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Happy New Year in 2012 & New Year Resolutions

The Birth of the World - Joan Miró (1893-1983)
With gratitude I wish to thank the people who visit this site. I wish you happiness and peace in 2012. Also, success with your dreams, your inspirations, your creations, and may your life resound with good health, hope, solidarity, trust and love.

My new year resolutions are to eat and sleep regularly, to look at all things again without any preconceived ideas, to stop feeling like an empty square in search of a future, to travel by Chinese lantern with my pet kangaroo high above a chestnut grove, to get more variety into my dream life, and to sleep in a barn with an ethereal, amorphous, waif-like, beautiful young lady who wishes to explore the conflict between love and independence with eloquence, vitality and magical insight.

*          Reflections: Only the rich and privileged are able to maintain their grand illusions of life for long. Others must live on solid ground, in the real world, celebrate its joys, mourn its misfortunes, and …

Great Interviews of the 20th Century - Ronnie Kerrigan discusses his novel: Sink

This is an edited version of Ronnie Kerrigan's interview with Tanya Shepherd, first published inDogs Monthly, November 22, 1996
Tanya Shepherd:  What influenced you to pursue writing as a career? Ronnie Kerrigan:Basically, I'm an exhibitionist with nothing worthwhile to exhibit. I'm totally devoid of literary, or poetic talent. Anyone who ever read my printed work would be painfully aware of this fact.

What's the best advice you have ever been given? Don't move or I'll shoot.
Your parents were schoolteachers. Did this have any particular influence? I remember our home was covered in books. Roof tiles would have been more effective. I believe they would have prevented the rain encroaching and soaking our clothes, beds and watering down our food. Of course, it was a household full of readers. One day I counted twenty five, and I didn't know a single person.
Were your family energetic and battling people? My mother was highly energetic both physically and mentall…

An Uninvited Guest

I don't often grimace, unless someone unexpectedly appears out of nowhere. Indeed, my heart has sunk on more than one occasion when conversing with a guest at some party, or other social occasion, and a face suddenly appears over my guest's shoulder to join the conversation.
The 'uninvited' usually has large protruding eyes and squints menacingly at me. 'The heat gets to me. Does it get to you? It gets to me and then I doze off. Do you doze off? Do you doze off and wake up with your head throbbing? Just like me? A blinding headache? A mitigating migraine? Just like me? Back in a second.' The person then disappears in the manner they first appeared. A nightmare come true, surely?

My guest usually looks at me with raised eyebrows – their eyes are engaged elsewhere - and expects an answer or a reaction. I tend to give neither. I remember once or twice snickering at such bold clowning when I was at school, or on probation in some godforsaken workplace where the p…

The Crucible of Love and Relationships

I normally rise at five-thirty, disembark from bed at seven and swim across a lake close to my home.The exercise usually fills me with elation, and gives me time to think. Imagine my surprise and indignation to discover the lake no longer existed, and had been replaced overnight by an out-of-town shopping mall.

In fact, I was swimming by the entrance to the House of Frazer department store before I realised there wasn't any water. I walked sheepishly back through the mall with the sound of mocking laughter in my ears. My only consolation? I was naked and wouldn't need to wash and dry my 'Arctic White Casino Royale' swim trunks. I'm sure Dr Freud would find my predicament, my defining act, of colossal interest.

The second eye-popping experience happened on Saturday evening. I was standing under a restaurant awning; the rain coming down unremittingly. My partner, EleanorWinchester-Rifle, was beating me about the head and torso with twenty inchesof rubber tubing. &…

A Magnificent Silence & Place des Vosges

It's a fine sunny morning in Place des Vosges. Today, without warning, R.K. died in a half empty flat. My name is Lid (spelt without the L), a phony professor, of sorts: well aware of R.K.'s successes and failures, but not my own. I was first on the scene. His last words? 'Milo! Come in out of the rain! You'll catch your death!' Some might say, 'Poor R. K.' Others may say: 'He was due the alternative.' 'Was he juggling carving knives? Not that he had any.' 'He was born with a face you longed to thump.'
Was he a dark-eyed tomboy? No. Blue eyes, blond hair (until he was born), with an amicable anxious face. His humour could make a deceased person breathless; carry one to a place of exclusion, where nothing exists except a magnificent silence. The occasional tear, but no self-pity. A suggestion of despair, but no fresh disasters.
He was once dismissed as a mixture of repressed emotion and personable; it can never be said he was an ac…

The Two Workers

The Two Workers
In the suburbs of a city two men stand talking.
John:  I took pride in the job. I was as happy as the day was long.
Paul:  I wonder what the 'Good Fellow' up there thinks about all this?
John:  It's a sad freedom we face. 

Paul:  I feel a madness descending.
John:  They say I had the smile of a saint.

Paul:  I'm frightened of the young. Splitting themselves laughing ... Riotous behaviour. Were we ever boisterous like that?
John:  I inspired confidence.

Paul:  You were well known for that.
John:  A fine open laugh, and a firm handshake. I was smart. Played them at their own game. 
Paul:  No one better.
John:  All I see now is the end of the road. What will I tell Mary? And us living in a crumbling, dark house.
Paul:  I could do odd jobs if it weren't for my rheumatism.
John:  When I was young I thought I knew my mind. But events, personalities, guilt, changed all that. I'm not one for bearing grudges. All I desired was a warm home for Mary'…

The Dozing Doctor


My doctor has dozed off. His breathing is disorganised and the stale scent of alcohol hangs in the air. I've noticed his patience has been waning lately. Perhaps it has with other patients, too? As I entered his consulting room ten minutes ago he looked pale, wriggled his fingers, yawned, and with a cheerless, lethargic voice enquired, 'And how are we, today? Still ill and dying, I trust?'
The Doctor is normally a rational human being with a determined face and intelligent eyes. This morning, however, he seems paralyzed by emotional trauma, sarcasm and indifference. I notice that his wedding ring is missing. His tormented face and toneless voice make me ill at ease. 
'What are you here for?' he barks, as if worn out from asking questions.

'I'm worried about the side effect of a drug you prescribed last month. While I sleep my left leg goes for walks without me.'

'How do you know it goes for walks if you are sleeping?' he asks, sighing deeply…

The Trials and Tribulations of Milford Frankfurter

This morning, a neighbour, Milford Frankfurter (part-time astronomer and searcher for extraterrestrial life in the skin of fish at weekends), emitted a cry from his house resembling a three-spined toadfish suddenly intolerant to salt. I suddenly realised that my house has inadequate sound-proofing, and the upstairs toilet is too well-concealed. The possibility that the toilet might have been stolen crossed my mind, slid down the side of my face, and made for the kitchen to make breakfast.
Milford's hideous cry unsettled me. My mouth, throat, and left leg were bone dry. Suddenly, my stomach ulcer flared up. Luckily I keep a bottle of mineral water at my bedside in case I speak in German during the night. I took a quick drink and doused the flames emanating from my stomach. The smoke and increasing darkness made me quiver. Someone rang the front door bell. After much agonizing I went downstairs. It was Milford. As he spoke I glanced anxiously at his burning car.

'My one remai…

The Art of Regurgitating Furballs

During a recent stay in hospital I was thrown out for impersonating a general anesthetic. A patient, Mr M., ninety-eight - who claimed to be partially deaf in one nostril - accused me of infiltrating his memory during an operation to have a pinprick removed from his finger. Mr M., was in surgery for an hour and remembers nothing. In fact, that missing hour of his life is a dark void bereft of sensation, feeling, and emotion (uncannily similar to when my wife and I attempt sex). 
My defense includes the following:
1)  I am addicted to the smell of warm metal. In fact, I've blacked out twice sniffing my TV.
2)  I believe the word 'chopsticks' should be hyphenated.
3)  It is difficult to remain calm while the world of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, iPods, iPhones, and texting collectively destroy the human race. The facts are undeniable, uneatable, uncalled-for (just like marriage). They poison our freedom. Can an individuals life be so bad it must be supplemented by gadgets o…

Andrew Marr Admits Using a 'Super-Injunction' (sounds rather harrrowing)

Andrew Marr (?!)
BBC presenter Andrew Marr won a High Court order in January 2008 to silence the media over his extra-marital affair with a fellow journalist. It is alleged that Mr Marr said: 'I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists.' An unfortunate phrase, given the circumstances.

I have no personal interest in what Andrew Marr does outside of his working environment. In fact, when I see certain individuals on television, for example, Ian Hislop, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, John Leslie von Prescott, Glenn Beck, Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, James Martin Pacelli McGuinness, I have a near-death experience. After closing the doors of my warm house, I climb on to the roof, and adopt the persona of a great Russian bear with podgy ears and bulging eyes. I usually bring a bag of potatoes and throw them at passers-by. When police arrive, I advise my neurotransmitters are misfiring, or that I'm choking on a Malteser shaped like Andrew Marr's head.

In 20…

CSI: Ards (Crime Scene Investigation: Newtownards)

It's Sunday night. Newtownards looks like a town swallowed up in quicksand. A place full of cold resentment: empty of people, church towers and statues. Even the homeless have gone home. Without looking at each other, CSI Detective 51st Grade, O. Bluebottom, and CSI Detective 52nd Grade, A. Pinkbottom - both rookies in the PSNI - walk towards the crime scene. Their police car has been stolen as they guzzled food in a local hamburger joint. The vehicle resides a short distance away on a petrol station forecourt.

Both officers string up yellow tape. Their job now is to keep spectators and the media back from the crime scene. Not an easy task when there is no one about. Bluebottom and Pinkbottom turn away from the police car, spread their feet wide apart, and place their hands in each other's utility belt.

The Mobile Crime Team arrive. On sighting Bluebottom and Pinkbottom the flashing strobe lights bars immediately cease and the vehicle speeds towards Belfast. Chortling and c…

Killing Time

A wise doctor once told me that the view from his house is not the same as mine. Using a map, he highlighted the area of town where he lived, and warned me not to rent a property close by, or he would kill me. I stood by my promise. He died one morning making breakfast dressed in his Donald Duck play suit. His house pal, Gus Goose, finally tired of eating duck eggs, and stuck Donald's yellow flat feet down his strap-on duck beak. The wise doctor's last words were, 'And there's me keeping blue eggs for your birthday ...'

* Lately I've been feeling tired, bloated and lacking in energy. I sent a sample of my hair, with a cheque, to find out what my diet was doing to my body. I received an in-depth analysis in the post. The results were amazing. It confirmed my body was in great shape. The cheque, however, is suffering from hypersensitivity, a skin problem, muscle imbalance, deficiencies in a number of minerals and vitamins and requires to undergo a comprehensive…

A Day in the Life of Burt Bacharach

'What’s New Pussycat?'

'Number 4—ham omelette—with coffee—please,' said Burt, removing his sunglasses, pinching his nose to ease the tension.

'Heavenly,' retorted the waiter, smiling widely.

'The truth is—' Burt said, biting his lip, moving closer to the waiter.

'Yes?'

'The truth is Hal David wrote most of the lyrics—Hal David! For the last time—Hal David! I’m a composer, an arranger, a pianist, a singer, occasional lyricist—'

'Hmmm,' the waiter chuckled, exposing his red gums, 'Absolutely.' He disappeared to place the order. Burt closed his eyes, and massaged the ridge of his nose.

He eat his breakfast leisurely while humming a melody. A new melody that he banked away inside his head with all the others. Once finished, he put on his coat, placed a tip on the table, and walked towards the exit. As he opens the door to greet the rest of the day—there has been a sudden downpour—he hears a shrill, irritating voice. 'Wi…