Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Month: May, 2015

THE TOWN SQUARE OR 180 degrees

a change of ways


It was several miles from Paris when I started to wish I had accepted a lift from Jean-Claude and not tried to walk all the way back to my flat in the centre of Paris on the Ile Saint Louis. It was a warm spring day but dustier and muggier than I expected.

The road approaching the river at Chatou sur Seine stretched out like a scene from a painting by Monet even thouh it was 1960, a hundred years since he first painted it. I decided to give up my heroics when I reached Chatou and take the train into the city and then take a taxi from the Gare Saint Lazare. The welcoming station was just about in sight as I entered the town square and stopped at a Tabac for a cold beer and sandwich to keep up my strength. I thanked the young waiter but nearly choked before I even got the bread near my mouth.

“And consider yourself lucky you’ve got off so lightly! I usually prosecute thieves.” A small crowd gathered round a young girl lying exhausted on the cobbles, many of them spitting at her and making obscene gestures. One old haridan even went so far as to almost scream at her, “and if you haven’t any money make some the way you usually do! We don’t have whores in this town. We are a respectable community. On your way!”

I was quite simply horrified. Regardless of what she may have done she was obviously destitute and I was never so glad in my life that I spoke fluent French. As I walked over to the poor creature I could not resist shouting at the loud mouthed spokeswoman for the crowd, “Your husband must have very sore feet having to walk so far each evening.” Then I helped the girl to the place where I was sitting and asked what she would have. She looked at me as though I was mad. The waiter looked admiringly at me but out of his depth. I repeated my question and the owner of the cafe came up to me.

“I am sorry, Monsieur, but we do not serve girls like Nicole. It is house policy. Do please have your beer and sandwich on us.” I could not believe the double standards in what he said. But I silently took he sandwich and drink and stood up. All I said was,

“How do you know she is called Nicole? She seems too young to be your sister!” And he was so offended, and indignant in his stuttering reply, that Nicole had time to drink half the glass of beer before I took her by the hand and she ate the sandwich as we strolled to the station. It was only when I bought two tickets to Paris that she pulled up abruptly shaking her head. “Non, Monsieur, my appartment is further on by the river.” She was scared of me now and in an odd way for both of us. She was not exactly shabbily dressed but her shoes and thin jacket gave away the state of her finances. I was so set on helping her that I just sat on a bench outside the station and beckoned to her to join me.

“Now Nicole, I assume that is just your name for today, why can’t you make any money as you usually do? Are you ill, and what are you scared of?”

Then she told a tale straight out of an opera. “Oh Monsieur. It is true I have been working as a prostitute for more than two years now and I am not yet twenty, but I have never had any parents. The nuns at the orphanage assumed that all the girls there would become nuns and all the boys priests. They lectured us to death until one day I accepted an offer from a rich middle aged man to have dinner with him. Need I tell you the rest?” I shook my head. But I did ask one more question,

“You seemed very scared back there, what are you frightened of?” Her story was dreadful. After her first protector had finished with her she was roped into working in a brothel but she was scared that she was possibly pregnant. She was not sure, but her pimp told her he could get rid of any possibility of that. Then one lesson the nuns had taught her that had impressed her came back. All life was sacred and she could not kill an infant no matter how young. Life began with conception, she had been taught and she believed this. Even being uncertain that she might be pregnant she would never kill a baby. Her pimp gave her two days to reconsider and then he would make her wish she had never been born. She had no money and did not know what to do. So I told her.

“Well, to start with, what is your real name, I am only going to help you,” she told me it was Janine.”Eh bien, Janine, if you want to try to settle into a happier and less frightening life, I can help you. I am extremely wealthy and live on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris. I am in my last year at university at the Sorbonne and then hope to work at UNESCO for the United Nations. You know what all these organisations are?” She nodded but could not see how this would help her.

“Well, Janine, I have only six weeks to go at University and then I want to start writing a book on internatonal cultural relations. I shall need a secretary and I assume they taught you to read and write well at the orphanage. Would you like the job? You speak with quite a pleasant voice and nobody need know about your past?”

It was obvious the idea was magic to her, but she knew nothing about me. I could see this and did not know what to say to convince her I meant what I said. Then I had an idea. I could see her jacket had pockets in it and I slipped an envelope into one of them. “Janine that will cover all your needs for at least a month.” It was $5,000 in French francs and my address written on the envelope. I gave her one of the train tickets I had bought and said I hoped to see her very soon. When the train came we got into different carriages. I said a silent prayer for her and made my own way back to my luxury appartment.

For nearly three weeks I kept a daily look out for her but she never came. I had put my first name only on the envelope and had almost given up hope when I was intrigued to notice a man very obviously keeping an eye on me in my local bar and favourite restaurant for three days in a row. On the fourth day, wearing just a shirt and slacks I let him get close to me when I spun on him and pinned him to a drain pipe. “Why are you following me, who are you. Be quick or this knife in my other hand will really hurt.” He was sacred stiff.

“You are Monsieur Paul?” I nodded. “And this is yours?” He handed me my envelope without a note spent from it. He was smiling now. “I have been looking into you and your affairs for nearly a month now and am satisfied that you are a good man, a rich man and a clever man. You are also, I can see, a very compassionate man.”And he held out his hand.

We went into the bar and over a glass of wine he told me he had been at the orphanage with Janine and had been trying to get her to give up her way of life for some time, but finally gave up.

It was she who came to him on the night we met and told him about me and how much she wanted to work for me. But she was scared of me because she knew nothing about me at all. She gave him my money and he had been looking after her until he knew enough about me to be sure she would be safe working for me. His name was Pascale Boncourt. He wanted to take me to Janine at once and we went to his appartment near the pont d’Alma. She was in tears on seeing me and flung her arms round my neck.

I accepted the $5,000 I had given her and could see Pascale had bought her clothes and anthing else she needed.

I had started writing my book but suddenly realised it was in English and might be far too difficult for her. It was, but I told her all I wanted was a clean copy typed version and there was no rush. She might even learn some English at the same time.

“Janine, I own the first and second floors of this building, facing the river, a total of 14 rooms. Also there is a lift to all five floors and I know that there is a four room appartment to let on the fourth floor, so if you are happy to work for me for $1,000 a month that should keep you in all you need. Oh, by the way, are you pregnant?” She shook her head and added,

”I have not yet met the right man!”

I start work at UNESCO in two weeks time and that is our situation as of today. Oh, in what way was any of this a complete turn about in my normal behaviour? Well it was the first time I ever picked up a whore in the street.

Anton Wills-Eve



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no choo choo coming down my line




Never say ‘I luv ya’ on the line

Don’t do my banking, a bank’s just fine

Won’t post my vote coz it’s just for me

Only my business how I  wanna be

Thanked for what I give to people in need.

So I’m not  tellin’ ya how I feed

My family an’  friends’, no business o’ yours

Anyways ain’t got no ‘puter in or outta doors!










Childhood Revisited

first of a few posts to make up for my absence

                               JEZ AND JED

    Jez and Jed are twins and live in a poor, quarter of Omaha, Nebraska. They are seventeen years and twenty three days old and love going somewhere secret and polishing up their lovely stolen policeman’s gun. They think it has about twelve to sixteen bullets in it but are not sure.

    A couple of days ago they were listening to their favourite rap music on the local radio station when it was interrupted for a news flash. About four minutes later the music resumed so Jez put her earphones back in. Jed had not taken his out as quickly and his sister asked him as they both resumed their roller skating up and down a free piece of concrete banking, “Anything hot on de news, bro? I mean like anyone in government been killed?” She did not know the word assassinated. The word had never been taught in their school.

    “Nah, sis, just some rich sport player getting richer by winning a key game here in Nebraska. Commentators said it couldn’t been closer. But even ma dumb math don’t figure 30 – 19 very close. But not in our league hun!” And they rolled on their way.

    When they got home around five in the afternoon they couldn’t understand why their parents and relatives and a lot of the locals were jumping up and down and dancing in the in the street. “Jed, Jez we won, yeah man, we won.”

    Jed, who was famous in the family for his ignorance of, or interest in, most things floored his family by adopting a very laid back posture and saying, “Yup, but I still don’t see how 30 – 19 was close. Sounds like a thrashing to me!”

    “Look at it how you will it was both. The closest thrashing in Nebraska history”, his father said. But the boy was still puzzling it over an hour later when his sister came up to him and tossed their police gun to him.

    “Not loaded, man.We don’t need this no more. The state’s just banned the death penalty. That was the vote overturning the governor’s veto today. 30 votes to 19. Made it by one vote.”

    Her brother then surprised her. “Jez, when was the last killing by the state of Nebraska for any crime? Bet you don’t know. It was 18 years ago. But the white police still shoot us for fun.

    I reckon we’ve gotta follow what our Governor says. He says we must have the death penalty to defend our families. So go put the ammo back in dat gun. The governor says we gotta protect Maw and Paw. Agreed?”

    So this morning Jez reloaded the gun and everyday life in Nebraska resumed as normal.



A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma

 truth will out, but names had to be changed

                             THE FAR FLUNG FIELDS OF BEDFORDSHIRE 

Well it really is nice to be back amongst my blogging friends after a very strange two weeks journey into the unknown. What a journey too! I did not even have time to pack.

    I can remember looking at my watch and seeing it was fourteen minutes past nine in the morning. I had promised to take a fruit cake round to old Mrs.Winters, a miracle at ninety three, blind as a bat but with a mind still as sharp as a razor. I had promised to read to her for an hour. Then I suddenly sat up, supported on my right elbow and wondering who the five people were gathered round my bed. My wife looking like death, my son and daughter-in-law concerned and frightened, and two ambulance people speaking coaxingly to me to try to get me into a wheel chair.

     “What’s going on? Why are you two here at quarter past nine? Who told you to come?” And while my tear stained wife’s face smiled at me in sympathy I looked at my watch again and it said half past one. Gone lunchtime!. “Did anyone take Mrs. Winter’s cake round to her?” I was greeted with stunned silence.

       The ambulance woman asked who Mrs.Winters was but my daughter-in-law, Jane, said none of us had ever heard of her. Of course they had. I couldn’t believe this. “Jane, don’t be silly you know the path through the copse behind the stables well she lives in the little white cottage three houses down the road to the right.

hols sept2011 011

Then I started to walk along the lane past the harvest decorated village church and smiled at the stupid mistake everyone at home had made. What did they think had happened? Had I had a stroke or something? Nonensense. It was a lovely day as Chloe and I strolled across the recently harvested land, hand in hand and every bird in Bedfordshire singing to see us so happy. The love of two youngsters, I was eighteen Chloe just seventeen, and the late afternoon sun drawing us ever closer to each other. If we were not actually in Heaven, we were very close. Third path to the left were the gates with Saint Peter smiling at us, his keys were jangling softly on the cord round his waist. The whole rural scene was perfect in every tiny detail.

    Each leaf was moving so softly in the light breeze as Chloe sat by the foot of the oak tree and beckoned to me to sit next to her. “You been waiting for this moment, John? Chloe intoned as though making a rhetorical statement rather than asking me a question. I’ve been needing you for more than two years, my lover.” And a silken arm, bare from just below the shoulder, slowly crept up and its fingers played a fairy tune on the back of my neck. I knew what I should and what I shouldn’t do. I had never wondered what I’d do if things ever came to this point. But Chloe seemed in no doubt what the twilight was going to give us. And given my poor Chloe’s living hell how could I not give in to my own physical need of her?

    It must have been about two hours later that the phone call came from her mother and  I set off walking slowly up to Chloe’s front door and her sister Mary let me in. She was slightly younger than me and squeezed my hand as we climbed the stairs to her bedroom. Just before entering the room she smiled through her tears and said, “she’s not it pain John, and it won’t be long now”.

      It was very brief as it turned out, some forty minutes, and then each of us kissed her although her eyes were already shut. I shuffled my way back down the stairs, my coat pulled tight round me as the early autumn sky filled me with a sad and hopeless chill. Then, as I slowly ambled back across the Bedfordshire farmland in the full moonlight, I heard running footsteps behind me trying to catch me up. Finally a slightly breathless Mary caught up with me and we wept there under the oak tree unable to stop hugging and holding on to each other. Mary closed the evening with the most unexpected pensee.

     “You know John I never thought my twin would die a virgin. Not our bubbling Chloe. Life’s cruel in what it robs us of, isn’t it John?” I just held her tighter as I cried for my sin and prayed that God had forgiven Chloe. He couldn’t have refused her Paradise. It wouldn’t be Heaven, without Chloe, would it?

good night moon

  “Matron, sister the gent in number three has woken up.” And so I had. I looked at my watch it was eleven am. But the date couldn’t be right. It was Tuesday and I had lost four days of my life. But what was that compared to the lovely summer with Chloe in those far flung fields of Bedfordshire some fifty years ago. A whole life lost. Funny how it took a stroke to recall it so vividly. I’ve never told anyone before, so please don’t you do so either. It would break my Mary’s heart.



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prime minister of the net.





I stood for the job of governing the net,

I won the one job I thought I’d never get.

I mean, the world is such a diverse place,

How could it be run by just one race?

For if one race ran it how would we

Show how globally welcome our ideas could be.

2015-04-27 005 2015-04-27 026good night moonhill 25-11-2013 005


Well we’d follow the philosophy of all beliefs

Ensuring there’d be no oppressed, or any chiefs

Hijacking the only world wide way to tell

Which policies would make us ill or well.

No we’d quote all wisdom spoken since time began

To ensure everyone was a happy woman or man.




 what I cannot do.


Jealousy is a green eyed monster, so Shakespeare tells us in Othello.

The Moor of Venice too, was an all round clever and successful fellow.

Master of all he fought and all he imperiously ruled

But alas by a servant and through jealousy was he fooled.

He would not believe that Desdemona was faithful all her life,

Ans so he choked her with a hankey, what a way to waste a wife!

Then Iago laughed behind his back having punished the pure lady he desired

But she had left an encoded message for Othello who now knew who had admired

The wife he always and only loved, indeed until death did them part.

So he sought out Iago and in turn avenged himself for misplacing his own heart.

Oh, William, your whole tragedy is encompassed in my short passionate lines.

Your jealousy must crave such succulent brief literary phrases when it dines.




I assume that by ‘idyllic’ the prompter means ‘ideal’. I am writing on that assumption.


I have two main problems with living in any sort of community. The first is that I love exercising my free will and so would almost certainly get on the wrong side of a lot of my neighbours and acquaintances. This would in turn make life a strain and probably very often an absolute pain in the backside. The second reason is that I love living amongst people with whom I agree about all the important things in my life and with whom I can share my appreciation of the types of music, literature, religion and sport that give me most pleasure. There is no pleasure in living amongst people who don’t agree with you or are not happy when you are and do not rejoice when you do. No I would not like to live amongst people I could not get on with. I would not go so far as Sartre and define Hell as ‘other people’, which is almost but not quite what he is famous for saying, but I do agree that I could not suffer dissonance of love with any degree of gladness.

So what do I make of this prompt. I have been completely negative so far but if I had to devise a Utopia – which I think is what is meant here – I would have to impose certain duties on members of that community. They would have to be charitable even when bored rigid, good Samaritans when it would make them late for the start of the match and above all sympathetic to deeply upset people even when the cause of this distress was lack of something which the palliative helper personally thought was a load of rubbish and they should be glad they had lost. You see the idea. Those are the sorts of people I would want.

How would I want it run? Well if it was large enough to be a town, say, then I would want the officers who organised daily life to be democratic yet tolerant, oh how many of us assume that these qualities always embrace each other – THEY DON’T!  And by being ready to listen to others in depth are also equally careful to think before they talk. Also communities of every sort should be governed by honesty not following party directives. But basically I think the least interference possible in people’s lives by those in power is the best way to form a harmonious spirit of cheerful unity which I am sure we all basically prefer. We never get it of course but we can see that it’s very desirable.

I turn next to the silly question ‘what does your ideal community look like?’ Well that depends where it is. For me it would be in Tuscany in Italy, but most people would choose their favourite place so that question relly is impossible to answer.

Now finally the question is raised, what values do the ideal community share? God knows. No, seriously, He does. But to get any other two people to agree on a 100 per cent list of values – if this means ethics, morals, beliefs etc – then we would be lost. But that does not mean that we need not agree in broad principle on how communities should treat their members and show them respect and politeness. Also in matters of religion for example we should accept that this is something that means a lot to various groups different to ourselves and we should treat them as we would want them to treat us when considering us as members of particular sects, denominations etc.

So I have to return just for a quickie to my opening paragraph. I really don’t like having to do what I am told by anybody. God’s commandments I accept but I don’t like having to obey some of them. Well there is no point in not being honest. If I find someone very attractive all sorts of ideas come into my head. What I do about them is between me and God but I do find myself asking him why He made up so many ‘thou shalt nots’. But I try, I try. But it does show why communities and I do not often get on. Communities are such awfully inquisitive groups of people who seem to think they have the right to know everything I do, comment on  it and judge me accordingly. Well they don’t!!!