Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

Category: general blog

COMING IN


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

it’s a lovely feeling telling your companions the truth.

COMING IN

I am sorry if I had to keep you all in any suspense for this confession. Please don’t get too up tense or hate me because I have told the truth about myself at last, admitting the actions of my unsuspected past. Mentally tormented, I cannot live another day without telling every one I know, in some way, about what I am and and feel and what I have been naturally forced not to do. Mostly I regret the unhappiness I may have brought on others by spurning relationships with my closest friends. Yet, you surely understand, I could not die without tying up these loose ends and letting my fans, my loved ones, my whole world hear all my admissions of my true self which are here unfurled.

I wonder, after this, how in the future I will be remembered by you all? Will my family be proud, saddened or just ashamed to read that I have said this of myself? Are there those amongst you who will think it worse simply because it is true? Will it be totally unacceptable to so many of you because I have refused to dilute my feelings, refused to lie? I have been told that in such matters political correctness forbids delay. Everybody must know everything and seem to have the right to know it immediately. That is the world in which we live today. So without more ado, this is what I must say, not knowing the price I may have to pay. My dearest friends, all of you I love. You now no longer have to wait. This is what I am. I am sorry if I offend any of you, I love you all too much to ever wish to do that.

“I am a Catholic Christian. I actually believe my prayers are heard and answered. I love all God’s creatures, especially sad sinners of whom God knows full well that I am one. But, above all, I love the fact that I am straight. I am proud of it.

AWE

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I THINK I’LL STAY IN THIS WEEK


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

we should all aim less and embrace more.

I THINK I’LL STAY IN THIS WEEK

‘Brexit’ demands that we all get out,

And Thursday we’ve been asked to vote.

Should we ditch all our European friends

To keep British economic hopes afloat?

 

The idea of abandoning many poorer folk

To give us more cash makes me feel as sick

As any sane American would feel next Fall

After giving Donald Trump a thumbs up tick.

 

There is no excuse in this modern world

For being selfishly mean or power mad.

Nobody from any country, by their birth

Alone, should be considered  as being bad.

 

Yet there are people from my native land

Who really believe unity, to be just a word  

That means being ‘un-British’ in some way,

I can’t think of anything so stupidly absurd.

 

I was born in WWII, bombs falling all round

The house which was my first earthly home.

But now, nearly seventy five years on, I call my

Enemies friends, thanks to the treaty of Rome.

 

I can’t run away from folk I’ve come to love,

My whole life would be a mockery, a waste.

No. I’d rather remain with my European kin

Than abandon them in selfish, hateful haste.

AWE

GBLTQandS


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

an open letter to the intolerant

GBLTQandS

I feel I have to write what I really feel, believe and want everyone to accept about the whole modern approach to the sexual orientation question as it affects and applies to all of us today.

Firstly I want to look at the world from a purely biological point of view. It is now accepted that there is a group of people which can be identified as forming the GLBTQ community. More importantly it is acknowledged to be a minority grouping because more than half the world’s population would not admit to being part of it. But biologically it is incomplete, there is a letter missing. ‘S’. If you add this it includes all of us when those letters stand for: gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual, queer and straight. So let’s add that S and see just what makes all the people under each heading different yet also the same as all the others. Watch. (Note all the = signs mean in a physical relationship, not mental, spiritual or social.)

G = a man who prefers sexually loving men. L= a woman who prefers sexually loving women. B = equals a man or woman who enjoys sex with both men and women. T= a man or woman who wants to, or already has, changed their gender because they feel they are biologically incorrectly gendered by birth. While preferring to be identified as their non-birth gender, they often still come under B for sexual enjoyment. Q = a person who actively seeks to flaunt their sexuality in order to seduce someone of their own sex. S = men and women who prefer to restrict their sexual love to a person who is of the opposite sex to themselves. But many in this category would have experimented with sexual relationships with people in the other divisions above but usually prefer someone of the opposite sex. Agreed? I hope so. The important thing about clarifying the biological aspect of the subject is that the vast majority of all people have a sexual drive of some sort, want to satisfy it and usually do in a wide variety of ways.

Ok, that is biology and it accounts for all of us and all our tastes in sexual relations. So why the fuss and the bad-mouthing of anybody for being a particular type of human being when it comes to how one wants to express one’s love and sexual attraction for another person? Well this is primarily a social question which can be divided into purely secular legal issues and religious teachings of right and wrong. Let’s look at the secular legal one first. In many countries now the law does not permit people to offend GLBTQ people purely on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Why not? If I tell a joke about a queer tranny, and it is really funny and is aimed only at being funny, how is it different to making a joke about a straight man’s mother-in-law? I have no idea, but I do know that minorities can have me arrested but majorities can’t. Daft. On the other hand I know offending people must stop somewhere.

I would be the first person to agree that openly bad-mouthing anybody for their sexuality is unpleasant, unkind, unnecessary and likely to provoke public disorder. It is simply not something anybody should do. But having a perfectly sensible discussion about how one feels on this subject, and saying that one does not like certain types of sexual orientation, is fine. In fact it is basically what I am doing here. But some idiots somewhere have decided to invent the word homophobia in order to make people who do not like homosexuality appear in some way in the wrong for saying so. Not only is that undemocratic, untrue and unnecessary, but more importantly it is completely inaccurate. A phobia is a fear not a dislike. The word homophobia is basically a neurotic anxiety condition describing people who have an irrational fear of a section of society. Well I do not like the idea of having any sort of sexual activity with a man, but it isn’t a fear. It is just my sexual preference. I have a lot of homosexual male and female friends and relations of whom I am very fond. It just stops there! Where we do have a problem, however, is when one set of people start telling others sets of people that, for religious reasons, being homosexual is wrong. And I mean wrong in the sense of sinful. That is rubbish and is not the teaching of any faith I have studied, and I have a doctorate in the history of world religions.

Where some faiths, and they are perfectly entitled to, condemn homosexual acts they do so on the grounds that the ACT is wrong, but the person can be forgiven. This is a very important distinction because it doesn’t leave anyone in the clear. In the Christian and Islamic faiths, for example, it is wrong to have sex outside holy wedlock. That’s all, that’s it. It is a sin for every GLBTQorS to have sexual activity with someone to whom they are not married. It doesn’t matter how you do it, who you do it with or anything else. Outside marriage it’s wrong. I know very few people in my world who manage to keep the right side of that blanket for the whole of their lives. Some, of course, but very few. It doesn’t make you a bad person, that depends on a whole host of other things, the main one is whether you are a basically good, kind, loving and caring human being. How you manage to stick to any other rules imposed by creeds which you might espouse is your affair. Just don’t point the finger at others on principle when you have no idea whether they are better or worse human beings than yourself. But I can’t leave this without touching on the really important social side of sexual acts. When do they become legally criminal?

I cannot excuse any sexual act that is not consensual, especially if it physically or mentally damages another person. Thus all rape, male and female, paedophilia, and seduction of those unable for any reason to fully understand what is going on, should be punishable by law and in most countries it is. The most difficult of those to decide sometimes concerns questions of the age of consent. For instance, is it wrong to pick up a thirteen year old call girl who looks seventeen? And is it really incest when two youngsters in the same family are just experimenting? Yes they shouldn’t, but it’s not a crime unless their parents let them. God what a world we live in.

Are you wondering what sparked all this off? No, of course you aren’t. That mass shooting in Orlando made a lot of us feel physically sick. But I felt more. I felt dreadfully sorry for the chap who did it! What sort of society did he live in that allowed him to be armed when law enforcement officers knew about him years earlier? He was mentally ill, all brain washed extremists are, and I personally included him in my prayers that night because I didn’t think anyone else would. You don’t send someone to hell because they’re bonkers.

AWE

A SHADOW OF HIS FORMER SELF


the names changed but the facts kept.

A SHADOW OF HIS FORMER SELF

James was a shy little boy in many ways and for many reasons. He and his twin brother John had lived the first seven years of their lives always getting on well, laughing and playing but even so John thought his brother was often wistfully very sad.

“Hey, Jamie,” he asked him one day when they were seven and four months, “are you all right? You look fed up and frankly a bit frightened. I think mum and dad are starting to notice it too because they asked me the other day if you were being bullied. Are you?” Jamie took an enormous gulp, hung on tight to his twin’s hand and managed to say,

“Don’t be cross, Johnny. Please. I’ve got an awful problem that’s been getting worse and worse for over a year now. Please tell me what to do.”

“Well tell me the problem first,” John said in exasperation. There came another gulp.

“Very well, but you won’t like it. For ages now, Johnny, I’ve kept wanting to try on girls’ clothes. Whenever we go shopping I just look at them and wish they were for me. And I don’t like some of our rough boys games either.” John just stared at his twin. He had heard vague rumours, as one does at school at that age, that some children did not like the sex they were born with. However, he did not understand the subject at all. He was lost.

“But Jamie, how can you? What’s happened to you? Please try and tell me. I will help if I can.” His twin looked very relieved. “Well I’ve already put some of mum’s lipstick on. It felt great, Johnny. But I wiped it off at once in case anyone saw me. It’s the awful feeling I’ve got in my head, Johnny. It feels as though I’ll never be happy until I become a girl. I get so nervous about it too because it may be wrong. Then what will happen?”

John knew he had to do something, but what.”Shall I tell mum and dad that you are ill, would that help? You see you may be and then you really would have to explain your worries to people who can cure you. Dad told me once that people who get very worried always have to go to doctors. But they would understand if they thought you were very ill.”

That conversation was the start of an incredible nine months at the Smiths’ home. Peter and Esther had always been proud of their twin sons and had mapped out all sorts of fantastic plans for their futures. Peter was a successful tax accountant and his wife a leading member of the local SOS  group, an organisation that anonymously helped people in almost suicidal situations. She had already dealt with two such cases. She and her husband had several long talks with James, and Esther became really concerned that he had indeed got a serious anxiety neurosis about his gender and they agreed he should see a specialist in the field. Peter was frankly distraught at the thought of his son evincing such tendencies at the age of seven.

But worse was to come. First a health service specialist was appointed to supervise James’ case and became more and more certain that he should be allowed to cross dress if he wanted to. Peter said no, Esther said yes and the head master at their children’s prep school for mixed infants suggested that perhaps they could start by just letting James dress up at home but not in public. This only made the little boy more anxious and physically frustrated. So eventually, after Jamie had embarrassed his twin at school by telling his friends he dressed as a girl at home, the school relented and said he could change his sex and be legally registered as a girl at school. A special assembly, for the ten and eleven  years only, was arranged at which they were told of James’ illness. They were shown biological diagrams and were told gender change was normal. From the following week James would be coming to school dressed in a skirt and tights and would use his new legal name, Jennifer. How many children understood nobody knew, but they all promised not to bully ‘her’, as he would be, nor make fun of her.

Well, that day at school was called ‘skirt day’ and Jennifer was welcomed by everyone. She was over the moon. John had gradually got used to his brother’s serious mental illness, as the health service was legally obliged to categorise it until she was eighteen, and tried very hard to help her through the ordeal of their first ‘Jennifer’ day. The seven and eight year old girls in their year thought Jennifer was very brave and all wanted to play with her. Esther and Peter had arranged to be at home early to make sure everything had gone all right. Esther picked the twins up from school, and when they got home Jennifer could not help rushing upstairs to the study shouting, “Daddy! Daddy, it was great wearing a skirt at school today.” She dashed into the study, then stopped and looked at her father.

He was hanging from the ceiling light with a rope round his neck, swinging to and fro’, acccompanied by the shadow of his former self. 

AWE

THE VISION I WANT TO COME TRUE


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

THE VISION I WANT TO COME TRUE

I had a vision today of the world in about 75 years time. Some 25% of the population of today’s poorer or oppressed nations were living happily in the modern, Western, developed world enjoying bringing up their children to a happy, healthy and generally useful and well educated life. Some 20% more of the really lucky ones had managed to bring about such happy changes in their native lands.

Are we all really so selfish today that we don’t want to help such people find a better life, a life nearer to that which we live ourselves? What threat do impoverished, destitute migrants pose that is so great we would rather see them starving, down trodden and basically ignored? None that I can see. 

Just think back to our colonial centuries of living off the less fortunate peoples on earth. We owe them everything we have. And in the US what was wrong about poor or persecuted Europeans of 250 years ago wanting to find a better life and so crossing the Atlantic to set up what we now call the United States? They were the very migrants that so called civilised, cultured people want to turn away because they  do not want to share their wealth and social advantages. 

I would so much rather go to my maker content in the belief that the vision I really want to see at the end of this century is one which will actually be there, be real. In Britain we don’t want to stop helping our friends in Europe. In America nobody wants a wall to keep out Mexicans when they are hard up and basically ordinary, pleasant people. Very few Europeans want to be forever arguing with each other, and the rest of the world, about who should have the highest salaries and the most modern gadgets in their homes.

None of us want any of these things for the world at the expense of peace and friendship among nations. We want a world  that our children and grandchildren will be able to stand up in and proudly say ,”this is what I helped create.” We all owe everyone a happy future, a loving future; not a world  of wars, hatred and ‘exits’ from all regions where we should be helping others instead of running away. 

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUNACY


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

LUNACY

In France today parliament is debating a new  labour law which includes this clause. ‘It will be illegal for employees of companies with over 50 workers to allow them to send or answer work related texts or emails outside normal working hours, especially at home’. The level of work related stress at home is apparently causing serious illnesses throughout the country.

It will probably be passed. Great, good idea, hear hear we cry. But hang on, it’s in France ! Do you know what the law also says?

‘This will be the law of the land, but no company or employee may be prosecuted for breaking it as it is agreed that it will be unenforceable’. (My translation). I love France, always have and as long as they go on passing measures like this I always will!

AWE 

WHAT USE IS A STROLL?


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

WHAT USE IS A STROLL?

The social networking site decided to copy several popular ideas currently on line because so many youngsters watched them. It meant a huge increase in their advertising revenue from companies selling clothes and cosmetics to eleven to fourteen year olds. They called the site “Ten Little Ladies.” They were not disappointed.

Within six months some five to six million young girls were following the site daily to see the latest antics, laughs and problems of each of them. They were all dreadful actors, but that did not matter. They were brash, loud mouthed, told their parents what to do and made up obviously far fetched stories about themselves. But they always kept inside the bounds of good behaviour as far as any kind of personal relationships were concerned. Also nobody could ever ask  who they really were or where they lived. Dozens of episodes were filmed about each of them individually mostly in their homes, schools and gardens.

As the series’ popularity increased the company filmed one special video which included all of them. It was called “Ten Little Ladies Go For A Stroll.” Now that day two of their keenest fans, Mary and Raylene, who watched everyday on their laptops in Australia, noticed something odd. Mary asked her friend,

“Ray, tell me. Why are their eleven of them when it is called TEN little girls?” Her friend agreed with her observation and they typed their question into the comment box section under the video. Came the reply:

‘We had to add a slightly different one, because they all are very alike and we have been accused of discrimination.’

Mary was not having this and replied back indignantly, “What do you mean? They are all white, all rich, all spoilt, all terrible actresses with the same gestures, and can all afford many things we could never have and just dream about. That’s why we watch!  Also they all have American accents.”

Two hours later came the second reply from the site manager. ‘The one, four from the left in the title picture, who you now probably know as Jo or Josephine, has been added to avoid discrimination charges.  Can’t you see the scene outdoors where she is strolling with two of the others? Well the traffic is on the wrong side of the road?  It’s in England’.

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A SHADOW OF HIS FORMER SELF


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

A true story with all the names changed but the ages kept.

A SHADOW OF HIS FORMER SELF

James was a shy little boy in many ways and for many reasons. He and his twin brother John had lived the first seven years of their lives always getting on well, laughing and playing but even so John thought his brother was often wistfully very sad.

“Hey, Jamie,” he asked him one day when they were seven and four months, “are you all right? You look fed up and frankly a bit frightened. I think mum and dad are starting to notice it too because they asked me the other day if you were being bullied. Are you?” Jamie took an enormous gulp, hung on tight to his twin’s hand and managed to say,

“Don’t be cross, Johnny. Please. I’ve got an awful problem that’s been getting worse and worse for over a year now. Please tell me what to do.”

“Well tell me the problem first,” John said in exasperation. There came another gulp.

“Very well, but you won’t like it. For ages now, Johnny, I’ve kept wanting to try on girls’ clothes. Whenever we go shopping I just look at them and wish they were for me. And I don’t like some of our rough boys games either.” John just stared at his twin. He had heard vague rumours, as one does at school at that age, that some children did not like the sex they were born with. However, he did not understand the subject at all. He was lost.

“But Jamie, how can you? What’s happened to you? Please try and tell me. I will help if I can.” His twin looked very relieved. “Well I’ve already put some of mum’s lipstick on. It felt great, Johnny. But I wiped it off at once in case anyone saw me. It’s the awful feeling I’ve got in my head, Johnny. It feels as though I’ll never be happy until I become a girl. I get so nervous about it too because it may be wrong. Then what will happen?”

John knew he had to do something, but what.”Shall I tell mum and dad that you are ill, would that help? You see you may be and then you really would have to explain your worries to people who can cure you. Dad told me once that people who get very worried always have to go to doctors. But they would understand if they thought you were very ill.”

That conversation was the start of an incredible nine months at the Smiths’ home. Peter and Esther had always been proud of their twin sons and had mapped out all sorts of fantastic plans for their futures. Peter was a successful tax accountant and his wife a leading member of the local SOS  group, an organisation that anonymously helped people in almost suicidal situations. She had already dealt with two such cases. She and her husband had several long talks with James, and Esther became really concerned that he had indeed got a serious anxiety neurosis about his gender and they agreed he should see a specialist in the field. Peter was frankly distraught at the thought of his son evincing such tendencies at the age of seven.

But worse was to come. First a health service specialist was appointed to supervise James’ case and became more and more certain that he should be allowed to cross dress if he wanted to. Peter said no, Esther said yes and the head master at their children’s prep school for mixed infants suggested that perhaps they could start by just letting James dress up at home but not in public. This only made the little boy more anxious and physically frustrated. So eventually, after Jamie had embarrassed his twin at school by telling his friends he dressed as a girl at home, the school relented and said he could change his sex and be legally registered as a girl at school. A special assembly, for the ten and eleven  years only, was arranged at which they were told of James’ illness. They were shown biological diagrams and were told gender change was normal. From the following week James would be coming to school dressed in a skirt and tights and would use his new legal name, Jennifer. How many children understood nobody knew, but they all promised not to bully ‘her’, as he would be, nor make fun of her.

Well, that day at school was called ‘skirt day’ and Jennifer was welcomed by everyone. She was over the moon. John had gradually got used to his brother’s serious mental illness, as the health service was legally obliged to categorise it until she was eighteen, and tried very hard to help her through the ordeal of their first ‘Jennifer’ day. The seven and eight year old girls in their year thought Jennifer was very brave and all wanted to play with her. Esther and Peter had arranged to be at home early to make sure everything had gone all right. Esther picked the twins up from school, and when they got home Jennifer could not help rushing upstairs to the study shouting, “Daddy! Daddy, it was great wearing a skirt at school today.” She dashed into the study, then stopped and looked at her father.

He was hanging, stone dead, with a rope round his neck from the ceiling light, swinging to and fro’, followed by the shadow of his former self. 

AWE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIFE LONG LETS LTD.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/worst-case-scenario/”>Worst Case Scenario</a>

a dream under anaesthetic for major surgery

                                      LIFE LONG LETS LTD.

I was walking along this dreary suburban road in a town I had never see before and the whole place was deserted with the shops all closed and no people in sight. I was frightened and lost and felt a panic attack of loneliness and desertion coming on. Then I was suddenly in front of a real estate agent’s window which had only two advertisements showing. On the left hand window was  the following.

INCREDIBLE OFFER note terms and conditions at the discretion of the landlord.

2. Downhill Way,Gomorrah. And 22, Fast Lane, Sodom

Attractive basement apartments to let for incredibly low rent. They guarantee you centrally heated two room accommodation with opportunity to try them out for an initial period before moving in permanently. On signing the contract you will be given use of a free booze stocked fridge bar, regular visits from friends of either sex with overnight sleeping rights if desired. Also as much gourmet food as you can eat. Each apartment has a free television channel with all the porn you want. Also gamblers will be staked for as much as they wish, with a guarantee of winning big pots at least once a week. The landlord’s decision is final in any disputes arising over living conditions once permanent tenancy applies.

The rent is the minimal charge of just one soul, but please note. Once you have moved in permanently there is no cancellation or get out clause. 

The other window had the following advertisement and between the two was a large glass door with two salesmen each touting for custom. On the left was a man with horns above his ears and on the right a man all in white, a gold shining light round his head. His advertisement read.

BEST APARTMENTS EVER – and ever, Amen.

1. Paradise Buildings, Happy Valley.

Penthouse suite apartments to rent. Beautiful views over hillside with happy shepherds and permanently contented sheep. No charge if suitable applicant is prepared to live and work with fun team of charity workers. CV essential and must include proof of reasonable period of good work. Samaritan experience an advantage. Landlord noted for his forgiving nature and ability to get on with anyone who wants to help him. Hence his special monthly fatted calf dinners for all his prodigal sons and daughters. Also many occupants of the block find they meet up with old friends and are guaranteed they can be happy with them for ever and ever.

NB. As no rent is charged there is no deposit, everyone is taken in good faith.

Then both men looked at me and said in unison. “You have to pick one, there is nowhere else to go.” I still don’t know whether the operation was a success as I have yet to wake up. I don’t want to go to the left  but feel I am not good enough to deserve the right. I feel very odd indeed, my soul suspended between the two.

AWE

NO CHANGE IN MY PURSE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/a-brand-new-you-effective-tomorrow/”>A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow</a>

Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Who are you? You can choose to be anyone alive today, or someone gone long ago.

 

                               NO CHANGE IN MY PURSE  

 

At last, a prompt after my own heart! It might win it too. What a choice. My first inclination was to go for someone from ages past, Cleopatra.

Do I see raised eyebrows around the yuletide fire? I have a reason. Think of all the money it would save me not having to go to Brasil for an extremely expensive sex change operation. Yes, but then I would have to want to become a woman, and I don’t. I have not long mastered the art of being totally male, masculine as well, so I think being queen of the Nile would not attract me that much. And all that fiddling with the asp. God what a way to go. No I’ll stay gendered as I am.

But the question still arises shall I be someone whose life I know in full or someone still with us? A tricky question that. You see if I knew when I was born, how I lived and when I died I would have no more surprises left. But I would have the advantage of knowing all the mysteries of the next life. Yet then I would have to choose to be someone who was deemed almost a saint while on earth. Hmm…. I’m not sure I could quite manage to resist as much temptation as that. But I would like to be certain that Heaven lay in wait for me because I really would miss my friends in paradise.

But on looking around at the people alive today the choice is awful. Age is very important. Would I want to be a young, shy, lovelorn youth tongue tied whenever he met a girl who tickled his fancy? No, I couldn’t go through all that again. It’s fun to look back on but was hell to go through.

Well would I like to be a dashing hero in his early twenties, king of pop, God of sport or Hollywood actor who had every female in the world panting after him? Well good looking enough, yes, but fighting them off? Oh no. That would put me off passion fruit for life, and true love might pass me by completely.

Well, how about a successful 40 something with loads of cash and able to shower everything he wished on his adored wife and kids? Yes, but it could become boring. And much as I loved her she might be enamoured of ‘another’ and where would that leave me? With enough money to get drunk in my misery every night and die of alcoholic poisoning at an early age.

This is actually getting quite tricky. The problem with aiming to be someone aged 60 plus would mean keeping up a variety of interests to stop me reflecting on nearing my end while entering the last quarter of my allotted span. Well if I could be a head of  state or government that might serve, but look at the crowd we’ve got around today. I cannot think of any government leader with whom I would swap places. But there would be many, I am sure, who might be happy to live as obscurely as I do.

So I think that in the end I might just settle for being me. Okay I am seriously ill – 2016 might never change its last digit – but at least I can look back with pleasure on those I have loved in my life, on the happy as well as the sad moments and, above all, reflect that all in all I haven’t had such a bad time. Okay I’ve been caught up in seven wars, but I have also covered four olympic games, many top sporting events including a lot of major golf and tennis tournaments. Also I have made friends both with heads of state and workers in the poorest quarters of the world helping the ill, the old, the destitute and the bereaved. And most importantly of all I know I have not lived the life of a hero or a saint, but those moments when my courage has failed me, or temptation has been too great for me to resist, have never depressed me so much that I have lost my love of God or the people he created.

No, I’ll brave it out and see how much longer I have to go. But the one regret I will always have is that I will not be around to see how all the grand designs for the future, as set out by today’s ideologists, actually pan out. But maybe a friend or two in Heaven might let me have a peek at earth in 3000 AD if I’m a very good boy!

AWE

AN EXAMPLE OF AN INSANE PROMPT.


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fearless-fantasies/”>Fearless Fantasies</a>

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear?

 

                                                  AN EXAMPLE OF AN INSANE PROMPT.

 

1 Were a human being incapable of feeling fear that would mean they could never be afraid.

2 Fear is a necessary natural feeling for everyone to have in order to be unhappy. But without being able to feel unhappy one cannot know what it is to feel happy either, there being nothing with which to compare it or by which to measure it.

3 Therefore no fear = no happiness.

4 Ergo no fear also = no human feelings at all.

5 Without feelings no human could exist.

6 Ergo, the person postulated in the prompt simply could not exist, well not as a human.

AWE.

 

 

 

EYE TO I


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-artists-eye/”>The Artist’s Eye</a>

let he who as eyes to see, behold……

 

EYE TO I

I refuse to believe that anybody alive who has seen a painting, sculpture or any similar type of work of art has not reacted either positively or negatively to it in some way. I do not mean that everyone is an art lover, heavens no, but that art does not draw some level of response from the beholder I find very difficult to accept.

In my own case I am very lucky that I have travelled widely around the globe and seen many of the most beautiful paintings of all time. But which do I admire most in the sense that they have had the longest lasting, or made the strongest impression on me? Well given that I used to take visiting friends round the main galleries in Paris, London and Florence when I was at University you would probably expect me to be primarily a lover of Western Art. And then again a trip to the USA and their museums followed by my almost four years in the Far East could have touched a chord in me that reacted melifluously with Eastern art, but you would be wrong. Ever since I was about ten years old I was always fascinated by Byzantine inspired iconography and this reached its apotheosis when, in 1971, I spent a few days in Moscow and fell hopelessly under the spell of Andrei Rublev (c 1362 to 1429). Most art historians’ consider him to have been the greatest Russian Mediaeval painter. There are many, I included, who place him the greatest of all time.

But why should such basically not fully developed artistic works move me so much compared to the many later masters of other genres? A simple, single word answer. Love. He portrayed it as few others have ever managed, and more consistently peacefully and spiritually than anyone else at all. This is an example of his famous painting of the Holy Trinity, (see below) kept today in Moscow and through all Russia’s turbulent ages since it was painted around 1410, was always revered and guarded as a national treasure. It is the quiet, happy quality of the expressions of the mystery of God, his son and the Holy Spirit, happy and tranquil in their Trinity, that are literally a century earlier than any other school of art depicted anywhere.

Andrey_Rublev_-_Св._Троица_-_Google_Art_Project

Now my univrsity studies, mediaeval history, iconography, hagiography and philosophy never had any bearing on my future career as a journalist. But as I said it did give me the opportunity to take friends and relatives round famous galleries where most of them drooled over Leonardo, or the impressionists or cubists, – though how you could drool while squinting I cannot imagine – . Yet I always found myself going back to my early roots and to Byzantium and its following centuries of influence over Eastern European art for nearly a thousand years. I found myself lost in the universal good sense of the artist in realising, and managing to portray at the same time, the quality that is most important in spiritual love. His portraits show that anyone can love and forgive anyone else if they keep their feelings and emotions of revenge, anger and violence under total control when separating the person, the sinner if you like, from the the evil deeds they may have committed. Look at Rublev’s portrait of saint Paul, (below), that hangs in a Moscow gallery. Who else has ever depicted the writer of so many important letters on how men should live and behave to please others, and ultimately God, without a suggestion of censure in the face? And even more clever, note the way the majority of the head is bald, suggesting a wisdom beyond the ordinary. Few, if any, painters have captured those dual aspects of the author of so many early epistles.

800px-Rublev_Paul

But my favourite painting (below) of Rublev’s, which Mocow at the hight of the cold war also blessed me with, was Rublev’s beautiful picture of the Angel Gabriel telling the Virgin Mary reassuringly, “Don’t worry my dear. There’s nothing wrong. God has done something wonderful for you, you are to have his son.” And as Gabriel smiles, so we can just see the light of an uncertain joy starting to form on the face of our Lady. You may not believe the Christmas story, but if, like me, you do, then that work of art sums up the most beautiful moment in our history more perfectly than anything else I have ever seen. I may be a Catholic but I am so glad the Orthodox church canonised Rublev in 1988.

Annunciation_from_Vasilyevskiy_chin_(1408,_Tretyakov_gallery)

So all I have left to say to all of you, whatever you believe or like looking at, is have a very Happy Christmas, for that is what Andrei Rublev would have wanted you to have.

AWE

HELP


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/if-i-ruled-the-world/”>If I Ruled the World</a>

the rule of nature I would change if I could.

 

HELP

 

I have to start with a very big assumption, to wit, that what I would change actually is a rule of nature. I presume it is a natural rule that all living things only continue to live because they want to. If this is the sort of rule that the prompt setter means then I would change mankind’s natural inclination to live the sort of life any particular person really wants. I’ll give you a for instance.

All the people I have ever met have always known what they wanted to obtain or achieve in their lifetime, even if they realise they may never be able to manage this. Well wouldn’t it be so much better if people did not know what they wanted and lived in a constant state of suspense never aiming for anything , just waiting for surprise after surprise to happen? Imagine the fun we’d all have never being disappointed, never suffering unrequited love, never being poor, hungry or deserted. And above all, oh the joy of never being let down by anyone because you never want anything from them! 

You think I’m being funny, or trying to be? Well in a sense I am. But just stop and think about this impossibility seriously. God we’re lucky we are not like that.

AWE

PIANISSIMO


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/strike-a-chord/”>Strike a Chord</a>

why I love the piano

PIANISSIMO

I have loved the piano all my life. I first tried to play it at three and half years of age and when no tune came out of it just by hitting the keys at random with my fingers I just got flaming mad with the thing and tried to imitate the tune I had just heard on the gramophone. It took six goes at listening to an arieta from Figaro, and some fifteen to twenty goes myself trying to pick out some similarity to the melody on the instrument before I finally played something which sounded vaguely like Mozart’s tune. I had lessons for 16 years after that and have played for enjoyment ever since. However, I have never described in prose how the music I play inspires my thoughts especially on topics that really matter.

I have to be completely alone, and also wear my voice activated recorder round my neck so that I can verbally jot down thoughts as they arise when I am playing. Proof that this works came only yesterday when I read a blog by sachemspeaks: in which a girl called Marwa defends her identity as an ordinary American born, peace loving, charity working Muslim.

Her main complaint is againt the lunacy of people like Donald Trump who believes all Muslims are potential terrorists and should wear some sort of identity badge and also be able to be tracked. She puts him in his place perfectly, so please click on the link above. I was playing a lovely piece of music, Granados’ Valses Poeticos, when her ideas made me think what on earth had made it possible for a man like Donald Trump to have any influence at all on Americans in general and the current terrorist situation in particular.

Imagine a very vain man, he colours his hair to look younger for heaven’s sake!, who has made two criminal speeches – one anti race and one anti religion – so far in his attempt to get the Republican nomination, either of which would normally have landed the speaker in jail. He insults people he doesn’t like because he’s so rich he can get away with it. Now there is nothing wrong with being rich, but if you don’t share your good fortune with others in need, or on causes that the world needs promoting, then you are not much of a human being. In fact you are rather despicable. But he’s worse than that, he’s actually mentally as thick as two short planks. I mean he actually thinks that being president would make him able to run the country as he wants. No president since Jefferson has ever done that.

Look at the present incumbent Mr.Obama. His three main aims when coming to the White house seven years ago were a) to provide more affordable health care for everyone. b) He wanted to stop ordinary people from carrying firearms because his country had the highest level of gun crime and socially related deaths of any country in the developed world, by a mile. And c) he also wanted to ensure that his country was at the forefront of restoring the world to economic stability. Well Mr.Trump should look at what his party ensured. That NONE of these ideals could be implemented as the president wanted because just 9% of the population were in a position to politically stop the head of state from doing what was best for his people. At least the republicans don’t pretend to be democratic, they just rig whatever elections they can – Bush Jnr was never legally president of the US, at least no non-Americans ever thought he was – his family merely had the right judicial support.

But what struck me most about my thoughts as I played was what I believed should be the attitude of all people in all countries towards people of so called different faiths. I am a Catholic but that doesn’t mean I think all Muslims are inhuman terorists or a threat to my own love of God. We love the same God, for heaven;s sake, and for the same reason. There is one thing that all religions have in common. They all believe there is only one God. Well that is the point, there is. We simply worship that deity in different ways. Fanatics have led factions into religious wars, and prelates of all faiths have tried to claim civil authoritarian priority over their flocks, but that is just a human fault. What matters is how we live our lives by being kind and considerate to others and helping those whom we love, and try to love and forgive those who we have problems with or have committed really awful acts. That is my creed, and certainly that of all the faiths I have studied in depth, which is most of them. You should never preach from a position of prejudice or ignorance.

I wonder how Mr.trump would feel if he were taken suddenly seriously ill and the only doctors available to save his life were Muslims who were only too willing to help him. I bet he would not stop them, though he might deny he knew their beliefs. Unless of course he’d tagged them. Think of the state we’d be in in Britain if we lost 30% of our health industry workers. That is the per centage who are Muslim.

And another thing that I find odd about such a man is that he is opposed to illegal immigrants in the US from Hispanics to Syrians. I wonder how he would feel if he had to deport 776 of his personal employees, who are on one third the average wage for their menial jobs, and pay the full rate to the type of Americans (if they exist) whom he wants to see in work in his country.

But the one thing I would never wish on Donald is somebody kidnapping him, blacking up his hands and face and setting him free near a police station in the middle of the night. He wouldn’t be around the next day and it would be his own fault. But I still could not do that to him. No, people like him are there to be shown the error of their ways and turned into decent human beings who might eventually get to Heaven. We have to do our best to make sure everyone has that opportunity however much we dislike what they purport to be.

And as the music and my musings come to their end I just want to add that I have more blood relations in the States than any other country, so I have no feelings of ill will towards the country at all. I just wish those with power would use it like good people and not self centred idiots, or worse in many cases.

AWE

 

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/this-is-your-life/”>This Is Your Life</a>

You must be joking!

I CANNOT BELIEVE IT

At first sight this title looks as though I do not want to read the story of my life from start to end, but that is not totally so. The whole point of the prompt for this blog is that it would include what is yet to happen to me, and whatever someone would invent for that part of the story they could not possibly get right. 

Furthermore I really do not want to know what lies in store for me for the rest of my time on earth. Like a Christmas present, I want a surprise. But then comes my time in the next life. By definition such a book would have to include that, and I could hardly be expected to believe an account of Heaven when the whole point of it is that nobody knows what it is like so could not write about it anyway.

But the main reason why this is the biggest non-prompt I have come across since writing on wordpress is that I believe in eternity. You know, forever! So the book could never be finished anyway.

But for what it is worth my life story up to the present has been written and I must confess I do not like the portrait I paint of myself , warts and all. I think this, more than anything, is why I would not want to read on before the next bit happens. I might be terribly disappointed!

AWE

 

Happy Advent


Today is the start of the Christian year as we begin the run up to Christmas, preparing ourselves to celebrate the wonderful feast of the birth of Our Lord. I do not want to preach or criticise anyone  at all this year, instead, in the spirit of our new Pope, Francis, I just want to wish everyone a very peaceful and happy time and ask all of you to remember that you are not the most important person in your life, your neighbour is; especially if he or she is sick, suffering, destitute or bereaved. Spend on them not yourself.

Have a holy and enjoyable Christmastide.

Anton

THE SALE OF TWO TITTIES


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/a-tale-of-two-cities/”>A Tale of Two Cities</a>

I’m following the prompt very closely.

 

                          THE SALE OF TWO TITTIES

I first met Nicole in the old ‘Les Halles’ region of Paris in 1962. Apart from being the city’s central vegetable and meat market, open all night for those who supplied these commodities to the traders, it was also the area where the vast majority of the ladies of the night gathered to ply their trade to needy husbands of middle class French matrons. And I suppose lorry drivers passing through, the odd tourist – very odd some of them – and the lonely, occasional student like myself were also attracted to them. Those markets have long gone, as has that Parisian world I knew in its entirety, such was my love then of the capital of Gaul.

Now I was young, not yet twenty, and very shy in matters of the flesh. Yet being male I too had needs, but if I picked up a girl occasionally it was only after a short chat in which we also shared a sense of humour. If she lacked humour I knew I could never enjoy any time spent with her for any reason at all. Fortunately a lot of them faced the adversity of their lives with a smile and the appreciation of a good joke. Little Nicole was one of those. She was quite attractive, hence the title of my tale, but we had to confine our humour to her native tongue. It was a shame because my version of the name of Charles Dickens’ book about the French revolution, which was my favourite transposition of any famous novel title, was not a joke I could share with her.

But she had two great assets. And these also reminded me of a line I knew from a famous English poem, A.E.Housman’s ‘A Shropshire Lad’. In this the eponymous hero somewhat wistfully recalls his youthful memory of his countryside’s ‘blue remembered hills.’ Nicole had a pair of those which were certainly one of her great assets. The other was the way she felt so sorry for the manner in which she had to earn her keep. She would chat to me, as we embraced, about the difficulty she had in going to church occasionally to ask God to teach her how to justify her life. But she was such good fun and I assured her that her clients were the real sinners in her plight for they sought her out purely for their own satisfaction. She, on the other hand, I was sure was forced into, and kept plying her nightly trade, by people who would have made her life a real hell if she had tried to give it up. She always smiled at that and then apologised for making it so easy for me to enjoy doing something which I knew I should not be doing.

But this is a tale of two cities and the second one in which I could spend most of the rest of my life is Lucca in Tuscany, my favourite region of Italy. I am fluent in the language and love the food and the people and the pace of life. The latter in particular is essential for the mental and physical comfort of an ageing blogger like myself.

I have another reason for loving being in Lucca. I was very fortunate when I came into a lot of money in my early twenties just after I had finished at university in Paris. I decided to spend some few months in Lucca, which I already knew, while I sorted out the rest of my life. A few days before I was due to leave I wanted to say goodbye to Nicole, not for any prurient last hurrah, but because I really thought I would miss such a cheerful yet sad friend. As I sat on the edge of the bed in her small room I asked her if she had any chance at all of leaving behind forever the life to which she was tied but not wed. She said the organised syndicate which controlled her would find her anywhere in France. So I made a proposal. No, not marriage, we enjoyed each other’s company but we were never in love. I asked her to come with me to Italy for a holiday and try to find a new life there.

Poor thing, she thought she had to satisfy me for a few months as the price of her freedom and I almost hit her.

“Nicou, ma petite. Nous ne sommes que des amies. All I want to do is get you out of this life and into a new one. I would not let you pay me in the only way you think you can. No, cherie, all I want in payment is for you to be happy.” To cut a long story short she came with me a month later, scared stiff as we took a taxi to the airport that she was being followed, and incredibly relieved when she was finally airborne and free to relax for the first time in seven years. We were both 23 and I put her up in a hotel room of her own telling everyone she was my French cousin. Within two months she had met and fallen hopelessly in love with a young Italian waiter. They married and I was able to set them up in their own modest restaurant which they ran as a very good little business for the next forty years before Alfredo died. But her two sons and three daughters still run the business and look after her. She is always so glad to see me when I visit my favourite mediaeval walled city and, truth to tell, we still enjoy a happy meal and a good laugh together.

The poor soul thinks I’m some sort of saint. Me!? Strewth no, but at least when she asked God to help her I was on hand and able to be his instrument. When next I go to Paris, though, my thoughts will not be on her. They will be on the price her poor city paid last week for it’s reputation as the best place in the world to meet a girl like Nicole.

AWE

WE EACH NEED TO HAVE A DICTIONARY


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/seven-wonders/”>Seven Wonders</a>

language reduced to seven words.

WE EACH NEED TO HAVE A DICTIONARY

Today’s prompt asks us to reduce all language to just seven words  that would be indispensable. Well, as I assume the object of this exercise is so that everyboy could communicate with everbody else on earth, I suggest that someone should compile a lexicon including every tongue that is spoken on earth. This should be done digitally so that anything one wanted to say, or understand when spoken by someone else, could just be typed in the desired language of the speaker. Then everyone else would set their mobile computers, or whatever they were known as, to their own language and anything addressed to them would appear in a script they understood.

I expect that if this were to become a successful project the only seven words everyone would need to know and understand would be the title of this brief idea. God help hard working authors if it ever got off the ground.

AWE

A TALE OF TWO UNCLES


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/lifes-a-candy-store/”>Life’s a CandyStore</a>

my ideal 24 hours when I was six years old.

A TALE OF TWO UNCLES

When I was six years old in May 1948 we still had post war food rationing in England and the hardest hit commodity of all was sweets and chocolates, or candy as the Americans call it. I was fortunate in having an Australian uncle and aunt in Brisbane who sent us food parcels, and an American uncle in Hollywood and another American godfather in New York who did the same. So I wonder what my perfect 24 hours would have been?

Well, for a start I would have insisted that my seven year old sister and I both had passports and could travel, under air hostess supervision, on our own. My Australian passport and her British passport might have raised eyebrows as we checked into the earliest flight possible at Heathrow to visit our famous film star uncle in Hollywood. We would have gained eight hours in one sense which would have given us more time and let us count eight of our 24 hours from the moment the plane took off at 8.00am as part of the day. It took ten hours with two changes to get to LA in those days, but even so Uncle Brian would have met us at the airport at 11.00am California time.

I would have insisted we were stuffed with sweets and chocolates when not asleep on the plane and on arrival would have got our US family to make up boxes of our favourites candies and posted them back home. Lunch time would have been a real delight as we toured the film studios and enjoyed joking and play acting with many of the stars whom we already knew from their visits to London. Peanut butter and Coke would have been high on the lunch menu and by the time we had to catch our 3.00pm flight to New York we would have had a great time, especially with the kids of our family we had never met.

The five hour flight to New York would have included a bit more sleep and it would have been about nine at night there when my godfather, Walter Cronkite, and his wife Betsy met us. They stayed with us a lot in England during the war and Walter and dad worked in tandem covering all aspects of military news, my Australian father for British United Press and the English papers and Walter for United Press and the American journals.

Knowing our time differences they would have given us a slap up meal and a party with their friends. But first an evening drive round New York would have left both of us wide eyed with wonderment at such a young age. However, the one thing I know they would have done is shower us with presents. Cowboy outfits, real jeans, a lot of other kids clothing, that too was still heavily rationed in England, and made sure we never forgot our visit to their home as they had spent so much time in ours.

My real 24 hours would have run out around three in the morning New York time, so the flight home the next day would not have counted. But I can’t believe Betsy would not have made sure my sister and I had a tour of the New York shops the next day before catching our flight home.

Well that never happened, obviously, but I did make several trips to the States later in my life and Uncle Brian came back to England for a few years when I was eleven. Also Uncle Walter, as the whole family called him, always made a point of keeping a day free to see us whenever he was in London or Paris where we lived until 1967. But my greatest memory of him, and the reason why he would have to figure in any really great 24 hours, was what he did in Vietnam in 1969. I was there for more than three years as news editor of the main British News agency, and the day after he arrived to do a US television special he came round to our office and put everything on hold for four hours while went we out to lunch, just the pair of us, to catch up on family gossip. As you can imagine my rating amongst my colleagues rose considerably from then on.

AWE

MARS BARS


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/yin-to-my-yang/”>Yin to My Yang</a>

yes but where is my soul mate?

MARS BARS

 

As I write this post or blog or just a thought, NASA is in the process of telling us that life could exist on Mars because they have found proof that water is flowing there. But is there any sort of life in it that could become us in 450 billion years time?

Well, I hope so. Just think of the fun we could have as generations come and go and maybe even very soon land on Mars and humans from earth even live there. Could earthlings help accelerate the evolution of Martian life so that it reaches a human state much, much more quickly than we did on earth? Wouldn’t it be great fun  to have a baby Martian dinosaur for a pet? And later teaching early Martian primates how to talk and behave. Just think of the possibilities this news is opening up. We could make sure they developed into really nice people by educating them throughout their early eons until a whole planet of peaceful, happy people existed just as we can when we want to. 

But there is a problem. When we are totally destroyed by our own failure to control weapons of mass destruction and overcome climate change that could implode earth completely, will we have set such an awful example to Martians that they live forever in fear of becoming completely humanoid? 

But I would love to have a soul mate on Mars so my soul could join him or her (or ..?…wow the possibilities!!) in one of those downtown Mars Bars. There we could have a lovely chat about whether God exists  and if so are Martian concepts of Him the same as mine? Pity I haven’t got a few more billion years to live, but hang on, think of it. I hope to get to Heaven, and that means for eternity. So I wonder what great surprises God may have in store for my soul. That really would be Heaven! Mars Bars here I come!

AWE