc, you’re not a young girl – are you? – no I didn’t think so. Okay my oldest sister went to a convent near here and there are plenty of nice Catholic girls there. I can easily fix us up for a pleasant meal out with a couple and take in a film if you’ll foot the bill. Okay?” What else are friends for? The had two trips out with different girls who were nice enough and then on the last day of term before Christmas Luc was sure he’d hit the jackpot. Eugenie was gorgeous. But more than that she went to Mass every Sunday, had a great sense of humour and they immediately hit it off. It was almost as though they were made for each Other.

Reverend Mother Madeleine, head mistress of the convent school, was rather concerned and so had a chat with the bursar who looked after school fees and how they were paid. They were the top ladies running the school. “Have you noticed that we have given Eugenie Gautier four evenings out this term? It’s a bit worrying as I’m told every time it is with the same young man, Luc Boncourt. What do we know of him? Should I ask his headmaster Father Jerome?”

The bursar had blanched. Her lip trembled and she blessed herself. “Luc who?” she stuttered. “Are you sure that’s his surname? All her fees are paid by the Boncourt estate.” 

“Why? Yes, I believe it is. But they go to Mass together on Sundays so everything must be alright.” The bursar shook her head and fiddled in a drawer in her desk before taking out a thick file. She passed it over saying,

“Read that, Madeleine. I can fill you in on the rest.”the

I fear my readers are about to get ahead of me. Yes it’s true. He did. When Luc’s father returned to Paris after his wife’s death he made every effort to trace her origins and found the street near the rue Saint Denis where she plied her nightly trade. He asked round amongst the girls if anybody could tell him if his wife had any relatives. She had none, they were sure she was an orphan, but when she met Boncourt she was twenty three. They all knew about little Eugenie. Her first child, born just three weeks before she started her resistance work, was entrusted to some girls working south of Paris and who promised to look after her and keep her safe while her mother fought with the resistance. It seemed she would have been ten months old when Luc was born.

Boncourt did the best he could. He arranged for the girl to be transferred to his chateau on the Loire and be brought up as a lady. All her expenses would be paid by his bankers from London if and when the war ever ended. And so they were. The Bursar looked at the headmistress and said, “she leaves school this summer to go to university and is very bright. She is now nineteen and a bit by our records, but I fear she could also be related to Luc. Maybe even his half sister!”

Who was going to tell them? Eventually it was agreed Father Jerome and Luc would visit the convent where Eugenie and the Reverend Mother would talk to them. The nun and the monk were very apprehensive as they tried to start the conversation. But to their relieve the youngsters smiled at them and Eugenie spoke first, “Have you got us here to tell us we must stop going out together because we are brother and sister?” She was answered by incredulous nods. “Well I’ll let Luc explain.”

“When I went out with Eugenie for the second time I realised I had to act. I have here, “ and Luc produced a worn envelope from his pocket, “the last letter my father ever wrote, to his lawyers in London. It appears he feared I might try to find out my mother’s origins so told me what he had done. He arranged, he thought, for my half sister to be looked after and well educated. But his plans failed. It is true I had a half sister called Eugenie, a year older than I, but she was killed by the Germans when still a baby. However, the girls looking after her thought they should not waste Papa’s gift and so sent a much younger little girl to his chateau. Her mother was untraceable so they called her Eugenie too and this is her. Can none of you see how her origins can always be traced and shown not to be my mother?” There were blank faces all round. “Well what’s her surname?” asked Luc.

The bursar piped up, “Gautier. Was that not your mother’s surname?”

Luc grinned, “I don’t know, but Papa told us in the letter he thought it was Sacré. No the girls called her ‘Gautier’ so there could be no doubt who she was!!

“Father Jerome laughed. I think even the nuns may have read the book, Luc, or at least seen La Traviata! And then the nuns both smiled. No she’s not your sister Luc, the younger Dumas and then Verdi saw to that. I think you two are all right. But why did your father think your mother’s surname might be associated with something Holy?”

“Luc and Eugenie almost replied together. Because she was something he grew to love early in the year. She was his “Sacré du Printemps.”

TRUMP’S PANOPLY OF MEGALOMANIA


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/panoply/”>Panoply</a&gt;

Obama’s chance to earn his Nobel Peace prize.

TRUMP’S PANOPLY OF MEGALOMANIA

Following his incredibly egocentric boasting of his pleasure at being congratulated by the president of Taiwan, without even thinking about the effect this action would have on Sino-US relations, Donald Trump proved beyond doubt that he is mentally unbalanced and an unfit person to hold a position of global power. He could easily cause a world war. Okay the Western world is fed up with today’s political establishment but that does not excuse risking a nuclear conflict.

But there is a huge constitutional question here for President Obama. The constitution does not deal specifically with modern technology which could allow egomaniacs like Trump (and Kim) to press a button and kill billions of people if they felt like it. Trump is obviously mentally unstable, his election has made his mental condition far worse, and he must be removed from public life immediately for the safety of mankind. This can be done by President Obama who has the power to order Trump’s immediate medical examination and determination of his mental state. When this is done he can be kept away from the public and be treated for his condition in a suitable hospital.

Under the constitution he would of course not be allowed to be inaugurated if he was sectioned as mentally unfit to hold high office. It would be the most important thing Obama ever did in his eight years as head of state.

DEADLINES I ALWAYS SEEM TO MISS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/construct/”>Construct</a&gt;

This one really is true!!

DEADLINES I ALWAYS SEEM TO MISS

I had a shock today, a real shock. I have been seriously ill with six illnesses for many years, one a totally life-limiting anxiey neurosis and phobia since I was five. But recently by far my worst was aggressive cancer which was diagnosed seventeen years ago. In 2000 I had major surgery and weeks and weeks of radio therapy and hormone injections and heavens only knows what else. The result? In the summer of 2001 I was given a maximum of six months to live.

Well since then I have had five cerebral strokes to add to my existing illnesses, the cancer has remained active for the whole time and my pain level, I also have a broken spine from a helicopter crash in Indo Cina many years ago, is such that I live on the maximum daily morphine level permitted for somebody who is not in hospital and medicates themselves under supervision at home. And on top of this my cancer has become aggressive another nine times and I have had three more  terminal prognoses. According to the one this year I should have died last month at the latest. So I underwent a final attempt to remove the spreading disease which MRI scans showed was threating others parts of me. Do you want to hear the shock?

Today I learned that the last peek into my person by surgeon and camera showed that all the new malignant growths had either shrunk to insignificance, disappeared or were just part of the original tumour which has decided to go to sleep again. The doctors just don’t know what to make of me. I was actually asked what I would like to do about my illness now as the medics had completely run out of advice or ideas.

Naturally I was very pleased with the news, even though my permanent fatigue, pain and intermittent mental confusion and slight manual paralysis are still there and always will be. But I just told them to pack up the injections which were painful and useless, keep up the treatment for my last stroke, and leave the rest to me.

My senior cancer doctor just stared at me, smiled, shook her head and said she wouldn’t dream of interfering with me any more. As long as I had blood tests every month to monitor all the symptoms that had to be watched in case they stared getting worse again, she was happy to leave me alone. But she did ask me where I got my phenominal constitution from. That was easy.  I told her I said my prayers every day and had done since I was three years old. She thought I was joking, so I added that I went to Mass as often as I was able, about twice a month, and received Holy Communion whenever I could.

She didn’t see the relevance of my reply and nor did any of her colleagues. They seemed to think I’m just lucky. Well naturally they are right. I’m very, very lucky that  the God I love so much seems to love me a lot too. At least for the time being I have no medical “deadlines” hanging over me.

 

 

THE ECHO OF MY FIRST WARNING


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/echo/”>Echo</a&gt;

I can still hear the Echo  of  ‘a minimis incipe’.

THE ECHO OF MY FIRST WARNING

I was idly browsing various news sites yesterday when the first serious warning I had in my life echoed again through my mind. I came across a strange video clip from Colorado. Eight children, four male four female, were talking about their everyday lives and being completely honest on matters of sex, drugs, sexting, dating etc. It was fascinating and very revealing, especially as they were aged 13-15!

This post deals almost solely with one of the above topics. Drugs.  ‘A Minimis Incipe’ was our school motto. It means ‘from small beginnings.’ It was meant to be encouraging but turned out to be a dreadful warning as we grew up. It pointed out the worst pitfalls before us in our lives.

But a final introductory word before I begin. All eight kids were born in the age of social media and their devious ways of using this technology to confuse and mislead their parents was genuinely frightening. Especially their complete lack of any sense of morality or ethics when it came to lying to their families. It was normal for them. My first university girlfriend (briefly) came from Vale, Colorado, she was a good 100 years more innocent and pleasant than this lot. But that was October 1960. From here all names have been changed.

So we have eight youngsters all agreed that their leisure time was dominated by i-phones of some sort. But this took up time so one of them actually seemed to be admitting, rather shame-facedly, that she was still a virgin. The other seven looked as though they thought or knew she was lying. But the one thing they all agreed on very enthusiastically was smoking pot. All eight placed it as the number one thing in their lives, and as cannabis is allowed in their state, they could not understand why anyone would query their choice. The conversation went something like this.

“Why do you smoke cannabis Bill?” asked the anchor lady in the news room. A surprised, 14 year-old Bill replied,

“Well you can’t refuse it at a party, nobody would speak to you again. They’d think you a wimp. Anyways it relaxes me and all the pressure of school, sports, social clubs and home life go away when you get a little high.”

That dear readers was the opinion of all eight youngsters round that table. They had all had their first drag, their first realisation that their anxieties could be eased by the start of a terrible form of self abuse against which they had been warned but took no notice at all. And it gets worse. This one really shook me. It was 13 year old Angie talking now. “Oh but the real fun starts when you and your friend have swapped cell phone numbers and gotten a third friend who plays along to stay at home, her turn, and take all calls from your parents pretending to be her own mother and confirming that you are all having a fun sleep over at her house.

“Of course the parties we go to are all ‘mixed pill’ parties.”

“They are what?”

“Oh that’s when everyone gets pretend depression or similar symptoms and the school doctor prescribes tranquillisers of different sorts. As you go in to the party you have to throw some pills into a bag. Then, when we are all there, the bag is shaken up and everyone has to take four pills without looking and just swallow them with some sort of alcohol. We often do that. After the last party I don’t even know where I slept or who with. But I remember feeling great and then woke up feeling sick. It’s good fun.”

Look I could go on, but do I have to? It appears that this lifestyle is common knowledge to some 95% of all teenage school children in the States and some 50% probably behave regularly just like the lot above. I won’t go into the prurient details of sexting that followed the drugs bit. The point I want to make, and so forcefully I would do almost anything to achieve my goal, is to make people of this age realise that from small beginnings, the first drag, that first curious sexual experiment of any sort, comes a desire and then a need for ever more exhilarating, ever more relaxing, finally ever more brain-destroying cravings for the hard drugs that ruin millions of lives around the world.

The other day someone called me naïve for not realising that the twenty first century was a new age, a new world and just because I was seventy four I had no right to stop modern people behaving as they pleased.

I wasn’t naïve, I was experienced. I had seen and knew so many stories of lives ruined and lost, loving parents unable to see where they went wrong, and worst of all the horrible predators who stalked the dependent, lost addicts and just fed their habit for whatever they could get from them or use them for. If that is the twenty first century world we are supposed to admire I’m afraid I just don’t. I HATE it. And HATE is the one word in my vocabulary for which I have no use at all except in this instance. All of you, please be warned it is so easy to take the first step in any direction in life but that last step to happiness will often be a step too far, the one you may never be able to take.

I HAD A DREAM, A NIGHTMARE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/primp/”>Primp</a&gt;

I HAD A DREAM, A NIGHTMARE.

The Statue of Liberty went to the hairdressing salon yesterday and had her hair primped into short curls, tightly packed round her head. Then she took a chisel and removed the words engraved for so long upon her person. Taking out her treasured copy of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ she replaced them with the words which the great Italian poet chose to adorn the gates of hell,

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

But she smiled at the thought of how very few of those folks there would now be. She sighed and mused,  “Who would have thought that so many people in my United States wore blue collars over their red necks, or muffled them in workmen’s overalls?  A New Yorker too! Ah well, at least all our little greenbacks will be well and truly primped too, worth not even half their value of Tuesday morning.”

AWE

 

THAT’S ALL FOLKS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/giant/”>Giant</a&gt;

Thanks for a GIANT step for those unable to be heard for so long.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS

Well, you can see from the title that I am now shutting down my wordpress blogs. It has been a great 3 and a half years and brought me many friends and people I have come to admire very much. I only hope my occasional offering has returned the favour of enjoying yours. To five of you — you know who you are – – I am sending special messages of thanks and au revoir because you have done much more than just keep me occupied, you have cheered me up and helped me through a long period of painful and crippling  illnesses. But I shall continue to read you as long as I can.

A final word of thanks to the whole concept of this type of site. It affords the ill, old and lonely with a giant outlet to communicate with the rest of the world and realise that they are not alone, forgotten or ignored. For that alone I would nominate WordPress for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize. But to all of you, again, thanks more than I can say.

Love.

Anton

ps.& to Hillary a warning. “Vae Victis.”

A MEMORABLE CASE OF FLATTERY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flattery/”>Flattery</a&gt;

“mais tu me flatte, monsieur, puis-rendre le compliment?”

A MEMORABLE CASE OF FLATTERY

Anyone who says they do not like being flattered is very probably not telling the truth. I have nearly always been pleased when when this has happened to me, but I must tell you about one occasion when I definitely was not.

Caterinetta was a pretty young girl who studied very hard in our mediaeval history tutorials at Pisa university in Italy, but she had real trouble mastering necessary texts which were not in her native tongue. She knew the subject matter in great depth but just wrestled with English and French passages, especially philosophical ones. I was very lucky being a foreign student whose native tongue was English and had completed a degree in the subject the previous year at the Sorbonne in Paris. So with Italy being currently the country where I worked most of the time the language was easy for me. In short I had a head start over many of the first year post graduate students. Well one German chap was a sheer genius, fluent in five languages, but we won’t count him! But where did the flattery come in?

At the end of the first term I was chatting to my lovely Lucia, an Italian girl whom I had met at the Sorbonne and was following me in a post graduate course for the Italian equivalent of an MA at Pisa. We had grown very fond of each other and became more mutually enamoured as each week passed. OK, I can tell you you that we got married just over a year later as it has nothing to do with this story and anyway I have written of our romance elsewhere. But just before writing our first important papers for the course in Pisa Lucia asked me if I could help a friend of hers who was having real trouble with English.

Antonino,” she always called me that, “little Caterinetta was almost in tears last night when she couldn’t translate any of Mathew Paris’ chronicle on that part of the reign of Henry the third of England which covered his marriage to the sister in law of King Louis the ninth of France. She thought I must have fluent English as I knew you so well, but I’m afraid when it comes to mediaeval writing I don’t!”

I was puzzled. “Cara, you can translate that, well the very original, because it’s in Latin and I know you are good at thirteenth century Latin. We talked a lot about it when doing our French degrees. Caterinetta doesn’t need the English version, only the Latin one. I can’t believe she hasn’t got it, but if not I can lend her mine. Surely that’s all she needs, isn’t it?”

Lucia hadn’t thought of that and went to find her friend and check. It appeared that the set book for her project was the 1889 edition in modern English by J.A.Giles and was riddled with words she didn’t understand. I promised to have a look and asked Caterinetta to let me see the edition she was told to use. I had read it a few years earlier but realised that French historian Paul Guth’s life of the French king covered the events Caterinetta wanted much better. So I cheated.

Lucia, look I’ve got a really good idea. If you let me describe the marriage and the celebrations at Christmas 1236 between Henry and Eleanor, using the French version, nobody will know, and Caterinetta should get a perfectly good grade. It isn’t cheating or anything like that, is it, because I am only advising a fellow student on a subject we both study?” My inamorata seemed dubious but smilingly said she supposed not. Well, the outcome was that not only did our little friend get a good pass for her paper but her tutor actually congratulated her on her mastery of a rather pompous and more modern version of the event written in a type of English that was far from mediaeval. She was delighted and showed me the tutor’s comments saying,

Oh, Anton. Thank you. Your analysis of the importance of mediaeval courtly marriage customs really impressed my tutor. You must be very clever!”

Now I admit it was a very flattering remark, but unfortunately my Lucia was present when I was flattered. She drew me aside that evening, on the lovely banks of the river Arno, and said, “Much as I love you, mio amante caro, I don’t think she should have flattered you. I remember how you wrote the same synopsis of that famous wedding two years ago in Paris. You didn’t just help her, you plagiarised yourself and thus gained a completely undeserved pat on the academic back!”

I know, Cara, “ I grinned, “ but didn’t I deserve to be flattered for my memory if nothing else?”

No,” she said hugging me. “You didn’t, it was showing off.”

AWE

SELF INDULGENCE or THE PAINFUL PASSION OF LOVING PURGATORY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/passionate/”>Passionate</a&gt;

based on the philosophy of the ‘the passion of accepting purgatory as an act of love to attain life with God in heaven’ as described by Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) and accepted as part of the Church’s theological doctrine after its publication in 1556.

SELF INDULGENCE or THE PAINFUL PASSION OF LOVING PURGATORY

In the Italian port of Genoa in fourteen ninety one

A friar, selling indulgences, stopped a passing holy nun.

Blessed sister”, he called to her, “I know your love of God

Surpasses all your other wants, in his shoes you would be shod

So that, if death suddenly struck you down, and as to him you ran

You’d feel all your sins had been forgiven, ever since your life began.

 

 

But holy though your life now is, surely must you not still pay

For those forbidden deeds you did before your first conventual day?

How long in purgatory must you spend to totally cleanse your soul

And so make you worthy to meet your God? How long? You cannot say.

But I have a week’s plenary indulgence to delete your spiritual shame

If daily you recite these hundred prayers honouring your Lord’s name.

 

 

For 10 pieces of silver donated to my charitable works and cause

I’ll tell you the prayers to say” – she gave twenty without a pause.

A week later to the day in the hospital chapel where she nursed

The ill, the old, the terrified and dying, both blessed and accursed,

She fell upon her knees and intoned the psalms the friar had sold to her.

She’d said the hundredth on the seventh day, her soul by then so fair.

 

 

But behind her stood Caterenetta, the matron of that healing house

Who said “Sister, Did a Friar sell you prayers to meet your holy spouse?

And are you shriven, soul quite clean? My dear, have you ever thought?

What it was he sold you and what exactly it was that you bought?

To go directly to your God your body must die now, yes this very day.

Indulgences aren’t for future sins, to forgive them you still have to pray

 

 

“Each morn and night, confessing everything you do that’s wrong.

Purgatory must be served for each sin committed your whole life long.

But don’t look so afraid and sad, you can yet see your God soon.

Living a life of human trials working hard, and kindly until you swoon,

Wearing out the human body,ignoring hunger and spurning a comfy bed

So at death your forgiven soul goes straight to God, on whose love it fed.

 

 

You see this earthly life can be your purgatory if you devote yourself

Entirely to hardship for others’ sakes and leave on the tempting shelf

Everything you covet through purely human and corporal desires

And live, instead, a life of charity for those God loves, created and aspires

To love for ever, and like you, see them love him also in return.

Do this until you die, my dear, and his holy vision at once you’ll earn.”

AWE

THE ROOT OF JOY AND SORROW