Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Month: June, 2015

THE QUEEN’S BEST SPEECH


Take It From Me

Why have the power of speech and never use it?

  THE QUEEN’S BEST SPEECH     

          “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

This is a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. It is probably the most inaccurate remark on human beings that has ever been made by a prominent public figure. I only have to look at my own life and think of the many occasions on which I felt inferior to others around me when it was the last thing I wanted to do but had no choice. But then I wasn’t married to the President of the United States, and unless Hilary gets her skates on I never will be. But to return to a serious note, why do you suppose I have cited and discussed this remark?

Well, in Berlin the other night the Queen of England came closer than at any other time in her reign to making a very clear public statement about where she stood on a matter of extremely important significance to the future of the States that currently make up the European Union. At a state banquet she basically said that that Britons were naturally part of the peoples of Europe and had played a major role in making Europe the cultural and economic power block that it is today.

Obviously many European leaders didn’t like this idea, but with mild references to winning two world wars, the bi-centenary of the battle of Waterloo etc she made it clear that Britain was as much part of Europe as any other European country. But British monarchs are nor supposed to make their political opinions known to the public. Well, Elizabeth 2nd knew this, but she also knew she was eighty five years old, still in full possession of her facutlies and, for her age, remarkably articulate. One must assume she thought ‘why not say what I think? My country needs somebody to do so, and as no one else seems bothered I shall do so myself.’ And so she told both her own government and the other governments of Europe that basically as long as she was queen Britain was staying firmly in the centre of the European continent.

Another constitutional problem recently has been whether Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom. She hinted that that was what she wanted, and a referendum on the matter supported her voting 55-45 in favour of Scotland staying in the UK.

The importance of this tacit intervention is that it is no use holding high office if one never uses it to bring about what one believes to be right. Could you imagine the US President doing this? Saying it, yes. But doing it? I doubt it.

Anton Wills-Eve

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SKY’S RED BUT I’M NOT MOURNING AS MUCH


reply to redwrap’s walking with the Sun

SKY’S RED BUT I’M NOT MOURNING AS MUCH

I’ve just read ‘Walking with the sun on my Face’ in the blog collection ‘Red’s Wrap’. Like many other insatiable word press users I was greatly moved in many different directions by the thoughts that floated through my own mind as I read her ten thoughts for today. So I shall simply say how they affected my memories of my life and my philosophy about the world I live in. I do hope you don’t mind Red, but why else would you have written what you did if not to stir the stew pans of your readers’ mental worlds?

On 1.Sometimes I miss carrying people but it’s nice to swing my arms when I walk and have no worries.

Well three ideas in the first sentence, that suggests a blog of huge proportions but I’ll try not to. The first image that sticks in my mind is the picture of someone walking and swinging their arms but also suggests that doing this erases worries. If only it did life would be so much easier. I know that when I swing my arms when walking I feel vaguely military and that is something which both worries and disturbs me. I think it all depends on whether you are leisurely enjoying your walk, or striding purposefully towards some goal.

The former is fine and is usually fun. The latter just makes me squirm and wish the object of my march would go away. If you think of it which ever way you walk you must be going somewhere. If it is to a place with no worries associated with it you are very fortunate indeed. If a march to a military end then your worries will be many and it may well be the last walk you ever take.

But the opening line really hits me where it hurts. “I miss carrying people.” Oh, lucky you that you ever had that ultimate joy of parent hood. To lift a little one above your head as you skipped along, both of you laughing. How lucky the parents who have done that. I was blessed with four children but I never once was able to pick them up in joyful play or had the playful joy of walking with them swinging in my tightened grasp. My first wife had not long had our daughter, just seven weeks, and although I had kissed her and rocked her in my arms as a baby the tragedy of that day when a mortar hit the hospital where My gorgeous Anh worked and killed both her and baby Gemma on the spot will never leave me. How could it? That was in Saigon in November 1968 where I was working as a journalist.

Four months later a met an English girl in Singapore and she comforted me and gradually restored my shattered sanity to the point where we married in August 1969. By then I was the company’s chief correspondent in Indo-China and my wife soon became pregnant. I could not take the risk of my first loss and when she was six moinths pregnant she returned to my family in England. There she had our son and when he was three months old he was left with my sister as I only had four months of my posting left.

My wife flew back, but the war had moved seriously into Cambodia and in my last week scheduled to work there I was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash. It took a total of three months to patch me up. I had seriously damaged my back and had a bone graft from hip to spine. Naturally When I finally returned to England and was fit enough to resume work I did not have the strength to lift up my little boy. He could come and sit on my knee to be read a story, but that’s not the same as swinging him over my head. And now I shall close my reflections on your first thought with the greatest sadness of my life for which only I was responsible.

In mid-January 1969 after a couple of Pernod’s too many to help control the agoraphobia from which I have suffered all my life but refused to let limit my work or play, I made love to an American journalist and then never saw her again. As foul fate and deserved ill fortune would have it I received a letter from her eight months later to say she was due to have a child in about a month’s time. I was very much in love with my second wife and showed her the letter. She said she understood and it made no difference to our marriage plans. She has hardly mentioned that letter since, but for a very good reason.

The girl with whom I slept, Kathy, married a flame of long standing almost as soon as she returned to the States that same January and never told him about me. He has always assumed his daughter, Gemma, was his own. Kathy told me she remembered I had told her my tragedy and my daughter’s name. Also that I was a Catholic. She said it was the one thing she could do for me, and became a Catholic herself very soon after returning to America. Her husband was not especially bothered one way or the other. Kathy said a mutual friend whom we could both trust, a fellow journalist, would always keep me informed about my daughter when he could.

Now where does the mourning come in again in this first recollection? Well when Gemma was nineteen she married a marine and only nine months later as she was being driven to hospital in haste to have a baby, her husband’s car was in a crash and both he and his wife, my Gemma, were killed. But paramedics performed a miracle and the baby was saved. She is called Jenny, is a very lovely twenty six year old now and I have heard she is hoping to marry this summer. So I never even got to swing my grandchild either. I told our mutual friend that my wife knew everything and understood and to our great surprise last Chistmas, she, not me, got a letter from Kathy asking her to assure me she was mentally fine and had three more children now and was very grateful to God. My wife broke down in tears and showed me the letter. All she said was, “You have a knack of picking really nice people, haven’t you?” Well let’s look at the rest of Red’s thoughts and find out.

2.I had lost touch with how intensely self-conscious my Nicaraguan children sometimes were in places we went as a white family but I am remembering it now and wish I’d really understood what I was seeing when I was seeing it.

This thought requires some background knowledge on what relationship your ‘Nicaraguan children were to you, but in the sense that you talk about it I don’t think it matters. It reads as the wish that you had understood what children of a diferrent ethnic background felt when forced to mix with whites. If I am right I do have a very strong memory of an episode in my life when I had to cover an insurgance in a French west African country.

I was fresh out of University and on my first overseas assignment for the news agency. We lived in Paris and my French was fluent which was why I was chosen for the assignment. Within a day of arriving in the middle of hell I was introduced to a French nurse, a white girl aged about 23 to my 22 so she said she had a really good story for me. She worked in a hospital for blind orphans and it also took in perfectly healthy children who had no idea who their parents were. Well I wrote a well received piece on the hospital and then found myself playing tennis in the street with a few of the other children. Some were really good.

Now just about every country in the world that used to be a colony, especially British or French, had a sports and games club that was tacitly – some overtly- reserved for whites only. I was not aware of this, but on my second night in the country’s capital I was invited to become an honorary member of the Racing Club. When they discovered I was a member, as was my father, of the founding club in Paris, they were all over me and said I could bring any friends of mine with me to enjoy the facilities.

I didn’t know. I wasn’t American or South African I didn’t know what racial segregation actually was. I just knew it was wrong. I was to learn much worse about this aspect of American life in Vietnam. But I digress. Two days later in the early afternoon I approached the club with three unnaturally worried, as I thought, children with tennis rackets. They were of course native coloured children. The concierge looked at me in amazement and asked why I was accompanied by the kids. I told him they were going to play tennis at the club with me. He asked me to wait.

A few minutes later the vice president of the club came up to me and asked if I had read the rules about coloured people not being allowed in the club.

I asked him why, as I was not aware of this rule. He said it was normal, like women not being allowed in Golf clubs in England. As I began to realise that he was serious I asked him if I could come inside to the committee room and told the children to wait outside. The President and two other bloated colonial do-nothings lounging in the armchairs. I asked if the rule was genuine as I had never come across it before in my life. I was assured it was. I was about to tear up my membership card in front of them when I remembered that the special press facilities room was in the club and I could not work if I was not a member. So I just got up, apologised for not reading their inhumane rules and left.

For the rest of my stay I just dodged bullets, played with the kids and helped at the hospital. On the day I was leaving I went into a filled main bar and tore up my membership card in front of them all telling them exactly what I thought of them. One tall and rather self-important man asked me what the children had thought of my efforts to get them access to the courts. I suddenly realised, to my shame, that I had forgotten to ask the most important question of all. Back at the hospital, though, as a leaving present they had bought me a new tennis racket and the friendliest boy said to me” Thank you for trying to help us, monsieur. I fear, however, that you were about fifty years too early.” He understood all right.

3.If there is a God, I think he or she frequently gives people more than they can handle but they survive mostly because they decide to focus on what’s going to happen in the next five minutes.

A lovely idea this one and of course 100 per cent correct. I am a believing, devoutly practising Catholic, but the idea that I focus more on the next five minutes than anything else is spot on. But where I love the underlying idea in this is because ‘I have too much to handle’ is a long way from how I see my faith. Yes I do attend to the immediate, it’s only natural, but if anything were to threaten my religion, like say, military persecution, then that would become my next five minutes. I would attend to it at once.

This is the whole point of my way of viewing God. If you know Him and love Him as I do, then of course he is the most important part of my life. If, however, one finds it impossible to believe in a creator God then he is not so important and other things take precedence. But the lovely bit is never forgetting to pray for people who cannot believe because they have no idea just how much joy and pleasure can be derived from participating in spiritual love.

4. I will never fully understand the concept of forgiveness although I do understand reaching a point of letting go of one’s rage before it becomes lethal.

Well to start with if one does not know what it feels like to love God or even a particular saint, then the feeling you need in order to forgive must be terribly hard to understand. People have often asked me, do you forgive Hitler?. I would much prefer ‘have you forgiven Hitler’, but leave that. Yes I have. It is not my business to forgive or withhold forgiveness from anyone. What I should do is condemn the sin but leave forgiving the sinner to God.But where I can see that this is really hard is when you feel very strongly about something, mass shootings are usually good examples, when you want the perpetrator to be punished but you dont want to forgive them either. Now, if you haven’t got a God to pass the forgiving buck on to then it is up to you. Your solution of not letting your feeling reach the stage where you could hurt some one else is quite correct. You have to draw the line there. But I do think you should also try to see whatever has been done from the point of view of the malfaissant because only then can you start to work out what made them do what they did. And it is important to society to try to find a reason or you won’t stop the next one.

5 Martin Niemoller’s caution still rings true even though we like to see it as historical, an artifact of another time, not this one.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

Very famous, I know, very clever but incomplete. He never says why in each case. We are assumed to know, if we know our history, then we can understand the first three, but what about the last one. Who is coming for him and why? I am quite happy to accept that the general idea of the piece is that unless we defend the persecuted and oppressed when they start being oppressed, simply because it’s nothing to do with us, where will persecution end? The simple answer is that depends on who is persecuting and why? But, as I say, in the last line we don’t know so how could we intervene as the writer suggests we should?

The best example in the world today is that of North Korea where the nation is so brain washed everone does everything they are told no matter how insane it may appear.But isn’t that exactly what happens in developped western countries? We’re all free, yippee! Yes we are, to speak our minds, but there democracy ends. And why? Because unless we go along with the financial arrangements put in place by the extreme left and extreme right we could not take home a salary good enough for us to have enjoyable lives. We don’t make or take those decisions we just abide by them.

6 It is a relief not to worry about my children’s happiness but to know that they are happy or happy enough without my planning and tending and that I can fill up that new space with almost anything I choose.

God you’re lucky. No you really are. No matter what age they are if you really no longer have to worry about your children and you are free to spend your time as you like you must be awfully confident that your world is never going to change. There is so much that could be said here, but I’m not going to. If you are as lucky as you say then I’m not going to change it for you. I’ll just pray things stay as good as they are.

7 The boy at the beach on Sunday with long khaki pants and shoes on was like a prisoner I wanted to liberate; I thought why did your parents bring you to this joyous place in a cage?

What an odd thing to think. Your mind is becoming much, much clearer. How do you know that before setting out that afternoon – was it morning? – there was not an almighty row in that household. The boy had just got the latest fashionable, ghastly looking, clothes and could at last ape his friends. He was over the moon at showing off his outfit but his mother told him to change. They went at it hammer and tongs for ages until dad final shouted “We’re wasting the day. For God sake let him go out dressed as Nero if he likes but for heaven’s sake stop this squabbling. The real irony was that he never saw any friends, his parents don’t visit those sort of beaches, and so he was kitted out like an idiot for nothing.

Life is much more interesting in our heads than our eyes.

8 It is wonderful to have someone thank me for a right decision I made about them twenty-five years ago.

What on earth does one say about something that has never happened to them? I was thinking what I was doing 25 years ago, O god yes, got it! Stupid me. On May 7th 1990 I got my wife pregnant. It was more than twenty one years since we’d had a child and I couldn’t believe it. We were both alternately up in the air or down on our knees. We really could not take it in. She was 43 and I was 48 and my mother in law was petrified that I had killed her daughter. My father in law was delighted for us but a bit apprehensive for his daughter. My own parents had both died very young nearly twenty years earlier, so you can imagine it meant so much to me. We had wanted more children but God just never gave us any and then wow! I’ll never forget how I felt that day.

You’re all getting teed up for a tear jerker aren’t you? No, be honest, after my earlier stuff. But this was one of the greatest stories you could make up, except it happened. When my adorable wife was 23 weeks and four days pregnant and all was going swimmingly God gave us a little reminder that things aren’t always as we expect. Given our ages you can see why I knew the exact length of her pregnancy, when she got appendicitis and it burst. The ambulance crew were staggering but got us to the operating theatre in time. It was two pm in the afternoon and all I was allowed to do was get the Catholic chaplain to the operating table to baptise the baby and give my wife the last rights.They’re great. Much better than medication.

Because thirteen weeks later after my wife had had two operations and nearly died, and my son had struggled to breathe – he still holds his hospital record for survival at 23 weeks and four days back in 1990- for months, we all came home on January 6th, Epiphany, and my eldest boy had flown back from university in Australia to help all he could. But the youngest went on to be an academic genius with a lst class BSc. honours in physiology, an MA in Archeology of death and memory, and is heading for a doctorate in a year or two. No, of course I hadn’t forgotten all that, it’s just that I can’t remember if my wife said thank you on May the 7th!

9 ‘I can decide to not let things be more important than the things that are important like working on gun control and racism; there aren’t other people to do this, we are the people’.

Again absolutely spot on. Those are just the sort of things that

the average person should be concerned with and make their voices heard on. I don’t suppose that the Vatican News Service is top of the reading list in your house, but you have almost said exactly the same thing as Pope Francis said in his Letter to the world last week, but he was aimed at preserving the planet and helping the starving and the poor.

He really went for those people who could, and should be doing something about these problems but aren’t for purely selfish reasons. He cited four meetings on global warming and not a thing done. He slammed the countries that let the poor starve in case stopping a civil war might interrupt their oil supply. Then he went for the over fed industrialised countries for ignoring the starving people in the third world. You really should read it it puts the skewer right into the stomachs of the greedy and the lazy.

But the bit I liked best was when he said religious education in catholic scools should be about being the sort of citizens that God needed on this earth rather than just brilliantly clever technocrats and scientists who were destroying the planet instead of preserving it. Great stuff. And as you so rightly say, the sort of document that was not written for the shelf but every school desk.

10 I could not be more grateful for my chance to be on the earth this day and all the days past and maybe tomorrow.

Well taken overall I certainly hope that your days on the earth have still got a long way to go. I have seldom found myself agreeing IN SPIRIT with the ideas of another person who is not known to me, with whom I have never chatted and who wants to do what is right and has the humility to admit that she still has bits to learn to do this. Thanks for the read. It was fun and a great read.

Anton Wills-Eve

OUR BEAR EMOTIONS


Toy Story

my favourite toy

OUR BEAR EMOTIONS

I lost my favourite toy when I was 68. I was gutted, totally washed out. My world was at an end, it really was. How on earth would I sleep without  Nou Nours. I mean big brown bears defend you from all sorts of things.

When I was just two and a half  my French god monther gave him to me to protect me from the Germans. I used to sleep with my head tucked behind him to protect me. And boy, did it work. Not a single bomb ever hit me. That was some bear.

Then when I was four  I was playing in the garden when a snake crawled on its belly towards me through the grass. But Nou Nours saw him first. He jumped off the top of my shoulder and landed so hard on the snake that it leaped and rolled all at once and actually fell into the water. I was so proud of brave Nou Nours that I gave him an extra helping of merigue at tea. Of course I had to eat it for him as bears aren’t allowed meringue.

But as I grew older he wasn’t forgotten. At sport he became my mascot. Surprisingly for a French bear he was a good cricket coach. I always batted with him tucked in my cricket top, just his eyes peeping out. But he could tell which way a ball was going to swing or spin and in some of my biggest innings he had a lot to do with my success. I even learned the French for, ‘I think the next one’s going to be a bouncer by the way he’s walking back’. “Je pense que le prochain un sera un boncement bal parceque le bowler a l’air tres malin”! And at rugby he really was a god send. I squashed him inside my jock strap and many a possibly unpleasant tackle awasn’t too bad at all.

But when I reached that age when a fairer attraction threatened to replace Nou Nours in my affections the fact that he was French turned out to be a blessing. One very pretty girl was only too pleased to get the come on from me but he was having none of it. “Mais, non, mon vieux. Elle est bien belle, d’accord, mais regarde sa bouche. Elle ne sait pais donner une grosse bise” If you think you’ve worked that out, you’re right. And if you’re lost, your imagination will be good enough. Actually she kissed like a wet dishcloth and I decided to take his advice in future.

It was when I was twentytwo that I saw a rather ordinary looking girl but she had something about her sad smile that made me feel sorry for her. I asked Nou Nours. He came and gave her the once over. His elbow was digged so painfully into my side that I looked up at him in suprise. He had a huge smile on his face and was nodding his head vigorously. “You sure?” I said in disbelief.

“Ba, mon ami. Pourqoui demander mon avis si tu ne le veux pas?” He had a point, so I found it easy, much to her surprise, to take her out to the cricket club party that weekend. She was certainly good, if very shy, company. But as the night wore on we realised we had started to like each other quite a lot. Actually an awful lot by four in the morning when I was asked in for a coffee as her parents were away that weekend. No, Nou Nours couldn’t have fixed that! Could he?

Any way Belinda was everything I wanted and it appeared I was rather high up on her delectable list too. This could have been why seven months later we got married.  The only serious problem we had on our honey moon was that Nou Nours jumped on to the bed and snuggled down between us. No way, “Eh, Nou Nours. What do you think you’re doing. Out!” As he grumled and growled his way out of the bed he remined me that after all he was a French bear and anyhow he thought he had to protect both of us!

Over the years Nou Nours suggested he might help play with the children and he went down a treat and was known to all three of our children as Daddy’s French bear. That was actually what Belinda called him when she first met him, you can see why she and I got on so well. It was getting off that was the problem. But the children thought Nou Nours might be lonely and found him a lovely English girl bear for company. She was called Lucy, but at first all he said was  “Une Anglaise! Mon Dieu, eh bien quand a Rome!” But she blushed next day and whispered in my ear that she now knew Nou Nours was French for Teddy Bear.

But years passed, which is what God invented them to do, when on a short weekend away together, we were both 68, Belinda discovered Nou Nours was not in the car. We were distraught. “Oh no”, she said, tears starting to trickle from her eyes, what shall we do?” We went back and hunted high and low to all the parts of the hotel where we had stayed, and retraced out steps on our walks, but all in vain. We were both inconsolable. We finally gave up and drove home. And there, in the hall way stood Nou Nours looking more cross than I had ever seen him.

“Eh alors! Je ne merite pas un weekend avec vous deux, quoi?” We’ld left him behind. Belinda hugged him harder and longer that I did,  but he forgave us as long as we never did it again. Well that was ten years ago, and he now has ten cubs and grand cubs, I won’t go through all their names. But we are just starting to get a bit forgetful, but do you know in all those ten years we  have never forgotten him, or Lucy or the kids or grand cubs even once!!

Anton Wills-Eve

WHAT A DAY !


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/festivus-for-the-rest-of-us/”>Festivus for the Rest of Us</a>

the day I was elected ruler of the uiverse

WHAT A DAY !

Heavens that was close! Five recounts. Of the 17 planets we could contact eight had the Venusian first and eight had me first, and the final count was Venus. But they don’t count like we do so we had to have five recounts before they conceded and I was ruler of the universe.

It’s a great feeling, but fortunately a very humiliating one as well. The entire part of all reachable living people had at last come to an agreement to work together to keep all living beings able to devise a safe way of carrying on living. Planet earth’s major problem was still how to preserve the energy sources it had, how to stop them diminishing and how to ensure that all people on earth should have a living wage and that what food there was was rationed fairly amongst the 220 nations ruled by the United Nations. It was the plan which I had devised to do this that had led to the world choosing me as their representative in the ruler of the universe contest. I still don’t know how I won.

But I had been a leading planetanian since leaving Oxford University with a first in Universality and then a doctorate in the subject. As a Scots Australian I qualified to work in the top echelons of the UN and having working command of seven earth languages and four different planets’ method of communication I soon rose to the top in inter-planet conferences. But what were the problems facing me most urgently when I took the highest office ever created?

For a start four planets had problems exactly opposite to ours. They had a fuel and food surplus of 330% and were only too happy to come to some sort of an agreement with earth over how to help each other. Transport was the biggest difficulty as you can imagine. Then the newest discovered planet that we could talk to, Luvya, had a ratio of ingestible water and vegetation of 3-7 against the people. They were on the edge of starvation and had a population in which there were twice as many women as men. I could see my first job would be trafsering food from Pogo, a very comfortably off planet, to nearby Luvya as fast as possible. Again transport was the problem.

It was Hans Von Lederhosen, from the leading Austrian Universe study Centre, who solved this problem by devising ‘cracking’, a method of shooting bundles of matter through space at an unbelievable speed, unharmed, who went on to win the first Nobel Universe Prize in 2631AD. The ad was retained when it was dicovered that eleven of the planets were Christian. You really must read the story of how this came about. It’s the best true story you’ll ever read.

But I think I’m digressing. I’ve been asked to tell you how I would celebrate my election. I’m afraid I don’t think I would. Well, not in the sense the prompt setter means. I would certainly mark the occasion, but my emphasis would be on them not me. For a start I would introduce a new currency, the Universalis. It would be a seventeen sided titanium coin worth one per cent of a Uni, the main note in circulation. Don’t ask me how its relative value was worked out to satisfy each planet but a Martian called Klunk was the economist behind the scheme which won him the 2632 Nobel economics prize. I held up the first minted coin in my right hand as the orb of office was placed in my left which just about had the strength to hang onto it while I took the oath of office. “ I, Anton 1st, protector of the Universe, do hereby swear, by that deity in whom I believe, to devote my tenure of this office entirely to the good of all inhabitants of the seventeen planets that come within the boundaries of my jurisdiction.”

Not very long, I know, but mt left arm had nearly come off so it was long enough. There was to be a celebretory banquet, or street party as they are called on earth, in every planet at which at least one item of food from each other planet was part of the feast. Now for Lvyans, for instance, it was hardly a treat, but what mattered was that it made them feel part of a brotherhood and sisterhood of all living creatures everywhere and this bucked them up no end. Each one was also presented with a Unorbisate. The was a medal on a chain worn round the neck, or a suitable part of that planet’s inhabitants’ anatomy.

But for me, the best part of that day was that all my own family were present with me as I was invested protector of everyone. My wife Francesca could not keep back her tears, while my seven children, Maria 13, Giovanni 12, the twins Lucia 10, Violetta 10, Dido 8, Aeneus 7 and little six year old Edgardo, lined up three on each side of me at the ceremony. But it was not the pomp and glory of the day that I will always remember but cheeky little Eddie, whom I could not see, waving a banner saying “My dad can beat your dad any day. And now it’s official.” It had to be Eddie.

An elbow dug into my ribs, and the fingers of a soft, tickly hand awoke me fully. “What are you dreaming he’s done now, David?” Francesca’s lovely voice asked me as she kissed my neck.

“Oh I’ve just become ruler of the universe, I sleepily replied. “

“Oh poor everbody,” said my adorable Francesca as she could not stop laughing.

Anton Wills-Eve

 

LOOK AT ME, NO DON’T TURN AWAY.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/festivus-for-the-rest-of-us/”>Festivus for the Rest of Us</a>

A poem first the medal later.

 

LOOK AT ME, NO DON’T TURN AWAY.
Where were you going when I stopped you yesterday?
Guilt written on your half hidden face avoiding me.
Where had you been that you did not want me to know?
Most of all why me, what am now, I just can’t see?

We first met twenty one years ago when you were only twenty two,
With your first degree, so full of hope you could do anything.
I too had mine. I cried ‘look out world there’s a changer coming’!
Yours was in chemistry, in history mine. My heart began to sing.

That night at the student ball you were so lovely and so pretty
We melted away across the quod where none could see. Your chemistry
Deserved its degree for all it did, clinging to the chemistry in me.
In my gothic rooms,lost in the love which only you had ever found in me.

When I awoke, you were no longer there.Was I so little in your life?
You fled our halls the very next day, never to let me see you smile again.
Have I changed the world out of bitter revenge for the way you left me there?
And by re-writing history, which brought me fame through my digital pen.

Was this the way I chose to tell both friend and foe ‘Yes, my only lover went!
You didn’t have to, but I gained fame, a T.V. celebrity, writer. “Celebrity”
Oh, ghastliest of ghastly words. It turned me away from every putative lover
For twenty years, my heart just sees your face, saying ‘You must love me.’

I shall only be here for two more days, I’ll walk along that street again.
“At half past ten, there you were and I shouted,”Jennifer, please. Wait”.
Full face on you turned and I realised my mistake. I blushed, just a hope
I was keeping in my breast in case I saw your face, but it’s too late.

A woman was hurrying up behind the youngster, holding her degree. Given to her by me.
As the woman got nearer the girl approached me and asked for my autograph.
But It was her mother, tears streaming down her cheeks, who softly called out ‘Lucia’
Please don’t ask him for his autograph, you already have it, and began to laugh.

I didn’t move. Just stared at my daughter.Twenty one years of Lucia’s life gone.
Then at her mother, still crumpled with remorse.”Jen, I love you and forgive you”.
Then I turned to Lucia and asked for one quick father’s hug. She was lost
But could not help holding me as her mother had. I looked at Jen, again. “Why?”

“I was told you were the lover of half our year. I ran away distraught.
Eight years later the lyer confessed as she was dying, I forgave her.
I sought you everywhere but as Lucy got older I told her all about you.”
Then Lucia broke in, “but she’s still yours if your not married. She couldn’t bear
To look on any other man and she’s been very ill. She lectures here too.

I have a degree in history just like you. Can I call you dad? We hugged again.
I walked up to Jen and held her as I did all those years ago. “I do love you so”.
We went back to my hotel to tidy up and prepare for a reunion luncheon, but Jen collapsed
Her heart gave out she was dead. Lucia clung to me,”Dad, don’t leave me, I’ve still got you.

But she meant more. No one would know.Forty three marrying twenty one. Why not?
“Lucy I’m your dad! You aren’t serious. My Lucy was. This time it would be for every day.
All alone, I drove off and live alone now lecturing and broacasting in the States.
Lucia committed suicide. Her last words to me were, “Look at me. No don’t turn away.”

Anton Wills-Eve

Cosi Fan (almost) Tutte


Moved to Tears

tears in the sense of ‘ in a hurry’ not weeping (hope your Mozart’s good enough for the title!)

Cosi Fan (almost) Tutte

John’s hesitant speech and terrible stutter

Belied the kind heart which could never utter

The words he really wanted so much to say,

And phrase in an acceptable and loving way.

The girls he knew, and who knew each other,

Treated him like an annoying, younger brother

Always bothering them with an unfinished word

And gestures of despair, which they all found absurd.

So Jane and Cathy, with kim, Liz and Anne,

Decided to find out if he was a mouse or a man.

They hatched a vile plot to tease him rotten,

First appearing attracted then leaving him forgotten.

Jane was the first to have a go at poor John,

Telling him he was handsome, not laying it on

Too thick, just letting him wonder if it could be true

That a girl actually liked him. But what should he do?

She said she would meet him behind the school gym

But just went on her way, oh how she hurt him!

John could not fathom why people wanted to make fun

In this way of any boy. What on earth had he had done

To hurt or harm in any malicious, mean, way,

Girls he liked but to whom he could not say

That his heart beat as normally as any other young boy?

Why, oh why did they treat him like a cast off old toy?

He waited an hour then went home alone.

But was stopped by Cathy’s really bitchy tone,

Hi John. Jane ditched you? What did you expect?

Think that she’d kiss you, you pathetic reject?”

And after this minx had covered him in shame,

Kim stopped him next, shouting out his name.

John, want a cuddle? Some hopes for you mate!

Why you can’t even ask a girl out for a date.”

His response was so fierce it stopped her quite still.

N–n–no, I kn—kn–know I cc—can’t: BUT I W-W-WILL!”

At this point Liz appeared, and wiggled her hips,

Taunting poor John with her pursed, pouting lips.

He raced to his door and went quickly inside.

“Think you’re safe here? Home’s nowhere to hide!”

Smiling, Anne teased him, “Earlier I copied your key.

Now, come on lover boy, it’s just you and me!”

Anne had no way of knowing just how deeply John felt

A real love for her, but with the cards he’d been dealt,

Could not show his passion, the words would not come;

Then his brain finally snapped. He was no longer dumb!

Go on. Mock me, make fun of me. That’s if you dare,

But beware of me Anne. You see, never did I care

For anyone but you and,as you just walked in here,then

I assume that you want me, so come on up to my den.”

And there, ‘mid his books, tablet, laptop and all

He crushed her in an embrace, but Anne did not call

For help. No, she just passionately kissed and caressed

The most wonderful boy she’d ever held to her breast.

What’s happened John? You can talk and you’re great.

I love you so much, but I am afraid it’s getting late.”

Well my parents are away so now it’s all up to you.

You’re welcome to stay, that’s if you’d really like to.”

She took out her mobile and told mum not to worry,

She was going to be late and of course would not hurry

Back until morning, it was quite usual for them all.

Then turned off her phone to block any incoming call.

John listened, delighted, and took her in his arms again

To spend the night showing her he was one of the men.

And lovestricken Anne never told Jane,Liz,Cathy or Kim

How much they had missed by making cruel fun of him.

Anton Wills-Eve

Late Middle Age


Moved to Tears

last time moved to tears

Late Middle Age

I Look not on the flowers that have faded

I dwell not on summer days in the sun,

Now replaced by memories of those jaded

Repetitive fetes without fun.

I Cheer my hopes and my heart, growing older,

With dreams not of what might have been.

But with images of still possible laughter,

With a love that is yet to be seen.

Seen, yes, but where can I find it

As I pass into late middle years?

When my eyes and my heart least expect it

A face fascinated me and filled me with tears.

Tears, lest too little time was left to me

Not enough for another slow dance,

But in that Indian summer I could still see

Both a deeper and longer romance.

So now I look not on petals all shrunken,

I just picture my new found adored.

And I’ve given up days with my drunken

Friends, whose jokes I no longer applaud.

Anton Wills-Eve

10 months unseasoned.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/turn-turn-turn/”>Turn, Turn, Turn</a>

Favourite season and least admired.

                    10 months unseasoned.                           

                                Love

I love March best, each year my heart leaps

hopefully towards a face I’d love to love.

then comes the truth, that face is with God above.

Yet every hope and wish in love still peeps

around the wings of the stage set of eternity,

as I hope for one more undeserved maternity.

 

 

                                   Hope

March, the very word suggests a trudging echo

of boots stomping along life’s unknown road.

leaves muffle the entry and exit from our abode

wife and children are left ignorant of where we go.

we have to tread life’s path as God has willed us to

we have to hope, for He has left us nothing else to do.

                       

                     winter into spring

I love you with all my heart as in my arms you lie

winter has gone and we know not what lies ahead

you cling to me as though my body in truth was dead

I look on you, how long until I have to say goodbye?

cold winds are past but spring is yet to tell us all

the seasons left will bring us, shall we rise or fall?

 

Anton Wills-Eve

EXCUSE ME ARE YOU A POLICEMAN?


In a Crisis

reacting to a crisis

EXCUSE ME ARE YOU A POLICEMAN?

We were faced with a crisis once, the whole family, and it was my little boy, Freddie, aged eleven who whispered in his sister Ginney’s, ear an idea of how to save us all. She ran to the front door and shouted, “Help, Rape! Rape!” 

Imagine for a start our dilemma. We had just received a last demand for payment on an item we still owed about two hundred dollars on. At first sight Ginny’s action outlined above would appear completely useless. But just think. Who would you get flocking round your house?

The Police? Yes that’s a good answer. About ten of them, three women and seven men. The chief male cop burst into our hall screaming, “Let me get at the bastard. Where is the little girl? ” This is the point where granny came in very useful. 

“I was the victim, officer, 52 years ago. You know, down by the canal on a sunny evening. Young Jimmy Johnson went just that bit too far, you know how fellas do, and I whacked him a backhander that sent him straight into the water amongst those iron girders and other rubbish. He didn’t try that again, did you Jimmy?”

“No I Goddam didn’t, wheezed grandad from his Norman Rockwell pose in the kitchen nook. But see here, officer. Next time I saw Jessie here she was awful nice and forgave me and was real sorry for cutting my leg so badly. We told our parents about my acident and they left us at home, even though we was too young, and that’s when we first had it off, while she was bandaging me up. Tricky position, officer, you should try it some day.”

“Then the woman cop said to the chief, “Heston, your weapon’s slipping out,…..”

“Yeah, just what Jessie said to me , ma’m,” grandad butted in and effectively closed the conversation. But think how much we benefitted. The newspaper  reporters were round en masse, and they got quite a different picture. My eighteen year old girl was crying, prostrate across her mother’s lap, and I was screaming obscenities throught the open French windows into an empty garden.

“Yes sir, he was about six foot seven and muscles like a wrestler. Little Ginny here didn’t have a chance ’til my wife spun round with the skillet and nearly knocket him out. But he still got away. All these police are chasing after him even now. These are just the few who stayed to make sure we was alright.”

Then A lot of the people who lived in our street started using our house as a museum, open to the public for just one day, and started calculating the value of all our possessions. But when Hal Billbender tried to pocket my silver pen holder enough was enough and I grabbed a cop and said “That fellow looks very like the guy”, and pointed at Hal. I’ve never seen a man put a silver penholder back on a desk so fast. But a few of the others got the message and a lot of our things were given back in haste when the felons saw we really were prepared to shop them.

Eventually the crisis cooled down as my daughter refused a medical examination, although grandrad got quite chatty and suggested the chief cop ought to have one. He also asked the chief woman cop if she’d heard the one about the police station that put up a notice ‘man wanted for rape’ and they got a hundred volunteers in ten minutes. Through gritted teeth she told him she had, many times. One of the reporters had heard it too and thinking it was a party at which such stories should be told  the female cop smacked her baton across the back of his hand breaking his quarter bottle of bourbon. The neighbours gradually left. Finally at one in the morning everything was back to normal and we went to bed.

The next day the local papers were full of “Brave Ginny beats off band of abusers” and such like headlines, but it was a huge help at eleven am. That was when a smart dressed man in a necktie and glasses rang the door bell. I asked him what he wanted.

“Oh how do you do Sir. I am sure this won’t take a moment. I believe you have gotten some two hundreed dollars behind in your … Oh my God.”

“Ginney appeared behind me with a hankie to her face and grasping my arm. Not more of them dad. Oh please I couldn’t recite it all again.”

The impeccably dressed man told me he would not dream of intruding at such an awful time for us and told me not think any more about the bill.

I didn’t. But I often think about how to deal with a crisis.

Anton Wills-Eve

EARLY HELL HATH NO FURY


The Early Years

how early is early?

EARLY HELL HATH NO FURY

I had some cracking times when I was very young, indeed I think I may have mentioned some in the odd blog. Probably the most exciting event was when I was two and a few months in 1944 when a buzz bomb nearly killed my sister, three years and seven months, and me as my grandmother raced for our house pushing our pram and we just beat the german monster.

Well, obviously, this story gets better every time I tell it but we did get a shock from the explosion and as my mother was very well known at that time she rang a London national  daily and recounted my story, warts and all, even if there weren’t any warts, thus gaining me my first  national byline before I was three. Even at that age I was clearly  paparrazile. I scaled many more non existant peaks in the journalistic world as I grew older and more unreliable, but why tell the truth when the  border line between ‘thou shallt not bear false witness’ gets ever closer and oh, sooooooooooooo much more tempting.

This blog title raises an interesting point. When do our early years stop? Mine went on until I was at least ten so let’s take it to then, you’ll see why in a second or two. But first a lovely recollection from when I was five. We had a gorgeous house (37 rooms and an acre of garden) in south west London between Sheen Common and Richmond Park and the Earl of Kimberly gave my sister and me a lovely thoroughbred golden retreiver Labrador puppy for Chrismas. Well there are a lot of wild deer in Richmond Park and it was a treasonable offence to defend yourself if one attacked you because they belonged to the Queen.

Actually I’ve always found her an adorable poppet of a Queen and by far the best head of state anywhere in the world in my lifetime. Being half Scots I don’t blame her for not being a Stuart. My father was sixth generation Australian, we all have our Crosses to bear! But as I say I cannot believe her majesty would have minded if I had defended my small but heroic frame from a charging stag.  With only a stout branch which I could hardly yield she would have applauded me for lashing out at the beast as it bore down on my sister and me, but sadly such heroism was never put to the test. But what was tested was our Labrador’s metal. When I was five a middle sized sort of  deer did run towards me, but the dog at once charged it and in it’s confusion it fled back into it’s pack of brothers and sisters telling them that it wasn’t a nice doggie at all and to keep away from it under pain of death.  The lovely tagline to this true story is that apparently when I was one year old I was taken to see the Walt Disney film of Bambi and had to be taken out  of the cinema crying and screaming during the forest fire scene. I later grew out of this brief interlude of warriorlesssnesship.

As I have set the time limit of this story on ten ( lets say ten years and 164 days) I will pick out some oustanding memories that have clung to me mind ever since. There was the awful Sunday morning when I was stranded by Hammersmith bridge and my mother and sister caught the bus leaving me behind. As I gradually blanched into panic driven horror of the first realisation of just how terrible my agoraphobia was going to be for the rest of my life I did also learn, in the short passage of terror the inescapable minutes trapped me in,that I either had to fight it or live in mortal mental fear for ever. I chose the former and was just about able to manage, with the help of pills, prayers and Pernod, and a saint who has carried me over more crises both mental and spiritual than you could imagine. But in truth I have been unbelieveably lucky. Especially having a wife who understands my awful illness completely Not least because she sufferes from it too, and has done all her life, thus being able to empathise with me.

I think my two main memories of early school life were loving all sports at which I was fortunate enough to excel. Can you imagine a ten year old playing cricket and doing really well for the school under elevens side thanks to nearly half a bottle of scotch he had to drink to manage to cross the cicket field! The other memory was what I called the unneccessary side. If we did anything even vaguely contrary to the school rules it was an unmerciful thrashing with a leather strop and no excuses allowed. I was regularly given this punishment for not doing things which I could not manage because of the limitations of my phobia. For instance I could not do a cross country run – well who could with that illness. And then the awful added anxiety of waiting for three days before going into the headmaster’s study to be punished for being too ill to run. At that age it was on the hand, but hurt just as much, and always on the hand with which you did not have to write. I remember getting thoroughly fed up with this senseless torture when I was nine and holding out my right hand and saying to the master,

“Look Sir you use your left hand to hit me and we’ll see who comes out of the contest best”. He did not have a clue if I was being impertinent or genuinely trying to crack a joke. He smiled and said, sorry this isn’t negotiable. Following this I pulled my left hand from behind my back and said, sorry Sir, but I fell off my bike yesterday evening and I’ve broken four fingers. You can’t hit that one.” He stared,  put the strop away and smiled, ‘okay we’ll make that your punishment for a couple of weeks’ he smiled. But I finally had him. “No Sir, That’s the last time you’ll ever hit me. I told the doctor the injury was the result of the ferocity with which we were thrashed at school. My father is taking no action, much as the doctor wanted him to, but he will if you ever touch me again. Nobody did hit me for two years, so I had managed to stop that double torture without the family knowing about my phobia. But my father’s added condition was that no boys in the school aged under twelve should rceive any form of corporal punishment, and as he was a well known journalist they did not argue with him and the rule he demanded was brought in.

But I said earlier that I would like to end these memoirs on a pleasant note, and they don’t come pleasanter than Anne. It was at my tenth bithrday party that we all played hide and seek in my garden. About ten boys and ten girls from near where we lived came to tea and games at our house. May is a lovely month for a birthday, and Anne had been at the first infants’ school with me from the age of four to nearly eight. We had not seen a lot of each other since we changed schools, but at that party Anne seemed strangely shy and even a little upset. During hide and seek I partnered her and knew a perferct spot behind the orchard where no one would find us. I smiled at her deliberately affectionately, “Now what’s got into you since I saw you last, Anne. It can’t be just missing me.” A tear ran down her cheek as she answered.

“Oh, Anton. It’s not that. At our age life has not even started, no we are moving to the South coast, near Brighton, and I’ll be a long, long way away from you.”Amid sniffles she added,”I promised myself I would not spoil your birthday, but I shall be good from now on.  I looked round, saw nobody could see us and placed my hands on Anne’s shoulders and gave her the softest kiss I think I’ve ever given anyone. Then I said, “I agree with you we are too young to be in love as grown ups are, but I promise you this, my Anne. I love you more that anyone I know and I hope I always will. So please just keep writing to me and as we get older we may get to love each other more every day.”

She said nothing. Anne just put her arms round my neck and returned my kiss with ten times the love I had given her. She hung onto me for five minutes,  wiped her eyes and completed the promise to write and never lose touch. And is that what happened?

Well this is just the early years. Anne stayed very close to me until they moved six months later and I went down to Brighton with my sister to see her the next April. But if you want to know what happened to Anne, whether I was corporally punished again, how I got round my phobia to play several games I loved. and the limitations placed on the rest of my life, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book.

Anton W-E

DOWNSIDE UP


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Blogger in a Strange Land.”

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/blogger-in-a-strange-land/”>Blogger in a Strange Land</a>

DOWNSIDE UP

I was tweeting at the time this happened. I can’t remember to whom. I was looking out the first floor sunset window, the room that looks straight into the setting sun and is furnished exactly as I want it both to relax and work. Well I heard the cat definitely miaowing outside the window. But it couldn’t be there, there was no ledge. I hurried over to see what was happening.

As I pushed open the double glass windows and strained to look down I lost my balance and was literally left hanging by my feet some thirty feet from the ground.  I looked down and luckily it was a flower bed, but even so I thought I’d rather be rescued, and luckily I still had my tablet in my hand.

Upside down the tablet looked all wrong. The keyboard for a start was downside up and when I texted my sister to help me, I knew she was in, I tapped all the wrong keys. I could not wait much longer as my left leg, which was taking most of the strain, was going numb.

So I threw the flaming tablet away in the hope of being able to find a more conventional way of clambering back in the window. From down below I heard a loud miaow and the cat shot our of the flowers as my tablet hit it.  My indignant sister came out of the garden door to see who was torturing  her pet, spotted me the wrong way up some thirty feet above her and shouted,

“Serves you right for throwing things at Kiwi – what else do you call an all black cat? – you can stay there all night, and serve you right.”

At this point a felt two hands grabbing my ankles. It was my ten year old daughter. “Help. Daddy’s about to fall to his death. Help!”

“Well he is if you push instead of pull,” I answered and politely requested a piece of rope first tied to the window frame. I got one, but only after a major exercise in girl guide knot tying which consistently failed until my wife appeared on the scene and hauled me back in.

As I retrieved my tablet I remembered that famous question, how long would it take one million monkeys typing at random to produce the works of Shakespeare? It made me wonder what I had written. A load of rubbish no doubt. You can imagine my amazement when I saw that I had typed, quite unwittingly, ‘The other way up, you idiot!’

I couldn’t believed it and ran indoors at once to show my wife. “Jane, look you won’t believe this!” She didn’t, because she and my sister were bent double with mirth on the floor as my sister managed to say, “And the raving fool even fell for it!”

AWE

COMMON SENSES


Super Sensitive

which sense would you give up and which have accentuated?

COMMON SENSES

I am in no doubt that I would give up common  sense and that I would greatly increase my emotional sensitivity. There are two reasons in each case which stand out for me.

With regard to giving up common sense I suppose it is becaue it is the most contentious sense we have. Everyone has their own idea of what common sense is. For me basically it is what appears as the blatantly obvious to each individual  and this for so many different reasons. Firstly  I assume that some things in life are perceived logically by my senses and I cannot understand why others do not feel the same way. For instance I take it as obvious that I do not want to die any sooner than I absolutely have to, but  given that many people commit suicide I suppose for many this piece of logical common sense does not hold good. But even so I accept that this is a very common piece of sense indeed. Where one sees the meaning of common sense being heavily disputed is in politics and religion, in other words where and  how we order our lives and the purpose of that ordering are greatly disputed and so one man’s common sense in such an issue would certainly not be another’s. Therefore this sense would definitely be the one to go.

But on the subject of increasing a sense my emotional perception would certainly be the sense that I would want to increase a hundred fold. I consider the need for this to be obvious  as I am referring to the acuteness of my ability to understand how I feel about other people and why I want to. If I love my wife it would be wonderful to be able to love her twice as much. The joy I get from loving her and knowing she loves me is enormous and any way in which I could increase this sensation of perceived and reciprocal enjoyment of being with me, or I being with another person, must be something I would seek to increase as much as possible.Also The emotional side of spiritual love and affection  is part of that same sensation of feeling loved and wanted but in a different, though equally strong, manner.  Thus you have my answer to this prompt.

But hang on. I have a feeling the prompt setter may have been talking about my five physical senses. I do hope not because I would not want to change my physical make up in any way at all. Imagine wanting to lose a sense. If you really did want to be so handicapped you would probbly need psychiatric help, unless that is what led you to feel the need for your loss in the first place!!

Anton Wills-Eve

OUR LOVING QUARTET


I’ve done today’s alphabet challenge prompt in the form of an acrostic poem in which each of the 26 lines have to start with the next letter of the alphabet in correct sequence. If anyone queries xylographic it means carved ornately out of wood.)

just discovered this was posted a few months ago but when the ping was down

OUR LOVING QUARTET

 

Always and everywhere, Sue you are mine
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime divine.
Coming to meet me off the train every day,
Driving me home from the station to play
Evening  games with the twins, both smiling at me;
Fun for us all while they have their tea.
“Goodnight James and Jenny, God bless”,then a kiss;
Happiness is our home on days such as this.
Illness, however, makes us both forlorn,
Jenny and James crying night until morn.
Kneeling to hold a basin while they are sick
Looking at Sue, hoping they’ll get well quick.
Money too causes worries, have we enough
Needed to pay for their school fees and stuff?
Often we go without things we would like
Poor Jenny wants a dress and James needs a bike.
Quite often, Sue, you put your arms around me
Reassuringly smiling, telling me everything will be
So much better when my new job comes through.
Two weeks later I get it, my wage goes up too.
Unknown to you I cannot resist buying a surprise;
Very soon I’m telling you “Now shut your eyes!”
What tears of joy when you see my present!
Xylographic beads set in a silver broach crescent.
Yes, love rules in the house of our family quartet,
Zone of the luckiest, happiest folks yet.

AWE

AND SO TO ETERNITY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/eat-drink-and-be-merry/”>Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…</a>

last supper before world’s end

AND SO TO ETERNITY

This is a nice idea for a prompt except for two things. Firstly, how would we know the world was going to end tomorrow and even if we did why on earth would we waste time doing anything unnecessary? But allowing for these two disputable points this is how I would spend my last day if I really knew it was.

The news bulletin on the television that interrupted all the rest of the programmes to tell us of the imminent apocalypse was couched in such credible terms that just about everyone believed it. I heard it at 9.30am and so had missed out on several hours which I could have used to do things that mattered to me before the end. Not least booking a ticket to the South Seas so I would get a few more hours of life.

Firstly I opened my notebook that I kept by my bed and in which I kept the names of everyone for whom I had been asked to pray.  They had to come first. I managed an hour of sweat pouring down my forehead as I begged my three favourite saints and God Himself and his family to forgive and save all my relatives and friends who had expressed recent doubts about the existence of God. I really prayed myself out for them because Heaven would not be Heaven without a lot of them and I just wanted to remind God of this. What an unnecessary thing to do!

Well, obviously I then had to visit those of my friends who lived closed to me but for some reason or other were lonely in their hearts or minds and had to be cheered up. Oh just think of them, poor souls. There was Andy who suffered from internittent depression and was never sure who his friends were. I just held his hand for fifteen minutes and at least raised a smile on his face when I pointed out we were all going down the same path at the same time and he was no longer on his own. His thanks were in his eyes.

Then I went round to one of my old girlfriends with whom I had never made love but who always enjoyed a few minutes with me because whenever we saw each other we laughed ourselfelves sick. My goodbye to her was deeply personal, intimate and comprehensible only to ourselves. She really was a poppet. I then knelt by my bed and conjured up Gemma’s face. It was the closest I could get at this late stage to contact with someone who had raised life on earth to a level that as a youngster I never believed possible. She called herself my spiritual advisor, but she was more than that. If you have ever had someone in your life who knew you better than you knew yourself then you know who I mean. She was thousands of miles away yet at the same time right next to me.

And finally I had a friend whose very existence was doubted by most of my closest relatives and friends. From a very young age, Saint Rita, had kept watch over me, encouraged me when the world was dark and my hopes were dying. She literally put her arms round my soul and quietly loved me in her beautiful soft Italian voice. As the patron saint of hopeless causes I had  to have so many chats with her, but she was always there. As I now pray at my bed and try to make up for all the sins I have committed in my life she is there and, as she promised, will be to the end. I am happy just to let her stay with me until God tells me how I am going to Heaven.

But how on earth could I eat anything in that state? It would choke me!

AWE

AFTER WHICH OF MY EVERS?


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/happily-ever-after/”>Happily Ever After</a>

the prompt asks am I happy ever after.

 

 AFTER WHICH OF MY EVERS ?

Are you happy ever after? What a strange question. Ever is still going on.

I lounged back in the deck chair in my tree filled garden and thought about this question. Am I living happily ever after? I’d have to ask my wife as well, obviously. She seems to be very happy and has certainly hasn’t lost her sense of humour. But the question still worried me. ‘Ever after’ but which of my evers?

Before I met my current wife some forty six years ago I was greatly enamoured of a girl in Vietnam who really was the mixture between an angel, a saint and a deliciously seductive  twenty year old beauty queen. It was what she spent her life doing that attracted me to her so much. She was so sorry for the orphans in the war in Vietnam, especially those who had been blinded or maybe born blind, that she spent all her time helping to run an orphanage for them. Anh and I met when I was tipped off by a secretary at the British embassy that there might be a good human interest story in the orphanage. I’ll say there was. Four young woman with occasional visits from a nurse and a doctor were looking after 54 youngsters aged between three years and fourteen years. Thirty one were girls and twenty seven boys. And all were blind. Anh was an orphan herself and had no idea who her parents were. But she did not just give me a great story on a little known aspect of the war, she also inveigled me into helping her and getting free food and medical supplies for them from the American military. No I am not going to tell you how I got them.

In between writing all the copy my job required of me I found myself spending a lot of time at the orpahange and Anh and I were definitely getting fond of each other. Eventually I summoned up the courage to ask her out to dinner with me in a nice restaurant near the cathedral in central Saigon. She was amazed. She was obviously just wondering what I wanted. But I hope my smile reassured her. It was nothing immoral or anything she would not like. I wanted to give her an engagement ring, and she burst into tears. She clung onto me so hard I could not move. Then, in her half French half English, she told me she had loved me since the day I did my first story on the orphanage and she could not believe that I loved her so much as well. Well after we had known each other approximately six months the Catholic chaplin to the Saigon based troops, who was by then a good friend, married us and my colleagues were really glad. Now this is where the first ‘ever after’ came in. We were terribbly happy for the first year of our marriage  and even had twin daughters, Tuyet Marie and Oanh Madaleine. They were gorgeous and We were all looking forward to going home to London in a couple of months when my wife was killed in a mortar attack on the orphanage. But I still had my children. They were used to death and sadness but this was too much for them. All they could do was hang on to me and cry.

So did my first ‘ever after’ end happily or not?  Well every time I thought of Anh throughout the rest of my life, I was greatly saddened. But when I looked, and still look, at Oanh and Tuyet I am just overcome with love. So I have no idea.

I did not want to marry again as Anh could never be replaced, but my family pointed out to me that I ought to have a wife to bring up my daughters. It was hard but although I swore I never would, I met my second wife, a girl with whom I fell deeply in love and have lived happily ever since marrying her. We have two sons and the girls took to her at once and she to them,  so in many ways my life has been happy for ‘ever’ since I took my last major decision.

But I haven’t answered the question, have I? And I honestly don’t think I can.

AWE

 

 

BUS ME MY LORD


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/smell-you-later/”>Smell You Later</a>

The prompt was on smells and transport

 

BUS ME MY LORD.

The very smell of your scent is enough to transport me to your side. For it is only there I sense that the fumes of your perfume can carry me away, locked in carreses and the smell of the flowers next which we lie. Does my after shave do the same to you,  my love? Are my manly scents the only smells for which you yearn and cannot wait for on days like this? Oh, the bliss of a kiss from your pert pouting lips, and the smell of the odour that goes with your dress. Lord bless all our senses when we are trapped thus in love. But especially bless our noses and the bed of roses that makes  both of us  adore, for ever more, the lavender of our  love as we sense the blossom of our embrace…….  etc….etc until I am actually sick.

AWE

BEHIND THE LINES


Blogger With a Cause

always lead from the front

BEHIND THE LINES

I have never been behind a cause in my life. Well what on earth is the point? You need to be out there at the front leading the people who are fighting for something if you really want to make your presence felt. Let me give you an example.

Way back in the wonderful years of my degenerate youth, he was an awfully nice chap despite his degeneracy, well the two of us decided to put all our united eighteen year old muscle into the fight for the myriads of stateless and homeless civilian victims still left over from the second world war. It was a great cause in 1960.

Anyway Dave and I decided to spend the Easter holidays, well three weeks all told, in East Germany helping the destitute families who were penniless and jobless. It was an interesting excursion. To start with German was by no means my best language and Dave did not speak it at all. So, as you can imagine, we spent a lot of our time talking a weird sort of Allgemine and Allgeyours that nobody quite understood. Least of all the destitue whom we had come to help.

Basically we had tickets for six people to fly them to Geneva from Berlin and then they would be handed over to the UN to be housed, hosed, shod and fed. The trouble was we were allocated a family of six. Two senile grandparents who looked like they did not even know a war had taken place, a nice couple in their late forties and their twin daughters Traudl and Erica, who at seventeen and extremely attractive were immediately forbidden to talk to Dave and me for all sorts of reasons which of course none of us, especially their very apprehensive parents, seemed to understand. I think the parents thought their daughters were the price of their freedom and that Dave and I were two white slave traders bent on all sorts of evil deeds. As two slightly shy, male, Catholic virgins I don’t think Traudl and Erica could have been in safer hands.

So we finally managed to get through about fifty different check points before dragging the poor sextet onto a British military transport plane which the pilot assured us was taking stateless people to Switzerland. We thanked him and settled down with our flock of refugees but soon realised something was wrong. The father was talking to some other Germans on the flight and seemed very worried. It was Traudl, who spoke the most comprehensible variation of our invented patois, who told me “ Sir, young hero man, Ich habe ein idea zat dis luftplane is not going to Swiss. A man has told a daddy we are going to Russia.” Dave spoke first,

“Oh no, how on earth did we manage a cock up like this? It can’t be Russia, I’ll have a word with the pilot.” He came back smiling ten minutes later. “ No the navigator just joked to him that it was just like the ‘rush hour’, and several Prussians of course thought that sounded like we were Moscow bound, but it is being straightened out now. However, we aren’t going to Switzerland after all. The RAF crew have been given five days leave so they are taking us all to Nice on the French Mediterranean coast for a little holiday. What the hell do we do with our family.?” I said I’d have a word with Traudl.

“Meine liepling frauline,” her eyes lit up, “ How would you like eine genacht in der Cote d’Azur?” She immediately Cuddled up to me while her parents were not looking and said, “O ja, mit zu das is good, neine?” Strewth, it may well have been, but when she added that Erica had already said she was returning to England mit Dave, dis vill be good for two of us both, ja?” I had to ask her what her parents would think of this and she looked puzzled.

“Deiner fater und muter” I added. But she could not believe that bit because all her family had been killed in a bombing raid when they were babies. “Well who are die swei fater and muter you are with?” It transpired they were no relations at all and the girls had just tagged along when we said we had six tickets. I told her to wait a minute. I had a word with the pilot who said his orders had been changed and any refugees wanting to get off at Nice would be taken in by the UN. Then he added, “But if you two lucky so and sos want to keep your kraut popsicles that’s fine by us. We’ll fly you all back to England in about four days. We land at Northolt, which is next to Heathrow, where you would have gone anyway.

We told the girls who were delighted. Four days in the sun on the Med and then back to our palacial mansions near London, wow had their boat come in! Well, as it turned out it hadn’t. When we landed at the RAF base at Northolt the German embassy had already been told of the situation by the air crew and a diplomat met the girls when we landed.

Dave and I might not have got several nights of libidinous hijinks with some German crumpet, but our incredible success in bringing six Germans back to the West was rewarded by the German ambassador a week later when he sent us each a cheque for £500, a very useful sum in those days. Dave turned to me and sighed as we went back to school and were treated like heroes by the staff and our friends. He chuckled , “Just as well we got the money, I’m not sure I’d have known what to do with Erica.”

“Oh I know,” I replied. “I’v’e just never put it to the test and I must admit I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the ordeal!”

But think if we’d been behind the cause. We’d have probably been last in the queue, saddled with six octogenarians and really would have gone to Russia!

Anton Wills-Eve

SECURELESS FOR A DAY


Truth or Dare     SECURELESS FOR A DAY

Citizens, Quake in your beds,

The mighty NCA

Is forbidden tapping phones

For more than one whole day!

Oh how unpatriotic

Senator Rand Paul must be

For security in the USA depends

On what the NCA can see.

Does he honestly believe

T’were better the Brits had stayed,

To guard the US homeland?

(All defence costs to be defrayed!)

AWE

SALLY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/truth-or-dare/”>Truth or Dare</a>

Now just how honest is this? I mean how possible, how likely and how truthful?

Sally

Her smile was intimate and full of fun

The face, the eyes knew well how it was done.

One tender, touching hand caressed my face.

Our wooded, deserted glen was just the place.

 

Had she led me there on purpose or by happy chance,

Had she deliberately given me a seductive glance,

Telling me I could do whatever my passion willed?

Had the moment been planned as totally as it thrilled?

 

My heart, my lips, my body pressed against her chest,

With all my libido rising as I caressed her breast.

If paradise is even half the pleasure of this

The promise of eternal love lies in one such kiss.

 

We slowly wound ourselves around each other there

I stroking her locks, she rumpling my wavy hair.

She pulled me to the ground to complete my pleasure

We took our time, why hinder love’s timeless treasure?

 

“Oh Sally, I cannot live for even one more day

Until I hear your answer. Oh darling Sally say

‘I love you’. Oh please, tell me you always shall.”

She answered, “You know I will, you gorgeous gal!.”

 

AWE