Friday, 31 December 2010

Hunting the wild goose

My long awaited goose hunting trip to a distant icy wilderness started with me missing the right exit on the motorway and nearly missing the outbound  flight. Daydreaming and mental preparation caused my temporary lapse of concentration. Got to the airport 5 minutes before the gate closed.

Nervousness and anticipation made me feel uneasy and vulnerable. After all, the trip was to a distant, frozen land, devoid of the usual sense of security one feels when in familiar surroundings.

Weapons for the job were ready...tactics rehearsed over and over in my head...I felt well prepared for the job in hand, but still...the feeling of fear of the unexpected prevailed. There are no guarantees when it comes to hunting. Everybody knows that...except me.

On arrival at my destination, temperatures of minus 16 centigrade smacked me out of my daydreaming state. No welcoming party awaited, and, although I knew that was the plan, the feeling of an imminent bad omen entered my head. Would I be lucky enough to catch?

The 'wild goose chase' was on and lasted several days. I came across signs of my target several times but just couldn't get close enough. At least not close enough to guarantee success. Set-back followed set-back and it started to take its toll on me.  I persevered nonetheless, mentally bruised and battered, until the last day of the trip, when it became obvious I would blank.

It is disappointing when so much planning and preparation fails to produce the desired goods, be it hunting or life in general. Maybe its a sign I should go back to old habits and concentrate on fishing instead?

Maybe, just maybe, from now on I should let the wild geese fly over my head and into the unknown, undisturbed and without shooting...or should I..?

...maybe I won't give up the hunt just yet. After all  'precious = worth fighting for'.

 New Year's resolution?  To be resolute

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

cold and beautiful...

Her snow, cold and beautiful...
her Sweden, cold and beautiful...

her landscape, cold and beautiful...
her winter, cold and beautiful...

her Christmas, cold and beautiful...
her heart, cold and beautiful...

her eyes, cold and beautiful...
her smile, warm and beautiful...
my bed, cold and beautiful...
my tears, warm and beautiful


Sunday, 19 December 2010

All world religions should be banned - for the sake of humanity

War, marginalization, discrimination and divisiveness are all terms associated with world religions. And all for myth and superstition! As Bertrand Russell once said, and I quote;

"Religion is based ... mainly upon fear ... fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand . . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."

wonderful incentive? How does he know?

Bigot making a stand...for whom?

How sad when the innocent are used as weapons.
 Just look at those misguided messages

backward looking fundamentalists

what a dreadful idea! Can you imagine?

The ugly face of world religion, ever-present and persistent due to man's inability to let go of childhood obsessions with "imaginary friends".

Here is another famous dig at religion by the great Sigmund Freud;

"The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life."

...and another by Mark Twain;

"Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honourably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!"

...and last but not least, one by the great man himself, Albert Einstein;

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls"

...march on secular soldiers, humanity needs you now more than ever. I feel much better now

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Office Party cancelled due to adverse weather conditions

Tonight I was supposed to go to the works Christmas party, but am posting a blog instead.. I was given a last-minute ticket by the boss a few days ago and have been looking forward to the "do" ever since.

It was going to be held at a venue in Windsor and the theme was to be “James Bond”. The programme advertised a 5 course dinner, cocktails and a show by Bond look-alikes and the famous Bond Girls.

It would have been a good night out and an ideal situation to get to know the people I work with, as I have only been with the company 5 weeks; but the weather gods have put a stop to that.

Free meal, drinks and live show would have gone down a treat, but earlier today the skies decided to open and lay a foot-deep carpet of snow all over the south-east.

As we all know, the UK is never prepared for extreme weather conditions and the country usually grinds to a halt at the sight of snow, rain, sunshine, autumn leaves and so on. But tonight of all nights? Why?

We were all sent home early, at noon instead of the usual 5:30, to avoid the blizzard and to get ready for tonight. Text messages followed an hour later informing us all the party was cancelled.

It took me 4 hours to drive home, a journey that usually takes half an hour and just for good measure, the car decided not to climb the hill near home and skid to a halt by the roadside instead. I had to walk 15 minutes, knee-deep in snow, cold and angry as hell at being stranded and party-less.

So, to all those lucky folks enjoying their Christmas party tonight, all I can say is;

 “I hope you all get stranded and suffer mild hypothermia on your way home; and tomorrow may all your digits drop off with frostbite, into the very same bucket you're spewing up your belly-full of stale booze”

Merry Christmas, love and peace to all mankind

…I feel better now


Not that terrorist acts ever make much sense, but some cases are totally incomprehensible. I refer in this case to the suicide bomber from Sweden and Luton who decided to spread his pitiful mortal remains on Stockholm’s pavements.

Taimour Abdulwahab al Abdaly's
 only claim to fame?

Had this act of madness occurred in Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan, it would have made a lot more sense to me; but Sweden? The land of the fair and free?

I don’t believe it has anything to do with Lars Vilks cartoon mocking Muhammad or even Sweden’s involvement in Afghanistan. The real reasons go much deeper than that.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks says he believes the
 suspects arrested in Ireland and the U.S. in an
 alleged plot to kill him were not professionals

Too right they were not professionals; they are deranged, brainwashed, unstable and unable to think for themselves.

Islam is being hijacked by deluded psychopaths who mistakenly believe they are waging war in the name of Allah. The whole idea of “suicide bombers” beggars belief. Only the mentally unstable are capable of committing suicide.

Sweden is probably the last place on earth I would expect to be targeted; for a number of reasons.

Sweden is, according to UN statistics, one of the nations with the most satisfied population in the world.

The Swedish people are free, forward-thinking, tolerant, and well looked after by the state, after decades of good social policies that have enhanced the quality of life for all its citizens.

Sweden is also successful and affluent, democratic and fair, unlike the nations these pitiful terrorists think they represent. And here, I suspect, lays the main reason for these acts of violence.

I think it is all to do with envy. Yes, ENVY.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, envy seems to be the driving force in this unholy war, or more precisely, culture clash. Envy at the fact that Sweden has (along with other western nations) broken away from the shackles of religion and created fair democratic and decent conditions for their people. So much so that vast numbers of Muslims, year on year try, to immigrate to these very same nations. It is after all, one-way traffic.

But societies these terrorists think they represent are often the complete opposite; barbaric, oppressive, unjust and backward-looking, whose peoples are governed by medieval laws. They are societies that openly discriminate against gender, sexual and religious freedoms and pay no attention to human rights.

It’s now up to the decent Muslim people around the world to rise up and fight the cancer within their midst.

Here is a demonstration by the Muslim decent
majority soon after the attack. A lot more
 needs to be done to convince the world.

Will this silent majority really rise to the challenge? I have my doubts. But if they don’t, they will inevitably pay the price of burying their heads in the sand.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

All I want for Christmas is...Part II

Flight is booked for the 23rd!

Courtesy of the very generous management at my new job. Thanks guys for the extra time off.

Off to Sweden I go for 5 days, some where not too far from Lapland.

so very cozy and quaint...

It’s at times like these that I wish I still believed in Santa Claus. ( I don’t actually remember ever believing ) I could’ve paid him a visit! As it stands, seeing real-life reindeer and real snow will do for me.

traditional Swedish Christmas fayre - Smörgåsbord

But what I want to see most of all is not reindeer and snow but M. I am just dying to see her after 5 whole weeks apart. Five weeks that seem more like 5 years. We may also get a chance to see Stefan, Linn and Kim for good measure. That would be very nice indeed.

Christmas market in Stockholm

It will be my first Christmas knee-deep in snow. Lots of snow I am told and temperatures down to -20. Brrrrrrr. Apparently Swedish mould wine keeps the cold at bay. I reckon beer and Absolut Vodka also do the trick. I’ll try them all anyway. No doubt I will...


A Christmas message. If only...

…the world had been created by some Devine being, it would have been a perfect world. If only humanity could have been created in the image of such Devine being, there wouldn’t have been wars or suffering, hunger and disease ravaging humanity.

If only…

just an illusion

There would have been no parasites, whose main purpose in life is to drain the life out of their hapless hosts.

Or deadly bacteria and viruses that destroy life indiscriminately and cause so much pain and suffering in the process.

Or predators that rip apart living creatures with unbounded savagery and lack of empathy, in order to temporarily feed their hunger.

Or humans, who use, abuse and kill others and chose to live like scavengers on the carcasses of humanity, often whilst under the misguided guise of “holy war” and tribal differences.

There would have been no need for religions that separate, marginalize and often destroy others who do not share their illusions. Organised religion is like a hospital for the sick. We all know that the healthy don’t need hospitals.

What a wonderful world it would be if there were no sicknesses or the need for hospitals!
If only…

But in reality, life is simply a process started by Nature and with the sole purpose of improving and adapting all life-forms to facilitate the survival of the driving force of all life on earth. DNA

The quicker we all begin to accept that simple truth, the quicker we will learn to rise above Nature and help it along a more humane and righteous path.

It could be done, but will it ever? I doubt it. Not while half of humanity chooses the path of following imaginary friends (gods) and live by rules created by dubious humans with ulterior motives.

Still, I can only dream and hope.


Saturday, 11 December 2010

now that i've lost everything to you... say you wanna start something new
and it's breaking my heart you're leaving
baby i'm grieving...
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there


Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world
I'll always remember you like a child, girl...

my version of the great, prophetic song

This Cat Stevens classic is a favourite of mine and I played it at every gig.

 Cat Stevens. 'For your lyrics my heart bleeds'

If you fancy listening to it, click this link.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Nature's finest

As a life-long admirer of cats, I have decided to dedi-cat-e an entire post to these adorable and delightul creatures. I am in awe of nature's evolutionary skills in creating beautiful life-forms and here are some of the finest examples.

"don't point that thing at me! It could go off!"

"and why don't I have ears like everyone else?"

" whassup?"

" I sleep all night... and I sleep all day"

"me too"
last but not least, the finest of them all... tada!

T Bone Pereira with accessories

I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I have.

Monday, 6 December 2010

this time last year...

...I was in Madeira doing my regular gigs at Moynihan's Irish Bar and enjoying almost all-year-round summer. I do miss it and can't wait to return for a well deserved break. I especially miss the beach strolls with Madeleine in Porto Santo and the swimming in Ponta Gorda.

Martin singing "Ziggy"

We had some great nights when the music didn't stop and I burned some serious calories. Just as well I replaced lost calories with pints and pints of Guinness. And when DD and Ivo turned up it was even better.

I had to put up with over-friendly hecklers...

and howling  from "rent-a-crowd" fans

Stefan and my boy Mattie were regulars. Is that
 not the most beautiful little boy ever?

I went through some tough times also, including a marriage break-up, but over all it was a great experience that I wouldn't miss for the world. I lived alone for a while, the first time in my adult life! A first for me and an invaluable lesson.

But the most cherished memory of all from Moynihan's, is the meeting and falling in love with a beautiful Swedish girl.
Min älskling, Madeleine

Kommer hem snart, Madeleine, jag saknar dig så mycket. Du är allt jag vill ha i julklapp och allt mer.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

from hero to zero...

...or to be precise, from good to bad in the emotional scale.

I refer specifically to when someones expectations of a friend. relative or loved one, takes a knock. It could be the result of  a hurtful comment, lack of consideration, neglect, or even just the feeling one is being deceived or lied to.

It has happened to me a few times through the years and although it's nothing new, it's still as unpleasant as the first time it happened.

The closer one is to the person concerned the more painful the knock. When it happens with a person from one's "inner circle" it can have a devastating effect similar to mourning. I guess it is a kind of mourning when one feels the loss of someone or something emotionally special.

It leaves one with a dull ache inside. An empty void that can not be filled with food, drink or any other indulgence. And a feeling that something has broken or chipped away bit by bit and may never be fully repaired.

What is this feeling called? It must have a name. Such a strong emotion must have a proper description.It can't be mere "disillusion".

How wonderfully gifted must be the countless poets and writers who can describe the strongest human emotions with a simple pen, paper and a memorised alphabet.

People like Kahlil Gibran whose masterpiece "The Prophet" is still my favourite book ever.

Kahlil, how I envy your ability to spin a
 magic web with beautifully woven words