The Visitor – 6th March 2023

Our visitor, quiet by our side
So close, so very close
There’s no one else and nothing happens
We share this realm
There’s no ordinary language
Just the feeling of unbounded love
The presence remains
Long after the sun turns golden
The comfort the visitor brings
– Hope to see you again

inspired by (and phrases appropriated from) Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files

Ermine’s Anger – 30th January 2023

Death shed its dead skin
The anger evaporated within
Never amounted to anything
Always contemptuous of joy
The sign of a dumb boy
Devastation healed the wound
Which I myself had groomed
With a perception then assumed
The divide between us real
As now and the past reveal

inspired and pilfered from Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files #220 and a question from Ermine

Today I’m feeling:
Energetic and content.
Today I’m grateful for:
The music store in Germany where I bought a bunch of CDs from that arrived today. More music to listen to!
I’m also grateful to the band from Istanbul that contacted me to help with their 2nd album release. It’s aces and I hope I can be involved somehow.
The best thing about today was:
Feeling energetic again. I cruised along getting things mentally crossed off lists of things that needed to be done and that I wanted to do.
I also enjoyed playing with Tokyo out in her driveway as she rolled around happily. She got a little bitey but not aggressively. She’s a lovely dog that could benefit from some proper training.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Both my classes had control problems today. The first was noisy but happy and mostly doing what I asked of them. I handled it by letting them do as they wished once they’d completed their tasks.
The second class were late and after ten minutes I shut the doors and started teaching, not letting anyone else in. This meant less than half the class attended and it was excellent as I could focus my efforts on everyone. I handled the situation without getting annoyed or upset and letting the kids enjoy their choice not to be in class. It’s up to them now.
Something I learned today?
Today I consciously thought ‘ah, this is something I can write for this section today’ and now…..blank! What was it! (10 minutes later) Nope. It’s gone. I’ll probably remember sometime tomorrow. I should make note of it straight away! Duh!
What is something I want to do for others in the coming year?
I want to help musicians to spread their music further into South East Asia as much as I can from my remote location.
I also want to help my students improve their chances of being able to go abroad by motivating them to study English more.

I took this picture because this is the Kim Chi lookalike from the hairdressers yesterday. I like that the shot is not correct, focus in the wrong place and half the head not in frame. It was an action shot. I took another picture just before this that did have everything correct but favour this one.

Dark Cave Of Joy – 21st January 2023

What are we doing
If we’re not shining a light?
Just scrambling in the cave
Wishing for stage exit right
No shadows in the dark
Beg for optimism’s guide
Joy is found in striving
For the way outside

undoubtedly inspired by Nick Cave’s Red Hand Files

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and dusty from a long bike ride
Today I’m grateful for:
The security guard who waved me on at PB Valley so that I could do and look around and take a couple of nice pictures.
The best thing about today was:
The toothless old men who talked to me in their villages and their lovely dogs coming to sniff and investigate me.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Little Fino got out of my control on a gravel surface and sent me flying over the handlebars. I handled the situation by laying motionless for a second and staring at the sky. I mentally checked my body and brains and found a few sore spots but no real harm done.
Something I learned today?
I finally learned the route around the checkpoint in Mae Chan. It’s not worth using it just to avoid the checkpoint but there is lots of beautiful land out there and I felt connected with it all.
You have three magic genie wishes, what are you asking for?
I’ll not fall for this. There’s a reason for the saying ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Has any story about having wishes come true turned out well?

  1. Any wish must not have any negative consequence for anybody or anything now or in the future.
  2. (a wish)
  3. Three more wishes, please.
    Etc etc
    Does that work?
I took this picture because this world is just so beautiful and I saw more of it on my bike ride today.

Inside The Cave – 18th January 2023

Sitting at a desk struggling with pen
The whispers sadden the heart
Quietly goes the evening time
As walls all around rip apart
No muse did visit this night
And the pen resheathed in place
But sleep offered little respite
Nor the purring kitten’s embrace
All disappear in the morning glow
Both good and bad, hard reset
Return to the stool and empty paper
Where no thoughts have emerged yet

Today I’m feeling:
Happy and needed.
Today I’m grateful for:
Everything! Can I be grateful for everything? New pens, the chemist that sold me medication, the check out lady that helped repack my bag and I joked with her saying thank you for doing it properly cos I’m just a boy, the nemo CDs Yukari sent me and I blasted today, my phone, the camera, each one of my lovely students and each one of the not so lovely students and even the students I don’t know that just randomly talk with me and this and that and everything!
The best thing about today was:
Switching to my teacher’s Facebook account and finding a three-day-old message from Boss saying that he has been feeling down and wants medical help. I urgently messaged him back and thankfully he was ok. I met him at lunch time and we discussed, via lots of Google translate, getting him to the hospital on Friday morning. We talked for about thirty minutes and he was tearing up at the end and as we were about to leave he held out his arms for a hug and I felt sad for him as he obviously doesn’t get any attention or affection from his father and he appreciates the help I’m giving him.
This all came after last night when I had sent a message to Mee asking if she was ok because she had felt sick and feverish in my class. She wrote back saying that she really appreciated my message because no one else had asked her how she was. We then got talking and she mentioned she is taking antidepressants which I found unusual as she’s only 12 or 13. But that is the age that I started to feel depressed for no good reason and it was another 17 years before I was diagnosed so I think it’s ok that it is recognised earlier now though also cautious that it’s not just a quick fix offered by doctors. Anyway when I saw her again today she ran up to me and gave me a hug, along with Yok and Pet. They are not great students but I’m aware they have other, bigger things going on in their lives that have an effect. They are still great kids.
What was out of your control today and how did you handle it?
Anything out of my control was handled with calm and a smile. Really there wasn’t anything except the usual issues with slack students. It’s so regular that I don’t get upset about it specifically and handle it by contacting the headteacher who can deal with it as they please.
Something I learned today?
I’ve been checking dates and information on Treworgey Tree Fayre in 1989 and found a short BBC video about English festivals. I don’t remember seeing it before but I must have at the time, the violence meted out by the police (in the Battle of the Beanfield) on the peace convoy in 1985 was vicious and appalling. It made me angry all over again. I guess this was something I relearned today.
Write about your siblings…
Well, this is a simple one. I don’t have any. I can remember when I was in Whitehaven, aged between 4 and 8, I would tell my mum that I wanted a sibling. I knew mum had a boyfriend and I liked him. It couldn’t be that difficult could it! It wasn’t until years later I found out that he didn’t treat her so well and that is probably one of the reasons we moved away.

I took this picture because I forced myself to go outside and find something to take a picture of. Cap followed me out and so yes, it’s another cat pic but look at him. Still a lovely old man.

God’s Deal – 17th November 2022

It’s catching up, chasing at our heels
Kicking guts and stabbing in the feels
Lumps are growing, now we’re knowing
This is the worst of God’s shitty deals

We stand before the world, in all its majesty and torment, and say ‘we mean something’ – we, who contribute in some way toward the betterment of the world; we, who have skin in the game; we, who improve matters; we, who care. We find, to our utter astonishment, that we have faith in ourselves.

Nick Cave

Today I’m feeling:
Today I’m grateful for:
The rain again. It’s not long since the rainy season ended but in that short time, the garden was getting parched and forcing me to water far more often than my laziness would like. But today, I can lie down and relax and watch the downpour doing the work for me.
The best thing about today was:
Taking about an hour to leave school as at every turn there were new groups of students wanting to chat. I had good conversations with many of them, my current students, my old students and even some I don’t teach.
Are you in control of your life?
As much as it is possible to be. So many factors can not be controlled and honestly, it is better that way.

I took this picture because this cutie was above the door into the bathroom at school and though the picture doesn’t show it is bigger than my hand. What a beauty.

A Magic Trick – 26th January 2022

A theatre in which to participate
A groupthink in which to integrate
Share no thoughts, share no feeling
Just a picture of instant appealing
A fantasy completely documented
A world that you yourself invented
Within that mirror, behind the screen
A hamster wheel forever unseen
A like or love with each clickety-click
Buying more will do the trick
The magic hat, a rabbit appears
A wave of the wand to dry your tears
Ocean sunsets with glorious wives
A time to remember for all your lives
Yet forgotten as you endlessly feed
And try to satisfy your doomscrolling need

The meaning of life is nested within the set terms of our own mortality.

Nick Cave

A Madness Of The Impossible – 1st December 2021

The very essence of my soul betrayed
No knowledge may heal the wound I made
In this fog, there is nowhere to be or go
I just can’t forgive myself I’m afraid
Misery and self-loathing bedevil my days
A madness of the impossible Derrida says
The radical act of self-forgiveness so
Absolve yourself, you must find the ways

Inspired (and butchered) by a reply to a letter to Nick Cave at The Red Hand Files newsletter

Weight: 76.6kg
Resting heart rate: 47

I don’t understand a word she says, she’s on my side – 23rd June 1994

Time moves on, ticking by. Stars collide, weather changes.

I get a haircut and finish reading Nick Cave’s ‘And the Ass Saw the Angel’. This book being the reason for my lack of entries over the past two days. That feeling of time running out, that feeling of just another page, egging you on at quarter to the midnight hour (before the football starts). Just another twist of plot to intrigue and entice further inspection. To tease tired eyes onwards.

And now I’m empty of literature – dispensed it all out of my mind as soon as it went in and now in need of another fix. Like a junkie looking for a needle, I was looking through our small book collection. Think I may start on a reread of Hunter S Thompson’s ‘The Great Shark Hunt’.

Football, of course, has kept my brain stimulated and Broni has quested on a fitness regime at the gym and pool while I slob in front of the TV, egging my teams on (whoever they maybe). I won’t bore you with scores, old memory, but see if you can drag up that Italy vs Norway match when Italy’s keeper got sent off and remarkably their coach opted to sacrifice Roberto Baggio (one of the world’s best players) and eventually his gamble paid off.

Much, much more to look forward to on the football front but now I must devote some time to my sweetheart – a companion worthy of my attention. A lover worthy of my desire. I love her and want her and she forgives me all the shit I give her in my way.

Sometimes I don’t understand my way. In fact I don’t think it’s meant for me to understand but for people looking in – for you. I hope you don’t judge me purely on my way – in fact, try not to judge me at all (I’ll try not to judge). You are you, you be your way – that’s okay. I am my way. I think you’re beginning to get my drift.

All’s you need to know, diary friend, is she is special to me,