Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Month: March, 2015


<a href=””>Places</a&gt;

continuing the story in my  post ‘the end of the line’ published March 13th.



The previous December when mum died and I had to return home to Barbados a few days before the end of my first term at Oxford, I received a Christmas card from my really close girl friend, well she was much more than that, although we were not lovers. All it said was, ‘thinking of you, praying for you, loving you. Mai. xxx’

This meant nothing at first other than how sorry she was I would not be meeting her family in London at Christmas as we had planned. But then, the day before I was due to fly back to Oxford I received this terrible shock. It was in the form of a brief but tear stained letter.

Remember our names for each other? ‘Peter the Great’ and ‘Come what Mai’? Well hold on to them my darling. They are all we have for the time being. I told my parents and family about you and showed them that lovely picture of us in our favourite place. That was when they realised you were not just West Indian, but coloured. Oh Peter, how can people be so cruel? I explained that being Chinese I could well be just as much a shock to your parents, but they would not listen. I asked what I should do, about my studies in particular. My father said he would take his belt to me, and my brothers would kill you before they allowed me near you again. Why, Peter? Why? My family merely said I was their daughter and must do what they said and that I had no say in the matter at all.

I have been banned from Oxford and they don’t care that I was studying medicine, like you. They didn’t care about sick people, their control over me came first and that was that. My father is going to ring my tutor tomorrow to say I am too ill to study and that will be the end of it. To make sure of this I will be virtually a prisoner in my home and not even allowed out to shop for three months, mum said. At least I have got in first with this letter to you and one to your friend Leroy, giving him my address. He is still in London and I know he will try to help somehow. Be careful, Peter. You will always be ‘Great’. I Love you. Mai. XXX”

As you can imagine I was badly shaken and could not think straight for a while, but then I looked at the time. Sunday or not it was only nine pm in Oxford and I rang our tutor to get my call in first. I was incredibly lucky, Dr.Lassiter was in his rooms and when he heard my story was absolutely furious. He is going to ring you now and tell you how he can help you, although he was none too sure. All he did know was that as you were over eighteen, and so your family were breaking the race relations act, then you could do whatever you wished. He was reporting the matter to the Dean and the Chancellor so that they could also get in before your father to make sure he understood your rights. Leroy will certainly keep an eye on you so I’m adding his mobile number if you need to text him (if you can).

I Do love you, ‘Come what Mai’, and always will. xxx. Moi.

I heard nothing from anyone before boarding the plane today, but here in London airport at 9.00am I have managed to get hold of Leroy. He tells me he has informed the police of what has happened and that they are checking with the authorities in Oxford. It seems Mai’s father did ring Dr.Lassiter and was told in no uncertain terms that she was returning to Oxford even if the police had to bring her. That is all I know but I have told Leroy to tell Mai to meet me in our favourite place this afternoon if she get’s back to University as we hope. This is a picture of where we loved to walk together. Leroy is calling round at her house later this morning.


Our Favourite hillside walk.

Our Favourite hillside walk.


You can see why we liked walking hand in hand down towards the lake in the distance. Well in the hope that she’ll make it I have bought a ring which I hope to put on her hand this afternoon. I have to go now or I won’t make Oxford in time myself.


Just imagine the scene. it was almost exactly the same time of day as when I took this picture, about four in the afternoon. I had almost given up any hopes that Mai would turn up when she suddenly appeared , running towards me up the hill between those sunlit trees. We clung to each other for what seemed like ages and then she asked if we could sit on a tree stump as she had something important to tell me.

“Peter, dad was in a terrible rage when Leroy arrive, he thought it must be you. But Leroy was very clever and had a policeman with him. The constable assured dad this was just a friend from Oxford who was returning for the start of term and thought I might like a companion on the journey. I picked up the hint and nipped upstairs to collect my case which I had ready with everything I needed in it in the hope I could somehow get back to University. Dad told the constable I was not going but the officer produced a court order accusing dad of racial discrimination and then actually arrested him. Only mum was at home and couldn’t stop Leroy from leaving with me. I don’t know what will happen next. I saw Dr. Lassiter and explained how I had managed to return and the college has changed my accomodation to a very safe suite of rooms on the third floor where he promised I would be looked after. It’s really lovely Peter. He asked me to bring you back so we could all discuss things as they are now. Can we go?”

I smiled back and said ,”Not until you answer this question. Give me your hand, Mai. Here, slip this on and then tell me that you will marry me.” She gaped in happy surprise and kept her arms round my neck for several minutes before whispering.

“Of course I will, Peter. After all you are ‘The Great!'”

(to be continued soon)

Anton Wills-Eve

































































<a href=””>A House Divided</a>




“Have you heard, Dad, Lewis Hamilton has just won the Australian formula one Grand Prix. What a way to start the new motor racing season, eh? The best driver in the best car getting off to the best start. And he’s British! What more could you ask?” My father looked at me and replied,

“You may have forgotten, but I am an Australian and that was my home Grand Prix. No Australian has ever won it and I really thought that Daniel Ricciardo was going to do it for us. But his Red Bull car is not up to it this year. In fact the whole sport could really take a turn for the worse unless somebody designs an engine to challenge the Mercedes. Otherwise it will be a procession like it was last year.”

Actually, I agreed with him. The Ferrari and Williams teams were looking very good but were a full second a lap slower than the Mercedes and the great hopes everyone had for the British MaClaren team were lost as their new Japanese Honda engine was hopeless. Also their top driver, Alonso was injured and did not race in Australia and their other former world champion, England’s Jenson Button, could only drag his MaClaren home eleventh which also happened to be last.

Now you would expect father and son being very keen on a sport was enough for one family but at this point my mother broke in on the conversation and said ” It’s all money, money, money! Four of the best drivers in the world can’t get a race because they don’t have rich personal sponsors prepared to buy them a place on the grid. It’s all that eighty five year old ‘cash mad’ Bernie Ecclestone’s fault for selling our beloved motor sport down the drain.” Then, turning to my father she added wistfully,”Oh Fred do you remember our teenage days when we scraped up all we could save to watch your hero Sir Jack Brabham, winning his third world championship in 1966? One of the greatest Australian sportsmen of all time.” Dad nodded and added,

“Yes my love and I remember cheering on your native Scottish heroes Jackie Stewart and Jim Clarke at their greatest. Oh no, they raced for fun and to get the adrenalin moving, not like the modern computer simulated robots they stick in cars nowadays.” But our family being what it is my sister was not having this. She was quick to point out, “Okay, when Jenson won the world title in 2009 he had by far the best car, so that supports your argument, but I remember sitting on this very sofa watching the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 and watching him come from last, after three pit stops, to carve through the field in the last ten laps and take  Vettel on the very last bend of the last lap to win the greatest GP I’ve ever seen. And don’t say your ’60s and ’70s heroes could have bettered that, I don’t believe it.” Dad smiled,

“My main memory of that race was you leaping five foot in the air as your heart throb Jenson took the lead and punching the the air and exchanging high fives with your brother as he crossed the line and won the race. But you can’t delete sports fanatics’ memories, and I’m prepared to concede that you will recount every minute of that race to your great grandchildren when you’re eighty five.”

This lively chat went on for another quarter of an hour or so before we gradually broke up to do those important things that members of families do. You know, like washing up and going to the pub. But the whole episode did do something to me which I hope I will never forget, especially with kids of my own. Family bonding is not just about being lovey-dovey and being nice to each other. No, above all it is sharing those things we are really passionate about, and invariably they are matters which evoke discussions which in turn lead to exchanging dissenting and agreement in equal measure. I’m so glad our family has several things about which they feel so strongly.


Anton Wills-Eve




<a href=””>I Want to Know What Love Is</a>




You know that spine tingling feeling you get when something great happens and every type of joy imaginable happens to you all at once? Well, that is love. So too is the wonderful feeling of gratitude when something you’ve wanted for so long suddenly happens, comes true or is given to you.

But thanks and ecstacy are not the only manifestations of love. There are moments of spiritual love that nobody can explain but which make us so pleased that the really good things in life can, and do, actually happen both to us and to our loved ones. And there goes another type of love. The feeling of being a part of a world and its society that can lift you up and make you cry with relief when something really bitterly evil and nasty is overthrown to the benefit of our colleagues and our friends.

The love that many people feel for their God is yet another totally inexplicable sensation, that of not being able to tell the whole world, as you feel you want to, that the maker of haven and earth is on your side and for once in your life you’ve done something to make Him happy. This is in the soul and the mind and quite beyond the understanding of even the person who experiences it.

But for most of us, I suppose the most unforgettable love in our lives is discovering that the boy, girl or any person whom we feel we cannot live without feels the same way about us, is the greatest human feeling or sensation there is. And the proof of this is its opposite: the awful sadness of discovering that the love of our lives does not reciprocate our feelings. You know, when romance turns into a waterfall of blinding mental tears which can last for ever and a day.

But the very fact that having felt as I have, my love being returned and remaining all my life with my wife, is the proof that I can honestly say that love is the only thing I know I know I know.


Anton Wills-Eve


   <a href=””>Twenty-Five</a> 

answer to a prompt in which I have chosen not to use the letter ‘U’.



When we first met at the railway station at Oxford I clearly remember the color of that almost jet black hair. I was taken aback as I had never seen a Chinese person before and was finding it hard believing it was really shining, black and so pretty all at the same time. I was both mystified and captivated.
     My good friend, Leroy, was with me; he was descended from West Indian grandparents. He told me the  only Asians he had ever seen were Indians and Pakistanis. We both agreed that this was very odd. I mean, think of it. Arriving in Oxford from London and we had never seen a Chinese! Well that was one for the record books. However, I decided to get to know my Asian girl as well as possible that first term at Balliol College, and  Boy! did we have a great time.

     Remember that party at Jimmy’s? Everybody can recall the first time they had alcohol, but  in this case it was very strange. We had three dances to a Chinese pentatonic beat with me doing a dance nobody had ever seen before. The lyrics were a joke as we didn’t know them properly and some lines were almost obscene.  And as the weeks went by something lovely began to happen. We went to the same concerts, gigs, parties and had dinner together more and more.

     By this time we called each other by tender nicknames. I was ‘Peter the Great’ and  was falling ever more deeply in love with my ‘Come What Mai’. I wondered what a Chinese family might make of me when I met them at Christmas as we had arranged. Mai told me not to worry. She was certain their  love for her, added to my smiling and cheerful personality were going to make us all hit it off really well together.

     However, I’ll never know if we might have done for a week before the end of term I received news that my mother had died and I had to go back home to Barbados at once. Apparently, when Mai’s relatives heard she had fallen for a West Indian they forbade her to go back to Oxford or even get in contact with me ever again.


Anton Wills-Eve  


<a href=””>Study Abroad</a>


                           SANE AND CONTENT


Seriously, was this prompt written especially for me or did my wicked fairy godmother have a word in word press’s  ear before it was chosen? Let me tell you you the history of my learning locations and see what you can make of it.

From my birth in 1942 in England, on the Thames in Buckinghamshire, I was press ganged into learning everything there was to know about the world in fluent Scottish, Australian, American and English as viewed by the world’s journalists. I came from a long line of journalists on my father’s side, four generations, and they had all considered  their vocations were to instruct the ignorant by means of the media. So by the age of three years and two months I had a party piece that I  was often forced to recite to show my relatives and their friends that my father’s ancestry of writers, and my mother’s four generations of actors and singers, could easily be reflected in their offspring  and to a genuinely useful purpose.

My sister and I did not agree. She was fifteen months older than I and was blessed with a naturally beautiful voice but hated public performing. So when she was asked she always clammed up and in my mercy I would spring to her rescue and do my showing off piece before anyone had time to castigate her for letting the family down. Do you know what I had been taught? I could recite all the Presidents of the United States from Washington to Truman, then the incumbent, and for an encore name all the states, their state capitals and, to really leave my audience gob-smacked, tell them I could name every US ambassador to Britain. They never made me do this last task, just assumed I had been really thoroughly brain washed. Lucky for them, too, because Walter Page became the first Ambassador with full diplomatic ambassadorial rank in 1916 to justify hauling the cousins into WW1! Actually Thomas Jefferson was in charge of diplomatic relations with Britain back in Washington’s time, but only as consul to Napoleon in Paris. Hardly a good start! 

But I digress. My education went roughly like this. English Catholic public school (that’s very posh not lowest level as over the pond) from seven to eighteen. Then Sorbonne university in Paris aged 18 to 21 and eight months.(History) Geneva University 21-22 (Italian history, Middle Ages), then BA at the OU in Britain, specialising in philosophy and logic, finally a doctorate at Pisa University in 1966 for a year (Papal history). All this was in five languages and by the time I retired from journalism, following  being lucky to survive a helicopter crash in 1970 and its gradual breaking up of my spine over the next eight years, I had reached masters level in four more subjects: world sports in Tokyo, a full knowledge of anxiety neurosis and phobias which I studied in Asia and The States , and finally another doctorate recently conferred by an Australian University for my life’s contribution to teaching people in most of the world the salient points of world history during my lifetime. 

But which location would I choose to retire to out of all the cities and countries where I have picked up the mass of trivia which I specialise in showering on the unsuspecting  readers of my idle bloggings and twitterings, as they are called today? Without any question Italy. It is the only country, especially around Tuscany, roughly Florence to Pisa, where I can still dream up essays and humerous stories to keep the uninstructed happy in their peaceful  and quiet towns. And, as the greatest music in the world is still sung on every Italian street corner, where else on earth would anyone wish to live and remain sane and content?


Anton Wills-Eve


<a href=””>Set It To Rights</a>


The last time I  did something which, at the time, I really wish I had done differently was when I was at university in Geneva in 1965. It was late January and I was working as a journalist at the United Nations while also trying to get my masters in Italian Mediaeval history. It was an eighteen month follow up to the LesL in French history which I had just spent four years studying in Paris. What I should not have done was try to work in one language (English), write academically in a second (French), while sharpening up my third (Italian) as I studied to a pretty complicated level. Let me tell you why.

I had been invited to cover the first ever international conference on doping in sport which was being held just up the road in Grenoble in the French Alps. Apart from writing about it I was also one of the delegates as I had written a lot on European sports while studying in Paris and I was selected to be one of  the three public relations members of the newly formed commission. Well as cruel kismet would have it I had to be in three places on the same day, each one in a different language and showing my in-depth ignorance in three tongues. I had to tell the world what the conference was doing in English, my two counter parts were  deputed to carry out the same task in French and Spanish. This after I had an Italian lecture on thirteenth century  Tuscan politics in the afternoon. It was being given by a very distinguished Italian Professor, but unfortunately in very distinguished Italian. Then to top it all I was spending the morning covering a world cup ski-ing slalom race just over the border in Italy and had only a hour to get from the ski-ing to the lecture and then drive from Geneva to Grenoble in  an hour and a half in  snow and ice for the conference which started at 6.30 pm. Well the pre-serious bit, drinks for us all to say hello to each other, came first.  So what do you think I did?

I got to the ski-ing at 8.00am with a hangover for reasons I cannot even remember, only to find I had left all my sports notes in Switzerland and had to trust to my memory and knowledge of the sport to get the results and times filed and the wrap up story sent without too many howlers. It was too much to hope for. I had Machiavelli  coming third in the men’s race and was really lucky that the telecommunications manager at the ski-ing spotted this and thought I was being funny. This hardly set me up for the day. I managed to write an in depth piece on why doping was not yet an issue in ski-ing, even though it was, and just got away with it because nobody else knew whether I was right or wrong.

The lovely lecture theatre was about to close its doors as I squeezed in, out of breath, to hear a talk about the life of Castruccio Castracani, my favourite condottieri. Oh no! Yes, I had squeezed into the wrong amphitheatrical lecture hall and sat, bored and none the wiser, through an hour and a half’s talk on quantum physics in a very difficult Sicilian dialect and only just kept awake.

You can imagine the state I was in when I got to Grenoble. The English language press, many of whom I knew, made straight for me as the only person they understood. I was expected to know every topic that was going to be raised, what was going to be said, and how furious half the sports world was going to be before the meeting even started! I sought solace in the pre-conference drinks, lots of them, and made up reams of rubbish when everything was finished and the world’s press retired for the night bored and uninformed about anything that had been discussed. Not my greatest hour. So what do you think I could do to correct my errors? Seriously, go on, guess”

I did absolutely nothing. For the rest of the weekend I read my favourite Italian poets and gave my colleagues more garbage for their papers and finally made my way back to Geneva to sleep off Monday, unconcerned at anything my sports editor or conference colleagues may think of my weekend. I got it spot on! The editor thought my ski-ing piece was really original, I’ll say it was, the conference organisers gave me a full time job for two years (one day a month) but my Italian tutor could not make out how I had proved that astro physics played an integral part in the overthrow of the leading political party in Pisa in 1299. It was a connection he had long spotted, he told me, and thought me a genius for picking it up!




<a href=””>Too Big To Fail</a


                THE PROMPT SAYS IT ALL

I have been asked, and I quote, to ” Tell us about something you would attempt if you were guaranteed not to fail (and tell us why you haven’t tried it yet).”

Answer: I would try to be elected prime minister. But I haven’t tried it yet because it isn’t guaranteed!! 




<a href=””>I’d Like to Thank My Cats</a>



I was standing on the balustrade of the gardens of the villa Borghese overlooking the dome of Saint Peter’s in the distance  in Rome when I was given the news that the Nobel Peace prize for that year, 1961, had been awarded to Dag Hammerskjoeld the recently deceased secretary general of the  United Nations.

I immediately thought back to the plane crash in the Congo in which he died while on a peace mission earlier that year. That was one price I would never pay for being given one of the highest awards in the world. The price was far too high.  But over the years since then I have wondered which Nobel prize I would like to receive and how high a price I would be prepared to pay to get it. In all honesty when thinking about being given really important recognition for something I have done in my life I have always bordered on fantasy, not least because I can think of no field in  which I might ever merit a really high honour. I suppose the first thing most people do is review the Nobel options.

I could just about reach a high enough level of medical research to qualify for the physiology laureate because the amount of original work I have done on mental  illness, and the various ideas I have put forward for treating any form of anxiety neurosis, could certainly reach the top level when viewed from the question of ‘do I have a broad enough and original enough knowledge of the subject?’ while obviously being mentally unbalanced, where I might fall down is on convincing people that I could cure  many of the illnesses covered by this field. You see the price I would have to pay would be suffering from the anxiety levels myself and thus being able to empathise fully when treating them. Well in this case I do, but I doubt if I could  bring myself to think them through again while writing up a thesis and still remaining sane.

The physics prize is one I have always believed I could put in my pocket any day of the week, but only because I can prove that atomic physics can never be subjected to an auto-logical series of tests that would leave no question that quantum physics is a load of rubbish. I know that it is, as put forward by most leading physicists, but I would have to learn how to speak the language of physics in which scientists couch the lunacy of their ideas. Pity, because that one would have been a cert, but the price would have been learning something I thought was valueless. No, I could never do that.

Now chemistry is really up my street when considered from the point of view of the invention or discovery of new elements which can be unearthed through phenomenological tinkering with archaeological sites which may yet reveal new aspects of  the chemical make up of our world. However the price I would have to pay for that would be personal exposure to the natural climate of our planet,  which in snow or high winds I would not enjoy at all.

This brings me to the literature prize. This is the one prize that the laureate can never manufacture for themselves on purpose. This prize has to be the whim of others so all I can say is that I would put in as much research as I needed to write a definitive history of thirteenth century Western Europe. The price, the work load, would be enormous but I would embrace it whole heartedly.  However, there is no way I could ever guarantee ultimate success.

Now when it comes to economics I would have a very good chance if I were to win the prize jointly with my wife. Together we have an unequaled knowledge of the machinations of world financiers and financial procedures but to prove just how clever we are at manipulating global fortunes we would need to be given at least one billion US dollars cash up front to start with. There are many ways this can be acquired, but when I started to contemplate the options I realised that neither my wife nor I would stoop so low, or jump so high,  in the realms of chicanery to kick start our financial dealings.

So we are left with the peace prize. Well I would like to win it for setting up a world wide charity devoted to feeding the starving, sheltering the homeless and comforting all the bereaved people who make up some forty percent of the population of the world. There would be no price involved, all I would need to do would be to raise my level of oratory in each of the five languages I speak and, with golden tongued eloquence, convince the rich of this world that they should shower me and my charity with their geldt. Now that is fantasy, but you must admit it is also really nice, isn’t it?

So my acceptance speech would begin as follows,

“Unaccustomed as I am to doing, saying or writing anything worthwhile………..”





<a href=””>We Can Be Taught!</a>




I really feel like writing something  I feel strongly about today so this prompt has given me the chance. The question is, what makes a teacher great? Well a teacher needs two  qualities and one piece of luck to be really great. He or she needs to know their subject backwards because a great love of what you teach, and the enjoyment it gives you personally, is essential if you are to communicate this to others.

Secondly a teacher has to accept that many pupils  have genuine problems understanding the basic concepts of some  topics, maths is the obvious one, and they have to be patient and persevere just as much as the student. If a child is too shy to admit ignorance in front of his peers, when the class seems to be finding something easy but the child doesn’t, a really good teacher spots this right away and takes the kid aside after a class or lecture or whatever and asks what the problems are. This is vital to solving pupil-teacher relationships that risk breaking down for no apparent reason, but ruins the chances of the child ever getting a grasp of the subject.

However the piece of luck the teacher needs much more than any other quality, is to have a class of students they like. Any teacher who allows prejudice or pre-formed opinions of what a particular set of students is going to be like, is doomed from the start. But if that luck is not there, and the teacher really does find a particular group of students an absolute pain in the backside, they have to practise the old English trick of keeping a stiff upper lip. This can be terribly difficult with a set of uninterested youngsters,  who as often as not have been written off  by family and previous teachers as slow witted, unhelpful and a whole string of adjectives that have no bearing on their true personalities at all. As often as not they are too scared to do anything but follow the pack.

A good teacher must risk life and limb, and sadly in this day and age this can often literally be the case, to combat this mass-bullying attitude of so many youngsters or they will struggle at everything all their lives. I have many friends who teach at all levels and ages and the job they do can be truly terrifying. Women  haven’t a chance in poor areas of inner cities and the lengths to which television soap operas go to encourage appalingly anti-social behaviour among the young is disgraceful. But the great teacher does rise above these problems on occasions, though sadly not nearly as often as they, their charges or their charges’ parents would like. But it is a triangular tragedy which will only be solved by multi-lateral co-operation which is sadly lacking in far too many schools today.



<a href=””>Time Capsule</a>


en reponse du blog ‘essence typique de cette annee’


                                    ESSENCE TYPIQUE

Si, par hazzard, je me trouverais dans une capsule lunaire, la premiere pensee d’entrer dans ma tete aurait du etre “quel essence puis-je vendre plus facilement aux little green men?”.

Je suis convaincu que “Shell” soit le mieux connu aux habitants de mon nouveau monde, car c’est une espece de gas Texan que les petits hommes verts auraient du avoir vu souvent sur les avertissements televisuels de “chaine de l’espace de notre universe”. Les Americains  sont les meilleurs gasoliniatiques entre nous et le soleil, c’est indiscutable. Mais a mon avis l’essence “Total” contient un parfum si redolent de la France ques les automobilistes, petits, masculins et verts seront  ‘k.o’ par les memoirs de Kalvin et Coco. Mais ca c’est pour vous, mes blogs-mangeurs, de decider si on puisse voter sur ce sujet.

Alors, pour tous ces raisons j’ai choisi  le petrol Anglais, ‘North Sea Oil Derivatif’ de donner comme mon cadeau typique de notre epoque  pour tous les habitants de l’univers qui n’ont pas encore gouter cette boisson. C’est degoutant mes delicieux!

Et, pour terminer mon ‘post word press promptiste’,  je serai obliger de m’excuser pour l’absence de tous les accents grammatiques Francais qui sont hors de mont  ordinateur cyberesque. Bon soir mes petits et dormez bien en revant de votre Oncle Nous-Nours qui a peut-etre trop bu, meme si ce n’etait par essentialement de l’essence!






<a href=””>Imitation/Flattery</a&gt;


                                    IF WILL SHAKESPEARE HAD BEEN A BLOGGER

it is rumoured that the following sonnet appeared on page eight of the Stratford Daily Bugle on the 4th of October, 1597. It was signed ‘anon’ and filled ‘poets corner’ for that day. But the author was not so averse to public acclaim that he did not mind prefixing the work with the words, “This is my 73rd go at writing these bloody things, will I never get one right?”


T’is that time again when I am wracked by ‘flu and cold

And yellow drops, hourly, from my red nose do hang

Next which my ‘kerchiefs have countered sneezes bold’,

Bare ruined nostrils next which no sweet notes ever sang.

In me thou see’st, therefore, at the closing of each day,

Like dim, grey twilight as the sun sinks in the west:

The sniffling posture of a poet, prisoner of his unwrit lay,

Left on life’s shelf, his coughing never allowing him to rest.

In me, all thou can see, are the carnal ashes of my years.

There, where my gorgeous youth often did lovingly lie,

Is now my death-bed as my passion is reduced to tears

For Anne mistook herself as nourisher of my evening sigh.

      This I know full well, who does himself despise. Oh shit,

      To be loved by she on whom I ‘oft, so shamelessly, did spit!


Anton Wills-Eve



<a href=””>Last Words</a>

in reply to wordpress prompt, write your last ever blog.




The specialist came  to my bedside again that morning and she smiled at me in a twisted attempt to be cheerful while failing totally to hide her approaching loss. She had done so much for me, but it was what she had to say that nearly brought a tear.

“I promised I would be honest with you James, and I cannot break my word. I never have in the four years we’ve known each other so why start now? My dear friend, you have about two weeks left at the most and if there is anything you really need to do while you still can then make it today or tomorrow at the latest. After that the strength of pain killers you’ll need will prevent you from writing or possibly even speaking normally. But at least you shouldn’t suffer. I’ll be back later this morning.” And there I lay, alone in my my private ward, with my laptop by my side  and the image of someone I had known for fifty years. I had known her  since she was five years old, but not seen in the last forty. So as my final act that I had to perform I composed the following email to her.

‘Oh Glen, I know God should have been here as well, and yes I can feel that He is. St.Rita too is always keeping a very close eye on me and fulfilling her promise never to leave me. But it is your face, your smile your complete occupation of my body and soul that is all I am really able to see.  So this is the last email I will ever send you, Glen. Don’t keep it to cry over in years to come. No, do something much more important with it. Read it, try to do what it asks, and try to believe that I WILL see you when your earthly life has also run its span.

When you told me, nearly four months ago now, that you no longer believed in God and that this world was all there was, I cried myself to sleep every night for a week. I also prayed so, so hard for St.Rita, God, somebody in Heaven to show me somehow that you had changed your mind. Oh why, Glen? Why? There are only two choices logically possible to us. Either God made us, our souls for Him to love and keep, and our human bodies for us to use to show how much we love Him; or else He did not. One of those two options must be true, Glen, so why on earth would you not at least HOPE that the former is the truth? I can’t prove it to you, no one can. But neither can anyone prove to you empirically that God did not create you.  What comfort, what solace of any sort do you get from giving up on the only chance you have ever had, and ever will have, of being granted a place in Heaven if the alternative is so genuinely hopeless and full of absolutely nothing?

You may have had a terribly hard and very sad life, I can think of few biographies more depressing or sad than yours. But in that suffering I can also see is the greatest test of all. Keep on loving God and telling Him you know He has tested you beyond endurance, but still holds you so very close to His heart. He doesn’t give up on those he loves, and He loves you, Glen. Give Him one more chance, please, if only for my sake so that I may die in peace. But don’t lie to me if you answer this. I will pray for you with my last breath.

No matter what you reply, if you reply at all, you cannot stop me hoping that you will again see your creator. Maybe my purgatory is going to be dying without ever knowing for certain whether you have regained your Faith. I can live with that. I suppose I should say ‘die with that’, but I know it won’t be easy. You see, my love, I have one enormous doubt about my own concept of all I have been taught about life after death. It may be so heretical it bars me from paradise too, but I do hope not. You see, Glen, I cannot believe in Hell. It was the French atheist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre who described it best. I have never heard an absolutely correct translation of the aphorism on which he based his tenets but approximately it was this. “Hell is other people as they behave here on earth.” Think about it. That sums up my concept of hell perfectly. As Sartre only believed in earthly life then, for him, he could only have been talking about mortal people.  That is when people are evil, unspeakably cruel, selfish everything we dislike, despise and condemn in our fellow creatures: when they act in ways we cannot tolerate. That is the great mystery of life whether spiritual or just human, where did the desire to harm and upset others come from? Where, in short, did evil start if God created everything? I don’t know. But I do know one thing. God tests our ability to always love Him, and through Him everyone else no matter how they behave. We may judge men’s earthly actions, but forgiveness is God’s province not ours.

So where do I stand over Hell? I believe it is having to accept the agonising side of life and admitting our own participation in the the pain and sadness that we bring to others. To live with the full realisation of that side of our natures, and have to face God with it when we die is the most terrifying thing that we can experience. And as we deserve it, because we have played out part in being evil, then we must also have deserved all the misery that we have had to go through on earth ourselves. So we come to judgement day, I am obviously here assuming that this happens, but think how God feels when He looks at each single sinner, naked before him, all their evil deeds exposed for everyone to see. What is the only thing God can do? He can weep! Yes,Glen, weep when he sees the sorrow in the faces of those he has created, out of love, finally reduced to a state of abject sorrow at having failed their God so dreadfully.

That, my Glen, is when he puts his arms round us, kisses us, forgives us and offers us heaven forever as His reward. It is the one great mystery that is kept from us, why does this need to happen at all? I don’t know, but then if I did my faith would be a provable fact and not an act of faith.  This is my credo when faced with the one side of spiritual creation that I could not otherwise accept. But if God and His saints love me, they understand when I am tottering on the brink of worrying doubt. Every night I thank them for holding me back from falling over the edge. God Bless.’

I did not sign my email, I knew I didn’t have to. True to her words the doctor gradually upped my dose of morphine each day as the pain got worse and my poor family came to see me reduced to such a state. I prayed for them and I prayed for myself and of course I prayed for Glen. Charity is the virtue of living a good life when dealing with others. Faith is the degree of our spiritual belief in and depth of love of God, but the greatest virtue of all is Hope. It is always available and active and will be right up to man’s last breath. I wonder how many more I have?







<a href=””>In Loving Memory</a>



An obituary is the the only thing one cannot write about oneself. You see you have to be dead first and, speaking purely personally, I’d rather remain as I am for as long as possible.

Sorry Word Press you’ve lost again. Now had you asked for an autobiography that would have been fine. I am already on chapter forty three and have written some six hundred thousand odd words. In about another four hundred thousand words time it will be finished and I shall cheerfully sell you a copy. The title? Sorry, that’s still under wraps.




<a href=””>Circle of Five</a>

Reply to prompt about being the average out of five people.



Being a natural anomaly I can think of nothing I would like to be less than the average of any ‘thing’, or group of people, I have ever known. What an awful tag to carry through life. ‘Oh here come’s old meany!’. Can you imagine it? Seriously. ‘He’s a pretty average bloke,’ runs it a very close second. But the prompt asks me to select five people out of whom I would like to come third, starting from either end, so here goes.

Firstly there’s John Harrington, a chap I knew at school. You wouldn’t  have heard of him and I haven’t seen him since the flood, but that does not detract from his very pleasant personality, permanent smile and all round ‘good egg’ passage through life. Yes, John was a fellow you’d always be able to welcome into any circle you had to make up.

Then there’s Lucia Castricani, a beautiful little bit of crumpet from Tuscany with the most inviting eye’s I have ever seen. She would have to be around if only to bring out the true nature of everyone else around her. But how to fit her into this circle, where I have to be the average? I have no minority sexual predilections so I could never want to think people ever equated me with her, except in personal popularity. You’d have loved her though, so I suppose we have to leave her in. 

The third member of the pentumvirate – okay, okay, I know that word doesn’t exist (does it?), but it serves it’s purpose really well here so stop moaning! This will surprise you. I would immediately toss in Adolphe Hitler because then we would have a very definite and undisputed most unliked member of the gang. Nobody would talk to him, he’d be shunned, wonder what on earth was going on and keep saluting himself because none of the rest of us would. Come to think of it he’s starting to look quite attractive! But think of all the other things he was responsible for. No he’d be number five alright.

I spent a lot of time over number four and finally came up with Bill  Mazeroski because being a sports fanatic I had to have a games player in my circle and what he did in 1960 is still the greatest single sporting moment I have sat through in my life. Okay I was listening to the World Series on the radio in Paris, and it was some god awful time in the night, but when he connected with that hit and won my team, The Pirates, the greatest baseball match ever played I was on a high for weeks. Being at university in Paris meant nothing to me as I imagined what I had heard for eons afterwards. And now, in my autumn years, thanks to modern communications, I have actually seen a film of that moment  and it’s even better than it was when it happened. He was a bloody good fielder too, as we say in cricket, and by all accounts is a really nice guy.

So who gets the fifth place? Well this is where word press so often messes up these prompts dreadfully. It has to be me of course, because if I’m not in it I can’t win it! Well in this case come third. But as John Donne put it so well, no man is an island and that goes for Mr.Average just the same as Mr.First and Mr Last. In short we’re all equal when it comes to existence so, on average, we must all come third. But a bronze medal is no mean thing and if I have to settle for that in life I really don’t mind.


Anton Wills-Eve






Answer to prompt ‘plead the 5th’

<a href=””>Plead the Fifth</a>



How old am I ?

Don’t ask! Why?

Well I know that I

Will always lie!




in reply to ‘me time’ prompt

<a href=””>Me Time</a>


How I loved my bracing early morning run

Along the golden beach in the dawning sun.

Then a cup of chocolate and a croissant, piping hot,

At the little cafe where I once forgot

To bring any money so I couldn’t pay

But they laughed and left it to the next Saturday.

Followed an hour dong this on my new i-pad;

Telling all the world if I was happy or sad.

Then round the shops for our weekend food,

Including a treat if I thought I’d been good

At school that week. But the bit I  loved best

Was choosing my clothes as I got dressed

To meet Sandra for lunch. Next off to the game,

How her loving, cheeky smile was always the same,

Each week  we held hands cheering as our team lost or won:

And oh, that kiss, going home when the day was done.

But we can’t do that now. Why, oh why am I so young,

As cancer strikes me? My Sandra’s life has hardly begun.


Anton Wills-Eve