He feels life his strongest connection, between the yelling and the sleep – 26th July 1994

Phew! I’m sat in our room, now bereft of most of the items one would consider creature comforts. TV, video, computer, stereo, table, chair etc all sold or packed up or returned to their rightful owners.

Today was the first day of rain for a couple of weeks I’d guess. Just a light drizzle on a grey day, the air now fresh and sweet with the scent of thirsty flowers. Myself, a flower child thirsty for the waters of life pouring all around me and, here and there, I dip my hand in making gentle ripples across my universe. Though the last few days seem like I’ve been jumping up and down in the puddles, splashing my way through the madness!

Oh yes! I drove across the farmland again last week, to the farm with the handsome farmhand and had to deliver some stuff into one of the chicken sheds as before. This farm is an egg farm and I’d guess in each shed were thousands and thousands of chickens crammed in, laying eggs for Joe Bastard to eat for breakfast.

So, the first time I’m in the shed I look around – it’s very dark, above is a floor with big slats and beyond, the roof. On the floor above are cages, the whole length of the shed (about 100 metres). I look up where we are and the cages are empty. The only sound to be heard is like a whistling of the wind. The stench is awful. I look across the width of the shed and see the floor stacked up to 6ft high in places, in chickenshit. Guess they hadn’t had time to clear it up yet. I left a bit wiser, a bit curiouser.

When I went the second time, I was alone and so I had a look about bit more. The whistling wind was a bit louder this time and I heard faint clucking noises. I approached the piles of shit and looked up and saw hundreds and hundreds of skinny featherless chickens crammed into tiny cages, for what I would guess would be their whole sorry lives. But what shocked me was the lack of noise. All those chickens and no noise! Are they bred without vocal glands, do they have them removed or have they resigned themselves to confinement and given up hope of freedom? Did they even know what freedom was? Wow – all that stuff going on in my head!! I wonder if Joe Bastard thinks about stuff like that when dipping his soldiers into the yolk?

Friday, we went barefoot for an Indian meal with Kerry celebrating the end of term and the six or seven weeks summer holiday. She got a ton of presents from her class too, which really pleased her. We had to take her to bed quite early though as alcohol took her over – this time for a happy pissed!

Saturday, Broni and I picked up our wedding rings, mine now looking great – I’m really pleased with it and will treasure it forever. We got a couple of hours packing in before shooting off to Southampton to Chrissy’s, picking up Rob on the way. Sharon was there with her kids too, but once the kids were out of the way we quietly drank and puffed on a peace joint and gladly relaxed to ‘The Terminator’. One by one, people faded and finally ended up with me and Rob having that great talk about life, the universe and everything, just like I used to with Steve (God, I miss you so much Steve). Knowing the kids were going to wake up early we called it a day at about 4:30 just as it was getting light! Sure enough a couple of hours later we were up again, though fairly relaxed as Chrissy and Sharon took off with the kids leaving us to bum around before Broni and I had to go to Portsmouth for Stephanie’s christening.

Stephanie is Joe and Stephen’s daughter. Joe being the first person Broni got to know here in Poole. And Broni to be godmother for the third time. I’ll finish this off later as another cup of coffee is required right now!

It was a stunningly hot day and with my lack of sleep I was feeling very faint – it was actually nice to go into the chapel where it was cooler. Stephen is a Navy diver so the christening took place on HMS Nelson naval base with pretty tight security. Not being into the religious bit I watched Broni holding the wriggling tyke still as possible and smiled as the guy (is he a priest or chaplain or something?) poured holy water from an upside down divers helmet (!) over her forehead (Stephanie’s, not Broni’s).

With that over all thoughts (of mine) were on my stomach and sustenance. We went out of the base and over into a big stately home type place (all this in Portsmouth city centre) guarded by some young army dude carrying a machine gun. It occurred to me that the boy may suffer a heat madness and go on a crazy killing spree but that’s my twisted imagination for you! This old place was breathtaking. Huge staircases and pictures of Nelson and massive solid silver statuettes of Queen Elizabeth the Second on her horse. It was pretty breathtaking. We enter the big room with a bar and all leather upholstery, like imagine the meeting rooms at the House of Lords or something like that. Champagne flowed and food eaten (we stuffed ourselves and quite rightly felt sick after!) and I was taking in the surroundings, being totally alien to them. I love these new experiences, I really enjoy things that I sometimes expect not to like. In another room the walls were painted with scenes from old battles like the Armada and Trafalgar. Huge detailed paintings faded with time but still glorious in their nature. Tired and exhausted we left for Southampton.

I have to stop again till tomorrow – I just can’t carry on – my mind is a-racing with a trillion different things.

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