Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Homophobic Messiahs and the Sinister Rise of Fences

Jesus “The” Christ

I’m back in Wells. My friend Mark is here visiting his Mum, sorting out her furniture and what to take and get rid of before the move to Portishead. We’ve decided to go to Glastonbury for the day - the town not the festival.

Both of us have a fondness for Glastonbury from our youth. For me it was the legendary shop Gothic Image, which sold Dungeons and Dragons accessories in the eighties, which I would cycle to on a Saturday morning or even after school and buy miniatures and even the odd adventure.

Well Gothic Image is long gone, and every shop now is an identikit of New Age tat.

Today Glastonbury is a rather unpleasant meeting of Middle-Classed New Age hippies (the ones who live on the foot of the Tor in beautiful houses with Buddhist names and electric 4x4s), acid-casualties and surly drug addicts, and the working class townies. A bit like Brighton as a village. Without the sea.

I realise you might find this monstrously reductive, but it’s what I do best.

So after witnessing a stand off between one middle-aged hippy and an OAP tourist, we wandered up the High Street to The Shambala Centre to bleed our chakras.

Ricky Gervais’s less attractive older brother

Anybody who’s ever claimed to be the reincarnation of Christ has almost always been up to no good, and so a friend then alerted me to the window display a few weeks ago that the Messiah was asked to take down by the police. What a very naughty boy! (Python reference.)

It’ll be interesting to see what happens to his shop front when Glastonbury Pride goes past in the coming weeks…


When I was a little boy all the houses in the street were relatively new. A garage was an optional add-on to the house build, and was a separate building altogether. The back gardens were separated by 3 horizontal galvanised wires going through uprights every 4-5 feet. You could go in the garden and talk with your neighbours, and just step over the ‘fence’ if you wanted to, to play with the kids next door.

Come the eighties and 2 metre high fences enclosing everything was the norm. Fewer neighbourly chats and no admittance to hedgehogs, while rats, squirrels, cats and foxes were the only ones who could make it through.

I think it’s really sad. The older I get the more I’m aware what an innately social animal human beings are, yet money and delusions of status prohibit us from interacting naturally with each other.

In historical terms, 5 minutes ago we were operating in groups of 30 hunting and gathering, working 3 hours a day and socialising for the rest, telling stories, singing, eating, laughing, reminiscing - all ages. Then we started farming, destroying biodiversity, psychopaths and their hordes created tyrannical systems of government, the vast majority of us were oppressed for centuries, we fought and died for the  rights we now take completely for granted and here we all are, in an age of total misinformation and another terrifying technological revolution we’re now trying to put a lid on with AI, all the while having wiped out more species than any meteor impact in the history of the planet, and in doing so making it more uninhabitable as the climate changes.

No wonder we’ve never been visited by aliens. I think any ‘intelligent’ life-form would have wiped itself out of existence way before it could ever develop the means to escape its planet by its own selfish needs to ‘survive’.

And it all starts with fences.


That being said, I am really chilled at the moment (for me). I’m happy about myself, all my crimes and misdemeanours from my dim and distant past I beat myself up about I just laugh at now. It’s always a way to defeat your enemies - they taunt you and you laugh. When they know they aren’t getting the reaction they wanted they soon tire of it.

I actually like myself. I’m in a good place. I feel like I did when I first met J. I have a ton of friends. I have fun. It’s beautiful weather at last. I’m really chilled.

It’s so verdant everywhere - exacerbated by the blue, blue skies. The verges aren’t mown anymore to encourage wildlife. Great to see wild flowers everywhere. I’m going to Nerys’s for lunch. They have a puppy called Tomos I’m meeting for the first time.

Don’t let the voices get to you. I don’t.

Oom Shanka.


Thursday, May 11, 2023


Where's my anger to?

It's gone. Seriously. I'm also not reliving past confrontations and shouting out aggressively in the house. This is a great relief to everyone working from home, but J suspects I'm just trying harder and could have done better all along (which I can understand - I'd be suspicious too) but it's honestly not like that. It just stopped. 

Is it possibly because I'm now forced to look forward in time and make decisions for my future?

I suspect that is the reason. Plus the Sertraline.

What people don't get about the broad basket of neurological conditions known as dementia is that the sufferer can show different symptoms even during a single day. It's like a rollercoaster. 

My cognitive abilities are definitely on the wane though. I can't deal with complex plans and what ifs. I get it all confused in my head and all I remember is the last things that were said. For example - I remember a conversation as starting off unpleasantly but ending pleasantly. 'So it's all going to be all right then', is how I interpret it, having forgotten or not taken in the main meat of the sandwich.

Perhaps then, it's my new found ignorance that has chilled me out.

I'm going with it anyway. 

Fat shaming myself

I'm fat again. This is due to a relapse with the beer. Luckily I'm a happy drunk again - not a maniac. To be fair I started off having the odd pint again then built up to 3 or 4 on a Tuesday, and 2 at the end of a long session on the Sunday. However, I am paying the price for my week in Wells and the week of indulgence spent in the rotten pubs there. At least they're cheaper than Kingston.

So I'm a fat bastard and should do something about it.

Perhaps less beer?


At least I'm reading tons at the moment., The other day I received a new RPG book from a company I'd backed on Kickstarter. It's about 240 pages and I read 70% in a day - obviously skimming parts of it. 

I am writing stuff for adventures but I am creatively bereft - I'm on empty. I'm not sure I will ever be able to churn ideas out like I used to. I can develop things but only very slowly. It sometimes takes days for an idea to gestate into something useable.

I'm also reading a novel in bed. It's rubbish, but easy. Like Neighbours or most movies these days. Algorithmic bollocks.

Don't want to read something heavy like Chomsky in bed, although it would get me to sleep quicker: boring old sod.

However, one of my current addictions is Rugby League (again) particularly the NRL, although I prefer how the game was played in the 90s and noughties rather than it is now. So a lot of my time is spent or rather wasted watching YouTube clips.

What I also do is read the comments on a news page on YouTube from Trump/Putin/conspiracy supporters which is utterly utterly depressing. I never ever join in the conversation as it would be very bad for me to get swallowed up in such a mire.

Are they still there? 


Monday's D&G (Dyslexic D&D) session seems to have atrophied - people have busy lives and probably playing with a cranky demented DM in charge may be straining the credibility of enjoyment, but people have busy lives, family and work. The trouble is the lack of communication. In this day and age with digital communication there is no excuse. Even if you're late (fewer and fewer people seem bothered about punctuality anymore - as a general observation) a text is all you need as a courtesy to those you are directly affecting.

The Sunday session - Drakkenheim - is approaching the final chapter. Lots of politics and diplomacy afoot, as well as more sinister plots and undercurrents. It's so fascinating. It's the only complex web of intrigue I can get my head around these days. Don't get me wrong - it's difficult to plan but I've discovered (rather like the writers of the TV series 'Lost') you don't need to start off with answers - just start new threads. Watching the players discuss them and come up with their own theories as to what's really going on is part of the game. 

As Larry says, Drakkenheim has been truly 'epic' - it is the most Game of Thrones as far as political intrigue and role-playing that I've ever experienced in a D&D game. Considering the old school stuff I played years ago was just open a door, kill the random monster and nick its treasure, this is a different ball-game altogether.

It still has all the combat and peril of old school, but things matter more with vivid characters and different factions all competing for control - life is more complicated than good vs evil, humans vs orcs. Both old and new versions are fine - but this has been one of the best written campaigns ever. And it's a 3rd party product.