kite plodder

last weekend my brother and i went with our gaggle of kids away to the jugs in Kingston, theres a play park for the little ones, a lovely 12th Century church and even the chance of pintage
we were flying kites, a stunt kite (fantastic, but a bit of a palaver of rope and string), and our trusty rainbow kite, with the merest puff of wind this one merrily spools away, cloudwards
Sofia whose only 4, accidentally let go of the rainbow kite, yikes!
away it flew , but luckily the handle became snagged in a tree.
rescues and derring do!
my brov hopped up into the tree, but couldn’t reach. A passing local type, very kindly ran off and got a fishing rod. So my brothers got the long long pole and prodding recklessly at the kite handle
I’m on the ground comforting a couple of crying little ones, the melodrama!, but also simultaneously thinking, ‘the branch will never hold his weight’ and remembering a Seamus Heaney poem.

My brother is fishing in the river of the wind that flows through the branches of the trees

Finally the kite is prodded free, zoom it’s off over the roof tops, heading for the downs
I’m hot hoof after it, a Kite runner, well Kite plodder at any rate, getting bogged down on a muddy footpath, then hopping a barbed wire fence into a field.
Then theres the kite, right in the middle of the field, multicoloured wreckage. I stride over to it, feeling much like a world war 1 flying ace whose just crash landed
The kites been rescued by a couple of 10 year old boys, they were suitably amazed, ‘we were sitting in our house, and this thing just flew over’
Together we bore it back in the triumph of rescue!

oh the snippet of heaney (scribbled on a scrap of paper in my wallet)

The Riverbed, dried up, half full of leaves

Us, listenning to a River in the TreesĀ 


what glamorous weather!
yester eve i watched the sunset from the marina wall
the sun dunked in the ocean, a perfect plonk, complete with sizzle
supple colours, a mood of modulation twixt turquoise and tangerine

praise god for dappled things


a response to a luxor post

me! me! I’ve been to Luxor, Thebes, Phoebe.
I’d just reccomend what all the guide books will say.
Get up before dawn, hire a bike, then pedal along the banks of the Nile, Water Buffalo and Fallukahs, as the huge red sun rises.
Head along the road to teh desert and pedal along to the Valley of The Kings.
It’s fantastic, before the heat of the day and the plague of tour buses, a genuine spook creepy powerful place.
Perfect for all your Indianna Jones needs!
Or just sit ina cafe with the old men, a strong coffee and try one of the Shishkas, a Hubbly Bubbly, where you balance your burning charcoals on the Honey roasted tobacco, then serpent suck, huge plumes of smoke and smoke rings. a condor/hamlet cheap cigar moment
oh, Cleopatras needle in London is from the temple of Karnak, it’s a really fascinating tale, what happened was…. achhh

ancient email hieroglyphs…

once, when i was about 22, i was in the kings burial chamber of the great pyramid of cheops (an important giza geezer)
you follow a stone lined corridor, deep, deep into the heart of the thing.
For about 5 minutes I was totally alone in the central chamber, there I had one of those fairly typical, bogus travellers moments, you know when your thinking ‘wow here i am alone in the 4000 year old heart of the most sacred hugest stone tomb ever’ and kind of willing yourself to spiritually commune with them long dead incest interesting pharaohs, but in reality you just feel totally knackered, from not having slept properly for days and the whole place smells of camel dribble!

The central chamber is totally plain and unadorned, not like those in the valley of the kings, where it’s wonderfully ornate, crammed full of hieroglyphics, sarcophagi and just baroque over the top, kinda Las Vegas Liberace Tutankhamoon. King of Bling.
the pyramid chamber may well be sacred pscho geomacy alligned with Orion and Sirius, but didn’t do it for me.
..Anyway i’m meditating merrily away, when a cold breeze blows through, we are buried in the middle of a squillion tons of stone… then i hear the clump, clump of boots approaching…. a huge looming shadow is thrown forwards and into the chamber.
Goosebumps, curse of the mummy, Scooby dooby doo!. Yikes!
in comes… Cleopatra!
Heavens to Betsy.

Cleo, dark dark eyes, black hair, breaks into a big smile, opens her gob and says ‘ciao’
ciao bella!

She was actually a very friendly 17 year old Italian, lovely, she kindly squired me around old Cairo for the next 2 days.
from Milan, very swish, high fashion type, some kind of heiress, in Cairo for a year with only her parents for company.
we were both dreadful lonely, but also just got on like a house on fire… she was a hoot!

heres an egyptian joke i made up,

My Sphinx has got no nose
How does he smell?
bloody awful!


response to a post about portslade

Southwick Marina?! that’s near port slade?
you know, that funny little clump of pleasure boats opposite (D’oh) Springfield/Shoreham Nuclear power station
Theres a really nice Tapas bar (la Cala?) which has a platform area where on a sunny summers sunday afternoon you can sit out, down by the water.
take a fishing net and a bucket and the kids will be entertained for hours, leaving you to get on with the important business of beer and the nattering!
last year they only caught one tiddly fish, but lots of those near translucent water shrimp, bug like creatures…. and jellyfish… a whole trifles worth!

It’s a pleasantly weird post industrial landscape, reminds me of a bar in Hamburg, right down on the sandy beach by the river, you’d sit in a deckchair cocktail in hand, looking up, the backdrop would be these huge heron like cranes and drifting past the most humongous tankers

…back at southwick, you can cross the water there, on foot, over to the power station using a network of jettys and swingbridges. A great rat run.
I always imagine myself to be sword fighting my way across!

… usual decay into doggerel…..
….. past lock and dry dock, jinx of jetty, a poltroons hop, to the other side, on pontoons, the sway, the swagger, rigging of sail boat, cough splutter motorboat…


spring equinox. balanced
also the start of the astrological new year

nearly easter i really like the fact of a wandering easter, the equation to work out when it will fall is:

‘the first sunday, after the full moon, following the vernal equinox’
which gives it a Terence Trent D’Arby neither Fish nor Fowl feeling

ie. it’s a Lunar festival based on the roaming moon, but is tethered to a solar year event.


woke up singing my fave Bowie song, which somehow manages to be ridiculous, pompous and emotionally moving, all at once

David Bowie – Memory Of A Free Festival Lyrics

The Children of the summer’s end
Gathered in the dampened grass
We played Our songs and felt the London $ky
Resting on our hands
It was God’s land
It was ragged and naive
It was Heaven

Touch, We touched the very soul
Of holding each and every life
We claimed the very source of joy ran through
It didn’t, but it seemed that way
I kissed a lot of people that day

Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon
To paint that love
upon a white balloon
And fly it from
the topest top of all the tops
That man has pushed beyond his brain
Satori must be something
just the same

We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size
We talked with tall Venusians passing through
And Peter tried to climb aboard but the Captain shook his head
And away they soared
Climbing through
the ivory vibrant cloud
Someone passed some bliss among the crowd
And We walked back to the road, unchained

“The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party.”

computers for schools

jen: Does anyone here collect Tesco Computers for Schools vouchers? I’ve got a few to get rid of.

On the other hand there’s the guy who collected a million ringpulls and tried to claim a fighter jet from Pepsi, only for them to admit that they actually didn’t have one. Surprise!

rb: please, i’d like them. thanks
i’m sure the natural sigh of profound cynicism is justified, but still the Steiner school is collecting them… though thinking about it, I know the kids are discouraged from touching computers (spawn of satan machines, my words) so not sure what they’re collecting for?

and yes please i’d like a jet fighter too, good for loop da loop!

tapoon piglets

once we were travelling in Costa Rica, on a bus wending it’s way along through the trees, jungle clung to the skirts of a mountain.
A Huge Barren rumbling, smoke belching, slag pit of a volcano!
The Bus driver was blaring out Salsa, and the bus was bunny hopping over the pot holes.

Finn was happy hurled from seat to seat!
at the time he was the ‘Golden Child’, 2 years old, all the locals would stop to pat him on his shock of blonde hair, else clench his cheek. coochie coo, a disturbing habit!
they all loved him, for looking so different to their beautiful but dark haired babes.

…Anyway the bus screeches to a halt, then everybody jumped out, a hullabaloo of voluble spanish. Caramba!
Following the herd i found the bus surrounded by a flock of peculiar beasts. The likes of which i have never seen before… nor since

They were piglet sized, long nosed, looked mildly like a baby tapir, but with a more weaselly fluffy Racoon face.

I shall name them tapoon piglets!
They proceeded to snuffle guzzle all the fruit which we travellers offered them, then turned tail and, as one, scurried back into the forest
Miraculous, it’s just brilliant that such things exist, i read all the Willard Price Animal books as a kid and the disembodied voice of Attenborough is a bit like a father figure god. But I’ve never seen nor heard of them critters before!
heres a baby tapir to be getting on with