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Month: December, 2013

Waterloo sunset’s fine

I don’t mean to be coy, Roy just trying out my new keyboard. Not sure I like the screen sideways on though. I’ve turned it off and gone back to the iPad keypad. Less bother and the page is the right way around.

Have you ever wondered why it is that more people die at the end of December or beginning of January? I’m not talking about suicides as I understand why people who are prone to depression feel more alone, isolated and commit suicide at this time of year. I’m referring to the cold weather, homelessness, age or illness will also play it’s part. It seems to go hand in hand with the increase in viral infections, drops in temperature and a lack of sunshine. Suicides at this time of year are only related, in my humble opinion, to the lack of sunshine.

Death, my dear old friend, is busier during all the winter months than in the summer. Suicides only count for a small percentage of total deaths. As the winter bites and more people become homeless due to their benefits being cut or even stopped, the new people hitting the streets will not be used to sleeping rough at this time of year so many of them could find themselves freezing in doorways. I can’t afford to eat and keep warm so my flat is always cold and I spend so much of my time in bed. Claiming Jobseekers though I still have to get up and apply for jobs Monday to Friday. The only jobs around at the minute, however, are apprenticeships (which I’m applying for anyway even though I’m 60.) or driving jobs where a clean driving licence and access to a car are essential (I’m also applying for these).

I’m getting a few replies telling me I’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion (no s*#t Sherlock) but at least I’m still receiving benefits. Seeing as to how I feel more suicidal at this time of year, I shouldn’t even be looking for work. I don’t think I could afford travel expenses to get to an interview far less get to and from work until I get paid.

So this is Xmas and what have we done?

Another year ending with a new one waiting in the wings. This wind is disgraceful, it blew the back wall down (thankfully no one was injured. But it’s the responsibility of the landlord downstairs to have it cleared and rebuilt.) Anyway, if I didn’t have to go out then I wouldn’t mind so much. However, all the gaps are letting the wind come howling through. Oh to be in England now that Summer has arrived, with rain, sleet and snow, I’m sorry but if I could afford to live anywhere it would most definitely not be here. I hate the cold and Britain never seems to warm up even when the sun shines in the mornings.

Summers here are never very hot, well ok, not all of them anyway. Seems to me we get 1 decent Summer every decade. Not good, winter in Southern California is warmer than our average Summer. My ideal Xmas dinner would be barbecued turkey on the beach, with friends and family in attendance. Dreams are what keep us going, I suppose, and you might as well dream big. Aim for the Stars and you might hit the moon.

If we were unable to dream, then wouldn’t we still be living in caves, hunting for food, living off the land and the occasional fight over territory? Is life better now than it was even just a century ago? I know we have more gadgets now than at any other time in history. We use more electricity than we used to there are more cars around than there were horses at the beginning of the 20th century. Population is continuing to rise, we can feed and clothe everyone on this planet if we share resources. The only currency we should be using is exchange. Food is plentiful in a few countries and scarce in others, why not give the excess to those without? If war stopped then the refugees could go home, those who have and want to give, should be allowed to do so. I know wars help to stop over population but the cost is far too high. Thus endeth the lesson for the death of 2013, roll on 2014 as long as it’s better than the year just gone.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get on with me neighbours?

As I sit here with the blog open thinking of tonight’s writing and I’m completely stumped as to why it is that I feel down? I know this is not the right place to get emotional, but that’s the way I feel just now, emotional, vulnerable and definitely F.I.N.E. as defined by Aerosmith. My life is unable to run smoothly, I get anxious about nothing, have panic attacks before I go outside. I also think about different ways to meet Death head on, cut out the friendly banter but go down fighting. How does someone who should have died so often in the past confront Death and die?

I feel that my life has been a complete waste, I’m almost 60, my daughter hates me for leaving her twice, my son is in foster care because I was too late in doing what I knew had to be done, with four marriages, three divorces and one separation the only common denominator is me. I accept the blame because everything that is wrong with my life is down to me. I accept that now as I hit rock bottom, there is nowhere left to go. I see a lot of things hidden from the eyes of most people, and none of it bodes well. I have seen things happening now in this once great land of ours, that I have watched on newsreel footage of Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Forgive me dear reader but the similarities will become clear momentarily. Unrest amongst the population was used to elect a fascist in 1930’s Germany, in Britain in the 21st century the government fuelled backlash against those who rely on benefit because they are too ill to work, or too mentally ill to look for work. The other day, a Government minister, the one responsible for this hatred being stirred up, Iain Duncan Smith, was laughing when he heard that those who rely on handouts from food banks are putting too much strain on the charities trying to help. Since 2010 the figure of people being helped has gone up from 20,000 under Gordon Brown to over 100,000 for the year ended in April 2013. Reports suggest this could double this year.

The joke that is the Work Capability Assessment, ensuring that mental illness is treated as no illness at all, results in people being found fit for work and losing their only source of income. I was threatened with loss of benefit as for two weeks I had been feeling suicidal and had not applied for any jobs. Because of this I have been applying for apprenticeships, driving jobs, managerial positions when I’m too old, can’t drive and have no management experience. As well as applying for jobs that I can do just so that I will keep getting my benefit, housing benefit, council tax relief so I can survive the winter, maybe. I have a straight choice, the same as everyone else in my position, heat my flat or eat, I can’t afford to do both. Does anyone care? Not as far as I can tell.

Something is happening here

Well another week has flown past, getting closer to the end of the year. I must force myself to come on here at least once a day and write something. This blog is hardly the greatest piece of written English but it gives me an outlet somewhere bright to go, instead of the darkest areas I visit when I’m not on here. I am sure it’s not healthy to spend time with Death even if he’s such a good friend. I do not fear death, after all no one gets out of here alive.

My friends, I will share a secret with you, if you greet death as a friend and have lived a (relatively) good life, you have nothing to fear anyway. Death is merely shedding our corporeal body to enter the final, spiritual life. I don’t believe in a God, that does not mean I don’t believe there is nothing after this existence. I also believe that if we get it wrong we can come back and try again. Nobody has been able to prove there is nothing after this, but again nobody can prove there isn’t.

We are here and not one person can prove they have all the answers but I believe human is not divine, that is the next level of attainment. When I decided to sit down and write this blog, I had no ideas for anything to write about so I don’t know where I’m going with this. All I know is hatred and fear create bigots, regardless of skin colour. There are black racists (admittedly few of them). If we learn to live peacefully and get to know our neighbours, all mankind are our neighbours, then we can make this a world of plenty for everyone. There is so much greed and fear around now but the first step has to be made by someone and I’m willing to make the effort to get to know my neighbours but who will join me?

We know the majority of terrorists are Muslims, but not all Muslims are terrorists, any more than all Irish belong to either the UDA or IRA, most have no allegiance to either paramilitary organisation. Who finds it easy to stand up to men with guns. Throughout recent history more and more ordinary people have done just that some have died as a result. Peaceful protest is the only way to let these people know you disagree with them. More has been achieved by peaceful means than by both sides in any conflict.

I would be interested to hear any comments on this subject from both sides.

All You need is love

Seasons greetings to one and all. Why is love so hard to find? There is more discord and fighting today than peace. The greatest statesman of recent times, Nelson Mandela, is dead but he is receiving tributes from almost every head of state, rock stars and entertainers. Even football had 2 minutes silence before kick off last weekend. In truth, I say to you all, mourn him not but try to live your life as he lived his. Forgiveness is paramount, love is a truly powerful emotion and it can move mountains. We should treat all human beings with love and respect. After all regardless of skin tone we share this planet and if cut we all bleed red.

Every religion has it’s own “bible” and they all say much the same thing, not one of these texts preaches war, death and destruction, they all ask for peace love and understanding. When a great man walks amongst us we are all changed whether or not we actually get to meet him. In recent times we have had so many pointing the way to move forward yet how many listened to, or even understood, the universal message?

No matter what religion you follow you should accept the traditions and beliefs of the country in which you find yourself. If you celebrate at this time of year you should be able to do so freely and without fear. It’s very easy to hate someone with different beliefs, that does not make it right. Jew, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jane, we are all human first and foremost. We all came into this world the same way and we all leave the same way.

So sorry but I felt that needed saying, especially at this time of year.

Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf?

Some of you may have noticed my absence of late, perhaps you have unfollowed me, but for those who have missed me can I please say a heartfelt thank you so much for your patience. Because I get depressed and tend to drag others down into the deep dark places I frequent so often I will not write anything on here on those days.

I am not my usual bubbly effervescent self today but the dark mood has lifted somewhat so I decided I’ve been quiet long enough. ‘Nuff said!

What am I going to say today? I don’t want this blog turning into a political angst fest, so I won’t even tell you why I felt suicidal yesterday. Suffice to say it was brought on by the advisor I saw at the dole yesterday.

For those who don’t know me I do try to keep this blog upbeat, lighthearted and funny so that no one knows when I’m sinking into the darkness. This is down to the fact that I don’t want anyone else to feel my pain. I am so tired just now but feel a duty of care to take care of you, my faithful reader. Should I tell you why I have grown weary of being upbeat? No, I don’t think so either. I’m coming away from the dark places I visit for a chat with my old friend Death. I’m not frightened of dying, there’s no need to be, you got to go sometime, right? I will tell you, I don’t fear death but there are things worse than dying. I don’t feel sorrow that my friends and loved ones have gone, I miss them terribly but, for them at least, the pain and suffering have ended. As long as we carry memories of them they will live on. I have caused pain, upset and misery to those I should really have been taking care of. Enough is enough is enough. I have turned a corner and want desperately to keep going forward.

Anyway, thank you for being there for me I may not say it often enough but I do love you all. Till next time this is Darth Darko signing off, Nanoo Nanoo.

Life is for living and living is free

Thank you so much, dear reader, for your patience with me. My mam died on 20th November 2013, after battling with cancer since 1991 it finally won. She was cremated on Thursday 28th November, and we will scatter her ashes on the anniversary of my brothers death, 17th December, I know the pain has stopped but we all still miss you, Requiescant in Pace.

Death is not an end, merely a passage through to the next stage of existence. No-one has ever returned to tell us what life is like on the next plane, or even if there is a next stage. I believe that death is not the end but our spirit lives on beyond this life, in a place without fear, hate, anger. If only we could attain that here maybe, just maybe, we could conquer death and illness. At the moment everything comes down to finance and greed.

Why can we not live in a world full of love? In the words of our greatest philosopher “Imagine there’s no country, it’s easy if you try”. He was the one making it clear that all you need is love, just maybe, he was right (I believe he was).