Half-way to Paradise

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Creative writing class exercise.

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I sat sipping a pinot noir in the wine bar at the end of Ashton Lane.  I used to go here when I  was a student.  In those days I knocked back cider and could drink anyone under the table.  Nowadays , I was a little more demure and sophisticated.

“Can I get you another?”  I looked up, distracted from my memories.  The waiter’s eyes twinkled back at me, almost like he knew what I was remembering.  He’d probably seen this look of reminiscence from a thousand customers.  I was about to answer, but my words caught at the back of my throat.  Astonished, I dropped my glass to the floor and vaguely heard it crash.

At the other end of the bar was someone I had not seen in a very long time.  My heart swelled.  Then it sank almost as quickly.  He would never talk to me, even if he did recognise me.  My eyes stung a little.  If only he knew the truth, he would forgive me.

I took a deep breath and got up from my seat.  The walk to his table seemed to take forever.  In fact, it had taken forever.  It had taken fourteen years and a chance encounter to tell this man the truth.  Every single one of those days was etched into my memory.  The loneliness, the solitude, the heart break; suffering a jail sentence for a crime I never committed.  But would he believe me?  The moment I had feared my entire life was happening right now.  I almost walked out the door, but kept going.

Mark Twain said “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain”.  Now at least one fear is gone.  One truth has been told.  I’m half-way to Paradise.

Last Night

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Started a writing course today!  Here is our first creative writing exercise using automatic writing (not the spooky kind!).  We were given the first sentence (in italics) and had to write for seven minutes without stopping.  This is what I came up with.

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The books in the library were opened at page three, but Suzanna could not think of work today.  Her head was filled with thoughts of all that had happened the night before.

Who would believe the daylight would change everything?  Who would believe the events that had unfolded?  She closed her eyes, both wanting to remember it all so vividly and, at the same time, trying to forget so her tutor wouldn’t wonder why she was not reading like everyone else.

But she wasn’t like everyone else in the room.  She never would be again.  The memories crashed in around her and she excused herself, making a hasty exit to the toilets where she bolted the door securely and threw herself on top of the rim.

Once she had stopped being violently sick and the waves of nausea had disappeared, Suzanna picked herself slowly up off the floor.  Back outside, she made her excuses to her tutor.  He nodded, with a worried expression.  It was clear to everyone in the room she was very ill.  Little did they know why, and it was best for them all that they never found out.

I Voted For Scotland

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Well, Scotland, I’ve voted YES for you, for a better country, for fairness, justice and equality.

I’ve voted for the sick and disabled who have been through the indignity of the ATOS system, and for those who committed suicide when they had their benefit removed.

I’ve voted for the poor, whether employed or unemployed who haven’t eaten for the last few days or who are keeping their heating and hot water off for as long as possible, even in winter.

I’ve voted in memory of the innocent men, women and children in other countries who have been killed in illegal wars or annihilated by nuclear weapons. I’ve voted to get rid of those weapons.

I’ve voted to keep the rich from getting their greedy hands on Scotland’s resources and giving us back a fraction in return.

I’ve voted against their campaign of fear, propaganda and lies.

I’ve voted against the Westminster elite and their worship of Mammon – the greed of riches they possess where they allow UK citizens to suffer and starve whilst they get higher wages and subsidised expenses.

I’ve voted to keep our NHS, which we pay for in National Insurance contributions, but which Westminster is selling bit by bit to the highest bidder.

I’ve voted so that future Scottish votes will always matter and not be worthless any more.

When I wake up tomorrow to hear the result I will know that I lived by my convictions. I stood against our oppressors.  Scotland, my prayer today is that, regardless of Westminster’s taunts and lies that we’re too small and insignificant to be independent, we did it anyway!  We might be small, but we are a brave nation with a brave heart.

Let your fears evaporate.  We will lose nothing and gain everything.  Saor Alba!

Read also On the Eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum.

On the Eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum

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George Square, Glasgow, 17th September 2014. Over 2000 supporters of Independence for Scotland joined together in solidarity.

It’s the eve of the Scottish Independence Referendum September 2014. I want to write down everything I am feeling and thinking right now. This is a historic moment in world history and I am part of it! Never have I been so proud to be a Scot. I have spent months researching and educating people on social media about how important this referendum is to the future of our country.

This afternoon I went along to George Square. Despite what newspaper propaganda would have you believe, there were thousands of people. We filled the entire square, spilling out onto the pavements and across the other sides of each surrounding road.

I’m usually a bit uncomfortable in crowds, but after a few minutes of walking round, taking pictures and talking to a friend I happened to bump into, the electrified atmosphere drew me in like a moth to a flame. I had to get closer.

We sang Flower of Scotland, Caledonia, The Braes O’ Killiecrankie, The Wild Mountain Thyme and 500 Miles together. I felt more and more proud of my heritage. The people of Glasgow were a force to be reckoned with today, but as is the Glaswegian personality – indeed, the Scottish personality – they were a jovial, peaceful force. In between chants of “Singing aye, aye, we’re all voting aye!” (to the tune of “Oh ye cannae shove yer granny aff a bus!”) and the orgasmic screams of “YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!”, there were speeches from people who had spent their life waiting for this moment.

For me, the one speaker who stood out was Tommy Sheridan. A dynamic and charismatic speaker, Sheridan is always an absolute joy to hear, regardless of your opinion about the man or his politics. He began: “Brothers and sisters!” and the crowd roared and cheered with pleasure. He pointed out we were “…on the cusp of a democratic, peaceful revolution”. We screamed some more. Names such as Bob Geldof, Michelle Mone, George Foulkes and Simon Cowell got severely booed. The crowd went crazy when Tommy cried, “This referendum tomorrow is not about the millionaires. It’s about the millions!” We, again, began an ecstatic chant of “YES! YES! YES!” He quoted Nelson Mandela, a hero to Glasgow, “May your life choices be informed by hope not fear.” We cried out in unison, “Hope not fear! Hope not fear!” We screamed in delight when he said, “Scotland may only have forty years of oil left. Westminster only has forty hours left!”

Sheridan appealed to us that we waken up on Friday morning and know that we did everything we could. My eyes stung with tears as I thought about the amount of energy I’d used posting on social media and engaging people in discussion. I’m not a politician. In fact, I’ve never been very interested in politics, or very good at expressing my political opinions. Nevertheless, to have witnessed and experienced the injustice in Scotland, to know of the poverty where families have arrived at food banks malnourished after having not eaten for four days, how can you not become political? I watched a video earlier, now removed from YouTube, where a Scottish food bank worker tells the heartbreaking story of one mother who couldn’t wait to get food home, but began eating beans out the tin with her fingers because she was so hungry. Scotland is not a third world country! The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said that Scottish assets are worth over a trillion sterling. That’s one trillion pounds. Yet, we have families starving, having to choose between heating and eating.

We have a high amount of unemployment amongst our university graduates. Our most vulnerable and poor are suffering and starving so that the Westminster MPs can have their wage rise taking them up to £70k, on top of their subsidised food, energy bills and rent (for their 1st and 2nd houses). Whilst that malnourished mother eats cold beans with her fingers, the Westminster elite are enjoying champagne and caviar on their expenses. Our nurses can’t remember the last time they had a wage rise, let alone a proper living wage. Our poor are not just those on benefits, our poor are our workers.

The NHS, which belongs to the people, is being privatised. Soon you will have to pay to visit your GP! The rich politicians don’t care about that, though. It wouldn’t surprise me if they managed to get subsidised health care along the way as part of their work’s package. I could joke that we’re all in the wrong job, but David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith et al have all sold their souls to the devil. I’d rather be on the side of the angels.

Scotland has long been demonstrating against illegal wars and the nuclear base at Faslane. We don’t want Trident. Get it to fuck. The government has no right to talk about any other country having weapons of mass destruction when we are sitting with enough nuclear bombs to blow up Hiroshima 350 times right there on our back door, 30 miles away from Glasgow.

Something is very very wrong with this country. The Westminster government has a very black heart to have treated us, and those in other parts of the UK, so appallingly. We know there are parts of England suffering, and I hope we can pave the way for them to break free from the Westminster oppression too.

Sheridan finished by telling us that there is a song in his heart that keeps him going and he hopes it will keep us going too. Something Inside So Strong. He ended as he started, “Brothers and Sisters,” he spoke, “When they insist we’re just not good enough. When we know better, just look them in the eyes and say.” My hand rolled into a fist, with tears blinding me I punched the air and cried out loud, forgetting myself and with complete abandon, “We’re gonna do it anyway!” and the crowds exploded with passion.

Tommy Sheridan’s Speech, George Square, Glasgow, 17th September 2014

Some nice tunes for you.

Jack the Ripper was Polish Immigrant Aaron Kosminski, Book Claims

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Aaron Kosminski

Well, it turns out my top contender for the Whitechapel Murders of 1888, Aaron Kosminski, may actually be Jack the Ripper after all.  DNA evidence appears to have concluded that he was indeed the immortal legend so many books have been written, and films have been made, about.    

According to The Guardian: 

“A self-confessed “armchair detective” claims to have solved perhaps the most notorious whodunit ever by claiming to have discovered the identity of Jack the Ripper.

Russell Edwards claims Aaron Kosminski, a 23 year-old Polish immigrant who ended up dying in an asylum, was “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man behind the grisly killing spree in 1888 in London’s East End.

Edwards said a blood-stained shawl he bought in 2007 after an auction in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, held vital DNA evidence which led him to the killer.

“I’ve got the only piece of forensic evidence in the whole history of the case,” he said. “I’ve spent 14 years working on it, and we have definitively solved the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was.”

Read the rest of The Guardian article here!

Read my article, “Curse of Whitechapel: Jack the Ripper” here!

Many, many thanks for all the support that my article has been getting over the last couple of days.  It’s very much appreciated.  Just the fact that you enjoy my writing is all I need to be happy and keep going with it.  

I will be posting up an article on Aaron Kosminski within the next day or two, so do pop back to my site and please leave a comment.  It’s always lovely to hear from readers.

Regards & Best Wishes,

Your friend, A.D. 

 

Thatcher rises from grave to help save Union

Alyson Dunlop:

The Lady has turned…in her grave! Thatcher’s zombie has risen.

Originally posted on The Evening Harold:

Ironically, it's the only Union she didn't try to break.

Ironically, it’s the only union she didn’t try to break.

In a dramatic (and slightly gruesome) turn of events, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has risen from the dead to wade into the battle to save the Union.

As polls show the pro-independence campaign taking the lead for the first time, Tory chiefs have made the momentous decision to deploy their ultimate weapon: the Thatchernator.

Using the dark arts of necromancy and voodoo, which many of the upper House are experienced practitioners of, Better Together leaders claim they had ‘no choice’ but to reanimate their dead leader.

View original 158 more words

Nods to the Old Gods

 

 

 

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These poets included in their writing poems about ancient gods and other ethereal beings such as ghosts, witches, sprites, mermaids and fairies. Many readers might pass these references without realising the deeper meaning behind their literary use. These poetic tales prove that the Romantics had a respectful knowledge of myth, magic and ancient religion. Their nods to the old gods are recorded for posterity so that we might learn about the Old Ones and the beliefs of our ancestors.

Purchase now on Amazon.

 

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